Monday, May 31, 2010

First Pick of the Season!

Mackenzie and I spent some time in the garden today. We were able to pick some squash and green beans for the first time this year! I have to say...we. had. so. much. fun!!! Here's Mackenzie with our bucket of loot. She was such a good helper! She even helped me wash them, snap them, and fill the pot with water to cook them. Amazing!
Here's a couple of new pictures of our garden. We're having green beans, squash, and pork chops for supper. (I'm sure you really wanted to know that--Ha.)

And to explain the bale of wheat straw...our squash is beginning to rot again this year. After consulting one of Healing Hands International's expert gardeners (thanks, Mark, for emailing the pictures to your friend for us!), we've learned that it is either a bacteria or fungus of some sort causing it to rot. This typically occurs when squash is planted in a raised bed with rich compost and gets a lot of rain. Since ours is planted in a raised bed with rich compost and has received a lot of rain this month, we fit the bill for rotting squash! Not all of them are rotting, but the same thing happened last year and ended up killing the entire plant, so I was concerned to see it again this year. The man at Healing Hands International says the verdict is not yet in regarding exactly what is causing the squash issues, but the same thing happened in their raised beds with compost last year, too. So....he recommended placing straw at the ground to separate the plant from the soil. We are giving it a try. Whew, long explanation for that one bale of straw!
Happy Memorial Day! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Presents and Ponderosa

Warning: Lots of pictures ahead! :) Earlier this week, to celebrate the day Josiah was born, I let Josiah choose an activity. We had his party early, so this would be a day of fun...just the three of us as David was at work. He chose the Little Ponderosa Zoo!
Both kids loved getting to pet and feed all the animals. We also got to see two kinkajou's eating some fruit. That was especially neat, as Josiah knows about those from Diego. Another favorite was the pig with all the tiny piglets!

I think this is an alpaca. The kids enjoyed petting it.

They loved the pony rides! (Umm, I took lots of pictures during the pony ride. Since I could not decide which ones I liked the best...I've posted a bunch of them!)

Each picture captures a different expression!

The pony ride comes to an end.

And, later that afternoon, with David home, too, we sang to Josiah. He proudly blew the candles out on the cupcake, and then totally enjoyed opening presents. He didn't even eat the cupcake! He was far more interested in the packages. :)

He was delighted to find two DS games, as the main item he asked for was the DS. In fact, he'd been asking for it since Christmas! Nona and Mzee went together with us to buy the DS. I tell you what, that made for one happy little boy.

He also loved his transformer from Grannie and Papa New. He opened an entire box full from them a couple weeks ago. This is one present we set aside for his actual Birthday from them.

Mackenzie got her main birthday present early this year. She'll have other items, small ones, on her birthday, but we gave her main gift to her now in case we need the kids to play those DS's while we travel later in the summer!

Her DS is pink. I love this picture (though I had forced the flash on for pics of Josiah in front of the windows, so there's too much light in this one) of Mackenzie and David!

I half wonder if Josiah knew what was in this package, as he picked it up, scurried to the living room with it, and opened it all alone in there!

Delighted with what he found, he came running back to where we were to show it off! It's a dual action light saber. Red. Just what he wanted! Thank you, Granna and Z-pa! They bought him a blue one while they were here last week, and now he has both colors. He is certainly spoiled! The picture of him holding it up is pretty cute. He was truly excited!

I love this one of Mackenzie with her pink DS! She was so excited! They both were, as this is something they have wanted for several months now.

Here's the birthday boy, playing his new white DS. What a birthday!
(Side note: We had his well child check up today. All went well. He received 4 or 5 shots. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Polio, Pneumococcal, Varicella, and Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis. He did not cry at all during the finger stick to check his Hct and Hgb. All is normal. He peed in the cup, happily, and his urine is normal. He is 41.2 inches tall (75%) and 38 lb (75%). He did cry during the shots. He recovered nicely, though! AND...they are finished (other than flu shots) until sixth grade! Nice. His paperwork is all in order for Kindergarten, which happens one year from this August. I'm proud of my little guy!)
If you made it to the end of this post, Congratulations! It was long. He, he.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Mackenzie has a craft book, full of ideas. In this book she found a page about decorating your own shoe laces. Taking it a step farther...he, he...she and her friend, Audrianna, decided they wanted to decorate their own SHOES. They have talked about this for weeks now. Somehow the end of the school year came and went, so I was pleased to be able to get the two girls together today to decorate their shoes. Mackenzie and I were able to find plain white canvas shoes at Wal-Mart for $5.00. I figured for that price, they can decorate away! Mackenzie picked out fabric markers and iron on's to use for decorations. I think the girls did a great job with their shoes! :) (The bare feet in the above picture belong to Josiah.)
He had fun playing with his new DS that he received from Nona & Mzee and David and me for his birthday. More about his birthday coming up soon...maybe in a post tomorrow. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Funny Words

