Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Eagle Award

AJ has been nominated for the Eagle Award at her school. Each month one kid from each grade gets the award for showing scholastic excellence. AJ's teacher said she is "the perfect Kindergartener" that she is progressing and is willing to learn and excellent at listening to directions. Needless to say, we are quite proud. The ceremony is Friday, so check back for more.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving II

My brother's fiance's family invited us to Thanksgiving at their home in Beaumont, Texas. So we decided to go last minute. It was such a blast, what a fun family. We got there just before the feast (best sweet potatoes I have ever had–and I have had a lot!) and then we spent the afternoon singing show tunes and kids songs around the piano. The next day Jill (mom) arranged for us all to have ballroom dance lessons (I now have much more respect for "Dancing with the Stars") then we got to watch a dress rehearsal for her Christmas play. We had to go home Saturday, but we heard the partying went on all through the weekend.

Thank you so much Hayes family–we had such a blast.

Lake Pointe Elementary's Thanksgiving Play

This is a really cute song from AJ's class play...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We gather together to share the Lord's blessing...

We are actually having Thanksgiving a day early and going to Sea World on Thanksgiving. It was really nice, I missed the shopping crowds by a day, and AJ was at school all day while I prepared most of the food.

We have a huge oak tree in the backyard, so we hauled the table out there under the tree. I put AJ in charge of decorating the table, so she was busy making placemats and various 3-D displays (she is SO creative) all weekend with leaves and acorns and all kinds of fall things. It turned out SO cute. I think that will be a new tradition of ours, and it will be fun to see her tables evolve over the years.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Raising Monarchs

Soon after we moved here a friend gave us a milkweed plant and instructions for "raising" monarchs. (Thank you Mark!) For any of you who would like to do the same here is what we did:

First plant a milkweed plant in a pot, so you can bring it indoors. Our local nurseries sell milkweed but it can also be grown very easily from seed (I've got tons of seeds–I'd be happy to mail them to anyone interested!) Then you just check the plant every few days until you see a couple eggs. Apparently these eggs are very tiny (about the size of a period on a page) and white. I never saw the eggs. One day I just noticed several tiny (and I mean tiny!) caterpillars about the length of a piece of rice but half the diameter.

Once there are eggs or caterpillars bring the plant indoors so it will be protected and so you can watch this amazing process. The caterpillars start off slowly, but after about a week they are voracious eaters. We had 11 caterpillars and they went through 4 medium sized milkweed plants. I had to go buy new plants twice!

After 10-14 days they will leave the milkweed, climb up another available tall thing, and form their chrysalis. This was amazing. They moult their skin and underneath is an emerald green chrysalis with gold spots. The chrysalis then has to attach itself to a small "button" it formed as a caterpillar. It is fascinating. A very good site to see this is http://www.linknot.com/Magic-Garden/Monarch-chrysalis.htm

Finally after 10-12 days the chrysalises become dark and transparent, you can actually see the butterfly inside. Then they hatch very quickly. They are all shriveled up and have to pump up their wings. After resting for a couple hours, they fly away.

This was so much fun for the kids, and really easy. I highly recommend it. We will surely do it again next summer!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007


My mom, sister and nephew all came to visit for a week.
We had all kinds of fun at the dino pit, children's museum, fishing, and much more.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Angels among us

Okay, the "Holiday Season" is officially here. I have been waiting to post this video! These pictures and video are from one of the most special nights of my life–I mean that in all sincerety. Anyone with kids will know what I am talking about, when you think back to those few very precious moments in life, (introducing your brand new baby to their sibling comes to mind.) This night was one of those moments for me.

Our friend Lorile invited us to their church party (which she directed, amazing) and invited the kids to be in their nativity play. With the kids dressed in their angel costumes and the atmosphere of the "Night in Jerusalem" culminating in the children's nativity play, I truly experienced "the spirit of the season." Even now I am on the verge of tears, the emotion is still so fresh.

As this holiday season approaches, I hope we can all recognize and appreciate the angels among us.