Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Trip to the Zoo

Last Friday, Wesley's class went to the zoo. In fact, the whole second grade went to the Birmingham Zoo. We had planned to send Wes on this field trip, but once we really thought about it we realized we could all three go and spend some time with my parents :) So, this past Friday, we headed off to Birmingham and finally got to see their apartment for the first time! We had a great evening with them and then got some beauty sleep to prepare us for an adventure on Saturday! We got up and headed to IHOP which was delicious! (Chocolate chip pancakes are a MUST, in my book)

Then, we headed straight to the zoo! First stop: a Train Ride!

Right away we put Wes in charge of our map and he really took his job seriously! He scoped out a few spots he most wanted to see and we charted a course for fun!

High on Wes's To Do List: Kangaroo Kountry and the Carousel

This Hungry, Hungry Hippo was one of the first sites we saw

Along the way, we posed with this friendly rabbit (he didn't have any Trix, though)

Of course, the camel ride was also a wonderful photo op!


Brad and Daddy got a kick out of this giraffe and they even fed him a few branches from the trees in the foreground

This was one of MY favorite spots - in the Lorikeet cage you could feed nectar to the birds. At first, Wes thought he would just hold the cup and NOT have the bird land on his arm, but once my dad got him started, Wes was enthralled by the little bird and LOVED having one perched on his arm :) It was sooo sweet watching him walk cautiously to be sure not to spook the bird :)

As always with Wes, we simply cannot predict what will catch his interest.... At the zoo, his absolute favorite thing was this small side exhibit that allowed him to practice milking a cow - Or in this case, a bucket! He would have spent the rest of the afternoon perched right there! He looooved it!

Sunday morning came too quickly - After a trip to the Cracker Barrel it was time to say goodbye :(


Brad surprised me Monday morning with the news that he had the day off! Naturally, we spent some serious time in the GARDEN! Check it out:

After school and choir, Wes FINALLY got to plant his corn! Think he looks excited?

Here, Brad shows him how it's done :)

And, here is how it's laid out - I THINK!! I'm not sure I labeled the tomatoes and peppers properly ;)

Other things are still growing and blooming:


The AWESOME Amaryllis finally opened and once it did, boy were we in for a surprise! It just keeps on blooming! SIX BLOOMS - Check it out:

While we were at it, we mowed the front, back and way-back yards. Brad did most of the work, but I did tackle the way-back. We have some pretty weeds growing back there and they produce purple flowers. As I started mowing, I spotted Brad sweetly picking all the purple flowers! Later, I discovered them tucked into a vase in the kitchen. I thanked him for such a romantic gesture, but was surprised to find he had an ulterior motive! He knew I loved those flowers and he was worried I wouldn't mow over them and would leave lots of patches of tall grass in an effort to protect the flowers!! Isn't it funny how differently men and women think?!
This photo LOOKS like just another picture of pretty purple flowers, but it's actually so much more... It's my way of bragging that these flowers are still ALIVE!!! I am so proud of myself that they aren't even turning yellow or wilting! I may have found something I can handle!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wesley's Story ~ "The Hen"

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mid-April Details

I'm still enjoying my bright red azaleas and I fully intend to put a brick on a limb as soon as I think it can handle it :) I've been really watching one of my amaryllis in the front garden because it's been about to bloom for about a week now! I can't stand the suspense!! So, this morning, it finally opened! It's not at 100% just yet but you can see that it will be gorgeous! White with crimson stripes! Yay! You know, at first I was skeptical about the things growin in the front flower beds, but now I just see it as a continual supply of fun surprises! :)
In related news, the hydrangea from Mrs. Cheryl is doing really really well! I'm a little jealous because I saw hers last weekend and it has the beginnings of buds :( Mine doesn't ... YET! Check out its progress though:

Something else is making insane progress (apparently I'm a goober and was out almost exactly one month ago taking pictures of these same plants!) Anyways, my canna lillies are just growing and growing- even though I chopped them back when we moved in! SEE:

And - I don't know if I posted it here or not but I have one semi-funny story... When we moved in, there was a pot on the front porch housing some scraggly dead strands of grass... I thought I might as well scoop that out and reuse the pot for some freesia :) As I was cleaning out the dirt I found a surprise - 10 (10!) bulbs all crammed into one small pot!! So I called my mom about them (Mom, do you remember this conversation? It felt like Christmas finding free bulbs!) I described them to Mom and she declared them to be gladiolas (a later trip to Lowe's confirmed this) and so I repotted about 4 of the healthy ones and hoped for the best :) .... And much time passed with no sign of anything growing :( and then, some sort of white puffy things sprouted so I knew the dirt must have "gone bad" like Mom had cautioned :( So I quit watering them and just left the pot sitting there. :( So sad :( .... Later, I remembered the pot and thought, "Well, I can put some brand new dirt in there and plant something else... Happy day!" So I went to reclaim the pot and... THIS is what I found:


Ok, enough garden-talk :) As I mentioned, Brad, Wes and I went to visit his parents last weekend. We just drove over on Saturday and stayed the afternoon, but a good time was had in that short time :) We had a yummy lunch and Wes got to have catfish :) Then, we split up. Brad and Mr. Herb headed off to do some hardware shopping and I was headed to visit Kim :) LUCKILY, I didn't leave right when the guys left because they drove off with the key to the house and Mrs. Cheryl was locked out! So, she went with me to Kim's and we had a super fun time doing much-needed girl bonding :) PLUS, I got to check out Kim's garden! She's gonna give us a run for our money - She planted tons of yummy things and her lettuce is already sprouting!
While we were there, she even had a cool project for Connor and Wes to work on together:

Wes handled the yellow icing and Connor had the blue - I think they did a a beautiful job and we were all impressed at how well they worked together!
After soaking in our share of girliness it was time to regroup with the men at the Smiths' house... And Wes immediately set to work on his usual task at their house - Making signs to decorate their foyer. Usually, he makes warnings about their daschund - "beware of Lucy" etc. They have a fun stairwell that calls to Wes and all of his creative juices... As you can see, he certainly can make a lot of signs in a short period of time:
In other news, I've been worried about the Birthday Cupcake situation... The last batch I made was super tasty, but flat and ugly! So I bought new cake mixes AND better food coloring and tried it again - I even got Wes to help decorate! Much better, don't you think?

