Thursday, May 31, 2012

Michael's Kindergarten Program

Here's a snippet from Michael's kindergarten program. 
 He is the 4th from the left on the back row.  This was a song about the days of the week.  It was cute and short (thankfully, as we were in the "standing room only" section).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rain Rain, DON'T Go Away

We've had a solid week of daily rain, so my garden is happy!  
The beans, squash, and zucchini have sprouted, and I'll thin them probably next week.  The pepper plants have tiny baby peppers, and the tomato plants have perked up a bit.  Yay! 

I Scream, You Scream

Costco had a really inexpensive ice cream maker on sale, so I thought it would be a fun thing to learn about and do with the kids.  
Our first venture was a simple chocolate ice cream.  I have also made strawberry frozen yogurt, and vanilla ice cream.   

Michael thought it was very good.  It was rich, so we only needed a little bit. 

Kate thought it was delightful. 

And David got more on himself than in his mouth, as it was not fully set before we dug in.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How Does My Garden Grow?

In lieu of a CSA share, I had Jon build me a raised-bed garden this year. 
We have really bad soil, and I'm not that great of a gardener, so I decided to start small.  This garden is 4x4, and has one row of green beans, 1 row of (4) tomato plants,  4 colored bell pepper plans in the center, and 1 mound each of squash and zucchini.  We will see if anything grows, as the tomato starters were a little sad from the outset.  

Budding Artist

In art class, Michael painted this picture based on Monet's Water Lillies collection.  
This piece was chosen to represent Grafton Elementary in the Stafford County Fine Arts Festival last month.  I'm not sure how many kids were featured, but we thought Michael did a pretty good job for a kindergartner.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blooming Beauty

Kate is ecstatic that her amaryllis is blooming.  
It's so pretty, and it has three big orange blooms now.  

Dishwasher Drama

We (meaning Jon) figured out what's wrong with the dishwasher.  

If you look inside the dishwasher at the round black coil, you will see that it is bent downward.  The heating element got bent and actually melted a hole in the bottom of the dishwasher.  Jon is trying to work some magic with epoxy and caulk, so we will see if it works, but until then... dishpan hands.  

Farmer's Market

Our farmer's market is not too far, so we stop in often.  Today, we got the starter plants for our garden, and I planted it tonight.  It's just a small raised-bed garden, since I have had poor success in gardening in the past, so we will see what comes of it.  Pics to follow.  
 3 kiddos helping me with pepper plants  

As I was paying for our goods, I caught this little stinker pilfering strawberries from a container.  The lady said it was no big deal and didn't make me pay for the couple that he ate, which was very kind of her.  David downed the strawberries, stem and all.  Must've been pretty hungry. 

Grafton Grizzley Fest 2012

The PTA at Michael school has a fundraiser every year to raise money for technology in classroom.  The kids had a great time at Grizzly Fest, with moon bounces, booths, games, shows, and all sorts of cool kid things. 
Michael the Great Sphinx 

Princess Kate 

David needed in on the action, too.   

The Stafford County Sheriff's Dept did some motorcycle stunts, which were quite cool.
We came right from Michael's t-ball game, thus the uniform.  

In my haste to not lose a kid or 3 in the crowds, I didn't get too many pictures, but we sure did have a fun time.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chick-Fil-A "Date Night"

Chick-Fil-A had a Mother-Son Date Knight tonight, and I took Michael for the festivities and a little one-on-one time with him. 

We had lots of fun together.
Mommy and her oldest boy 

They did an awesome job decorating, not to mention themed server costumes and live musicians (playing the flute and the lyre)

Even the bathroom was decorated in the castle theme (minus the chamber pots). 

Michael poses with his balloon sword and a minstrel.  

Michael loved the live entertainment.

 He even challenged quite a few people to duels.

Michael designed our family crest, which (Michael explained) had an abstract figure representing "fierceness" (and sometimes we are...).  
What a nice night with my oldest son.  


I almost can't handle the sweetness of peek-a-boo with these guys.
WHERE'S David?   

No, really.  Where could he be?   

PEEK!  There he is! 

And sweet Kate, too!  

A Moment of Sweetness

Michael wanted to brush Kate's hair for her after her bath.  
I encourage ANY form of gentleness in this super-rough boy.  

T-ball 2012 continued

Some teammates' parents are pretty good with a camera, so I pilfered some of their images.  
 David and Elliot, the littlest fans.  I love how David is waving at Michael through the fence. 
My oldest. who looks so cute in his uniform 

Running to first base with his tongue hanging out
On first base, ready to run to second 

Daddy helping in the field while Jackson catches the ball 

Michael making the throw

Michael swinging for the fences

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

CBS Children's Program

 I am involved with an organization called Community Bible Study, which is a year-long study through a passage of the Bible.  The kids have a correlating study, and have been working through memorizing scriptures, learning Bible songs, and studying the Word.  
Kate was pretty excited to share a little of what she learned this year in CBS (and maybe a little more than excited when she noticed Daddy in the crowd and started waving non-stop).  So excited, in fact, that she could barely keep her dress down...

Monday, May 07, 2012

Mets T-Ball 2012

Michael had team pictures on Saturday, and my friend Anna was kind enough to take some great pics (and save us $16 for a team pic).  
Apparently, Mets look a lot like wasps and start with the letter "B."

Friday, May 04, 2012


I cleared an area in the woods for a fire pit to make occasional s'mores and such, and we took it for a test-drive this week.  

 It was pretty wet outside, and the wood was not interested in lighting on fire.

Daddy finally got some flames going with some cardboard, but it was not destined to burn long. 

He worked for a while, but it was too wet.  We did, however, get enough fire to roast our marshmallows.  

And they were yummy.  And the kids thought it was super-fun!  We will definitely do  it again soon!  

Upside Outside

This boy is so fun-loving & happy.   
And he went in the potty tonight!  I've been introducing the potty to him for familiarity and giving him opportunities to sit a few times a day (when he gets a diaper change), but with no expectations.  He definitely earned a couple chocolate chips for that one!  

Sweet Kate

God blessed us with a sweet, precious girlie girl in the midst of boys.  
She bring so much joy and sweetness to our home.  She's not afraid of worms, but she will be digging them in a flowery skirt.   

Kate also adores art and writing.  Kate wishes more than anything that she could write.  She sounds out words and writes notes quite a bit, but she gets frustrated that she isn't good at it yet.   She can often be found with chalk in hand while writing phonetic words all over the deck.  

She leaves no surface unbeautified.  

Jon brought home an amaryllis for Kate, and she thinks it's the most wonderful thing ever.  She even labeled the space around the flower "Kates EMRILIS."  I'm not sure if Kate adores anything more an flowers.  She seriously LOVES flowers.  
We love this precious girl!

Friday library day.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Michael, the e-reader

Michael has entered a new stage of reading- stealing daddy's mini-tablet (that he uses for work) to download (approved) books from the library.  
Michael is committed to reading ALL of the Magic Tree House books, if he can get his hands on them.  They are currently his favorite, as Michael dreams of traveling and wants to know about everything everywhere (which, from what I am told, is a lot like his Daddy was as a kid).

Media Room

The play room  has undergone a transformation in recent days.  
(notice David peering out the window)
We got new (to us- thanks, Craigslist) furniture, a TV (with soon-to-be hidden wires), and... wait for it... a Wii!!  The kids had $45 saved, and a friend just *happened* to have a Wii system that they were getting rid of for just that price (We're SO thankful for their generosity!!)  
So now, how do I keep this from taking over?  I was thinking that, since the kids earn computer time with chores, maybe they could get Wii minutes by reading.  I'll have to figure all that out. Suggestions?