Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rockin' Her Own Look

In a family of five girls, we have a child that is truly in the middle - she's #3.  Arianna has always been a ball of energy from the time she was an infant and has a bubbly, vivacious personality.  She is very bright and excels in school, but it is her thinking outside of the box that always surprises me.  She is artistic, rhythmic, inquisitive, can memorize almost anything upon hearing it, and replies with the right answer even when we think she isn't listening to us.  Arianna also has very definite opinions about what she likes and doesn't like.  She loves the color pink and yet she is also a very athletic go-getter.  There are times when I get frustrated with her because she pretty much does everything a little differently than the "norm", but in the end this is one of the traits I love most about her.  I'm going to stand back and watch my 1st grader as she keeps becoming the very interesting, sweet, and wonderful girl that she is and anticipate many fun surprises from her in the future!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bye, Bye Chickies

I always have thought that if something happened to my hens, roosters, or chicks that it wouldn't feel like any big tragedy, but when this theory was tested, it seems I'm a bit more attached to my farm animals than I think.  Earlier this year, in last summer, I had a broody hen that sat a pile of eggs and from 7 eggs, 4 hatched.  One of the chicks dies right away because I didn't take it out of the coop soon enough, but 3 others survived and grew to be big, beautiful, juvenile chicks.  We had them in a small enclosure by our driveway, just outside our fenced yard and the top of the enclosure was covered with bird netting.  We realized that this was not very secure, but for all this time, no animals ever tried to breech it.  Even while we were gone for several days over Thanksgiving break, the chicks were fine.  And then, this morning when I went out to the van for something early in the morning, all that I found was a place where the bird netting had been torn away, piles of feathers, and paw prints in the dirt.  Upon closer inspection, I found more feathers and blood on our fence going to the neighbor's property.  This was enough to send me into tears over the little chicks I had raised from day one under a heat lamp in a box in the garage until they were 2 month old chicks that actually looked liked miniature hens.  I, of course, value human life above all, but I was surprised at how strongly I felt about the life being stolen from my little birds in such a sneaky and unexpected way.  Even the Bible says that God watches over the sparrows so if all of God's creatures are important to Him, then I shouldn't feel badly about my natural reaction to the giving and taking of life, even that of a little bird. 

So, in this most recent episode of Woman vs. Nature, nature has definitely won.  I have to admit that it is a little discouraging battling the wildlife in each and every little endeavor on our property, but I'm thankful that I don't live in a time or place where my actual life depends on it. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Growing Toddler

My "baby" is already 2 1/2.  She's growing and changing every day and it's fun watching the little person that she is becoming.  She's developing into quite the little character as she learns to tell jokes, goof off with her sisters, and wheedle the family into getting her way.  With her bouncy brown curls and eyes the color of dark chocolate, Little D has stolen our hearts.  It is a blessing to watch each of my children as they grown into the unique individuals that God has created them to be and I'm so happy to be their mom.  As Thanksgiving approaches, my five daughters are truly something for which I am thankful. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Beautiful San Diego Bay

Some time ago, my hubby had the opportunity to go on a bay cruise and took some really nice pictures on the San Diego Bay.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Painted Pumpkins

Carving jack o' lanterns seems like a fun idea if: (1) you have the right tools, (2) you have a chunk of time to dedicate to the carving, and (3) if your children are old enough to do some or, better, most of the carving themselves.  As we don't fit into any of these categories, I thought it would be nice to let the girls paint them instead.  Also, this preserves the pumpkin flesh inside for when I want to actually cook it up and use it (the paint is washable, so I'll have to wash it off before baking :-).

Here are the girls working on their creations.

Scotch tape make it easy.

And here are the finished creations.

On the left, Livia's pumpkin (4 years old). On the right, Dakota's toddler pumpkin (2 years old).

The older girls' pumpkins.

Arianna's candy corn pumpkin.

Selah's bat.

Isabella's modern pumpkin interpretation made using strips of masking tape removed after painting.