Wednesday, April 30, 2008
After school today, we took a trip out to our big spacious backyard to kick the ball around a little bit. In a city with 20 million people all trying to live within three miles of the river, your perspective on "wide open spaces" changes a bit. Beth and I have caught ourselves several times saying things that surprised us. For instance, at the "crazy art" place on Saturday, out in the countryside (really, it's several miles from the city) we were talking about living out there and how different it would be. I said to our friends that I've come to enjoy the "security" of having all the people around. Growing up in The Hub City of Northwest Florida (Crestview, pop. 20,000 or so) I never dreamed I'd find security in having a constant parade of strangers walk by my house.
Another evening recently, we were driving in a neighborhood we hadn't visited before and Beth commented that she wanted to move there because the streets were so empty and quiet. I told her to call her grandmother in the Mississippi Delta and try to convince her that this street was "quiet" when we could see tons of cars and busses, people buying and selling fruit, and lots of random business. Anyway, our perspective is changing.
All that to say, that every time we go out on the back porch, Lee Anna wants to play "hide and seek." Our porch is awesome. It's private (well, private as you can be with four other buildings overlooking your space.) It's clean. It has running water, and lots of toys. What it lacks, however, is lots of good hiding places. Basically, you can hide behind the tree, or up on the stoop by the back door. But we love hide and seek, so Lee Anna puts her head against the wall and we take turns hiding behind the tree, or crouching behind a chair and pretending nobody can see you. Sawyer likes to count, too, but he doesn't know his numbers yet, so he hides his face against the wall and shouts out one syllable sounds and then comes to find us.
We had a good day today. Went to McDonalds for a square meal with all the basic food groups. I sent a text message to a friend and asked if Sprite counts as a fruit serving. He wrote back that it's actually two, if you count the lemon and the lime separately. The kids had potatoes and tomatoes (in the ketchup) and poultry and two fruits each. Oh, and don't forget the frozen dairy products we had afterward!!
One more note about tonight, and then I'll quit rambling so I can go to sleep. After supper, Lee Anna and I agreed that we'd come home and take a bath, and then watch Diego before bed time. Well, poor little Sawyer didn't really understand the whole sequence, he just heard "Diego" and got in his mind that we were going home to watch his favorite cartoon animal rescuer. I put him in the tub against his will, and he really never quit crying about Diego until I got him out. "After your bath" is a pretty complex concept for that little two-year-old mind to grapple with. But now he's sleeping peacefully, having bathed and watched Diego. (Yes, Mommy, we brushed teeth and read our Bible story, too. :) )
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Today was lots of fun. We went with some friends to a neat place just outside the city. Its name is a cross between the Arabic words "crazy" and "art," and it's a perfect description of the place. They call it an "art school," but it's really just a neat place for kids to come and experiment with different kinds of art. The kids can choose from pottery, weaving, woodworking, jewelry-making, painting, and several other activities. They get to make two things and take home what they create.
There are also all kinds of neat things to play on there. It's really hard to describe the place. We have never seen anything else like it. They have all kinds of swings and these big woven lattice-type things that the kids can climb on. Since we were there last, they've also added goats and donkeys that the kids can feed and ride. It's also a working farm. There are water buffalo and gorgeous green fields. We went once about a year and a half ago and have been wanting to go back ever since. We're going to try hard to make sure we go back again before another year and a half passes!
Here's a picture we took on our first trip out there. Sawyer was a bit smaller than he is now. He's lying on the cool lattice play thing.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
We haven't gotten their little swimming pool out yet, so at first Jason just kept spraying them with the hose. Then we got this little green tub and filled it up, and that kept them entertained for a long time.
I'm sure it's the first of many days of water fun we'll have on our little patio this summer!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
When we picked up the kids from school today, I noticed how cute they looked in their lime green shirts (it wasn't the same shirt Sawyer was wearing when he left this morning--we always send a spare, and they almost always use it). When we realized that Daddy matched too, I declared an impromptu photo shoot when we got home. The kids had fun "cheese-ing" for all these pictures. Every time I took one, I had to turn the camera around so they could see it on the screen. Then, every time, no matter who or what was in the picture, Sawyer would say, "Awwww."
Our biggest picture-taking problem right now is getting Lee Anna to give us a real smile instead of her "cheese!" smile. I much prefer that problem over the old problem of trying to get her to quit covering her eyes and hiding her face from the camera!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Most recently, we bought some antique silver bracelets at the old bazaar in town, and I wanted to polish them without paying $10 for silver polish. So I did a little Google research and found a recipe involving aluminum foil, baking soda, salt and hot water. The formula worked as well as it could, but these particular bracelets didn’t have a whole lot of silver plate left, so they didn’t come out all that spectacular.
We also read somewhere that if Sawyer’s diaper rash didn’t respond to the usual zinc-oxide cream, that maybe an antacid like Mylanta might take care of it. Well, being without Mylanta, I tried our favorite antacid—baking soda—on his little bottom, but it seemed to make him a little uncomfortable (I think that meant it was working) so Beth had to give him a bath to stop the itching (and the subsequent crying and whining). Then we read that yogurt might take care of it, so we spread some yogurt on him last night, but he’s not all better yet. Might have to break down and go to a pharmacy for this one.
But the most interesting Chemistry experiment was probably more a biology project (Thanks Mr. Hadd). We had a fruit fly infestation a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t seem to kill them as fast as they made more. We got all the fruit out of the kitchen and hid stuff in the fridge, but they just seemed to be everywhere.
So I went back to Google and asked about killing fruit flies. I found several trap designs, and made a few of them. The basic plan was to put some fruit or fruity-smelling vinegar in a container that they could get into but not get out of. So we cut a Coke bottle and turned the spout upside down, poured apple cider vinegar in the bottom and taped up the seam. The most effective trap, however, involved putting sliced-up lemons in a bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap and poking some small holes in it. They showed no interest in the lemons for the first few days, but once they turned rotten, they were all over them. They would crawl in to get the lemons, but they couldn’t get back out. We’ve been pretty much fruit-fly free for the past week or two!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Most of our visitors came to lead a program for our children while the adults were in other meetings. They did an amazing job! Lee Anna is still talking about all the things she got to do at her "special school." Our friends Ross & Rodney also came from TX to spend time with the grownups. They did an incredible job as well.
We were too busy with all those guests to take very many pictures, but here are a few that we managed to snap.