Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Proud Mama Moment. .

The weather is definitely changing around here!!
Last week the temps dropped about 30 degrees over the course of 2 days. .
Our homecoming was on Friday. .
And the high was 52 degrees with our ever-present wind. .
Making it seem EXTRA chilly!
With homecoming. .
Came lots of float building for the boys!
The seniors recycled their prom decorations for their float. .
Which this mom thought was a GREAT idea!
Their theme for prom was "Return to Neverland"
Tristan and a handful of other artistic guys spent HOURS building this crocodile for the corner of the dance floor. .
It made the front of the recycled boat on their float (you know, kind of like those big Viking ships). .
With a couple of clever sentiments like "Sink the Lancers" and "Knock the Ship out of them."
(I actually hadn't read the signs until I was looking through my photos late in the night. .my giggles may have kept some from sleeping)
Here is the junior float. .
which. .
got 4th place (out of 4).
 You can see Grant sitting on the float right above the big J.
It took them significantly less time to build theirs ;-)
Grant is a little antisocial like his father. .
and he was NOT going to ride the float. .
with no amount of coaxing from me. .
About a hour before the parade. .
he found out all his buddies were riding. .
And out the door he went. .
Looks like he was having a good time to me!!
Tristan was a homecoming candidate. .
And he seemed to enjoy all the fun stuff that went along with that. .
Like competing in the pep rally against the other candiates. .
I'm not sure the lipstick was his color. .
But Brenna's aim was pretty good!
Devin and Cami wanted to be a part of the festivities too. .
And picked up Cami's friend Elizabeth early on in the parade!!
She was yelling Hey Mom!
I always wanted to be the one CATCHING the candy. .
But around here. .
They all want to be the ones THROWING the candy!!
Here are a few more of my photos of the day. .
Back to the "obstacle course" of events for the little candidate competition. .
Not only did the queens blindfold-apply lipstick to their guys,
They had to use their mouth only. .
 to eat the gummy worm under a mountain of whipping cream!
Brenna nearly puked right on the spot!
Guzzling a huge red gatorade. .
nearly made Tristan puke right on the spot!
They were dead last. .
and not a BIT ashamed!!
It was a fun afternoon for all the kids. .
And a chance for them to shine!
Gametime was a L-I-T-T-L-E cool. .
And all the kids were shivering and shaking. .
I finally called out to Tristan with my infinte MOM wisdom. .
To put his arm around his princess to warm her up. .
Cause that would be the loving, gentlemanly thing to do. .
Which illicited a few Awwwws and some smiles from the crowd. .
The other picture I took showed her throwing her arm around him and nudging up as close to him as she could. .
It was a sweet thing to watch!
They are two of my very favorite kids in the world!
Anyway. .
No crowns for our house. .
But a fun experience for Mr. Tristan. .
And. .
the important thing is. .
he is the son of the one True King. .
Which will forever make him royalty in this mama's eyes!!
Thanks for ooohhing and aaaahhhhing over our pictures. .
Have a GREAT weekend. .
one more week until the official arrival of FALL ya'll!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

And We're Off. .

