Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

So glad the sun finally showed up today.  I love sunny Easter Sundays.
Do you Facebook?  It is certainly an interesting means of communication.  Are you amazed at what some people share?  I guess I am.  I've never been much of an arguer. I think I've always had the notion, as my mama would say, "Everyone to their own foolish opinion."  More and more I'm surprised by people I really like using Facebook to tell folks who are Christians just how ignorant they are.
The article referred to here - -addressed a post I received more than once this weekend, and I have very few friends on fb compared to most people.  It is just strange to me that we go to all these extremes to accept everyone, allow everyone his or beliefs, but it seems to me that people really do think you are just ignorant if you don't believe the way they do, or perhaps I should "not believe" the way they do.
Oh well. I'm not ignorant or uninformed.  I don't care what the original celebration or notion was behind the word Easter.  My animals are every one named after hobbits, and though this may come as a surprise to some of you, I really do know Middle Earth is pretend.  I was named after Kimberly Clark, you know, on the Kotex box?  Yeah that's what happens when you are the fifth girl.  I didn't grow up to manufacture feminine hygiene products, or worship the person who did. I would really like to think when you say my name, that isn't what you're reflecting on.   You can call today Methuselah for all I care, I'm still going to celebrate it.
I celebrate in remembrance of Jesus Resurrection. He has proved a much worthier friend than any I have on the ol' fb.
I celebrate the absolute wonder I find in God's astounding creation.  Just studying about these honeybees has me amazed.
I celebrate wee folk and never tire of their second Easter when they find out that eggs that shake have candy and those are the ones they want.
I celebrate that I still have a Mom, Aunt and siblings, husband, children, and friends, to eat good food with, share puppy love with, laugh with, pray with, cry some with too.
Whatever you call it, I'll just end this day by calling it Lovely.  I hope you do as well.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Danger- Cuteness Abounds

Is it a buppy or a punny?

This picture of Strider's backside cracks me up.

 Handy Man voiced what he felt sure was Strider's feelings, "Mom you are embarrassing me!"
 Well, he's rotten.  I was really good and went against every nurturing instinct in my bones and put him in the chicken yard from day one.  We have a little yard pen that we put around his doghouse and filled the house with straw and the area in the pen. He actually slept on his blanket, on the straw, in the house that Jack built for a few nights, but now mostly drags it all out  to flop on.  He seemed mostly content.
 When I would leave in the morning he would whine, but was quickly interested in his food.
That is, until Thursday Playdate.  My brother was being recognized in a meeting by an eco group for the savings in energy and recycling (Kudos Tim) he's brought to the company he works for, so Swee-tee couldn't come.  Bean was off on a Spring Break with a buddy, so it was just Bugg, Linee and Antebellie- puppies.  Right over the pen Strider came.  We'd felt, till this point that he was  really a bit of a quiet, timid boy.  Apparently not.  Flipping, rolling, prancing to impress those puppy girls.  Now he goes in his pen, if we go in. If he sees us come out, over the pen he goes.  He's in a bigger pen, so this isn't a problem, until it's time for the girls to go in and need the gate open.  We just have to watch them
Here I'm trying to get a picture of his pure white eyelashes.  I don't recall Arwen's eyelashes.  Arwen's black eyeliner was broken, but Strider's is solid.
He's a fun boy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Visiting Teacher/Gramerly

It ended up that Bean and I had different spring breaks, so while I was on break and he was in school, I visited last Friday to do a lesson with his class.  He didn't have a teacher helper at that time, so Ceece joined me to lend a hand.  I always try and do something that is not only fun, but might make it easier on the teacher.  I took at look at some standards for third grade and chose a couple relating to food and how all animals use plants, parts of plant, and how we use natural resources. Wow, that's a lot to accomplish in an hour and forty five minutes.
I began a couple of weeks before on Playdate by recycling paper with Bean and Bugg.
I brought home a sack of shredded paper from school. Handy Man picked me up some screen.  We filled the blender with shredded paper and warm water and churned it up, then poured it in a big, shallow pan.  I slid a paper size piece of screen under the pulp and lifted it out to another pan.

