Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another Tooth Gone!

This makes five teeth lost.

After A Storm

It was a wild storm that sent us scurrying for the basement and praying to our guardian angels for protection.  When the worst of it had passed, we came out to see what had happened.  Here's a picture of the tail end of the storm with the sunshine and blue skies following right behind.

Dan loaded up the kids in the garden cart to check on the yard and garden.  They were excited by the unexpected ride outside - in their pajamas!  No major damage was done.

Monday, June 27, 2011

At Least I Didn't Scream

This afternoon, while Anthony was taking a nap, Catherine, Dominic, Joseph, and I went down to our woodsy area to pick mulberries.  I wasn't paying that much attention where I was walking and all of a sudden I saw movement on the ground.  Right before it zipped away, I saw that I had almost stepped on a snake!  Granted, it was only a garter snake, but it sure startled me and I hollered out, "Aaahhh!"  The kids jumped back, but I think only Dominic actually saw it.  I didn't want to freak out the kids, so I acted like it was no big deal (and really, it shouldn't be), and we continued on our path.  I must confess, though, my heart was pounding for a bit. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Swimming Lessons!

For the last two weeks, I have been taking the kids to their swimming lessons.  We opted for the Monday through Thursday, 10:30 am lessons, which seemed to work fairly well.  Except that it seemed to eat up a lot of the day. :)
Look at those smiles!  This was just before we left for their first swimming lesson.

The kids had not really even been in a pool other than a backyard wading pool for almost 2 years.

Catherine and her swimming instructor.

 None of the kids had ever taken swimming lessons before.

Catherine, contemplating what she gets to do next in the pool.  

Catherine was in the Youth Swim classes, for age 6 and up. She really tried hard and loved it a lot.

Dominic was in a class with five girls! 

   Dominic, Anne, and Joseph were all in the Kinderswim, for ages 3-5. However, they were each in a different group, which worked out fine.

Dominic's teacher looks a little pained.  Did he splash her too much?  :)
Dominic did well and gets to move up a level next time.

Anne patiently waits for her turn to get in.

Anne was a little more timid, but she tried hard and made good progress.

Anne blowing bubbles in the water.

 I wasn't sure at all how Joseph would do, being newly turned 4 and without his brothers or sisters.

Joseph and his cute little class.

I needn't have worried, though, because he did great and got complimented on his nice manners and good listening skills!

I know this is fuzzy, but you can still see that big, happy smile on Joseph's face.

They are a bit sad that their lessons are over, and quite anxious to get back to the pool to practice what they have learned.

They each got to learn how to put on a life-jacket and climb in and out of a boat.  Catherine is to the left in the boat and in the back of the picture you can see Joseph on the side of the pool.

And what about Anthony, you ask?  He and Mommy got to hang out during the 45 minute lesson, and usually we sat on the other side of the glass, watching the kids.

Anthony ate a lot of snacks!

Twice I took Anthony outside to the water park to play during Toddler Time, which coincided with lesson time.  He loved it, but I did not dare to even attempt to take pictures of that. :)

So to summarize:  swimming lessons were a resounding success!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: On Top Of Spaghetti

This is a funny book!  Have you sung the song before?  I grew up singing the song, "On Top Of Spaghetti," but I did not know all the verses.  Well, this book will rectify that for you.  It not only contains all the verses within the story, but tells the tale of Yodeler Jones and his Spaghetti Emporium, and what happened the day of the Big Sneeze.  I have read/sung this book many times.  The illustrations are delightful and all the lyrics are printed on the last page.  I taught the whole song to the choir class and it is often requested now.  There's even a recipe for spaghetti and meatballs on the back cover.

Disclaimer:  I received nothing for this book review, it's just one of our favorites on our shelf!  However, if you follow the link and order anything from Amazon, I will receive a small commission.

Summer Arts And Crafts

The four big kids painting, something they cannot do while Anthony is awake.

Catherine made a mask not only for herself, but also for her doll, Yellow Baby.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two Dominics

We finally got out to visit friends of ours who have a new baby, and our Dominic was thrilled to meet and hold baby Dominic.  Isn't he a sweet baby?

Friday, June 17, 2011

You Know Mom Is Tired, #8

You know Mom is tired when she loads the coffeemaker, turns it on, and then doesn't realize for about 15 minutes that it wasn't even plugged in.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Anthony Is 15 Months Old!

In the past month, Anthony has learned to climb onto our tall chairs, and get things off the counters, or turn the lights off and on.

He has also learned how to climb on the table, and I can no longer leave anything on it, or even set the table for a meal until right when we are ready to eat.

This is his form of protest when somebody takes something away from him or he gets mad about something.

He rides the tricycle Fred Flinstone style.

He still loves Cloudy, the cat.

The cat still likes him.

He likes to "play baseball" just like the big kids.  Watch out for that bat, though!

Anthony likes the backyard swimming pool...

...but only for a little while.  He'd much rather be out with Daddy...

...and the lawn mower.

Joseph and Anthony are already either friends, or enemies.

Anthony was excited to get his own popsicle.

One day the kids left their school/art boxes on the table and when Anthony got up from his nap, he took full advantage.  I didn't stop him and the kids were horrified when they came upstairs.  Needless to say, they keep their things put away better now.

Here's a scary picture for you:  Anthony with a pair of scissors!  (I did take those away from him after I took the picture.)

Anthony out in the garden.  He loves to go up and down the rows of onions and everything else out there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Around The Mulberry Bush...

...the children picked some mulberries.
 Well, really they are mulberry trees.  One day a week or two ago, I remembered the mulberry tree that we found last year down by the dry creek bed in our woodsy area.  So I called to the children and off we went to see if there were any ripe mulberries.  Much to our surprise we found more mulberry trees with ripe berries along the creek bed.  So we began to pick.

Here is our loot from that first picking.  At least, this is what actually made it into their buckets.  After I took this picture, we had a mulberry party and ate them all up.

We have picked the mulberries several times now, and each time we find more trees.  There must be about 15 mulberry trees, I guess.  We have also discovered that some of them are white mulberry trees.  I just thought those trees weren't ready as fast as the others, but no, the mulberries are actually white when they are ripe.

The price of picking mulberries:  purple fingers!  Small price to pay, though.

 Before last weekend, we had just eaten them by themselves.  Then I found a recipe for Mulberry Rhubarb Pie and last Saturday we managed to pick enough to make it.  I picked the rhubarb out of our garden, so it was a homegrown pie!

Joseph with the mulberry and diced rhubarb mixture, ready to go into the homemade pie shell.

The pie is ready to be baked.

All done!

I barely managed to snap a picture of the cut side of the pie to show the lovely color.  It tasted as good as it looked!  Sweet mulberry and tart rhubarb make a good combination.
Find the recipe I used here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fun At The Playground

Anthony found that he could climb up the little stairs and sit down on the slide and...

...wheeeeeeee!  He did it over and over again.

Catherine and Anne with their pink cheeks.



The kids all liked to play with this little digger in the sand.

Fun in the sand with friends.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Snow Peas!

Every few days lately, the kids and I have gone out and picked the snow peas.  We have six twenty-foot rows.  The kids usually lose steam partway through, but it's nice to have some help.

Of course, not all the help is helpful. 

Joseph likes to help me, though.  He actually sticks with it longer than the bigger kids.

With a funny face thrown in for good measure!
Here is a small sampling.  They sure are tasty:  raw, steamed, in stir-fries, etc.

This salad came totally from our garden:  spinach, radishes, snow peas and asparagus.