Friday, March 22, 2013


We have added to our was awhile ago actually.  Late last summer, I think.  One of the boys had wanted a pet mouse for several years.  Ever since he read the Redwall series (by Brian Jacques) when he was five he's been in love with mice.  I've been trying to wait it out, but then this fall when he mentioned it yet again, I was ready to think about it.  So off to the pet store we went, just for some information (hmm mmm, riiiiight) and home we came with two dumbo rats.  They were babies then.  Adorable as can be, and apparently much more social than mice, who really do not like to be held.  And the truth is, we just love them!  They are so cute and sociable and the boys are doing a really good job of cleaning out their cage and feeding and watering them. 
 Boy #3 loves them.  I was surprised at first at how brave he was with holding them.  Their quiet, busy nature seems to suit him.

 Their names?  Little Tan and Noir. (french for black)  Such good little buddies for our crew.  It is especially helpful for getting certain things math or spelling....because those kinds of things are far more fun to do with a rat in your pocket.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hen Is Four!

Our littlest boy turned four this past weekend!  This past year has been such a good adventure with you my son.  You have awakened the playful part in me that I had forgotten about.  (I think you got that gift from your papa)  I am so glad to be your mama.
 Hen started reading this year.
 Learned how to play chess with his big brothers.  And became a big brother himself!
May this year bring many blessings to you my dear one.  Papa and I are so very proud of you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lego Creations

 We had a crazy end to our week last Friday, which included a head injury.  Don't worry everyone is fine now.  It was just an accident that happened while we were playing with friends in the gym and it was just a gash on the noggin.  But it did mean that Hen had to lie low for a few days, which meant that all the boys had to lie low, because that sweet little boy just has to do what his brothers are doin'!  So we got out the Legos.  And after two whole days of Legos all over the family room here's what we have.   A Star Wars Republic Drop Ship....
 It is hard to explain to you just how enormous this thing is and all of its capabilities.  It's wingspan is about two and a half feet.  It has a cockpit, opening doors for missile storage and can shoot missiles.

 Here is  close up of the front.  It can also hook up to the AT-TE Walker.  You can see how it sits on top a little in this photo.  What you can not see is how Badger designed a fully functioning latch system that runs inside the AT-TE which allows the bottom structure to accept the Drop Ship and support its weight. 
I'll admit to you that I do not really care about Legos.  (i know, i know)  But I am so very captivated when this boy of mine can make them DO things.  He has such an engineering mind, and is growing in his skills.  I know some of you will appreciate this post more than others (uncle brian?)  But I just couldn't not "mark this one down."  These kids are so extraordinary, and it should be celebrated.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seeds and Homemade Bagels

 It's that time of year again!  Time to plant seeds!
 This year we are trying something a little different and planting in toilet paper rolls.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!  Supposedly it works well because you can just pop them right in the ground without disturbing the roots of your seedling, and the paper roll just biodegrades in the garden.  You have to put them on a watertight tray though.  And...we learned the hard way that you also have to be careful not to bump them when you are filling them with dirt because obviously the dirt comes out of the bottom when tipped.  I imagine this will be less of a problem once there are plant roots growing though.
 Hen was very excited about digging in the dirt.  And remembered some forgotten tulip bulbs that needed a home.  So he got right to it, filling up a pot for them.  The older boys made a paper funnel to help get the soil into the tubes a little more easily.
 Wait a are supposed to be putting dirt in the pot....hmmm......

Cricket helped too.  He is always ready for a project this one.  I love that about him.  He's totally rockin' that long hair too, isn't he?  
 What did we plant?  Parsley and Basil and Kohlrabi.  We hope to do broccoli and a few other things this next week.
 The little girl loves to watch her brothers in action.  She is such a riot watching them, laughing at them, chatting with them.  She is saying words!  This morning she said "stinker!" clear as a bell.  Ha!
 Also this week, Cricket got his hair cut.  And while I am all for him having choice with things like his personal style, I have to admit that I like his hair shorter.  This picture shows a wee bit of the brotherly goofiness that these two eldest guys get up to.  It's way more entertaining in real life.  Trust me.
Our other project for the week was making bagels.  So fun!  I have no idea why it took me so long to try making them.  Maybe they seemed too involved somehow.  It was so easy though.  Although Badger mixed up the dough entirely by himself and all I had to do was help him finish the kneading.  It is so helpful to have a boy who knows his way around the kitchen.
 Here they are before their water bath.  Then...into the pot for seven minutes!
 We decided to put some sucanat and cinnamon on top, because we...okay me.....I....was having a need for a treat that day. 
 Goofball.  My adorable, helpful goofball.
 Here they are all ready to be popped into the oven.  Yum!  They were a treat indeed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 5th

What happens when you ask this crew to sit for a picture?  A general attitude of this....

But don't worry the grumps don't last for long around here....

 Even Badger has a smile in this one, but Hen looks a bit like a pirate.  He was saying "Argh!" quite a bit during this whole fiasco.

 I'll let you decide which one is best.  

I hope to photograph all five kids on every 5th of the month.  A little bit of our lives captured for us to remember.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Little Kitchen Helper

 I just might have the best kitchen help ever. 
 Which is a good thing because feeding this crew of seven is hard work even on the good days. 

 But I know if I stick with it (that is...the whole food thing on a budget) that I will be rewarded. 
 It is so worth the work!

Menu for the week.....

S    Whole wheat waffles with berries
      Pasta with marinara, salad, and bread with fresh garlic and olive oil
      Roast beef, potatoes, and carrots

M  Whole wheat waffles with berries
      PB & J, whole wheat pretzels, apples
      Leftover roast, potatoes, and fresh red peppers, homemade biscuits

T   Eggs and toast 
     Hummus and pita, cukes and tomatoes with olive oil and garlic
     Chicken soup from scratch with wild rice, celery, and carrots

W  Oatmeal with almonds and raisins
     Leftover soup and salad
     Out for dinner 

Th  Cereal (not a usual thing, but the kids begged for Cinnamon Harvest and I caved)
      Eggs and english muffins with onions, mushrooms and cheese
     Homemade burgers and fries (grass fed beef!) and salad

F  Whole wheat pancakes with pure maple syrup
    Pigs in a blanket (from scratch with organic chicken sausage and whole wheat biscuit dough) 
    Chicken drummies, roasted cauliflower, onions, and taters

S  Oatmeal with raisins and nuts
    I have no idea...whatever I can find from what is left....good luck!