Friday, June 29, 2012

A Great 4th July Craft

One of the sites I frequent for kids activity ideas,, posted a great Dot Art Flag craft the other day, including free printables.  It was a hit at our house on the gravelly road!

I didn't have Do-A-Dot Markers that she used with her boys.  So instead we got out our paints and some corks.  We took the project outside for easy cleanup -- I love being able to use the garden hose to wash off his little picnic table quickly!

My Little Artist on Break

Check out the original post for pictures of the final product!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Water Fun

Its hot this week, so the sprinklers are out again.  Pictures of my boy in his swimming goggles just make me laugh.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ready for a new week

I'm looking forward to a new week and trying to get back to our "normal" summer routine.  Last week was exhausting, busy and a bit crazy.

Sunday night we had some serious storms in the area, including a tornado warning and a loss of power for about 2 hrs.  It meant we were in the basement until after 10pm, little boy needed to go to bed without his nightlight, and mom was up listening to the loud storm for hours after that.  There were big, loud thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday nights as well.  We were so blessed to be safe through it all, with only one big tree damaged in our main yard (a few more in the back grove).
Storm Cleanup on the Gravelly Road

Since its summer, we travelled with Dad for part of the week.  So little boy played at the hotel waterpark with cousins, slept at Grandma's for two nights, visited a butterfly house, and had lots of fun.  I helped my husband with a sales show and while I certainly felt appreciated for my help, I was again reminded I'm not a salesperson and spending the day on my feet talking to strangers all day is tiring!
Enjoying the butterfly house

We spent the weekend camping with several other families at a state park.  Besides a small amount of rain Saturday morning, weather was perfect.  The only damper on the fun was that the mosquitoes were out in full force.   It was so great to have several families of kids around to play together.  There were board games during the rain, a bike ride, time at the beach area, building a birdhouse event, games of hide-n-seek and tag, camp fires with lots of s'mores, and even some kickball.  Here's a few of my favorite pics from the weekend.
Beach time and a playground

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Favorite Photos -- Q2 2012

Just for fun, I'm participating in Click. Pray. Love's "Quarterly Top 5 Photos".  I love the idea of intentionally going through your photos to find your favorites -- maybe even as a reminder to print a few to share with family.  Its not a contest, but there are some great prizes awarded randomly to participants.  Go check it out here or click the button at the bottom of the post.  I had a hard time finding just five to share, but I guess that's the point :)

I love this photo because it was unplanned.  They were outside playing when I looked out the kitchen window and saw them on the glider together.  I grabbed my camera (thankful it was close), and stepped out the back door just as he gave his favorite puppy a big snuggle.

This photo is from May.  I'd forgotten about it until I started looking for photos of Daddy and Son for Father's Day.  It wasn't my favorite for the year, but I love it because its just the type of dad my husband is.  He spotted the turtle crossing our backyard right after breakfast.  So out they went to the backyard to check it out (Dad with coffee still in hand).

I love taking pics with my little boy and his dump truck.  It continues to be one of his favorite toys and since we've had it since he was a newborn, its fun to collect pictures of him playing with it at lots of different ages.

My rough and tumble boy (and dog) playing in the backyard.  Its just who they are.

This picture makes me smile.  The sun was setting while we were moving rock in the grove, so the light was coming through the trees just right.  I took a few pictures.  But its not the lighting or his expression that makes me smile, its remembering that he happened to be wiping mud on the back of his neck when I snapped the picture.


Monday, June 18, 2012

A little king

On Friday, he made a crown at Growmobile (a once a week travelling preschool-like program this summer).  Much of his pretend play the past few days have been about kings, castles, and all sorts of adventures.  He even ran errands with Dad one day dressed in his royal costume (and blue mud boots of course).

We've heard some interesting comments and dialog that I wanted to record, mostly for myself.  Hope it makes you smile as much as it did me.

"These treasures (holding his necklace) say all the rules.  This one says 'Don't go outside without the king.'  And this is 'Don't go outside if its winter and there is a bear.'  The other one is 'Don't go outside, its dangerous.'"  
"This is my bag of king treasure.  Dad, if you pretend to be a robber, you can sneak away the treasure.  But don't come in the castle.  No robbers in the castle!" 
"I'm the nice king.  I don't steal treasure now.  Mom is the queen.  Dad, you're the waiter and Ratchet is the mayor.  Its my job to lock all the doors and trade food.  Dad, please come to the castle tower in my room so you can waiter all the food to people."

Apparently, pretend kingly duties are very tiring.  The day when the most royal pretending occurred also resulted in an extra long nap.  I was one happy queen!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

We celebrated Daddy all weekend!  Saturday we spent most of the day on ATV trails, only stopping for a quick picnic lunch.  Luckily we missed the rain, though we saw plenty of dark clouds.  Mud, dust, and some beautiful, rural scenery.

The celebration today was very food related.  This morning we made him breakfast, took him out to eat after church and even bought a pie for dessert this afternoon.

My son and I have been talking about Father's Day a lot lately.  We made cards for Daddy and all the grandpas earlier this week.  He liked the idea that Dad got to pick what we were going to do this weekend and every morning this week he would ask "is it Daddy's day yet?".  He also tried to convince Dad to pick bowling as our family activity and which movie he should pick for movie night this weekend.  (I lobbied for Star Trek in honor of Grandpa, since one of those movies were part of most Father's Day of my childhood but I was out voted).

