Thursday, April 29, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods ...

Last week the kids and I made an impromptu visit to see my parents. Actually, I had several people I wanted to visit, but ultimately it was a chance to see Mom and Berk. We drove down to Thomson on Friday morning and spent a few hours with my dad's mother. We went to lunch and enjoyed a good visit. She hadn't had a chance to meet Selah until then.

I didn't get any pictures at our next stop, which was with our good friends Paul and Sandy. I've known them since I was 9! Sandy made snickerdoodles for us, a cookie whose perfection has eluded me in my pursuit of baking them. Sandy's were wonderful. After Paul and Sandy, we were supposed to stop by my friend Allison's house. She was oh, about 4 days "overdue" with her first baby and I was going to drop off her present. But I left it on the couch at home instead. Naturally. So I just called and talked with her for a while. (While I was parked! Certainly not while driving down the road, Mom.)

And then on to see Mom and Berk! My nephew, Rali was there, too. He and Kaity and Joe had a lot of fun playing together, especially with Bobba.
(Selah's bib here says "Perfect Just Like Mommy". My mom bought it for her and I guess she would know!)

Here's Ralston, in the original of the pictures I posted a few days ago. You can see how much better the "Picnik-ed" photos are.

After a half dozen tries, I gave up trying to get them all to look at the camera at the same time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shakespeare Can Be Fun!

I recently found out about a series of books by Lois Burdett called Shakespeare Can Be Fun. It's Shakespeare's plays condensed into a readable style for children. The author uses many of the same phrases, so that you still feel like it's the Bard, but she reworks it overall in a great rhyming scheme that my kids loved. We started out gently with A Midsummer Night's Dream. As a little project to go along with it, I had the kids draw their own illustration of what a love flower would look like to them. For those of you not familiar with the story, the fairy king instructs his sprite (Puck):
"I need you to find an unusual flower. I'm in frantic need of its magical power. It's called love-in-idleness, my little sprite; It's purple in colour, though it used to be white. When sleeping eyes are streaked with its juice, A powerful love potion is set loose."

This is Joe's interpretation:
He dictated to me: "It has the smell of coconut. I love it very much. It smells like kiwi, bananas, and ice cream. The flower looks like an imaginary flower. It has one hundred petals. The stem is red, the center is red, and the petals are blue. The leaves are yellow. I would use my love flower on Mom."

This is Kaity's take on the project ...
"My love flower has purple petals and a white stem. My love flower does not have leaves. It smells like flower petals. My flower looks like a tulip. It has a pink center. I would use it on Selah. It has dark purple splotches."

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Picnik I Can Enjoy

I've been wanting to explore on Picnik for quite sometime, and today I finally did! I'm not sure why today, maybe because the dishwasher needed loading and the laundry was calling my name. "Not now!" I replied. "I'm doing something vitally important on the computer!" Here are the results ...
Jeff and Joe playing on the tractor, plowing a garden for Papa. I love Sepia tones and this photo was just begging for it! But Sepia is kind of typical, and I wanted to try something new. Here's what I came up with ...

I love how my guys are in sharp focus and the rest of the picture is softened.

This picture of Kaity is black and white with just a hint of color added back. Then I highlighted the hot pink daisy! I've always loved that look.

But the original photo had some really pretty greens that I didn't want to lose, so I did this ...

I liked the look of Kaity's picture a lot, so I tried it on my nephew, Rali. I love his orange shirt and the green leaves and pink azaleas.
And because Rali looks just like my brother I thought I would try his photo with the vintage look and see how it turned out. Adorable.
So, what are you waiting for?! Go check out Picnik for yourself. :)

And to set your mind at ease, Mother, I did get several loads of laundry done and the kitchen is now clean.

A Visit From the Finnlings

I had a hard time choosing what to post today, because I've been a busy gal! I'm forcing myself to do this (somewhat) chronologically, though, in the hopes that nothing will fall through the cracks. Last week my friend Leah came for a visit with her adorable munchkins. She and her husband affectionately refer to them as "the Finnlings".

We went to the park and took a picnic lunch for the kids. Georgia was too cute! She called Joseph "Joe-fish" the whole time. Joe was not as enamored of it as I was.

Okay, I realize that arranged marriages have fallen out of favor with most Southern Baptists, but if it were possible ...

Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies ... ashes, ashes ....

We all fall down!

My beautiful friend ...
Selah-Belle, doin' what she do.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beautiful Girl

Kaity recently went to her very first slumber party! Her best friend Lydia was the birthday girl. They went to the American Girl store, ate at the cafe there, and then went back home to watch a movie and giggle like ... well, little girls! As a party favor, Lydia's grandmother crocheted hats for all the girls and their American Girl dolls. Kaity loves her hat!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Joe and Selah

I've gotten some really cute pictures of Joe and Selah over the last couple of weeks. Time to share with y'all!

