Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Garden Update

So...Here are pics from May 18th...below are the pics from this week to compare!

In the garden growing process...I figured it was a great time for a Science Lesson on Parts of the Flower and Pollination.  That sent us outside to find and photograph pollination in progress!

AND Here are pics of the garden on May 25


baby cucumber on the trellis 

Our biggest baby

Bell Pepper is getting bigger!

Cherry Tomatoes

Going to be YUMMY!

Radishes are just about the easiest thing to plant and harvest!  It only takes about 3 - 4 weeks from seed to harvest!

Another flying bug??

And...bad news...I learned today that our squash has been attacked by the SVB (Squash Vine Borer).  Grrrr....we are quite upset.  Remember the "velvet ant" that I posted about a while back...well...turns out they are not velvet ants at all and they are the adult versions of this pest.  Not sure what I'm going to do about this problem...will have to hit the nursery tomorrow and see what they suggest.  :(  The first one I found was in a squash, but after further inspection I found a LOT of them in the stems.

The larva

The "entry" point - where the egg was attached and larva developed

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Loving the Walmart Cashier!

So, the kids and I were out and about this morning running errands.  We saw many moms with their kids who are now finished school for the summer.  

We got to the register and Genna helped unload the cart and the cashier asked Genna if she is home schooled!  I was wowed by her insight.  LOL  Then she said (and this is my favorite part), "I can just tell.  The kids who are home schooled are usually really well behaved and independent."  HAHA  LOVE IT!

And, I have to say...trips to the grocery store are so much nicer with my kids now!  I used to do anything I could to avoid shopping with them and now it is no big deal and we actually have fun.  Pretty cool...just one more thing to add to the "What I Love About Homeschooling" list!   

But hold on...don't go crazy thinking that I have the most well behaved kids on the planet!  They are good, but they are also kids!  So, just like everyone we have our moments.  :-P

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Special Choir Performance!

Genna's choir experience this year has been overwhelmingly awesome!  I can't say it enough.  Performing/singing IS Genna's "thing."  She has the natural talent and is so brave and poised when she performs.  She is 9yo!  Her ability to handle the nerves that anyone (even the best adults) experience when performing in front of a room full of people is just amazing to me.

For this special concert in Mississippi, Genna was invited to join the big kids (11 - 17yo) in their choir to sing two songs.  She embraced the challenge, and with only two rehearsals and very little help from me she learned these two rather complicated and long 3-part choral pieces in less than two weeks.  One of these songs is a song that I remember singing with my high school "District Chorus!"  I am so proud of her for (a) working hard and learning the music so well and (b) taking on the challenge without hesitation!  I'm happy for her that she is so confident in her ability.  I don't have videos from those two songs because my camera battery died.  Brandy did get video, so someday I may be able to share.  :)

Then...we got an e-mail asking for kids to audition for special performances to "fill out" the concert line up.  I called Brandy to see if Caryn and Laney would like to audition as a trio with the "50 States Song" which all three of our girls have now learned.  (See previous post for a video of Genna singing this song when she first learned it.)  They did audition and the choir director was impressed and asked the girls to perform "You Are My All In All" for the concert.  They learned this song in 6 days before the concert!  They all did such a great job.  They were the only "little kids" to do a special performance for the concert.  There were 4 others and they were all teenagers.  I wish I had not had a low battery so that I could share those great performances, too!  Here is the video...from left to right is Laney (7yo), Genna (9yo) and Caryn (10yo).  They only made one little mistake that they never made in rehearsal.  :-P

Here are some other videos from that concert.

And, finally, I have to add that the congregation at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was so welcoming and kind.  They provided a feast of the most delicious foods and made donations to this youth choir program.  Their generosity is so appreciated and I know I'm not the only parent who feels blessed to have been in the company of such good and loving people.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Field Day 2011

We were thrilled to help with Field Day yesterday!  Kevin was able to help, too!  He was in charge of making cream pies and we played "Pie in the Face Hot Potato" with the kids.  Total riot and would suggest the activity for any group of kids!  Here are the rules...

If you have the "potato" when the music stops you have two choices...(a) pie yourself and stay in the game or (b) pie the person to your right or left and leave the game.  

