Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Joys of Country Living

We love living in the country. It is great. We aren't too far out, but far enough. But as with everything, it does have its disadvantages. Like finding this living under your back porch. . .

Yes, it is a skunk, and yes it is covered in a flower sheet.
Why is it covered in a flower sheet you ask? Well, the guy at the store where Ben bought the trap said that once he caught it he needed to slowly come up and cover it with a blanket so he wouldn't get sprayed. This is the blanket that Ben got to cover our skunk so he wouldn't get sprayed. I guess it must have worked because he didn't get sprayed. Ben and 2 of the kids took this over the river and through the woods far way from our house to let it go. They had the hardest time getting the skunk out of the trap. I guess he liked it in there because he just didn't want to get out. Finally they ended up tying a rope to the trap and dragging it down a country road and through a ditch. When the trap went into the water the skunk finally climbed out and left. We hope he never returns so we can live happily ever after.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Things I love

I love lots of things, but these are things I especially love this week. . .

Dairy Queen! We love DQ and especially this week since their blizzards are on sale buy one get one for $.25!!! We have gone several times this week :) Yum! Cookie dough is my favorite.
I love playing in the yard on a late spring evening and my Ben teaching the kids how to swing a bat and play ball!

I love, and am probably addicted to, Bath and Body works lotion. Is there such thing as LLA (lotion lovers anonymous)? I could probably found it if there isn't. But I love the stuff! Especially their new summer vanillas. Oh. my. Have you smelled them?

I also love this cookbook. Ben got it for me for my birthday. Have you heard of Pioneer Woman? She is great! Her cookbook is awesome! I have made lots of the recipes, and they are all good! Check her out at Pioneer Woman
What are you loving this week????

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making Gold Medal Music

Saturday our family drove 1 1/2 hours (one way) to a State University for my girls to compete in a piano competition. We have done it for several years, and I played in the same competition at the same place when I was young. Over the years I have had several people make comments about driving that far to have them play a 30 second piece or however long, and I want to ask, "And how far do you drive and how often do you go to your kids ball games?" But I don't, I just think that :) but I think it is just as important to support your kids in their musical talents as their sports or other talents. My kids practice their piano every day all year, not just for a season. They work very hard at it, and they are doing very well. I think it is important for them to have chances to perform, be judged--not against anyone else, just themselves--and to receive an award for that. Then they have a very tangible award for their hard work and a great sense of accomplishment--they got a gold medal! The competition is held each April, and for a gold medal, yeah, we will drive 3 hours round trip for it. Way to go girls! We are proud of you!
Miss E has already decided she is taking this for show-and-tell this week.

Keep up the good work girls! You make beautiful Gold Medal Music!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Because It's Spring-3

My final spring installment. . .

I love tulips! This is a close-up of my favorite pink and yellow ones.
Some more pretty tulips--white, yellow/pink and deep red ones.

I think I made a mistake when I planted my tulips. These are all on my one side and back yard, and none are in my front yard. I planted my daffodils in front and none in back. I think I need to get some more and rectify that problem. Anyone ready for a bulk bulb ordering party this fall???

One major sign of spring at our house is Ben tilling the garden. We usually have really wet springs, and this year has been no different. It has been hard to wait for the garden soil to be dry enough to till, but it finally stayed dry for a week so Ben was able to get it tilled this week, right before it rained--again :)
And another sign it is spring at our house is my kids are on the trampoline constantly, jumping, playing games, running circles, or just sitting on it to talk. They love that thing! They are counting the days till it is warmer and then they can put the sprinkler underneath and jump in their swimsuits!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Because It's Spring-2

Some more signs of spring at our house. . .

Kindergarten visitation and screening!!! My baby will be starting all day kindergarten in the fall, and in the spring they visit (he is there this afternoon), get screened and get all ready for the fall. This picture is from 11:30 today when I dropped him off. He is in with the regular kindergartners visiting until 3:16. When did he get so big???

The chickens are out! In the spring we let the chickens out of their coop when we are outside so they can eat all the bugs in the yard and garden!

I love, love, love the colors of spring! A red bud tree in our backyard---love purple!

Our apple trees are blooming! Hopefully we will be making applesauce in the fall!

The kids can walk to the library after school for story hour. Love when the weather is nice and they can walk!
Love the pink colors too, because it is spring!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Because It's Spring!

A primary children's song says. . .

Why is the sky so blue and clear?
Why is the robin's song so dear?
Why is the sun so warm and bright,
Filling the earth with glorious light?
Why are the fields so green today?
Why do the clouds all float away?
Why does my heart with gladness sing?
Only because it's SPRING!!!