I'm so thankful for my husband's influence on our son's life, especially since our three year old always wants to be where Dad is, wanting to be Daddy's helper and buddy.  I'm also thankful for my Dad, Father-in-law and grandfathers.  It is amazing to reflect on their influence on our lives and seeing their impact on the next generation.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Unexpected Expense of Life on the Gravelly Road

My car was making a terrible noise when I drove in reverse, and it seemed to be getting louder.  My once-mechanic husband took a look and eliminated what he thought were the "easy" possibilities.  He was concerned it was the transmission, a project he didn't have time to tackle with his travel schedule.

So off to the dealership we went.  Thankfully the noise wasn't serious.  It in fact was simple fix once they found it (after charging diagnostic fees of course). 

Rocks.  Yep, rocks on the engine mount, likely from our lovely gravelly road. 

After the rocks were cleaned up, my car sounds good as new.  I guess next time we'll know to search for unwelcome hitch hikers from our gravelly road.  (And hopefully save some money and a trip to the dealership).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Growing Garden

Its been a few weeks since my last post about the garden so figured I'd do an update.

The snap peas are the rising stars of the garden right now and have started climing the fence we put up for them last weekend.  Carrots, onions, and cucumber have also come up.  The peppers I started early transplanted nicely and the tomato plants are looking good.  I finally could identify the squash and zuchini this week (probably were there earlier, just lost in the weeds I think). The pumpkin is still MIA.

Of the four bean plants we started inside, only one survived.  We had some rough weather after we moved them and I think we let them get too tall indoors.  The rest of the two bean rows are pretty dismal -- only a few plants per row came up.  I re-planted the worst row, so we'll see if that does any better.

I also have a flower bed near the garden with a variety of flowers I planted from seeds.  Somone (likely rabbits) nibbled a few of our sunflowers to the ground, but the other flowers seem to be doing well. 

I enjoy making visits to our garden, checking on the plants, and watering (even getting a little wet on hot afternoons).  I do not enjoy weeding.  I know its necessary, but there is a lot to weed and until this last week or so I was too afraid I'd pull the wrong thing.  In fact, the desire to take a few pictures to post encouraged me to do a better job of weeding -- so maybe regular blog updates will be good for the health of my garden!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Painting in the Sunshine

I realized we hadn't done many crafts recently -- instead we've been spending most of our afternoons outside in the sunshine.  Of course some days we did get out our sidewalk chalk but for the most part I was saving crafts for a rainy day.

Today I decided to bring our "messy paints" as my son calls them outside so we could paint in the front yard.  (Thankfully I remembered to put the dog inside during this project!)  First the large sheets of paper were painted (with brushes, sponges, and corks) and eventually even the rocks that we were using to keep the paper from blowing away. 

It was messy, but certainly fun.  I wish I had a good picture of my son afterwards -- he had paint on his arms, legs, t-shirt, shorts and even his chin!  And this momma had fun taking pictures :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rainy Day Activity: Indoor Bowling

We've played this a few times now and it remains a favorite. The first time we played, I threw this all together just to have something fun to do on a rainy day (after I'd been asked if we could watch TV a few too many times).

For whatever reason, I tend to not toss our toilet paper rolls since they are so useful for crafts so I had 10 on hand to use for pins.  I originally wanted to mark the spots for the pins on the floor with masking tape but couldn't find it. Instead, I used one of our old placemats that I keep in the craft cupboard (that happened to have a grid on it) marking pin places with a whiteboard crayon. It was great that he could set them up, allowing him to play it on his own as well.

We also got out a whiteboard and kept score (just counting pins knocked down -- not true bowling score keeping).  The first game, I wrote the numbers after my son counted pins.  Other games I've written all the numbers at the bottom of the board and had him try to copy them into the correct square.  Great for counting practice, number writing and recognition.  With older kids, you could have them count the standing pins and practice subtracting from 10 or work on addition by keeping a running total.

Simple but fun!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Backyard Water Fun

Summer is here!  My little boy has been asking several times a week if its warm enough to play with his sprinkler and "water shooter".  We decided yesterday was plenty warm so we had some water fun in the backyard. 

He was pretty proud of his new swimming goggles and he kept them on most of the time.  To give him a bit more to do, I filled his sled with water and brought some of the bath tub toys outside (boats and ducks).  We also got out the sponge-water-bombs we've played with before and had a water fight.  I joined in the fun, but was able to sneak in a few pictures from the patio.

Smiles, giggles, and water everywhere!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Its Official: We're Waiting!

We've successfully completed our homestudy process, along with our profile, so we are officially on the list of waiting families with our adoption agency.  While the application, homestudy and profile processes were certainly not easy, I honestly think the waiting will be the hardest part.  There's nothing to "do" and I can't attempt to speed this part up by staying up late working on something.

While we're waiting, we'll continue to prepare to adopt as best we can -- continuing to read adoption related parenting books, finishing the nursery (post to come I'm sure), and most importantly continuing to pray.  God knows exactly who is going to decide to make an adoption plan and pick us to parent their baby.  We pray for them everyday. 

Another thing we've decided to do while we wait is to buy a new children's book each month.  Not all will be adoption related, but at least a book with a message that is important to our family.  I realized so many of our children's books were from garage sales, we have a rather haphazard collection :)  Its a fun "problem" to fix.  (Any recommendations?)

We covet your prayers during this time of waiting, for discernment in decisions and peace as we travel on this journey. Help us remember to celebrate the waiting!
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