Friday, May 30, 2014

On Finally Knowing

So after months and months of hardly knowing anything at all about what our next year will look like, we finally do know some things!

But I'm afraid you'll have to scroll through these completely unrelated pictures from our vacation to find out what those things are.....

 Fort Macon group photo fail.

 Only child who willingly has his picture taken refuses to make normal faces.

 That's right, he's already picking flowers for mom :)

Well during our trip we heard from Chris' detailer that we definitely have orders to go to the Pentagon in November--well as definite as orders can be until you actually have them printed off and are on your way to check out from your command, that is :)  

The detailer also said he could push the orders to December 1 to give us more than two weeks postpartum to do the big move so that was thoughtful.  Is it crazy to try to move to DC in December?  Less crazy than moving in say September--hugely pregnant by yourself with three kids?

Wherever we go, we definitely need a pile of dirt at our new place.  I have never seen children more engrossed in their play than when mine were busy on the dirt mountain/castle/fort/prison/"lego castle" (which is completely different than a regular castle in case you, like me, didn't know).

Also, a hose, we will definitely have a hose.

And a daughter, if all goes well, we will also be settling into our new place with a brand new baby girl :)

David is beyond excited and has requested a curly haired, red-headed sister but has said that a "plain regular sister" would be fine as well.  I guess I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fossil Hunting

We've been vacationing in North Carolina and have spent our time mostly playing in dirt piles and hunting for fossils.  I can't believe we lived here for years and never knew what a prime fossil hunting location we had--not that I would have been particularly interested in fossil hunting as a teenager :)

Our first foray into the world of fossil excavation was at Green Mill Run in Greenville, NC.  Chris made us some fossil sifters out of scraps we found at his uncle's and we went out to find the elusive fossil stream.  Elusive to us that is.  Apparently every one else knew to just park at the park next to the stream and walk down to the creek via the bridge.  We decided to try to get there by wandering through a very dense and very muddy forest only to find the creek bank entirely too steep and water too deep for the kids which meant we had to follow it all the way back to the bridge that was obviously the place to begin if we weren't such fossiling newbies.

The professional fossil hunters were all at the bridge.  Luckily they were very nice and gave the boys lots of tips and all the tiny sharks teeth they were discarding.

The boys had a lot of fun while I mostly made sure John Michael didn't drown in the creek.  I did get a chance at the end of our trip to try my hand with the fossil sifter and found our biggest shark tooth of the day.  Admittedly it's not a particularly large sharks tooth but still--I'm pretty sure my find makes me the current master fossil hunter extraordinaire of the family.

The most exciting part of the day by far though was running into most of the Small Things gang on our way out--being professionals, they knew to park at the park and not tramp through the mucky woods. I saw the kids piling out of their van and I nudged Chris and told him that I thought I recognized them from the internet.  Chris said I should introduce myself but I didn't want to be creepy and tell them I knew all about them from their mom's blog.  David took care of the situation by running down as soon as he saw the girls, introducing himself and politely dragging them over to the playground to play.  They were just as sweet and friendly as they seem online and we even got a shout out on their blog so now we're pretty much famous.

The next day we headed off to the Aurora Fossil Festival and did even more fossil hunting in the piles of fossil rich dirt they bring in for the occasion.  I think I prefer fossil hunting in the creek though.  It's a lot easier to sift through everything with water there to rinse away the dirt.  Shockingly, the boys were happy to dig either way.

We dug for a while and then walked around eating ice-cream and checking out the vendors.  There were a lot of interesting fossil exhibits and vendors selling ridiculously expensive specimens.  The boys were a little disappointed to find out that I did not think five hundred dollars was a reasonable price to pay for a giant megladon shark tooth, but they managed to get over it in time for the parade :)

I think I see many more days of fossil hunting in our future.  Lucky for us Florida is full of excellent fossil hunting locations....... 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Garden Progress...It's a Squashtastrophy

You'll have to forgive me for boring you, but I need to document the progress of our little out of control garden...or more accurately lack thereof.

