Saturday, August 29, 2015

Water balloon battle

"Parents, if you want to get a water balloon and get the kids, feel free!"

"Ready? Set? GOOOOOO!"

Big "Kids" Win

Picnic in the Park, Karate-Style

Kudos to the Principal of our elementary school who has begun a blog instead of sending home monthly newsletters. Because of this, I learned how to blog from my phone.

Well, I should clarify. I learned that it's theoretically possible to blog from my phone. This is my first attempt.

So there was far too much food! 

And water guns. Nuff said.

They're giving away the prizes from drawing tickets for a Kalahari trip so we're all waiting with bated breath to see if we won a way away from cabin fever. There's also movie tickets, a Cedar Point trip, etc...

There are plenty of hot, sweaty, wet, and sugared kids. I suppose plenty of the adults are, too! I saw the remnants of the dessert table. There are lots of opportunistic bees, as well.

No luck for us yet, but we've been assured there are tons of prizes to be given out during the kids' games so the likelihood of anyone going home empty-handed is low. 

Enjoy your day! I'll try to get more pictures as it goes... TTFN!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Life is Stranger than Fiction, and involves fish

On our way to the bus stop this morning, Carrie and I notice a plastic bag sitting in the driveway. My mind goes immediately to the children's book Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! It's written by April Pulley Sayre and beautifully illustrated by Annie Patterson.

In it, a baby turtle hatches, escapes the dangers on the beach, makes it into the relative safety of the waters, and is rescued more than once by well-meaning human beings. On one occasion, she is tempted to eat a tasty jellyfish which turns out to be a plastic bag. The bag is yanked out of the water before she can eat it, not knowing it could choke her or clog in her stomach.

So I say, "huh. Jellyfish."

Carrie smiles and picks up the bag, narrowly missing being squirted by the water inside. I tell her to be careful as she's dumping it out (who wants to start the day with wet tennis shoes?), and then I hear her exclaim, "Mama! There's a goldfish in here!"

Sure enough, there IS a goldfish, a for-real, live goldfish in this bag of now-nearly-no-water. I tell her to set it down while there's still some water in there and she, now wide awake, exhorts me to go put said goldfish into our "pond".

So here I go, lowering plastic baggie into the water for a few seconds to let more water in while poor little fishie gets somewhat acclimated to water that is full of dead mosquitoes, dead leaves, quite alive frogs, and goodness knows what else.

By the time the boys head out to the bus and stop to hunt for Mr. Fishie, he's either hiding somewhere, been eaten by a frog (is that possible?), or sucked up against one of the pump vents. What he is not is floating belly up. I warned Carrie he may not even survive until afternoon because of shock.

Dada says he's heard of finding cats and dogs in the driveway... but fish? Who does that!?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First day of school #8, I think

Okay, we've been here before. I believe this was Carrie's 8th first day of school, and every one of them has run something like this:

"Finding Nemo" clip

She gets so excited that she has a hard time sleeping. Her stomach fills with butterflies and her heart longs to be out of the house and back with her friends. So this is one happy chick:

First day of seventh grade already. Wow. We've had her forever.
Yes, she made the decorations on her shirt herself.

This is what "grin and bear it" looks like from Carrie, what "suck it in" looks like from Damon, and what pure excitement looks like from Liam. This is the first year he's ever been excited about going to school. I blame believe it had something to do with the excellent and fast open house we experienced the night before school began.

Grandmama was here to kick off the school year!

Look at these cute boys! Liam is brimming over. And then there's Bebeeeee... robe and all. He didn't start on Tuesday. His first day is Wednesday, but his open house was Tuesday. Kindergarten tends to be chaotic.

Here it comes! The bus, not the beans.

And there he goes. Big kids off to a great start!
"Bring me another mai tai!"
Just kidding...

Damonater Vs School, Day 1

Look who is humungous and ready for Kindergarten. I don't know how this kid managed to sleep last night- he's been so excited for days that I'm surprised he hasn't combusted!

I'd like to get one of these shots every month around the same time, so if I forget, you guys get on me! I want to see how the light changes, how fast they grow, and how many layers of clothes we'll need! This is around 8 AM mid-August.

They got ready fast because they're excited by the newness of school, so there was plenty of time to be cheeseballs.

And they're off. First day of school for Damon, first day they've all been gone all day... ever!
Freeeeeeedom, oh freeeeedom, freeeeedom...

"We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you this news:"

#justwhatweneeded, #ohcrap, #dontshowthekids

Monday, August 17, 2015

Twas the Night Before School Starts

Twas the night before school starts
and all through the house
just one creature was sleeping
and twas not a mouse.

