Wednesday, April 30, 2008
We are glad Daddy's leg is feeling better and that he is back home with us. We are enjoying being outside and doing all sorts of things outside that we can't when it's gloomy. Owen found an iris as tall as he is! May you enjoy the outside wherever you are....
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
We enjoyed Panoply this weekend. The word Panoply means "wonderful array", and there was! There were lots of crafts, free food samples and bought food, lots of entertainment to look at, lots of art to look at and music. The kids liked the painting and the cardboard constructing crafts the most. Emma painted a scene and made a raccoon. Alex made a raccoon, also. Owen choose to make the cardboard 18-wheeler. We enjoyed the dancers from South Africa and the Drumming Tent with the Get Rhythm team the most. I was enthralled by the photography of a couple from Winder, GA of all places (near where we used to live)! They live half the year in China and half in Georgia. They had breathtaking color photographs from China. My favorite was of a hillside and valley terraced with rice fields, the colors ranged the whole palette--and made this a place I would like to see one day in person. Owen made an attempt at the oreo stacking competition. The roasted corn was the favorite food. At the end of the night we enjoyed the fireworks. Alex and Emma went to Panoply some on Sunday with Gram and Gramps after they went to see a Fantasy Playhouse rendition of Hansel and Gretel at Fantasy Playhouse, but the rain drove them home!
Friday, April 18, 2008
June Bugs or June Beetles! I wish that I had a photo of the grub beforehand, but we didn't take a shot of it before...
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Thank you to everyone that joined us at the botanical gardens. We had a fun day, and it wasn't too hot! The kids listened to some of the audio about the dinosaurs that they have positioned around the gardens. Alex was quite distressed that they didn't have the dinosaurs replicated to real size, for instance the one that said it had a 23 foot wingspan, Alex said, "that's not right, it's only as big as owen!" Alex has always been our realist, likes everything to be literal...The kids built dams in the stream in the Hope Garden, got really wet in several spots and really dry in the sunny spots. We spent a lot of time in the childrens garden once everyone got there. Here is Owen operating the water pump and with his friend, "Fia" (Sophia). I was worried when we arrived that the day would be bad because I didn't realize the plant show started that day, but it wasn't too crowded...
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The snails are all around the house, it makes me feel kind of slow and 'snaily' myself. That's what I like about Spring, days seem slower, and I know they aren't--they are longer......or wait that makes perfect sense...maybe that's why I yearn or am able to take them slower, there is more there! Makes you just want to lay around and soak up the sun and the sights and the sounds of nature popping up everywhere. To spend time creeping around at home until the pollen starts blowing, the mosquitos find some residences in the yard, and in our case the louder sounds of summer surround us (folks out of school and lawnmowers in the distance). Emma is as I've said a snail aficionado. I haven't told her yet that some folks eat snails....she is not a vegetarian in her other food choices, but this might be upsetting to her to think of her friends served up in butter and garlic. These guys pictured here spent a lot of time with us in a large Stonyfield Farm yogurt container with ten or so of their close relatives. They dined on organic spring mix, were misted with water, and traveled on emma's fingertips to the far reaches of the yard. She found every last one of them a moist home to spend the night, let them go, and saved the yogurt container for another day. Here's a snail poem the kids and I wrote around Valentine's Day when we made those beeswax snails. If only April 15th came as slowly as the snail, but that's another poem with a title more like "How the IRS snail slimed us All" :). Here is our poem "Love like a Snail..." :
Love like a snail...
...is round like a hug
...is hard and soft
...sometimes likes to hide
...leaves a trail
...it can get slimy
...and like the shell it spirals on forever.
--alex, emma & katy bothwell 2008
Heard of the FairTax?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The doorbell rang, courtesy of FedEx, about 10 minutes after we had been awake (owen was still asleep). The eggs had arrived! Thank you Meg for packaging them so gingerly and getting them sent our way, we owe you! And we hope we have some roosters to bring you back in a while....We had the incubator set up for several days that we borrowed from a family nearby, so we unwrapped them and placed them in and marked the calendar to start looking for action around May 1st. The last batch that our friends did had only one success, so although we hope for more from our fourteen eggs, just getting to see one hatch will be totally worth it! The incubator is in the family room and emits this lovely glow at night, it appears to be some sort of UFO landed in the corner......
