30 April 2011

Day 120

After spending the morning with our friends from out-of-town, it was time for them to go home and for us to get ready for a wedding.  My friend and co-Girl Scout leader was getting married and it was the 2nd wedding for both of them.  They each bring 3 daughters to the new marriage so it’s like an all-female Brady Bunch. 

The wedding was wonderful.  I love how they incorporated the kids into the ceremony.  The bride was gorgeous, the groom was handsome, and the decorations were awesome.  Sadly, I forgot my camera at home (I know, what a shock!).  But I did get some photos at the reception using my iphone.

First, the newlyweds!


Girl Scouts (the ones who attended)


Chocolate fountain


Cake buffet


Candy bar (with bags for the kids to fill and take home)!  Such a cute idea!  The little balls are Sixlets chocolate candies.  The sticks in back are rock candy.


Beautiful decorations.  My friend should be a party planner….she is so good at decorating.


The three of us back at home after the wedding.  My mom was in town so she stayed home with LilCrockett.  I doubt he would have been able to sit through a Lutheran service.  And even if he had, I think he would have caused a bit of a ruckus at the reception.  He’s all boy after all.


29 April 2011

Day 119

Though my birthday was several weeks ago, we held the big party tonight.  It seemed a little strange to be celebrating so long after my actual birthday, but it was the first weekend night we had available.  Despite the fact that many of my friends couldn’t come due to prior commitments, we had a good turn-out throughout the evening and the weather was just about perfect.  It was a great time and I loved being able to celebrate this milestone birthday with some of my favorite people.  I was too busy mingling to take many photos, but here are a few from early in the night.

My cookie cake….just one of several desserts that we served aside from the appetizers. 


Our friends own Out Bak Decks here in town and he stopped by with their newly built “party barge”.  The kids really loved it and it was quite the conversation piece (several people in our neighborhood stopped to check it out).  We had a lot of fun hanging out on the barge for awhile before he had to head out.    



While it was great to spend time with all of my friends, the highlight of the night was a visit by my friend Michelle.  We’ve been best friends since high school and served as maid-of-honor in each others’ weddings.  Michelle and her husband and son came up from our hometown to attend the party and spend the night.  We only get to see them a few times a year, so I made sure to get a photo of the two of us. 


LilCrockett loves hanging out with Michelle’s son.  Despite the 6-year age difference, they get along great….likely because LilCrockett idolizes older boys.  Here they are watching a movie after everyone had left for the night. 


28 April 2011

Day 118

The best part of spring is all the new life sprouting from the ground.  I love plants and flowers, especially as they are just starting to sprout or bloom.  Just don’t ask me to identify species.  Even if I purchase a plant from the store and have the tag that tells me what it is, I will likely forget the name by the next year.  I know the basics, like

Tulips, and




And I even know the Japanese Maple (though I had to confirm with my husband).


But don’t ask me what this one is, despite the fact that it’s one of my favorite plants.  I don’t have a clue as to what it’s called.  But know that I’m a sucker for grasses, especially those that produce little flowers. 


So much new life in my yard….it makes me happy!

There are some other things in my life that are growing like weeds too.  Kids!  Here are my 2 playing with the neighbor girl on their “high” swing.  The little girl is our neighbor’s niece and she also happens to be in LilCrockett’s kindergarten class.  They had a fun time hanging out together tonight.






Love watching these kids grow!

27 April 2011

Day 117

Just a quiet night around the house.  I worked with LilCrockett on sight words and then we read some books together.  For doing such a good job, I told him he could pick a game to play.  His choice was Candyland.  GothGirl wanted to play along too.  We got two games in (GothGirl won both) and then Crockett got home, so we played a family round.  LilCrockett was the winner of the final game and he was so excited.  He started yelling, “I won, I won!!!” and then he jumped up and landed in a split position.  It was absolutely hilarious!  That boy does not like to lose and he LOVES to win (don’t we all!).


