Friday, June 29, 2012


I had to make my way back to work the rest of this week, but the boys could still play with the alphabet.  

They painted faces, and used flash cards

We played games, wrote haikus and played hide and seek.

On G day they also started the Star Wars episodes.

Haiku's on the walls, haiku's in the halls. 

Under the shade tree 
in his fluffy cotton tail
the red panda sleeps

The small stripey gourd 
squats, hidden under the leaves
avoiding summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Raising Butterflies

A couple of weeks ago I ordered caterpillars in the mail so we could raise our own butterflies.
 I thought we would all be excited about it. 
I thought it would be a learning experience at least for Cash who has never witnessed this.
I thought children would check on the caterpillars progress daily.
but we got them in the mail and no one seemed to pay them much mind.
I would sit and watch those little guys munch on their food daily 
and I thought no one else was watching. 
No one else was cheering on our baby caterpillars to literally grow wings and fly. 
The caterpillars soon were hanging upside down and I was even more excited then. They one by one fell into place and hung by their tails from the top of their cup.
 Fat and happy. 
The following day I propped my chin on the counter and watched them morph into chrysalises completely in awe, but also alone. 
Jack reading, and the other 3 playing with trains.

6 days later
While I was at work, Keith and the boys were coloring rocks (rock art) Jack suddenly jumped up and screamed! " Ahhhhhhhhh! Daddy the butterflies!!!"
They had hatched and he had screamed it out in excitement! 
He then called me at work to tell me
and it made me so happy to know the butterflies had hatched and to know he was excited enough to call me and tell me.
And it made me very happy to later see him chin propped on the counter watching the butterflies shake off the rest of their cocoons.

So maybe they did watch them when I wasn't looking 
and maybe they did quietly cheer them on 
and maybe they weren't so indifferent after all. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beach day

This morning we hit the beach, bright and early we made it there with the intentions of beating the heat.....but then again it is late June in Texas. There is no escaping the summer heat without a little rain. Thankfully our friends the Blackhearts(blog here) brought a tent to provide shade and the sun was not so oppressive after all.
I just love the stage Rose B. is in. When she first saw us she ran up to me and said "LOOK AT MY PONY TAIL!" I looked, "That's beautiful Rose!" "MY DADDY DID IT! ......I'm thirsty"

 Although there was almost no wind we were still able to get our kite pretty high up in the sky :)

Everyone ended up joining in a mission to dig to china or mexico. Which later turned into Little Rose and Ryan's "bubble bath"

 Ryan successfully made herself look like a beach bum zombie baby with dark red cherry stains all around her mouth and sand covering her head to toe. Future Halloween costume?

This is Cash's new thing when he doesn't want his picture taken....

After making it home safe and sound a beautiful storm broke the hot still air and brought us about 10 minutes of rain.  Keith, Jack and yours truly were able to play barefoot on the steaming cement while ice cold drops of rain trickled down our legs. We could not coax the little ones out to play in the rain but soon enough I am sure they will. After last summer's drought any summer rain calls for celebration and play. 

Tomorrow is back to work, I look forward to next week's celebrations, family visits and time off.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday-D day

It sounds way worse than it actually is. 

I actually said it out loud while we were eating donuts for lunch.

"We are having donuts for lunch on D-day "(only sibling battles here)
Maybe D day shouldn't be declared everywhere we go.

We are four days into working our way through the alphabet, here are a few of the things we have done as of yet:

Astros game
Sighting a firework show afterwards
While beautiful is a little crushing to see all of the damaged suffered from last year's drought
Cash was extremely unhappy about leaving and as always there were about 3 dogs and a cat that I wanted to take home with us.

Breakfast for dinner
Homemade Cinnamon French toast where one 8 year old exclaimed "These are so yummy, thank you for making them!"
Blowing Bubbles(really they just dumped them out)
Board games
Because we were busy early in the morning on B-day we decided to do the beach tomorrow on E day.(It's allowed)

Baking Cookies for friends
Making Collages
Yuliya's mainly consisted of pretty dresses and a Toy Story 3 picture,
Jack declared his unfinished, but so far looks great having hunted down fantastic photos.

Donuts for lunch
Cash, who is not a fan of donuts opted to just eat the icing off of a cake donut.
Not being a fan myself, I observed.
Discovery Green
Dock Dogs

Tomorrow we head to the beach with friends on E day.