Bean and Bugg then pressed the  water out of the pulp.

Bugg added some bits of pinecone and needles.

It took several days to dry, but was really pretty.  I realized I didn't have time or counter space to make enough for a journal for all 26 kids, so I needed to come up with another plan.

I brought my bunny boy Merry and showed the kidlets a natural resource, Timothy grass, that the bunny eats and might stuff in a nest.  I read the adorable book Tops and Bottoms about a rabbit who tricks a bear into using his field to grow food. Of course, bunny patting is always the highlight.

Next we talked about where our food comes from.  Each child got a hamburger, yarn and a sack of cards with a picture on them.  They traced the items on the hamburger back to the sun. For example, cheese, milk, cow, grass, sun.
We divided into three groups and rotated through three centers.
I my group, the students created a plant with candy icing and candy. When they told me each plant part, they got to eat the leftover candy.

Ceece helped them put their journal together.  Each journal had a piece of the paper we made on the front.  In the journal, they recorded all the natural resources we use, and how we use them.

 In the group with the teacher, they made a face on an empty egg shell ( another use of a resource).  I left soil and Timothy grass seed to plant for their egg head's hair when they return from spring break.
There is also a place in their journal to record the growth of their grass.
Busy morning.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Final Installment Playdate Part Three

It's hard to believe this Little Missy Buttons is about to be one.  Though she is a tiny girl, and her interests don't run to hunting eggs as yet, her wee face looks much older. 

 Those brown button eyes are so very soulful.  As I've mentioned before, she is our first brown eyed beauty.

It's also hard to believe my spring break is sprung. Back to work tomorrow.  Our new puppy came today and I believe he is three times bigger than when we first met.  I had so hoped the weather would be a bit better.  Cold, rain/snow/sleet here.
The family where he has been raised has all sorts of animals. Strider did not give the chickens a passing glance.  I hope we're a good match.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Two of Three Playdate Parts

Time to hunt eggs on the frozen tundra. Bugg is clearly tired of waiting and ready to go.  

It was shortly after this picture of Baby Boy showing his brother his eggs, when Ol' Henry spun around and declared that somewhere he'd lost his basket.  This was just about one minute after the above picture.  As you can see, the basket was on his head. 
 Happy girls with a princess egg a piece.
 Some folks have an Easter Egg Tree. We had a Scooby Do Tree.
Blues Eyes pulling off his Scooby Do.
 I found the cutest Noah's Ark eggs for the wee ones. All different animals.  This Giddy-up of mine is one serious egg hunter.  So many of the little ones through the years quickly realized there was candy in some of the eggs.  They would shake them and if they didn't shake, discard them. Or, the first egg with candy, the hunt was done, time to eat the candy.  Not this little mister, he filled that bucket as quick as his legs could carry him.

I believe Miss Linee has grown six inches this winter. She is so big!

 One last golden egg. Reaaaachh.

Okie, dokie, ready for some warmer temperatures.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Playdate in Parts

Strange happenings this year in my world which led me to a monumental decision- I would no longer be hosting Easter and Thanksgiving.  So, here I am on spring break, with a bit more time on my hands than usual, and Playdate coming and I simply can't bear not having a yard full of Easter Egg hunting poopies.  Usually, the kidlets are on break the same time as me and I always have them over for candy making during the day.  This year we had three different spring breaks amongst us, so all this would have to be accomplished in a Playdate evening.

I had another opportunity to keep the tiny goat boy, and knew the chitlins would love it, so I said, "Yes," to Baby Bumper.  I was so very glad I did as Bean hadn't been able to see him on his last visit and instantly fell head over heels in love.

Bumper was ever so much more active and busy, with a wee goat skip in his step this visit. He is still eating frequently.

These cousins really aren't together all that much in the school year.

 They have a bit of a tough time settling down to candy making when there is just ever so much playing to get done.  Still, they do want to make the candy, so I finally got them all corralled and painting. 

If you remember last year, Giddy-Up discovered what deliciousness was being painted in those molds and took the easiest route to getting it out.

