Wednesday, September 30, 2009

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday


WHO says you can't play with your food?

Lunch didn't seem exciting to anyone today with what I had available to make quickly. And while lunch doesn't HAVE to be exciting... it sure makes it more fun!! So, this little monster was lunch! (I was all out of hot dog buns... but had a whole package of hamburger buns!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


You know, I don't put much out there on my tiny corner of the blogosphere about all the football hype of the season. Why? Well, I couldn't care all that much about who wins, really. Sure, I root for the Huskers if they are playing. I have learned who to cheer for in other games in order that the Huskers ranking goes up as the other teams' falls. But, really? I just hope that they have fun, stay in one piece, and can sit at home after the game without the aide of ice or hot tubs! As for as "what's in it for me"... I just like brats on game day for breakfast!!

With all that said, I can tell you that while I didn't grow up in Nebraska - I do LOVE Nebraska. I went to the University of Nebraska @ Lincoln and loved my time there. I lived in Nebraska for several years after having left college for around three years and, besides the summer weather, enjoyed life there with my family! Nebraska is different. It is different than any other state here in the great U.S. of A. It is really hard to describe... you just have to be there. And it is different being there as a transplant than perhaps being there as a lifer. You really can see that it is a different and welcoming place.

I was emailed an article written by some football reporter guy out of Louisiana who just visited Lincoln this past weekend with the Louisiana Lafayette Cajuns football team. He was treated to normalcy in Nebraska and found it to be paradise. Take a moment to read his commentary. Here is the link to his article: CLICK HERE

I have to say, it isn't JUST game day that most Nebraskans are kind and friendly like this. You can find a friendly face and conversation all over the great state of Nebraska, from way out by Kimball in western Nebraska to downtown Omaha on the eastern border of Nebraska. Kindness and camaraderie is abundant.

So, if you go for a visit - don't be so shocked at what you will find. And you will find it, there! And maybe one day, you will find me living there again... There is no place like Nebraska.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Daybook, Entry #2

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, Sept 28, 2009...

Outside my window... Overcast and Smoky. There is a big forest fire around here somewhere... The smoke is wafting our way. However, more fun than what is out my WINDOW is what was out my front door this morning! Six steps outside the front door on the lawn was that mama deer and her two babies that visited us last week! They must come around often as Pops has seen some tracks and scat... ick, I know. I think the kids will reconsider rolling around in the grass, now.

I am thinking... That there is no good reason to have dust. Let's just BAN dust from our homes and see if it will stay away when it reads the sign. You know... kind of like a "No Solicitors" sign, only it will say, "NO DUST, THANK YOU." I'll keep you posted, but don't get your hopes up.

I am thankful for... Antacids. This might be quite the hairy little babe!! In fact, I had a dream a few weeks ago that our baby was born with lots and lots of (dark) hair. That was shocking dream to me, as I have babies with nearly bald heads - peach fuzz is all they seem to get! My "baby" in the dream had a head full of hair like Amy's (my very dear friend in Nebraska) second baby had when she was born. I had never seen so much hair on a baby! I was so jealous! Here I had a four month old bald/peach fuzzy Branch with head wraps or hats and she had a couple week old baby who NEEDED barrettes!! :)

From the learning rooms... Week 7 of our lesson plans. Bud and Branch are doing well and enjoying learning some new things. This week some books should be arriving so that I can get organized to have more structure and guidance for a preschool program for my little Blossom. I'll tell you more about it as we go along... I have a lot to plan!

From the kitchen... Pops is planning to make a big pot of chili... I think that calls for a pan of cinnamon rolls! We also have some work to do. Pops bought a whole-in-bag NY Strip and we will cut the steaks to size, vacuum seal and freeze. Mmmmmm... steak.

I am wearing... Pajamas, still. I was overseeing baths this morning. When I went to hop into my own shower... Bud was just finishing getting a haircut from Pops in my bathroom and needed to hop in to shower off all those little hairs. I'M NEXT. I insist!! Then, I will put on a plum long sleeved t-shirt and a calf-length denim skirt. I think I will dig out a fluffy pair of socks, too. (It is nearly 11 am and it is only 59 degrees!)

I am creating... Oh, my... I was up late last night. I made a goofy little ditty for my hubby. I have to get one more little item to finish it off and will take pictures after that. It deserves its own post! Otherwise, still working on that diaper bag and maternity skirt.

I am going... To love my kids with extra hugs and kisses today and all week. Sometimes we forget that they need all that lovin' and we move from one task to the next. This week... is gonna be full of love!

