Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Jack's class, as part of an egg-straordinary events week, did an Egg Drop experiment today. As a homework assignment, Jack had to build (with some help) a contraption that could keep a raw egg safe from a drop out of a second-story window. Ella had this assignment last year and she and Jonathan built, with a sandwich box, packing materials, and a plastic bag, a well-cushioned box with a parachute. Unfortunately, the end result for Ella's poor egg was a scramblin'. This year it was Mommy's turn to help. I'm no engineering mind so we kept it simple. I stuffed a box full of popcorn, put the egg in the middle of it, and taped it shut. Jack decorated the outside with some Star Wars stickers and drawings of light saber fight scenes (Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul)...may the force be with our egg. When I picked Jack up from school I heard the egg-citing news (sorry, couldn't resist)--our egg was "Egg-OK"! Some were "cracked", some were "scrambled", and only a few stayed "Egg-OK". Jack had to call Jonathan on the way home to tell him the good news....that Mommy's idea worked...

I ♥ Faces: Dramatic B&W

This week's theme at I ♥ Faces is dramatic black & white. The other day I took some pictures in the back yard of my kids. My son was in a particularly brooding mood and, armed with his sticks, he gave me some pretty intense looks....in deep thought about a Star Wars scenario, no doubt. His dramatic look, along with the nearly fluorescent tie-dyed shirt he had on, made this shot perfect for black and white. I love the juxtaposition of his sweet, soft hands and the scaly, textured stick.

Check out all of the dramatic entries at I ♥ Faces (there are over a thousand this week!).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tea Time

It was another Saturday full of girls, dolls, and pink. Ella and I met up with Harper and her mom at Savannah's Room in Fort Mill, a quaint lunch and tea room in Fort Mill. The girls brought their dolls along for lunch, too, and the dolls got to sit in a chair together (and were "B.F.F.'s" by the end of lunch, per Ella) while we enjoyed lunch. Savannah's Room has pink painted walls, trunks with dress-up clothes, and hats hanging on the walls to delight little girls. Ella and Harper were served their pink lemonade in a flowered tea pot and lovely china tea cups. It was all too cute. Leave it to Jen to find THE most perfect place to treat two young girls. Thanks, Jen, for letting us enter your Girlie World--we loved it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

5 Minute Marvels

Jack's newest obsession, second only to Star Wars, is Marvel super heroes (Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, X-Men, Falcon, etc.). He can talk about these guys for hours...literally...the 40 minutes of driving 4 days a week to and from preschool that I do with Jack is spent philosophizing about the Marvels. And, (surprise, surprise) more often than not I cannot answer his multitude of questions and scenarios he presents me with on these drives. Luckily, we have a resource--Mr. Miner (or Uncle Tim as the kids often call him). Grace and Cate's dad has his very own Marvel Comics blog to show his "comics love through incessant mockery" and is our go-to guy for all of Jack's Marvel heroes inquiries (which are seriously too many to list). Stemming from a nightly ritual with his daughters of sketching some Marvel super heroes (and villains, or "bad guys" as Jack calls them) for 5 minutes before bedtime, he has now started a blog called 5 Minute Marvels. The concept is basically to spend five minutes with a kid drawing a Marvel hero/villain together and then submit it to his blog for posting. Step One: Find a kid. Step Two: Grab pencil & paper. Step Three: Start Sketching. Step Four: Forget the expression, "I can't draw." I especially like that last step because, although I stress with my kids quite often that it doesn't matter if you win or if you're the best, what matters is that you're having a good time, I usually don't apply that to myself. I'm definitely the one who's nervous when someone pulls out Pictionary, but I put my pride aside and got out the paper. We decided to draw Thor and, at the end of 5 minutes, I had a cross between Guy Smiley and Thor, Ella drew his entire body and even remembered his hammer, and Jack had a hole in his paper. We'll try again another time for Jack--he says he wants to draw Silver Surfer anyways. But, check Ella's and my drawings out at 5 Minute Marvels. And join in on the fun--grab a kid and start drawing!

Check out Jonathan's and Jack's new contributions to 5 Minute Marvels, sketches of The Thing!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pet Project

In the mad rush to get everyone ready to head out to the bus stop this morning when we heard the signature repetitive doorbell rings of neighborhood kids. Standing at our door were the three kids who pass our house on the way to the bus stop frantically telling me that a bunny with a broken leg was being attacked by birds on our driveway. We ran out there to find a sweet little adolescent bunny trying to hop away but obviously having an injury that prevented it. I carefully put the bunny in a box lined with a towel, put the box out of harm's way from the birds, and ushered everyone off to the bus stop before we missed it. Ella kept telling me to take the bunny to the vet so he could "live out a long life". The other kids wanted to come visit it after school to make sure it was ok. I didn't know what to tell them--where I could possibly take him to get cared for and what was even wrong with the poor little guy (would he even make it until after school?). If anyone in this area is in this situation with a small, injured wild animal don't bother the county's Animal "Care" & Control--they won't refer you to any organizations who will care for these animals, they'll simply pick up the animal and euthanize it. Through my vet I came across Animal Rehabilitators of the Carolinas (ARC). ARC referred me to the awesome veterinarian team at Atrium Animal Hospital who cares for animals like our little bunny (I even overheard that a squirrel had an appointment later in the day). I dropped off the bunny at Atrium for an examination and x-rays. If he can heal properly and is able to be released in the wild, an ARC representative will pick him up for rehabilitation and release. Hopefully we'll get that good news tomorrow. I'm so relieved to at least be able to tell all of the kids when they get off the bus today that the bunny's being cared for by a kind veterinarian and her team.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Model Behavior

Don't get too excited, the kids still invoke their selective listening skills when I speak, but since they are inexhaustibly cute they were the perfect models for me today. The sunny 70-degree weather called us outdoors and with some cool dress-up accessories and fun props I was able to turn it into a photo shoot. I'm still trying to practice using light to my advantage, and still experimenting with some creative editing, so I've been itching for a beautiful day. I've got plenty to work on, but I do love some of the results--how could I not with such adorable subjects? I obviously had trouble picking my favorites...