This year he did try his hand at painting, then thought fingers were a faster way to work.

Something new for Ms. Gardener to try as well.

 Always a memorable moment with children.  When Ms. Gardener sat down, Baby Boy said, "Hey, who is that old lady?"  To which I replied, "Rude."  His mama then shared with him a better way to introduce oneself to someone unknown. Have mercy. She introduced herself and said, " I am an old lady."  Thankfully, as a former teacher, she's heard everything, so I knew she wouldn't be offended.  I had friends for dinner Tuesday evening and we were talking about how people who were thirty were so old to us when we were little.  Ah, now we're the old ones, way on past thirty.
Part Two will reveal egg hunting on the frozen tundra, with no place to actually hide an egg this year.
Oh my, if you look back at the link above, the difference in the amount of green is unbelievable for the same time of year. Usually, I have to hog tie the Handy Man to keep him from cutting the grass.  No grass and freezing, but we hunted eggs all the same.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Without Plans

As Spring Break approached, I had no set plans for the starting weekend.  I thought it might be a good idea to work on the house and yard through Monday when plans pick up.  As I've shared many times, house cleaning does not fall anywhere on my list of personal skills and talents. Sadly, neither does it fall on the "Enjoyable Things to do on Break."  Still, failure to make a list doesn't keep it from needing attention.
Well, plans did take shape with the opportunity to babysit this tiniest goat boy.  Good in several ways, but one was to incite some house cleaning flurry of activity on Friday evening.
Then yesterday, in order, you know, to keep a close eye on the wee one, I sat on the couch and read the morning away.  Then Cpt. brought Bugg for a goat visit, which she enjoyed.
Bean was at ball practice, so between feedings we made cookies and played games.  
Rae-rae wanted to to snuggle the babe, so she and her family arrived later.  
In addition to the cookies, I had some chili in the freezer, so I warmed it up.  Giddy-up throughly enjoyed everything about Gramerly's, both in and out, and played and played and played.  He petted the baby boy, played games, ate, fed bok-bok's, gathered eggs, ran up and down the hill.  Well, as he started up the hill he said, "Hill, climb, help, hill, climb, help."  Then in the steepest part for short hobbit legs he declared, "Mountain!"  Crack up!
Then multiple "Woe, woe, woe!" as he would fake fall and wait for us to exclaim over him.
I never tire of hearing his 23 month old version of things, listening as he compares, remembers, puts two and two together in his world.  He delights me.
Naturally, Bugg wasn't ready to go when the Cpt. needed to get on his way, so she also played away the afternoon.  Cpt. returned, everyone enjoyed the cookies. 
Handy Man and I ended the day with our first Downton Abbey experience via Netflix.  I've heard about it forever, but not being a fan of television, never checked it out.  I am however a great fan of Maggie Smith.  I saw her at the Shakespeare Festival in Canada while still a teen.  Beatrice in Much Ado about  Nothing one night, and Lady MacBeth the following day convinced me of her talents.  I liked it okay.
Anywhoo, it was such a relaxing, fun day, I felt guilty.
I really enjoy the site Sacred Space to start my mornings.  This opening prayer really struck home in light of the day we had-


It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.

Really, I can't imagine a more enjoyable day and I am very thankful for it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Do You See What I See

I see some signs of spring.
It is coming. Slowly here, with lots of rain, but we're seeing all the signs. 
The Lenten Rose in full bloom-

Some warm days for trying out your climbing skills.  
Wait for Pappy please sweet boy.

I imagine he feels pretty powerful up there, finally being the tallest guy around.

Ahhh, and the new arrivals-

Prince William, better known as Billy Goat.
You might remember that the family of one of my students is currently raising Strider.  We're on Spring Break this week and they had a weekend camping trip planned.  Unplanned was the very early arrival of triplet goats.  Two of them were too tiny and didn't make it.  This little fella seems to be managing, but requires very frequent feedings and vigilant care.  Handy Man and I get be the camping caregivers.

He is the tiniest, sweetest little thing.

Seeds came this week. Lettuce goes in the herb box.
Spring is rolling in.