Friday, April 22, 2011

Our garden

This is the Garden of the Good Shepherd. There's a reusable sticker for each day of Lent. Each one has an explanation to deepen faith during this special time of year. The darlin's loved taking turns each day and getting all the stickers in place. I love sweet traditions like this that build memories and family culture! A big thank you to my friend, Renee for sharing this idea with me ;-). These are some of our favorite Tomie dePaola books to go along with his Garden of the Good Shepherd Calendar.
We have really enjoyed Mr. dePaola's work! Happy Easter weekend everyone!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The mudhole

Nope, this isn't a continuation of the camp blog from last week. It's a landscape design element added to our backyard by the darlin's. While I am counting my blessings, let me add that I am grateful that this is not in the front yard. Amen. The mudhole is right up there with cardboard toys and plastic containers leftover from the kitchen, you know in the category of "what kids really want to play with." It is a place where if you dig deep enough, you will find some kind of critter that will bite you and possibly end up dying in the "habitat" the darlin's keep on hand to trap innocent wildlife and critters. Of course at this point they are renamed "specimens" and no, I did not teach them this terminology. I can barely keep up, truly.

The mudhole is a place where you can cannonball and splash just about everyone in our backyard, including those not wearing their swimsuits. The mudhole gets filled up in about, say the time it takes for mama to turn around and survey if the shrubs need to be trimmed. The mudhole serves as a mud/foot mask treatment. It makes great muddy prints on mama's nice clean porch. It is the palette for fence mud paintings which are not photographed for submission to the National Geographic.

The mudhole is a place where if your sister comes close enough, you can completely slime her using your long "mudhole" shovel. What is it about ruffles and mud that I find disturbing? I can't say. I am glad the darlin's like fun weekends of sprinkler chase and mudhole excavations, but for my treat,  it's the military-like hose-down that follows such fun. Mama always wins, right?! Please don't correct me. I need to cling to the illusion a little longer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fire, mud and bugs

OK, so if you know me even in passing, you are familiar with my non-outdoorsy qualities. However, when properly motivated for say, a darlin's request for a camping birthday, I can overcome. So off we went to the camp, prepared for a fun weekend of foods we don't usually eat, places we don't usually sleep in, overpacked, and with a baby darlin' to tote around as we try to keep three very mobile darlin's from falling in the lake, being eaten alive by coyotes, dancing in ant beds, and having to be hosed down from muddy trails before every meal. Are you getting a visual yet? And yes, before you ask, I brought my hairdryer and no, I don't care if you judge me. That's why I blog ;-). My daddy graciously rolled out the red carpet for the oldest darlin'. We loaded up in the wagon and rode the muddy trails. We made a bonfire, roasted marshmallows and piled in the new birthday tent. The darlin's learned to ride the kid-sized gator and we tried to keep them from driving it into the lake or mowing down the lawn furniture and dogs. We caught some butterflies, caterpillars, snails, moths, and of course some fish too. As a matter of fact, the oldest darlin' caught seven fish on his seventh birthday. There may have been more than that but a darlin' who is completely devoted to bugs was seriously offended that we were putting worms on the end of hooks and promptly absconded with the worm box! All in all, even Mr. Darcy and I enjoyed the fresh air of the camp and the beautiful landscape. Scenery distracts from the stink of poopy diaper changes. I even did something I can't remember doing for over a year now. I sat down and did nothing for like an hour. Plus there was no payment for it, like being behind on say dishes or laundry. Bliss. So while I am certainly not the country girl who might relish the roughing it in such a trip, I am a nature lover at heart just like my four darlin's and when I get the chance to go see some of God's artwork and breathe some seriously fresh air, count me in!
Minnows in the pond.

Grove of oaks at the camp.

A brim in the bucket.

Isn't this tree beautiful?

Taking a fish to surprise Pops.

One of the fields that Pops plants to feed the deer.

No you can't have the worms for fishing-I love them!

Boys fishing near the back end of the pond.

Guys, does these boots make me look short?

Great pond view-hard to sit there and think of my to do list.

I've got my boots, now for some serious fishing folks!

Doesn't everyone wear bows to go camping? come on!

The "fam" after mass.

I love this worm-protectin', bug-catchin', song-singin' darlin' like crazy!

Mr. Darcy with the birthday boy.

Moths and butterflies fire this child up!!!

A tent-pitchin', marshmallow-roastin', popcorn-eatin' good time.

Grins from a long day of camp fun.

Baby darlin' round the campfire with Mr. Darcy.

Nibblin' some popcorn while Pops feeds the deer corn kernels at dusk.

A tent pitched, amen.

My wish, my wish, i caught my first fish!

"Pops this is my best birthday ever!"

Smelly brim, dirty worms, boy paradise.

Hey, no time for cameras, I've got to catch up with my brothers!

"Look at the worm, he is so nice, see!" Seriously, could you get the bait away from this kid?

Watch Pops, slimy brim, slimy fingers in my mouth, mmmmm....

The safest place while bait is being put on hooks? Daddy' shoulders.

Told you! Girls can fish too people-even if I am wearing pink!

Another fish! That makes seven!!!

"I've gotta practice my casting mama."

Grass is yummy and it helps to wash the slimy brim off my fingers.

See how cool I look on the gator? Ladies, where are the ladies?

I was born to do this! Pops says i'm a fishing fool! ;-)

Sigh, caterpillar dreams.

Beautiful muddy trails on the wagon ride!

Let's load up for a wagon ride.

I'm ready for the DMV, see the "10 o'clock 2 o'clock"?

Beautiful land-calgon take me away from the land of dirty dishes and laundry!

Let's dust off these hot wheels and get rollin'!

Float like a butterfly sting like a bee-that's me!