We don't just go places...we have ADVENTURES!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Drowning Worms with the Zoo Crew

We had sooooooooooooooooo much fun spending the last Saturday of Uncle Larry's visit chillin' at a local man-made lake drowning worms.  It was a beautiful day, not too hot outside, breezy and sunny.  First, of course, we had to feed the peeps.  Had a nice picnic, with made to order sandwiches, courtesy of Mrs. Ashley and Mommy.  And then, it was off to the lake...

Abbey fed a few geese--we will excuse her since the "Do not feed the geese!" signs were waaaaaay above her head!-- by chasing them down and pelting them with bread crusts.

Thanks to Mitchell & Uncle Larry, this Mommy never had to touch a worm. (YAY!...so NOT my thing!)  Hooks were baited, lines were cast and children were amazingly patient. 

Matthew came up with the first fish...YAY!  He caught a total of seven for the day.

Ben was the king of "I caught one!" that turned out to be a clump of grass or a rock or a soda can...  He DID catch a fish or two, but Mommy was off trying to score some more worms, so she missed it.  (And do you THINK anyone else could use the camera??  Of COURSE not!) 

Looking for the big fish near the bridge.
Abbey caught two.  Patrick's best catch was Katie. YUP--Katie!  She was sitting next to him as he fished, when he decided to recast his line.  He flicked it up with a hook full of lake bottom gook, which landed right on her lap.  Never saw a lethargic summertime teen move so quickly out of a chair!!  She hopped up, shrieked like a banshee--and might have wet her pants just a little.

Matthew spotted a "really big fish" that ate at least 2 of our bobbers, so he followed it over toward the bridge.  Turned out it was a turtle that REALLY liked ham. ;-)

What a fun day!  Thanks for clueing us in to this fun spot, Mitch & Ash!!  Check out more pics in the slideshow here:

Matthew on the Move

Mrs. Blumenthal & Mrs. McDonald hand out the certificates.
June was a busy month for Matthew-man!  He finished his elementary school career at the Valley Celebration of 5th Grade Excellence.  What a lovely event...each child was featured with photos from their time at Valley, including side by side kindergarten & 5th grade photos.  The majority of these kiddles have been together since kindergarten; they were the very first class of full-day K students at Valley, too.   BIG moment for our Matthew-man!
Matt & his Fave Teacher, Mr. Nikirk

At the end of the month, Matthew celebrated his 11th birthday.  Hard to believe our middle beastie is now a 'tween!!  (He has quite proudly announced that fact with great glee!)  He's very excited about the summer and heading off to middle school in the fall.  Even better...he has a summer Kids on Campus class with his very own Mr. Nikirk!  Celebrating with the family yielded a plethora of wonderfully silly photos...enjoy the slideshow below:

Funny story on the cake...I stopped to pick the cake at Cold Stone (hey...why mess with a winning combo?), but thanks to all the traffic, I missed the cake designer by a few minutes.  The only folks left to do the writing on the cake?  A couple of VERY high school boys....not a one of 'em could write with the icing, LOL.  So it was left to the Mommy at home...and even then, da Mama did better than the samples from the guys. Poor Matthew.

Happy birthday, Middle Child of Mine!!

Miss Gremlin Turns SEVEN??

SEVEN Year Old Abbey--complete with icing!

Is it even possible that it's been a whole seven years since this adorable face joined the Zoo Crew?  Not sure how it happened, but, well...there it is.  Abbey celebrated seven years as the youngest beast in our menagerie this month.  On the big day, we celebrated with family time, presents & a tasty Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cake.  YUMMY!!

Even the Abbey sets cake aside for presents. ;-)

To celebrate with her friends, Abbey invited a few beloved darlings to join us for a movie and ice cream.  We checked out the local multiplex and a matinee showing of Judy Moody's Not So Bummer Summer.  The girls were sooooo much fun to hang with!!  Don't think that Maggie Moos will ever be the same after we descended on 'em...and, of course, we made time for a little impromptu photo shoot.

The movie-going girlies!

Silly beasties posing prettily!
Happy 7th birthday, darling bunny baby!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Creative Patrick Man

The front of Patrick's Project
So...while I've been working on some fun, scrappy and often therapeutic art (see my other blog), Patrick has enjoyed working with me ...side by side and usually elbow to elbow...on his own projects.  He's added a number of pages to the family scrapbooks and some unique decor to his walls.  His latest and greatest project appears to be a book of some sort...not really sure, as he just calls it his "project".  He's been adding to it each day, but made it very well known that TODAY was THE DAY for it to debut online...so here you are:
An inside view..

He's not shy about using a WIDE variety of embellishments and techniques.  Here we have stamping, ribbons, punches, paper piecing, torn paper, stickers, stickles...just WOW.
The back
He chose the bright blue poster board on a recent trip to Dollar Tree with Mrs. Ashley.  Over the last week or so, he's been turning it into whatever his unique artistic vision for this blue paper may be.  Of course, he's already added on to it since I took the pics 5 minutes ago...

