Thursday, April 30, 2009

TSWD - 4/30/09

For Today...

Outside my window... what appears to be a perfect 70 degree day

I am thinking... of everything I want to accomplish this weekend.

From the learning rooms... Elizabeth has been thoroughly enjoying Gooney Bird Greene, by Lois Lowry, this week.  I'll have to see if I can find the rest of the series at the library.

I am thankful for... sidewalk chalk.  I can get many outdoor chores done by pulling out the chalk.

From the kitchen... southwest veggie soup

I am wearing... capri pants & t-shirt (I changed it up)

I am reading... Stepping into the Sunlight for my bookclub

I am hoping... to get my seeds planted in the garden this weekend

I am creating... very little this week.  Finishing the patterned scarf I've been working on and the felt garden for our summer table

I am praying... for strength for Paulie as EOG testing is coming soon.

Around the house... enjoying the deck furniture still, especially in this perfect weather.

One of my favorite things... the smell of Finn's hair when he first wakes up.

A few plans for the rest of the week... bookclub, gallery hop, Paulie's 5k, derby party, planting the garden.  Whew, I'm tired already.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

apparently Finn chalks faces as well as skateboards

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

springtime at the park

the first thing I saw upon entering the park

What can I say?  My kids like creeks.  
This particular park has one that stretches the length of the park.

Elizabeth now has a creek rock to add to her collection.

Was this your favorite part of childhood too?
I grew up mostly at the beach, and still
I longed for the creek.

Finn prefers the pathways 
where he can keep an eye on his siblings...

and try to outrun his parents.

funky old stump

white oak
signature wood of the "mission style" furniture

yellow poplar (also known as tulip tree)
highly valued for the fact it grows 80+ ft before branching

black tupelo (part of the dogwood family)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

blast from the past

The photos of Elizabeth and Philip at the top of the hill at the baseball field last weekend had an awfully familiar feel.  

The shot was taken exactly 3 years ago today.  
(Obviously a cooler April that year.)

This shot was last Saturday in the same spot:

It's amazing to see how much they've grown.  In the first picture, Elizabeth was 5 and Philip was 3.  Paul and I had only been married for a little over 6 months when that photo was taken so we were a relatively new family.  It would be another week or so before we found out that Finn was joining our family.

Now we're a family of 6, rooted together; the kids barely remember a time when they weren't all siblings.  We have our moments with the shift in dynamics that inevitably happens depending on who's home at any given time.  But I see these two pictures, and I fill with amazement that we've managed to raise step-siblings who don't even really know that word.  They love one another and fuss, laugh, fight, play, tease and care as one family.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot!

We hit the 90s this weekend.  Ugh...I thought we might have another month before that happened.  Fortunately, we didn't let the heat ruin our fun.  We headed out to my grandmother's house again on Saturday morning.  My brother's family was there for my nephew's 3rd birthday.  

The older 3 kids love visiting out at Granny's house because not only are they likely consume some variety of food not generally on mom's menu, but they get to traipse in the woods until their hearts are content.

Of course, their real desire lies at the creek, which can be deep and swift-moving in certain parts so adults are required, but the adults try to accomodate occasionally.

The little guys are just as happy to play with balls in the driveway.

We found lizards and caterpillars.

And celebrated Aidan's 3rd year!

Then it was off to Paulie's baseball game where we sweltered on the top of the hill.

But Sunday brought relief by way of the sprinkler...

Finn was a little freaked out by the sprinkler so he found some relief in a bucket of water.

Spring, come back soon!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Silly boys

We spent a good part of yesterday at my grandmother's house to celebrate my nephew's 3rd birthday.  I'll post more about that later, with some pictures of the weekend, but I just wanted to share a few pictures that Paulie, Finn, and Aidan (birthday boy) took with Photobooth on my brother's mac.  They laughed at themselves for a good long while, seeing these shots.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Earth, the movie

I took Paulie, Elizabeth and Philip to see the new Earth movie, by the Disneynature label, last night.  We really enjoyed this movie immensely.  I was a little worried for a few reasons--I thought Disney might cutesify (is that a word?) it, and I thought Philip might freak out during one of the few hunter vs. prey scenes.  As it turns out, I worried for naught, because the film was perfectly lovely.  The camera work came from the Planet Earth series, of which I have only seen certain parts, but was absolutely extraordinary.  The narration flowed beautifully with the various stories, and the movie perfectly suited kids in the 6-10 year old range, showing nature in it's glory alongside it's grim reality.

Paulie's favorite part:  a nest of ducklings jumps down from a branch to follow their mother with a not-so-graceful landing; runner-up was a bird of paradise whose face blended into his feathers when he danced, quite the funny sight

Philip's favorite part:  see the ducklings from Paulie's  ;)

Elizabeth's favorite part:
 the 2 baby polar bears that began and ended the movie; their climb from their nest and descent down the frozen hill was particularly cute

My favorite part:
 all of the above, plus the monkeys who weren't crazy about having to wade through waist high water in the savannah and reacted quite dramatically

Friday, April 24, 2009

Searching for the Flower Fairies

Elizabeth has been reading this library book for the last several nights in a row.  She's very intrigued by the serious, non-fiction nature of the flower listings with the meanings behind each flower and the folklore and remedies that accompanies each entry.  Last evening when we decided to take a friend and frolic in a local park, she was very intent on studying the flowers and looking for possible signs of fairy friends.

Just a few of the varieties we saw:

They hunted for fairies,

gathered fallen buds,

and hunted some more,

even in flowering trees.

Finn preferred to hang out in the gazebo.

No fairies were found that day, but Elizabeth and her friend each came home with a nice assortment of fallen buds which they were happy to settle for.  Another day perhaps...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Painting Rocks

Finn has been asking for about a week to paint some rocks so last night we settled down with some tempera paint to decorate his rocks.  He did a fantastic job, even if the blue dominated and made the rocks mostly look dark blue/black with streaks of other color.  He also thoroughly enjoyed himself.

He especially enjoyed when mommy went to place his rocks up to dry.  He painted his arms and hands with his paintbrush; then when mommy went to get the camera to take a picture of his hands/arms, he headed for the face.

And then he saw what he'd done.

Bathtime for Finn!  In purple water.

His rocks turned out so cute and colorful.  Maybe we'll put some googly eyes on them and turn them into pets, or maybe we'll glaze them and put them in the garden.  What do you think?

I also wanted to give a shout out to Paulie who made this fabulous dipped beeswax candle at a special AL (advanced learning) class field trip.  He was so proud of this candle, and being beeswax candle lovers in this house, we were thrilled he learned to dip candles!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, Paul, Paulie, Elizabeth and I decided to do a nature series from our own yard.  Every shot in the series is of a plant/flower in our yard or taken while standing in our yard.

My shots:

Finn's little hand clutching a dandelion

another bud discarded by Finn

the just-sprung leaves on our crepe myrtle

my new mexican heather plant

Elizabeth's shots:

petunias planted this weekend

Philip, clutching some clover buds

our front porch

Paulie's shots:

random weeds in our yard

Paul's shot:

the neighbor's horse pasture
as seen from our backyard

As we were heading inside, another spring storm brought this rainbow.  How fitting to end our Earth Day photo shoot with a rainbow.  (Yes, we have a horse pasture on one side, suburbia on the other.)

None of the kids' shots were directed by me in any way.  Didn't they do a fabulous job?!