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Our weekend not going to Georgia to get the chicken eggs turned into a fabulous one. Neither Kurt nor I worked in any fashion for three days straight, no office, no stores, no errands, no phone calls.... We haven't had a break like that since January, it seemed like life was back! We spent the rest of our 'mini vacation' after going to the frog pond hanging out together and working on the long awaited Treehouse. It has been named, "THE FOURT", in honor of our soon to be four tree climbers...The kids and I made a sign out of the 'capsters' that alex and emma have made that says FOURT, so we can hang it in the tree. Capsters are a Klutz idea that the kids have created a LOT of, so we found something to do with some of them. Alex and Emma have been drawing treehouses for four years, ever since we moved to this area. That was a requirement for the house we bought for Alex, that it have lots of trees. We have had the telephone poles donated by the power company for three years. We have determined the perfect tree for a while now, and Kurt has formulated a plan, and Kurt plans big which means it's our treehouse, too, we'll fit in it! Kurt and I had the conversation that we always wanted a treehouse when we were little, so maybe we are building it for ourselves??? I have a memory of being in the backyard that I lived in when I was younger that is just down the street from where we live now. One of my sisters and I were building a treehouse. We got as far as nailing boards up the side of the tree to get to the first branch like a ladder and then tying a swing onto that branch. I also have a not so proud memory of throwing acorns at passings cars from another neighborhood treehouse that was located right along a street. The feat we accomplished, which doesn't look like much from the photos, was to get four utility poles upright into three foot deep holes and cemented. We are proud and astounded to say that Kurt and I did this alone!!! with the help of a tag-a-long, of course. Kurt was the heavy lifter and heavy worker, but when we were done we felt like we could build a house! Emma and Owen made lemonade and here you can see them enjoying one of many snacks on the picnic table. Our change of plans seems to have been for the better, as we probably got more relaxing than we would have had we been travelling. We'll see our Georgia friends on another trip for another reason! May all of your lemons turn to lemonade...
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Fresh Air Family hike with my parents the first weekend of the month. The hike was on the "sinks" trail in Monte Sano State Park. The hike was led by Loretta Lynn Winnegar (sp?) and she gave us all sorts of information about the wildflowers we saw that we were then able to come back home and see in our yard, neighborhood, and around town. Alex and Emma's favorite, forgive the lack of real name... was the "Velcro Plant". Alex has some on his shirt above...the little hairs on the plant make it stick to you like velcro. Emma has since found some in the yard and at the library. We hadn't ever hiked to the sinks when flowers were blooming. The hillsides all around were covered in bluebells, gorgeous! This picture doesn't do it justice....I'll post some of the other neat plants/flowers we saw on another post
Saturday, April 5, 2008
We drove to near Anniston today to participate in the Jacksonville State University Frog Pond Field School Tour. On the way we visited the Anniston Musuem of Natural History. They had a neat temporary exhibit of artwork made out of natural materials. My favorite was a bellycast that the artist had covered in the 'skins' of wasps' nests. It was beautiful and gave me the idea to cover mine in moss or lichen---I have been waiting for an idea to hit me to decorate it and it did today. The kids were really into the bird displays they have there. I imagine since they are excited about the chicken eggs coming and watching them hatch. Our visit to Georgia fell through late last night, as the eggs were not showing that they were fertile, so our friends are going to mail them next week. But we still went on the adventure we had planned nearby to hear the frogs. The stars of the show were Cope's Gray Treefrog which has a call that you can imitate by moving the headlamp hinge on your head-mounted flashlight, they sound identical to that! And the other star was the Spring Peeper. If you click on the links you can hear the calls, and if I get more technically savvy, I could put the audio clip we took on here, but that will have to wait another day. We learned that only the males call (in most species) among other things, and got to hold them and feel the vibrations while they sang... Thank you to Dr. Kline and his team of students that led the tour. The other photos above are of some salamander egg cases that we observed as well as a salamander "tadpole". Alex joined in the gathering of creatures off of the boardwalk area where most of the group stayed. His first find was this 7 to 8 year old salamander, which was a good 6 or 7 inches long, and we believe was a Spotted Salamander. This is worth a trip to enjoy an evening among the frogs if you are a frog lover.