I love LilCrockett’s little side grin in this photo and the fact that you can see our cat Kenai sleeping in his bed in the background.  Too bad GothGirl wasn’t smiling more.

26 April 2011

Day 116

I wanted to start by showing off the birthday present that I got from my mom….a Kindle!!!


I’m very excited about this gift.  Established when I was a young girl, my passion for reading has only gotten stronger over the years.  And as a technology fan, I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of an e-book reader for awhile.  Here are some of the major ones:


  • Thousands of e-books fit in less space than a single book.
  • Easier to do other tasks while you are reading because you don’t have to hold the book.
  • Nearly instant access to thousands and thousands of e-books.
  • Ability to listen to audiobooks or have your e-book read to you.


  • E-books can be just as expensive as books and there are less options to get them free or cheap (from friends, garage sales, etc.).
  • As someone who is on the computer all day, the last thing I need is more time with technology.

In the end, I had pretty much decided to get an e-book reader; but due to other priorities and our budget, the reader was down on my purchase list a bit.  Thus my excitement upon receiving it as a gift.  My mom is the best! 

I was so excited to do my first download.  Since I just bought a bunch of books at Salvation Army, I wanted to pick one that was free.  I’ve also been wanting to re-read some of the classics since it’s been YEARS since I picked them up.  Thus, my first download was Bronte’s Jane Eyre.  Because it’s been so long since I last read it (and my memory is fairly short-term), it’s almost like I’m reading it for the first time. 

So far, I’m loving my Kindle.  My only complaint is that the reader doesn’t even come with a single e-book.  Not even a portion of a book as a sample.  I was itching to test mine out on Sunday on the drive home from my brother’s house after just opening it; but since mine is a wi-fi only (not a 3G), I had to wait until we got home to get my first download. 

We were so busy this weekend that we didn’t get around to dyeing our Easter eggs.  So after dinner tonight, I gathered the family outside on our patio table and snapped a few photos.  This year, we bought this cool little spinner to color our eggs.  It worked pretty well and I think the eggs turned out really cute.  Crockett was a little disappointed that we weren’t doing the standard dipping technique, but it’s fun to try new things too.  The kids loved pressing the button on top to get it to spin and I loved that it wasn’t nearly as messy.





25 April 2011

Day 115

I’ve actually skipped ahead a post.  Yesterday was Easter and I have a ton of photos to look through and edit, so I’m doing today’s post first since there is a single picture.  I’ll go back and add yesterdays post in the next day or two. 

The Easter Bunny brought baskets of goodies for the kids yesterday morning and one of the gifts he included was a freezer pop holder filled with jelly beans.  Simply empty out the beans and you can create your own popsicles  The kids couldn’t wait to try it out: GothGirl added root beer to hers and LilCrockett wanted strawberry lemonade.  The popsicles were done tonight and the kids ate them after they got home from Passage (school was closed today).  Since I don’t get near enough photos as I’d like of GothGirl, I made her be the model.


23 April 2011

Day 113

Love spending Saturdays hanging out around the house.  LilCrockett’s t-ball practice was cancelled due to the holiday weekend.  In the morning, the kids and I made Birds Nest treats for Easter.  I got the idea from my friend Julie’s blog.  So easy and cute!

1) Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.

2) Gently stir in chow mein noodles.


3) Scoop out piles of chocolate-covered noodles onto waxed paper, forming the “nests”. 

4) Top with a Peep marshmallow treat and jelly beans (ours came decorated like bird eggs).

5) Allow chocolate to set & eat.





After making the treats, I took GothGirl shopping for a dress (to wear to a wedding we’re attending this weekend) while the boys hung out in the garage and yard.  That evening, 2 of the neighbor families came over for a hotdog/brat cookout.  At one point, the kids got out the water balloons.  Here’s a shot of the homemade balloon launcher that Crockett made last year from rubber tubing and sturdy fabric.  The neighbor boy had to put all his weight into it in order to pull it back.  Fun, huh?!! 


