Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mr. Mugwort Pumpkin

We decided that we better carve our pumpkin tonight. Tomorrow will be pretty busy for us. So I asked him to draw me a face to carve. This is what he drew.

Here he is, a mugwort pumpkin.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Indian Summer

I've been loving how our trees look this year! Normally they just fall off or turn brown. This year we have some really yellow yellows and other lovely shades. I guess all it takes is a drought and an Indian summer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Fest 2011

Tonight they had Pumpkin Fest at Matthew's preschool. The boy came home mega excited to go! Here he is with Holly making the ever crucial decisions on what silly bands to choose.

We became scarecrows.

We had cookies for dinner, after we had a bat and pumpkin painted on our face. One of his best friends, Bradley, in the background. They were attempting to share suckers and juice with each other. That's real friends.

Holding all our loot.

And decorating his pumpkin. He had the best time playing with his friends after dark, while listening to "scary" music!

We leave you this evening with a little movie showing what the boy was doing in the face painting line. He was cracking me up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Early Morning

Who knows where the day will take you?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


'Nuff said.

A House Divided

My Auntie went to KU.
My Dad and I went to K-State.
Today is the 109th Sunflower Showdown.
I mean...may the best team win.

Auntie, at preschool there is such passionate KU families that at least one child can sing the KU fight song. Matthew has started marching around saying, "Go KU! Go KU! Go KU!" This has led to me marching around singing, "Fight you K-State Wildcats, for alma mater fight, Fight, Fight, Fight, Glory in the battle for the purple and the white..." But in all honesty, it all makes me smile.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Glad you are still with me

After my rant yesterday, I didn't know what my few readers would think. Thank you for all the kind words, I wasn't looking for praise, just trying to make a point. And after talking about how Matthew is my priority, I dumped him off at preschool and went shopping since I didn't have to work. What a great Mom! But I really did ask him if he wanted to go, but he wanted to go to school instead. He hates shopping and he was in great need of longer pants, a new jacket and gloves.

So Mom and I shopped for the needed items and found a sucker he had to have!

And when we got home he was so excited with his new clothes. I could hardly believe it, but he's thrilled. Made the whole day worth it!

Most needed item on my list? A new memory card for my camera. Mine got lost when I posted the kitten post on my mom's computer. I'm seriously crushed, as I'd taken tons of pictures on the trail, some awesome ones of an asassin bug, and all the photos of Matthew playing with the kitten. I hadn't gotten them downloaded yet! Until I find it, if it ever turns up, they are gone with the wind. And to answer Auntie's question, Tuesday night the kitten caused the yappie yorkie to yap so much that Wednesday morning it moved to a new home. So I'm back in camera business and ready to snap some new favorites.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Momma Brag Day

It's been a long time since I showed Matthew's art off, so I decided it was high time I did. He's done some cool stuff at school and home. Above: school, fall trees

Home: Columbus, moveable

School: I love the squirrel he drew!

Home: scarecrow project

Home: Columbus

Home: fall items-I love the colors he uses

School: L work, very very colorful

School: H work

Home: watercolor

As I was going through the stacks of Matthew's artwork, I realized something about myself. An old friend of mine told me once that I never give myself enough credit and I realized, she is right. I feel bad about myself sometimes for not being stylish enough, pretty enough, a good enough mom, driving an expensive car, having a high powered enough career, enough college degrees. And it's all for not, because I am enough. I work and pay my own bills-I don't need anyone else to do it for me, I make a difference in many lives-including my son's, I could drive expensive cars and wear designer labels-but I have my priorities in line, I AM a good mom-except for when I'm at work and he is at preschool I raise him and make him the priority, my career many not be high powered but it's growing and has some special things thrown in like being published, I have plenty of education-I don't have to pose or brag. And that is true Momma bragging.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Look what we found in the basement this morning!

