Friday, June 5, 2009

A Picture Post: The Gardens

It's been a while since I gave a full garden update. Here goes!

Midnight Sage, if I recall correctly. Near the end of it's bloom, I'm afraid. My friend, Heather, bought it for me as a thank you for directing VBS a couple of years ago.

Milkweed. Hubs is always surprised that mine is so much bigger than what they have at work. Incidentally, the girls sent this seed home with him the first year that he worked there. The milkweed has taken quite nicely. Some of my sedum is flowering. Don't ask me the type of sedum. I can't recall.
A view of our backyard from the gate. It is a little yard, but we try to make the most of it. Our lily bed. The butterfly bushes are coming up nicely. The original butterfly garden.My daisies from Irina's garden. Though I don't know how to spell it correctly, I'll go phonetically. Ca-craceeva! (So pretty!) Yes Irina, I know that made you smile! :) My beans! They do live!!! The daylilies. Apparently, it rained a bit Wednesday night. I love rain droppy pictures. My gigantic sage leaves. Never have I seen sage leaves so big! Apparently, big leaves mean that it is very happy. Chamomile. Of course, it relocated itself from the actual herb bed to the driveway. There is not a stitch of chamomile to be found in the bed anywhere. It is happily thriving just outside of the bed, though. My lavender is just just just beginning to bloom. My house will have the lovely scent of lavender blowing in through the windows. My favorite smell. Yarrow. Volunteer snapdragons. Nevermind that it has probably been a good 6+ years since I've planted snapdragons. Some more volunteers. Last but not least, "Mommy! You have to take a picture of my toes!" What this picture proves is that I am, by my husband's definition "Mommy Scissorhands" with the clippers, K- needs her toes re-polished and her ring "Sleeping Beauty, actually" fits her tootsie just fine.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

When your child yells . . .

. . . "Mom, my butt just puked!" You wonder what you are going to see. Turns out that little girl got herself to the appropriate room and was utilizing the proper containment device for said episode. However, there was still a bit of aftermath. Darn you spicy Mexican quesadilla!

Our beloved cousin, Janeen, had a spicy Mexican episode with her son on Tuesday, too. Her story is here. I literally laughed so hard that I cried.

So, just for our digestive update this week, we had:

Over indulgence vomit on Saturday night.
Allergy drainage vomit at 6:56 AM on Monday morning.
Spicy Mexican explosive (but properly contained) diarrhea on Tuesday.

Oh sweet heaven, please tell me that there is no more. I'm not a fan of digestive events!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom! I know that you never deal with those big round numbers very well. Keep in mind that you look wonderful. You exercise more than anyone that I know! And yes, we are impressed with your ability to do yoga so well.

You are a spastic middle child like me, which is why both of us get each other so well. You ramble, another trait that I've gotten from you, as well as your inability to remember anyone's name. (Thanks for that one, too.)

You are very caring, loving and a hard worker. Hardly a day goes by without your calling me at least once, but often several times in one hour. You apologize and say, "do you have a second" or "but anyway" and launch on from the moment that we dropped off. It's like you never hung up! :)

We love you very much and don't know what we would do without you and your quirks! Have a wonderful day!

Works for Me Wednesday: The Learning Kit

K- loves to learn. We like to foster that in our child. So for today's "Mom, I'm Bored" Edition of WFMW, I'd like to introduce you to what K- calls her "Kit."