I realize we aren't there in the alphabet yet, but have I mentioned that we play trains nearly every day? This was one of my favorite inside toys as a kid. It delights me that all of the children participate in the building/playing process.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Alphabet Summer

Friday marks our summer through the alphabet. We will try to hit as many as we can.

Today we spent 2.5 hours at the dentist office with 4 children....that was a blast...but they all did very well.

Later we went to see Dock Dogs at the park (Dog Olympics) we were splashed by dogs jumping as far as 23 feet! We capped off the night at a baseball game, watching Friday night fireworks. By the time we left all the little birds were so sleepy siblings couldn't help but snuggle each other.

Yes we sent this photo to family, and showed the kids when they were awake. They insist that's not the way they were sitting...they definitely insist that they were in fact NOT sleeping

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Land owners

The boys arrived today!
 I think they didn't mind flying alone in the least, what do you think?

Keith's summer sabbatical being a stay at home dad is in full swing today. I think it has started of well, Sam as happy as can be to play trains and Jack humming around the house beaming from ear to ear at all of the new books to read. 

In other news:

Yesterday we officially became land owners! 
After meeting the previous owners and closing on the property we went out there where our Realtor (Keith's Aunt Sheri) gifted us with this great bench! I was able to put it right where I previously stated I wanted a bench. We also planted a beautiful Plumbago near the mailbox marking our arrival. Thank you to Sheri and Paul for all of the help trekking around this land with us helping us decide if it was the spot for us. 

Keith also spent quite a while trying to check dam one of the creeks on the property and returned with hundreds of tiny stickers all over his person and embedded deep in his hair. 

Adventures begin! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To my dad on his birthday.

(Most likely Attached to some funny card making fun of how old people like you can’t have fun anymore)

Happy Birthday Dad!

Almost 60 huh…I wish you were here to go out to eat with before 5 and shopping on Tuesdays, I’ve always envied that senior discount. I’m sure you’re caught up on life, being all seeing or all knowing or simply just floating around in the valleys of Zion attached to the back of some critter sun bathing in sweet Utah summers.  Or…you read my blog too…flattering dad!

The other day I was telling Keith about how I learned to ride my bike, and it reminded me that it wasn’t you who had that pleasure…sorry about that.  I've got to say, I wasn't gung ho about it in the first place. Remember when I made that vow at age 3 to never get on a bike/tricycle again after falling off? And then we went and moved down the street from a massive cacti bush. I can honestly say..this was definitely no motivation for changing my mind. Really.. it was better I learned away from that threat.(Although I would still shake and get a little woozy riding past it for at least 2 years)  As a parent I now understand the pride in teaching your children things like this, especially bike riding, something we both loved. 

But we had flying kites and sailing in catamarans.

And you did teach me plenty of other things, sometimes while I dug my heels in the ground.
But at least I know how to get sap off my person, and cactus out of my feet. 

On your birthday we think of you, I remind the kids even though their grandpas aren't physically with us now, they were at one point. 

I hope you are really getting a kick out of all of this year's misfortunes and trial and errors. That the kids' adventures keep you entertained and you cringe at every new color I paint the walls. (Remember making me cringe?)

Happy Birthday old man, you are missed.

Your darling dear
Little monsters

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Closing tomorrow!

Welcome to our new chunk of land.
Let me show you around....
See all of the crispy trees? This land was part of a wildfire last year, we can't wait to help it recover.
Okay now look way down, see the creek? There are a couple of wet weather creeks here.

This is by far my favorite spot on the property, there is always a breeze shooting through here. 
I want to smack a bench down right where I stood to take this picture. 

The land will require a lot of work, replanting to prevent erosion, dams in the creeks and just plain old love but I hope to update with pictures next spring with all the new growth and change. 

Tomorrow is closing day.
Tomorrow is the first day of this property's new life with aspiring permaculturist owners. 
We will treat it well. 
We will help it thrive and try to make all its visitors and animals that call it home healthy and happy.
Heck, we might even give it birthday parties. 

P.S. Tomorrow is also my dad's birthday, doing this makes me happy, and I think he would have been happy to trek around on this nice little chunk of land.

