Wednesday, May 29, 2013 watch the birds

...because I am becoming a CRAZY bird lady!

I have already posted about the little Mama Robin who has made her nest above our front door.

I know that I already mentioned how much we enjoyed watching her bring the twigs and sticks to build her little dwelling, how we loved checking on her eggs each day, and how we were able to see the beginning of the hatching process...

Well, while we were away the rest of her little ones hatched.

I can't describe how much the kids and I love, LOVE, LOVE watching them.

This afternoon I was able to catch a few photos of just how precious this little family is.

This is Daddy bird...ready with some worms.

He is placing the worm in the little one's mouth.

Look how far he places that worm down that little tiny bird's throat.  He seemed to be so careful.

Mama bird is watching me.  Perhaps she likes me?  Perhaps she thinks I should mind my own beeswax?  I am sure she knows we won't hurt her.  More often than not she stays in her nest in spite of our chaos right there in the living room next to her.

Here they both are...Mama and Daddy.  Just a moment before they both had their worms, but I missed this moment.  Mamma is getting ready to fly off to look for some more food; Daddy is ready to take his turn to feed his brood.

A week ago Abbey had told us that she had seen two birds in the nest.  I am quite certain that none of us really believed her.  Until today.  

Who knew that both the Mama and the Daddy helped raise the little ones?

The kids and I watched both of them fly back and forth for the better part of an hour.  Sometimes they both came together, sometimes one at a time.  Each of them always had a mouthful of worms.  Both of them were so careful.

We are surely loving this little family.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 travel back to NY

...after a wonderful visit in Richmond, VA.

Lucky for the children they had a few extra days off of school for the Memorial Day weekend and we took the opportunity to go and visit my brother.

Every visit goes much too quickly and we always seem to have more fun than the previous visit.

Usually I am really good about taking photos throughout our trips...this time I forgot my camera.

I can't explain how lost I felt without it the first few days we were there.  I love to capture 'moments'.  Cousins together, Kyle playing with the kids, outings we take...

I was so upset with myself.

For what it is worth these are a few moments I captured with my phone:

1.  We awoke on Saturday morning to a flat tire on the van.

While it was slightly inconvenient to have a flat I was incredibly thankful that it a) did not happen at 10:00PM on I-95 South while I was traveling with our four children in the dark of night, b) did not happen on Tuesday morning when I was ready to leave, and c) that my brother did all of the hard-changing-the-tire-work (or perhaps he just supervised Isabella doing the hard work?).

2.  We enjoyed several meals outside on newly built (Kudos to my Dad) deck.  

3.  We enjoyed a delicious birthday cake that Taylor made for both Kyle and I.  (Why yes, it does appear as if we needed a small fire extinguisher on that thing!)

3.  Capturing photos of six uncooperative children is always nearly impossible...especially with only a phone camera.

4.  Bath time in Aunt Titi's tub was AWESOME!

5.  And one incredibly sweet little girl wanted to join in the fun...but she just wasn't sure.

Great trip.

Building memories.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 juggle

...a little of this and a little of that

1.  Work day.  Success.

Yup.  AND I was productive during the cancellations I had.  And the I even fixed the d$%@ printer paper-feeder-mechanism-y thing.

2.  First day at horseback riding lessons.  A perfect success!

3.  Soccer.  Another success!

this kid plays hard!
4.  Drop car off at dealership to get fixed again.  Fail.

It was much to tiring coordinating all of the above said events with Amy, Katherine, and Mark to shlep to yet another destination at 7:00PM.  Defer drop-off until tomorrow morning.

5.  Feed family healthy, wholesome meal.  Harry Firetruck.  F-  

Unless ordering Audrey apple juice at Burger King counts as healthy...


Win some.  Lose some.

Anyways....I love onion rings.

And I really enjoy watching my big kids experience activities they love so much.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

...bedtime to be early. I need to explain?

For the record...This was #4 in recovery mode.

As in, she was experiencing one of her best moments of the evening.

(A moment in which she was not screaming, grunting, moaning, or whining).

Bedtime was early.

I did finally win.


Note to self:  Next time it is 2:00 in the afternoon and I think she should take a nap....I should probably put her down for a nap.  

Monday, May 20, 2013 check on our newest house guest

...Isn't she lovely?

She has laid four eggs in the nest she so carefully built.

Eggs numbers 1 & 2 came after SEVERAL checks by the Crow family children on May 11.  By Sunday morning eggs number 3 was there and finally sometime late in the day Egg #4 was laid (May 12).  

According to the big kids' calculations (and this book) our houseguest's family should be complete by May 24.

We had the pleasure of watching her build her nest from the comfort of our living room couch.

And every morning since the kids rush down the stairs, scare the living d-a-y-l-i-g-h-t-s out of her (so that she flies away), and then beg me (till I can no longer resist) to check the status of her four eggs.

Still there.

We love watching her.

She tolerates watching us from afar (whilst we dare sit on her porch).

She flies from tree to tree chirping at us, sometimes walking on the ground close to us...

...and every now and then she is quite brave and flies up to her babies even while we are sitting...

...right, here, with her.

Friday, May 17, 2013 bring lovely into my home

...and what is more lovely than lilacs?

