Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Megan turns 12 on a Youth Night.

She was really starting to get nervous. On Monday afternoon, there had been little indication that there were any birthday preparations going on in her honor. She had done her part. Multiple color-coded lists had been handed over. Revisions had been submitted. Illustrations and footnotes addressed. 

Did anyone care that she was going to turn another year older in less than 24 hours?

Oh yes. 

But truth be told, when all the kids are home, momma aint going shoppin till everyone is asleep. 

Tuesday morning arrived with fresh groceries in the fridge, the beautiful sun shining and a nice cool breeze. It seemed the perfect time to eat outside on our new table. 

Megan obliged by not coming downstairs to sneak a peek and was rewarded with an outdoor birthday breakfast. She had carefully chosen the menu: Blueberry muffins (from the box, please), sausage (turkey is acceptable), scrambled eggs and apple juice....lots and lots of apple juice. We added the cantaloupe for color. 

And because it's Tuesday, we decided to go over to the Arboretum to see the fairy houses in the "Enchanted Forest".  They were cool! And would have been even cooler if we hadn't been speed walking through them in an effort to keep the mosquitos from sucking our blood. 

*note to self: bring bug spray to Arboretum

But we had fun anyway and we checked another outdoor activity off our bucket list before the temperature and humidity become unbearable.

We thought about buying mosquito repellent from the gift shop, but at 10 bucks a bottle we decided we'd come back some other time.

Besides, Megan and I had a Chick-fil-a lunchdate we needed to get to! She's 12 now, so we sprung for an adult meal AND a frosted lemonade. No more kiddie meals for this girl!

When we got home, we were greeted by the traditional "run through the streamers" all done by Mathew.  How cool is he?  It was a very "awesome-brother" move.

We picked up Laney and ran back out the door to get her to her summer basketball camp and then Megan and I went on the hunt for a new watch and alarm clock for her to take to girls camp. Gone are the days when I can just pick that stuff out. She has "ideas" now.

We also picked up the ingredients we needed to make homemade slime and floam. We had sworn upon our lives and the lives of our revered ancestors to wait for Laney to get home before we made it.

We had no desire to face her wrath... (and we also didn't have a chance to do it it till then anyway.)

Homemade floam is cool, by the way. It's like slime but without the weird smell and the power to make me want to vomit.

Since Megan's birthday fell on a Tuesday, she didn't have time to have her chosen birthday dinner. It was her first ever Youth Activity!!! Even better, it was a combined youth trip to Liberty Jail.

So, instead of a birthday feast, Anna helped prepare dinner (SBL!) and we had a fruit salad with pork chops and cous cous. Is six years old a good time to introduce sharp knives?

Right after Mark and the big kids left for their activity, we had a freak hail storm pop up and pummel our flowers. I'm pretty sure it was in the upper 70's.

Weird. But also cool...because the rain that came with it took care of my garden watering duties for a vacationing friend. check!

Just for fun, since the biggies were out for their activities, we decided to blow up the air mattress and have a movie night campout with popcorn.

A pretty great day! We got a good start on Megan's celebrations and checked off FOUR items off our SBL (Summer Bucket List)....Breakfast Feast, Arboretum, slime and Anna's turn to cook.

And we are only 1 week in!

Monday, May 29, 2017


Our friends, the Guenthers, went out of town for the week and brought us a jar with a stick in it. We promised we would put it in a safe place and make sure that it was returned to them when they were all done having fun in Utah. I was positive we wouldn't be seeing anything hatch. They had been watching it since LAST FALL.  

And then, Monday morning, I was walking by the jar and realized that there was more than just a stick in there!

The Guenther's Giant Silk Moth just couldn't wait a few more days to hatch. I felt so bad! 

So we took it outside for a photo shoot. Those sweet kids at least needed to see some pictures of their amazing creature...

Here he is with his stick and chrysalis:

He had the coolest furry red legs! And look at his amazing antennae!

And big, shiny black eyes!

He was so BIG!


We've been keeping our bird feeder full for most of the spring, so we had quite a collection of birds sitting on the rooftops and drooling over our moth.

Laney was standing guard with a stick. Ready to chase away any bird that came too near. 

We brought him back inside and then drove him out to Lone Elm Park to let him free. He had a better chance of survival out there than at the Hufford Bird Buffet.

I still feel bad that we enjoyed the reward of the Guenther's patient waiting, but it really was pretty spectacular!

SBL 2017 -- Early morning bike ride

One of our newest additions to the Summer Bucket List...

An early morning bike ride. 

We are sitting pretty in a year that everybody in the family can either ride their own bike at a reasonable speed or sit in a child seat. 

We made sure to do this one early on in the summer because I know myself and if we wait to long, we will be riding our bikes through the flaming depths of he_ _. Kansas gets so freaking hot.

I really enjoyed this one. 

It was cool. It was quiet. The kids were busy and Everly had some cinnamon toast. 

Ethan and I even saw a deer when we went for a little side ride while the kids played at a playground!

We'll have to do this one again, as long as Everly can learn to ride or cram her legs into the ibert.

so...maybe in two years....