Thursday, July 31, 2008

You are never too young to To-Do lists

Olivia just proudly showed me this list she came up with for tomorrow. I don't know if it because she remembers fondly us teasing Grandpa W for a similar list we caught him making once. But, I bet even Grandpa W didn't have an If-Then statement in it. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, you are probably not a geeky engineer from my family. Ah, Olivia's first logic statement, I need to get out the baby book...

I'll interpret. I'd say she still has to do some work on her spelling, but if I tell you the truth, mine isn't much better. But then again, if you are reading my blog, you know that. Here we go.

Moning Thaes (Morning Things)
1. Teef Brush (Teeth Brush)
2. Read Book (I seriously just typed Reed Book, Olivia's spelling is better than mine.)
3. If Mom Sleep Wac Up (If Mom is asleep wake up.)
4. Eat Brafis (Eat Breakfast)

The funny thing is that her spelling is just like her pronunciation with her missing tooth. Almost as funny as the fact she is going to take care of her personal hygiene and read a book while I'm still sleeping my life away tomorrow. Don't call too early.

Two bookworms?

Now that Olivia has moved on to bigger and better things, I guess Noah figured he had to take up the role of resident book worm. I can't believe I walked in the room and saw Noah deep in the middle of a chapter book. Before anyone calls MENSA, I'm sure there were some really good pictures in this book.

Reading is a tough job, gotta find a more comfy spot. Look at that lip, he must not have liked the turn the plot took at this point.

As I'm blogging, Olivia is reading this book to Noah. Too sweet. They don't need me anymore!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ah, remember way back when

Olivia performed a cute tap dance to Song of the Heart from Happy Feet awhile back. Ok, in May. I'm a bit late. But it was worth the wait because I just thought this outfit was so adorable and the dance was really sweet too.

She's already signed up for another dance class in the fall. This time a ballet one. She will be in The Nutcracker. Isn't that awesome? They have it broken down by age, I guess so that her class can be a nice small part fitting for their age. I am totally going to take advantage of this age where they are cute no matter the quality of the performance!

Aunt S, do you know where your babies are?

I am officially in love with hollyhocks. It's like they stepped out of a fairy tale. These are ones I grew this year from seed in newspaper pots, but I think we all know by now how cheap I am. Not only that, but the seeds were free, grabbed from various different hollyhock plants I've met.

The only problem is that I'm not that faithful and I've met several hollyhock plants in the past year. So I have no idea who the parents are of these. Three are bright pink with double blooms and one is soft, light pink. So lovely. But who do they belong to. Hmmmmm. I think one are from seeds that came all the way from Aunt S's farm in Georgia. But which one?

The other is either from the hollyhocks growing at Olivia's school (maybe I shouldn't have grabbed seeds from them without asking?) or from my neighbor's green trash can, which I feel better about grabbing before they headed to the city recycling.

In any case, what an easy, cheap, treat to grow!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My new obsession

If you pull back the curtains on my kitchen window you will see this.

I found a great tip about how to germinate seeds between the folds of a coffee filter. Just add water and put in a sandwich bag in a indirectly sunny window. In a few days you can see them sprouting. Amazing!

I've been playing with what kind of seeds this works well for. I've had great success with Alyssum, a nice, trailing plant that is still easy to control. Here is some I have to fill some spots around a planter. I grew this one from a packet of seeds cheap from a drugstore.

I grabbed a few seeds from the drying part of this plant, germinated them in the coffee filters, and transfered them to my newspaper pots. Here are the little babies hanging out on the grill getting used to the outside environment.

Wish them luck once they get in the ground!

I'm also trying some of my leftover coneflower seeds I got last year. Here is the plant I grew from seed last year.

And here are some of the seeds germinating in my coffee filters.

Fun hobby when you have no money for full plants. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Green Eggs and Toast?

How would one make green ham anyway? We settle for green canola oil spread.

We've been having to get up early for VBS, which is always a bummer during summer vacation. Once the excitment wears after a few days I had to resort to green eggs and toast to get them going in the morning. Actually, it was Noah's idea and it worked wonders to get Olivia out of bed.

Olivia stired the green food coloring in the eggs, and Noah in the spreadable butter. Perfect!

Dr. Suess has NOTHING on me!

Bagged It

It's kinda funny seeing your bathroom totally bagged up in plastic.

But it's all for a good purpose. Travis spent this weekend adding trim, caulking, priming, and painting the bathroom ceiling. I love, Love, LOVE the white-on-white look of the exposed beams. It was kinda a big commitment to paint our new tongue-and-groove ceiling, but I'm so glad we decided to, it looks great. In that one little room.

But Travis did great and it won't be too long until the rest of the house looks the same. Unfortunately it's not the only project he has to do, but it's still nice to see it come along. I can't wait to see it in a room that we've painted some non-white color, like Olivia's new pepto-pink room when it is done.

I gotta say, I think I'm feeling a lot less depressed that we spent every last cent on our new roof...

Miracle #117

Olivia is a headstrong little girl. When she wants to do something, or when she does not. One of those things included being bound and determined she would never, ever, in a million years ever put her head under the water. We've been gently coaching her since last summer to try little by little, blow bubbles, everything. But she was still pretty against the whole idea.

Until last week when I decided to say "no" to bringing her swim vest (that helps her float) to the pool that has a nice big 2.5 feet baby pool that is perfect for her to learn to swim because she can stand up everywhere, but still have lots of room to move around.

