Friday, June 26, 2009

One Happy Boy

Project 365 - June 23

It's been quiet here because we've been getting ready for the semi-annual advent of the grandparents.

They're baaaaccckkk! :D

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Taking Them for a Ride

Project 365 - June 18

Yes, I'm cheating again. This picture was taken yesterday.

Confession is good for the soul.

After the swing set was in its new location (you can see a small portion of it on the left side of this picture), Lori rewarded the kids with a tractor ride.

As we were going in the house for lunch afterwards, I asked her if she thought her kids knew how blessed they are.

She probably didn't know I meant not just for the tractor rides but for the parents that are teaching them to work and taking them for rides afterwards.

Hard Work and Hammocks

Project 365 - June 17

We went to Lori's today for our Wednesday homeschool get-together, minus the schooling. I wasn't prepared to lead any science experiments this morning, but it was the first sunny weather we've had in a long while, so it seemed a good opportunity for some physical education, i.e., free play.

Or so I thought.

It appears Miss Lori had other things on her mind.

Served me right for not being prepared. :)

Lori wanted to move her wooden swing set from the side yard to the backyard. We're both pretty strong (or at least I vaguely remember being so at some point in my life) and she thought we could do it. As for pure brute strength, we could have, but it was too awkward to walk. So out came the wrenches and Lori, Elijah and Jed set to loosening the bolts so we could move the set in two pieces.

I hate to admit what I was doing while those three were sweating it out with the bolts in the new location.

Okay, I'll tell you. I was swinging in the hammock with Josiah and Andrew, singing songs and playing imaginary instruments.

My original intention was to get them away from the swings so they wouldn't get hurt if something fell; I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. But who can help loving it when two little boys cuddle up with you in a hammock?

Not me. I'm not that strong.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Extra Crispy

Project 365 - June 16

Oh my goodness, I am so excited! This is one of the things I was looking so forward to in a good camera...crisp close-ups.

I'm sure there are many flaws in this photograph, but since I'm ignorant of most of them, I can just delight in the crispness blissfully. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Double Trouble

Project 365 - June 15

I am pleased to announce the birth of my friend's new blog: Missouri Trouble.

Jenny, who is a weaver extraordinaire, sent me one of her gorgeous creations after we moved from Missouri to Maine.

The pattern of the towel is intriguingly named Missouri Trouble, from which she derives the name of her blog.

I tried to photograph Jenny's Missouri Trouble in a way to do justice to its exquisite design, but I have much to learn about lighting. Thinking a darker background would help it stand out more, I laid it on the hardwood floor, which was apparently an open invitation for my own Missouri Trouble to get in on the action. For a better view of the pattern, sans Jed, visit Jenny's blog by clicking the link above.

I hope you have as much fun blogging as I do, Jenny!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lying About the Place

Project 365 - June 14

We had a very lazy day today. Jed's been sick so we stayed home.

It rained all day...a perfect day to lie around and catch up on all the TV viewing we never get to do.

We watched The Wizard of Oz and a children's version of Pilgrim's Progress. And when Jed wasn't in the room, I watched HGTV. It doesn't take me long to overdose on that channel...I'm dying to get my hands on a messy room and clean it up! :)

However, before volunteers start lining up for my services, let me forewarn you that I would require a dumpster on the property before we get started. :D

I did manage to get a few things done around the house, including getting another layer of paint on a gourd and taking pictures of Jed's book (last night I just shot the cover). These are two of my favorite pages, which also happen to be the first two spreads. Click here if you'd like to see more.

I think I'm going to love this new camera!

Note: if you think the title of this post should be "Laying About the Place," here's a short article that should clear up that muddy water for you nicely. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Growing Up Before My Eyes

Project 365 - June 13

A few weeks ago I started another project I've been putting off, this one for over three years.

My friend Debbie made this cute little book and sent it to me when Jed was two. I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, but I didn't get to it for one reason or another. Until now, that is. I completed it today.

I went back in my photo files and printed one picture of Jed from each month since he was born. On each page is a picture and his age, written in months...looking through the book is like watching him grow up right before my eyes.

Is that sad or what? :)

It is a bit bittersweet, but mostly sweet.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yippee Aye Ay!

Project 365 - June 12

I started reading my Nikon D40 manual yesterday and today I actually took the camera (and the manual, of course) with me to speech therapy so I could practice in the waiting room. :)

So...this is the very first picture taken with my new camera!!

