Wednesday, June 3, 2009

serious addiction

the first twilight book

and gummy candies
(especially the frogs).

i'll let you know when i have everything under control...


Friday, May 29, 2009

leaving the nest

can you stand yet another picture of these little guys?
this week, junior, bacon cheeseburger and talia have grown exponentially and have sprouted actual feathers with white markings on them. their beaks and eyes are formed and they look like they are almost full grown so much that we hardly recognize them anymore! (funny i've heard the same sage warning about kids, but i'm thankful mine will be sticking around for awhile yet...).

we've all been walking up to the nest and taking peeks of all three of the babies nestled together. i think over the week mama robin and baby robins have gotten used to us, and i have to admit, the kids and i have had a blast observing our little tenants. mama bird still flies away when she sees us, but she's never too far away. she's such a good little mum...

and so adorable they are, all squished together looking slightly uncomfortable. maybe a bit too much, because today the kids spied junior leaving the nest and flying away...{sigh-combination of happy and sad}. i think soon we'll be looking at an empty nest.

one down, and two to go...

happy friday too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day

the visit to the farm was every bit of fun and relaxing as we thought it would be...we headed home a day earlier than we would have liked (to beat the dreaded holiday traffic), but we didn't leave without paying a visit to keith's grandma and grandpa at the town cemetary. it was their beloved farm that we visited and where my hubby spent many happy days of his childhood.

my kids were blessed to have met their great-grandma velma and to recall some memories of her. (she called them little sacks of sugar and read their favorite books to them). there was always a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. as a sidenote, she made the best homeade doughnuts and strawberry jam (which we got for christmas every year, my very favorite gift).

grandma velma was married to grandpa george, who passed away when keith was about 11 years old. unfortunately we never got to meet grandpa george although many stories have been passed on and retold. he was a wwii vet and fought at the battle of the bulge and contracted malaria during his service. i know that he never talked about his time serving in the army, and that he was broken hearted when grandma velma, his longtime childhood friend, married another man. sometime after, grandma velma's husband who was also fighting in wwii, died in battle. when grandpa george returned home, he proposed..and the rest they say was history.

something that's easily lost.

so that's why we stopped to remember and pay our respects this memorial day. we hope that the stories that lana and little man hear will stay in their hearts and be engraved into their memoires so one day they will pass everything on to their little ones. and that they pause every now and then in life and on special days like today...

and appreciate the sacrifices that were made by their great-grandpa george and countless others throughout the years that risked their lives and everything that they had. and to also know their grandpa george, the man.

happy memorial day to all,


memorial day at a glance

all weekend we got to look at this: there was plenty of relaxing on keith's family farm, visiting with family, a little bit of fishing and even swimming because this year the sun shone brightly...not bad for memorial day weekend in wisconsin, where you never know what you're going to get in the weather department. i even got to chow down on some of uncle mac's famous bbq ribs, which were totally worth the five hour car ride getting up to the farm. sorry, there are no photos. we took care of all the evidence.
the kids turned into some serious fisherpeople over the weekend, perfecting their casting and excercising great patience.

luckily s.a.a.j. (special agent auntie jay) was on hand to bait the worms on their hooks.

hey, a.j., i totally owe you one!!!

our fishing excursion was successful...

after the mr. caught his large mouth bass, the kiddos deliberated whether it was humane to eat the fish or not. it was hilarious to hear them debate the issue, though finally, hunger won out. (the fish was delish by the way...nothing like fresh caught fish in a fresh, clean lake).
it's a law that whenever we go somewhere, we always forget something...this time it was the bucket for the fish. so fordy was in charge of babysitting the fish...
er, walking the fish. or something like that.

we rounded out the weekend with birthday cake for keith's brother andy,
who incidently is a kid magnet...not that you can tell or anything.

some napping while waiting for uncle andy to give out four wheeler rides...
i did mention he was a kid magnet, yes?

frog catching...and frog kissing
(which does not yield any princes, we concluded),

some very important, cousin bonding time,

and s'mores, star gazing and hiking.

it was the perfect weekend...

Friday, May 22, 2009

three day weekend (here we come)

[photo by friendly made

this memorial day weekend, we’ll be headin’ up to keith’s grandma’s farm for some r&r, hiking and fishing (and if it’s warm enough, swimming). i’m also looking forward to partaking in some of keith’s uncle’s famous bbq ribs, which I happen to get only 4-5 some odd years at a time.

so, in preparation for the two days, I have my lists in hand: my grocery list, packing list, and my master "to-do" list of things that must be done before we leave. anyone else like this? it drives my husband crazy because his idea of packing is throwing one clean pair of tidy whities and a toothbrush in a bag. in this respect and many others we balance ourselves out.

between the two of us, we did remember to pack the important stuff:

the kids
cooler full of cold beverages
sleeping bags
inflatable lake floaties
fishing poles
roasting sticks
and s’mores-homeade (yeah!)

and there i go again with my lists...

have a relaxing memorial day weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


i like to run. it gives me much needed clarity and quiet time in my life, plus it's a fantastic cardio workout. really, truth be told, i run partly because i'm lazy. i know once i spill the beans to everyone i know that i'm training for a race, there's no backing out.

[photo by steve rhodes]

just last weekend, in my homestate, the 98th annual bay to breakers race took place in san francisco. it's that kooky race where runners dress up (or not at all-eek...) and hike up a hilly 7 1/2 mile course. i'm penciling it in for next year, but i have a feeling i'm not going to be breaking my p.r. i'll be gawking at all of the creative costumes and probably rolling down the hills to make up for lost time. it looks like one big, fantastic party though.

