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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stick Garden

About a week ago, we finally got around to planting the little seed kits Austin had gotten as a gift for Easter.

 The little dirt mounds looked more like mini doughnuts than anything we'd plant in the garden.  I put the seed boxes on the bathroom windowsill.  The baby chicks are also in there, which means the teeny tiny bathroom is like a hot house, 24 hours of heat and light. Wow! Did those seeds grow fast!  The next day, there were sprouts!  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperative for planting most days so by the time we took them outside to transplant, they had become very tall and leggy.

They needed support, a lot of support.  And so, we planted a stick garden.

And you would seriously think that with all those sticks poking up, it would not be the most comfortable place to hang out.  But apparently, fragile seedlings make the best of bedding.

For Dogs:

 and chickens.

Well, we'll see what survives all this animal lovin' and the threat of  frost.  In the meanwhile, wishing you all a restful weekend.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the newest addition

Yesterday was a pretty busy day.  We had some errands to run, one of which was a doctor's appointment.  And while I paid a visit to my very HUMAN fertility doctor, THESE are the babies we actually came home with:

Obviously, we also stopped by our local farm and feed store.  We got 6 White crested Polish chicks (the ones with the pom pom heads) and 2 Buff Orpingtons.  We are scheduled to get a dozen more chicks in May, but... can't very well resist such fluffy cuteness, especially with an excited  two year old in tow.

The first thing upon waking up, Austin said, "Can I check on MY baby chicks?"  Daisey dog felt the need to "check" on them too.  Notice the tongue hanging out.  She was a little too excited about them for my comfort. She kept trying to climb into the chick box.  I will have to keep my eye on the situation.

Austin is so proud of his role as caretaker and is super gentle when handling them.  He looks throughout the day to see if they are alright.  He has named one "Goldilocks" and one other "Emily".  We are still brainstorming on some other names.  Any suggestions???

Daisey is a self appointed guardian of the chicks but I have serious doubts about her alterior motives.

AFTER we purchased these chicks and I did a little more research on the Polish breed (this breed is new to us)  I learned that they don't tolerate cold or wet well and that some owners actually blow dry their crest after rain before letting them roost for the night.  REALLY?  Some tie up their crest in little hair bands so they can see better.  FOR REAL?  I am now envisioning running a small hen spa just to keep up with my new little ladies.  You see, Polish Crested chickens  get this Phyllis Diller hairdo as they become adults, something like this:

This makes it more difficult for them to see and thus avoid predators.  Their crest feather also stay damp longer, making them suceptible to getting a chill and thus getting sick.  I figure while I'm blowdrying and styling their hair, I may just paint their little toe nails too!  Just kidding.  On the bright side, they are known to be very child friendly, have a lot of personality and be very gentle.  You can even keep males of this breed together as they "never fight".

Have you ever seen such cute dancing toddler feet?  He is "dancing for the chickens.  They like when I dance for them."  I'm not kidding.  These chicks are a day old and already have live entertainment as a part of their daily care.

As far as the human baby thing goes, my doctor seems hopeful but it is still a long road ahead with Insurance companies to fight, uncomfortable tests to repeat, too many injections in my belly, way too many blood tests and ultrasounds and a whole lot of hormones running through my body making me just a teensy weensy bit on edge!  But, hopefully, when all is done and endured, there will be a new little life to love on.  Please keep us in your prayers.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pop-Pop, Omi and the planes

Today was a pretty special day for Austin.  We still have Omi staying with us, but today, Pop-Pop came for a visit too.  And.....we spent a little time at one of Austin's most favorite places: our tiny local airport.  It really is a pretty cool place to hang out.  We love to pack a picnic lunch or dinner and eat while watching the planes take off and land.   On a nice day like today, planes are literally taking off and landing every thirty seconds or so.  Instant toddler gratification.  Earlier this week, we watched a helicopter take off.  Wow, are they loud!

We really liked this little blue beauty.

Pop-Pop look, here comes another one!

