Monday, June 30, 2014

Flowers and Festivity


All my sweeties.  They woke up and were very good after their Sunday night slumber party. 
I managed to get this cute pic of the boys and their cousins before they hit the road this morning. 

4 was hard to capture on camera, but 5 is trickier.  

Mom got back from her trip yesterday, and we thought we'd try to see her before we leave for Chicago.  She asked if the boys and I wanted to meet for lunch.  We split a salmon salad from Boulder Creek.  So yummy.  And it started pouring down rain.  I hadn't been to B.C. in quite a while , so its not surprising that it had changed.  But the rain, that surprised me.  However, when we got home, my flowers were quite happy for the rain. 

My first daisy of the season.   
Even in the rain, they are still a happy flower. 

My day lilies are blooming too. 
We planted a bunch around the mailbox, and they are open and happy this year.  

This was a day lily party crasher.  
One of these is not like the others. 
Still pretty, though. 

This one makes me very happy. 
This is my lavender plant, we just got this year from Chris's school. 
And it's blooming.  It looks really pretty all covered in water droplets. 
And now that I'm finding all kinds of joy in my essential oils, lavender is one of my favorites.

To end the day, we went to dinner with Mom and Dad, before we leave for Chicago tomorrow.  
It's Mom's birthday tomorrow, so we celebrated a little early.  Sam picked out a light up Cinderella card for her, that sang a song that wasn't from the movie, and we all got a big kick out of it.  It was a cute card.  Calling Mom princess was pretty sweet.  I'm glad we got to squeeze a visit in before we head to Chicago.  

Fun fresh things


Ah, Sunday.  The end of the week, the beginning of the week.  Eric surprised me by making breakfast.  He diced up the remainder of the tomatoes in the fridge before we head out on vacation.   He made it with:  6 eggs, 1 cup shredded mozzerella, a half dozen or so diced compari tomatoes, 1/4 cup fresh basil that he snipped up with the cooking shears per pie.  He made 3 pies.  And Wooo Dang they were good!

One for eating right away, and some for freezing for later. :) 

We made it to church and watched the kids sing and do the moves to all the songs they learned in VBS.  
No really, it's over.  But they had  a great time 'teaching' the songs to others in the congregation. 

We got some visitors at the birdfeeder too.  I am really enjoying becoming an old fuddy duddy birdwatcher. 
House finches I think.  

I think this little gal is a brown-headed Cowbird.

My friend the House Finch has come back a lot this week.  

Here we had little red House Finch, and Miss Whitetail the neighborhood squirrel come around for droppings. The squirrels seem to have gotten the memo that the birdfeeder is squirrel proof.  I don't mind if she goes for the droppings, I mind her stealing the birdies birdseed. 

Leave the seeds for the birds.  I love this of the red headed House Finch and the Cardinal doing dueling feeding times. 
Speaking of feeding sister came over for a slumber party Sunday night.  
She wanted to put on a "boilin' pot" and do a crab boil.  OK. 

Yeah, she bees goofy.  I know, you never wondered where we get it.

She brought a great big pot, put in potatoes, onions, corn on the cob, bay and some other minor magic spices, some shrimp and crab knuckles.  She said the girls love to break into them.  I had serious doubts whether my kids would eat any of it....but I was happily surprised.  Sam ate crab.  Yep, you read that right...he even wanted seconds of it.  He didn't like the shrimp as much, but both boys thought that breaking into the knuckle to get at the meat and pull it out with their teeth was great fun.  Sam doesn't like corn, but he ate a dinner's worth of meat and potatoes.  Chris ate meat and corn.  

Even Jake got in on the action by slurping on a cob of corn.  Of course, he slurped on it a while, but only ate barely a bite of it, before throwing it overboard.  That's his ever-so-subtle way of telling us he's done. 

