Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Oh, but we've been busy lately!

Last week Neil was presenting at the MSEC conference in Detroit. We missed him like crazy but we were so proud of his work & the recognition he received for his research! While he was gone we worked hard to keep ourselves busy (as Abigail said, we had to do lots of things so we could forget how much we missed him!).

We had a pizza party picnic at a playground one night, went to an origami class another night, spent a lot of time at the library, and the three oldest kids had an AMAZING time every morning attending vacation Bible school at a local church near our home. 

VBS is a really big thing here in the Midwest and we must have gotten mailers from six or seven different churches. The kids had a total blast and I was so impressed with all of the teachers & lessons. The kids focused all week on learning about Christ (their theme was "discover, decide, defend") and they read up on scriptural evidence of Christ's divine ministry. They had a secret agent theme and so the whole week was focused around searching for scriptural clues, etc. Very cute and so fun. On the last morning they had a cute program where they sang the songs they'd been learning that week and then dumped green slime over their teachers (the promised reward if the kids raised a certain amount of money for digging wells in Honduras). One of my very very favorite things about where we live is the opportunity that my children have to get to know so many good people of different faiths who have different beliefs than we do but are still trying their very hardest to be the best people they can be. 

A few other things we did while Neil was gone:

I painted our bathroom walls (I did the cabinets last summer but it took me an entire year to find time for the walls & trim!)

I made this map that I am SO in love with--it combines some of our very favorite imaginary lands like Narnia, Middle-Earth, Prydain, Neverland, etc., along with smaller locales like Treasure Island, the Enchanted Forest, the Hundred-Acre Wood, Miss Rumphius's house, the Little Brute family's cottage, Mr. McGregor's garden, etc. 

And...I continued to work on the laundry room. It's getting closer to being done! Mostly just painting left to do. 

After Neil got home, we did fun things this weekend like pick 18 lbs of strawberries (we made some delightful peach/plum/strawberry jam!)

At some point during the weekend we ate ice cream for lunch.

And on Saturday night we went to a local wolf preserve to listen to a string quartet play along with the wolves (it was called "Howling Mozart"). We meandered around and visited the wolves, checked out the bison, and wondered what the foxes would say if they woke up (ring ding ding!). And then we roasted some marshmallows because hurray, they had a fire going for just that purpose! Our family ended up on the park's Facebook page later that night with all of our roasting sticks in hand.

 Nathan was having sooo much fun yanking Neil's hat/hair/head around.

 Can you spot the bison? There was the cutest little calf bouncing all over the place.

And back at home with our own wildlife...Lukie and his beloved Yoda chicken. Pants optional, chicken required.

 Did I mention that Tottles is walking around everywhere? Because he is. And he is the most darling thing. Last night we were out looking at the chickens together and they were all clucking happily and I heard him whisper, "Bok bok bok...bok bok bok." So sweet and dear. He has been running a fever the last couple of days and so he wants to spend all his time cuddling his mama.

 More chickens--Abigail and our chicken-falcon Gloria. This bird is awesome.
 And Pomegranate--whom we heard crow four times yesterday! Oh boy...literally. The kids have been debating whether we should give Pomegranate to the zoo, give him to some friends to eat, or eat him ourselves. Neil and I would like to keep him around for a bit and sort of see how things go, but if he's noisy, then...he will be moving on to greener pastures of some sort or another. He's such a beautiful bird that I'm so sad he turned out to be a rooster! He has these gorgeous glossy black feathers that shade to deepest green in the sun. This is what he will look like when fully grown. Gorgeous, right?

A few more random images from our summer thus far...

 Jules sticking up our scaled solar system--it stretches all the way down one hallway. Luke solemnly told Neil at dinner that "I made dee ast-er-oids." So cute!

 This is how the kids spend literally half of their free time--digging up weeds in the garden to feed to
the chickens. Um, hello, why did we not get chickens before?! I haven't had to weed at all lately!

 No, we hadn't been biking--that's just how Isaac rolls.Abigail, as always, has turned out some really amazing stuff on her Rainbow Loom. Yesterday she started making some characters from Frozen (pictured are Anna and Elsa; she followed a video tutorial for Elsa but made Anna on her own) and then today she decided that they needed some companions, so now we also have Christophe and Hans. Plans for Olaf are in the works.

Canning apricot/strawberry jam, apricot jam, and apricots...yum yum! The kids are such good helpers--seriously! They work like crazy and make things go so much faster.


Meghan said...

Maybe Isaac has a helmet because Luke has a trowel? Smart boy.
Such a fun summer. Hope it keeps up the way it's begun.

Kayli said...

Oh sigh! Jealousy--I really REALLLY want chickens, not because I care about birds or eggs or chicken meat, but those SOOOOOOOOOOOO STINKIN ADORABLE pictures of kids with chickens!!!!!! Keep them coming!

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