Monday, December 19, 2011

Fa La La

Tis the season for holiday concerts fa la la la la la la la la!

Zion had her school concert and it was an honest to goodness holiday concert as in actual Christmas songs.  Zion had been looking forward to it for weeks.  A couple of days before I bought her the shiny shoes she’d be eyeing at the store for weeks.  She was SO excited she posed seriously for pictures (no tongue sticking out!) and left her hair band in (pretty much a life time first).


Gabe also had his school concert and, well, I’ll try not to speak too negatively.  Of course I loved seeing my son on stage singing with his classmates.  It makes me sad that, even though the school plans the concert for right before the holidays that they include no holiday music.  Winter themed songs yes (and one 1 or  out of all of them), holiday, no.  I remember the concerts I was in when I was a kid and it just makes me sad.  Still, we celebrated Gabe and his chance to perform and that’s what counts.  Here he is in one of his three songs (only three, the rest of the time, and it was a looooong time, we watched other people’s children perform – and most of that time we were sitting on the floor, oh wait, I’m being negative).


Did I mention that it was my birthday?  And I was sick.  Still it wasn’t an entirely bad day.  Rob got up and instead of leaving for work he made me yummy muffins for breakfast and he and the kids gave me a birthday present.


And the sunrise was gorgeous.


That’s our cat Eva.  She’s hunting birds.  I know it’s natural and stuff but I really wish she wouldn’t do it.  Naughty kitty.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Holidays!

And busy holidays.  And kind of sick.  Off and on weird sick days have just made things kind of mellow. I think it took me two weeks just to decorate the house.  But it’s finally done!  Well, except for the decorations I didn’t get put up yet but there’s still time. 

We have a tree and it has lights and ornaments and the kids had a blast decorating.   I had a blast trying to keep them under control. Um, yeah.

We once again hit up a local tree farm, the service is great and it’s pretty quick and they give us candy canes and hot cocoa.  Then I take a bunch of pictures and realize you can either have Zion being silly…


…or Elias and Gabe. 


The next day we decorate, Elias was hilarious.  He kept stealing ornaments already on the tree the plunging his whole arm into the tree depositing the ornament on the thick branches in the middle.  We kept have to part the bushy branch ends to find the ornaments he’d squirreled away inside. 


After I force some posed pictures.  And yes, one of my children is missing.  I’m still playing catch up.



And the fun isn’t over.  At least not for me, because I love close-ups of ornaments.



I hope you are enjoying your holidays!  Tomorrow is our first should-be-in-school day of the holiday break.  I’m stoked!  (Though I still wish I had more time before Christmas!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

For The Birds

Quite a ways back an online friend of mine showed pictures of bird feeders she’d made out of orange peels.  They were adorable and I was smitten and have wanted to make one every since.  Today was finally the day.  So here you go, so you can make one too of course.

You’ll need an orange (surprise!), some twine or string, something with which to remove the orange’s edible bits without destroying the peel, and something pokey.  Oh yeah and probably a knife to cut the orange and scissors to cut the string.OrangePeelFeeder-3027

I cut the orange off center of half so it would be a little cup.  Cut how you like.  If you’re like me you’ll cut a thin slice from one portion and aim your macro lens at it for a while before finishing the rest of the craft.  Like so:


Resume your craftiness by scooping out the innards.  If you have a daughter obsessed with juicing oranges give them to her along with the other portion of orange.  If not, well, you’re on your own.

Cut three portions of string about a foot long.

Use the pokey thing to poke three holes close to the edge of the orange from which to loop the string.  If your pokey thing has a blunt end like mine did (I used a bamboo skewer) you can use it to poke the string through the holes.


Once you tie the three strings to the orange gather them up and tie them together at the top.

Then you just need to find somewhere to hang it.  I hung the string on the tree and then attached it to the feeder because I found it easier but do whatever works for you.

Fill it up before or after you hang it, again, whatever is easier. 


Isn’t this an easy craft?  So easy.

Then sit back and wait for the birds.

And wait.  And realize the birds won’t come because the kids followed you outside and are making too much noise. 

Luckily it was cold enough that the kids didn’t stay outside long.  Then my only problem is the dirty window. 


While I watched a Dark-Eyed Junco started eye-balling the feeder but didn’t check it out closer.  Maybe it has something to do with this:MaisyHunting-3121

The cats moved outside right after the kids came in and Maisy seemed to think the orange peel feeder was made especially for her enjoyment. 