Star of the Week

Ella is the Star of the Week in her class this week. She decorated an All About Me poster to share with her class, detailing her favorite food (noodles with butter), favorite thing to do ("do art"), favorite place (Walt Disney World), and one wish (for a pink bed--the one she thought was too expensive to buy for her American Girl doll). She also gets to be line leader all week. But, the big perk for the Star of the Week is that Mom gets to come in to class to read the Star's favorite book and then stay for lunch. Today was the big day! I joined Ella's class to read Pinkalicious, her favorite book. When I first arrived, the class was working on a math activity so I got to sit with Ella and observe for a while. Ella leaned in and whispered to me, "Thanks for looking so beautiful." It made me chuckle because before she left for school she had instructed me which sweater to wear today (a very flowery one, of course) and I am savoring this time while she is still proud to present me to her friends. After I read to the class we all headed to lunch and Ella and I enjoyed our lunches outside in the beautiful weather all by ourselves. I asked Ella how I did with the story, if I read it too fast or if I was loud enough. She said, "Nah, Mommy, you did great" and then gave me a big hug. She always makes me feel like a star. What a special girl our Ella is--our little star every week.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Donuts with Dads (and Moms)

This morning, Jack's class shared some donuts and songs with their Dads. Jonathan's ever-demanding job unfortunately kept him away, so I had to fill in as the lone Mom on hand. Jack sincerely thanked me for coming and sent me home with a little something for his daddy--this painting of Jonathan (a pretty good likeness) and a little interview he completed about his dad.
My Daddy is 44 years old. [Only a decade off...I think I liked it better when he thought we were 18, though...Muffins with Moms comes next month--yikes!]
He has yellow hair and blue eyes.
He goes to work in his office everyday.
His favorite food is lasagna. [This probably comes from Jonathan trying to talk up lasagna to get them to eat it.]
Our favorite thing to do together is watch t.v.
I love him so much because he loves me. [I am in L.O.V.E. with that answer. So sweet.]

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ella's Birthday

After a morning of fun with Aunt Tracy, Uncle Ken, Jake, Zane, and Drew, we loaded up into the car and headed home. Today was Ella's actual birthday so it could not go without some celebration, too. I whipped up some rainbow cupcakes (6 colors for 6 wonderful years) in honor of our sweet girl. Happy Birthday, Ella! We hope you know how special you are.
p.s. Check out some new posts from before Ella's birthday. You'll have to click on 'Older Posts' to get to the one on Ella's birthday celebration.

Happy 6th Birthday, Ella!

Where do the years go? Our baby girl turns 6 today. She's maturing in leaps and bounds. She requested the Miley Cyrus song Party in the U.S.A. as the soundtrack to her montage...my how they grow up so fast. Call me old fashioned, but I don't really think a 6-year-old's theme song should mention stilettos, so we had to go hunting for a new song. Luckily, we found Ella's new favorite song on the Tinkerbell soundtrack (just perfect for a 6-year-old, I say) by another Disney sweetheart, Selena Gomez. Happy Birthday, Ella. Fly to who you are!

To watch the slideshow that takes you on Ella's journey from 0 to 5, check out last year's birthday post. It's a real tear-jerker, let me tell you.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Is So Ella

This picture, to me, needed to be in a post all by itself. These are the kinds of faces that Ella makes all the time but are so hard to capture with my camera. Admittedly, I do wish she'd stop crossing her eyes, but I wasn't going to spoil her 6th birthday fun with my usual "if someone hits you on the back while you make that face, it'll stick..." nag. Make a wish, silly girl, and dive in to Aunt Tracy's yummy angel food cake (my cake of choice for every birthday as a kid, thanks for remembering, Tracy!), strawberries, and piles of whipped cream!

Fun by the Lake

Everyone was riding high on the fun girl/boy outings we all had for the first part of the day and the gorgeous Spring (at last!) weather was calling to us, so we spent a beautiful evening hanging out on Tracy and Ken's dock. It was all smiles and laughs until poor Uncle Ken kindly volunteered to canoe the kids to the other side of the lake--it was all downhill from there. In two boat trips back to the dock, Ken returned with three out five kids crying. Ella somehow fell on a stick that went straight up her nose and resulted in a bloody nose. Jack had to cry because he stepped in water (imagine that) and got his shoes, socks, and jeans wet. And Jake did a number on his lip and cheek falling on some rocks after swinging on a rope near the water. This definitely did not spoil the evening for these cousins, though--once there was the mention of birthday cake and Super Hero Squad Wii, all was forgotten and the good times rolled on.

Where the Boys Are

by Guest Blogger, Jonathan
While the ladies were enjoying the chaos of the American Girl store, the men all went to the Tell Us Science Museum. The museum consisted of three main wings: rocks and minerals, dinosaurs, and transportation (cars, trains, planes). Perfect for 4 rambunctious boys aged 2-8. Jack wasn't too into the rocks and minerals section, but perked right up once he saw the dinosaur skeletons. Of course, nothing captured their attention quite as much as the petrified dinosaur poop -- we all had a good laugh at that.
After the museum we went to lunch for beer or chocolate milk (depending on your age), wings, grilled cheese, nachos, and fish sticks. Nothing healthy, but all very tasty.
Fun times with Jack and the Crosson boys, but I was happy to get home to see my birthday girl too.
This picture cracks me up.