After the yahoos went down for the night, Lisa and I got Oily.  
Did I mention I sucked her in to Essential Oils too?  Well, it didn't take much work, she and I had been dabbling in aromatherapy for a while, and while I stayed mostly content with buying happy soaps, she actually went so far as to make soap.  She had been a little schemey (yes, I am not entirely to blame ;) ) and gone shopping, found some shea butter, some bottles, and so we got busy making some oily goodies.  We got some roll-on bottles. I now have a Valor roll-on, and a peppermint roll-on for the kids.  I put in 7 drops of Valor and the rest grapeseed oil, and the peppermint was 10 drops peppermint and the rest almond oil.  

I emptied and cleaned out a 2 oz. baby food jar, and melted about 1 oz. of shea butter, then we added another oz of coconut oil.  This coconut oil I bought smells like coconutty goodness, which wasn't the kind I was intending, but still is nice.  So we decided it would go well with the light floral scent of Peace and Calming.  So we added about 25 drops of Peace and Calming to our balm, and mixed the snot out of it.  And it smells verra nice.  I've tried it on the boys, and they LOVE it!   I'm really getting excited about using all these natural goodies on my family.  Simply unfooled around with, and I love being able to prounounce all the ingredients.  

Some Weird Animals at the Pool

Saturday was a crazy morning.  We had Swim Lessons, as we usually do, but instead of getting dressed, the plan was to stay in our suits, and go to Splash Island.  This year, the Church was sponsoring a last hurrah field trip to all the VBS guests and their families to Splash Island, a waterpark in Plainfield.  Sweet.  

But first, swim lessons.  

Swim class exhausts Jacob.  He is not very enthusiastic.  
Jacob is not amused.  
He actually was having some fun in class, he's kind of trying to blow bubbles, mostly he just puts his face in the water and tries to drink it.  Not exactly bubble blowing, but it's an improvement over his brothers who hated to get their faces wet until they were 5...or older. 

The teachers were having a rough time with Sam.  They got him swimming though!  I could hear his whine across the pool.  That girly supersonic scream really travels.  It was kind of rainy out.  Rainy enough to make Jacob's hair curly.  

Sam was swimming.  Chris was swimming.  They were swimming in the water at the same time.  
Though Sam wasn't happy.  To really swim, one must get wet, and he only likes to get wet on his own terms.

After class, we left the big boys (and girls) in their swimwear, changed Jake, and hit the road.  We stopped for snackage along the way, and it only took about 40 minutes.  The kids were cold, but Ready to get in the pool.  Apparently, it had been raining all morning.  That didn't stop some of the few and the Faithful from swimming.  Chris started to get ootsy about swimming in the rain.  I asked him, "What's gonna happen?  You afraid you gonna get wet?"  A little.  We just need to watch out for thunder and lightning.  

And just as we arrived, the clouds began to thin, and the weather started to look good for going swimming! 

The one and only picture of all 5 kids together.  
I must say, my favorite part of this picture was how Eric got Jacob in, the photobombing baby.  That cracks me up.  Jacob was ok with it all.  

There were a lot of church friends at this park.  I'd never been, but I was really impressed.  There was a lazy river, a couple waterslides.  Some little kid waterslides. :)  AND splash pad stuff to entertain the yahoos.  And boy, were they entertained.  

Chris wanted to go into the deep section, (about 4 ft) and the lazy river.  That was nice, but Chris kept wanting to hop in and out of our tube, that was distracting.  I would have loved to just sit and go around on my own.  But they make sure that if the kid is under 8 that they are within reach of a parent.  That means NOT the length of a lazy river.  Well, maybe next year. 

 Eric hung out with the little ones.  Until Chris and I came back.  We'd been there a bit over an hour, when we started to hear some thunder.  They walked around the kiddie pool a bit more.  

Jake and Daddy got dumped on by the giant pineapple bucket.  
Jacob was not amused.  