My kids (and most of the other kids) decided to pie themselves!  LOL

The whole day was fun!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crazy April! What else is new?

I live by several common mantras, cliches, sayings, etc...

God will lead the way.
Whatever is meant to be, will be.
Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.
Don't Judge.

And my latest favorite is...


Since my previous post:

Kevin ruptured his Achilles Tendon while playing basketball.  He has had surgery to repair it and we are looking at several months of recovery.  It has been joyful....well, actually, no it hasn't.  Not for him, and not for me.  He is a big help in our house and these days he can't help much at all.  This is very frustrating for him.  And now instead of two people who need me to care for them, I have three!  LOL  However, I know things could be much worse and I continually count my blessings and stay thankful that his ruptured achilles is the worst thing we have to handle!

We also had a visit from Nana and Huckie!  They were here for Easter week and we had such a great time with them.  We spent one day in the French Quarter of New Orleans where the kids and Huckie toured the Cabildo (museum of the history of N.O.) and the Katrina museum.  We also took them to the original Cafe Du Monde for beignets and they were thrilled.  They were able to peek into the kitchen and see them making the beignets....1000's of them!  It was really windy that day, which made for some real fun with the powdered sugar!  AND...I'm very upset with myself because I forgot my camera! 

While Nana and Huckie were here Genna had a choir concert.  She auditioned and was awarded with a solo!!!  It was extremely exciting for me to see my little girl singing on a stage!  I now understand how my parents felt when I was young.  :)  She could have sounded awful and I'd have thought she sounded like an angel!  BUT, she was AWESOME!  I'm still amazed at her poise and grace.  Not to mention her beautiful voice.  :)  This choir experience has been so special, and of such a high quality, that everyone "gets" why I drive an hour each week to New Orleans to participate! 

Please follow this link to see her performance with her awesome choir!

And here is a pic of my baby getting ready for the concert!  I think she was excited!  ;-)

I'm not sure if Thomas will join this choir since he (a) said "I wish I had earplugs." and (b) slept through most of the concert!  LOL  He is such a stinker.  

See if you can find him in this pic!  

That is from the park where he is playing baseball and Genna is playing softball.  Our schedule for this activity is awesome....Monday practice for both, Tuesday game for Genna, Wednesday game for Thomas, Thursday game for Genna and Saturday game for Thomas.  On Wednesdays we also have dancing for Genna.  This will go on until mid-June.  Thankfully, tonight we had a very exciting game!  It has to be entertaining or I'd really just want to quit.  LOL

In other news our garden is being tended by me and the kids only.  That really wasn't the original plan, but it's fun and I'm hanging in there!  :)  While tending yesterday I saw two of these and had to get pics so that we could find out what kind of bee is red?  It isn't a bee at all, it is a "velvet ant" or "cow killer."  And, guess what...despite their name they aren't an ant either.  LOL  They are actually wasps.  The males fly and don't sting, but the females (haven't seen one, but I'm looking) don't fly and pack a nasty sting and actually help to control the wasp and bee population because they lay their eggs on top of a host larvae and when they hatch they feed on and kill the pest to be.  So, I'm not complaining, but I'm also making sure that we are wearing shoes outside!

In Flight

Close up on a cucumber leaf

Hope you enjoyed your science lesson for the day!

Otherwise, our garden seemed to explode overnight!  Suddenly our little tiny plants became HUGE!

Future Squash

Cherry Tomatoes

Teeny Tiny beginnings of a Bell Pepper

Massive amounts of cilantro!  LOL  
I can't wait for the tomatoes and peppers so I can make a LOT of salsa!

And, the kids have a new fun pastime....catching minnows.  And, amazingly, they are very successful.  They use two big cups!  The wind kept blowing them over so I picked up a plastic tank at Walmart for them to keep and observe their catches in.  :)  They've made some bonus catches...a clam, a tadpole, and something that resembles a teeny teeny tiny crawfish!  There are at least 30 tiny minnows in there.

And, my last cliche mantra that sums our awesome lives up lately:

Let the kids be kids!  

But wait....husbands!
You may want to think twice about "being a kid" before you (and your achilles) regret it!  ;-P