Monday, June 18, 2012


My sister called me last week telling me about the terrible twos hitting her household early, with fits and "Mine!"'s tossed everywhere. She called me and told me about her latest trip to the store where my sweet little niece yelled "Mine!" every few feet down the aisles and then threw a fit as my sister didn't give in. She said "I know everyone in the store must have thought I was a bad mom" 

And it all came rushing back.....that feeling you get when your first child starts acting like this and in public no less! Completely mortified, where did my sweet cuddly baby go that laughed at everything, why can't she be here for strangers to oohh and aw at the cute cooing sounds and mispronunciations of "shoe's" and "yogurt"

Where is MY child? What happened overnight?

I can remember the first time Yuliya "threw a fit" she was a little over a year old and just had barely entered the realm of walking. She must have seen a friend at school do it....b/c while the effort was there she really didn't have a good grip on the act. (No worries, she was a pro by 3, and thankfully has now outgrown it.) But that day, , she wanted something...probably a toy, maybe something pink and she didn't get it. 
So she slowly teetered herself to the ground (obviously fearful of just throwing herself down) and sort of melted there and let out the teeniest of grunts. Chris and I looked at each this a tantrum?

Wow...she sucks at this.

Little did we know she would develop that skill into the full blown tantrum, most effective when in public. This  stage almost no parent escapes right after the sweet cuddly baby stage.

I too remember thinking what Amy thought as I ignored the wailing emitting from my tiny tot in the booster seat next to me at a restaurant. Feeling like every person near me was glaring me down, thinking "just give the kid what she wants"!

Then I learned that patio seating is prime for children. 

But later I one really cares. 

Most parents that have been there totally get it. And those that aren't parents and do in fact think "What a horrible mom"....well who cares!

We are molding the next generation to eat their peas, clean their rooms and not be spoiled brats. This is very important business! We are responsible for making sure these wailing babies grow up to be thoughtful, giving, eloquent, responsible adults.  Sometimes that means saying no, and dealing with the consequences, because as a parent we have consequences too. And saying no is never easy. does get easier....

but then...
you hit the "why?" phase

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's June 15th

In case you had not had a chance to look at a calendar yet today. I'll let you know, it's June 15th. 

That means:
  •  Almost half of this year has gone by without me realizing it! 
  • Yuliya starts school in 3 months
  • Cash is three!
  • I have more work to do on my new years goals
  • We are now on week 16 of the kitchen repair 4 week kitchen repair
  • The boys will be here in less than a week
  • I read the hunger games but never saw the movie, pretty sure it's no longer in theaters
  • I still haven't finished my bucket list
  • And Summer is officially here!
I can't believe half of this year is already almost behind us. 

We have created two to-do lists. One for this weekend, which involves:
  •  Painting the kids bunk beds yellow
  •  Painting their room 
  •  Reorganizing the room
  •  Weeding the yard 
  •  Trying our hand at once a month vegetarian cooking.

Our second list is a Summer List
Things we would like to accomplish this summer while Keith is home for a month, and I am home for 2 weeks.
This is what we have:

·         Nature walk
·         Run in sprinklers
·         Donuts for breakfast
·         Swimming
·         Splash pad
·         Play at the park
·         Put on play/make a movie
·         Bubble blowing
·         Go to the movies
·         Write a story
·         Water balloons
·         Bake treats
·         Make a mud pie
·         Face paint
·         Hide and seek
·         Smores
·         Watch fireworks
·         Write a letter & mail it
·         Go camping
·         Go bowling
·         Roll down a hill
·         Wash the cars
·         Paint rocks with crayons
·         Scavenger hunt
·         Photo shoot
·         Movie marathon in pajamas
·         Baseball game
·         Water park
·         Discovery Green kayaks
·         Zoo
·         Roller skate
·         Make smoothies
·         Plant plant
·         Make a mural
·         Breakfast for dinner
·         Build a fort
·         Ice cream truck
·         Origami
·         Beach
·         Ride bikes
·         Food stamps(out of potatoes, celery and citrus)
·         Marble art
·         Bake cookies for friends
·         Croquet
·         Playground
·         Play with animals at caps/spca
·         Hand print art
·         Scavenger hunt
·         Feed ducks
·         Tour and take cookies to fire station
·         Swim
·         Twister
·         Soccer
·         Board games
·         Blue Bell tour 
·         Mini golf
·         Kids plan dinner
·         Fly kites
·         Planetarium
·         Service project
·         Library
·         Puzzles
·         Take a class
·         Build an obstacle course
·         Slip and slide
·         Eat watermelon
·         Make a collage
·         Make a race track
·         unbirthday party
·         Sparklers
·         Breakfast at the park
·         Texture coloring
·         Arboretum
·         Make a bird feeder
·         Make silhouettes
·         Write a poem
·         Write a story using paint names
·         Write a haiku
·         Glowstick art
·         Make a volcano
·         Fruit power battery
·         Visit the Museums
·         Watch a play at Miller Outdoor theater 
·         Yoga
·         Discovery green
·         Dynamo game
·         Go tubing
·         Astros game
·         Natural Bridge Caverns

