Thursday, May 21, 2009

Butterflies Flutter-by

As part of our biology studies this year, we decided to raise some butterflies...

We placed an online order for some Painted Lady's and waited for the UPS man to deliver our package. When they arrived, we were all shocked to see just how small the little larvae were.
We did our best to create a comfy place for them to eat and grow inside of the plastic terrarium that came with our order. A few sticks from the yard, some cheesecloth to cover the large holes, and some plastic "dishes" full of "food", and we were in business.
They ate like crazy and grew...

and grew!
In a little over a week, we had big fat caterpillars making a trek to the top of the terrarium to make their incredible transformation.
And a short time after that, they emerged from their slumber.

Amanda wasn't too happy when I told her that we needed to let them go in the backyard. I think she wanted to keep them as pets. Eventually she got used to the idea and we all headed out to the yard to set them free.
(The three extra kids in the photo are cousins.)

Gently reaching in to help them get out...

One of them LOVED Jaxon and didn't want to fly away!

They were all pretty tame and didn't mind crawling all over the kid's little hands.

After placing them on flowers, they eventually flew away. We still see one or two of them flying around the yard, I guess even butterfly kids are sometimes reluctant to leave home!
In a completely unrelated story, my 10 year old Chinese Wisteria finally bloomed. I'm not sure if it is supposed to take that long, or if I'm just a poor gardener.
Whichever the case, it was worth the wait.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I wonder how the conversation for the day started....
Hey, what should we do today? Anyone up for jumping off Mom's dresser on to her bed? Oh that old tired game? No, we did that yesterday, and for three days before.

I know, lets flip her mattress up, lean it on the dresser and make a slide out of it. We've got cousin Melody here to help, I'm sure the 5 of us can lift this gigantic mattress....

Oooops, we ripped the mattress pad. Oh well, just don't get stuck in it on the way down. Oh hey, can one of you close the door so mom doesn't know what we're up to? (Which is exactly how I know when they may be doing something questionable but they haven't figured that out yet so close the door all you want kiddos!!)
To the mattress sliders I say:

Eventually Mom will find you and....

take pictures.

Oh, I'm so ashamed of my lack of discipline :o)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Blue Can You Make Me?

Amanda got some blue nailpolish last time we went to the store together.

No one is safe from the blue enamel coated bristles in the hands of a 6 year old girl. Carson gladly stood and allowed Amanda to give him a manacure that matched the NASCAR costume he was wearing, except for the silver sparkles she added as a bonus.

I wonder if the other drivers would like her to paint their nails. I think they could open up a whole new line of sponsors.
Just think of the opportunities.

Tears For the Freeman's

Many of us have followed the story of little Kayleigh Anne Freeman. Last night, her parents said good-bye to her for one final time in this life.
May God comfort them as they face what must be the hardest challenge a parent could ever have to face.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Me Too

A few days ago I took the kids to Wal-Mart with me for our weekly shopping trip. I've always dressed the kids alike, especially when heading out to someplace crowded and public, as it really helps when trying to keep the kids together in a group and facilitates in locating a straggler. Needless to say, we get stared at a lot and I get a lot of comments. Usually people are very nice and are just intrigued by the novelty of 4 little ones all the same age. Ocasionally, we run into someone who obviously doesn't understand what an incredible blessing children are.

Please remind me to keep my mouth shut if I become bitter in my later years.

As I went to the checkout, cart heaping with a weeks worth of provisions for 6 people, we must have caught the eye of an older lady and her husband. She took it upon herself to think that I wanted to hear her opinion and stated (rather rudely) "Glad it's you and not me." I've heard this statement before, but most people say it in a joking manner. This woman couldn't have been more serious. Caught completely off guard I said the only thing that I could...

"Yeah, me too."

Some people have no idea what they're missing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Transposed Letters, Transposed Meaning

This has to be one of the funniest e-mails I've ever received. I can only imagine how hard the child's teacher must have laughed.

I think I'd give it an A+!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Family....The New "F" Word?

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I spend more time out in my beautiful yard. Gardening has always been one of my favorite things to do, I always feel a little more sane after spending a few hours out in God's great art project. I really like having an opportunity to really think about who I am, how I feel about many different topics, what kind of a mother I want to be to my children, and what I need to do to be a better wife to my incredible husband. Sometimes I'm just deep in thought about how much I love my life, other times, I'm having a political rant in my head.
Today, while planting my nasturtiums and pulling weeds, I really had some time to dissect a recent news segment that really caused me to wonder how we've gone so terribly wrong as a society. The discussion was about whether or not you should lend money to family in today's crumbling economy. Three financial "experts" all weighed in on how, and when, it is appropriate to lend to family. All of them recommended having contracts drawn up, signed in blood, and notarized. They even went so far as to suggest hiring a third party company to facilitate the loan thus relieving you of the job of collecting on the debt should it go unpaid. (WOW, I wonder what that costs?) All three suggested caution in making sure that the need for the loan was genuine and that it was being used for something appropriate. (Hey, where are these people when Uncle Sam is asking me for more money?)

