Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Kids

I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my kids. The Bible says that kids are a blessing or reward from the Lord. Honestly? Sometimes their behavior makes me say to myself, "Boy, if that's true, I'd hate to see His curse." But really, they are good kids. Smart, funny, generous. My wife and I are blessed, though I have had to have some tough conversations lately about obedience and truthfulness. But that's what a dad does, right?

This is Eric's posed picture. He saw a picture like this in a catalog we have and decided he wanted one of himself. Up the Redbud tree he shimmied and asked my wife to take the shot. What's he reading? Oh, don't you know what the top book on the summer reading program for six-year-olds is this year? Huckleberry Finn, of course!!
Grant. Male. 4 1/2 years old. Whiner extraordinaire. But he can give you the most genuine, loving smile in a heartbeat. This little penguin is just one of his many stuffed animals that find their way into his daily play. He loves toads (to death, literally), can ride a two wheel bike without training wheels, and loves to help.
And Anna. As I type this, she's spending the week at her Grandparents'. At nine-years-old, she's doing very well with her reading. This book, "Stone Fox", was her last reader for the year in our core 3 curriculum from Sonlight. Not to let the summer go unused, I went to the library and got her three books to read while she's at Grandma's; "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" (one of my favorites), "Caleb's Story", a follow-up to "Sarah Plain and Tall" which we read this year, and "How to Eat Fried Worms". She finished "Tales ... " before the weekend was out. And finally, showing their creativity, the kids built a space ship in the backyard out of crates, cardboard, a basketball goal, and some other miscellaneous stuff. What a riot.

A little bit of Spring

Thought I'd share a few pictures with you of some of the blooms around my place this spring. I had a few others, but I'm not sure where they went.

Here's a young Crab Apple I planted two years ago. I forget its name but It'll be a real beauty when it gets bigger. The flowers look just like miniature roses.

Here's a shot of the lilac bush I planted. I got it free from the Arbor Day Society a few years ago. Most of what I got from them didn't live, but this did. You know the old saying, "Stop to smell the Roses?" That's a nice sentiment for summer, but if you didn't stop to smell the lilacs in spring, well, you didn't have spring.Finally, a picture of some of the peonies from my yard. This variety is called "Bowl of Beauty". I dug up the rootstock from my wife's Grandmother's yard and was able to get two bushes growing. I love peonies, but these are just about my favorites. And for you non-Indiana type people, the peony is the state flower of Indiana.

I hope you enjoyed spring while it was here. So quickly the summer comes with it's blooms to distract us. But spring has joys all its own that shouldn't be missed!

What a FIND!!

You know, I love drying clothes on the clothesline. But it never fails. No matter how tightly I pull the cord or wind it around the eye-bolt or anything, it always sags. I use a vinyl coated wire. I know some folks use cotton rope, etc. But I'm afraid there just isn't a line anywhere that won't stretch out over time (unless it was steel wire).

For time immemorial, people have devised all manner of methods of keeping the clothesline up so the clothes aren't dragging the ground. Well I finally found the answer, at Rural King no less! It was in the sales flier a few weeks ago. When I saw it at the store, I immediately picked up three of them for $4.99 a piece.

It's this nifty gadget.
It is made of metal and hard plastic. The pole is telescoping so you can adjust the height and it screws down to hold it in place. The bottom is equipped with a hard plastic, pointy tip and flange (kind of like a ski pole) to keep it in one place.

The top looks like this:

It has offset 'lips' (for lack of a better word) that you weave your clothesline through and it keeps it in place, even in a breeze! I was soooo happy! I've gotten rid of the two old pieces of wood I was using.


Ok, Ok, friends, I'm breaking the silence. I know, it's been, like, forever since I wrote or posted anything like a significant post. So here I go...

This spring I had a singularly unique experience. Several years ago, I had built a 'nesting shelf' out of some scraps of wood and trim pieces and hung it up just under the eave of our garage, inside our back yard. We can see it perfectly from the family room window. In hindsight, this isn't the best place, as our dog - loveing as he is - will kill anything smaller than he is if he can get it in his mouth. The nesting shelf has sat vacant all these years until this spring. A robin and her mate decided to take up light housekeeping. Here's a few pics to show you their progress...

This pic shows you the shelf and the nest.

Here's one with the eggs. Pretty, no?

And finally, you can just barely see the little ones in there.
The parents raised the babies, and only lost one that I know of. They finally vacated the premesis a few weeks ago, but the nest didn't stay empty for long. Another female found the nest and has made some repairs and laid three eggs in it. There is no Mr. Robin that I've seen. That, and the fact that she laid the eggs in a used nest makes me think she's a young mother. Also, I suppose the fact that two broods are being raised in the nest in one year doesn't so much make it a singular experience, now does it?