Thursday, June 19, 2008

Garden Photos

A baby grackle hiding in the hostas. And a couple pictures of things we are growing. Parsley, Basil, Oregano and a random Geranium in a pot. (I have herbs spread here and there in pots and in the ground). And our peas coming up. Our little garden is also boasting radishes, zucchini, carrots, lemon cucumbers, five varieties of pumpkins (Caedmon's particular request was to have a pumpkin patch), various herbs, patio tomatoes, spinach and romaine planted in our window boxes, and a chocolate pepper plant.  Hopefully we get some sunshine pretty soon so all of it can grow! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First S'mores

Last Friday (family night, remember?). First bonfire. First S'mores. No, Olaf didn't get any. 

P.S. Can you tell I'm trying to catch up this morning. I wish I could actually post these things on the day they happen. But they linger on my camera too long :) 

Carrot Seed

Here's a fun activity to do with the book The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. I found it in Games with Books by Peggy Kaye (which I picked up a while back for about $3.00 and am just now using - silly me). After reading the book (which is perfect for Ansel - he has it memorized), each of us laid on the ground (we took turns) and the others drew a line next to our body with chalk. Then we guessed how many carrots would fit on the line. We then "measured" how many carrots tall we were. By the way, we got to count by twos: Ansel was 4 carrots, Caedmon was 6 carrots and I was 8 carrots. And as you can see, Ansel decided to take a break and have a snack (the particular carrot he is enjoying is out of the bag, but he did try to eat them off of the driveway too. Ugghhh!).

Hair Cuts

I finally took the boys to see Joel's mom for haircuts. Look at how beautiful those eyes are (we can actually see them now)! Of course I photographed them this morning with bed head. But that's the way it goes. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sculpey Prints

Another simple and wonderful project that I discovered at The Artful Parent. Sweet little imprints of nature: basically the boys and I walked around the yard and collected leaves, twigs, flowers, etc. We rolled little balls of Sculpey dough and then pressed them down onto the object to imprint. I then baked them following the package directions. The boys have enjoyed these immensely; they're so pretty and tactile. I was thinking that if we made doubles of everything next time, it would be a fun version of a "memory" game, turning them over and trying to find pairs. My favorite parts:  a. the boys can do most of the steps themselves b. it's a nature/learning connection c. the process and product are lovely (you could also make beads with these!)

Check out the version at The Artful Parent, because her directions and photos are way better than mine! 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Papa Joel

In addition to scheming to have my boys call me "Bella Mama", I have tried to get them to call their daddy "Papa Joel." Sounds so much more lovely and eccentric than the usual dada and mama - I'm strange, I know. But this is not about me. It's about the man I love. The father of my children. The guy sitting in my dining room right now, whacking himself in the head over and over and over, at the sheer delight of the boys. He's not featured on this blog very often, because this is mostly about what I do with the boys all day. While Papa's bringing home the bacon so to speak. He allows me to be home with the boys; he's the reason we can be together, doing the fun stuff. And for that, I am truly grateful. A few more things I love about Joel: 

1. He's not afraid of a dirty diaper. 
2. He doesn't bat an eyelash when he comes home and I have painted the porch steps like a rainbow (that was yesterday) or any of the other crazy things I do. 
3. He loves me/us unconditionally (let's just say he's seen me in some not so flattering moments).
4. He reads every single night to the boys.
5. He looks good in overalls.
6. And argyle. (not together, although that would be an interesting combination).
7. He's crazy sweet!!!! 
8. And quiet. Which is also sweet.  He's a lover, not a fighter. 
9. Gosh, does he love our boys. And he does stuff with them. And they love him. And sometimes I'm kinda' jealous because it seems like I'm not in the boy circle, but really I am happy, because they are so good for each other. 
10. And the best part: he loves God more than he loves us. Joel is a man after God's heart. Which makes for the best husband/daddy/papa we could ask for. 

Happy Father's Day Sweetheart. We love you. Adore you. Forever. XOXO. 

P.S. His present? Foremost, the sweetest cards from the boys. And also, a book. Because I think books are the best presents. And it's better to give than receive, so I give them. Joel received a copy of the Dangerous Book For Boys, which has all kinds of crazy stuff for he and the boys to do together. I highly recommend it. (I told him that if they do anything too dangerous, they better not tell me about it!) 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Painting Tortillas

I'm catching up on some of the photos sitting around here, waiting to be blogged. One morning I asked the boys if they would like to paint a snack. Of course Ansel is just like, "yeah!" Paint and snack are two of his favorite things. Caedmon was a bit more hesitant. 

Like, "you're going to let us eat the paint?" 
"Sure, why not?"
"We can't eat paint." 
It was fun to play with him a little, but I showed him how we could mix milk and food coloring to be our "paint." Good thing he hasn't heard me ramble about dye or he'd probably still think I was poisoning him :) 
They used basting brushes and smeared their "paint" around for awhile until the tortillas were soggy and basically disgusting looking. Then I popped them in the oven to dry them out and crisp them up (after a sprinkle of cinnamon & sugar - if we're eating paint we might as well go crazy and have sugar too). And snack time! So, I can't say it was exactly gourmet, but it was fun. 

And by the way, I think I got this idea from pepperpaints some time ago (it's been in my brain archive). Thanks!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Birthday Photos

My Martha fetish only goes so far: the cake is from a mix and the frosting from a container. LOL

Birthday Boy!

Our sweet Ansel was two on Friday! Two! If you ask him how old he is, he will tell you that he is "three" or maybe even "four." When I think about how much joy he has packed into the last two years of our family, it seriously makes me tear up. I know, I'm a sappy sort of girl. I just cannot imagine life without my boys. 

Thursday: On Thursday night I made him a birthday crown. The idea was taken from The Creative Family by Amanda Soule. I am so glad that he loved it!!! I love making things for my kids. 

Friday: On his birthday,  he had a birthday shout out on ohdeedoh. My dear friend Melissa called me to say she saw it!  We had friends over for a little party Friday morning. I forgot to ask their mom (Hi Polly) if I could post pictures of them, but we had fun with a couple of games (pin the banana on the monkey and monkey see, monkey do) and banana muffins topped with yellow cream cheese (disguised as "cupcakes").  Friday evening we ordered pizza and then went to see The Young Americans, a very talented entourage, in concert (my sisters got free tickets from work!!!). 

Saturday: Saturday morning we had LOTS of family and our neighbors over for another party! I have included photos of the monkey cake (an idea I copied from an old issue of Martha Stewart Kids - I saved all of those magazines!). Ansel LOVED that cake! The party was in the morning, so I made a light brunch of strata and salad and bananas (monkey/yellow theme). I didn't really plan games, but I made a little word scramble all about Ansel, and let everyone work on it at their leisure. Ansel enjoyed his presents, but I had to open most of them, which is typical of both of my boys. They've never gotten into that part. But they certainly LOVE to play with the presents. Everyone was so generous, and we have lots of fun outdoor toys, as well as a new John Deere collection for Ansel. Thanks all. 

Whew! I know that was a whole lot to read, but it was such a great weekend. Bittersweet though. Those two years flew by. 

One more thing: Because I have made such a lengthy post, I have officially run out of time, because we are leaving for my nephew's open house (I do not even want to think about open houses for my boys). So, I will post all of the photos tonight after church. I promise (as long as I don't forget).