Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Heart Faces - Reflections

My first entry at I ♥ Faces. The theme this week is reflection.
~Evan enjoying some time at the zoo's aquarium~

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Green Grass Grows all Around and Around...

What a magnificent day outside today! Part of the day including planting flowers...lots of flowers. John has often commented that we should just plant ones that come back every year, but I would miss the process. Although John is definitely into landscaping, up until about two years ago, it was just me would put the flowers into the ground. Now it's a team effort! And I finally found my favorites today--my Salvias. Yes, those aren't difficult to find, but for whatever reason the Bonfire ones are a little harder to find around here. I adore those--they get to be approximately 2 feet tall; some of the other ones are only around 8 inches or so. Last year, I planted ones from the seeds I saved from the year before, but this year, I didn't get seeds started soon enough, so I bought the plants.

John also planted 4
Forsythia bushes.
(wish I had a picture of the one we had growing up--I need to ask the siblings about that)
We had one when I was growing up, and I remember the comfort of going inside the one we had--not sure how old I was, definitely young, and not sure if it was for just one season or more than one. I do know, from what mom says, it had gotten a bit out of control--but hey, that was perfect for hiding, although I'm not sure how hidden I was. But I remember liking it, and bringing all the items from nature that I collected in it with me. So, I convinced John that we needed to have some of those...problem is that that are planted in an area that is considered part of the front yard, and there is NO WAY John will let them get out of control. Oh well. Maybe, just maybe, I'll plant one somewhere in the backyard that will be

I miss the yard I grew up in--in CT...it was just about perfect for a child. There were 3 hills (Side note: thanks to the glaciers over 700,000 years ago, I live in flat country now) for sledding, although one of them went off a 4 or 5 foot wall onto the street. I think we only did that one a few times, and somebody was on car watch duty while the other person would go...hurt a little, but it was fun! No, mom and dad weren't aware. There were also a couple of flat areas--one often used for badminton, the other sometimes for crochet. A huge garden area, a bushy area with berries, and a wooded area perfect for climbing trees and being alone, and the best part---a steep hill that led down to a creek. We had paths on that hill, but several years after leaving home and the house no longer ours, I looked at the hill and didn't see any those supposed "paths." Oh, how fortunate I was to have parents that didn't hover over us. It was a world of "danger" and discovery.

Yards, I'm not into the whole chemically induced green grass thing. For years, I wouldn't let John use chemicals in our yard. Several years ago, I gave in, because the yard was looking a bit pathetic, so we had it "treated" for about a year. Yep, great looking yard. Yep, huge increase in the number of seizures our dog had. So we (I) stopped that.

But now, we're in this new yard (1 year in July), and with it, comes new weeds. The neighbors to the left and right of us "take care of their yards." John feels the pressure to do the same. I have a HUGE opinion about this...not happening, at least not with the standard treatments that are readily available with a quick phone call. I've started searching for environmentally friendly ways to take care of a lawn. Tips are welcome.

This is a photo of our lawn in the backyard before the first mowing of the season...I think those are pretty! But, yeah, I purposely didn't include any dandelions in the range of the camera's lens. Not a fan of those.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I went to see Chelsey today! She, her roommate, and I went out to eat at Fazoli's, then we stopped at Lowe's (bought some Forsythia's--warm memories from childhood), and then it was off to Wally World (yuk). It was a last minute plan to go see her--I really need to plan these trips better so that I can spend more time with her and do more than go shopping. BUT, she's coming home soon for the summer--yeah!--so I don't need to worry about that planning until next year. Her roommate, who was carrying my camera, got a "great" picture of me lugging Chelsey's fridge across the parking lot--don't think I need to post that. That thing was heavy, and although Chelsey is stronger than me (really), I have longer arms which I think maybe made carrying it a little easier...at least that's the theory we came up with.
Last week, Kyle and Matt went over to Kyle's Best Buddie's house for a game night (Matt's buddy also went). The boys brought along their Star Wars Battleship and Trouble...they seemed to have a great time! Once again, love the Best Buddies program!
Several weeks ago, Matt and Kyle were in the variety program at school. It was similar to what Kyle did last year--they sang with some of the members of the choir. Last year, the song (that was written at the school) was "Everyday Heroes." This year, it was "Count On Me." Matt made it ever so clear that he didn't want to do it, but like so many things, we basically said, "Tough, you're doing it anyway!" We do this, well, because in most circumstances, he ends up enjoying whatever it is that we're trying to get him to do. And this was no exception. They had 3 practices, and after the first, he was fine with it. He seemed very happy and pleased with himself after each of the 2 performances. I even think I saw his lips moving during the song! :)
And Evan, let's see...he's been jumping--a lot-- recently. His behavior in stores has also deteriorated recently. He used to thoroughly enjoy grocery shopping; the last few times, he has not been content--a little screaming, gets mad if I go a direction that he doesn't want to go, etc--maybe the "terrible twos" hitting a bit late. I'm looking forward to this summer where I will have so much one on one time with him.
Time for bed...need to get there soon because I'm predicting Evan will be up in about 4 hours...maybe crying, maybe jumping, maybe "reading"....or just maybe, he might sleep through tonight....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cooking with Chef Matt

Matt and I watched "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger" this morning on the Food Network (his favorite channel). Today's episode included a white chili that looked easy, healthy, and yummy! So, the boys and I made a trip to the store to get the ingredients, and tonight, Master Chef Matt and I put it all together. It's a chili with a mild flavor, and it's good!

We left off the yogurt at the end, and I forgot to buy the cilantro :( , so walked up to mom's and borrowed some frozen cilantro. We also didn't get any limes, but I think next time, we'll add that at the end.


Friday, April 3, 2009

...now I know my ABC's...

Evan's vocabulary, of course, doesn't follow the standard pattern. He has said words once, maybe even for a week, and then we don't hear them anymore. There have been some words that have "stuck." One word (phrase) that has lasted the longest is "Wazsat" (what's that?)--at least a year. Kind of an odd choice due to the fact that he doesn't even say mommy or daddy. The latest word that seems to be sticking is "peaz" (please). It's cute when he says it because I had tried to teach him the sign in the beginning, and he quickly adapted his own version of it by just bringing both hands to his stomach while saying "peaz." And, he does it with such a sweet look on his face! Yeah, it works almost every time...it's usually good for for something to drink or a cracker.
Now a bit of an obsession of his--letters. He verbalizes several letters of the alphabet: A B C D E G I O P Z are clear, and for L M S, it's more like the sound of the letter. He used to watch Super Why on a regular basis; now he can't handle the stimulation and will get upset. But he still loves his Leap Frog fridge magnets and his books. Recently during a short stay in a waiting room, I didn't have anything for him, and he wasn't too happy, so I grabbed a magazine. He was content to go through this magazine with me as he took my finger to make it point at various letters as I would say them. His newest toy is a VTech alphabet toy...a favorite. And starfall.com? I don't know how long he would go on that because I'm the one who has to say "all done." He's fascinated by it. He points to the letter he wants me to click on, and then I do all the clicking....he adores it. This is where he really demonstrates his ability to recognize letters. When he points to the screen to show me which letter he wants next, he usually will say the letter. Crazy kid!