I am reading... About week 30 for pregnancy. This babe should be about 16 inches long and weigh around 3 pounds by now. WOW... we must be getting closer! The treekids love to hear about the baby's size and what it might be doing right now!

I am hoping...To stay "on top" of Mt Washmore all week. If I do, then this weekend I won't have to start a big mountain again!!!

I am hearing... My girls being silly as they draw in their tablets. I also hear Branch telling Blossom how to write some letters in cursive! I also hear Bud humming away in his room with the sounds of leggos in a bucket. What? Wait... what was that other sound... OH, grrrrrrr. That was the sound of the shower door in my bathroom. I was next. I WAS NEXT! Oh, well... Pops is fast.

Around the house... Talked to a neighbor. They spotted raccoons making the same mess in their yard as we have in our yard. Pops has spread poison to kill the insects and grubs that they appear to be after in tearing up our sod. If this doesn't work... traps. They will NOT just quit until the bugs are gone, so we may have to remove them instead. Pops was thinking live traps and taking them up to some remote mountain location. I think that is far to kind. I believe execution is called for. He said, "Oh, what did they ever do to you?" I said, "DID YOU SEE THE YARD? First, they did that. Then there is the issue of the little critter that may have been bumped off by the said nocturnal beast. Finally, due to this mess, I do not like to go back there, nor will I allow the kids or the dog in the backyard. This has been going on for at least a week. SO, what have they done to me? Disrupted my life among the other things." It doesn't have to be a torturous execution. It can be fast and pain-free. But, they must be "taken care of."

One of my favorite things... Watching the flicks and kicks on my belly. It is even more fun to watch Blossom get her hand kicked. OH, the surprise on her face!!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Visit my midwife on Thursday for a regular appointment. Work through our school work. Get ready for preschool in earnest. Turn on my sewing machine to complete projects that have been calling my name for more than a month.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Getting a package is so much fun! Thanks Grandpa A and Grandma D!
We are working on getting a few packages ready to be sent out here at our house, too!

To read more daybooks, head over to Peggy's.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Solutions, anyone?

We have been having a bit of a problem in our backyard for a little while now. However, this little problem is turning into a bigger problem. We have blamed our dog, stray cats, wild turkeys, a raccoon, and now? A badger? (Does Oregon have badgers?) A small black bear? A coyote? What in the world is the creature who is doing THIS to our yard...

We put our lawn clippings as mulch/compost here and it seems that it offers a great location to find worms and other bugs and such. This problem began by "only" finding the grass clippings disturbed. Then the roots of that little sprig of a tree were being exposed. Then the rhubarb was getting trounced a bit. Then the orderly edges of the lawn were being disturbed. NOW, this...

The other morning (about 5 am) Pops and I found ourselves with two extra bodies in our bed. So, he took the girls back to their room and when he came back to our room, we listened to this screechy sound along with some scratching. He got up to look and couldn't really see much in the pitch black morning. But, we are certain that there was a "creature" trying to get back up and over our 6 ft. privacy fence.

After further inspection, we have seen claw marks in the corner of our fence. There is some evidence of fur in that same corner. The yard is becoming a real problem. Besides the lawn in the pictures, it is possible that there is evidence this (or some other) critter has taken up residence UNDER the lower deck in the back yard. This might not be a nice leaf and worm eating creature, but instead one with attack capabilities as I believe I may have spotted (shudder) the remains of one of our neighborhood roaming cats.

We are ready to get out the .22, but we are currently trying to stay as law-abiding citizens who live in town. We do not own a bow and arrow. We do not have a sling-shot. We have a hoe, a rake, a shovel, pliers, hammers, ladders and the like. I would like to see that this creature no longer is wreaking havoc in my yard. I would like to know that it is GONE. I don't want to "re-route" the critter. I want it "G-O-N-E... Gone from this life, Gone!" Sorry, the cheering is slipping into other parts of my life.

Anyone have any suggestions? How do you exterminate these kinds of wild things? We spray for spiders and bugs at our house. We try to keep things good to go around here, but I am stumped with how we are going to get this problem under control.

Our go-forward ideas to implement this weekend:
  1. Install electric fence around the perimeter of the fence.
  2. Put up rolled barbed wire, with a string or two of electric fence included, around the top of our 6 foot fence.
  3. Lay out enough poison to stop whatever it is dead in its tracks, right there as it tries to carry on with its current plan.
  4. Install a night vision, motion detecting camera.
  5. Set up "camp" in Pops' downstairs office for he and Bud to monitor the over-night activity.
  6. Turn a radio on to play human noise down there 24/7.