This one was also pretty cool!

I love watching the connection between these generations.  I love that little children aren't busy labeling people as old, they just sense the love and respond to that.  They appreciate that grandparents rarely rush them, always think it's a good day for an ice cream cone and never turn down a request to read a  story, even if they've already read that book six times that morning.

To be the apple in a grandparent's eye, is a splendid way to spend an afternoon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Everyone!

  I hope your day was as lovely as ours.   It really was a perfect spring day.  

Our day started off with Chocolate bunnies before breakfast, followed closely by strawberry and banana pancakes, eggs and bacon.  After an afternoon egg hunt, we met family for lunch/dinner at a restaurant and then headed off to a nearby state park where we played at the playground, walked alongside the river and threw rocks into the waves.  Our day was completely filled with family, food, warm breezes, laughter and sunshine.  As we paused on this special day, to remember the message of Easter, of sacrificial love, forgiveness and hope, we remember too the gifts which surround us every day.   And on days like today, I can't help but feel blessed.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

the day Harley Davidson met Laura Ingalls

ok, so this is me looking very laura ingalls-like in my floral skirt.... on my sister's Harley.

My sister who is 18 years older than me, does kick boxing, Tai Chi, and travels to Daytona Beach for Bike Week.  She wears a black and pink leather biker jacket paired with a pink Coach scarf.  Her bike has a gold skull and funky lights on the wheels and body which move and change colors.  I drive a grey Toyota Corolla equipped with a car seat, sippy cup holder and cheerios on the floor.  It may be safe to say I am not the "cool" one in the family.

This is my mom and my sister. 
My mom who is now 78, rode her motorcycle to get the midwife while in labor with my sister sixty years ago.    Yeah, really.

Me, I was just born in a hospital.  My dad drove her there.  Boring, huh?
Maybe that explains things.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Two and an half

Two and an half!
Yikes, how did that happen?!?!?

A lways on the move
U sually with something of mine in your hands
S punky, funny and more than a little silly
T esting your limits, trying my patience
I nterested in everything,  into everything
N ot another kid on the planet I'd rather have!

Happy Half- Birthday my little Doodlebug!  Love you!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Palm Sunday

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, so I read Austin the story from his Bible story book and then we acted it out with figures from his story basket.

We also made paper palm branches so he could participate in saying" Hosanna" with the crowd.

But the best part came when Austin said something about "more palms" and needing scissors.  I got a little nervous when he returned with his scissors and headed towards the storybook.  But instead, he took his own palm and cut out a miniature palm and laid it on the hand of one of the people in the picture.

He had noticed that not everyone in the picture had a palm of their own.

"These people don't have a palm.  I'll give them one from mine!"  And he proceeded to cut out little green snippets until everyone pictured had their own palm branch.

And we sometimes think that they don't get it.  That they are too young to understand the message of love and sacrifice.  Perhaps they are not the ones who lack understanding.

"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God."
 Luke 18:16

the Colors of Spring

One of the things that is so exciting about Spring, is the saturation of the senses, especially the visual.  After a winter of predominately grays and browns, the world suddenly bursts forth in color; a rainbow in plant life.  I am not much of a gardener.  I tried to be, but with no access to running water outside and a host of very hungry animal friends and skin that breaks out into rashes with exposure to common weeds, it's been an uphill battle.  I bought a few seeds to try again, hoping a few low maintenance plants like tomatoes, sunflowers and pumpkins might be a low stress way to start.  But even in my yard, the colors of spring still make a pretty impressive rainbow.

Some colors are subtle, more delicate:

Like the colors of a gown for a newborn babe, soft, calm and quiet.

Others come at us with all the energy and vibrance of a toddler:

Some are like the newly found grace and beauty of a young girl, dressed up for her first formal

Or maybe the shy quiet girl, standing by the punch bowl waiting to be asked to dance.

And still others get plucked up by pudgy little hands, a split second before the shutter snaps, to be savored and enjoyed, before being cast aside to dig in the dirt.