Saturday, May 31, 2008

tiny little daisies

The joy of finding mini-daisies on your counter left by little munchkins.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My how you've grown!

We've gone from this:

to this-in about 2 months. Monty's sack is down to 2 remaining little critters and they seem to be thriving quite nicely. Mom is looking forward to the day we can release them into the wild. My kitchen counter has seen enough of them :)

Elisha wanted to see one up close and got a little more than he bargained for. They are jumpy little things. Spring is full of new life-- the children also found some abandoned birds-- they were starting to fly, so we figure they'll be just fine. The kids loved the close-up views.

Always something new...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kitchen Decor

Most people have delicious goodies or pretty bowls lining their kitchen shelves-- not us.

Nope-- our shelves are lined with vials and vials of fruit flies. They seem to have made a permanent residence here. Yum Yum-- wanna come over for dinner? Who new feeding a praying mantis would take so much food-- er, bugs? Had to rush a special shipment because they were out of food- and they aren't too fond of anything much bigger than a fruit fly- our little bugs found outside didn't seem to be good enough for them :) More pictures coming soon.

Had to throw in this picture of my tent flowers- I threw them in the ground almost 2 months ago and they are STILL living-- that's a HUGE accomplishment for my green thumb. Maybe that's why they're alive- I forgot about them and haven't touched them :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Country Roads

Drives in the country can be so relaxing-- Amish country is no exception- especially when you don't get caught in the impending storm~

A must see attraction is the Warther's Carvings Museum. The story behind the man responsible for the carvings is one of inspiration. Check their site at http://www.warthers.com/carving.htm. Their grounds are meticulously maintained.Full of springtime sparkle~ Amazing inspiration from Mrs. Warther's Button Collection Art.Ivory was one of Mr. Warther's favorite things to carve and surprisingly quite heavy! Mark Warther (Mr. Warther's Grandson) makes the visit even more special by spending time with the children and making them their own wooden pliers.He signs each pair. The pliers started as a solid block of wood-- he made only 10 cuts with a knife- made NO shavings... and in 45 seconds ended up with this.Pretty amazing! Mr. Warther's parting plea to the children: "PLEASE don't let the TV rob you of your life!" How true indeed! Visits to miniature playhouse 'yards' are extra fun for little ones. There are some pretty amazing ones here~ Of course this was the girls' favorite. "Mommy- we could paint and decorate the inside and eat in there too!" Until next time, dream big! How's this for inspiration? ONE man made this ENTIRELY out of wood, ivory and pearl- even the letters are carved from ivory, then placed individually by inlay into the wood using NO glue! What will you accomplish this week?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Accomplished Goals

Every parent has to brag a little on their perfect children, right? It's my turn today.

It was a week of accomplishments-- Elisha FINALLY completed his first Suzuki Volume in Piano. While he does play very well, the piano is definitely NOT on his priority list, and he fought playing every minute- so we made him a deal- work hard and finish Volume 1, then you can quit. After blood, sweat, and a few (OK- MANY) tears of frustration, he graduated! WooHoo Elisha!

Much to his teacher's (and Mom's) dismay, we related his playing to hammering nails on a house- there was no such thing as a 'light' touch in his vocabulary- I suppose everyone has their own signature style- pounding would be Elisha's :)

This was his favorite song.

video

His favorite duet:

video

After the graduation recital, off to karate where he and Daddy won trophies for champion of the year. Elisha won 3rd place and Daddy 1st place. (They were awarded points for each tournament they went to.) Go guys! Mom might have to compete next year to bring home some trophies of her own... look out! :)

Now that's some pretty big accomplishments in this Mom's eyes! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sprouting 101

One of the additions to an economical, healthier lifestyle has included sprouts to our diet. This post is for my southern-bell friend :) to show her, and the rest of my readers, the super-simplicity of sprouting your own seeds. All sprouting means is that you are making the seed come to life, by releasing their living enzymes and life-force inside. And that means great things for your body. You can probably sprout just about any seed and for more in-depth rules and regulations, just Google 'sprouting' or 'sprouts' -whatever you prefer. This is my rule-free, EASY method.

First: obtain glass jar-- a canning quart jar works great.
Add one of these nifty sprouting lids -you can obtain them online -again, Google 'sprouting lid' or check out your local co-op/health food store. Or use cheesecloth with a rubber-band to secure. Next, add sprouts. There are TONS to choose from. Today, we are making alfalfa sprouts. DO NOT -I repeat, DO NOT add too many. They WILL multiply a thousand-fold!! I only covered the bottom of my jar with these teeny-tiny seeds. Did I mention NOT to add too many seeds? Cover seeds and fill jar with water.Secure sprouting lid and allow little seedlets to rest by soaking overnight in their bedding of water. Each seed requires a different amount of soaking time. Personally, I just let all of mine sit overnight-- keep it simple. You can get high-tech and find the specific soaking time by reading the directions that come on your package, or if you've purchased your seed in bulk and they don't have directions-- you guessed it-- Google 'sprout germination time' :) Upon awaking- shake, rattle, and roll! Stir those little buggers up, drain water, add more water and do it again. Flip jar upside down in your drain or put at a 45 degree angle in a larger bowl. This allows sprouts to continue draining, while still allowing air into the jar. Almost forgot- cover the jar with something. You don't want those little sprouts getting light yet. Preferably use something a little prettier than my old dish rag.Repeat process 'officially' 5-6 times per day. My method- when I walk past them, I uncover them, fill the jar with water, shake them and drain them. It takes 10 seconds and sometimes they get more rinsing, sometimes less. This is what they look like after a warm day. After a few days- sometimes only 1, and this all depends on the warmth, sunniness, and weather, when your little sprouts are at their- or 'your' desired length, uncover them and let the sun work it's magic. They'll quickly become lean, mean, and green. GREEN is GOOD! :)