And, lastly - Wes has been making up his own game show complete with question and answer cards for the host (him) to use. So, he quizzed Brad and me the other night and one question stood out as my instant favorite!
I've included a photo below, but it's hard to read so I'll translate:
Question: What was a lonely art?
Answer: The Lonely Lisa!
I asked him if he made that up and he replied, "No, Mom, that's a real art!" He thought that was the name of the painting! So I explained that it was the MONA Lisa.... Then, he asked me if she was lonely and I said no, but a lot of experts study her facial expression because they can't tell if she's smiling or frowning or what she might be thinking... And he said, "Well, I think she looks lonely" :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TILL We Get A Garden!

For some reason, it feels like we really haven't gotten our Vegitable Garden started yet! And I think Brad must be feeling the same because this past weekend he decided to get started! What did we need? A garden spot... What is the manliest way to create a garden spot? A big, honkin' tiller! So, off to Sears we went and you can see by Brad's smile that he found just what he was looking for :) Here's a glory shot for my male readers:

Female Readers: I totally found a huge sale while we were there and got 3 new tops for $4.99 each! Oh, and some cute purple garden gloves!

*ahem ahem* ok - Back to the tilling business! As you can see, Brad knocked out a perfect garden plot and now we just need to get our plants hardy enough to endure the windy yard!

As for me, I've been enjoying a fun, super-girly side project. A friend at church needed some tee shirts designed for her studio's upcoming dance recital :) Needless to say, I was quick to volunteer! I got to sketch cute little ballerina's and she seemed pleased with the results :) Check it out:

I've also been working on Wesley's Birthday Party - May 2nd will be here before we know it! So, I thought I'd whip up a batch of test cupcakes. The results were delicious, but not exactly aesthetically pleasing... The tops didn't rise so I had 24 flat-topped cup cakes with some parts of the top left stuck to the pan... Oh well! I also mixed up some orange frosting... After adding s-e-v-e-r-a-l drops of food coloring I settled for peach... That's a pretty color but it's NOT what I was going for... There's a reason I always leave this to a professional!

This past Sunday was Easter - We went to church and were joined there by Chuck and Jullia. The cross out front was decorated with flowers from members' yards and really turned out beautiful.... though not well-stabilized. After church, we headed back home to fire up the grill and hunt for some eggs. The food was (of course) delicious and almost all the eggs were recovered - Thank goodness for FAKE EGGS!

Other than the tiller adventure, tee shirt excitement, Easter, and cupcake disaster, Life has been pretty simple... So I'll leave you with a few recent shots:

Sometimes the simplest things in life bring the most joy -
Here, Wes enjoys his favorite: chocolate milk.

This item was also on sale at Sears- Probably wasn't $4.99 though ;)

Wes still likes the option of fixing his own hair... on weekends ;)

A rare, but sweet quiet moment :D
Makes this momma's heart smile

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Did I tell you about the Beautiful Ranunculus Linda brought last weekend? I am really enjoying the intricate purple flowers and it just keeps on blooming :)

My various azaleas are doing really well too - All my typical pink ones are blooming moderately well, but I think the winter may have been too rough on them to expect too too much... Some of them barely have leaves, let alone FLOWERS :)

But check out this deep crimson one that is in our front garden - I've never seen such a beautiful color on an azalea before:

So I think I have 4 main colors and if the white ones will ever bloom I'll have 5 :)

Wes and I are really enjoying the warmer weather and longer days :)
Wes has been hard to keep indoors long enough to finish homework! Makagan and David have become regular fixtures in the backyard and I think they're learning to all get along pretty well.

When the hammock broke, Wes figured out a new way to hang it up and Here he is enjoying the fruits of his labor with Makagan:

And, as you can see, it's strong enough to hold THREE boys :) Here they are with David:

Too bad it's not summer time QUITE yet... We are still trudging through this school year. Wes had a great report card this month - 1 A, 2 B's and 3 S's (satisfactory) No C's !! So we are really thankful for his improvement and all that hard work!

Unfortunately, he did not meet his AR goal of 9.5 points :( I'm not sure HOW he could have reached the goal since they are only reading books worth 1/2 a point and he can only take 2 quizzes per week... How can he earn 9.5 points in 9 weeks? Anyways, I got the school newsletter this week and realized Wes is not the only one having this problem. One page listed all the kids in the various grades who reached their AR goal... Here is the 2nd Grade list (teacher names are omitted to avoid causing problems)

Since parents can request teachers at this school I have already started talking to the assistant principal about Wes's options for next year. Needless to say, I won't be voting for the 3rd grade teacher with the least AR goals met... Pray for Wes to have a much better experience next year! He deserves to love school and to have a teacher who loves school, too!