It is so cute and lovey! It wants to live in the house, but he has to be an outside kitty, if it stays. Matthew was in heaven. It's not everyday you wake up to a surprise kitten. (Just to be clear, this really was a HUGE surprise. My parents don't have a cat. Our last one was 16 1/2 years old, a male, and past away this summer. So a kitten so little, out of the blue, big surprise.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to work I go...

The last 2 days I have had the joy of staying home because some little bugger gave me what we suspect to be hand, foot and mouth disease. Lovely. Mostly it has just been exhausting. But as I don't seem to have much new going on, I am going to try it. I slept most of yesterday and was able to snooze all night, so I don't know how well this is going to go, but we'll give it a try...It's days like this that I miss being home all day with Matthew. Can we move back to TX? Crikey, check me for a fever, I must be delirious!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

K-state football

If you haven't noticed by now, we are pretty passionate about all things K-State. Especially, K-State football, if you are my husband.

My parents and I have all been to KSU football and basketball games. My favorite was Nov. 2000, we beat Nebraska in the rain, sleet, and snow. I stormed the field with the rest of the fans, because hell had froze over. Such an exciting game. I wanted Phil and Matthew to experience the magic too.

So when Phil announced that he was coming home for a week visit in mid September, I ordered tickets right away for his birthday. I loved our seats! 7 rows up, on an end field, on an aisle.

We loved having Phil home period! My new favorite photo of my guys.

Only photo I have with my "feather" in.

It was KSU Band day that night. Our HS band was on the field somewhere...

And best of all, Matthew got Willie the Wildcat to sign his shirt! He was so excited! It was perfect!

Outdoor Hour Challenge: #5 Fall Tree Study and More Nature Study #5 Fall Color Walk

Matthew and I realized yesterday, that it was a glorious fall day, and decided to get out and enjoy it. We decided that we could handle combining 2 challenges into one and went for it!

Fall Tree Study:
We reviewed (very quickly! a little one wanted to get out and paint ASP!) pgs 14 and 618-622 in the Handbook of Nature Study about trees.
We answered most of the questions from pg 623, Lesson 172, Tree Study-Autumn Work. The answers may not be as complete as they should be because the paper I wrote Matthew's answers on have gone missing. Maybe the strong breeze carried them away...We completed Winter and Spring Work, in TX on a peach tree, in the backyard. We neglected to do Summer Work here, but have decided to start Autumn Work on a hackberry tree in the side yard.

1. What is the color of the tree in its autumn foliage? green and yellow

2. Describe what you see of the tree's roots. They go up, up, up!
How far do you suppose the roots reach down? 20 miles
3. How high on the trunk from the ground do the lower branches come off? about 5 ft.
What color is the bark? whiteish-he stood firm on this

Is the bark smooth or rough? rough (he rubbed his back on it to tell)
Are the ridges fine or course? we decided course, after defining fine and course
Are the furrows between the ridges deep or shallow? deep
4. Describe a leaf from your tree. He had lots of trouble with that, he came up with yellow. We decided it was an oval shape.

Are the leaves set opposite or alternate upon the twigs? alternate
Can you find two fallen leaves the same size and shape? yes, pretty close
At what date do the leaves begin to fall from your tree? beginning of October
5. Do you find any fruit or seed upon your tree? no

Fall Color Walk:
After answering questions, I told Matthew that he could use his watercolors to paint what he saw outside, at this very moment. First Matthew painted painted 2 leaves he'd found on the ground.

Next time I looked, the paper was mostly blue, so I asked what he saw that looked like that, and he said, "It's a tree." I asked if he saw a blue tree anywhere, meanwhile thinking that if my painting instructor from college was around, he'd be agreeing with Matthew that he saw blue in ALL the trees around us. Matthew affirmed he did. Later, when the blue was bigger, he decided it was water, which was also not around.

Later in the evening, Matthew came up to me and declared, "At first I thought it was a tree and water, but I've decided it's the ocean." Obviously, this wasn't a picture of nature here, as we are hopelessly landlocked! At least he painted out in nature. We'll work on the content later.

