Wednesday, June 8, 2011

green bean teepee

saw her bean pole teepee last year, and knew these little fort nuts would LOVE one. and since leif's favorite vegetables are "garden" green beans, i knew it would be a hit. we have lots of space outside, but also lots of deer visitors, and constructing a deer-proof garden spot is on a long list of projects. but we do have a little fenced side yard in need of lots of work (meaning we can do just about anything we want over there, and it will be better than what it is now). so we took advantage of a break in the rain and got busy. i gathered a few random long sticks, tied them up, and let the boys go crazy with the yarn bag. they pretended to be spiders, weaving their way in and out of the sticks and each other. everyone was busy working on different aspects of the project, and it felt so good to be happily creating something together. everyone came and went, of course, but for the most part, all three boys were enthusiastically engaged at one time or another.

we were on such a roll, we even stuck a few pea seeds in the ground...we'll see what happens. (by the way, for those of you who aren't local, we've had TONS of rain and unseasonably cold temperatures here, so that's why our gardening adventures may seem late...and why i'm optimistic, but not betting too much on a whole lot of's the process, not the product, right?!?)

and when the inevitable rain paid us its afternoon visit, the boys enjoyed sitting at the window watching all the birdies feasting on the tiny critters we turned up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

what is

it's 5:04.
normally, this is the time when little boys around here are herded away
from afternoon activities toward dinner (or are already pacing the kitchen like starving hyenas). but not tonight. finally, there's a break in the rain, and i'm licking these moments up like the last bits of cake. they're outside, making their own mud dinners, soups, and crazy concoctions. i can see a beer bottle, the ash bucket, a tool belt, and a nice pile of urgently green weeds. they're happy. i'm happy. and whenever the inside calls to them, there are warm cookies
waiting to lure them to the tub.
dinner can wait.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

easter bunny day

dear blog, it's been a long time. sorry i've neglected you. i'll do better (maybe). how about a little easter recap to catch up?

we had some special visitors (in addition to the easter bunny, of course) this easter....grandma holly and grandpa andy came for the weekend. after enjoying a much appreciated day of gorgeous weather on saturday, we decorated eggs that evening.

a close-up of eric's favorite "anakin" egg...he wanted to make sure this shot found
its way to the blog.

the next morning, the boys were tickled to find many of their stuffed bunny friends waiting patiently for them downstairs...quietly gathered on the rug, presumably invited together by the E.B. him- (her?) self. then, we dashed outside, managing to beat the snowflakes to the easter baskets on sunday morning.

back inside, goodies were discovered and devoured by all.

the day was rainy, but that seemed only to enhance sam's adventures...

seemed like the right kind of day for warm, yummy pretzels & soup, so that was easter dinner...
thanks, bunny...mama thinks this holiday is her favorite.

Friday, March 25, 2011

it's deja vu all over again

these boys love to draw, there's no doubt about that. and they love to draw the same things over and over and over again. even when it's the same subject, the images do change over time, usually becoming more detailed, so that's fun to watch. sometimes, though, i think i'm going crazy when i look down and see a picture that looks exactly the same as it did some months ago, even though i'm sure i stashed (or possibly trashed...i know, GASP!) it away in a very safe spot...ahem. today was one of those days. leif made another of his football players, and even he remarked that it looked exactly like the old one (above). then, of course, he wanted me to find that old one, so he could make the comparison himself. i could probably do that with a little digging, but i can find these pictures more quickly.

at least today's round was a little easier on the nerves than that last time. these are just some of the rejects that caused us all a the numbers, the hands, the face...they all hand to be just so. one of the challenges of drawing from a model, i suppose. but he cannot be deterred.

last time, eric and sam joined in the fun, too. eric's guy is in the middle...the tape used to correct a few small cutting boo boos quickly became "bandages" from a rough game. the guy on the right is a cast-off happily decorated by sam.

i think i'll leave it at that...wouldn't want to relive the trauma that befell us all when good 'ol number 16 became drenched by a spill....oy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

friend party, finally!

are they here yet? what about now? now? NOW?????

last weekend, we finally had a "friend party" for leif...his actual birthday was only two months ago. sickness, busy-ness, post holiday all contributed to a little delay in the festivities. but, we finally arrived at just the right time, and (crazy, high-energy, six-year-old) fun was had by all. oh yah.

there were cool dino headbands,

balloon craziness...followed by nerve blasting balloon popping,

a little gift envy (oh, that one's so hard for me...),

and an awesome, daddy-designed dino cake!

oh, and yes...a pinata. giving an old ax handle to the above mentioned crazy six year olds? what a great idea! but, it was fate -- leif discovered it hanging from the ceiling at the local discount store. no way that thing wasn't coming home with us.

we didn't escape without a little snow and a lot of wind (i guess a january birthday just kinda sticks with ya), but we did make it outside for the pinata. just on account of that, i'm chalking the whole thing up as a success.