No stockings made up
the school clothes laid out.
Twas to be shorts and Tshirts
for sun, super hot.

A little rain, too,
was suppos'd to fall,
that dampened not their excitement,
no, not quite at all.

Supplies'd been delivered
to classrooms already,
some teachers'd been met
with excitement so heady.

All that remained was to sleep!
But how could one do it
while bursting one's seams
with energy? How to it?!

While Damonater slept sound
with big feet sticking out,
brother Liam rocked forward,
and aft, all about.

Sister Carrie read books,
her stomach aflutter
with eagerness and impatience
to leave brothers asunder.

With AC not working,
(had not been for days)
Grandmama chilled in the basement
to escape the hot haze.

Mama did last minute Stuff
that oft' has to be done
to have kids ready for the bus
so they'd not have to run.

The weeks would spell freedom
to a Mama who'd had
years full of kids in her home.
She was glad, she was sad.

The "baby" would be off
at Big Kid School all day;
she wondered how she'd feel
to soon send him away.

Time's going so fast
and there's so much to do,
but Tomorrow is coming
and bringing much new!

So cherish the little ones
while they're around;
they make messes and chaos,
full of dirt, bugs, and sound.

But they're also so funny
and silly and sweet.
It won't be long now
'fore they grow into their feet!

Happy last night of summer
(vacation, that is);
may the 2015 school year
be the best that there is!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nature post

I will get back to the beach vacation pictures eventually, but these guys were just too pretty to not share. I've turned them into my cover photo on Facebook, but since not all of you are on there, check out our gorgeous hostas. Hosta? Hosti?

Disclaimer: Carrie took the rest of these photos. I did some slight editing, including text.
We've really enjoyed our feathered friends this year. Our wrens out from have several different songs and lots of energy. And now, new babies. We're being scolded when we're weeding too close to the wren houses, but it is so much fun to watch them flitting and feeding and singing their hearts out. Biiiig vocal chords for such tiny birds!

Okay, that one is not a wren. He may be one of our super naughty piggies squirrels who dismantle birdfeeders and sneak our suet. We do get a kick out of watching them scamper, though!

Yes, these are not wrens either, I know. Carrie has developed an affinity for frogs this summer. She's caught them and named them and tried to band their legs with blades of grass. Apparently the smart, best hider is Einstein, but there is also Bleep, Beep, and Bounce. Our frogs don't say "ribbit" or "kneedeep"... they definitely "bleep" and "beep!"

I think she wanted to show you that we have trees? We have lots of trees, and the apple/buckeye/walnut/pinecone/leaves mess is already starting to commence. Yellow leaves from locust trees are drifting across the driveway. 
Our butterfly garden is doing its job- we saw several friends gathering within it yesterday. I weeded some of the jungle courtyard yesterday before it got hot, but there's more work to be done there. The apple trees' branches are so weighted down that backing out the mower is a two person job. One to drive and the other to attempt to lift the branches out of the way so they don't lose all their apples. We are already looking forward to applesauce.
The garden is a bit pitiful this year. After swimming for so much of early summer, the weeds moved in and proceeded to choke off just about everything. We've had not even a dozen of our cherry tomatoes- so sad- and the regular sized ones aren't nearly as tall or as numerous as they should be. The melons look okay, even growing their way out of the fence; my pepper plant is a disaster, as someone or something got into the fence (or leaned over it) and nibbled most of it. I should probably go check it and see who needs rescued before it's incredibly hot today and tomorrow...
This is the last weekend before school starts, and we're as ready as we'll ever be. Things One and Three can't wait to start. Thing Two is asking to be homeschooled. Happy end of summer vacation and happy first days to all y'all!

Friday, August 14, 2015

O, Canada! Again.

So, whaddaya do with only a few days left before school begins?

Beat children?

Oh darn. That was my out loud voice again. Drat. Just kidding! You take them to Canada.  Mainly because they're friendly there, and they'll be good influences on you and your children will make it to the next school year in one piece.


Anyway, what do you do in Canada? You eat! Who spends 60 dollars (Canadian, of course) in a single bakery? That'd be us!

As you can see, Carrie is having a little trouble with her thinly sliced, powdered sugared whatever-it-is:

The boys had no trouble devouring pizza, however. And there was a pool in the hotel where we stayed overnight, so that kept us busy until our extended check out expired and Dada came back from his plant visit to rescue us. Good thing, too, as he'd also taken the car keys with him.

The kids are always up for pool and pull out bed and sleeping on the floor and eating out. It was a quick trip, but we had a fun time.
And my favorite sign, followed by my train of thought, ran thus:
"Hands-free devices only."
Hmm, must throttle kids remotely. Voice-activated, perhaps.
We could be onto something here!