Monday, April 30, 2012

Bozeman Beauty...

This morning the kid's and I were studying about how God is INCOMPREHENSIBLE.  We read Isaiah 40:25-26, "To whom will you compare Me? Or who is My equal? says the Holy One.  Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." This was on my mind as we started our day -- and our morning adventure was an perfect way to enjoy the beauty He has created... He is beyond our understanding!
 Spring has sprung in Bozeman.  We got snow all weekend, but between the flurries I was amazed by the way the town has come alive with color.  Everywhere I look -- it is BEAUTIFUL! Tulips hiding under a blankets of wet, soggy snow... Trees and bushes EXPLODING with GREEN or overflowing with blossoms... it is beautiful!
 Even though I'm in the midst of spring cleaning (one of my FAVORITE things), we took a break to get outside and enjoy the BEAUTY... It looked super gloomy, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't freezing.  There was a chill in the air, but it was pretty mild!
 See all that fresh snow on the mountains... I think it was the perfect backdrop!

 I love new buds... life emerging from a deep, long sleep...
 I love flowers... especially GIANT dandelions!
 We played with friends...
 Lingered around points of interest... (a drain is a perfect point of interest!)...
 Climbed every mountain and rock.  Ethan decided that he couldn't climb this giant rock.  
His friend told him she could give him a boost.  
He responded, "I don't think you could lift me!  I weigh a 100 dollars!!"
 On the way home we found a "new" park... so we pulled over and tried it out!

I'm so thankful for a calm morning of exploring... I'm thankful for dirty boots and a trail of dandelion flowers... It is nice to be still, take deep breathes... and enjoy the beauty -- it truly was a gorgeous day and a PERFECT day for pictures!  It is time for naps -- and I need to get back to cleaning!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'd Like to Thank the Weather...

We woke up to snow... I know that is what the weather forecast predicted, but sometimes I just don't want to listen... Yesterday... I knew it was going to happen.  I planted my flowers and when I did I knew very well that I would be dragging them inside every night (or keeping them inside for days on end)... Last night I'm glad I drug them inside... it was COLD today!
This is the face I got when I asked him what he thought of chocolate chip pancakes...
 To celebrate the snow we made squash-chocolate chip swirl pancakes.  I have this new thing for using an icing bag and decorating tip to pipe my pancake batter onto the grill... 
 It makes the FUNNEST pancakes!

My recipe...
1/2 cup puree squash (I cook a butternut squash puree it and freeze it in icecube trays... I put a defrosted cube or two into almost everything I bake ... cookies, bread, muffins)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup flour (I added a bit more to make the pancakes thicker)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt and baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon oil (or I use a 1/4 of a cup of applesauce - adjusting the flour)
 I want to thank the weather for keeping us home today... it forced us to stop and regroup!
 The kids worked on art work most of the morning.  Ethan was teaching Eden how to draw and his little dialogue was PRECIOUS!  I wish I could have recorded it.  Moments like that melt my heart.  He is so tender and kind to her -- they really love each other and I love this!
 While they worked I worked.  I am so behind on laundry and household chores... as I was sorting laundry I overheard, "Com'on Eden, let's go show Momma! She is going to be so proud of us! She will say, 'Wow, Ethan and Eden, that is amazing artwork! You guys are such great artists! I'm so proud of you!'" That just about made me cry... I am so glad that Ethan knows I am proud of him... because I am!
It was a good sort of break from soaking in the sunshine -- a needed break to stop and get back on track with those little chores that don't seem to be much of a priority in my life... *sigh*

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Art Observations #4: Exploring Colors


Today was a fun subject... EXPLORING COLORS. 
 I love LOTS of color -- black and white art is impressive and I love that too... 
but color just makes things FUN!
 Today we focused on primary colors and tried to do some fun mixing color projects... something was in the air because it was a WILD class!  Must be that SPRING air... I thinking next week we might do interpretive dancing art -- aka running in the park "art"...
 We drew on coffee filters to warm up our fingers... to have fun with COLORS... 
(hopefully) we will use these next week for our next project!
Next we exploded our volcano... we put red and yellow drops in the mixture to make orange lava! I think our volcano has seen its days... it erupts almost instantaneous due to all the vinegar and baking soda residue... BUT I hope it was a cool thing for the kiddos!
Eden's grumpy face... hum... dear child...
 Then we went back inside for mixing colors into white play dough.  The kids got to choose a primary color and work it in the dough... They weren't too into this, but I loved the colors that were created!
 I love this picture of Jack... and his fire play dough... 

We took pinches of everyones play dough and mixed all the colors together to see what would happen... it was ugly... 

My favorite part of the time was when Heidi started reading the book "The Way Things Work" by David Macaulay (Yes, oh YES this is on my book wish list)  Our two little engineers were engrossed... Ethan spends hours looking at our "library" copy... he is fascinated by how things work... I just loved this picture of them!

I have some awesome color projects for next week!!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Little of This and a Little of That...