[photos by rene drivers]

[photo by alan grinberg]

[photo by christian noble]

a+ for originality...but i can't look at this one for too long. yes, moving on...

[photo by christian noble]

[photo by alan grinberg]
bay to breakers 2010.
count me in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

kids at play

is there anything better than a sprinkler on a warm afternoon?

the smiles say it all...

pure joy,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

and then there were three

the kids finally named them too...junior, bacon cheeseburger, and talia (up front and center).

Monday, May 18, 2009

welcome monday

goodness...feels as if i'm going to blow away today! it's a good day to stay indoors and catch up on a couple of projects. the weekend was busy as usual, and had us scrambling to get to hubby's biathalon, a saturday night bbq, and putting up a shed... a very productive weekend, it was.

i'm looking forward to a little peace and quiet today to regroup and tackle some creative endeavors.

Friday, May 15, 2009

friday alliteration

the mr. brought home a mystery package yesterday.
when i looked inside, it made me say, mmmmmmmmmmmm.
and yum...
and hooray!
because you can only get this scrumptious treat once a year
and only if you beat everyone else to the punch.
people trespass to find them.
get in rock 'em sock 'em robot fights
to win out.

what could cause such a reaction?

morel mushrooms...that's what.

i've had them before, but never prepared them. my wheels were turning and my creative juices were flowing with ideas: mushroom panini, mushroom soup, mushroom bechemel sauce...

but we were pressed for time, so we resorted towards simple and easy. lana's spring sing was last night and in a rush to get to school and in a rush to use up the morels whilst they were fresh, we chopped them up. sauteed them in butter. threw in some crackers. scrambled some eggs. and tossed in a little seasoning.

ta da! scrambled eggs a la super dee duper!
(sorry there's no pic of the scrambled eggs. i mentioned that we were
in a hurry last night, right?).

it wasn't fancy, but it sure was yummy.

and if it seems a travesty to waste such specialness on something as common and simple as scrambled eggs, all is not lost. my husband's coworker (who so graciously shared his mushroom treasure with us) is morel hunting this weekend, so i may have a second chance at culinary redemption. you can imagine the serious butt-kissing going on...

mr., mystery, mmmmmm, morel mushrooms.

it's a wrap.

and it's friday friends! amen.
have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

news alert

baby birds in the house!!! yes, the babies have hatched- two of 'em to be exact. we're still waiting on the third and final one to make his debut. the kids were relieved, excited and beyond happy at their arrival.

it happened so fast... just this morning i checked on the little buggers and they were still nestled in their cozy little eggs. and the next moment, it's the p.m. and the kids are tumbling off the bus, peepin' for progress. and there they are! two little brand new babies, mouths turned up and calling for mama robin for a little something to snack on.

they are so fresh and new. some might say not the, uh...cutest things in the world. still pink and featherless and their eyes have yet to be developed. but we will rival that they are the most adorable little baby robins because they're "ours" (you know how it is). now that they've made their way into the world, it's only proper to name them now. it will be interesting to see what the kids pick out...
we are happy to have them here, alive and well after all the drama last weekend. round one, over...(ding). now for round two...fingers crossed that the neighborhood kitty stays away.
to spring, baby birds and all that's new,

Monday, May 11, 2009

lesson learned

a week ago the kids and i made a wonderful discovery that was hiding right under our noses. a mama robin had made her nest and laid four of the most magnificent blue-hued eggs under our back porch. each day we would roll the grill off to the side and mama bird would flee from her nest and into the neighboring maple tree and watch us as we peered through the cracks of our deck at the four little birdy eggs.

over the weekend a sad thing happened. after telling the kids to only look at the nest and eggs and not to disturb them, a friend convinced them that birds can't sense humans and therefore they could handle the eggs. so as my daughter scooped a tiny egg out ready to pass it on to my son, it slipped before he could catch it. it fell to the ground and cracked...

two stricken children ran into the house, tears streaming their faces. to their credit they told the truth, all of it. elena cupped the little egg in her hands and found a box to nestle it in. keith grabbed the shovel and we headed out to "the" corner. after it was done, and after some heartfelt "sorrys" were expressed, she laid a flower on top.

at bedtime there were more tears, hugs and prayers that baby bird was in heaven and that mama robin would come back to sit on the rest of her eggs. we talked about mistakes and and what we learned from it all. another of life's lessons on forgiveness, and respect for life and nature all rolled up into one.

i promised lana before i went to bed that i would walk down the steps of our back porch to see if mama bird returned. if she was there and she heard me, she would fly away. if not, there would be nothing. i opened the door quietly so as not to scare her off before i had a chance to spot her, but then walked halfway noisily down the steps. and mama bird was there. i was happy to report to the kiddos that she flew away like a banshee into our maple tree and chewed me out whole-heartedly with a "TWEET TWEET TWEET!!!". relief all around.

[photo by joseph hollick]
fingers crossed and maybe a few more prayers for good measure, and hopefully we'll have some of these cuties to show you soon...we certainly hope so.
(to be continued...)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother's day VIIII

mother's day love...

morning movie
flowering everything


the lady i owe my thanks to... thanks mom!
(you too dad!)

the man who started it all...

and the little ones who make my life worthwhile.

(more snuggling tonight).