I've been enjoying the cute things my two kiddos say, and I'm going to record them here as I simply don't want to forget.

Mackenzie has always referred to pig tails as "pink tails." Also, she says "college cheese" instead of cottage cheese! I don't expect these cute words to continue much longer with her, but I have so enjoyed them!

Josiah says "extructions" instead of instructions. He has plenty of others, too, but for now that's the one that is coming to mind.

And there are so many more. I'll try to record them as I think of them. :)

Sweet, cute kiddos.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Josiah's 4th Birthday Party

Though his actual birth date is not today, we celebrated Josiah's 4th Birthday today. He invited all six of his friends from school over to play with sidewalk chalk and riding toys. Four of his friends were able to come, and those kids had a blast playing together! Kameron and Josiah riding in the red car. Those boys are best buddies.
Our driveway full of fun.

Another view of the driveway with the party underway!

Josiah and Kameron decided they were tired. They climbed into the tree house and sprawled out to rest! Too funny.

Josiah requested an orange cake. (Actually, orange and black, but orange and blue was easier for me to do...he seemed 100% pleased with it!) He wanted dinosaurs on it, but the dinos we found were too big to fit on the cake, so we stood them all around the cake! He loved it. He chose a chocolate cake and I made homemade buttercream icing to go on it. (Disclaimer: I am NOT a cake decorator, nor do I claim to be! I simply had fun making a cake for my little man that met his specifications.) :)

I also made some chocolate iced cupcakes to be sure there was enough for everyone. Here's the whole gang, minus some moms who were standing near me. We had Lexi, Kameron, Mackenzie, Josiah, Brady, and Ava. Fun crew!

The wind blew Josiah's candles out. He was satisfied with that as he seemed to have no desire to do it himself. He was very pleased with his cake, surrounded by dinosaurs. :)

As Josiah opened his gifts, he paused between each one to admire each new toy. It was priceless. He'd toss the unopened card to the side, open the package, and spend several moments admiring the toy. All the moms loved it, and I was pleased because each gift was truly appreciated.

Josiah opening the gift from Kameron.

Then Josiah disappeared. We found him in the living room, sprawled out, surrounded by new toys. He was totally enjoying them! The other moms got a kick out of this, too. Good thing we opened presents last, or he would have spent his entire time in the living room instead of outside with his friends. ;)
It's so hard to believe that he is almost 4 years old. I am so proud of him. He has a loving heart and is sensitive to others. He is good with his hands and likes to build things and put things together, like legos and star wars toys. He loves to gives hugs and I love to be the recipient of those cuddles he hands out through the day! He is a smiley, happy kid who rolls readily with the punches. He can write his own name really well and without prompting. He can count to ten in Spanish and twenty in English. He has known his entire alphabet for quite some time, but he now knows all the phonics that go with each letter, too. He is an eager learner and a good listener in a group setting. He entertains himself well with his toys, and likes to help out around the house. He is a sweetie, and we are so thankful for him. He has a well child check up later this week. I measured him here at home, and I think he's about 37 1/2 lbs (67%) and 41.4 in tall (79%). He's a handsome little fellow! Happy Birthday, Josiah.

And, last Thursday night Mackenzie learned to ride a two-wheeled bike! She was extremely frustrated to discover that she could not learn it on the first attempt. She came inside and cried. I sat with her and we talked. It was a wonderful conversation! We talked about her personality and how she likes to get things right the first time around. I talked to her at length about how it's okay to fail, as long as you get back up and try again. Lots of things in life take practice, and that's okay. I also told her stories about when I learned to ride a bike, so many years ago. The conversation was much more in depth than that, but suffice to say that by the time we were finished talking, she was ready to go back out and get back on the bike. I was so proud of her! She kept right on practicing until she did it. I am thankful she did not give up after that first attempt. She talked about how she knows kids younger than her who can ride a two-wheeler, and since she's a first grader now, she wants to do first grade things, like be able to ride a two wheeler! Precious conversation. We even talked about how each person has different strengths. Some kids learn to ride quickly, and some kids have to try harder. That's okay. We're all good at something, but not necessarily the same things. That's how God designed it. Use the strengths He gave you, and don't give up.