Summer is officially over now. .
School is well underway. .
And the schedules are filling up!
This past Saturday. .
was a PERFECT day. .
to be at the races.
Sunny, a mild breeze and highs in the low 80's.
Grant won the high school division. .
He is not supposed to run the 1/4 mile track in less than 12.00 seconds. .
He was going 111 MPH this round. .
And had one round that he actually was faster than that. .
With all the harnessing and helmets and suits and an ambulance on site. .
I don't get too wound up about it. .
Football was more dangerous than this!!
 Jeremy didn't do so hot. .
And had a mild breakdown. .
(with his car. .not his temper)
He didn't do badly. .
Everyone else just did better!!
The purple nova runs in two classes. .
Grant drives it in the high school division. .
And Tristan takes it in a different class. .
He didn't have a good day either as the car seemed to be performing faster than he thought it should.
I'd explain it. .
but I can't!
This girl. .
Is the official photographer!
Couldn't resist!
It's always more fun for me when there are other people there that I know!!
These 3 brothers are good, long time friends. .
And the girls. .
had a blast!!
My friend Lindsay and I took these two downtown. .
In the hopes of scoring pedicures. .
We were the unlucky ones, as all the salons were full. .
So they had to settle for scooters and movies!!
I tried to get a photo of my guys. .
Yes. .he is trying to kiss him!
Which was better than the response that I usually get!
Lindsay even snagged one of us all!
Kansas may have temperamental weather. .
But it has PHENOMENAL sunsets!!
And they are even more glorious when you can be outside enjoying every moment of it!
In other news. .
I am the proud mama to 15 little guinea keets. .
They chirped their way into the post office on Friday. .
And are living in a box in my kitchen for now.
I am hopeful. .
that they are harder on insects than they are on gardens!!
If so. .
our chicken population will start to decrease. .
One BBQ at a time!
They are fun to watch. .
and so are the kids and the hubby. .
as they stop every time they walk by to cuddle or coo!
This one will have senior pictures in a few weeks. .
We took a drive out to the ranch last weekend to scout some locations for the perfect photos!
We'll also do family pictures that night!
It's been THREE years since we had official photos done!!
Time flies, eh?
The scenery out there is rugged and truly breathtaking. .
Summer was good to the land and vegetation!
We've also had some breathing time to just sit around our little pond. .
There are SOOO many frogs in it. .
I know I  mentioned it not long ago. .
but every time we walk, they hop, hop, hop into the pond. .
There are some mighty large ones too!
We have a few little wildlife adventures planned this month. .
Involving pelican migration and wildflowers. .
And respite for our souls!!
Which is always good. .
Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ramblings. .

Howdy, howdy!!
School is in full force here. .
And so is summer, it seems!!
We have had more days near or over 100 this week then we have all summer!
The garden. .
And the gardener. .
don't like it!!
Thought I would take you on a little garden tour. .
These pictures were taken yesterday morning. .
In the still of the day. .
I probably didn't mention that the wind has been really bad again every day!
Grandpa Otts morning glory is one of my favorite plants!! The first year I grew it at our first little home. .
we had a REALLY late frost. .
and the blooms were beautiful until November!!
I was hooked!
Unfortunately. .
they have SO overtaken their space. .
That I will likely spend next summer pulling most of the seedlings!
They do a nice job of keeping out the weeds. .
But I keep pulling them off the plants that I DO want to see. .
for fear that they will suffocate them!
One really good thing about all the blooms though. .
is that I have seen LOTS of the big yellow and black bees working in the patch!
They are a lot easier to get along with than the hordes of stinging wasps that have accumulated too!
The pink flower in the center is a love lies bleeding that self seeded. .
The plants that came up are a little sturdier than the ones I started in my greenhouse last year to set out. In a couple of the holes, I started a few okra plants late in the season. .
I think we will get a few fruits off the plants before frost!
Here's a little different view of the love lies bleeding with the double echinacea plants in the background. .
That has been a blooming trooper this summer. .
I deadheaded last night and there was one that had already made seed. .
which I scattered around this plant, hoping it would get some new plants started.
My self watering planters didn't do my veggies any justice last summer. .
But they have worked phenomenally for flowers!!
I've NEVER been able to get a geranium to bloom the whole summer. .
I love the red, purple and white combo.
I don't remember what the purple flowers are. .
But I like 'em!
The grasshoppers. .
which we are inundated with. .
Even eat the cattails!!
What a peaceful view!!
The fish are doing well. .
And we even have a frog population.
Devin and Cami went frog hunting last fall and brought back some really big ones. .
And some tiny ones.
Most often we can hear them as they jump into the pond.
BUT. .
yesterday I just had to laugh as I saw out of the corner of my eye. .
A big ole frog launch himself over the head of the chicken to get to a safer location!
The veggies have had a GREAT year to perform. .
But I thought that Grant summed it up pretty well in his 4-H horticulture story. .
"Next year, if we want veggies. .
We will have to put up a fence. .
or kill the chickens!"
(I always imagine that whoever judges his book. .
Always gets a smile at his candid writing nature!)
Those chickens have been a NUICANCE!
They ate every spaghetti squash and watermelon on the vines. .
They devoured cucumbers and the tomatoes they could reach. .
They killed the tiny raspberry bush and have even eaten some of the jalepenos!
They LOVE hostas. .
and perpetually stir up the mulch and kick it up over the new astibe and bleeding heart plants.
The rhubarb that I transplanted from the old veggie garden has finally surpassed the chickens. .
And I don't think they care for it much. .
Next year should be a great time for harvesting it!
We have picked a few tomatoes. .
But the chickens peck on the lower ones. .
and then the wasp crew takes over from there.
I did mention the wind?? Enough to blow over some of my cages. There is a cucumber vine between the two cages that fell over. .
Hopefully those little birds won't see it!
We've tried hiding them under weeds. .but they always seem to find them. .
So far, no one has messed with this one yet. .
There is probably some magical size they are waiting for ;-)
Here is something they haven't bothered yet. .
I've never grown them before. .there are several small ones started.
The grasshoppers completely desimated the foliage in July, but it made an astounding comeback!!
This is another great accomplishment. .
These have been alive since I planted them in the self watering containers in June. .
SCORE! I have the perfect place in my new sunroom addition to overwinter them!!
Did you notice our new babies??
We have had a population overload. .
Which is ok. .because generally. .
Nature triumphs around our little country home. .
And we never seem to have them around for all that long.
There are 5 babies that are colored like these two. .
And 3 black babies that are still well hidden. .
We saw them when they were tiny, but mama has moved them since then.
The kids have been working on their 4-H record books. .
I am recovering from a really wretched cold. .
Jeremy is beggin for the boys to go to the lake at 7:00 every morning before school since it is always way too windy in the afternoon. .
No biters on that one. .
And the younger two are dreading the pool closure on Monday!
It's so hard to believe that fall is just around the corner again!
Where DOES the time go!!
Enjoy your LAST week of August friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Boston's Flora and Fauna. .

