Thursday, June 30, 2011

Project 365: blueberries, new stuff, and a little culture

Thursday, June 23
The kids and I went berry picking today at Hidden Valley Farm (which doesn't use pesticides). Besides eating berries plain (or putting them in fruit salad or oatmeal, etc.), we've really been in a fruit and berry pies kick lately.

They always enjoy picking wild blackberries on our land, etc., but this was the first time they'd been to an actual berry patch.

We ended up with two buckets full. We only managed to find a handful of raspberries.

After our very HOT morning at the berry patch, we ate lunch where my sister Tracy works. Then we headed to Riverfront Park in downtown Little Rock.

This was the first time they had ever played in the water there. They didn't know what to expect, but they were THRILLED.

I LOVE the amount of joy and excitement exuding out of her whole body here.

They had SO much fun, and it is a great place for Mom to sit in the shade and easily watch her kids play in the water (without worrying about them drowning because there are only fountains/sprinklers).

Friday, June 24
Our new sectional was delivered today! We can all sit together on the couch now! With room for several guests, so come on over!

It's very exciting! (I have to move some other furniture and pictures, etc. around to make it look right.)

Saturday, June 25
We cleaned like crazy today. I cleaned the boys' room SO WELL. As in, I even cleared out everything from underneath their bed and swept the furthest corner. This was all in preparation to add their new duvets, which they were super excited about. The kids always want to get in our bed because it's so comfy and soft. It's because of our duvet, and they always have to sleep with flimsy quilts. I found duvet covers on for around $27. I was excited since I had been prepared to pay $100/each. They're soft, they love them, and I think they have been enjoying bedtime more now.

Sunday, June 26
We took the kids to the Arkansas Arts Center today for the last day of The Impressionists exhibit. They enjoy recognizing many of the artists' names we've learned about. One lady was very impressed when she heard Dash say, "That's Van Gogh."

We let the kids run around MacArthur Park for a little while before getting back in the car.

Although we'd already had lots of fun today, the best part probably occurred later at Whole Foods. Some members of the Arkansas Accordion Association were playing music. They had a big tub of instruments for the kids to use. We'd planned on just popping in for a bit so the kids (and Daddy) could eat some dessert. But we ended up staying a lot longer because it was so fun.

Monday, June 27
The kids were playing outside tonight as Ryan was watering the plants. So obviously they wanted him to spray them, etc. When they were finished playing, I threw them each a kitchen towel and made them strip down on the front porch. As they were giggling and scurrying up the stairs, I thought they looked cute so I asked them to stop to let me take their picture.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Project: 365: Thursday-Sunday

Thursday, June 16
fun in the sprinkler!

Friday, June 17
The kids and I went to Little Rock today for a little shopping (grocery and other). We met Daddy and Aunt Tracy for lunch.

And Tornado was excited about picking out books with his Barnes and Noble gift card. He carefully deliberated for quite awhile, and this is what he ended up with: a Phineas & Ferb Look & Find (He loves hidden pictures. He also loves P & F, I think because they are kids with big imaginations who are always inventing something, also right up his alley.), a workbook (He has just always really enjoyed workbooks.), Kung Fu Panda 2 Mad Libs (He totally cracks himself up with these.), and a Berenstain Bears book (We all love these books. I really love the new ones - like this one - that have a focus on God and are centered around a biblical verse. This one is about the cubs being taught that God has given everyone a special talent and includes Matthew 5:16. There are also discussion questions at the end of the book.). He says, "Thank you, Cary and Andy!"

Saturday, June 18
I splurged and actually bought a book yesterday (versus waiting for it at the library) for myself. I love it! We love the Duggars, of course. This is proof that we have watched every one of their episodes (especially Sissy; it's one of her favorite shows). She saw me reading the book and said, in a perfect Michelle Duggar sweet voice (complete with pauses in the right spots and everything), "Josh is our oldest. He married Anna, and they have our first granddaughter, Mackynzie." That's part of the opening credits, for those of you who don't watch. :)

Sunday, June 19
Truly, my happiest moments in life are when I see all three of the kids playing sweetly together, using their imaginations. I stood back, watching, and I wrote down a little bit of what I heard. I'm going to include it so they can look back at it one day.

"We're going to the secret hide-out!" I think they all said that at some point.

"You're not allowed, Space Ship." - Tornado

"If you see any bad guys, do this!" - Dash

"Can I come in?" - Tornado

"No, you have a dirty eye!" - Dash (The train's eye was actually really dirty; I had to clean it for him, ha!)

"This is our carpet. This is my horse. Here is my finest tractor. His head is peeking out the door." - Sissy

"Are you a superhero?" - Tornado

"I'm a superhero horse." - Sissy

"Freeze Man is coming!" - Tornado

"You can't freeze my friends!" - Dash

"I'm his friend." - Sissy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Project 365: a new nephew, a last day of school, and a fun birthday weekend in Branson

Friday, June 3
No picture. Project failed. Taking a picture a day is much harder than I thought it would be. I'll keep trying my best, though.

Saturday, June 4
We drove to Illinois this weekend to visit Ryan's family. The most important part of the weekend was getting to meet our new nephew/cousin.