I told you not to add too many seeds-- see HOW much they multiply?

Add to salads, sandwiches or tiny hands that will make a BIG mess all over your kitchen :) Store any extra in the fridge- removing to rinse a few times a day-- and DRAIN VERY WELL. They should last a few days if you keep rinsing and draining them- if you don't, they'll get moldy.

Now, put down that cookie that you're munching on at 12:20 am and get your jar ready to fill with these yummy morsels of goodness! Not that I'm doing that right now. Nah.

PS-- just a quick disclaimer-- the key-lime pie I spoke of in the post a few days ago, was NOT raw, vegan, OR healthy :( But it was oh so good :) I know, I know.... I'm defeating only myself... Did I mention how good it was?? And when you Google 'best key lime pie' - oohhh the results! Back to sprouting... have fun!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lost photos

Today my 5-yr old informed me that 'MOMMM!! You didn't put the picture of the cow on your page.' Actually I did, but for some reason it was deleted-- so here it is: the family with the cow- Chick-fil-A cow that is. Go figure- we go to an airshow to ooh and ahhh over the wonders and marvels of planes, and Elizabeth's favorite part of the day is seeing a cow.

And just what every family wants-- their family portrait with Mr. Cow himself.
Had to throw in this lost picture of little Jacob-- the green paint is a little touch of camouflage from the Army Station. That's all he wanted on his face. And as you know-- what Jacob wants.... :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Impromptu weekend

Sometimes weekends with no planning are the best. Mark called home Friday afternoon to inform me -"get the kids ready- the airshow's here tomorrow and I don't have to work." NO argument from me!Before we even made it to any airplanes one of the sponsors offered a free rock-climbing wall. (the sponsor: JEEP to be exact -complete with free test drives- GOOD thing I'm not a 'buy-on-credit', payment-lovin' kind of gal! Did I ever mention that someday having a Jeep Wrangler is yet another goal of mine- even if just for one summer??)

Elisha and Lydia did quite well- Elisha made it to the top. Elizabeth couldn't miss out on the action either~ And let's not forget Jacob! The highlight of the show: the F-22 Raptor -- WOW!!!
OK-- why is Mom so excited about this piece of machinery? Short story-- when I was in school one of my life's ambitions was to head to the Air Force and fly jets-- my parents even took me to the Academy to check it out. Had the grades, but lacked the eyesight. End of story. Looking back I know I also lacked the confident personality to hang with the tough fly-boys. All is well- wouldn't trade my little homeschooling Mom lifestyle for anything. uh-most days that is :) That said...

There are some options to get a 'jet' experience. You could head to Russia to fly in a MIG for a mere $20,800. No offense to any Russian fans, but since I have no desire to head there, that option is out. And I suppose the price tag is just a bit high. That's pretty unfortunate because I figure that's my most likely way to get a 'make-ya-lose-anything you've eaten the past week' and 'pass out a few times' thrill :)

There ARE other options... :) Now- fully aware these are not THE jets, I figure we could settle for an L39 trainer. Check out the Millionaire's Concierge- for a nice little fee of $7800 (sorry Mark, but that's just the cost for me), you get a pretty neat ride and let's not forget the private sea-side dinner included in the cost. And that's just option #1-- you should see option #2 on their site -private island dinner ! :)

OK- more realistically -sort of- (I'm assuming a few grand -still waiting for the email quote reply), you can get a MACH.9 Dream flight right here in eastern PA--hmmmmm.....

Now that you are fully educated on Jet rides and find yourself with nothing to do with your hard-earned cash, donations are now being accepted for JuJu's jetride-- leave a comment- we'll work out arrangements :) Or even better-- if there are any military types out there- what BETTER way for great PR than to have an all-American homeschooling Mom take a ride in the best the Nation can offer??? What better way for GREAT pro-American publicity for the Nation's Armed Forces!?!?! :) Again-- leave a comment- we'll make the arrangements :)

Enough with the planes and onto dinner-- tried a new restaurant-- the children loved the island atmosphere at Bahama Breeze. Mom found another new love: key lime pie. Never had it before and I actually liked it over Mark's Chocolate Island dessert. Lucky for him- I didn't steal his like I usually do -well not much of it anyway.

And what airshow day could be complete without our first full-night's sleep in the tent-- and VERY chilly night might I add! :)