Thursday, March 31, 2011

Salad Sisters

What is it about getting together for a potluck salad lunch
that makes the food taste so good?

Is it the wonderful salads?

Or the wonderful company of girlfriends?

Girlfriends.  Definitely girlfriends.

(Full disclosure time.  Afterall this is a photo blog.  
I now have my new camera (yea!) and am still learning how to use it.  
I must confess that I forgot to change the ISO settings for these pictures, 
hence the grainy photos (boo!).  Oh well.  Live and learn.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

School Daze

Tonight my Legacy ladies and a few of our spouses hosted a cocktail party for a couple of our local school board members.

It was so nice to hear directly from our board members
 that they have some of the same concerns that we do.

 It was also comforting to hear that they are
excited about the positive changes coming very soon. 
With a new superintendent on the horizon and a new, mostly like-minded school board
they conveyed to us that things are bound to get better.

They were very open to answering our questions as honestly and completely as possible.
Without a superintendent on board yet there are just some unknowns that can't be fully answered.

And, of course, there were some very light-hearted moments. 
I did say this was a cocktail party after all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lunch Dates

I had a lunch date with my friend Jenny. 
We had a few things to chat about for our upcoming mission trip to Haiti. 

We met at 1892 East for lunch. 
In a word: yum!

The flatbread were wonderful.  The salad was wonderful.  
The burger looked wonderful (well, before a cute kid played with it.)

The aforementioned kid was a very cute lunch date. 
He was spending the day with mom because he had a doctor's appointment 
and a haircut appointment.

But, hey, any day spend out with mom is a good day.

And as with all trips out in public, 
it ended with being upside down getting a tummy tickle.
(I am talking about the 2 year old here.  I stayed upright at all times - this time.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Made You Look

School day afternoons = homework time

(And as with most home activities, it needs to be done barefooted.)

This is pretty much what son looks like on school day afternoons. 
 Some of the time is spent trying to look busy and sneaking in internet searches. 
Some of the time is actually doing homework. 

I am in the dining room
playing the photographic version of "I'm Not Touching You!" with Ben. 
He is trying really hard to ignore me. 
I will not be ignored!!!  :)

Here Ben continues his futile efforts to block out the fact that there is
a big camera with bigger lens staring right at him. 
Man, he's good.

Bwahahaha!  I win! 
Made you look!  Made you look!
Thanks for being tolerant with me son.  You rock.

Now get back to your homework.

Dad's Garden, Part 2

It doesn't appear that much has changed in the week since I posted about Dad's garden.
But even though it doesn't look like much right now, 
there is much going on behind the scenes.

He tilled a few rows were he has gotten cabbages seedlings heeled in 
and carrot and garlic started. 
The turnip, kale, tender, and mustard greens are on their last legs.  
They will be tilled under very soon.

Here's the tomato crop so far. 
Dad harvests his own seed from the year before and gets his plants started in flats.

Here are his onion slips that he has started,  
red onions on the left, white ontions on the right. 

Broccoli seedlings.
The hardware cloth covers on the flats keep the bunnies 
from having seedling salad for dinner.

Dad says that it is going to be a bumper crop for the blueberries this year. 
Yea!  Blueberries are the best. 
Except maybe for the cherries. 
Dad says that unless we get a late freeze there should be a terrific cherry crop too.

Here is the man, the legend, my dad.
He is the epitome of what happens to a retired rock scientist with a hobby. 
The man could make rocks sprout.
More about the garden and the gardener soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Be Our Guest!

Last night my family had the pleasure of going to Grissom High School's production of Beauty and the Beast.
I am here to tell you that high school productions ain't what they used to be. 
Rudimentary props and borrowed (or momma-made) costumes were the norm of my day.  
The talent and production quality of the school productions in this town are amazing. 

This is one of Disney's sweetest stories I think.  Two individuals who don't fit in - Belle is considered odd because she wants more out of life than to settle down with the blowhard Gaston and have his children.
The prince is now a beast because of a curse cast upon him because of an unkind decision he made.

You know the story.

Belle was beautiful with the lovliest soprano voice. 
This girl has a career in music if she wants it.  Such a mature, rich voice for a high schooler!
Gaston was terrific! 
A Jim Carey-esque character whose ego was a big as his head was empty! 
He was very fun to watch as he tooted his own horn.

The beast was truly beastly as he stormed around the castle, sad and angry.

Belle managed to soften his rough exterior over time as they grew to love each other.

Luminiere was funny and well, illuminating.  He was the voice of reason for the Beast.

And with all Disney stories, everything ended well. 
The curse was lifted for all of the residents of the castle, including the beast, er, prince.
Belle found the love of her life with the handsome prince.
Life is good.

And they lived happily ever after...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trail Friend

This spring weather has been so lovely! 
Are we finally shaking of this unusually snowy winter? 
I like to lace up my boots and go for hikes with friends. 
Yesterday and today we had company for our walks - Allison and my friend's son have had a couple of days off from their school. 
We have had fun looking for wildflowers and strolling through our beautiful hiking trails. 
(BTW, the bluebells are at their peak right now!)

Today we had the good fortune of meeting a new friend.  This red fox walked right toward us on the trail.  She didn't seem to be intimidated by us at all.  I initially was concerned that she might be rabid since she kept walking toward us.  She didn't change direction and head up the hill until we were about 20 feet from her.  My friend Becky is pretty sure that she heard the cries of pups before we spotted her.  Maybe she was just trying to distract us away from her babies. 

