Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Uninvited House Guest

Well, we have been the hosts to an uninvited guest for a little over a week now. The kids call him Hermie after Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends series.

Last Monday afternoon while swinging out in the yard Kiersten & Isaiah noticed a caterpillar climbing on the swing set. I don't recall which child did it, but the caterpillar was brought inside with a lilac leaf with pleas to keep it. We had no jars to speak of that would be roomy enough and I had no clue how to keep a caterpillar. Thankfully all this is so easy to learn with internet access.

So a few minutes later I was a bit more informed on how to take care of caterpillars and on what types of leaves they generally prefer. We were given the hint that a small plastic fish container that can be carried and has breathing 'holes' on the top would do a rather wonderful job to house a caterpillar. So off we went to the local pet shop to purchase said container, I mean house. :)

After we got him situated in his new house I went exploring around our yard to grab some different food for our new friend. Lilac leaves were not on the list of favorite or common caterpillar foods. Fortunately for me my first choice was the right choice and our hungry friend went on a feeding frenzy.

Needless to say 1 week exactly after we brought Hermie into our house he formed a chrysalis. It was funny though because the night before he had hung himself upside down and formed what looked like a J. His little head was curved up. Well, there he stayed and when we woke in the morning he was in the same position. So the kids and I headed off to swim lessons and when we got home....wouldn't you know that little bugger had transformed himself!

We figure he must have been a little shy about showing any man business so he chose the opportune time to change when all family members had vacated the premises! :)

We'll be keeping a close eye on him to see if we can't catch the last bit of metamorphosis and discover if our furry friend is a moth or a butterfly. Thinking and hoping butterfly, but time will tell.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Hey friends...I just really want to share with you and have you join me and countless others in praying for baby Stellan. His situation is dire at this point. Jennifer & her beloved have called family to come to the hospital- that's how serious his condition is today. So I am beseeching you to pray for their family as often as they come to your minds today.

You can see all that is happening if you follow Jennifer (MckMama's) twitter account. You can also follow her blog to hear how the family is doing.

I cannot explain my attachment to this family other than to say she is a fellow sister in Christ. That combined with being a Mom speaks to me on so many levels. Thanks for your prayers!

Stellan is being airlifted out to Boston (from Minneapolis). That is where the main specialist physician is who performed the ablation on Stellan's heart only a few short months ago. Keep the prayers coming!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

And fun they did have. This past weekend was all about the girls...sorry Isaiah. What had originally started out as a belated birthday party for Katie with the family turned into a busy day. We had dancing out at Krazy Daze as well. It is big sidewalk sales for businesses and is somewhat like a small festival. I am sure that doesn't make sense but it is the best I can do to explain it.

Anyhoo, Kiersten's dance instructor sets up a stage in the street and the kids perform their recital numbers. Since Kiersten missed the recital due to our trip to N.C. I really felt that regardless of how much it would add to the craziness of the day- we were doing it. So we had a quick lunch with some family (when you grill out it simplifies life) and then headed down to the sale/dance.

Kiersten did wonderful! It was her first time ever performing in front of a large group of people. When she practised earlier that morning it was hard to watch her because she didn't dance as confidant as she had just that morning at home. So when it was all said and done I asked her if she was nervous, or had been. She said at practice she was but she was better when they preformed. What a trooper!

This is most of her dancing class, although not all. Kiersten is in the back left. I have to tell you that this little boy was hysterical. The number they performed has a singing/motion beginning and then gets to the tap dancing the second half. He belted out the song with such gusto! You honestly couldn't hear any of the other kids because he held center court on that part of the performance. It was sweet and so kid like.

After the dancing it was back home for some cake and ice-cream.

At this point in the day Katie was pretty done but hadn't wanted to take that second nap. So she isn't as smiley...but she didn't cry either.

But even with a lack of sleep one is always up for a piece of cake...or just the frosting. Whatever works. :)

And what fun is cake if not to get it all over your face and in your hair? I mean, honestly, who doesn't need a good cake shampoo every now and again? :) Maybe it is all just a ploy to get a bath...because as with the other 2 bath time is something she enjoys. Hmmmm....

Here is a picture of Katie giving some lovin' to Grandma. Grandma's hair is so short because it is just growing in after chemotherapy. It was good of Katie to send some sugar her way as she was quite hurt when early on Katie would cry when she merely looked at Grandma. And be held by her? Oh no! That did not happen. But the neighbor lady across the street from Grandma...she could hold Katie no fuss or tears. Katie is trying to help Grandma forget their was a time she wasn't as fond of her. She bats those little lashes and smiles her minx smile working her magic on Grandma....and slowly but surely Grandma is getting amnesia about those early days. Way to work it girl!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Man vs. Nature

In the yearly battle of Husband vs. birds....Husbandry lost. :) He tried so hard to thwart the little buggers from nesting, yet again, in a basket of hanging flowers on the front porch. In the past we have bought baskets of impatiens. They are beautiful and full but have ample room within the basket to encourage nesting.

I, myself, love the impatiens hanging baskets. My Beloved rather favors the begonias- which are quite lovely as well. And seeing as I get to plant a row of impatiens just on the other side of the porch lining the driveway, it seemed rather selfish and hoggish to make all the annuals we buy impatiens. Last year we bought a mix - 1 basket of impatiens and 2 of begonias. But this year we made all 3 baskets begonias.