She got back out there...and she did it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Fun Begins

Well, it's not actually summer yet; it is still spring. However, today was the first day of summer break from school. The kids and I made the most of it! We spent part of the day at the fruit and berry patch. As we entered the farm area, I rolled down the windows so the kids could smell the honeysuckle. They were so excited it was comical! When I parked the van beside the strawberry fields, the kids walked right up to the honeysuckle growing on the fence nearby instead! Mackenzie showed Josiah how to suck the "honey" from the honeysuckle. After learning, he immediately began filling his strawberry bucket with honeysuckle! The above picture captures the look of surprise on Mackenzie's face as he began "picking" the honeysuckle! Those kids just crack me up.
The really funny thing is that, after being totally surprised by Josiah putting honeysuckle in his bucket, Mackenzie joined right in! So, there's my two kiddos, side-by-side, picking the honeysuckle. :)

Next Josiah was eager to learn how to pick the strawberries. (Notice all the honeysuckle in his bucket!) So, I taught him which ones to search for and off he went into the fields!

Here's Mackenzie, ready to begin. (Notice her honeysuckle, too!) :)

My two berry pickers, hard at work.

Proudly displaying a nice strawberry that she found.

After we were finished picking berries, we spent some time with the goats and sheep. (And, just in case you're wondering...Mackenzie dressed herself, without input from me today. He, he. She insists that her shirt and shorts DO match. Since we were heading to the farm, I decided that would be just fine and she could certainly have the liberty to choose her attire for the day.)

Josiah began feeding them the grass without hesitation.

Mackenzie, on the other hand, was much more timid at first. She quickly warmed up to feeding them, too, but her favorite was the baby!

My sweet babies.

Our summer time out of school is off to a great start! I'm looking forward to many more days ahead with my two precious children.

Our Graduate!

It's official! Mackenzie is finished with her Kindergarten year. Sigh. It went too fast. Sigh again. Actually, her whole first 5 3/4 years of life have zoomed by so quickly. We are very proud of her, and we enjoyed celebrating her most recent accomplishment last night. Here's our little graduate walking toward the school hand in hand with her Z-pa. (Granna and Josiah are just ahead to the right.)
This was our attempt at a picture of all four of us. Ha. Graduation was at 6:30pm. We had to be there at 6:00pm. Our kids usually go to bed at 7:00pm or slightly thereafter. Needless to say, they were exhausted by the end of the evening!

I love this one of David, Mackenzie, and me together. Zearl took it for us. Thanks, Zearl!

I like this one, too, so I posted them both!

Excited and ready for graduation to begin!

Mackenzie and Avery.

Audrianna, Bonnie, Mackenzie, and Avery.

David and his dad sat in a different section of the auditorium so they could get a good angle on the video. The rest of us sat in the middle area. The above picture is of our group. From left to right: Betty (Granna), Geri (our wonderful neighbor who is originally from Bulgaria and has "adopted" us as family here in the States), Metodi (He's visiting from Bulgaria for the first time this week and enjoyed seeing the school.), and Trifon (Geri's husband who lives across the street from us.) I was so glad they could come with us to the graduation. I do believe they all enjoyed it!

Mackenzie lined up with her class, ready to receive her diploma.

Mrs. Haluska on the left, Mackenzie in the middle, and the elementary principle on the right.

A proud Mackenzie standing center stage with her diploma! I just love this picture!

After receiving diplomas, all four kindergarten classes lined up on stage to perform. They counted to 100 by 5's. Quoted scriptures in Spanish and using Sign Language. Stated several math equations, both addition and subtration. Talked about how they like to read, and sang two wonderful songs (Counting on God and I am Yours) with sign language. GREAT performance! Yep, we're proud parents. ;)

Afterwards, we were able to snap a picture of Mackenzie with Geri and Trifon before she decided she was too tired for any more pictures! :)