While Matthew was painting, I asked him to look around and tell me what colors he saw. He not only saw the yellows and browns, but the light greens, greens, and dark greens as well. I was surprised that he didn't have to be coached on looking for the different greens. We noticed and talked about all the black walnuts and burr acorns that have fallen.

I know that we can collect and eat the black walnuts, but Matthew and I now want to learn if acorns are edible for people. We also talked out how to get to the edible nut.
*Matthew and I learned today that you can eat acorns, but you have to leach some tanneric acid out first, which probably why it's not more mainstream. Here's a great article to learn more and find recipes.

In the late afternoon, we gathered leaves of different kinds. We used them for leaf rubbings. It turned out pretty well. Talking about light crayon pressure was very important for this project to turn out.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Spirit Week: wrapup

Sunday we tie dyed shirts.

Wednesday turned out to be tie dye day, so he insisted that he be allowed to wear his new shirt.

Thursday was pajama day. He was soooo excited to wear his pj's to school. He drove me nuts, asking every 1o mins, "why am I wearing my pj's to school?" As if he didn't know!

Today, Homecoming, hence blue and gold day. So we donned our blue and gold shirts and beads.

All day the kids were impatient to walk to the parade. Matthew got to go with his preschool and then they went for icecream. He had an excellent time.

And he came home painted up and with a bag of candy! It's been an excellent day and week, but thank goodness it's Friday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spirit Week: Hat Day

Friday is Homecoming. In anticipation, the preschool is having spirit week. Yesterday, which I failed to capture, was inside out day. Matthew was very excited to wear his clothes in such a novel way. Today was hat day. He was so proud to be treated like a star, in his hat, that his Dad bought him on the Riverwalk. Tomorrow's tie dye day! When did my little guy get so grown up?

kinderGARDEN Thursday: season wrap-up

Well, it's been an long, interesting, journey this summer. We had small plans for a container garden in zone 8.

We'd even read up on it!

Life threw us a loop and we ended up in zone 5, right at the beginning of planting season. We changed gears again and planted a garden, in the ground. We started with heavy construction...

and ended up with a great garden space.

At first, we struggled to get seeds to sprout, probably because it was a cool spring.

Then right after we ordered more seeds, some of the seeds sprouted! Some of the garden was a month behind because of that. The garden further suffered, because as soon as it warmed up, it went straight into intense summer heat and drought.

Matthew and I struggled to keep the garden watered, but we managed to have some fun with it.

The beginning and end of the summer, found my Dad hospitalized with a very serious blood infection and gallbladder that should have come out 2 years before. That caused us to lose focus, as we had bigger things to do. Then, at the end, when most of the garden had burned up, I was blessed to get a full time job and we didn't have time to baby it along. I don't think the winter crop ever came up!

But we kept at it as we had time. Our first real problem with pests came with the radishes having aphids overrun them. We burned the leaves and plants totally infected and let the g
ood bugs take over.

Next rabbits ate ALL the green beans for themselves. Nothing d
etered them, we tried it all, except human hair.

Then when my squash plants started to bloom, they became a magnet for squash bugs. Matthew and I spent a week picking them off by hand and drowning them, but the damage was done. We only got a baby pumpkin out of the deal!

Matthew did another photo tour of the garden this summer. My favorite photo was the coneflower closeup.

Although we had the joy of planting, we didn't reap many yummy rewards. We ended up with about 30 cherry tomatoes,


marigolds and nasturisums,

10 strawberries,

some herbs, 15 peppers,

15 purple
green beans and lots of rat tailed radishes,

as well as 3 Chinese red noodle beans.

All I can say is, I'm glad we didn't have to survive on what we planted, because it would be a very long hungry winter this year! It probably would have gone a little better if we hadn't gone into a severe drought. Thanks so much Kim, for once again hosting the kinderGARDENERS! I doubt Matthew and I would have made it as far as we did this year without it. Here's looking forward to a better growing season next year. :)

*edited to mention that as Matthew looked at this post with me, he turned to me and asked, "Can we go plant something?" Clearly planting seeds is his FAVORITE part!