Mind you I was well aware there were ulterior motives to buying all begonias. If you have ever looked at begonia baskets you'll notice they are not very roomy near the dirt. They vine up rather tightly which was most definitely a ploy to strongly discourage any nesting.

Not a few days after we hung them up Kiersten points out the front window and sure enough those little Finch's are hopping from basket to basket with twigs in their mouths looking for just the right spot to grow their family. It was funny too because we watched him hop down in the basket and then the whole thing was jiggling as he tried to find a position with which to begin.

Well, to make an already long story short they managed to create their nest in exactly the same spot, regardless of which type of flower basket we put there. This will make year #4 they have put themselves to the basket just outside the front door. I will say this...they are persistent little buggers...and obviously creatures of habit!

Another year gone by, another battle lost. Birds 4: Beloved 0. Maybe next year, sweetie. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009


We had planned on hitting one of the North Carolina Aquariums while down South since the kids have never been to an aquarium. The weather provided a perfect afternoon to do just that. So off we went to Pine Knoll Aquarium just a few miles from where we stayed.

Even with this fun adventure...I was feeling a bit crabby. :) Hermit crabby that is!

As a matter of fact it seems that every one except my Beloved felt just the same. (Beloved just wasn't having any of this picture posing in the crab business. That is okay, I have what looks like him being chewed up for a shark snack! 1st picture above)

We saw all sorts of beautiful things - jellyfish, sea horses, tropical name it we saw it! The kids even had a little education on the Horseshoe Crab. I know this because my Beloved was more interested in what they learned as it applied to chemistry. (My Beloved's chosen field of education.) It seems the Horseshoe Crab has blue blood as it is copper based whereas our blood that is red is iron based. Anyhow, the guide picked one right up and showed them the underside of the crab and gave them an anatomy tour as well. Just as an F.Y.I. it isn't really a crab. Now is that not a deceiving name if ever you heard one?! :)

We had a wonderful time and hope to visit another aquarium on adventures later this summer. We'll see if I find myself in a better know a little less crabby. :) Have a good day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fun in the Sun

As mentioned we recently took a trip out to North Carolina. We stayed in Emerald Isle...a strip of land just off the coast of N.C. The drive was gorgeous...especially through Kentucky and parts of Tennessee. We skirted Great Smoky Mountain National Park, so you can imagine how beautiful that was. Trees seriously everywhere.

A quick side note in talking about the beauty of all we physically saw in nature around us. My beloved and I are apart of a study this summer called The Truth Project, put together by Focus on the Family. Anyhow, it has come up on more than one occasion about the beauty of God's creation testifying to the wonderful God who created it. How it is plain to man...that God exists just solely based on what he can see around him. (Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.) Isn't God just awesome that way? He doesn't need a word to be spoken...just His glorious creation says it all.

Alright, back to our trip. We stayed a mere row of houses away from the actual beach front so it was no trouble to don some sandals and head to the beach.

Kiersten was no worry as far as the water was concerned. She has no real interest of going in too deep or too far. (Hopefully the start of some swim lessons in a few weeks will help diminish some of her fear of water.)

Isaiah on the other hand was constantly running in and out of the water. You definitely had to keep a good eye on him and be close by. He just didn't get how powerful the waves were and how they could literally knock him off his little feet!

That isn't to say he ran out farther than calf deep, because he didn't. But even just that deep and the waves came close to taking him down. He just loved being in the water.

We, my Beloved and I, each got to spend a bit of quality time with Isaiah as Kiersten wanted to hang out with the older girls, my cousin Becca and her friend Savannah. Katie took her 2 naps a day and wasn't much of a beach bum- which left just the biggest man. :)

One of the best things about being around Isaiah is hearing his most contagious giggle. He would laugh and giggle when the waves would chase him. He would laugh and giggle when we would kick at the water. He laughed and he giggled and we smiled and just enjoyed him.

The few times I did get some alone time with Kiersten we picked seashells. As you can see there were just tons of them. Each new high tide took some out and then brought more in. Many of them crushed...but there were always a few treasures if you looked closely. We were especially on the look out for shells with natural holes in them so that we could make a bracelet or necklace out of them. The bag full of shells we brought home will be displayed in a glass bowl in the kids bathroom which is fish/ocean themed, if you will.

My Beloved was on the quest to find a whole sand dollar. He found bits and pieces of several but never a whole one. (We did the cheesy thing and bought one for him at one of the many touristy gift shops to bring home. Isn't that love in action? :))

And just to prove Katie went with us here she is on the beach. I think it was one of her only times out there as she just didn't seem to enjoy herself. The feel of sand on her bare feet just wasn't her thing. Crawling and walking on it? Out of the question. It just didn't seem right not to show her too, even if the picture is a poor one.

I must mention the first morning we were there, as I waited at the house while Katie slept, my Beloved and kids went out to the beach and saw a school of dolphins! The girls, Becca and Savannah, also found a jellyfish washed up on shore. They tried to throw it back in the water only to be stung by the already dead jellyfish. So later on in the week when they found another one, and no I did not see that one either, they wisely left it alone.

What a wonderful week! More on it later. Blessings to you!