Saturday, July 31, 2010

Out of the Woods




Replica of Millard Fillmore's childhood home. It fits right in.

This is Oscar saying, "MOM, enough pictures of our camping trip!"

Okay, no more pictures.

But one video. This is a baby spider nest. Every 10-15 seconds they all move, then become still. It was amazing to watch.

video

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Into the Woods

The boys and I took a little trip to Fillmore Glen State Park last weekend.

It was beautiful.

After unpacking and setting up our tent, we drove up a road to the Dam at the top of the Gorge. I knew good things were to come as the fog sat low on the road and curiosity lay around the corner.
This is what we found. The air was so still (and extremely humid) and the sound of the falls was relaxing.
The above picture is one of the two waterfalls coming from the dam. I wish I had the courage to climb down and get a straight on shot, but the climb up would be nearly impossible. That slate crumbles like a dry gluten free cookie.

The next morning we came back with our fishing poles. The little men are getting pretty good at casting. Tom caught one tiny little fish, and Sam caught two. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the two from Sam as Oscar and I hiked back to the car to collect fire kindling and have a snack.

It amazes me how a child that goes crazy in the grocery store can sit on a concrete slab and stare at a bobber for an hour with no problem.

The rust on the dam was beautiful. Again, if I could only have gotten down there.

I took so many pictures, unfortunately, they all look pretty similar. Falls, creek, trees. I'll share them in little spurts so it doesn't get too monotonous.

We had a really great time, despite the rain and humidity. It was relaxing and a great family bonding event.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inspirational

My Little Brother is a 3 time IronMan.

He traveled to Lake Placid this weekend to watch the IronMan as part of his job at Timex. On Saturday, he decided he would just participate.

Who does that?

Keith does.

Keith did.

Keith inspires me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friends and Enemies


Look at the cool shape of the flower above...some curly. It would have been a great picture if that devilish beetle hadn't eaten up my petals.

Time to combat this...we have lots of these enemies.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Life Cycle

For over a year, my boys have asked for the Insect Lore Butterfly Habitat. It was usually requested at an overpriced gift shop in a tourist location. I knew the questions would never cease. Happy Birthday, Oscar, here is a bucket of caterpillars.

We discussed the 'letting go' of the butterflies. That first discussion ended in tears. This morning, he was fine with it. Perhaps it takes him time to process. So, we decided it was time. One of the caterpillars was a little slow, about 3 days slower than the others, so he was only in the habitat as a butterfly for 2 days. He was a little freaked out. The other four...flew out so fast not one picture was taken that looked like anything.

This guy slowly walked up the side, stopped at the top for a portrait, then joined 'the big kids'.

We haven't seen them since.

But, the habitat was rinsed and is ready for our next batch of friends.

This is a great hobby/experiment. The boys were constantly checking on their new pets.

I think we've successfully pushed off the cat/dog wants for at least a month.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What I've Been Working On...

I have an order for 20 washtowels for my favorite Cape Cod Shop, YummyGoods. It's nice to have a big project of small items, they tuck so nicely in my purse. I even did an entire row at a red light yesterday!

I had to find a new stitch pattern, the other was too loose when wet. It looked so pretty dry, though! This one is similar, basically half double crochet and slip stitch. All the way. I appreciate patterns that don't change in lines, I can never keep track of which row I'm on or how many I should have in total if I need to change pattern on row 26. Crazy.

This order should be done soon, then I need to tackle the thank you cards and finish some quick burp cloths for my little Carmen.

After that, I'm going to figure out what is wrong with my knee and why it continues to cause me heartache. I just want to run. I need to run to get ready for my 5K...this knee isn't cooperating.

Boys are in swim lessons and I enjoy that small bit of time where I can just veg. I've done a couple washtowels and will bring some work work for next week. I have to use any time I can find because it's going to be hot here again.

Would it be strange to sit in my car with my laptop in the driveway for the sole use of the air conditioning?

I think it's brilliant!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best Cool Off

Oh, to be a kid again!

I love that I can see Oscars eyelashes in this picture above.

Look at that smile! Sam was having a great time. He bet me one dollar that I wouldn't do the slip and slide. But I did.

I never got my dollar.

I did get a nice set of sore ribs for the next couple days.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Final Cake


I'm starting to really dig these cakes.

This one is so incredibly easy. One 9 x 13 chocolate and one pound cake in a casserole pan. The casserole shape was the mountain and the pieces cut off at the corners and to fit the round into the corner of the 9 x 13 became the ramps and hills. Couple crushed cookies as the dirt, a few cars and wa-la! Granted the icing job wasn't the best, but I frosted and decorated this cake in 13 minutes.

Maybe I should call this the Procrastination Cake.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Feeding the Birds


Our neighbor picked some delicious Queen Anne cherries and gave us a whole bag last week.

Sam figured the birds would like them too.

I love that he placed the cherry on a paper airplane. The birds could spot that much better than a cherry strewn on the lawn.

Unfortunately, no takers.

Perhaps because of this...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Oscar!

I am so proud of this boy. He is kind, observant, witty, sweet and a pleasant kid. Rarely does he get out of line and when he does, he usually ties it all up in a bow with "Mom, I love you".

Happy 4th Birthday, Ocky!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The CakeS

Sometimes it's the food.

Sometimes it's the location.

Sometimes it's the decorations.

Sometimes it's the invitations.

But it is NEVER (well, almost never) the CAKE.

I always try to make my kids' birthday cakes. Whatever they want, I try to figure it out. In my next post, I'll add some past cake creations.

Sam is in a monkey phase and so he got a monkey head. I know, it kind of looks like a bear. I asked him to get a toy monkey to check where the eyes were and the one he gave me had a nose like a bear. I wish I would have changed it to two nostrils. But, the Bear-Monkey was just fine for Sam.

Little Oscar, well, he wanted a bunny. A pink bunny. Really? Pink?

I bought a strawberry flavored frosting that was pink and used it for the filling. I then added some blue to make the outer frosting purple. Purple is a bit more manly than pink. I'm sure when he gets older, Oscar will tell me I was crazy to allow for a pink/purple bunny. Your wish, baby, your wish.

So, for both cakes, I started with a casserole pan for the large upper piece, using a pound cake mix. A simple round cake was the bottom with a layer of frosting in between. Although I should have cut the casserole size in half for more frosting, it probably held up in the heat better without it. I then chopped two sides (hang onto for later) and cut off more cake to create a rabbit shape.

The sides of the round cake were used for the ears, tail and the head came from the casserole cut. All pieces held on with toothpicks. I was pretty jazzed at the shape at this point.

And the boy? He LOVED it.

Next year, I'm working on my frosting abilities.