So he came and sat by me. :) 
As we were sitting there, drying out a bit.  Honestly, an hour of hard play, I wanted to just sit a bit.  Being outdoors can wear a girl out!  We listened to the thunder in the distance.  Finally the lifeguards blew the whistle, they saw lightning, so they told us to get out, clear out and go stand at the other side, for 30 minutes.  Of course, that's 30 minutes after any sight of lightning, so we figured there'd be more.  AND Chris had gotten into timeout for trying to go up the slide.  Not cool even when you're not in a pool.  He started to lose his mind.  2 hours, 2 pools, it was enough.  The kids (and their Mommy) were done.  
It was exhausting.  But it was also Awesome.  I would totally go back to Splash Island.  I wasn't sure if all the kids (and consequently, grownups) would have a good time.  But we did.  And it was so neat to see church friends Outside of church. We could and would totally go back again. 
Splash Island is Cathy Approved! 

Dancing Girls

We didn't have anything cooking during the days during the week of VBS.  I had the lofty goal of getting out, trying to visit the museums I recently got memberships too - like the Eiteljorg or the State Museum.  But that didn't work.  However, Friday there was an Extra special activity - the Dance recital of my nieces.  They had been attending a Dance Day Camp up in Carmel.  The theme was Tangled.  So you see, we had to go.  

The boys and I stopped off at Trader Joe's and they each picked out a bouquet for their cousins.  
Sam picked a bouquet with a mix, that had green flowers amongst other things for Charlie.  And Chris grabbed a lovely mix of pinks and yellows for Annie.  They were pretty excited, and very proud of themselves for shopping for presents.   Actually, it was the first time I'd taken all three into Trader Joe's.  I sounded like a military sargeant, Boys, Move!  Boys, Walk! Boys, Cart!   But it worked.   I shopped in public with all three and wasn't sorry.  Pretty historic.  

And when the girls came in, my boys went wild.  We got a big surprise.  In the photo above, Charlie is in the black leotard and bright pink tutu.  Down the way in pale pink and dark hair is E, the daughter of some friends of mine.  Their Daddy is in the Navy and doing a tour abroad too.  The boys wanted to cheer so bad, but we'd discussed how, during ballet, you are quiet until the end.  They did really well.  The little preschoolers though, kept wanting to break ranks.  A very easily distracted crew there.  God Bless their teachers.  

There was some time of just standing in line, so Charlie found her thumb.  Just like her Ma. 

Lisa says that position was just a yawn, but I say it's a position of Sass.  Maybe a bit of both.  

Then the show started.   

Oh my word - the Cuteness.  These kids were so cute.  

The moves weren't too fancy, some twirls, some footwork.  Did I mention, God Bless those Teachers?!  
I am not blessed with the gift of teaching, and when I see groups like this, I know there would be no way.  
But I love to see when others use their gifts, and the kids have a great time. These preschoolers did a Wonderful job! 

We were so Proud of Charlie!  
Aunty Cathy got a little teary eyed.  I know, none of you are surprised.  

She was pretty happy to get her very own bouquet of flowers too. 

After Charlie's performance, there was some down time for the little girls to get out, go color, and the bigger girls to come in.  With the delay, Jacob got down, and began to run around.  I think maybe he wants to Dance too. He comes by it naturally. 

Annie's group came in next.  They got all lined up and set, and realized they were short two parents.  
That was rough on some of the kids.  They didn't want to start without them.  Bless their hearts.  So they stood there a while and waited.   Then most of the kids sat down.  

Annie took advantage of that moment to come hug her cousins.  
She was pretty happy to have this crowd of guest support.  Apparently, she had burst into tears in the morning, not wanting to get dressed in a leotard and go because her Daddy couldn't attend.  Lisa talked her into a t-shirt and tutu, but it was rough.  Her Daddy is back stateside, but debriefing in TX before he could come up here.  She thought she'd be the only one with No Daddy in the audience.  
She wasn't though.  My friend's daughter 2 seats over, in the pale pink, her Daddy wasn't there either.  I don't know if that made Annie feel better.  It made me feel better to know she wasn't alone.  Being the daughter of a Serving Parent, has got to be so difficult, I can't imagine.  These families put up with so much.  And my sister and my friend are doing an Amazing job! 

