Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Concert and Art Show and Ice Cream Social

You know Spring is almost here when it's concert time. Liam's shindig was the same day as Damon's field trip, naturally, so after we rested up we headed back to school. Liam found his cat right away:

I don't mean to criticize, but I am puzzled at the huge differences between the school system we're in now and our previous one. At the old school, attendance and participation in concerts were (was? Mommee?) mandatory and you had to supply an excuse if you weren't going to show.
This school sent home a reminder about the evening and you were to return the bottom portion if you WERE going to show up. I know they were counting heads for the ice cream social side of things, but really?
It became more clear when we asked Liam if he knew the words to all his songs.
"Song. You said songs. There's only one."
So this is Damon, surveying the scene...

And this is Carrie, mulling over the fact that we're back at school and had to park at the strip mall and walk over for one song. One. Song.

It was a nice treat to hear the high school's swing band playing between elementary classes, though. They sounded great!
Liam spotted us right away. There were kids on the stage, and the ones on the floor like him were to perform inventive percussion using their bodies. I'm sure he'd be happy to demonstrate if you ask him about it.

Sadly, none of our raffle tickets that we entered to win (the ice cream supply basket, naturally, or the minion family movie night basket, for those of you keeping score) were chosen by the powers that be. But our soft serve with toppings was yummy, we bought a slice of triple chocolate cake for Dada, who hadn't made it home from his week in Miami yet, and we saw some of the same adults we'd seen earlier on our field trip, haha. I even got in a quick chat with Liam's teacher, whom I really like and admire.
And now we know better what to expect from concert night.
And ice cream!

Field trip for Thing Three!

Someone was SO excited to go on his spring field trip. We went to the local children's museum, and he had an absolute ball. This is his on-the-bus smile:

He especially loved the firetruck because of its sirens, horns, and the laser firehose. They had inflatable "fire" that would deflate when the laser dot hit it, so he could actually aim and put out a rooftop "fire". He was really good at it, haha!

They had a humungous display based on water and currents. It involved sprayers and drains and things that float (including the upside down ducky, below) and they even provided small plastic smocks, not that he would wear one.

And, of course, he wore the right shirt for this.

Above, a hurricane wind booth, blowing his hair flat to his head and flapping his shirt around. The student teachers got quite a kick out of this display.
Below, dry ice or something was making mist, so when you pushed on the rim of this display, clouds puffed out. He learned that if you waited a little while for it to fill up with mist, you make impressive clouds when you poofed it.

They had a guitar display which didn't interest him too much, but he liked the size of this Gibson.
However, he LOVED this screwy perspective house. Kids want to go through it again and again, and again. And one more time. And again. Adults were coming out and making comments about feeling sick. I think it's the same principle where kids can roll down a big hill, pop up, stagger a minute, and race back to the top to repeat it. Grownups who do attempt it are usually down for the count.

Behind the ambulance was an entire hospital section with Xray displays, clipboards in Admissions, baby dolls in incubators, etc. Really well thought out.
We were exhausted when we got home!
Perfect trip.

Snippets of the end of Winter

This little cutie came along to keep me company while we got the carpet cleaned at the old house. He supervised from the counter and ate his peanut butter and jelly on puffy bread (that's a hamburger bun for those of you who don't have puffy bread in your homes). He was very impressed with Blake, the carpet cleaner, and we would definitely recommend him to anyone in need of superbly clean carpets done by a professional.
The cutie below was picked up in the driveway seconds after she got off the bus, and I laid one on her as per Damon's orders. He loves it when we grab her on our way in from preschool, and he LOVES it when I "give Cawwie lips!" You can draw your own conclusions of how SHE feels about the whole situation...

We girls in front of the fire...
and Triskal outside enjoying the snow. Ha!

We were actually outside that day, too, as someone decided that the best time for pruning apple trees is in the dead of winter. So, there's Dada, pruning away. We're new at this, so any advice you may have, please feel free to send it our way.

As much as I love freezy trees, I am SO GLAD it is warming up!

Signs of Spring

I'm pretty sure this is locking the barn after the horse has been stolen, but we've had small, hungry visitors in the garage. Someone nibbled holes in both bags of wild birdseed and made a huge mess all over creation. Now we have glueboards.

Granted, the buckeyes you see are not part of the birdseed mix. Those were all in a bin from the kids collecting them in the Fall. Carrie was supposed to be spreading them out to dry daily, and maybe they did dry, but all winter they've been chilling out in their bin until someone discovered what must have seemed like Heaven...
And Cheeky Beaky has emerged from the snowbank! Poor, poor frozen Cheeky Beaky. He looks like he's plotting his escape to Miami.

This is what's left of our biggest snowbank. It was higher than my waist a few weeks ago. I'll not be sorry to see it completely disappear.
And we're in desperate need of a cleanup on aisle 5... our poor "pond" is full of leaves and ice remnants. I can't imagine the stink that is going to come out of it when we rake those leaves out. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicky.

Virgil Eugene is smiling with relief that he made it to the first day of Spring! If his arms could move, he'd be tossing that winter hat high into the air.
I suppose I best start my favorite job... spring cleaning! Happy first day of spring, everyone!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Spring visitors

Since there was a school cancellation yesterday due to the ice and freezing rain and yuck we had, Carrie and I finished the 1000 piece Thomas Kincaid puzzle I'd gotten for my birthday. This picture doesn't really do it justice. It's big and really pretty. We have another one to start, but she couldn't bring herself to take this one apart yet and there isn't room on the table for both of them.
We have bold, fat squirrels that hog the bird food we've put out. We chase them away often so our much, much smaller feathered friends can eat, too. Yesterday I glanced out the front door and got ready to pulverize what I thought was an enormous squirrel. I was pretty surprised to find a raccoon, one of my Grammy's favorite animals!

The kids came to see him and then he wandered around the yard for awhile. Some other visitors came to eat up whatever seeds he'd missed, including this pretty Papa Cardinal and several others of his flock.

I got a kick out of the coon prints. Carrie claims she found the nest back by the creek and she's excited to keep an eye out for him. Yes, I've cautioned her to stay away and that they'll bite if they're scared and that they don't get their shots which means she'll be getting HERS if she's bitten...
The boys were snuggling in the big chair and I couldn't resist.

And off went our visitor, this time out back. I had to take Triskal out on her leash in order to tie her out because she was in a tizzy. He must have strolled right across the deck and caught her eye.

When I put her out last night, there was either a mouse or a mole who scurried right past me quick when I turned the light on in the garage. I was wondering what it had been eating, because we only have pop and milk and juice out there... then I remembered the bags of birdseed Grandmama and PaPa had brought. I haven't had time to check if they're intact yet.
And it smelled REALLY skunky this morning when Carrie left for the bus. Certainly signs of spring with all these critters out and about! Yippieeeeee!