Ummmmm, forgive me but did I miss something??? I thought we were discussing FAMILY here. You know, those people for which we have been given the duty to look out for, care for, and love? I didn't realize that family had become the new "F" word. Goodness, I can't imagine asking my sister for a loan only to find that she would require interest and a strict repayment plan complete with late fees and penalties. Do you bring that up before or after the blood oath and pinky swear?? Honestly, forget the contracts and never loan money to family that you can't afford to give away. Otherwise you're just setting yourself up to allow the almighty dollar to cause pain, anguish and ruin relationships. And before you go off thinking I'm all Pollyanna and have to remind me that many people have family members out there who will take advantage of anybody, including their own mother, let me say that I get it. I also think it's pretty sad that those individuals have forgotten their duties to their families and think it is OK to use and abuse the people with whom they will always have an unbreakable bond.
The way I see it, I believe that everything we have was given to us by a higher authority and doesn't really "belong" to us anyway. If your family needs help, and you have the means to do so, then I think you ought to help. Pretty simple huh? I also happen to believe that unless we get back to the basics of helping those who are closest to us, the government will just continue to spiral out of control. You see, the government has been bailing out failed family systems for years, now it's extending itself to bailing out failed corporations. Just think of how much better off we could all be if we simply took care of our families first.

Imagine this: if we would help our family members during times of financial hardship, instead of them going on some type of public assistance, there would be much less need for the government to involuntarily take your money, filter it through a maze of terrible management and then eventually give it to your family member anyway. I can only imagine how much of our money is wasted in government systems that are poorly managed and completely inefficient. I can hand my brother $100 and know that he got every penny. I hand the government $100 and I have no idea where it goes.

The same could be true when dealing with this country's health care crisis. I take my kids to a pediatrician who has never had health insurance, he doesn't believe in it. He takes the money that he would be shelling out to insurance companies every month and puts it into a savings account, as does most of his close and extended family members. If he needs medical care, he pays cash. When asked what he would do in the event something catastrophic happened his response was, "then we all come together as a family and pay the bill." Wow, what a concept. (Notice how they don't treat family like an "F" word?) Think of how much money could be saved (again) by bypassing a system that is (again) poorly managed and completely inefficient. A system that spends billions and billions of dollars paying for billing, collections, management, offices, vehicles and all kinds of things that have absolutely no actual impact on your healthcare. It makes me wonder just how many pennies out of a dollar actually go to your doctor, nurse, hospital, pharmacy or anything else directly linked to your care. And if the private sector has managed to mess this up so badly, I can only imagine what a fiasco a bunch of politicians could make of it. (OK, so now I just scared myself.)

I can think of many other ways that as a society we've really gotten away from the basic unit of family but that will take another day (or longer) of gardening to sort out, and a whole other post. Maybe another time I'll re-visit the topic of family is not an "F" word.

Well, if you were just looking for a short little update on the quads, sorry to have gone off on my political soapbox. I'd love to hear your opinion though so feel free to share....Just be nice please!

Bet you're glad the forecast for tomorrow is rain.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Flashback

Today I went to a store that specializes in maternity care items to procure some supplies for my now nursing niece, Jennifer. Going into the store with Amanda in tow gave my memory quite a jolt. Seems a few years ago, I took Amanda shopping there while her brothers were in a class, thus giving us the opportunity for some "girl time." I was looking for the perfect strapless bra and I heard that this shop had a huge selection with sizes from 32AA to 56L. (That's not a type-o I really wrote L.) I had no idea that bras went that high up in the alphabet until I saw that one!

Well, after shopping around the store for a while, curiosity got the best of me and I just had to go and see what a 56L looked like. Soooo, I found one, hid around a corner, put it on my almost 4 year old daughter, and took a picture. Then I quickly put it back hoping that none of the store employees saw me being horribly juvenile in what is really a very nice bra shop. I really tried, but I couldn't help a little childish chuckling at my little one swimming in a bra large enough to be her sleeping bag.

I think the L must stand for "LARGE."

I never did find that perfect strapless bra.

I see Londyn

Congratulations to my niece Jennifer, and her husband Harris, on the arrival of the fourth child to grace their home.

Baby Londyn was born April 29 at 8:15 pm. She weighed 7lbs 14 oz and is 19 inches long (she's quite the little chubster). Big sister Allie adores her! Although you can't tell under the hat, she has a darling mop of thick, dark hair. If you want to see her precious locks, check out Jen's post here.
I can't wait to be a total juvenile and tease her with childhood taunts of "I see Londyn, I see France, I see (or maybe smell) London's diaperpants" or everybodys favorite song "Londyn's britches falling down!"

Beautiful baby, beautiful mommy, beautiful family. What else do you need?
Oh yeah...Chocolate.