 As we were driving, I could only think of two songs from Tangled, the Brush and Brush my Hair song, and Mother Knows Best.  Those were the ones that Annie performed to!

"I brush and brush and brush my hair!"  I am not a huge Mandy Moore fan, but I must confess, I loved Tangled.  Before Frozen came out, it was one of my favorite new Disney movies.  Not sure if Frozen is better or not.  Frozen's music is pretty good, but it does not have Flynn Rider and frying pans.  

And it didn't make my niece do this cutesy twirl. 

And this slide to the left. 

And sliding to the right.  So Stinky Cute! 

Mommy knows best, she'll take care of you. 
That's right, "Listen to your Mumsy!"

Yeah, these girls were adorable.  

Annie was pretty happy to receive her very own bouquet of flowers from Chris too. 

And as with any concert celebration, we must go for food after.  So we took the girls to their favorite place, "Mixdonald's".  We took the place over.  It wasn't hideous.  But McD's is the kids favorite, though not so much mine anymore.  At least the mornings activities caused them all to eat pretty well, and I had a good visit with my family.  My nieces are pretty stinky adorable anyway, but apparently Aunty Cathy can't resist a girl in a tutu.  

The last night of VBS....almost


At last, it was the last night.  Well, almost.  Friday night was the last night that we had VBS.  So the kids were beginning to be blithering, exhausted, and so were Mommy and Daddy.  Still, it was a lot of fun. We went out with a bang.

I went chasing after the preschooler/kg crowd so I could take my alloted pictures. 
And as I was snapping pics, I heard of a special visitor that was coming to see the kids.  
During every VBS, our group raises funds for some non-profit organization that goes along with the theme of our week.  This week's theme was Weird Animals.  There were great sayings like, When you're afraid, Jesus Loves you!  Or When you're scared, Jesus Loves You.  Or when you've done something wrong, Jesus loves you.  This organization, ICAN, uses therapy dogs to help others.  For example, there was a girl, who was afraid to go to school, so she helped lead the therapy dog around. And the two of them went to school together, the dog helped keep her calm.  They're really good like that.  

So I knew they were about to get a special guest.  

But this little goofball didn't. ;) 

This was Hattie, the 4 month old ICAN dog in training.  She was So Good.  It was Amazing.  
They say, when the dogs are in their harnesses, they are 'at work' so they know to behave, be calm.  And she did.  She was so good with all the cute kids petting on her.  

Sam wanted to tell the trainer all about our dog Princess.  
She's not exactly the sort of dog ICAN takes.  She's therapeutic to us, but that's about it. 

I was out for a walk, and I found a wee beastie, a snippy wee beastie, who was not happy that Mommy still wanted to take pictures, and Not Take a Sweetboy to go.  He was So Tired.  

He didn't really calm down.  I could hear him yelling. So I got him as soon as I was done, and Daddy and I let him run around a bit.  I have pictures of Christopher at the same age, attending his first VBS, with his friend Dane, whose Mom was in charge, and the two boys wanted nothing more than to play with this door.  Seems Jake takes after his brother. ;)

Even the big kids got to meet Hattie too. 
Chris wanted to tell Prinny stories too.  He was talking about Fina, even, stuttering through stories about her. She was such a good dog too.  We've been pretty lucky in the pooch department, for sure.  

And the big kids got to pet Hattie.  Emily even got a kiss! 

 I know this pic is blurry and yellow, but it was just one of my favorites, I love how happy Em was.  I know they love to come visit my dog, since they can't have one of their own.  And it's good to see how much the poochini's love her too.  The program was amazing, and I was so glad that we helped out.  The people they help, it's Awesome. The dogs are even trained by women in jail, giving them something to occupy their time, and help others.  It's Amazing.

And I'm happy to say, our group donated upwards of 500$ collected by the kids to the organization.
Way to go Messiah VBS!