My 6 year old has been particularly interested in babies, in general, lately.

We're definitely all big fans of this little guy!

Sunday, June 5
See. I already failed again. I think it was all of the "How much further?" and "When are we going to be home?" and "I can't take it any longer!" (That one was from the kids and me.) that fried my brain. I declared that I'm NEVER driving more than 3 or 4 hours at a time with my kids again. People have always asked how we can do so much traveling with our kids. Well, that was a thing of the past. No more, I say! It was somehow easier when they were younger, despite the fact I thought it would get easier as they got older.

It's not my oldest; he's always been a champ at traveling. Even my 6 year old isn't too bad in the car (except for taunting/taking things from/hitting his sister). It's my daughter. Who whines herself into a state of panic.

If I can figure it out, maybe I can post a video from Ryan's phone that he took of the cicadas in Illinois. I've never seen or heard anything like it. They cover every inch of the trees, they're all over the ground, and you can barely hear your voice outside over their deafening song. I'm not really freaked out by bugs, but some might think it's very creepy.

Monday, June 6
I had Tornado (and myself) pumped up all weekend, even until I dropped him off at school Monday morning, that TODAY was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! About an hour after I dropped him off, I looked at my calendar and - duh, Tuesday was going to be the last day. I had to recreate the whole "today's the last day of school" production once again the next day.

Maybe if my whole life's organizational system wasn't a wrinkled stack of printed off calendar pages folded and stuffed into my purse, I'd be able to keep track of these things better.

Tuesday, June 7
The real last day of school. Half of his class wasn't even there. We had such an unexpected amount of snow days this year that had to be made up.

"Last days" are always sad for me! This is one of his teachers.

He's had these two for two years in a row. They've been a big part of our lives, and we will miss them. I don't know how many times he has called me by one of their names. "Mrs. Bo...I mean, Mom..."

Wednesday, June 8
the books Sissy picked out for me to read before her bedtime

Thursday, June 9
The kids secretly holed themselves up in the homeschool room tonight and worked on these pictures for me. Little ones on the top: Sissy. Left: Dash. Right: Tornado, who is all about silly pictures and collages.

Friday, June 10
The kids and I are on our way to Missouri for the weekend. (Ryan will join us tomorrow; he's riding up with Mom and Dad.) On the docket today: a visit with my grandparents in their small town and a stop by the grocery store to get some last minute supplies for my oldest son's birthday party (which my brother and sister-in-law are graciously hosting).

Saturday, June 11
Happy 11th birthday to the sweet little soul who made me a Mom. He who loves birthdays maybe more than anyone.

Other highlights of the day included:
Uncle Matt in the dunking booth at an benefit for autism awareness!

That's Tornado, celebrating his dunking of Uncle Matt.

At the benefit, we also got to hear my niece sing on stage - solo and along with the girls' singing group she is a part of. Very cute! They sing at various shows in Branson.

My nephew O also got brought up onto the stage to help out the group, Buckets 'N Boards, who perform at a Branson theater.

My daughter and niece were cute and matching.

Sunday, June 12
The "deputy" guarded these little scoundrels in jail today. My whole family (all 18 of us) spent the day at Silver Dollar City.

Sis was crying because, for some reason, she had wanted to ride by herself. All of her crying made C start crying.

No worries, though, because as soon as they were up in the air, it was all smiles once again. You can even catch a glimpse of my 29 year old sister, who was feeling very "adventurous" today, riding along in the next bug.

Monday, June 13
Words can't express how excited I am about my week. I have NOTHING planned or scheduled. No appointments, no meetings, no lessons. No birthday party to prepare, no trip to pack for. NOTHING!!! My week is free! We all (besides Ryan who was up at 5:45 to get ready for work) slept in until 9 today! I'm trying to slowly chip away at the mess that has accumulated in my house during our very busy year.

This is my son's actual birthdate. I let him pick out anything he wanted for supper. He chose grilled cheese sandwiches (made with the amazing bread from Serenity Farm in Leslie, AR).

Tuesday, June 14
Tornado is playing with his Playmobil vet clinic he picked out for his birthday. It took us probably an hour to put all of the pieces together. The set is very fun and full of details.

Wednesday, June 15
Another one of his birthday gifts: two Doodle-Track Cars. Each car comes with this paper track (that the car will stay on) and a marker to use for drawing your own track, if you want.

There is also a website for the kids to create their own track systems and print them off. Super fun! (We taped the individual pages together.) Pictures of road signs and buildings can also be added. (And yes, this really was the next day; he's just still wearing the same clothes.)

The cars will stay on the track course. They can even drive side by side on the 2-lane road and race each other.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Project 365: a tent and a craft

Tuesday, May 31
This is absolutely the only picture I took on Tuesday, so it will have to do. I usually do lunchbox posts, like this one, on my vegan blog. (Pictured from Tornado's lunch: mock "chicken" salad from Whole Foods, 1 1/2 slices of hempseed bread, raspberries, kiwi fruit, and rice cheese.)

Wednesday, June 1
We made a "tent" in the boys' room today. All you can really see are a bunch of blankets and bare body parts. But they had fun.

Thursday, June 2
Tornado went on a nature walk at school, then made this nature wreath.