Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How hot is it?

It's really, really hot outside. 

How hot is it, Lara?

So hot, that my brain has melted into the sidewalk along with the kids' popsicle drippings. 

Whoa, that's really gross Lara.  Melted brain and popsicle drippings can't be a very pretty sight. 

Why, no.  It's really not, except for the bomb pop drippings.  It swirled with the gray and looks kind of cool. 

Ew, Lara!  You seem to have lost your tact along with the contents of your skull.  Why bother blogging tonight if you have no brains? 

Good question, but it's one that easy to answer even in my brainless state.  I'm blogging because I have pictures of my kids that I want to put into my end-of-year blog book.  The status of my melted brain is of no consequence whatsoever. 

Well, maybe you should stop talking about how tactless/brainless/pointless you are in this stiflingly hot weather and actually get on with talking about your pictures.  We don't have all day you know. 

Great idea.  I shall forgo my pointless verbal meanderings and just get on with the pictures...... 

These pictures were taken on Backwards Day at school. 

It was pretty hot that day too....fortunately not quite hot enough to melt my brains yet though, so I actually thought to take pictures of them forwards and backwards. 

This hair-do was supposed to be a backward ponytail, but it kind of reminds of my brainful days back when I was in high school.  I'm pretty sure I wore this hair-do at least twice a week at one stage of my life.   
 The end. 

PS  If anyone has a good brain shaped jello mold, let me know.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ellie's First Blog Post

After telling me that she really wanted her own Facebook page, I convinced Ellie that it would be just as cool for her to write her own blog post.  Here's the picture she chose and her very first post... typed completely by her:

I was so excIted  wen  i  saw  the hose i sprayed my brother wen  I got sprayed I wes  so cold

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Working Hard...Playing Hard

Day 1 of Memorial Day weekend:

  • Church activities (including 2 baptisms) starting at 9:00
  • Copying the programs
  • Home for Saturday chores
  • Take a load of junk to the dump
  • Take another whole load of stuff to Unique (a consignment store)

  • Go to Home Depot and buy my belated birthday/Mother's Day flowers. 
  • Come home and have a flower planting party. 

  • Get cleaned up and put on swimsuits

Including goggles, socks...

winter boots...

and cute smiles.
  • Come home at 8:00 and scrounge together some deliciously easy bagel and lunchmeat sandwiches. 
  • Put kids to bed while Glen takes Spencer to take care of his weekend dog-sitting job and run a couple of errands.
  • Blog while daydreaming about how quickly I can get in bed when the boys get home.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Freaking out....

Memorial Day weekend is usually a weekend my kids look forward to with eager anticipation.  In addition to signaling that there are only a few weeks of school left before summer break, almost as exciting....it's also when all the outdoor pools open for the summer!   Usually I really look forward to taking the kids swimming on an almost daily basis, since it's one of the few activities the whole family enjoys.  This year, however, I can't help but be a tad bit freaked out about it! 

(see below)

Absence Seizure Definition

By Mayo Clinic staff Absence seizure — also known as petit mal seizure — involves a brief, sudden lapse of conscious activity. Occurring most often in children, an absence seizure may look like the person is merely staring into space for a few seconds.

Compared with other types of epileptic seizures, absence seizures appear mild. But that doesn't mean they can't be dangerous. Children with a history of absence seizure must be supervised carefully while swimming or bathing, because of the danger of drowning. Teens and adults may also be restricted from driving, riding bikes, and other potentially hazardous activities.

Absence seizures can usually be controlled with anti-seizure medications. Many children outgrow absence seizures in their teen years, though some may eventually develop grand mal seizures.

Good thing I just got a cute new swimsuit, because it looks like I'll be spending a whole lot more time in the water this year than I normally do.   


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Migratory Bird Day

 Adam's school teacher this year has a rare gift for making learning an exciting adventure for the kids.   In particular, her love of nature and her ability to integrate it into every subject has made this year of school an unforgettable year of wonder for Adam. Her enthusiasm for the earth----rocks, plants, animals, and birds has contagiously spread through the children and in Adam's case onto his family as well!   

Through the course of the year, Adam has become quite the birder with a knack for being able to identify different species of birds by sight or by their songs.  It's been absolutely amazing to us to suddenly have our eyes open to the rich variety of life all around us.  Suddenly what we thought were only robins, cardinals, and crows have become gray catbirds, mourning doves, downy woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and common grackles. 

Several weeks ago, Adam's teacher told me of an idea she had for the kids to attend a Migratory Bird Celebration at Rock Creek Nature Center in downtown DC.  I indicated that I thought it would be a great idea for a field trip, but then she mentioned that it was an all day celebration on a Saturday and there would be no buses, I was skeptical that very many people would come.

Once again, her enthusiasm proved to be contagious and when we got there on Saturday morning nearly the entire class (20 out of 26) had skipped whatever other Saturday activities they had for the day and had come with parents and siblings to participate in the celebration. 

The celebration was well-planned with a  number of fun, interactive booths set up around the nature center.   The kids were enraptured with the presentations and games and surprised many of the employees and volunteers with their extensive knowledge of the birds, their habitats, and calls.   At one point during this presentation where they showed an American Kestrel who had been rescued after being injured after crashing into the Capitol building, they asked the kids if they had any questions.  Much to my amusement, Ellie raised her hand 10+ times to ask a variety of questions...."What's its name?" "What does it eat?"  "Can I pet it?"  "What color are its eggs?" etc, etc. 

We wandered around quite a bit and found these two mourning doves looking all cozy up in a tree.  We laughed at how they wouldn't stray far from each other's sides and we took to calling them "Love Doves".  Adam had brought his Beginning Birdwatching book so that he could mark down the different species that he saw.  Ellie was excited to find the two mourning dove feathers. 

