Friday, April 30, 2010

Pebbles and Pearl

 A good mother.

My neighbor had a pregnant horse named Pebbles (Okay, technically a she's pony; but to me it looks like a horse!)  Pebbles went into labor and my neighbor got stuck at the barn without her cell phone charger, so in anticipation of a long night,  I brought the needed charger out to her late Sunday night.  I am very much a night person, so to me it is not a problem.  Elizabeth (also a night person) went with me.  While I was there Pebbles did not have her foal, but I decided that letting Elizabeth sleep at the barn on "baby watch" could be a learning experience.  Let's be honest, who wouldn't want to see a foal born? So I let Elizabeth sleep at the barn on bales of hay with my neighbor.  Much to poor Elizabeth and my neighbor's dismay, the foal was not born that night,  and they had to come home.  The foal was not born the next night either.  Finally Pearl was born on Tuesday night.   She is a beautiful little foal, and fits her name perfectly.  Elizabeth went to the barn and took the pictures for me.  I have yet to see Pearl.    So thanks Elizabeth for the pictures, I can not wait to see her.  There is something so precious about a baby, human or animal,  it is still amazing what God can create.
        Sweet Pearl 

Mother and baby

Here is a wonderful and famous hymn to remind us of the simple beauty of  creation. (A link is included if you wish to also hear it)

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Text: Cecil Frances Alexander 
 Refrain:   All things bright and beautiful, 
 all creatures great and small, 
 all things wise and wonderful:  
 the Lord God made them all.

1. Each little flower that opens, 
 each little bird that sings, 
 God made their glowing colors, 
 and made their tiny wings.  

2. The purple-headed mountains, 
 the river running by, 
 the sunset and the morning 
 that brightens up the sky.  

3. The cold wind in the winter, 
 the pleasant summer sun, 
 the ripe fruits in the garden:  
 God made them every one.  

4. God gave us eyes to see them, 
 and lips that we might tell 
 how great is God Almighty, 
 who has made all things well.  

Monday, April 19, 2010

Olympics, Family style.

We have been studying ancient Greece (using SOTW) and I decided to let the kids have their own "Olympics" and Greek Feast. The kids planned the contests and made the medals.  The hardest for them was planning the obstacle course, but they persevered and planned a fun path through the backyard.  It included swinging, jumping jacks, trampoline bouncing, jumping over obstacles and running up the  ramp, across the bridge and down.   I am very proud of their planning.  They learned to negotiate what events would be included.  Christopher only wanted events that he could win (Don't we all).  He REALLY protested against the Limbo contest, but he lost that negotiation.  Keener had such a huge advantage, but couldn't figure out how to do it.  Very funny.

I discussed the food feast menu with them, but Elizabeth and I made most of it.  As usual there was too much food, but it was so yummy.  Most of the ideas came from this web site

Here is the menu:
3 different types of olives-green, brine (kalamata), gaeta (olive link here) ,
dried figs, apricots, dates and golden raisins;
hummus and pita
Tyropita-3 cheese stuffed flakey pastry
Spanakopita- spinach and cheese stuffed flakey pastry
Camomile Tea
Tzatziki (Yogurt Cucumber Garlic dip)-SUPER EASY to make!!!
Froutosalata-Fruit Salad with honey dressing- yummy!
We also had two different types of fresh bread-thanks to the store bakery!

They had so much fun practicing the past couple of days and  then participating today.  It was such a great way to start off a week.  We had perfect weather and everyone had fun.

So here are the results:
1st     Christopher
2nd    Elizabeth
3rd     I---- (Our neighbor)
4th     Rolo     
5th     Keener

Bear crawl
1st     Christopher
2nd    Elizabeth
3rd     Rolo
4th     I---- (Our neighbor)     
5th     Keener

1st     Christopher
2nd    I---- (Our neighbor)
3rd     Rolo
4th     Keener    
5th     Elizabeth

Frisbee Toss
1st      I---- (Our neighbor)
2nd   Rolo
3rd     Elizabeth
4th     Christopher     
5th     Keener

Wheelbarrow Race (Teams)
1st      I---- (Our neighbor)/Christopher
2nd   Rolo/Elizabeth
3rd     Keener

Long Jump
1st     Christopher
2nd    Elizabeth
3rd     Rolo 
4th     I---- (Our neighbor)     
5th     Keener

1st     Elizabeth
2nd     I---- (Our neighbor)
3rd     Rolo
4th     Keener
5th     Christopher

Obstacle Course (Time)
1st     Elizabeth (1 min 12.2 seconds)
2nd     Christopher(1 min 18.7 seconds
3rd     I---- (Our neighbor) (1 min 47.4 seconds)
4th     Rolo (1 min 49.9 seconds)
5th     Keener (2 min 35.0 seconds)  
     Keener was adorable doing the obstacle course. The other children helped her.  It was so wonderful to see them cheering her on and helping her not get sidetracked.  She did however tend to stop to fix her socks.  If she wasn't looking like a European tourist with her socks up to her knees, she just wasn't happy!  Made me laugh just to see her stopping to do that.  
Awards Ceremony Picture 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Trash Patio

Completed Patio
For the past two weekends I have put Honey to work.  The area on the side of the house which leads into the laundry room was becoming a huge problem.  With all the snow and rain, the side of the house became a mud pit.  I think it was a bigger cause of my muddy floors than any other area of the yard!
So I put Honey to work building a trash patio, for lack of better words.  We store our trash, recycling and Composter  out there as well as our hose and sprinklers.  Since there is a slight slope, we needed to build stairs as well.  Luckily all the materials in the project were FREE!  That's what happens when you buy a house from someone who was a handyman with 1000 unfinished projects.  I have found probably 20 of the LARGE plumbing pipes buried in the yard (stored in the yard is more like it), another 20 small pipes and multiple shapes and sizes of pavers and bricks.  I have since gotten rid of all of the pipes since I have no use for them, but the pavers keep getting rearranged.
      Honey is very good at making sure that everything is level.  Me? not so much!  So he did a fantastic Job of creating the patio and a new planting bed.  I put in  a few Astilbe and some free Hostas (I divided them up from other parts of the yard)  Hostas must be one of the gardener's favorite friends!  I think it will look even better in the summer when everything is in bloom, but for now, here is the new flower-bed:
You can just see the Hostas poking through the soil.

This is the Forsythia that I used in vases in the house while it was in bloom, but am trying to see if any will root.  Then I can expand my "wall of Forsythia" in the backyard.

Here is a picture of the pile of mulch that I had delivered, I think there is such a thing as too much mulch!