Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Day

We had a few friends over for Memorial Day, and had a lovely time enjoying a day off, but more importantly, remembering those who have served our country.
I love how Seth and Kate are sharing some kind of hilarious secret here.

TJ, Mary, and Chrissy
The Bowmans came over, and we enjoyed their visit. Michael did his best to entertain them with his hilarious antics. As everyone was sitting on the couch, Michael came over to me, and in a very grave voice declared, "Mom, I think I have leprosy." HAHAHAHA!! At least I know he listens to his Bible stories! :-D

And we can't forget the lovely Sam.
(Though I was remiss to get a picture of her parents!)

Josh was such a sweetie. He really enjoyed playing with Michael and Kate (and their toys), and I hear that he was pretty worn out at the end of the day.

This is Josh's mom, Jenny. She is due to have her baby girl Joliene in a week or two. We're glad they got to come over. We really enjoyed our nice relaxing day with friends!

Richie Rich

Michael got a whole dollar from his Grandma Blakemore, which he keeps close by as his new prized possession. One day, he forgot it in his pocket, and I washed and dried it, and now he has a super-clean $1 bill to enjoy. :-)

Latest Project

My latest project has been sanding, priming and painting some salvaged kitchen cabinets that I want to put in our laundry room. I've been doing most of the work while the kids nap and after they go to bed, but since I had just a few touch-ups to do, I let Michael join me. He thought it was GREAT!
This was dry paint. :-)

That little yellow tool on the floor is a palm sander, with which I have become quite proficient.

Michael inspects my paint job. He approves.
I'll post a picture once they are installed and we get a counter top for them.

These Kids Make Me Smile!

We Got a Dog

I've mentioned how much Michael loves his doggie towel the he got from the Ohio Blakemores last year for Christmas. Lately, he has been wearing it around the house while he plays. He barks, he chases his sister, he makes messes, but luckily, he does his business in the potty. :-)
The dog plays with Thomas trains.

This adorable doggie eats carrots.

And he also likes to play dead, then just up and scare/overjoy (depending on her mood) his sister.

She's a Symapthizer

Michael was in the naughty chair, and Kate decided she would join him. She thinks it's fun (little does she know...!)

Where's the Love?

Kate loves her baby dolls.
She hugs them & cares for them,

she rocks them, & plays with them, and...

...she takes them potty. In a freshly-peed in (by Michael) potty. Ugh!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Couple of Cutie Kids

When we were preparing for our company this past weekend, the kids went with me upstairs to clean and change sheets. Since we don't go upstairs very often, the kids were VERY excited. They discovered that we have Dixie cups for our guests, and thought they were the most wonderful thing ever. They both drank from their cups until the crumbled and didn't hold water anymore.

I'm not sure what crazy thing Michael (aka Mufasa) is concocting here, but it involves a bowl and some sort of liquid. Kate's taking notes in mischief-making. :-)

A Family Affair

This past weekend, we had a rare occurrence- all Brown family members were together! It's been a while, and it was nice to have everyone together.

Aunt Mel came out from California for a wedding on Saturday, and we were very happy to see her!

All the Brown grandkids together: Brynn, Erica, Olivia, Michael, and Kate

My oldest sister Meredith, who Kate took a special liking to. Notice that Kate, my little snuggle bug, found her way into someone's arms just about every second they were here.

Hollie and Brynn came up from Tennessee! We've missed you guys!!

Sunday afternoon, we all met at our house for dinner- Strawberry-spinach salad, Baked ziti, Pan-fried chicken, and Garlic bread. We had seedless watermelon for dessert.

My parents came on Saturday from West Virginia. Here, mom is putting Kate's shoes on her baby doll.

Here we are- all the Brown siblings: Mark, Meredith, Hollie, Mel, and Me
(though technically, it should be Meredith, Hollie, Me, Mark, and Mel, in chronological order)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cool Cats

I got Michael a pair of sunglasses yesterday in his favorite color- brown.
He loves them!

What a cool boy!

Kate tried them on for size.

And I think instead of "cool", she kinda looks like Ray Charles. Don't worry, girlie- your mom looks silly in sunglasses, too.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Here's the latest on the Blakemore Family garden:
Green beans are doing great. I planted the 2nd row of beans yesterday, as I wanted them staggered for a longer harvest.

The pepper plants are looking good and growing tall, and the onions are showing their green stems.

The watermelon is coming on up, but the cantaloupe plants disappeared one night. I think a bunny came and ate them! I'm going to replant a few cantaloupe seeds and hope the pesky vermin stays away!

My herbs are okay. The cilantro looks great, the basil is slow and sparse, and the sage is growing nicely. I see just one little green sprout of rosemary, and might replant that soon.

My tomatoes are sad and dying. I decided it was time to let them go (sob sob). But don't fear! I had Jon rototill again, and I put some topsoil and Miracle Grow fertilizer in there, and we are going to try Tomatoes, Round 2! I hope this time they grow nice and strong, and give us an abundant harvest!

Strawberry Pickin'

It's May, and that means it's strawberry season! We do love our berries, so on Wednesday, we headed out to Belvedere Plantation to pick some strawberries.
The kids were VERY excited to go, and I was, too. It was a picture-perfect day- sunny and 72 degrees!

In the spirit of things, Kate wore her strawberry outfit. Michael, had he owned one, would have been sporting one, too. We settled for firetrucks.

And we can't forget the strawberry clippie.

Michael really loved the big straw man. Kate kept pointing to it and saying, "nose!" She must have been amazed by his monster carrot nose.

My friend Amanda and her daughter Mikaela came along (baby Bella stayed home with her dad), and the kids enjoyed the company, as did I.

Here's our take-away. ~4lbs of the most fantastic berries I've tasted. They were so sweet and delicious that we ate them right off the bush. They didn't last long at home. We ate lots of berries, and I made the rest into freezer jam.

They told us that it was okay to taste but not feast on the berries. Michael feasted.

Then they ran off some more energy on the moon bounce.

I love this picture, and wish I had gotten a video. Kate was sitting on her bottom, and as Michael or Mikaela would come near, she would bounce up and we would see just her tiny little head bobbing up and down.

The "petting zoo" consisted of the new baby goats. Now, I'm not much of an animal person, but who can resist a baby ANYTHING? They were so adorable!!

The kids fed them hay and various other things they could find.

And Kate loved them so much that she thought this one deserved a kiss.

When we were done, I let the kids watch the tractors and run around in the great outdoors for a while. It was a lovely day!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two Random Thoughts

Kate loves the phone, or the "hewwo," as she calls it. On our latest trip to the Marine Corps Museum, she was in 7th-heaven listening to the little audio sessions on the phones. I thought they weren't supposed to like the phone until they are teenagers.

When we were at the MCM, the last exhibit was a 9/11 hallway, and Michael has SO many questions (as always!) It hit me that he will grow up learning about 9/11 in the history books, just like I learned about man walking on the moon or the Kennedy assassination. It's strange to be telling Michael about how our soldiers and marines, our firefighters and rescue workers were trying to rescue the people who had been hurt when "the bad people attacked us." What was so real to us is now just facts to him. I hope I never forget the sacrifices made by so many to keep us safe and to provide us freedom, liberty, and the opportunities to raise my family in the most wonderful country in the world!