Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer break!!!

We have completed our 2009/2010 school year!!!
On Wednesday, we had piano lessons and then had 'library day'...a long, leisurely visit to the library to sprawl out and read, first inside with the a/c and comfy chairs (Abigail's choice) and then in their small outdoor courtyard (David's choice).
  On Thursday, our last day of school, we cleaned out our school desks and then visited a park, where the kids played on the playground...
 ...played 'imagination' (in this picture, they are being "Jacob" and "Anna")...
 ...played hide and seek...
 ...and we even discovered the train track that ran a stone's throw from the park is an active railroad track!
On Thursday night we had our annual celebration dinner at Benihana.  Our chef was great and the food was as amazing as ever!
 After dinner, the kids got their promotion certificates.
 David has been promoted to third grade!
Abigail has been promoted to first grade!
Congratulations to them for all of their hard work this year!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Living family history

Here is a lovely ivory peony bloom...I wish the blog could capture its lovely perfume!  This peony bush is special, because it is a piece of family history.  It came from my Grandma Minota's garden to my first house in Naperville, Illinois, and then moved with us to our current home in Canton, Georgia.  It brings me pleasure every year, not only because it is one of my most favorite flowers, but also because it's like a little piece of my grandma every spring (she passed away the year before I got married).

Hanging out with the wild animals

Yesterday Karen and I took the kids on a field trip to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve .  It was an amazing place; they have a lot of neat animals and, unlike the zoo where animals tend to hide or ignore visitors, most of their animals are interested and come as close as they can to socialize.  The kids spent at least half an hour interacting with a chimp, playing "copy cat" and trying to impress each other.

I'm not sure, exactly, how it happened...but I got so engrossed in the whole experience that I took NOT ONE picture of the kids while we were there.  I feel sad about that, but it is what it is :(

But here's a picture of the peacock who was showing off for us...
 ...and here is Karen, who at 37 1/2 weeks would be considered full-term, but who kindly behaved while we were on our trip! :)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tellus Science Museum field trip

Yesterday we all went to the Tellus Science Museum on a field trip.  A friend had recommended it to us (thanks, Greta!) and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  (I just realized...there is a recurring theme in many of our field trips...can you tell that we are a science-loving family?!)

Busy days

It seems that the last few weeks have barreled along at breakneck speed.  We have been running hither and yon with hardly any time to take a breath.  Here are a few highlights from the last couple of weeks, in no particular order...

I took the kids to Fernbank Museum on a field trip.  When we got there, though, it seemed that half of the schools in Atlanta had the same great idea.  It was packed to the gills, the worst of human nature was on full display (i.e. rude, shoving people everywhere!), and the kids could not hear anything because of the we made the most of the one exhibit that was closing in a few days and then we made our escape.  The kids were pretty disappointed not to have our usual leisurely enjoyment of the museum, but we got creative and found the Fernbank Science Center a couple of miles away.  It was peaceful, very educational, and we plan to go back there again with more time to enjoy it!  Here are the kids in front of the actual Apollo 6 command module (go here if you want to read a little history.  The last section names the location!).
We're pretty easy to amuse...the kids had fun on this tree in a store parking lot on the way home.
Abigail has gotten over her dread of the lawn tractor and even asked to help me mow.  She wasn't pleased that I kept one hand on the bottom of the steering wheel while she was driving, but I wasn't willing to have wavy mow-lines all over the yard. :)  (Just for the record, she's a fine driver for her age!)
Here is David really getting into the Lone Ranger story he was watching!
 And here is David's finger...he slammed it in the door and four days later, it swelled to an impossibly-large size.  We popped over to urgent care last Sunday afternoon to have it checked...thankfully, there was no infection.  (We learned something, though...with an injury like this, if you go to the dr right away, they can drill a tiny hole through the nail to let it drain and prevent this from happening.  Live and learn!)
David has put his new birthday golf set to good use.  Every spare minute he gets (which hasn't been much lately!) he is likely to be out playing golf.  His goal is to get good enough so that his uncles will take him to a real golf course. :)
 When he's done with his shot, he meticulously wipes down his club and then, when he gets the ball in the 'hole', he pulls out his 'score card' to write down his's usually a very creative score, as you can imagine!!!

Abigail, unwilling to be left out of her brother's activities, tries and tries to enjoy golf but it isn't really happening yet.  She declared the other day, after a very frustrating stint with an unwieldy club, that she JUST DOESN'T LIKE SPORTS!  (In truth, she does like sports, both playing and was just a moment of extreme frustration!) Although I won't say this to her, it appears that she may have inherited her mother's golf skills (that is, the lack thereof)...!
Last, but not least, here I am with my princess after our Ladies' banquet at church the other night.  (The thing on her cheek is face-paint from a birthday party she went to earlier in the day.)  We look quite tired out...because we were!  It was late on Friday night after a very long week...but we enjoyed our 'date'.
Such crazy, busy days, but we enjoy being together in the midst of them!

Spring garden 2010

It's always a thrill when it's time to start the spring garden!  First the prep work to turn this into something tillable...
 This, my friends, is love!  The poppies I planted last year never came up...but they popped up this spring!  I didn't want to lose them, so Bruce took the time to dig them all up for me so I could transplant them to another area before he tilled the garden. :)
Besides the poppies, we also enjoyed a couple of other surprises when we started digging around in the garden this year.  None of the fall garden seeds I had planted actually took...or so we thought.  They must have come up after I quit watching for them, but we got some carrots!  There was also a bunch of catnip that came up again, too.  We saved one clump to plant in a pot on the deck for the cats and tilled the rest under for now.

A new tiller joined the team this year...the old one gave up the ghost and had to be replaced.  It operates differently than our old one did, and it took Bruce for a run a few times -- rather like an unruly Great Dane on a leash -- until he got it all figured out!  The rest of us had a great laugh or two while we watched!
 I just had to include this picture, too...David's stance is the spitting image of my dad's stance when watching someone else work!  It's so much fun to see these random family traits passed down to the next generation.
 Our very own garden fairy cavorted around in her big ole garden boots while the guys were doing the prep work.  She has come a long way from the infant who wailed if the breeze touched her, to the toddler who HATED being outside, to the little girl who screamed at heat, insects, and any number of things (real and imagined) whenever she was outdoors and begged to go inside, to the little-big girl who was entirely content and happy to be with us outside and to spend hours rolling in the grass and digging in the dirt!
 Due to our equipment issues, the weather, and our crazy schedules, we ended up prepping and planting on two weekday-evenings instead of our usual Saturday.  On the second night, we let both kids stay up to help with the planting.  It was really fun to see the growth in their maturity levels since last year; their attention spans, their interest, and the amount of helpful labor they actually contributed have all increased noticeably.  We're glad the garden is such a family-thing for us!

And here it is can't see it in the picture yet, but all of the seedlings have poked through and are growing exponentially bigger every day...I can already imagine the wonderful produce that's on its way!  Watching this incredible process never ceases to amaze me!

Happy Mother's Day!

I am so blessed to have three moms in my life -- my mom, my grandma, and my mother-in-law (who is my mom now as much as she is my husband's!).  Happy Mother's Day to all three of you -- we love you so much!
Here is a picture of me with two of the most precious gifts God has given to me...I am so honored and still so awed to be called "Mommy".

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Anniversary wishes

Happy 34th anniversary to my parents!
We love you!