Wednesday, October 19, 2011

(Not so) Wordless Wednesday: Visiting

 We visited my aunt and uncle earlier this week and, since they live in the same neighborhood I grew up in, there is always a bit of nostalgia for me, 


with an odd mixture of the old and the new.




 For the kids, there is lots of dog-petting.  Forced dog-petting.

 Oh, I'm kidding!  But that's what it looks like, doesn't it?  In reality, it was a lot more like this:


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rainy days

 Ah...rainy days.  Where raindrops hang from the clothes line instead of the usual laundry

and you might see a rainbow in the sky

...or even two.
Double rainbow

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday: Magnets

Yes, magnets.

One day this week, while sitting with my 9 year old so that he would remain sitting at the table working diligently on his math assignment (ahem), I decided to make my refrigerator look a little better.

I started with making a new homemade "dry erase" surface to record leftovers, kitchen projects that need to be completed, etc.   (Here is my old one mentioned in a previous blog post.)  I found prettier paper than I had been using and covered it with some laminating paper my aunt had given us years ago.  This time, I wrote not only the days of the week along the side, but also a space to record the time I started the crock pot before I laminated the paper; the rest is erasable. I also now have prettier magnets because...

My next project was to cover some of those advertising magnets you receive from businesses.  I started with covering one magnet that I've been setting my magnetic kitchen timer on.  The refrigerator surface was getting scuffed from the constant movement of the timer (Does anyone else have kids with a fascination with timing everything?) and I had placed one of those ad magnets behind it...but it wasn't pretty.  Now, with some paper and a little glue, it is.

 Then I got a little carried away with other advertising magnets and smaller magnets...

Grace (5) was so impressed with my work that she said it looked like a company had made them.  ;)


This is something we don't use anymore, but it saved a lot of headaches and arguments for us a few years ago when we first began allowing Robert to "roam the neighborhood" on his own to visit his friends.  After he had permission to go to a friend's house and we had told him what time to return, he would write the information on a piece of paper that was held by this magnet (under "GOING TO:" and "BACK AT:" at the base of the magnet).  This was a simple solution to keep him accountable--and there was no discussion of "But I thought you said..." because he wrote it himself, and he typically wrote the time on his hand right then since he already had a pen handy.  (This was another advertising magnet that I had covered years ago.)

What works for you?

Wordless Wednesday: Baby faces

Grace (5) and her baby doll Bella sleeping

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

 The prettiest little monkey I've ever seen...

Grace, age 5


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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How I Lost My Imaginary Friend

"Imaginary friend" is the term Jason uses to describe people I know online through blogging.

Two weeks ago, Josiah, Grace, and I drove to meet Kathleen and her family for the first time when she was visiting family in a nearby city. I was very excited and a little nervous to meet Kathleen; Josiah spent time speculating whether or not we would actually recognize each other.  (We did.)  We met at Chick-fil-A since rain was in the forecast, and as I spotted Kathleen parking and everyone getting out of their van, it was a little surreal...I told her it was as though photos from her blog were coming to life in the parking lot.  We all enjoyed our lunch together and, since it wasn't raining after all, we decided to head over to a local zoo as we had originally planned.

The kids paused briefly for photographs

Josiah, Jacob, Audrey, and Grace
before they began racing through the zoo together. At one point, Grace came running back to tell me, so excitedly, "Feline is here!  Feline is here!"

Who is Feline?  Feline is the deer Grace becomes when she is playing the Baby Deer Game.  While she rarely crawls under a pillow to become the baby deer who has lost her mother, she still occasionally does the Baby Deer Dance. 

So, yes, I had to explain to Kathleen why Grace was so very excited to see a deer in a zoo. 

We saw a bald eagle

and he saw me when Kathleen made some noise to get him to look her way! Yikes.  What a look.


We saw a few bears

At the bear exhibit
and some really cute owls.

Audrey and Josiah

We left the zoo area and headed over to the playground.  I find it hilarious that Kathleen and I both got similar shots here


and here 


as we walked towards the pond.  (I had stopped off at our van to get Josiah's water bottle and as well as some leftover fries to feed the geese and ducks.  Everyone else went on down the trail, so Kathleen and I walked these parts separately.)


 We spent a little time feeding the geese and ducks the leftover fries


and then some grease from the fries got on my camera lens and made the rest of my photos a little blurry.  :(

The kids had fun playing together.  The girls played "house" and the boys played games of friendly but sometimes, well, painful competition. Kathleen and I chatted in the way that moms with six children around them chat.  (It would have been seven except Robert stayed with Jason that day.)

The kids rather reluctantly posed for a group shot before we said our goodbyes.

And you know what happened?  Somewhere along the way--really, early on during our visit--I lost my imaginary friend

Kathleen and me

...and found a real friend. 

I love how it wasn't awkward when we first met.  We began talking like we'd known each other for a while--which, of course, we had, just online.  I love how our kids got along so well.  I love how Grace wants to mail Audrey some of her books as soon as she got home--just because--and how Josiah has asked when he can see Michael and Jacob again. 

I'm hoping it's pretty soon, because I'm looking forward to seeing Kathleen again, too.  I have a few hundred questions to ask her now that I'm not a bit nervous.  ;)

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