Ah well, I got some pictures of the birds hanging out higher up, maybe one of them will visit the orange peel feeder tomorrow.

I’m happy to see a new species at the feeder, this is a Black-Capped Chickadee.  Adorable but the Chestnut-Backed Chickadees are still my favorite.

BC Chickadee-3063BC Chickadee-3068

The Juncos were very active on the ground tonight but didn’t think much of the dried squash seeds that I put out for them.  Hmph. Darn picky birds.

Junco Garden-3091

I got quite lucky with this one.  I believe it’s a Nuthatch and you can actually the seed he has just plucked from the suet.


So there ya go.  A super easy craft that’s very rewarding for you and the birds.  :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back It Up

I have a back log of fun stories and photos to share.  I’m going to try to catch up a little.  These photos are from the 15th.  Rob was out of town and Gideon and Elias were both awake before Gabe was due home from school so I packed them all up, met Gabe getting off the bus and took everyone to the park.

It was cold.  Darn cold.  I made sure I had jackets, gloves and hats for everyone.  They turned down the hats but seemed grateful for the gloves.  Elias even kept his on the whole time we were at the park.  I couldn’t believe it, I don’t think any of my kids have left gloves on at that age.


Look out!  Here comes the bulldog!


Swing!   Whee!


I was so disappointed to see that this one turned out blurry but I still love it.  They are mirrors of each other and it’s just too cute.FunDay-1558





Zion and Gabe like to have races.  Hard to tell who wins though.


My crazy kids, fun despite the cold.  Which I guess is a good thing since it’s not going to get any warmer for quite some time. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Feathered Friends

I’m a sucker for critters.  No surprise to those of you that know me.  Fur, fins or feathers, makes no matter to me.  Zion wants a bird.  I’d love to have one.  I’d hate to add another habitat to the list of cleaning chores.  I’d hate more for that darn Eva to get her paws on the poor thing and dealing with Zion’s grief if it did happen.  It is a good thing that we have plenty of birds in Washington.  In lieu of a pet bird we have dozens of wild birds that we feed and now that the weather is getting colder our visitors are increasing.  They also make great photography subjects and with my long lens I can get a decent photo without even opening the sliding door (which is good because when I do open it they all dart off).  Recently I bought a field guide for Washington birds, now I actually know what I’m looking at!

The first species we started seeing in the Fall and our most common visitor to the feeder is the Dark Eyed Junco (AKA Oregon Junco).


After that I noticed we have Red-breasted Nuthatches.  They are super cute.


A Nuthatch AND a Junco:Birds-2006-2

Then on Thanksgiving as we were rushing about trying to get out the door to my sister’s I thought I saw a Chickadee.  I didn’t have time to grab my camera or take a second glance though so I couldn’t be sure.  I’ve been stalking the tree ever since.  Yesterday morning bright and early I was rewarded, finally, with a sighting and he even waited long enough for me to get my camera.  My new little field guide confirms this is a Chestnut-Backed Chickadee.  These little guys are my favorite.  So far anyway.


Yesterday I was at Home Depot buying more seed and a baffler to keep the rain off the feeder and very nearly bought a tree – a whole TREE! just because I thought the birds might like it.  Uh oh.  I may have a problem.

Monday, November 28, 2011

We Did. Did You?

We supported Small Business Saturday.  In the tastiest way possible.  A local doughnut shop.  Oh they were SO yum!  I got my favorite, a maple bar with bacon.  Oh yeah baby!  The kids seemed to enjoy theirs as well.


We may have just started a new day after Thanksgiving tradition!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


What a lovely Thanksgiving we had!  In addition to having so much to be grateful for we had a chance to just relax on Wednesday so Zion and I got to do some baking.  We made a pumpkin pie and pecan tarts (later I made a rosemary chicken mix for an appetizer and the next  morning a Tollhouse pie).


On Thanksgiving day we took the kids to see The Muppets.  Rob and I both were very excited that a new movie was coming out, it was just to share with them something we had loved when we were kids.  Though Elias was a bit fidgety, preferring to walk up and down the aisle giggling loudly, they all enjoyed it.  Especially the popcorn.  It is possible they enjoy the popcorn more than the movie.

After the movie we head up to my sister’s which is always fun.  It’s small and casual, fun for the kids and the food is fantastic, what more could you ask for?


A few people heading down Turkey Coma Lane.  Must be time to head for home.