Here are some of the birds he was able to mark off:  A Screech Owl, which had been hit by a car...it was much smaller than I expected as you can see its size compared to the gloved hand that it's perched on.


There was also a Great-Horned Owl which was also hit by a car and then a gorgeous Red-Tailed Hawk who had suffered "neurological damage" after getting caught in a fence.
One of the booths demonstrated bird banding.  They had some kind of trap set up nearby and whatever they happened to capture, they would bring to the booth and band them in front of the kids.  Talk about fascinating....the kids (and adults) were completely enraptured.  This was a downy woodpecker they caught.  Again, it was much smaller than I expected it to be, but it was a tough little fighter eager to get back into the wild again.  The banding only took a few minutes of actually attaching the band, measuring the bird, determining its gender (female), and health.  As soon as everything was recorded properly they were set free again into the wild. 

We all went on a hike through the woods with a bird expert.  We did see a few turkey vultures and hear several different calls, but traipsing through the woods with 30+ people did not introduce us to any cool bird sightings. 
Towards the end of the celebration, the kids got out their bird art and performed two songs for the crowds.  The songs were touching and beautiful and I so wish that I'd thought to bring my video camera for the occasion. 
Adam's teacher was completely thrilled with the day, their experiences, and especially their performance and we were thrilled to be a part of it. 

And on Monday to say, "Thank you and Happy Birthday," to his wonderful teacher we (mostly Adam) made these cute owl cupcakes to share with the class. 
Teachers like her don't come around very often, but we are so very grateful for the opportunity Adam has had to be in her class this year and we hope she'll be around to teach Ellie in a couple of years as well.    


Monday, May 23, 2011

Adam's Track Meet

As part of the elementary school's track program, they train to participate in the local Hershey track meet.  Adam barely qualified by age this year, but he thoroughly enjoyed being able to participate with the other kids.    (this is only about half the kids from his school, since the older kids' track meet was held a different day)

Adam was very serious about his track running and even practiced here at home.  He didn't even come close to placing in the large meet, but he worked hard and was thrilled with how he did. 

Ellie eagerly told me that she was excited for the day when she would be old enough to participate in the Flyer (track) program at school too! 

Here he is doing the long-jump.  He also participated in the softball throw, but unfortunately I was too far away to capture that on camera.  


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beehive Bake Sale

For the last couple of years, Cami has been saying that she wants to own her own bakery someday.  During this year of homeschooling, I've really tried to have her capitalize on her interest in baking and give her plenty of practice honing her skills.  She's made a couple of cakes for pay, regularly volunteers to bring treats places,  and recently even started her own cupcake blog, although she has not taken to blogging quite as heartily as her mother.  :) 

During her recent tenure as Beehive class president at church, Cami had an idea of having a Beehive Bake Sale, with all the proceeds to be donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief efforts around the world.  Cami was so excited about the idea and really put her full effort into making it a success.  She even approached some local businesses herself asking for permission to set up the sale on their property.  Ultimately the Bishop had to take over searching for a venue, as each business demanded that they only deal with the corporate offices.   

Eventually a local orthodontist, gave them permission to set up in his parking lot.  I thought it was a little strange being in front of an orthodontist office, but since all the grocery stores, computer store, and craft store all said NO, they were just grateful for a spot!  Of course, it didn't hurt either that it was located near a bustling farmer's market. 

Each of the girls was in charge of baking up several dozen goodies...

Cami made these chocolate cupcakes with fluffy mint frosting....

And these Key Lime Cupcakes, which turned out to be quite popular, despite their being more like cookies in texture than an actual cupcake....

and also these Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting....

The girls were all excited and eager salesman.  They yelled at passing cars and walked around in sandwich boards. 

In the end, despite their unusual location, there was a steady stream of customers (of course it was a lot of the girls' family members, some ward members, with a steady amount of  passing cars and pedestrians stopping by as well)....

I'm proud to say that I was mother to a couple of very happy (and dirty) customers...

In the end all of Cami's cupcakes were SOLD OUT and the Beehives ended up donating almost $300 to the Red Cross. 

Can't beat that.....practice for a future career and helping people out around the world. 

Way to go Cami! 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When it rains....

it pours!!!!!  And, no,  I am not talking about the funky weather/storm system that seems to be plaguing the DC area as of late. 

Nope, we've got our own rainstorm going on right in our house. 

Here's what the last couple of weeks have brought us.....

So other than bawling about our quickly emptying bank account, Cami and I decided to break out the umbrella....

and head to DC...

then on to a place we'd always wanted to visit, but never quite gotten around to yet....

GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES (also known as DC Cupcakes on TLC channel)!!!!

There's nothing quite like drowning your worries in miles of walking around DC, topped off with miles of frosting....

but before we could eat our treasured prize, we decided that we should eat a real lunch first.  Fresh hot crepes were just the ticket!  

After lunch, we were rushed and had to head back quickly for a windy walk back to the Metro....

I think this might be a self-portrait of us crossing the Key Bridge, but I can't really say for sure if it's us or not....

When we finally got home, we broke out the cupcakes, eager to split them into sample size pieces so we could try all the flavors.  Too bad the stifling 65 degree heat melted them to smithereens.  

It was then that I decided...to heck with bills, bank accounts, and ruined cupcakes...

It's time to break out the Three Wolf Moon shirt and snarf down cupcake crumbs with style and reckless abandon! 

Just in case you're wondering, I think the salted caramel/lemon/red velvet combo was my favorite.  YUM! 


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