Over the years I've picked up all kinds of flash cards. They've been passed down to me. My mother-in-law has picked some things up. Things have amassed and now we have them all included in a lovely container. What am I using to contain all of our lovely materials? It is a very deep handled shower caddy that I purchased a few weeks ago on the Target clearance rack for $3.00. Just look!So now that you've seen our container, let me share with you the items within the plastic walls of containment.
1. Several different sets of ABC flash cards. K- is 5 and knows her ABC's, but I think that it is important to not only review them, but their sound and correct place "in line" so she knows -- eventually -- how to alphabetize.
2. Several different sets of 123 flash cards. Same reason as above.
3. Dolch sight words. I purchased the Dolch sight words (K - 3rd grade) at the Dollar Tree. I did find the missing Pre-K listing online. We've been working on at-bat-cat and have pretty well mastered those.
4. Dry erase lined writing board. I found this in the Target $1.00 aisle some time ago. I don't want K- to forget how to write her first and last name. She's been working on it on the board. I also write her name, address and telephone number on there for her to recognize and review.
5. Dry erase clock. My mother-in-law found this nifty little clock with movable arms in the Target $1.00 aisle. The top is a standard clock with hands. The lower portion is "digital" and allows the children to write the correct time in the space allowed.
6. Strawberry Shortcake Groups and Patterns Wipe Off Book. A suggestion by one of the Kindergarten teachers at orientation was to review patterns with our children over summer. This is a nice little wipe-off book that I got at the Dollar Tree.
7. Dry erase markers. Well of course we have to have the markers to make the wipe-off stuff work!
8. An old kitchen dish towel. To wipe the marker off, of course!
9. Manuscript Tablet. You know, the nice young kid writing tablet. Never hurts to get her used to writing on the big lined paper!
10. ABC, Sounds and Math Workbooks. Dollar Tree workbooks. To help reinforce K-'s name writing skills, I have her write her first and last name at the top of each and every page.
11. My Little "ABC" Books from her preschool year. Throughout the school year, each week the children were sent home with the book of the week. They would memorize the book and come back the next week and recite it to the teacher. As a reward, they were able to pick from the prize bucket. K- still goes over the books and remembers most of them. Though it started as memorization, it worked out as sight reading more at the end of the year.
12. Brain Quest Kindergarten and 1st grade decks, Bug File-of-Facts and Presidential Fandex. This past week, my mother-in-law discovered a love for Brain Quest. She asked where I got them and I said the Thrift Store for a buck a piece or less. If you don't know what Brain Quest is, they are fan-type deck books that have all kinds of little quiz questions. The Bug File-of-Facts (another fan deck that goes over basic bugs) was a hand-me-down and the Presidential Fandex (which K- does love) was from a Chick-fil-A kids meal.
13. Color and Shape Flash Cards. Again, K- has this stuff down, but I certainly don't think that it hurts to review. We have a couple of different decks.
14. Word pairing. I'm not exactly sure of what they are called, but this is a deck comprised of two cards that are items that go together. To be certain that you have the correct match, the flipside is a two piece matching picture of either Pooh or one of his friends. A Dollar Tree purchase.
15. Number Match Direction Flash Card Game. This is another Pooh themed deck that matches three different cards by number, number word and the correct number of honey pots. To make certain the correct match has been made, K- flips the cards over to see if they make a neat picture. A Dollar Tree purchase.
16. Addition and Subtraction Flash Cards. Hand-me-down's. We're not to this yet, but I have them in there to keep all of our learning goodies together.
16. Time and Money Flash Cards. We'll be working with these soon enough. Another hand-me-down.
17. Crayons and a few pencils. We need materials to write in all of those workbooks with, right?
18. Leap Frog Letter Factory and Word Factory Videos. When we (the neighbor and I) attended the kindergarten orientation/registration, they suggested the Leap Frog videos as excellent tools to use for letter reinforcement and sound memorization.

So this is our learning "kit." It works for us! Beats boredom at our house. K- loves being able to pick what she'll be learning about. Funny thing is that she chooses something different everyday! I would have pegged her to doing the same thing. Who knew?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Irritation day

Maybe it is hormones speaking, but I have a laundry list of irritation. To preface, I'm not generally a crankensteiner, but things get under my skin. Oh, allow me to share.