It's pretty sad when you have to read a manual to figure out how to turn a camera on. :) But, based on the quality of this picture, I think it will be well worth it.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Running Like the Wind

Project 365 - June 11

Jed has a gym-and-swim class on Thursday mornings.

We were cutting it close this morning getting there on time.

As I hurried him out of the car, Jed turned to me and said, "Should I run like the wind, Mama?"

I'm still trying to catch up with him. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Si the Science Guy

Project 365 - June 10

Although he doesn't know it yet, this little guy won the Student of the Day award this morning.

I think next week Josiah will be presented with something fitting for a young scientist-in-training.

In the meantime, let me tell you about this coolest of experiments he's demonstrating:

1. Place a candle in the bottom of a small glass and light it.

2. Place a dampened piece of thick handmade paper (or something similar made of plant materials, not wood) over the top of the glass.

3. Invert another identical glass on top so that the rims match up perfectly.

The candle will go out when the oxygen is used up in both glasses (the handmade paper is air-permeable) and the greater outside air pressure will force the two glasses together to the extent that you can pick the top one up and the bottom one will not fall off.

Pretty darn cool. I think I impressed myself more than the boys with that one. :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

An Interesting Afternoon

Project 365 - June 9

We visit with our friends Rod and Cynthia on Tuesday afternoons. Cynthia and I are working on her wedding scrapbook, with a goal of completing it by her anniversary in August.

While Cynthia and I play with papers and pictures, it falls to Rod to entertain Jed. Sometimes I feel sorry for him...Rod, that is. :D

But today Jed had a brainstorm....he took Doodle Dice, which as you already know, is the most awesome kids' game EVER.

It was a hit! Rod won 2 games in a row.

Jed kept talking about how lucky Rod was. It didn't seem to occur to him to wonder about that, considering he was rolling for both of them. :)

Maybe it was that head injury he sustained in the wheelchair accident earlier in the afternoon.

Rod had suggested to Jed that he take the manual wheelchair down the ramp into the garage...great fun! Then, in all his five-and-a-half-year-old strength, Jed wheeled back up the ramp for another run, and that's when it happened...the wheelchair tipped backwards and spilled him out.

I tried not to laugh, but it was hard. :)

I was kidding about the head injury. But I think the incident was a good experience for Jed - a small taste of the difficulties and indignities Rod and Cynthia live with on a daily basis.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Last of the Cheats

Project 365 - June 8

I could have taken pictures today, but I doubt you would have wanted to see them. They would have mostly consisted of dust bunnies and ants, the two things I've spent most of the day fighting. It's a never-ending battle with the bunnies, but I intend to win the war with the ants.

So instead, here's the last of the pictures from our afternoon at the Children's Discovery Museum. These were taken in the construction room.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Green Around the Gills

Project 365 - June 7

Jed doesn't look like a good candidate for a voyage by sea, does he?

These shots were taken in the River Room at the Children's Discovery Museum.

Here are the ship's decks, with multiple ways to climb up the different levels.

Maybe not a seaman's dream, but definitely a kid's.

The last staircase is the takes you up into a domed skylight, from which you can see Memorial Bridge spanning the Kennebec River.

This is Jed's favorite spot in the whole museum.

This was my favorite kid in the whole museum.

Don't ask me why. :)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bank Teller Blues

Project 365 - June 6

I'm cheating a little.

There are a few more sets of pictures from yesterday's fun at the Children's Discovery Museum that I want to share, so when I don't have a thrilling (ha!) picture from the current day, I'll post those.

Don't judge me...just be glad it's not another picture of a spider web. :D

So here's a few shots of the time we spent at the bank yesterday. Seeing that I used to be a teller, I couldn't help but imagine the scenario these shots illustrate. It goes something like this...

Oh my word, don't tell me it's HER again! Is she insane???

Okay, be calm...
act like nothing is wrong...

Nonchalantly calling security.

What?? This phone doesn't work - there's no cord!!

Okay, act busy...
maybe she'll go to the next window...

Now don't get the idea that I ever thought anything like this when I worked at the bank. hehehe

Friday, June 05, 2009

Nostalgia Past and Present

Project 365 - June 5

One of my favorite childhood memories: playing inside the cabinet of a gutted television set.

It was perfect...the cabinet had doors, the glass and knobs were left intact, and my friends and I spent hours pretending to be movie stars, news reporters and weather forecasters.