I took this picture right before I pulled out the giant yellow squash plant on the left.  It's the biggest disappointment of the garden.  It was doing so well and had lots of flowers and then lots of little squashes and then just when I got my hopes up that this was finally my year for being the successful squash farmer I knew I would be.....they rotted.  One by one.  Each and every one.  In my expert gardening opinion based on copious amounts of internet browsing of images of rotting squashes I've concluded that I have "blossom end rot".  Which of course has only one cure and that is to enrich the soil to prevent it from happening in the first place.  Super helpful advice internet.  At least now in the absence of the mighty giant my carrots stand a chance of actually getting some sunlight.

I do have high hopes that my zucchini in the other bed will not succumb to the rot though.  Its first batch of little beautiful squash are already growing so now I just watch them every day, checking for signs of the decay that I would be powerless to stop.  Who knew gardening was so dramatic?

Tomatoes though, tomatoes we can grow.  I'm apparently allergic to pruning them, but they don't seem to mind.  This year we bought three little seedlings at the nursery that were labeled to be the most resilient to the various bugs and diseases that plague our humid home and they have turned out to be everything they promised and more.

Our basil's coming back after a vicious animal attack, our cucumber is vining up the trellis so that's promising, and we've been able to harvest three hot peppers with nary an insect hole to be found so I guess the garden isn't a total disaster.

I think when we plant our next garden after the big move (which incidentally looks like it will be DC in November--but we don't actually have orders in our hand so who knows) I'm going to go with the advice I've been reading in Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots and focus on planting more things that are fun for the kids to grow like sunflower houses and berry bushes and gourds that we can make into birdhouses.

Maybe then we can avoid another squashtastrophy........

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Geocaching and the New Evangelization

Geocaching.  Chris is not going to stop anytime soon, but it has been the impetus for a lot more nature walks so it isn't all bad.  And we started leaving Catholic CDs in the caches so we're totally evangelizing too right?  Or is that just obnoxious?  I don't care, I'm planning on bulk ordering saint medals so we can start leaving those in smaller containers too :)

We take our geocaching very seriously.  Weapons are a must to chase off any curious Muggles.....

Don't let this paved trail fool you.  Once you cross the bridge you are totally on your own in this park--it was mostly mud and roots and Chris totally had to take over stroller duty.  I do think the presence of the stroller off-roading in the woods made the cool mountain biker we passed with his camera helmet feel a little less hip and intense.

Chris had a lot of fun.

John Michael......meh.......

But you know it was a morning well spent when this is the end result.   Oh geocaching, how I love/hate you.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Henry turned four this week, which just doesn't seem possible.  

We had an easy family party and grandma Kazleman stopped in to help celebrate.  Henry requested a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, chicken legs and bananas with cheese sauce.  I did my best to make his birthday dinner wishes come true, minus the bananas with cheese sauce no.  

He also picked his own candles out at the grocery store.  I showed him some fun curly ones and he said he didn't want "pig tail" candles and chose the animal print ones instead.  


He loved all his presents but some of them were immediately commandeered by the other

All in all, I think he was pleased.

Happy Birthday my big little man :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Star Wars Birthday Surprise

For Henry's fourth birthday, David and I have been working on a little surprise for our biggest Star Wars fan......

His very own set of Star Wars peg dolls :)

Mom-made peg dolls are a perennial favorite round these parts so it only made sense to make some Star Wars friends to go with the rest of the bunch now that Henry is so in love with all things Jedi.

And naturally I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration (these, these, these, and this Yoda were my favorites and I copied them with reckless abandon!).

R2D2 was the trickiest since he involved sawing off the top of a peg doll head, cutting the body down to size and then gluing the two pieces back together (as found in this tutorial).  The only tools I had for the job were David's hand saw and a clamp so both pieces came out a bit crooked.  Luckily they were the same amount of crooked so in the end they fit together like a puzzle--anyway it wasn't anything a little wood putty couldn't fix :)

Yoda is my absolute favorite though.

This was a whole family project.  David helped by painting Darth Vader black and keeping our project secret from Henry for going on a week now (which in itself is a miracle!).  John helped by knocking over pegs while I attempted to take pictures........

I'm pretty sure Henry is going to love these and I can't wait to see his reaction when he opens them!

I really love to give the kids homemade presents that they actually play with.  Hopefully my skills can keep up with their imaginations--although my children are admittedly easy to please--I think it's mostly due to their almost complete lack of exposure to commercials.......or friends with super amazing toys :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...