It's been like pulling teeth to get Joe to interact with his little sister. The whole time he was holding her here he was asking me to take her back! Lately though, she's been more and more aware of her siblings and now Selah smiles whenever they get down on the floor with her. She kicks and squeals and grins ... and Kaity and Joe eat it up!

"Mommy, she's chewing on my ARM!"

I have several sweet pictures of Kaity that I'll get on here soon. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Heritage Farm Field Trip

Friday, we went on a local field trip to Shields-Etheridge Farm. There are lots of places in our area to explore, yet somehow we never go to them! I was really glad to have a chance to visit this farm and to experience some local history. Shields-Etheridge has been a working farm since 1792! One unique thing about the farm is that while many historical farms have buildings moved in from other places, all the buildings at Shields-Etheridge are original to the property, standing in the original place they were built. Our first stop was the blacksmith's shop.

The caretaker of the farm arranged for us to have reenacters on site to show us how things were in the old days. The blacksmith is a young man who's been studying the craft for 7 years. Though he's had a mentor, he's largely self-taught.
This is outside the general store. I mean, they had everything! Canned goods, baking needs, harnesses, kerosene, even a little homemade bubblegum machine for the kiddies.
I learned that the counters in the general store were slanted backwards to accomodate ladies' hoop skirts!
There were also Civil War reenacters there. The two men were dressed in their Confederate uniforms. They showed us all the things soldiers would carry with them and shared lots of interesting facts about the Civil War era.
The farm also contained a schoolhouse, and the teacher lived on the property, too. Her house was part of the tour. The kids got to see what it was like to live without running water or electricity. Here, they had the opportunity to hand wash some laundry and hang it out to dry.

This is what Selah did for a good part of the tour.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Thursday morning my mom called and asked if we'd be interested in meeting her and Berk in Greensboro for lunch. Naturally we were, and we decided to meet downtown and look around for a spot to eat. Mom and I both did a bit of research on-line before we got there, finding a local cafe pretty interesting. We sent Berk on a recon mission to check it out before we actually went in, and he pronounced it worth a try. Turns out, Yesterday Cafe was really good! And downtown Greensboro is definitely somewhere I'd love to explore a bit more. We strolled down a couple of blocks and found a local market that sells some locally produced fruits and veggies, honey, angus beef and chicken. They have an ice cream counter, too! The kids and I each got a scoop. :)

It was such a wonderful, unexpected treat to get to see "Grammie and Bobba" in the middle of the week like that!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Two Months

Selah was two months old on Saturday, but I decided to wait until today to post anything because she had her checkup with the doctor this morning. Here are her stats:
Weight: 11 pounds, 12 ounces (80%)
Length: 23 3/4 inches (95%)

As you can see, she's growing well and doing great! She typically goes to sleep around 11 and sleeps until 5 or 6. Usually she goes back to sleep after eating then, sometimes right away sometimes after an hour or so. I can count on her sleeping until at least 9 after that. So that's definitely a schedule I can live with. :) She had three shots today, making her a little fussy and sleepy this afternoon. Daddy is snuggling her in the recliner right now. Doesn't she look pitiful?

And here's a cute bonus picture of Selah and Kaity in their matching Easter dresses.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

He is Risen!

Easter pictures, complete with crying baby! Kaity and I were so excited to find matching dresses for the sisters. In the car on the way home from church, Joe said, "When Kaity's hair is curly, it makes polka dot outfits perfect!"

Not only is it a glorious resurrection day, it's also our anniversary! Exactly 12 years ago, (almost to the minute!) Jeff and I pledged our lives to each other and our life together to God. God has been so good to us over the years and we are truly grateful to Him for His mercy, grace, forgiveness and love. We could not have made it without Him.
My anniversary gift from Jeff ...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool!

So, I made backwards dinner again for April Fools' Day this year. For "dinner" I made ravioli with Nutella filling and topped it with strawberry sauce and grated white chocolate. "Dessert" was squares of meatloaf brownies (baked in a square dish) topped with mashed potato "ice cream" and toppings like gravy, shredded carrot and cheese, peas and chopped parsley.

Before dinner, Jeff asked me to set up a prank on Kaity -- putting tape around the sprayer at the kitchen sink! I asked her to fix ice water for herself and Joe, and here's the result ...

But everyone's favorite part of April Fools' Day was a joke on me! Less than five minutes after I set up the sprayer to get Kaity, I completely forgot and ...

Even better, I made Jeff cry with laughter when I forgot again after dinner! *sigh*

How Now Brown ... Kitty

We just can't get over what a gorgeous color this cat is! Hershey is getting a little more brave. She came out today to bask in the beautiful sunshine in the bay window.