Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's the Nature of the thing. . .

It has been the mildest January I ever remember!  Each mild weekend has given us a chance to get out and observe nature in dormancy.  A few weeks ago, we bundled up and took off on our weekly walk.  In a bush at the side of the house, we spotted the tiniest bird's nest.  Maddison said that it must be a hummingbird nest because no bigger bird would fit in it.  I didn't want to disturb the nest, and it was fairly high in the bush, so Mason suggested that I just take a picture by holding the camera up. . .  pretty smart of him! 
Up the driveway a little ways is our favorite tree stump.  This stump used to be the foundation for a wonderfully perfect oak tree.  The March of 2006 tornado ripped the tree apart, and we had to cut the remaining half down.  All that is left is this gnarly stump.  The leftovers have been a great biology lesson for us.  We have seen all kinds of worms and bugs at work here over the years.  Sometimes we stand on it and pretend we are great explorers!  In the picture above, Mason is examining a hole we discovered.  We were very curious about the hole, which we had never seen before.  Papa came along about that time, and cleared up the mystery.  Papa told us that Josh had buried the skull of the bobcat he killed next to this old stump.  The purpose was to let the bugs and worms clean the skull.   Well, I guess another wild animal couldn't let that happen, and he pilfered the skull right out of the ground.   Even though the skull was small, it left me wondering what animal would dig it up and carry it off.  We do have coyotes in this area, and some cougars have been spotted within a few miles of us.   A science lesson for another day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vitamins in a bowl!

Shocking, right? Who knew that I could take pictures of something besides grandkids and farm scenes?  I am pretty sure that the Pioneer Woman (or the Farm Chick) doesn't have a thing to worry about with my food blog!  This is a picture of the salad I had for supper last night.  It is made up of romaine, spinach, shredded carrots, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, chopped walnuts, feta cheese and dried cranberries.  After I put it together, it was so bright and colorful that I had to take a picture of it.  It was as good as it was colorful.  This salad is part of our New Year's "eating healthy" goal.  I added a little Vidalia Onion dressing and devoured it!  Randy had a similar salad, minus the feta cheese, green pepper and cranberries.  His was full of onion, mushrooms and some canned chicken.  Not exactly gourmet chefs in this house, but we sure got our veggies in.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Souper" Lunch Date!

Last week I got invited to eat lunch with Maddison in honor of "souper" readers.  We ate a bowl of turkey noodle soup and then had a few minutes to read together.  It was so great to get to see her again in the school setting.  I relish every chance to spend time with Maddison or Mason.  I know that children grow up so fast and every developmental stage needs to be enjoyed!

On Saturday, Maddie and I went to the local library and selected some books to check out.  While we were there, she informed me that she loves Jan Brett books.  I was a little surprised because she has never mentioned a "favorite" author before (except for Dr. Seuss).  Then she added that Jan Brett books were also her teacher's favorites. . .  ahhh now I understand!  Amazing how much influence a teacher can have on these young moldable minds.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just a skiff. . .

If you look closely, you will see snow falling in this picture.  Last week we had our first January snowfall.  I believe that we got about an inch, followed by bitterly cold temperatures.  This weekend, however, it warmed up and the snow all melted.  We are supposed to have high of 60 today.  Not bad for January 16th.  And to make it all better, I have the day off!  Yesterday the kids and I enjoyed a long walk through our property, quite unusual for January. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


We enjoyed a little outdoor entertainment this morning before the small amount of snow is gone.  The kids had a great time sledding down the pond dam.  Later, Maddison went with Aunt Bea and Uncle Scott for some one on one time, while Mason and Papa and I hung out together.  Sometimes it is nice to separate them and enjoy each individually.  I LOVE Saturdays!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Can this be January?

This picture pretty much tells the story of the weather that we have been having lately.  Mason loves it!  He is definitely an outdoors kind of kid.  He loves to climb, jump and run.  For the past week we have been experiencing unseasonable warm weather for January.  I think everyone is holding their breath to see what the rest of the month brings!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Scientifically speaking. . . .

We took a break from our regular "project" Saturdays to squeeze in some holiday activities.  This week, however, we decided that it was time to get back to our extra-curricular activites.  The first experiment we did was to make a lava jar.  The kids really enjoyed watching this, as well as putting it together.  We filled a jar 3/4 full of water and then added some oil.  Next we dropped some (well, lots!) of food coloring in.  To get the real party started, we added bits of an Alka-Seltzer tablet.  The reaction was fun to watch.

In the second picture, we made mini volcanos.  The kids poured baking soda onto a cookie sheet and then dropped some (well, lots!) of food coloring on the peaks.  Then, with a small syringe, they squirted vinegar on the piles.  The reaction was quite fun to observe.    I think they could have kept doing this for hours.

We also made home made play-doh.  Since it was such a nice day, we ventured outside (47 degrees, sunny) later in the morning.  I will post more photos of this tomorrow, since I am having problems loading photos onto the blog.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Movie Reviews!

Randy and I love going to the movies.  We recently went to see "Descendants" with George Clooney.  I enjoyed it, but Randy felt like it was a total chick flick.  He felt that the movie drug on to the point of boredom.  I enjoyed the acting and the story line.  I would recommend it with caution, since it would not be everyone's idea of entertainment.  It was a little depressing.
Yesterday we took a chance and went to see "We Bought a Zoo".   I felt like with Matt Damon in the movie, how could it be wrong?   We both really enjoyed this heartwarming story about a widowed dad and his children.  I would recommend this if you don't have to have "blood and guts" when you watch a movie.
Today we finished up our holiday movie going trilogy with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo".  I was prepared for a graphic thriller, which was pretty much what I got.  The movie was 2 and 1/2 hours long and did drag a bit in places.  The acting was great and the plot kept you guessing.   Some of the scenes were disturbing.  I haven't read the book the movie is based on, but I think I will soon.
The only movie that I wanted to see, but haven't yet is "War Horse".  I will probably have to wait to rent it on RedBox when it comes out.  And speaking of Redbox, we rented, "Sarah's Key", which is based on a book I read last year.  It takes place mostly in France, covers a WWII theme, and has subtitles.  I enjoyed it, but many would not.  Randy talked me into watching "Warriors", which I thought I would hate, but really liked.  It is about a dysfunctional family and Ultimate Fighting.  The story was intense, as was some of the fighting scenes.
Tomorrow I go back to work after being off for the holidays.  I think I have seen enough movies to take me into the summer!