Congratulations. .
You made it to the end of my Boston camera roll!
Of course. .
Being a gardener at heart. .
The vegetation in the area ALWAYS gets my attention!!
And. .
Since many of ya'll readers ALSO like gardening stuff. .
I knew you would LOVE to see!
It TOTALLY fascinates me. .
That people plant gardens on the roofs and patios of their large apartment buildings!
Check it. .
These are TREES. .
Like real trees. .
Not little shrubby trees. .
But they look like some Bradford Pear trees to me. .
Along with maybe some crabapple trees. .
Around here. .
Those get WAY bigger than I would think would be possible on a roof!
Crazy, eh?
I know this is neither flora nor fauna. .
But I hadn't posted this photo yet. .
And it has an interesting story. .
Because the architecture is soooo old. .
That when a building gets to a certain point, they can no longer do any type of structural changes to it. .
SO, in the case of this fire department. .
They have to purchase fire trucks that will fit in the preexisting SMALL holes.
I took this photo out of the bus window on the way to Kennebunkport. I LOVED the tiny blue door with the flowers. Cozy and inviting!!
The Boston Common is kind of like the Central Park of New York City. .
It's like this little spot of solitude in the big, bustling city!!
These guys guard Frog Pond. .
A little wading pool in the summer that turns ice skating rink in the winter.
Boston Public Garden is the oldest garden in the United States. .
being established as you can see. .
in 1837.
There were a few floral displays like this one. .
But overall, it is mostly a huge patch of green grass and some nice trees.
There are Swan Boats at this little lake in the garden. .
And those are a big deal in the tourist arena. .
We didn't ride because it was earlier in the morning and wasn't open.
There are cool sculptures all throughout the city. .
And this one was a neat one in memory of the fallen.
Here's a photo of Arlington Church in the background. .
I think that one was my favorite. .
I loved the dark brown stone it was constructed out of !
Someone famous is buried in that big tomb in the center. .
For the life of me I can't remember who. .
But it was another example of the neat cemeteries, which you might notice. .
like the parks. .
are tucked into a little place in the middle of the city.
When you step inside the gates. .
The world seems to slow down just a little.
Boston is also proud (as they should be) about their green belt that runs through the center of the city. The Belt includes 12 miles (consecutive) of green grass, trees, sculptures and water features. The Belt stops where the street goes through, but starts again immediately on the other side of the street.
There were always lots of people utilizing them. .
Well. .
That is about it for our vacation.
It seems far away in the past now. .
And life creeps back in at an alarming pace.
But one slower paced day. .
We will enjoy looking back through the memories. .
Thanks for letting me share them with you!
Enjoy the rest of your week!!