Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August colors in North Georgia

Don't forget to go here if you'd like to see the colors in August from places all over the world!  Here are the colors in my part of the world...
A lovely plant at the State Botanical Gardens
 Some butterflies on flowers, also at the Gardens
 A gorgeous double rainbow as seen from my front porch
 The one stray vinca from last month became a whole beautiful clump!
 The roses are beginning their late-summer bloom

Monday, August 30, 2010

It pays to spell well

Due partially to the fact that both of the kids spelled "milkshake" correctly on their spelling tests (and partially to the fact that their daddy was really craving a milkshake), today we made milkshakes for an after-dinner dessert.  It got even more exciting when we served them in the kids' color-changing cups from RaDora. :)

A pleasant way to end any day!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Of basements and burns

It is time.  Time to clean out the basement...as in, REALLY clean it out.  Time to get rid of all of the stuff we have collected (why?!  why did we keep so much junk?!).  I have done this in a couple of smaller phases over the last few years, but this is the real deal -- almost nothing is safe from my ministrations!!!  Aside from the hoarding, the legitimate part of having so much stuff is that I had saved all of our baby stuff and outgrown kids' clothes with the thought of having it for future babies, but the Lord made our family complete at two children...and so now it is time to unload all of the stuff.  I did NOT take a 'before' picture...it was way too crazy...but look at this stack of stuff all destined for the garage sale...and I'm not done yet!

This is all kids' clothes waiting to be reviewed and then put in the sale, too.  Yup, it's a lot (the stacks are two bins deep)!  But it's all of the kids' outgrown clothes, from their preemie outfits through last season...plus shoes and coats...for a boy who is now wearing size 8 or 10 and a girl who is now in size 6.
This is going to be the kind of garage sale that I love to shop at when I am on the hunt for stuff we need!

I spent the first half of my day working on all of that.  A large portion of the second half of the day was spent at Urgent Care with Abigail...apparently she is very sensitive to the UV light the dentist used to harden the composite fillings yesterday, and she got this 'glorified sunburn', as the doctor called it today -- a nickel-sized wound on her chin.  She also has a bit of a staph infection in it...so we have antibiotic cream and burn cream to rub into it as it heals.  We never do things simply in our family. :)
All in all, we had a pretty good Saturday.  Going to the dr wasn't our idea of fun, but even so, Abigail and I thoroughly enjoyed each other's company and had lots of fun making up stories to tell each other and giggling without any boys around to roll their eyes at us. :)   I have a happy family and a clean house (and an in-the-process-of-being-cleaned basement) to show for it...that's a good day in my book!

A trotting week

We had a 'trotting week' this week...as in, a week during which we trotted from one thing to the next every day.  Here are a few highlights of the week...
A visit from Karen and Noah...Karen used to be the main attraction when she came over, and the kids wanted her all to themselves...now her fame comes mostly as "Noah's mom" and he's the favored one! :)
 We took a mini-field trip to a local college to see some concert band instruments
 We also had two dentist appointments this week...one on Tuesday for a check-up and one yesterday to fill a couple of little cavities.  The kids did great, but by the time we were done with that at the end of our very long day yesterday, we were all wiped out!  We got home and the kids sprawled out in silence with new library books.
 The only one of us not tired at the end of this busy week was Mindy...she rested while we were gone and thought we should play in the evening!  This is what she does every time I pick up my knitting lately...knitting with cat-spit yarn is such a pleasure...!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Musical children and grumpy mermaids

Today we started piano lessons again (after a summer hiatus).  Both kids were so excited to start again (phew!).
After lessons we ran errands, and by the time we got home, everyone was a little short on constructive energy and on patience.  I took the kids down to the pool to burn off some steam before dinner.  Lately they like to play "mermaid" together when they have the pool to themselves.  Here are "Gem" (David) and "Ice Sparkle" (Abigail) swimming out to the 'ocean'.
 Unfortunately, "Gem" was in a rather persnickety mood and only wanted to splash and spit at his mer-sister, which resulted in much shrieking and whining, which resulted in more splashing and spitting.
 This resulted in a short swim and an early bedtime for two very overtired mer-children!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Growing up as measured by a cow

I was looking at this year's picture at "The Big Cow" (Interstate 75, exit 84!)...and decided to compare it to past years.  Look at how much my babies have grown!

June trip to Florida

We enjoyed a some-of-the-family-reunion at my parents' house in June (and I just realized I had never posted the pictures!).  I thoroughly enjoyed the week and didn't take many pictures...but here are a few.  We enjoyed...
The beach
 The new pool!
 Family time
The guys all went on a golfing outing.  It was David's very first time on a real course; he played all eighteen holes and did great, just like the big guys!
We celebrated my dad's birthday while we were there...he waited expectantly while we sang him the birthday song...and boy, was he surprised when he got doused with nine cans of Silly String!!!  He was SUCH a great sport and very tolerant of our foolishness...we all had a good laugh.  (Happy birthday again, Dad...we love you!!!)
 Bruce and I also celebrated our twelfth anniversary on Sunday while we were there...we enjoyed dinner at Sicily's (pizza place on the lake), church, and family time!  No picture to share for that event because they both came out goofy! :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cat poultice

I have been under the weather, but I am on the mend...how could I not be with these two tending to me?!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A quick hint for blog commenters

My blog-friend Amy clued me in to this helpful hint last year...by changing this setting (see instructions below), when you leave a comment on someone's blog, the author can respond to you directly via email.  It's especially helpful when you ask a question in your comment!
 1~ Go to your Dashboard; click on "Edit Profile" (blue link on LH side)

2~ Click the box that says "Show my email address"
 3~ Save your changes...and now I will be able to respond to your comments with a direct email!

Amazing transformation

We have been watching the transformation of these caterpillars, first as they attached to the lid of their cup and became chrysalides...
 ...and then we watched as they emerged from their chyrsalides...
 ...as these beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies.
 It tied in nicely with one of our science lessons, and it has been really fascinating to watch the whole process!  My favorite part is watching them unfurl their proboscis and drink sugar-water from the flowers (gathered from the kids' bountiful flower-harvest in the garden) and juice from orange slices.
 We have also learned about predators!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Second week of school

During school, we work hard...
After school, we hardly work. :)

Since my picture of David jumping in didn't actually show David, but merely his splash, here's another picture of him...this past Saturday, Bruce taught him how to use an axe and they chopped down a dead tree out back!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Improving grades

In true feline fashion, a few minutes after I posted about her lack of cooperation, Mindy hopped up onto the cat seat and decided she liked it after all!  She spent the rest of the morning bird-watching...
 ...taking sprawling naps...
 ...and chasing the patches of sunlight across the seat.
It was nice to have her nearby but not interfering with our academic pursuits.
We are all pleased to change her grade from "Needs Improvement" to "Satisfactory"!!!


Mindy has been rather displeased with the start of school.  Our routine is different, and we pay attention to books and papers instead playing with her.  Abigail declared Mindy to be in "Cat-ergarten' and even made her a worksheet to do during school. :)  Mindy, however, spent a large part of last week attempting to disrupt our new activity...hogging our free space, lying on top of our papers, sprawling on our books, stealing my chair...
Eventually, she would give up long enough to take a morning nap at our feet...but would come back to interfering as soon as she woke up.
Grandparents to the rescue!  My parents dug out their old cat window-seat (which doesn't work on the style of the new windows in their house), took it apart, and mailed it to us.  We put it up in Mindy's favorite window, which is right by our school table...this way she can be near us and can watch the birds in the feeders below.  She inspected it carefully...
 ...and guess where she is this morning?!

Yup.  On the school table, covering up our books and attacking our pencils.