Friday, March 11, 2011

doodlebugs 3.11.11, green pepper clover

did you know that a green pepper cut in half horizontally creates the shape of a four-leaf clover when you stamp it? neither did i, but the folks over here did. so we gathered up our little leprechauns and stamped the time away...

and painted, and drizzled, and scrubbed, and dabbed, of course.

for some added magic (and scent), we sprinkled green jello over our art just for fun. shaving cream? lime jello? no one can say we stink. ;-)

here is eric's masterpiece, encased in a layer of paint and jello so thick that green pepper wouldn't even think of rotting. here's to st. patrick's day, green paint, green peppers, and anything else that reminds us of spring!

Monday, March 7, 2011

you sneaky devil goddess, you...

missy chase lapine, you're a genius, and i love you.

ok, so i've had this book on my shelves for around four years now, thanks to my friend, andi. geologically speaking, that's not too long, right?

well, the stars were aligned yesterday, and for whatever reason, i decided to give the crunchy chicken tenders a go. they were sooooo yummy, and for the first time in my six years as a mother, i plunked down a pile of chicken nuggets for dinner and felt not one ounce of guilt, but rather excitement. "better than mcdonald's!" eric declared. now that's a compliment. they reheated today beautifully...crisp and delish....i prefer them with honey mustard.

with "orange puree" left over, we went ahead and made some "thumbprint peanut butter cookies" this afternoon...a perfect recipe for a four year old chef. smashing cereal with a rolling pin? check. plunging your finger into the middle of a dough ball? check. stuffing chocolate chips into the center of said dough balls? check. what more could we ask for? "healthiness", you say? check, check and double check. with an ingredient list including whole wheat flour, carrots, sweet potatoes, wheat germ, whole wheat cereal, natural peanut butter, & canola oil, i'd say this recipe is the tops.

while adding ingredients, eric noted it looked like "a mountain in the hawaii". oh, goodness, i'm in heaven.

so out went a plate of these babies this afternoon, and everyone declared "great!" (well, sam said, "gate!") and munched them into oblivion. they actually gasped when they realized there was a plateful of cookies in front of them, and i wasn't limiting their access to it. leif declared, "it's a trick treat!" "why?" i asked. "because it's a treat, but it's not!" you got it, kid! you know what the best part is? we weren't even sneaky about it...we cooked together, and the kids know what's in these goodies. isn't that "gate"!?!

Friday, March 4, 2011

doodlebugs 3.4.11, shaving cream trumps all

well, little did i know, all you have to do to keep a bunch of youngins' busy is spray a bunch of shaving cream in front of them. they have a number of options under these conditions: touch it ambitiously, touch it cautiously, touch it with a paint brush, apply it to their faces, whack it and see what happens, apply it to their parents' faces, draw in it, stare at it with no touching, stare at all the kids touching it in the above ways, and/or any combination thereof. i had grand plans for letting them add paint to it and even potentially taking a marbleized print from it, but you know, plain old shaving cream seemed pretty fascinating all by its lovely old self. it was very interesting to see how many kiddos explored the shaving cream in ways that surprised their grown-ups. as in, "i can't believe he's putting that on his face!" (said by me, secretly to another mom). ah, can be so freeing! i also had string painting set up, but only one little guy said hello to that station...i'll save it for another day.

so there you go...shaving cream. whoddah thunk it?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

thrifty friends

once upon a time, there was a little boy who fell in love with a stuffed animal at the drug store. he went there from time to time with his brothers and mama, usually to pick up prescriptions...not exactly joy to a child. his favorite isles were filled with colorful gifts, seasonal knick-knacks, and of course, toys. this particular creature hung with his friends at the end of the row, attracting the eye and begging for a cozy home. "put it on your list," the mama would gently say, noting how much the little boy coveted the creature while simultaneously thinking it didn't quite fit her idea of the perfect toy. several months went by, and always the same little guy called out to her son. satin wings in his favorite color, blue. one day, justified by the coupon in hand, the mama marched into the store prepared, finally, to bring the winged temptation home for her son's fourth birthday. enter "zlock", member of the webkinz gang...a "zumbuddy" to be specific. much to the mama's delight, this was no passing fancy for her son. he was thrilled to find him among his birthday gifts and has slept with him, loved him, and toted him on adventures ever since.

this adoration did not escape his observant older brother, who began to long for a little friend of the same species. oh, my! the collection fever had gripped them! now the family, it seemed, needed another zumbuddy.


fast forward to today and a much needed thrift store fix. the mama brought the oldest boy along with her for a treasure hunting adventure. fabric scraps, books, yarn...the normal odds and ends began to gather in their cart. but alas, you will never believe who gazed upon them from the piles of well-loved stuffed beasts...yes, a zumbuddy, please and thank you. and not just any zumbuddy, but the exact one, zana, the oldest boy had chosen to place on his list when his zumbuddy envy bloomed.

well, hit me with a daisy. that's the magic of thrift stores, i tell you. and now the two zumbuddies are sitting happily between their adoptive daddies, wrapped snugly in their newly made "sweater" bags.

but that's another story.

Friday, February 25, 2011

doodlebugs 2.18.11, this and that

what do you get when you put oil pastels, tempera paint, juice lids*, glue, and the "treasure box" in front of little artists? ...all kinds of cool creations!

*for these, i used the lids from frozen cans of juice with holes punched in them. i strung them with fishing line before the kids started working to ensure the holes weren't blocked by their little collages. to punch the holes, i used a crop-o-dile...a super cool, super strong crafty wonder.