There is always something on the trail that makes the hike interesting. 
Today it was meeting a new friend. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

I love this time of the year. 
Everything is so fresh and new.
Allison and I went by Mom and Dad's home today to see them. 
This time of the year no visit to their home is complete without a stroll around the yard to see what is growing.  Everything is changing so quickly right now that it seems different day to day.

Their Bleeding Hearts are really showing off. 

 The redbud is in that lovely stage when it is all pinky-purple blooms before the leaves start to develop.

The cinnamon ferns are unfurling their fiddleheads.

The hosta leaves look like exotic green and white flowers.

And the cherries!  The beautiful thing about these blooms is that each of these blooms will yield a juicy, sweet-tart cherry in a few months.  It makes them even more pretty I think.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Trip in the Way Back Machine

Almost 16 years ago, back before digital cameras entered my life (hence the lousy pictures), I gave birth to my first babies. 
Son Ben entered this world exactly as planned - 7 lbs, 7 oz of beautiful baby.
Daughter Hannah was a surprise to everyone.  She was supposed to be the same size as Ben but she wasn't.  She was a svelt 4 lbs, 3 oz.  Beautiful, but teeny tiny. 

We were told that she needed time to catch up but that she should be just fine. 
She wasn't. 
Over the next 18 months or so we kept discovering new medical problems.
Through all of this she was a sweet cuddly baby who in her quiet way managed to steal everyone's hearts.

Here are my sweet babies when they were about a week old.
I was in a sleep-deprived happy haze at this point. 

Here our little porcelain doll was 1 day old.
She spent the first 6 days in the NICU because she had trouble regulating her body temperature.
We were so glad to get her home. 

I will occassionally be taking little trips back into the way back machine to document more on my sweet first daughter.  She has been gone from us for over eleven years now.  We miss her and think of her everyday. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dinner With My Other Favorite Man

Today was a perfect storm of circumstances that allowed some one on one time with my favorite son.
Hubs is out of town.
Allison was studying at a friend's home and eating dinner with them.
Our other carpooler had an orthodontist appointment.
So - it was just Ben and me when I picked him up at school late this afternoon.

It was BAM time!
(Ben and Mom time)

I had a hankering for something really yummy.
This place always hits the spot.

I mean, look at this shrimp basket!  How good does this look?

Even though he is growing up (too fast) he isn't too old to laugh like a hyena when the catsup makes the "Pthffffffft" noise when he sqeezed some out for his fries.

We go to a place that serves arguably the best shrimp in town and what does he order?
A burger and fries. 
As of this evening I believe that Ben is 48.2% burger and fries.

We had a great time. 
I love spending time with the whole family but having time alone with either of my kids makes for a pretty special date.

This kid's going to be a catch when he starts to date.
(Oh Lord!  He is almost old enough to date!)

*These pics taken with my Canon point and shoot camera.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Friends, Good Food

When it rains, it pours it seems.
This last week we were invited to three different occassions where meals were being prepared and I didn't really have to do anything. 
(Hmmm, come to think of it, are folks getting tired of my food?)

This particular night was a birthday celebration for a sweet friend of our family.  
His lovely wife prepared a feast for about 15 adults and assorted children. 

It was a delicious spread! 
Homemade spaghetti with meatballs, italian sausage with onions and peppers,
and a wonderful cheesy eggplant casserole that was so tasty.

Here's the happy birthday boy and his lovely bride.

Thanks for the invite - it was a lovely evening.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dad's Garden

For as long as I can remember my dad has been a gardener.  At our old house he managed to turn a rocky, sloped backyard into a very furtile garden plot.  He would come home from work and take out the stress of the day on the weeds in the garden with a hoe.  He managed to feed his family and have enough to share with neighbors every summer. 

About 19 years ago my parents moved to a new home.  To my dad one of the best parts was having a large, flat space to garden.  He continues to have a wonderful garden every summer. 

It isn't much to look at now, but I plan to take a picture of it every few weeks to keep you up to date with what he is accomplishing and to tell you more about my dad and his hobby. 

My dad is a pretty amazing guy. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beeeee-utiful Spring Saturday

We were invited to Green Mountain Nature Trail today to have a picnic with friends from our last church.
It was a wonderful time catching up and enjoying this glorious day. 
And what is it about eating outside that makes food taste so good?

We spotted this woodpecker and he spent a couple of minutes playing pick-a-boo with me. 
He was beautiful and really hard to miss with that bright red head of his.

The cute little purple flowers on the vinca are showing off along with the buttercups. 
Soon all of the wildflowers will be making their appearance.

This cutie enjoyed our day too. 
We will definitely be going back in the next few weeks as the wildflowers come into full bloom.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's a Party!

Today my Legacy club had the privilege of hosting a reading achievement party for Martin Luther Elementary School. 
I really like how MLK awards their readers. 
We celebrated with strongest readers, the most improved readers, and the best effort readers from each grade. 
I am so glad that the kids that struggle but really trying are recognized. 

We brought the cupcakes and drinks.

They brought the smiles and appreciation for those cupcakes.

The kids got to talk to us a bit about their favorite books and characters.

And we got to show them some sweet dance moves.
(I believe that Beth is demonstrating the "water sprinkler" dance.  Just wait, it's gonna be a big hit!)

The kids had moves of their own. 

All in all, it was a throwdown. 
The cupcakes and juice were much enjoyed. 
The kids got to dance and blow off some steam at the end of their day.

I can't wait to go back one more time this year and celebrate with them.
Congratulations kiddos, you are doing great!