Thursday, May 1, 2014


This spring we grew caterpillars, Painted Ladies to be exact! Thank you for sharing, Mim and Bub!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar became the book of our house for a few weeks. 
It was so cool to learn about the butterfly metamorphosis, and actually watch it happen.
The boys were interested in their growth each day, and would check on them a few times a day. 
I have to admit it gave me the heeby jeebies to use the bathroom. But I preferred them there than in the kitchen!

If you're interested in growing caterpillars go to 

 We started with 5 tiny black caterpillars and they soon turned into large hairy crawly things.

When they were fully grown they migrated to the top of the jar and made their chrysali. As they formed they did a little dance. It was funny to watch them wiggle!

 After they made their chrysali we moved them to the cylinder net where they would finally emerge.

 I can't help but think I have the cutest crew!
 They are checking out the emerging butterflies, and getting ready to feed them strawberries, oranges and bananas. How exciting!

 A few days later we realized the butterflies needed some flora to enjoy and use so we went to the story and found some lovely daisies. (You can read about this unfortunate photo here.)

 One little guy never emerged. You can tell which one he is, the one right in the middle. We dissected him after we released the others and he looked fully developed and we guess that he just got stuck getting out. Maybe his wings just weren't strong enough, the poor guy.

 Finally, it was time to release our 4 little friends.
The children were able to share the moment with some dear friends, Vicky and Dani. 
Henry was very much a butterfly tamer or whisperer, if you will, and Theo was broken hearted when they finally flew away. He chased after them and cried for them. A few came back for a couple of butterfly kisses, and Henry shared them with Theo, but then they were off again.
Theo was comforted knowing they just might come back to visit our flowers out front, and that they were much happier flying about "in the wild". 

 If you look REALLY closely you might be able to see it flying around in the sky, but probably not.
This was when Theo got really sad because they had flown away. 
I love the great big skies in IL!

 And this is when Henry whispered them back to him (wink), and then shared them with Theo. 
It really was so sweet to see Henry so gentle and so kind to his little brother.

 Vicky, Dani, Mabel, Hen and Theo (Theo's still too bummed to take pictures)

 Spring truly is a magical time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

St. Patty's Day

I made a Shamrock cake and the boys decided to be secret leprechauns. They gathered pennies from around the house, put them in a large silver pot and we went around the neighborhood leaving them on porches. The boys knocked, ran away and we watched while the unsuspecting neighbor open the door (not notice the pennies, and shut the door with a puzzled look on their face) . . . and the boys had fun. They felt like little tricksters.

While I baked the cake Mabel . . .

 Insisted on feeding herself with utensils, cottage cheese.

 (2 out of 3 happy ain't so bad)

 And the boys drew pictures and painted.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

This year was an exciting one! 
(Is it really almost May? Anyway.)
Henry was able to make his own Valentine's day box for school. What did he choose? 
Zelda, of course! I am so sad because I don't think I took a picture of it. It was a simple white box, provided by his teacher, and he decorated it with hand drawn pictures of all the characters and the tri-something or other (I don't know all the Zelda stuff) and it was awesome. 

For the valentines that he made we totally copied our awesome friends, the Stewarts. Last year Benjamin S. gave Henry a Valentine that looked a lot like this:

 What you do is you cut small slits right above the index finger, and right below the pinky, and then you can slide a sucker in and it looks like he's holding it and giving you a giant sucker! Plus, this way your smile is your signature! We loved the idea.
So, for Henry's he painted stripes on plain white paper, and when the paper was dry he drew bubble letters with pen, added lovey detail and cut them out and taped them to our wall.
 He decided to give suckers to the boys and pink silk flowers to the girls. 

His report after school: The girls loooooooved the flowers. 
I thought they would!
He went through each Valentine sent to him and cherished it, talking about each child as he reviewed who they were from. This boy really cares about giving gifts and receiving gifts.
The day before Valentine's day the kids and I painted hearts for each member of our family and then when the boys went to bed Mabel and I put up some decorations.

We could feel the love! 

This was Henry's card he made at school. I adore it.

Lastly, a funny story about the giant card below.
Todd's a pro at making pop-up cards and this year he decided to go BIG . . .
In case you can't tell, it's on large poster board.

He told me that at first he was going to put, 
"The biggest heart for the world's biggest woman"
but he thought that wouldn't go over well.

Good call, babe, good call.

Oh how I love my family!!