 It feels like one of those weeks that has been filled to overflowing with all sorts of fun stuff, but not stuff that is easy to group into an easy, packaged (themed) blog post! It was a little bit of "that", some more of "this" type of week (so far)... I like that! So here is my eclectic post...
 A few days ago I came out of my bedroom and caught this... Ethan giving Eden a massage...
 I was thinking about asking for a turn when I saw him working her muscles...
 That was before he pulled out his "alternative" moves... foot massaging the tummy... interesting!
 Our mornings have been warm... delightfully so -- and the afternoons filled with rain!  This afternoon Ethan burst through the door and EXCLAIMED, "Momma! It's raining cats and dogs out there!" On chilly afternoons it is best to pull out the hot chocolate... A few days ago when I had finished making their hot chocolate I put in a squirt of whipped cream and bright sprinkles for fun... When Eden saw her cup she gasped and said, "Oh Momma, I'm so proud of you!" It's nice to feel appreciated!
 Nana Rose bought Ethan a scooter for Christmas, but we packed it away because he had plenty of gifts... he has out grown his tricycle and so this week I pulled out his scooter... He is pretty proud of it!  Now we just have to remember to haul it to the park so he can practice! 
 For the most part we are nap-less in the afternoon... Momma would LOVE to take a nap, but I don't enjoy that luxury anymore!  Eden has discovered that Ethan doesn't sleep... so she has concluded that she doesn't need to either.  So after their hour of "quiet" alone time... they have been busy in the back yard playing with the sprinklers... I love the look on Eden's face in this picture... true annoyance!
 I just love how we have been able to "pretend" summer these past few days... I'm sure it will be a rainy May -- and there may be more snow and cold days... but I'm loving being outdoors...
 Plus the clouds are dramatic and marvelous in this BIG SKY country!
 I've also noticed with all this outdoor play -- that the floors in the house are filthy... I'm now vacuuming every day to keep the outdoors -- outdoors! Now I understand why my Mom had the rule -- if you are outside -- STAY OUTSIDE!
 Tonight we celebrated a friend's birthday... I made the cake... chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! Amazing -- I don't think that any other flavor compares...
I think Ethan and Eden agree with me -- they were dying for a bite!  

Our lives have been full with all sorts of this and that -- I'm thankful for the days we have and how we are able to weave memories, conversations, and life into each moment!  I love it, but I'm also TIRED!

I'll leave you with one last conversation that took place in our car today.... 
 Eden was mumbling in the back seat so I said, "What did you say, Eden?"  With frustration in her voice she dramatically said, "I'm talking to the LORD!"  Ethan immediately piped up and said, "Oh, Eden that is an excellent thing to do!"  The rest of the way home I heard both of them speaking with God -- thanking Him for their day... made me smile...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All About Volcanos...

Ethan found a volcano experiment in his science book and really wanted to know all about it... so we studied all about volcanos. We learned about the magma chamber, the crater, the lava flow, and the ash cloud (I'm sure he remembers all those terms... ha!).  I told him about Mt St. Helen's and how I was just a little girl when it exploded and I remember hearing all about the ash and how the ash traveled for 1,000 of miles... 
 I had a coke bottle I saved from Europe... so we took that and covered it with our play dough to make it look like a mountain. The books we read said that the areas around a volcano are very fertile so we added a bunch of "bushes and plants."
 A few days later when the play dough had hardened we thought it was time for the ERUPTION! We took 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, a few drops of red and yellow food coloring, and a few drops of liquid soap... and poured that mixture into the volcano.  Then we took 1 tablespoon of baking soda and dropped it in the bottle... almost IMMEDIATELY the lava started to explode out of our volcano!
It was AWESOME!
 It just kept going and going! Ethan thought it was pretty COOL!
 For dessert we celebrated with a volcano dessert...
 Pretty fun activity...
 Learning can be exciting and fun... it is all about discovery... huh?


Later... we erupted the volcano again... it is drying out right now,
but I have a feeling this will be a VERY ACTIVE volcano!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yard Work Weekend...

Late last summer I was having a sad day... I was thinking about how much I missed my garden -- there was a knock on the door and some girls told me about a program in Bozeman that would build me a garden for FREE if I was interested.  I really didn't believe it...
I believe it now!  A crew came on Saturday and we spent the morning cutting sod out of the garden frame.  It was work! Ethan and Eden helped the whole time!
After the sod was removed we put soil into the frame.
We still need some more soil and there is a load of manure coming -- at some point.
We piled the sod in the back by the kid's sand box... they LOVE their GIANT mountain! I figure it will give them a lot to play with -- plus it is full of worms (a bonus for Eden).
On Sunday I dug around the edge and put an edging to keep the grass from spreading back into the bed.  It was warm outside and I got a mild sunburn! Doesn't that garden bed look great???? 
While we were gardening in the back yard -- Micah was in the front yard building a garbage can holder.  We got a note from our trailer park association saying we had until the 30th to build a PROFESSIONAL garbage can holder or else we would be fined $50 a month.... well, you gotta do what you gotta do!  Micah build this and I would say it looks quite professional!  On Sunday I painted it white so that it would blend in with our porch...

On Sunday Micah was away speaking at a church about Certain Truth Ministries (CTM - our nonprofit)... so in the afternoon we went to Michael's for craft day.  I just discovered that they have events that are either free or a few bucks.  Check their site for more info (here) they have lots of great crafting ideas! The class they had yesterday was painting canvas bags... Ethan painted this amazing rocket... they didn't have yellow so we had to finish up the fire when we got home! 
Eden and I worked on her project together.  We traced her hands for this fun flower design.
I'm excited to visit Michael's more often for more fun projects!
While we were out we picked up some flowers for our porch!  I'm so excited for color and growing things!  We also planted some pumpkin, squash, and herb seeds... we are ready for SUMMER!
It was a great, busy weekend!