Love that song. And my heart has been singing with gladness because it is spring. I have been taking lots of pictures of what spring means to our family. Over the next few days I am going to share little glimpses of our spring. Enjoy! And I hope your heart is also singing because it is Spring!
Miss E helping our neighbor do his yard work. He said he would pay her a nickel if he had one, but he didn't, and she said that was okay.
She was a hard worker and enjoyed the ride!

Miss E loves digging in the dirt with our neighbor in the spring!

Spring means SOCCER! We love soccer even though it makes our lives a little crazy on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings, but it is only for a month and a half :) Miss O and Miss E are our soccer players. Go 12 and 13!

Spring means yard work! I am in charge of getting the flower beds cleaned up and ready. Ben is in charge of getting the garden tilled and ready. I was working hard today. Wore through a pair of gloves today because it is spring!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Curlers, anyone?

Once upon a time there were hair curlers. . .
Remember curlers? Those soft, foamy, pink things you surrounded your head with? I didn't think they made them anymore :) and they even have them in different colors! but my girls had seen a friend who used them, and they were all excited about trying them out. So, a few weeks ago on a Saturday night Ben had a meeting at church, Mr J went to bed early, and I rolled the girls' hair in curlers. Miss O was so excited about it that she requested that I roll her hair every night the following week.
They were super excited about it, don't they look so happy and excited about their hair up in curlers? until they tried to go to sleep. "How do we lay?" "They hurt!" "This isn't very comfortable." "I can't go to sleep with these in." I patiently reminded them that they were the ones who wanted to do this and have them, but I specifically remember feeling the same way when I slept in them when I was their age, and I know my mom heard the same complaints from me and my 2 sisters. What goes around, comes around . . .anyway, I offered that they could just take them out, but they declined. They had visions of curly, beautiful hair dancing in their heads, and they were willing to suffer through it for beauty's sake.
When Ben got home later that night, this is what I showed him. He had to laugh. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of their hair in the morning. Their reality didn't quite meet up with their visions. Some sections were super, super curly ringlets, and others were only very slightly curvy(basically about straight). Surprisingly enough Miss O (nor either of the other 2) has never mentioned having them in her hair again, and they all lived happily ever after with straight hair.
The end

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

All dressed up for Easter

You know, I have good kids. Not perfect kids. They have their moments, like I have mine. They probably get a lot of their bad moments from me :) I had great hopes for awesome Easter pictures in their cute new dresses and clothes, but everyone has their moments and sometimes Sunday mornings before church are not our best moments. Ben has to leave an hour earlier than we do for church, so I have the job of getting all four kids ready and out the door on time, plus trying to make myself presentable. We are not usually on time, and no matter how much prep I do something always goes wrong--tights get holes, shoes can't be found, we are filing out the door and someone yells "Wait! I have to go to the bathroom!" Ben can usually tell how the morning went by how loud I sigh when he asks me "How did it go this morning?" after I have sat down after filing everyone in our row by him. Ugh, Sunday mornings are not my favorite. Anyway. . . Easter pictures. Miss E was the only one willing to an individual shot in her new Easter dress.

Miss O was kicking her brother to get him to smile because as you can see in the below picture, he was not happy about having his picture taken this morning.

Ah, feel the love :) And the wind kept blowing the girls sleeves up, and everyone was cold and saying "Can we go now?" Yeah, I love Sunday mornings :) This was a loud sigh morning, let me tell ya. But, come what may and LOVE it!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dyeing Eggs--both brown and white

In case you didn't already know, we have chickens at our house. We have 3 Rhode Island Red laying hens. They give us pretty and very yummy fresh brown eggs. With Easter coming up we were wondering how it would be to dye the brown eggs?
Now I didn't hard boil many brown eggs. I bought 18 white ones to hard boil and only hard boiled 4 brown ones. Why, you ask? We aren't big hard boiled or deviled eggs fans around here, and from experience I know that we end up throwing out our dyed eggs after about 2 weeks, so I wasn't about to waste all my good fresh brown ones on egg dyeing. I didn't have a problem wasting the white store bought ones :) So on Saturday everyone got to work. They had big plans. . .

These were their results. We were impressed with how the brown ones dyed. Can you spot the original brown eggs? There are 4 of them. (answers at the bottom of post). They took the colors a deeper shade and turned out very pretty. I wanted to show you some pretty creative egg dyeing by my girls and Ben. . .

Hello! Did you know eggs can wear glasses too?

A pretty tri-colored egg. You have to have a steady hand to get the lines straight as you hold them in the different colored dyes. Way to go Ben!
Good-night! Sleep tight! Don't let the egg bugs bite!
(answers: dark brown/orange on left, dark purple in upper left, dark red that says "Easter" with a heart on it, and Ben's tri-colored one are the 4 brown eggs, did you guess them right?)