That kind of imaginative play is what makes the Children's Discovery Museum in Augusta so awesome. Made of different rooms set up as child-size versions of grocery stores, banks, restaurants, theatres, construction sites and campgrounds, it is a vivid reminder of the fun I used to have pretending to do grown-up things.

We made an impromptu visit there this afternoon and, in keeping with my recent decision to have more fun, I joined in the play this time. I was a cashier at the grocery store, a customer at the bank, a ticker-buyer at the theatre, a pirate, camper, railroad engineer, school bus driver, photographer and videographer.

And the very happy mom of a very happy boy.

He really was happy. Honest! :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Project 365 - June 4

Is anything more beautiful than pine trees?

I don't think so.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Future of Science

Project 365 - June 3

We had another science lesson with Lori's boys today.

I have really been enjoying the experiments, to the point that I actually started preparing for next week's lesson when we got home this afternoon.

I must admit, I'm a strange one to be teaching science, considering I don't understand much of it myself. However, I figure I'm at least one step ahead of 5 year olds. :)

Today we talked about air pressure, and I had some neat tricks up my sleeve to demonstrate this phenomenon. The one that got the most class participation was trying to blow a 50 cent piece, perched atop a playing card, into a wine glass. It's not as easy as you would think.

Jed tried valiantly to blow just the right way, unsuccessfully, multiple times.

Apparently he thought the Karate Kid's crane stance would improve his chances.

And it did!

It is the coolest thing when this is done blow one short, sharp blast into the gap between the card and the rim of the glass...the increased pressure in the glass lifts the back of the card and the coin slides off into the glass.

If you think that's cool, you should have seen me turn a glass full of water upside down without spilling a drop! I even impressed myself.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pele in the Making

Project 365 - June 2

Our kitchen turns into a soccer field by night.

See that small gap between the counter on the left and the refrigerator on the right? That's Jed's goal.

The opening at the other end of the kitchen, which spans nearly the whole width of the room, is Tracy's goal.

I'd say that makes them about even. :)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Natural Beauty

Project 365 - June 1

Remember those gourds I cut and cleaned a few weeks back? I've been working on them, at my usual snail's pace.

I've added several layers of colors to the painted ones and am now trying to determine whether the insides should be painted or left in their natural state.

Suggestions are welcome. :)

Somewhere Under the Rainbow

Project 365 - May 31

We had several nice showers this afternoon.

One of them occurred while the sun was shining...I was at the kitchen window when I noticed how beautiful the light was, reflecting off the soft sheet of rain coming down.

Jed and I raced outside with our umbrellas, looking for a rainbow. We didn't find one, but the clouds were an interesting consolation prize.

Preparing for the Theatre

Project 365 - May 30

After we cleaned up from the science experiments Wednesday afternoon, Lori told me about an upcoming production of The Wind in the Willows at the Shakespeare Theatre in Monmouth.

Since completing Little Pilgrim's Progress recently, we've reverted back to the books with bright colors. Enough of that! Tonight we started reading The Wind in the Willows.

Jed seemed interested in the concept of preparing for the play by reading the book beforehand. I'm finding myself explaining a lot of words and using a ton of inflection, but it's working....Jed is actually enjoying the story.

Name that Animal

Project 365 - May 29

We visited Miss Rita today and took along our Doodle Dice game, as I've grown weary of her continual Rummikub victories.

I am the Queen of Doodle Dice, after all. :)

After dethroning the queen, the prince proceeded to create a few of his own doodles. I took pictures so we can make the cards and have our own version of the best kids' game ever.

Surprise in the Mail

Project 365 - May 28

Jed was excited to find a package on the front porch today when we got home from swim lessons.

He was thrilled to see his name on it!

Tucked inside was a plush Hermie who talks about prayer and hugs and grace.

Thank you, Miss Candy! We miss you.


Project 365 - May 27

We had another science experiment today with Lori and the boys.

While waiting for the real experiment to ferment, the one exploring the properties of yeast and carbon dioxide, the boys made Goop.

True to form, Jed was not having it. No way was he sticking his fingers into a bowl of Goop. Loris's boys were up to the task, though, and dove it with abandon.

Too bad I didn't get a picture of their dyed hands. :)

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm

Project 365 - May 26

Jed is such a bad influence on me.

He's been wanting watermelon for a while and has been disappointed each time when I tell him it's not watermelon season yet.

So today, while grocery shopping, he spies this delectable watermelon in the freezer section.

It's always watermelon-sherbert-with-chocolate-chip-seeds season! :)