Monday, February 28, 2011

Reminiscing...

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This week's i heart faces challenge is "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (or anything but a human face)". I couldn't resist posting these very happy hands of my daughter, holding her new baby chick.

See more random body parts over at i heart faces.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birds and Blooms

(also entitled, "Why I Can Forgive the South for it's Unbearable Summers" or "I Love an Early Spring!")


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We participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count last weekend...

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So we centered a whole school day around birdies, from science to handwriting. It's always nice to take a break from the ordinary.

Especially when the ordinary is in the middle of a long winter slump.

And you are desperately counting the days until Spring...

22, 21, 20, (are we there, yet?!), 19, 18, 17...



*Ahem.*


It took a little while for the birds to start coming around,
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but once we shooed off any deterrents lurking nearby,


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we finally starting seeing some visitors.


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Here's who's in our neck of the woods right now:
  • tufted titmouse
  • carolina chickadee
  • white throated sparrow (we call them santa clause sparrows because of their beards)
  • fox sparrow (I think)
  • chipping sparrow
  • cardinal
  • mockingbird
  • eastern bluebird
  • blue jay
  • crow
  • robin
  • house finch
  • mourning dove
  • american goldfinch
  • dark eyed juncos

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For um, "computer science", my son created his own species of bird on his Spore game. He just beams when I incorporate his passions (currently Spore) into his school work. Someday I'm going to learn how to be more creative and do it more often.

We also had fun watching this video on www.Jellytelly.com about the acorn woodpecker. (We love Jelly Telly!)






I can't describe how wonderful it was to be outside counting birds (thank you, Barb, once again for getting us OUTSIDE!) - the weather here has been beautiful, and we're beginning to see our first blessed signs of Spring on the way...

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It almost seems like the buttercups are intently watching the ground, looking for signs of new growth to appear, as if they are sentinels of Spring.


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{a nature obstacle course}


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hooray for short sleeves!


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"She felt blessed above all creatures, having birds, books, babies, and blooms, and the leisure to enjoy them..."
(paraphrased (because I'm too lazy to go get the book and look it up) from Penelope in The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher)

Thank you for your early preview, Spring!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Birthday Vacation, the finale: Valentine's fun

Boy, I've been blogging in slow motion lately. Here are a few moments from our Valentine's Day and our final pics from our NJ trip...

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The guys had beautiful flowers for the girls,

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and grandma had fun prizes for everyone!

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And my sister's sweet in-laws brought fun and yummy gifts over, too. What a day!

And what a vacation! Just what I needed to get me through the winter blahs (and turning 40).
I feel so blessed to have such a fun and loving family.

Now it's back to the wii fit...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dimples...


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Couldn't resist joining this photo party :) (Thanks, Becky!)


Birthday Vacation, part 4: Hibatchi Fun

It may be on the tacky side to take this many pictures of people eating dinner, but living on the farm outside of town (and on a budget) we don't go out to eat much, so our night at a hibatchi grill on our recent trip to NJ was a big deal for us country-folk. So I took a lot of pictures...

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(Interjection: I apologize for the color in these photos, I was playing with the ISO settings on my camera and they looked a lot better on the camera screen. We're not actually quite that pasty.) OK, carry on...


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(first shirley temples)


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My son LOVES going to restaurants (mostly because he is a soda aficionado (like, would hook himself to an IV of root beer or Dr. Pepper if he had his way) and he says they taste the best with restaurant ice). But he did pause occasionally between beverage guzzles to entertain his cousin (who thought he was really funny (and maybe a little weird)).



So some of us were a little freaked by having a raging fire a few feet away...
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...but were forgiving once the food throwing fun started...
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And finally, I got my 4th birthday dessert of the weekend...
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...and happily welcomed back the final pounds of the weight I had lost last month. But it was worth it. And I don't know what the freaky thing I'm doing with my hands in that top picture is. Maybe I was so lost without my camera in hand that I was pretending to take a picture of my fried sundae? Oh well, at least I was behind the camera for the food-throwing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthday Vacation, part 3: Swan Walk


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We stayed pretty busy celebrating family birthdays on a recent trip to New Jersey to visit family, but with all the snow on the ground, us Southerners couldn't resist a few walks around the neighborhood to check it all out.

And the snow was great, but the best part of the walk was reaching the water...
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...where we found all sorts of beachy treasures...

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...the most amazing of which were the multitude of swans:
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(those aren't waves in the background, but more swans)


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We don't have swans 'round our parts, so we were fascinated.

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The mallards were pretty, too.


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but, wow, those swans were breathtaking.

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(my husband went back a second day and took many of these pictures - thanks, hunny!)

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Check out more from around the world at the Communal Global link-up!

More from NJ next time,
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