Monday, February 28, 2011

Garden 2011: Week 1

Two weekends ago, we decided to enlarge our garden. (I do square foot gardening--but this is my favorite site about it--be sure to sign up for the weekly reminder emails!)Dave built me a 4x12 foot bed using this cinderblock plan from Covington's Nursery. He filled it with new dirt and I planted my first crops last week--lettuce, spinach, peas, carrots, onions, and broccoli. Thus far the only thing up is the broccoil, and that's only because I used transplants. Everything else is from seed.

I hope to update my progress every few weeks!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Summer Flashback: Shadow Showdown

Shadow is my parents' dog. They got her (I'm pretty sure it's a her, anyway) long after I moved out, after an extended campaign from my youngest sister. She's okay, as far as dogs go--I must admit I don't particularly care for them--actually she's kind of a wimp. Perfectly mild-mannered to be around toddlers. Last summer was Madeline's first time to really be old enough to interact with her. She was a fan.

So was cousin Jordan. He tried taking Shadow for a walk.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another Car Conversation

Occasionally when we are driving on the highway we see "chicken trucks." I don't know the technical term, but they are basically semis stacked with cages. Usually when they are heading west (towards Dallas) they actually have chickens, and when we see them heading east, they are empty.

One day, Emma pointed out an empty chicken truck.

Me: "Where are all the chickens? Did they go to Chick-Fil-A?"

Emma: "No, chickens don't go to Chick-Fil-A, just people! They went to the farm."

I think it will be a few more years before I tell her that the chickens went to that big farm in the SKY! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

When Your Mother is an English Teacher

On days when she has preschool, Emma is allowed to choose what we listen to in the car. Lately she has favored a CD of Disney Princess songs. The following are two conversations we've had in the car recently.

Emma: Do all movies have bad guys? [She doesn't like to watch the actual Disney princess movies, because they scare her.]
Me: Yes. Bad guys are the antagonists, who create conflict with the protagonist, or main character. Conflict creates the plot.


Emma: What is this Pocahontas song about?
Me: A river. Well, really it's a metaphor.
Emma: What's the other Pocahontas song about?
Me: The wind. That's a metaphor too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's a...

I'm morally opposed to pictures of genetalia on the internet, even in utero, but let's just say that he was showing it off loud and proud, leaving us no doubt. We are beyond excited. As Emma says, "We need a brother--we don't have one of those."

Let the shopping begin!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Summer Flashback: Chicago

After visiting with Dave's family in Wisconsin and Nauvoo, we headed for Chicago to meet up with mine. My parents and sister came over from Michigan, and my brother and his family flew in from Salt Lake, and we all met at my grandparents' home.

A favorite spot to visit when at Mumma's and Poppa's is the Lincoln Park Zoo. We went there all the time as kids. And with 3 grandkids age 3 and under, it was a natural choice!

Emma and Jordan got up close and personal with the gorillas:

The seals (that's Emma in the middle with the bow on the right side of her head):

The polar bears are always a favorite, and they were very active when we were visiting!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ice Day...

What do you do when the roads are covered in ice (and snow), and Dad is working at home so you have to be quiet?

Yeah, we've been doing a lot of this...

I hope they don't get too used to it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Summer Flashback: Nauvoo, Day 2

Thursday, July 29, was our second full day in Nauvoo. The boys went to the temple in the morning (so Dave's brother, who stayed home to babysit the previous day, could go), so Amy and I took the girls to play some pioneer games. Madeline loved the animals, even the fake ones:

Rachel was a bit more solemn about it:

Playing house:

Pioneer children also went to school:

And played games:

After lots of play, we headed over to Carthage, the site of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith.

After a full morning, it was time for lunch and naps. Later that afternoon we headed out to view some of the restored homes in Nauvoo. We started at the home and gun shop of Jonathan Browning, a relative of Dave's family:

We took Emma to the schoolhouse:

And the Brick Shop:

Since the little girls couldn't go inside the temple, we took them to the grounds:

These two girls were peas in a pod wherever they went:

That evening we went to the County Fair, held before the pageant. These two knuckleheads had to try the stick pull:

Amy and Tyler took on Matt and Dave in the sawing contest:

Emma made some crafts:

I went home and put the girls to bed. Dave went down to Parley Street to watch the sunset.

He also found the names of some relatives who didn't survive the crossing of the Mississippi when the Mormons had to leave Nauvoo in 1846:

It was a busy and varied day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forgotten Harvest

Last fall we were kind of lazy and didn't get around to clearing the garden. So during last weekend's glorious weather (we miss you, sun and 70*!), we decided to rip out the old plants and turn the soil in preparation for spring planting. During the process we found a few forgetten plants:

After washing and cutting down to managable bites, the carrots were delicious! The unexpected harvest made us really excited to get gardening this year.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Sun

Last weekend we had four glorious days where it got up to 70 degrees, which seems a world away from our current day 4 of below freezing temperatures. We took full advantage of the weather and spent plenty of time outside. My favorite was watching Madeline as we road bikes and cars on Friday afternoon. She is getting to be quite the big kid! She rode the plasma car down the driveway and then dragged it back up all by herself.