Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aint no place as great as Dollywood

In lieu of going on vacation this year, we decided to get Dollywood season passes. We've gone twice so far and are very, very pleased with our decision. Especially our second trip when we went together with our good friends, the Christians. Lydia can't stop chattering about how much she loved the piggies, duckies, bumble bees and teacups (where Scott used his super-human strength to spin the kids so super-fast they were laughing too hard to speak).

Everyone enjoyed a leisurely drive in the classic cars. I rode with Lydia and we saw Josh from a distance.

Josh favorite ride is either the scrambler or the Veggie Tales coaster. He never, ever, ever wants to ride Blazing Fury again.

Emma and Ben warmed up with rides like this:

Then they were even so fearless as to go on the Tennessee Tornado, the twisting, upside-down, 70-mph likes of which I was too scared to ride until I was in high school (way too fast for photos).

Afton was a good baby the whole time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Did you know about this?

I'm saving the world (aka: making an afghan).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finally made and gave my giveaways...

Remember this bloggy giveaway? The winners have now received a lovely set of coasters, made by me (from this tutorial). Brad and Susan's are on top, Mom's pictured second. Lisa's were given before I remembered to photograph them (that happens a lot, doesn't it?).
Lydia was helping me out with the shoot, as she often does, and just looked so pretty, as she always does. This shot is my current pc wallpaper:

Friday, May 22, 2009

One of the best things about May

Lisa and I teamed up and spent one sticky and sweet evening mixing, timing and stirring to stock our freezers with this unbelieveable deliciousness last week.
I always forget how much sugar is in it.
No wonder.
Good sandwiches are here again.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

...the thrilling conclusion!

Tuesday night was our night. Behold the wonders of nature, as common household items combine to display the beauty and the horror that is...the volcano!

P.S. Thanks for the dishsoap tip, Jeanne, I'd never heard that before.
P.P.S. Yes, we did add some red and yellow food coloring for the second erruption. Then blue for the third. And green for the fourth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Girls' Night

The Father-Son campout was last Friday night. Well, it was supposed to be, but was canceled at the last minute due to tornado watches. We girls went ahead with our girls-only plans anyway. This gorgeous group of cousins have just finished applying nail polish and makeup. They are about to start baking perfect chocolate chip cookies. The older three will then stay up late to join their mothers in watching "Little Women." The moms enjoyed the movie, we were impressed that the 8 and 9 year old stuck with it till the end (though restless), even asking clarifying questions now and then, letting us know they were not totally lost. The nearly 14 year old was heard to complain to her mother on the way home, "That was sooooo boring." To her credit though, she did not complain at all while we were watching. The actual Father-Son campout has been rescheduled. Maybe we'll have a chance to watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Welcome, warm weather

Okay, so it's been warm for awhile now. But this year I choose to mark the beginning of the official warm weather season with the start of cul-de-sac kickball. The photo was taken through our window zoomed in all the way. I didn't want to interrupt the game. Ben is pitching, Emma's out of the shot covering the kicker's little brother on third base.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To be continued...

After five months of asking if "tonight would be a good night" (and it just never was) to make his volcano, Ben finally got his wish. Troy and Dan (known for their cool gifts) gave him this fun kit for Christmas. Tuesday evening the weather, parent availability to help, and hours remaining before bedtime were perfect. Ben was able to get his hands all gross and squishy in the paper mache mix and sculpt his volcano. All of the neighborhood kids came over to watch, only one dared to join in the mixing and plunge his hand into the slimy goo. Josh was surprisingly facsinated with the little booklet all about volcanos that came with the kit. While Ben was concentrating on smoothing the sides, Josh kept being blown away by what he could learn from the pictures in the booklet, "Whoa! Did you know there are volcanoes under water?? Mom, is that true? Look at this..." We are now in the middle of the "let dry for three days" step. Hopefully tomorrow it will be ready for its first eruption. Stay tuned...
EDIT: I forgot that Scott was taking the big three with him on a campout/Virginia Creeper bike ride this weekend. Unfortunately we probably won't have a chance to spill lava until Monday at the earliest. When asked if he'd rather stay home and do the volcano or go on the trip, Ben had to stop and think about it.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We're hoping for some home-grown deliciousness this year: tomatoes, tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, jalapenos, spinach, green peppers, maybe more? I can't remember and I don't have our list in front of me. We'll see how fruitful it is. We've had mixed results with our gardening in the past. If it goes well, we will expand next year. For now, at least we have super-cute garden boxes. We took a few tubes of paint out with some brushes and let the kids go to town. The bottom photo is the corner that Lydia concentrated on. What you can't see is the 9-10 layers of paint underneath. Pretty much the whole time she just kept getting different colors and coming back to that one spot.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lydia = Artist

I didn't even know Lydia could draw people (or anything for that matter) until I watched her create these fine pieces.
On the green one you may think it's just covered in random scribbles, but if you'd been sitting beside her while she worked you would have heard her explaining as she added cheeks, eyebrows, and a forehead. The nose is there too, but it's just a dot...kind of hard to see.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Elder Holland

I'm sure most of you have seen this already, but I was watching it again the other day and thought it was worth posting just in case anyone missed it.