It's a lot I know, but the goal is to try to do at least half of these things. I will have a list in the kitchen to cross them off as we go. 

All activities are open, if you are interested in joining us. :) 
Here we go onto summer time adventures.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Birthday parties in our house are a big deal, I always try to make them as magical as I can with each kid. Knowing I put in all my effort and creativity to make their day is important to me.  Yuliya in particular loves to think up what sort of parties we should have for everyone..........including Soldier.

She told me last night that we should have a Spiderman party for Soldier. 
This is her latest grand idea.
 I asked her if she thought people would come. 
She's certain they will. 

I think maybe we will have a party for him sometime soon, but it will involve peanut butter, doggy treats, the six of us and maybe letting him run down the street with no leash. 

Sorry Soldier you're 52 in dog should be throwing me parties!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pink is the new purple

Remember when I told you all Yuliya completely ditched pink for purple? Today was wear your favorite color to school day and she declared it pink. 

Annnnd we're back people!

 Purple is a semi impossible color to find in many things. I clearly remember sorting baby clothes with my large 8 month pregnant Yuliya belly gazing at the mountain of clothes that looked much like a big wad of pink bubble gum thinking.....I don't know what I will do if she's a girly girl....this is far too much pink. 

I was excited when she was under one and seemed to gravitate towards anything yellow.  I like yellow, its always cheery, unisex, and semi easy to find. But after she turned one I became used to her habit of always wanting pink, pink shoes, pink bows, pink dresses, pink cups, plates, and bowls. And you know....the color even started making its way into my wardrobe.

So it was a bit of a surprise to me when she announced purple was now the chosen color...I asked for many confirmations and was always assured..this is it Momma. Six months have gone by and I oh how I missed pink, it turns out it is actually fairly rare that you find a purple option in most things. 
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder....I believe it.

Also a Happy Happy Birthday to my sister Amy! We hope you have a wonderful day!
This is her " I am going to have a wonderful day" pose

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cash's party

Monster grins for all
We ended up making over 20 monsters out of cardboard boxes!
It was a Monster Bash! Here are a few pictures.... This camera has been washed and dried, so I am pretty impressed with the fact that we still had a camera to use, despite the quality.
ball toss
monster dominoes
A birthday banner to color in, compliments of Keith
Plenty of monster activities, making picture frames, light switch covers, coloring, book marks and Oobli eyes!

Plenty of monster food.
And last but not least the birthday monster eating his cake.

Thank you to all who could come out and celebrate turning 3 with us. It was a blast and we hope to see everyone again next year!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to Mr. Cash

To my little Mr. that seems to be growing up far faster than I would like. He turns three today. What a great three years he has given me so far. 
My always happy and cuddly little boy who will stop in from zooming around the house with cars like a race car driver in for a tune up just to give his momma a kiss. 
I can't wait to see what you do over the years and how you turn out. Your sister always guiding your way. 
I am proud to be your momma, and so glad you asked for crackers yet again for your birthday. (I wonder when that will stop)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Guess who made her very own fairy garden this memorial day weekend…. Doesn't she look super pumped about it? She spent the rest of the day dying to spend as much time as we could outside so she could hangout with her fairies. I am in no way ashamed to admit that I had a lot of fun making it and enjoy finding little things to add to her garden now. Last night I made a few additions of a bench under the bonsai tree, small ground cover for a lawn, a picket fence and a couple of potted flowers(tiny pots)We still want to paint the fairy house pretty bright colors and find more furniture for the yard but it’s a nice start.                                 Don't tell Yuliya but you may or may not find me playing fairies when she's not looking.


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