Well, lo and behold, without the vest keeping her head above water, but still feeling safe, she decided to put her whole head under, and now, watch out. She can do everything. She can swim across the pool with her head under, do somersaults and back flips in the pool, jump in off the side to over her head. It's amazing from a little girl who less than a week ago refused to even try.

Add it to the list of things she once said she would never do and now loves, ice skating, gymnastics, riding a bike... Ok, well, she still won't try riding a bike without training wheels, but now we have some amazing precedence that she will eventually someday.

She still has to hold her nose when she goes under which makes it hard to use both hands to swim. We got her this great mask that goes over her nose that she really likes and helps free up her hands. But our city pool won't allow them because they breath in the bad air in the mask? But they said nose plugs are ok so I'm on the hunt for a store that sells them before her swimming lessons start next week. I'm really excited because I think she will get so much out of the lessons now that she is much more comfortable in the water!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm not a turkey!

Did you know in bowling if you get 3 spares it's a chicken. That fact is probably about the funnest thing about bowling for me. But Olivia loves it. So Grammy and Poppy took us bowling. Noah even played each and every frame.

It. took. forever.

Noah could roll his ball, sit down, eat a hanful of M&Ms, beg for more, all before his ball bounced back and forth across the bumpers enough to make it to the pins. But it was fun, and that is what matters. That and at least I wasn't awful enough to get beat by anyone who was using the bumpers. Everyone else doesn't count.

The vacation of a million lakes

Well, almost anyway. It wasn't planned, but this year's trip to Georgia seemed to revolve around lakes. Let's all count them together...

Lake #1 somewhere in Fayette County and that is all I remember about where it is. It's on Papa J's property which is quite the experience and that's all I'll say about that. Pretty enough though it was even worth the walk back with Olivia complaining how hot it was and city-boy Noah getting spooked at every sound he heard.

Lake #2, same day at some park in Ducula, the-other-side-of-GA. Grandpa T. taught the kids how to fish. Does teaching a 3-year-old and 6-year-old how to fish sounds scary to you? It did to me. But despite my mommy instincts, we let them go with it. Olivia did surprisingly well casting or whatever it's called.

Noah, not so well. Good thing the camera has a good zoom, I was standing WAY back.

Lake #3, Lake Lanier, an actual decent sized lake someone reading this post might have heard of. Aunt J's boyfriend F was kind enough to take us out on his boat on friday. It was a lovely day and Travis didn't even burn, poor guy is the odd man out in the family with fair skin. The rest of us worked on our tans.

Lake #5, not pictured because I'm not sure it would really count as a lake. Does a lake in a housing development count? Let's count it anyway because we had a blast using Grandpa L's remote control boats on it. That is until Travis' cousin-once-removed (which would be Olivia's second cousin, I researched it) got attacked by red ants. Ow.

Lake #6, the infamous trip to take the big ol' black snake across the lake at Aunt S's farm. If you haven't heard of this infamous trip, scroll down a couple posts. But I had to revisit it because I got such spectacular pictures there.

Lake #7, Lake Blue Ridge not pictured because I let Travis take home our camera to get pictures of our roof-less house, but that is another post entirely. This one was with Grandma R (my side this time) and it was a lovely day on the boarder of Tennessee as we visited her log cabin in the mountains.

Lake #8, Ruby Falls. Ok, this might be a stretch, Ruby Falls is a waterfall found 1000 ft under a mountain, but it does sorta form a pool of water and I had to include it on my list. To get to it you take a elevater straight down into Lookout Moutain and then hike a little through mineral deposit formations, one that is likened to a donkey's rear end, I kid you not. Even so, it was a really interesting visit to wrap up our lake list.

Whew, and I didn't even touch on the Chatanooga Choo-choo yet! I'll spare you that one for another day.

Influences from Vincent

I've been enjoying putting together boquets from my garden this year. Here are two little boquets I made for Olivia and Noah to give to their sunday school teachers. I just thought they were very simple and lovely. Purple fountain grass, cosmos, and who can resist a sunflower?

When I went back to look at the pictures I noticed that in the background is a print hanging on our wall of a Vincent Van Gogh painting, Cafe Terrance at Night. The reason this struck me is that the sunflower in the boquet came from a pack of seeds called Van Gogh mix, inspired by his sunflower paintings, I'm sure.

Funny, it's not like Van Gogh crosses my mind often, or ever. But today I remembered his beautiful work.

My sunflowers...

And Vincent's...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gerorgia, Sweet Georgia

We such an eventful two weeks in Georgia (and Tennessee too) but unfortunately I'm so behind updating everyone on it. Not having a roof puts a damper on blogging. But I've been wanting to post pictures on one exciting day. I'm not sure if it's because I got exceptionally good pictures or because it involved a very large black snake.

In any case, on this day we did get to visit the first covered bridge built in Georgia in over 150 years. (Correct me if my facts are wrong, Aunt S. And I also have some pictures coming for ya of some pretty pink Hollyhocks...)

With a beautiful veiw from the "windows."

And the only reason we got to visit the bridge that day, a black snake beatiful in her own right. We walked right past her without knowing. When she was pointed out to us, we had quite a fright. Except the fearless Olivia who was all too willing to touch her while poor little Noah was shaking in his boots.

Aunt S. and A. carried us in their pick-up to take her to the other side of the lake, across the covered bridge. Olivia was tickled she wasn't even wearing a seat-belt. Never a dull moment for the Jones hippies when visiting The South! (Olivia rode un-seat-belted like 2 seconds and the snake wasn't poisonous, but it sounds exciting, doesn't it?)