1. People who won't let people in. -- Seriously. Is it that difficult to let a car or two in? If we all let a car or two in, the traffic jam will let up. Amazing concept, I know.
2. To the guy who swerved around the line of traffic I was in, rode the suicide lane (shoulder) then proceeded to flick the guy off ahead of me after he cut all of us off-- get a grip guy. Some counseling and perhaps a happy pill may help you to have a better day.
3. Abandoning carts in the middle of aisles to travel off to other aisles to shop. --Just skinny it on over to the shelf. I promise that nothing on the shelf is going to hop into your cart without your permission. Oh! A bonus? When said cart abandoner comes back and actually gets mad at you moving their abandoned buggy o' food so that you could get around it. Ugh.
4. To the lady that was at the Wal, pulled her purchases out of her cart and abandoned her cart right in front of the door completely blocking my way-- though I don't think it was the case, I understand if you have energy issues. If that is the case, just give it a little extra push so that it could free roll out of the way. Honestly though, she just dumped it there because she felt like it.
5. To the lady who had a cart of purchases at the thrift store, was finished with her cart and left the cart in the checkout lane with no other way for me to get out other than coraling her cart for her-- If you need the help, I'm happy to give it. Just don't abandon your cart right there for me to take care of it.
6. People who smoke in front of the door of retail establishments. -- You can't do this in Ohio, yet people do it anyhow. There are many of us who choose not to smoke. Not only are you forcing me to smoke your secondhand leftovers, you are also forcing my child to do so, as well. When K- is exposed to smoke, she gets bronchitis. Please move 20 + feet away from the door as the law specifies. Thank you.
7. Diapers abandoned in the parking lot. -- The used variety, that is. Truly. You have a child. Presumably this child is too young to use a toilet. That's okay. We've all been there. You've come prepared to clean up the child, but you are skipping that last 5% of actually dispensing of the matter in a garbage can or taking it home and tossing it there. You know those nasty thin grocery sacks that take 500 years to break down in the landfill? That would be perfect for you to use to bundle up your toxic waste and dispose of it. Leaving it in the parking lot is a health hazard. Cars drive over that. It rains on it, the diaper swells and explodes. It's disgusting. You don't want your kid to play in the poop and I don't want mine to either.
8. Gum. -- I had to explain to K- this week what all of the dots in the parking lot were. After we had the discussion of it being discarded gum, we found a Hubba Bubba sized wad on the parking line right next to our car. If you have the energy to put it into your mouth and chew it, either swallow it (no, it won't take 7 years to digest) or toss it into the garbage. Oh, and if you smack or make funky noises as you chew it, please refrain. I am not a good gum chewer and I know it. I refrain for a reason. I'm obnoxious and blow bubbles. See, aren't you glad that I save you from hearing me?
9. Entering an expressway or interstate. -- It isn't generally a difficult task, but please know that you are to yield to on-coming traffic, not the other way around. I realize that you may think that you'll just keep driving and someone will either be forcibly swerved by you to make them let you in or you'll just drive for miles in the suicide lane until a space opens up. This is not acceptable. That is a driving hazard. Don't do that. Yield as the sign says, please.
10. Walking your dog and leaving waste behind. -- Okay, obviously pee needs to stay, but I don't have a dog and I don't enjoy having to pick up piles of dog waste from my yard. That is disgusting. Carry a little bag with you. Remember the 500 year break down plastic bags from the grocery I mentioned above? Oh, it would be grand if you would use them, too.
11. Public dissatisfaction with free items. -- At the gallery that I work at, there is a small gift to all customers attending our annual Holiday Openhouse. The gift has ranged from commercially crafted ornaments, artist crafted ornaments and this past year, an artist designed button. A customer was displeased. (Well several actually.) The customer announced that if that was going to be our giveaway, she wouldn't be shopping at our store anymore. Hmmm. Okay. My other love is being dissatisfied with free gift wrap. Come on people! We do a beautiful job! Do you really need to waste time and resources in getting the item wrapped in a different color?
12. Young girls dressed up like adults. -- At K-'s graduation from preschool, there was a young lady (same age of 5) dressed in heels and panty hose. She was having a difficult time on the risers with the heels, actually bobbled and almost fell over while wearing them. All the other little girls were wearing flat sandals. I have issues regarding clothing with words stamped to the butt. As an adult, I don't want to call attention to the back behind and I certainly don't want people reading my child's butt. My mother-in-law has commented that since K- has moved into 7/8 clothing, they aren't as "cute" anymore. They are more grown up. I don't want K- looking like the cult kids, but still I find it extremely important that all of her appropriate parts are covered.

