Friday, June 29, 2012

Feeding time

Quite a few years ago the swallows made a nest under the roof of our front porch. The next year they made a nest in the other corner. They have continued to come back every year, sometimes twice in a year, and they trade off which nest they use.

While eating a snack outside last weekend, we got to show the kids the new baby birds, and how the mama bird comes to feed them.


Because the babies can't fly yet to get their own food.


Because when they hatch out of their egg they are really small, just like you were when you were a baby, and then they need to grow.


So they can get big and strong and fly on their own someday.


Oh, look...the mama came back to feed the babies again...


Lemonade stand pie

1/3 c Country Time Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1/2 c cold water
2 c vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip, thawed
1 Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust (16oz)

PLACE drink mix in large bowl. Add water; stir until mix is dissolved. Add ice cream. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Freeze, if necessary, until mixture is thick enough to mound.

SPOON into crust.

LICK spoon.

LICK bowl.

FREEZE at least 4 hours or overnight until firm. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temperature until pie can easily be cut.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Emergency repairs

Our house was grand central station today.

The tree service company was here treating 2 of my large Maple Trees for some type of scaly fungus.

The geothermal repairman was here replacing the compressor so our air conditioner would work again. Praise God for warranty work!

And the spring broke on our garage door. Thankfully, we were able to submit an emergency request to this fabulous company that installed them called Garage Doors by George. They are out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and were here within 8 hours of the problem! Now that's service! Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

Butt bounce

The kids have been watching the neighbors do all kinds of tricks on their new ginormous trampoline. I don't think we are ready for the flips that we've seen Tia doing but Adam probably could if he tried! The popular stunt lately is the butt bounce and in the past few days, Adam has perfected it! Basically, you jump and jump until you are high enough to throw your legs out and drop your butt on the trampoline. Next step is getting Adam to put his legs back under him and stand back up. I think he has the height!

By the way, apparently he told my mom when he picked out his clothes for the day that this outfit matched and there was going to be no arguing about it! Orange, yellow, and brown striped muscle shirt with red, white, and blue shorts. I might need to get him tested for color blindness!

Here is a video of Adam in action. It amazes me how he is jumping with abandon. Usually he is more cautious. It makes me laugh that Sara sat right in front of the camera and told me "I'm going to be in the picture." Adam is nice enough to give Sara a turn but she takes too long and then gets distracted by pretending to be a bird. She needs a little more practice but she is getting there.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Farm Park

We had been wanting to go to the East Peoria Farm Park for a while. Well, I had been wanting to go. The kids had no clue what I was talking about. Last Tuesday the weather was perfect, maybe a little warm but that's okay. And it was a free day - bonus! The only downfall was that it was terribly crowded and apparently all the pushy kids with no manners were invited. Adam was confused by that a few times when he was waiting patiently but other than that, we would just move on and keep to ourselves.

It's a small little park but it's cheaper than the zoo and gives you a little something different to do.

Although it was a free day, it did set me back $1.00 to buy ice cream cones filled with food for the animals. What a great idea! All of the animals could eat the food and then they could eat the cone, too! In fact, some of the animals preferred the cone and tried to eat it right out of the kids' hands! I was surprised they didn't get more freaked out by that but they thought it was pretty neat.

First stop - the ducks! Not even 5 minutes into the park and another toddler lost their whole cone to the ducks. They plucked it right out of their hands and then swam off with it, 3 or 4 ducks swimming behind trying to steal it from him.

Sara enjoyed feeding the goats.

Even the chickens pecked at Adam's cone, taking off tiny pieces.

Adam loved this old tractor and thought it looked kind of like Grampa's.

The cow milking station! They had to wait quite a few minutes for the kids to clear out who would enter the line from the wrong direction. I must have been feeling extra patient that day! They finally each got a turn on the stool - amazing how you can get water from a wood cow!

Sara could have sat here for hours arranging her animals in a row.

I was shocked Adam let this horse eat out of his hand...he doesn't even like to pick up earthworms! The kid next to him didn't look too thrilled, though.

This was further back in the park. I think other families either forgot about these little goats or their food was gone by the time they were back that far. Thankfully, we had saved some and Adam got swarmed.

An old-fashioned schoolhouse for them to try. Hi, mom, we're in school!

Maybe next time they can ride on a real horse!

The first double slide I've seen. I tried to get them to go down at the same time but Sara was in a hurry.

Thanks, mom, for taking us to the Farm Park!

After we were done, we enjoyed a nice picnic lunch at the huge park right outside. Unfortunately I was mean and didn't let them play with the other kids who were throwing sand. Adam even waited patiently to sit on the excavator sand toy. Only to have the kid not want to give it up and then another kid walked in front of Adam, looked at him, said "my turn", and pushed the other kid off the seat. At that point I decided to call it a day. We all had a great time but I think it would be worth paying the few dollars admission to get a smaller crowd.

If anyone I know was there that day with their kids, hopefully my remarks didn't relate to your family. If they did, sorry if I may have offended you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Out of the mouths...

We were all working outside together trimming bushes and pulling weeds on this very windy morning in central Illinois. Shannon was helping me reach tall branches to trim when we heard a thump and Sara started crying. He attended to her and asked all the probing questions, "Did you trip? Did you skin your knee? Did you fall down? Did you get caught in Ivy's leash?"

No response on any of it--just crying.

"Did you hit yourself with your stick?" They had a stick that they were banging on the propane tank for a drum.

She finally paused and said "No."

"Well, what happened then?"

Sara gave us the answer we had been waiting for..."The wind blew me over."

Thankfully, I was behind the bush so she couldn't see me start to laugh!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Coupla crazy kids

Shannon had some yard work to do last night and he thought Adam might like to help. The edger was definitely cool but Adam stayed safely away. The blower, on the other hand...prepared with his "work boots" and noise-cancelling headphones, he was all set to spend extensive time blowing all the crud off the driveway!

Of course, when they were done, it made perfect sense to keep all his protective gear on for a bike ride. He should have included his helmet, though. He got to the end of the driveway, turned too fast, and wiped out, spilling the pennies in his basket all over the lawn!

And then you have Sara. Her imagination is certainly running wild these days! Last night was no exception. Every time I turn around she is pretending to be a different animal. Mama, I'm a fox...I'm a bunny...I'm a lemur...I'm a baby doggie...and then if I call her Sara, she requests that I call her whatever animal she is at the time instead! Here she is crawling on the ground and meowing like a kitty cat!

And crawling between my legs, purring...I wonder what the neighbors must think sometimes!

I love this picture of Adam, with the sun shining on the side of his face...I'll give you $50 if you can guess why one hand is over his ear and the other is in the air!

If you guessed both hands used to be over his ears because there was a loud noise but one hand is now reaching to close the camera's flash that had popped up, I'm out 50 bucks! Every time he closed it I would take another picture and it kept making him giggle.

Rainy day

It never fails - the weatherman in Central Illinois calls for sunny weather and a slight chance of rain but probably not...and it rains 3/4 of the day! After buckling the kids in the car to run errands yesterday, the Expedition refused to start. Plan B - play in the rain!

Poor Sara had a rain coat on that was 2 sizes too small because I couldn't find her current one!

How about a little mowing in the rain?

Or maybe a little singing, dancing, and twirling?

Maybe playing in the puddles is your thing...

How about going for a bike ride?

Adam just cracks me up. He dug around in the garage the other day and found a bungee cord. One end is already hooked on the bar that holds his back wheels on, then he put it around his waist and hooked it on the other side - voila! A seat belt! He was so proud of himself! That boy is gonna grow up to be some kind of problem solver, I tell ya!

That's how we play in the rain...what do you like to do ?