Saturday, March 31, 2012

Drumline Community Performance

Our lovely babysitter, Chelsea, invited us to attend the community performance for her winter drumline at the highschool. It was a great opportunity for all the kids to see and hear the different percussion instruments and learn what a Vangaurd looks like when it performs. Between 8-10 other local highschools came and performed in a variety of different styles and showed off their musical and theatrical talents. There was even a local adult special needs group who performed a rendition of Micheal Jackson's "Thriller" that they had worked on for the past three months. This is one of those things that only comes around once a year, and I am glad we were able to attend it!
"Thriller" Vangaurd dance performance with batons and sword throwing.
Much darker and "futuristic/out of this world" themed performance.

This group did a "Sword in the Stone" themed song complete with a castle and Renaissance costumes.

Chelsea's group performed a really energetic song that had a theme entitled "Keeping Time". They went on to win fifth in the state the following day! Congrats, Chelsea! Great job and we appreciate all your hard work!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Fever!

Spring is definitely one of our busiest times of the year. We have chicks were are incubating and holding twice a day, seedlings we are growing and watering, Chinese praying mantis eggs we are hatching, 4-H projects were are working on, hair cuts for the warmer weather, and we are changing out our cold weather clothes for warmer weather clothes and getting rid of old ones.

We also just purchased some gold fish for T's 4-H Aqua Science project that will need to be fed 2-3 times daily. Of course, school work is also being done diligently Monday through Friday to ensure that we will have our first two quarters in before the summer break.

I am a little overwhelmed just listing it all. It is definitely an active time at our house, but there is so much to learn from each of these activities and projects. I need to keep reminding myself of that!

B with one of her 4-H gardening project activities. She was learning about plant parts and how they "drink". She really liked this one.

The Chinese praying mantis' are great for our science class and also will be a very beneficial addition to our garden. They eat all sorts of harmful bugs and insects that like to damage plants. The kit says that we can expect between 400-800 mantis to hatch! This should be interesting!

The purple basil sprouted in less than five days!!! I was truly amazed! Many of our other seedlings are growing now, as well, and it has only been a week! We are having much better luck with these heirloom seeds than many of the store bought, high bred varieties we've tried in the past. I am getting excited to get working in the garden and get some peas, lettuce, and cabbage in the ground. I hope the weather will cooperate so I can get them in soon!

D's first trim by Grammy. This was shortly after buzzing T and E's hair for the upcoming warm weather.

March Science Clubs

Our Science clubs were fantastic this month. First we were so fortunate to have a friend of ours share with us his knowledge of botany. He is a professor at a local community college and it was really an honor to get his input on the importance of diversifying our diets and our gardens. I have since bought many different kinds of hierloom seeds and am currently trying to grow some new and unusual plants.

We were also very fortunate to have the Silly Safari guy come and show us some of their adorable critters. Many of my kiddos were lucky enough (or unlucky depending upon what animal they helped with) to join him on stage.

C with the baby tortoise.

A baby armadillo.

A great horned owl.

Tree frog.

T with the baby crocodile.

R happy to help with the very large snake! This about killed me to watch. I hate snakes!!! Better her than me!

New Chicks on the Block

Here are the most recent additions to our growing flock of chickens. We purchased 20 chicks for the kids to raise. Each of the older five picked out their own unique one. The remaining 15 were all barred rock chicks that we hope will be good brown egg layers. We've had a successful two years with our Rhode Island Red hens. They are still good large brown egg layers and have been throughout the whole winter, thanks to the addition of a timed heat lamp in their coop. I am not sure how much longer we can expect them to keep up such a steady production, so we decided to go ahead and invest in the next generation so that we wouldn't have any shortage of eggs.

To house our most recent additions, we've converted an old freezer into a nursery/incubator for them. It has worked out wonderfully! Since this picture, we've added some brick so that the chicks can hop up and down and self-regulate their temperature a little better. They are really loving that added feature.

Here are a few cute pictures of the R and E with the chicks.

M is even taking her chick "Mae" in 4-H this year. I am sure we all will learn much from her experience. That will definitely be an adventure!

Fun at the Forestry

We were blessed to attend another Young Adventurers at our State Forest this month. This time we learned more about insects and how they survive the winter. We then went on a hands-on field trip/experiment to try to find some of their winter hiding places. We found some under the ground, inside old decaying logs, under some bark, and even wrapped up in a leaf. The kids just loved this activity because it combined two of their favorite activities: digging and getting dirty! We are so grateful to Miss Cindi at the Nature Center. She is truly a gem!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

T's Birthday Party

This just proves how busy we've been and how much of a slacker I've been. The party was the first weekend of March and I am just now posting pictures. We invited three families to come and celebrate with us. T again chose a Star Wars theme for his cakes. I think he will always be a Star Wars geek like his daddy. LOL.

This was our little man, D, when he was turning 7 months old the day of the party. He is such a good baby you hardly know he's around most days. He only fusses when he is hungry or tired. We have been so blessed!

Grampa was able to come over the following weekend to celebrate with us. He brought T a very special gift: a remote control helicopter just lilke Daddy's. As you can tell in the picture, T was very happy. It is even his favorite color: blue. Happy 10th Birthday!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Twins Visit, Family Retreat, And My First Hat

The twins came for a visit back in January to stay for a few days. They were eating solids and starting to crawl, as well as getting some teeth. They are getting so big and I haven't even seen them in about 2 months. I am sure they are huge by now. D has noticeably grown since taking these pictures.

This is the one picture we took while on our family retreat. This year's topic was vocations. All the kids had a fabulous time and it was wonderful for mom and dad, as well, thanks to our friend, Donna. She was so wonderful and helped watch E, and sometimes D, during some of the sessions and talks that were for the adults.

Here is my first attempt at a hat that has a pattern to it. B is wearing it a little too low on her head, just because I was sharing these photos on another, less secure website and didn't want her face to show. The hat fits really well and is much more stretchy than I expected. I've been meaning to start one for the "boys" in a blue and brown scheme, but have been too busy to even get it started. Once the chaos of spring is over, I hope to have some more time.