Last week I was browsing at TJ Max.  I actually stop in there about once a month to check on their toys and games...I tend to find new materials that I use for work there (since I actually play children's games for a living....)

I found this little gem:

It is one continuous vase with four separate holders.

And it just so happens that these beauties are growing right outside our front door:

The lilacs and the vase are a perfect combination.

My very favorite flower in the whole wide world only happens to bloom for about two weeks in May.

And now it also thrives in our dining room...


Sniiifff....ahhh.  The fragrance is breathtaking. (Possibly, quite literally for Mark and Isabella given their allergies.) very lovely.

They make me so happy.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 attend the school concert

...well it was actually on Tuesday evening.

It was a Broadway Show.

Sort of.

Here are three of the main stars of the show:

Can you sense the style?

Can you feel the beat?

Can you appreciate the pizzazz?

Mark and I and Audrey got to experience all of these sensations....for an hour and a half.

At least the tunes were catchy and the kids sure were cute.  

If you would like to see a flash from the past click here.


Disclaimer:  I had surgery yesterday and thus, I am: recovering, slightly incoherent, and most definitely not timely with my posts.

Monday, May 13, 2013 get back on schedule

...since I most definitely I have been out-of-routine.

I think it must always be obvious to my friends and family when Mark is home...I become unreliable at posting to the blog, I am not good about returning phone calls, and for me, the time slips away all too quickly.

Mark was home this weekend to celebrate my birthday and Mother's Day with the kids and I.

We drank several cups of hot, pour-over coffee (this week's selection was imported from Puerto Rico), we went out to lunch twice this weekend, and we even managed to fit in a nice long nap on Saturday afternoon.

For the most part the weekend was completely uneventful.

This is exactly how we like our weekends to be.  It makes them last SO MUCH LONGER.


Here are a few 'make-me-happy' photos I took over the past few days (if you have already seen these on Instagram than I apologize for being redundant)....

1.  On Thursday of last week I thought it would be fun productive a.terrible.idea to take all four children shopping at the mall.


Yep.  You read that right.

Me and all four kids.  Walked through nearly every store in the mall to look for uniform shorts for Isabella.

Guess what?

No.  Uniform shorts.  In stock.  Anywhere.

But Will picked out these super cool sunglasses and this fedora.  He has since rocked them every day this week.

2.  Isabella baked me a cake for my birthday.  I think...she put...the candles in...a little early?  They melted.  In case you are wondering: the pink one is worth twenty, the yellow: ten, and the green: nine.

3.  My crew sang me Happy Birthday...several times (since everyone had to have a chance to blow out my candles).  

4.  We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for Mother's Day.  For the record, we had no trouble getting a table!  Will got the award for enjoying his meal the most.

5.  My birthday present from Mark was a beautiful silver pendant that was engraved with the following quotation: 

Warms my heart.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 spend the morning with Abbey her class for their Mother's Day tea.

My days are always pretty full.

I am getting better at trying not to put extra tasks on my calendar.

But I have yet to regret any time going to the kids' classes when I am asked.

And this week is no different.

Two times in one week to spend time with my 'lil ones.

I rearranged my whole work week this week to attend the Mother's Day tea in Abbey's class this morning.

All to spend time with this little lady.

She made me a flower arrangement and served me delicious scones!

And we were able to spend some time with them on the playground.

She is such a sweet young girl...and getting so grown-up.

I can't believe that she is almost finished with pre-school but I am also so excited to see what experiences await her in Kindergarten!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 spend some time with William his class this afternoon.

Today we did their class Mother's Day projects.

They needed a few rocks, a bit of dirt (optional), their moss, and some final touches...

This was the closest I came to a final picture (Amy put the kids names under their mini-terrariums so Mrs. B wouldn't have to take off each lid).

Although I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the final products (I am pretty sure I'll be getting one on Sunday), the activity turned out to be super fun and really easy for the kids to do.

The best part was the time we spent with Will...

and Katie.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 wish Mark

...a very Happy Birthday!

I am certain you cannot begin to imagine the treasures that await you!

We are so looking forward to celebrating as a family tomorrow when you return home! get a project ready to make

...for Will's class.

Amy and I am coordinating the kids' class Mother's Day project for this year.  We came up with the idea of mini-terrariums.  Since I-heart-these-things-so-much!

I ordered these little jars,

we'll fill them with Fort Drum nature finds,

mini mini pinecones
bright plushy moss
then they'll add on a few embellishments (e.g., rocks, twigs, twine), and voila their project will be complete.

Little did Amy and I know...the fun was in the collecting of the items.

Just as we started our short walk toward the woods a large porcupine crossed our path.  So cool!

Can you see him?  Right away I was so annoyed I left my good camera at home and only had my phone!

Checking out our loot.

Audrey's taking a break.  Moss collecting isn't her thing.

Now rocks...
Now rocks...

And sticks are things that she gets excited about!

At this point the kids were supposed to be collecting rocks and pretty pebbles.  They quickly realized that catching frogs and tadpoles would be far more entertaining!

Amy and I finally acquiesced and joined in the quest.

There is one frog and one tadpole (can you see the little guy?) in the bucket.  They were SUPER hard to catch.



So pleased with the little creatures!