On a happier and completely unrelated note, the crows didn't eat my beans! They are up!!! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Things I learned this weekend.

1. Bugs aren't the only things you need to watch out for when you line dry your laundry outside. K-'s flat sheet got splatted by a bird. Yes, I found it as I was folding it and laundered it again.
2. If you are suffering from a hormonal migraine and your five year old over indulges in chocolately chocolate brownies, she will vomit later. Then she will play "let me identify the foodstuffs" while you are attempting to clean it up as your husband stands in the background laughing. I did not find it quite as entertaining.
3. K- is looking more and more like her sister J- every day.
4. When you buy something from the store and lose the receipt, chances are that it will be defective in some way.
5. Remember the house rule of add a zero when you approximate the time to do a job. Instead of 30 minutes, it took 300 minutes or 5 hours, to install a new ceiling fan with botched up blades.

6. The crows found my non-genetically modified green beans quite delicious. I had to pick up a spare pack of seeds in case I need to re-seed. They aren't runners like I wanted though. Bummer.
7. You can park your car out in Timbuktu, but there is still going to be some idiot that will park next to you and scratch your car.
8. K- and I have been doing the computer game Hooked on Spanish by the Hooked on Phonics people and I can now tell you the Spanish words for blue, yellow, red, black and green.
9. I don't love all Anita Shreve books. I thought I did, but I started a book the other day (The Last Time They Met) and I just could not get into it. It was putting me to sleep. So, I put it to the side and started Eat, Pray, Love instead.
10. When you are a naturalist's kid, people understand your love for hauling around a big, juicy, squirmy worm and showing it to everyone.
11. I was bummed that I had to pay $1.99 for a tomato cage and I only needed one. (In my mind, I thought that I could get one for less than a dollar. What did I know?) Then when my mom was talking to me later, she said that they were swimming in tomato cages and I should have let her know. It's not that $1.99 is going to break the bank, but it's always a bummer when it costs more than you thought.
12. While in search of the fan receipt, I kept finding dollars in my pockets. To start, I had two dollars. In the end, I have $9.00. See, that darned tomato cage wasn't that big of a deal after all!
13. K- is so excited to start her reading class at the university this next week that she made sure that she had her pencils sharpened and ready a week in advance. Bless her heart! She does take after me!
14. Despite my initial issues with it, I like our new desk arrangement, even though my husband has some sort of illusion that he'll be making a Star Wars figure display on top of the book case that we will eventually have in the old desk spot. Uh, no. He has 1/2 of the basement downstairs to guyify.
15. I need to get used to the birds beginning to chatter at 4 AM. Leaving the windows open is generally a good thing. Those birds just get so blasted loud, though! I'll get used to it soon enough.
16. Our youth pastor did a rockin' sermon today on something LIFE APPLICABLE! Oh thank you, Pastor Craig, for breaking away and doing something new!
17. My transplanted Hollyhock is beginning to perk up.
18. I think that I planted way too many onions and that I will be donating some to the local homeless shelter at the end of the season.
19. As a result of the kids park program that K- and I attended at the end of the week, I learned that Hummingbirds make their nests out of spider webs with lichen stuck to the outside. (Because she knew me, I asked the naturalist if she would consider asking the parents to refrain from having their loud conversations. Last program I couldn't even hear because of Chatty and Patty talking it up in full voice the entire time.) Everyone cooperated! Everyone learned! We all had great fun!
20. I'm still impatiently waiting for my Sunflower and Hollyhock seeds to sprout. It rained so much that I thought that they would be up. Everything else grew, even the weeds!