Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Home for their Dolls

When Mary Kate went to visit Gramma in California, she got busy in the workshop with Mr. Merle. In fact, the day she got there I received a phone call about the girls' doll measurements, etc.

This is what was eventually sent back to our home.

Thank you, Merle!
You have no idea how much ALL the kids love this house.

Now the girls' dolls have a home of their very own.

They can even go on a picnic the girls prepared for them.

The basket is packed with meat & cheese as well as avocado & tomato sandwiches (that Kathleen crocheted).

Take a looksie inside.

Kathleen made a bedside table with a vase.

Merle added such nice homey touches such as clothes hooks,

picture frames, a door sign, and flower boxes.

Jimmer thought that the house should have protection from the vast wilderness--our game room--so oftentimes, Chimpy sits with this (cardboard) rifle on the chair Jimmer made for the dollhouse. Jimmer wants to put hooks above the door to hold the rifle...just like Pa did.

A cozy little home.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Piano Recital

All three of our pianists were simply splendid.

Mary Kate played:
Swans on the Lake (Thompson)
Square Dance (Faber)
Sonatina for Two (Palmer)

Duets with their teacher are great fun!

Mikey's pieces:
Minuet (Haydn)
Spanish Cabellero (Faber)
Jazz Waltz (Palmer)

Kathleen played:
Sonatina in G (Atwood)
The Breakers (Aaron)
The Fiddler (Palmer)

It's a joy to see the progress they've made this year!

Ahh, the last recital for a while...'til fiddle camp.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

3-Ring Circus

May usually seems a bit crazy with all the end-of-year activities--even if our kids don't even go to school. Contrary to what some people may think of homeschoolers, we don't live in a bubble...although being in a bubble seems quite appealing at times!

Today, it was feeling like a little 3-ring circus of activity. Dad was cutting the boys' hair (no pix).

Kathleen was practicing on her unicycle (sans juggling act).

Cleaning and tuning violins, practicing songs...a violin recital.

Bike jumping.

Front yard tackle football.

Now watching...Flipper (1963 original).

What does your 3-ring circus look like?

Friday, May 22, 2009


Why are the most interesting creatures also some of the creepiest specimens?

A friend caught this hairy arachnid on the side of the road and was so kind to pass it along to us for the kids' nature study.

Okay, so I wasn't thinking of him as so thoughtful at first to suggest we take in a live tarantula. Frankly, these things have always given me the willies. I remember one run-in with a live tarantula and it still sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. I guess they wouldn't be so creepy to me if it wasn't for their "medically significant" venom and hairy legs.

The kids want to show their friends after they get back from school.

Ummm...I guess the kids didn't realize this at the time, but that lid wasn't on very securely.

That calls for some tape.

Much better!

After Kathleen took a few close looks at the spider she said, "Did you know that tarantulas have more than 20 elbows?"

Again, where do they get this stuff?
So I ask, "Where did you learn that?"
She replied, "Oh, I'm not sure. It could have been in a Magic School Bus book or the I Wonder Why Encyclopedia...or something."

"Ella" is waiting under our sago palm...waiting for the neighbor kids' return!

Then Dad will make Ella very happy, happy, happy, and release her to a new home...with lots of bugs to eat...far away from the grass the kids scamper across. Barefoot.

For the love of nature!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

O-O-Oat Containers :: Kid-Made Pulleys and Shelves.

This is what happened at our house while I took an important 40 minute phone call.

The kids raided my catch-all closet. You may know the one...with everything from vases to hand towels to wrapping paper to craft items to light bulbs.

Then, when I was actually finished with my call, I was asked to heed the "do not disturb" sign on Mikey and Jimmer's door for a few minutes...before I could see what they had been up to.

When they allowed me to enter, this is what I found.

Yes, a pulley system that Mikey can operate from his top bunk.

To surprise incoming boys' room guests...

...with a shower of paper confetti.

The girls created more functional needs.

A shelving system with covered cubby holes for Kathleen's top bunk.

Mary Kate thought her tiger should be separated from her other, less wild, stuffed friends.

I guess there were no more tubes left for Jimmer, but he assisted Mikey with his mechanical system.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun While We Were Away

Even if Joe had to work 12-18 hours a day--via Blackberry--while I was away, he certainly managed to show the kids a little fun.

I guess he didn't take any pictures of the restaurant lunch meeting he had...with the kids staying happy with their umpteenth fountain drink refills.

Jimmer's remark to me after I returned:
"I don't even KNOW how many drinks we had that day. Let's see...I had a couple of root beers, 2 cups of Sprite/lemonade, and three cups of orange/Sprite."

They were on the boat in the morning as Mary Kate and I left Gramma's, and they headed to pick us up at the end of the day straight from the lake.

More root beer...

We even arrived 30 minutes early because a couple of people on the plane got sick, so the flight attendants reported it and got EMS on board at the gate before we were allowed to deplane. Lovely.

Still waiting for our incubation period to pass.

On a note of more relief...
Joe found our missing point and shoot. Whew! It had been missing for about a month, and I thought I had been the last to touch it.

Found in one of the boat bags.

Thanks, St. Anthony!