22 April 2011

Day 112

Today is Crockett’s birthday.  He turned 43.  After work, I caught him relaxing in the recliner.  As soon as he sat down, our cat Kenai came over looking for a lap.  Kenai is all about Crockett lately.  He likes nothing better than lying on his lap, etc.  Note how the cat is giving me a look that says “hurry up and take the darned photo so I can get on with my nap.” 


Shortly after this photo was taken, Crockett called me outside to take some photos of LilCrockett playing with the wheelbarrow, which was full of rain water at first.  The next series of shots are of him tipping it over and playing around.





After dinner, we had the neighbors over for pineapple upside down cake (Crockett’s favorite) and ice cream.  Before we lit the candles, I had them take a photo of our family.  I used Photoshop to take out a few distracting things in the background.  If the BBQ grill were smaller, I would have Photoshop’d it out too.


21 April 2011

Day 111

We held our monthly Junior Girl Scout meeting at my house tonight and we worked on finishing up some activities for the Looking Your Best badge.  Out of all the things we did, I think the girls enjoyed these 2 activities the most:

Color Swatch

We determined which colors complimented each girl the best.  One by one, we had the girls stand up and we draped various colored fabrics across their upper torso for comparison.  Here are a few snapshots of GothGirl on the hot seat.  Her best colors are dark ones: black, burgandy, red, etc. I guess the blog nickname I gave her really suits her! 




We paired the girls up by drawing names and had them spread out in the basement.  Each girl got to “fix” their partner’s hair using her partner’s hair accessories.  We had an odd number of girls, so my co-leader helped out.  It was quickly determined that she is quite talented with hairstyles, especially braids; so most of the girls had her do their hair after the partner styling was over.  Luckily Beth loves to do hair!  Here is one of her fishbone braids. 


GothGirl starting to style her partner’s hair.  She is like me….not very talented in this skill.


GothGirl and her partner sporting their “hippie” hairstyles.  These two happen to share the same first name and only live a few houses from each other.  They also take guitar lessons & do Girls on the Run together and played on the same volleyball team this past winter. 


GothGirl after Beth had french-braided her hair.  Wish I’d gotten a shot of the back.


Note: all of these photos were taken in my dark basement (we keep it dimmer than most basements) and all are straight-out-of-camera (SOCC) with no editing.  Flash was a necessity due to the lighting conditions.

20 April 2011

Day 110

I don’t often stage photo shoots.  I’m not a professional photographer and for the most part, I’m just trying to get some good candid shots of my kids.  But tonight I pushed the envelope a little bit.  After work, the kids had their usual Wednesday night t-ball practice and guitar lessons, after which we met back at home for dinner (leftover meatloaf in mushroom sauce = yum!).  Then Crockett drilled LilCrockett on his sight words, GothGirl did the dishes, and I gathered some stuff for our Girl Scout meeting tomorrow.  That probably would have been enough for one evening, but I had promised the kids that we would paint our wooden Easter eggs.  This was a tradition that we started about the time that LilCrockett was born; but sadly, we hadn’t done it in several years. 

I was considering doing the painting in our dining room or down in the basement, but just couldn’t get excited about the lighting (or the messy house that would have been noticeable in the background of the photos).  So, we brought all our supplies outside to the patio table.  The light, about an hour before sunset on the shaded side of the house, was perfect.  You might be thinking what’s so bad about this scenario.  Well, it was actually pretty chilly out, but I decided that we would brave the cold for the sake of getting some good photos.  Models do it after all.  Ha!  I did wonder if I was crossing some sort of line, but considering the fact that the kids had been outside playing a little earlier and the fact that I was out there with them the whole time, I think it was an acceptable decision.  And after seeing the resulting photos, I was happy I made that call.





Before we finished for the night, I had Crockett take a photo of the kids and I.  Since he is not familiar with using the manual settings on my camera, he shot in automatic mode.  The result is not so great as the flash was triggered.  Not a bad photo, but definitely not as great as those shot above in manual (no flash).  Still, I’m glad that he captured me in a photo with my kiddos. 



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