UPDATE:  Project BLUE has now been joined by Project GREEN and Project RED.  When Patrick clears those for publication, I'll let you know. ;-)

Abbey's Big Break

Dark link on the left lower bone is the break.
Did I mention that Abbey decided to take Sprink Break seriously?  Yup.  Ended our lovely week off with a trip to the Emergency Room.  Miss Missy broke her left ulna right near her elbow.  And to the inevitable question...err..."freak trampoline incident" involving big brother Matthew and a ridiculously high bounce.  It looked pretty 'til she landed.  On a pancaked Matthew, who carried a big bruise on his butt from her wrist as she tried to slow her progress.  Thank God they both landed on the mat and not on the ground!!

Abbs refused to let me take pics at the inital visit to the ER, but the X-ray tech was kind enough to give Abbey prints to take to school.

Nice BIG pink cast...complete with signatures!
We waited 3 days for the swelling to go down enough that they could put a cast on it.  Her cast was almost as big as she is, though it helped a great deal that it was PINK! 

Maybe if I don't look, it'll go away?

Amazing how quickly they can heal...in just 3 weeks, the cast came off and Girly is all set to get back into the action...

She was really worried about the saw they were going to use to cut off the cast.  Nice nurse had no clue how upset Abbey was about this...at first...but check out the cutie baby smile under that hand...

A few goofy faces later and she's rarin' to go!

Funny face on a silly girl!
Ready to get back in the action!

The best (funniest?) part of the cast removal?  Her Easter tattoos were intact beneath the cast!  She got to enjoy them all over again!

Valley Literacy Night: Featuring Ben & Matthew

Budding poets Ben & Matthew were both selected to read their original poems during a fundraiser for Valley at the local Barnes & Noble.

Despite a serious bout of the Nervous Neds, Ben did a terrific job! Especially when it turned out that he was the very first to step up to the mike for the evening.

A wee bit difficult to hear, so here is the text of Ben's poem, the result of a class assignment to write a poem entitled "The Important Thing About____ is":

The Important Thing About P.E.

by Ben Bolingbroke

The important thing about P.E. is that you run.

I love to jog, jump, and play in P.E.

I also like to play King Caesar and Capture the Football.

I also love to play Hoop Tag and I love Field Day.

But, the important thing about P.E. is that you run.

Matthew led the Nikirkskiland contingent--and proudly represented the 5th grade boys!--and stepped boldly up to the mike...sadly, his video won't load...but here's a picture of him doing his thing:

And here's the text of his poem:

In the Year of 12
by Matthew Bolingbroke
In the year of 12
There was a long siege
Led by King Richard
They all looked up at their liege
But then he was hit by a crossbow bolt
The Knights were full of fear
Richard lay on his bed
And said his knights should hear
He blessed the man who shot him
He layed down on his bed…dead
He must then have felt
Who a true king is
They played to a standing room only crowd and were rewarded for their efforts with a selection from the chapter book section.  Matthew chose the new Rick Riordan book, The Throne of Fire.  Ben's choice?  A new Captain Underpants. (what else?)

It was a fun evening for all...and hopefully, profitable for Valley!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Benster Hits Ninester

Making a Wish

Gotta love those cheeks!  This little pumpkin just turned 9.  Can hardly believe it, really.  He loves 3rd grade and can hang with the big boys...but has just enough of the little boy left in him to keep this Mommy from being too sad about him growing up so quickly.  For now, anyway.

In Zoo Crew tradition, we allowed the Birthday Boy to choose his dinner.  After weeks of pestering us about Red Lobster, Ben picked King's Pizza.  Tasty Brunswick goodness.  As you can see, he's rather enthusiastic about it's arrival....Kings is wonderful stuff, but it DOES take a long time to arrive. 
Birthday Ben's dinner selection.

Matthew enjoys a bite of Ben's cake.
Abbey REALLY enjoys the cake!
Ben also wanted a red velvet cake with cookie dough ice cream inside.  Abbey and I managed the cookie dough ice cream part, but couldn't find a red velvet ice cream cake anywhere!  Ben agreed that the cake was pretty tasty even if it wasn't red...

Patrick digs into his 2nd piece...
At Christmas time, Abbey started something new...she went through the house and found things she thought people might like as a gift.  It might have even already belonged to that person.  Or perhaps to someone else...or the family...didn't matter.  She figured they needed it, so she wrapped it up and put it under the tree. ;-)  She repeated her efforts for Ben's birthday.  Ben was the lucky recipient of two books from the kids' shelf AND a stuffed frog right off his own bed.  Not being 8 anymore, Ben didn't necessarily find the humor in her gift giving. 
ANOTHER gift from Abbey??

Another book from our own shelves!