Any thoughts or ideas on what it might be? What should we do to "get rid of this problem"? I think that I need a Soprano family...

I plan to take some more pictures regarding the other evidence of the creature. If you have any ideas of what all to look for to determine what the critter is... please share. I am getting desperate. I am totally repulsed and won't let my dog out in the backyard anymore. Please help us figure out the mystery... I need some crime scene tape, I think. More pictures to come. ICK.

Yea, Rah!

The half-time show was a great success for our girls!!! Both of them did a great job giving it their all!! Big smiles, loud projecting voices, crisp arm movements, etc... no tears, no quitting, a great time was had by all!!!

All decked out...

Making their "mark" on the Cheer Clinic 2009 Banner!!

One more practice run for the Pre-K group...

And one last for the 1st graders, too.

Waiting for the band to finish their part before the half-time cheer show begins.

"T - A - K- E..."

"Take that ball away!"

Show your spirit... ***sparkle***!!!

"Orange! Black! Indians, attack!"

Yes, a good time was had by ALL!!

They are already ready to go again, next year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Go Team! Go!

The girls have been enjoying going to a cheer clinic and learning some cheers and some "moves." They are jumping, clapping and throwing spirit around! Tomorrow is the big day for their half-time performance... I hope that our little Blossom doesn't get "stage-fright" and cry the whole time like last year!!!

I think that the first day of cheer camp they might have been best off giving a pep talk about the importance of SMILING while cheering!! Seems as though it is serious business learning cheers, but the looks on their faces! Enjoy a few clips of the fun...







Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Events...

from the last rodeo we plan to attend this year.

Bareback - Hang on Cowboy!!

Saddle Bronc - Oops... off the side he went! He's lucky the toe of his boot came loose from that stirrup!

Bull Ridin' - Nice ride... scary lookin' eyes on that bull! I'll call him "Elvis" though... check out that curled lip! Hunk-a-Hunk of burnin'... uh, love? hate? irritation?

YIKES! LET GO... You're NOT gonna make the eight second whistle! Save your arm and the rest of your body, too!!

Hang on!! This one blasted out of the shoot in a furry. Just check out all that snot/drool!!

Seems determined... or, is he trying to not choke on a dip of snuff? Hard to know for sure with some of these cowboys! What a rotten habit... phooey. Blech. Hope he's just concentrating and intent on winning the money!

Barrel Racing - This little buckeroo was in the Junior division and rightly so! She couldn't have been more than three or four years old! The barrel that the horse and rider are rounding... is a standard fifty gallon barrel. That is a little girl on a little horse!

But, she showed NO FEAR whatsoever and gave her partner a good kick after that last barrel to finish off her ride! You, GO GIRL!

We had a great time... and I was glad to have a few rodeo pictures to end our rodeo chasing season to share with you all! There are lots of rodeos still going on around the country... just do a search and see if you don't have one nearby that you can go get in on before all the fun is over for the year!

Greased Pig Scramble

I did take a few rodeo pictures this past weekend... I think this was the last rodeo on our radar in Oregon for this year.

Side Note: Pops and I had been hoping to go to Vegas this year for the National Finals Rodeo Dec 3 - 12... but it seems as though it is quite possible that some OTHER pressing issues are on our plate for that time of year in 2009! And those of you who I KNOW live in Nebraska... don't miss your opportunity to go to the River City Round Up in Omaha... it is this coming weekend!!!

We didn't get Branch signed up for Mutton Bustin' and it was just as well... she wasn't feeling up to riding sheep, she said. But, there was a greased pig event that Bud wanted to try. The girls thought it sounded kind of icky and didn't really want to do it. However, Bud worked on 'em and told them that they never had to touch the greasy pig if they didn't want to. He insisted that if they worked together that they could certainly win - if the girls would JUST chase the pig toward him! It was a great theory, so they took the bait.

Off they went to the other side of the arena when all the kids were called out for the pig scramble. Blossom sure is liking the security of either her big brother or big sister these days!


She's not too picky... either Bud or Branch will do. But, Bud is usually more willing to encourage her to join in. Branch is kind of not so quick to coddle her and expects her to buck up and be a tough cowgirl! (Please note that all of these kids chose to skip wearing their cowpoke boots and instead wore their NICE tennis shoes -- grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...)


On the count of three, they opened the crate and let the little piggy loose... and IT took off running, as well as 99% of the children! Please note the child under the red arrow. She is part of the 1% NOT chasing the pig. The audacity...


Those big kids ran off without holding Blossom's hand!! But, things slowed down when the bull fighters had to chase the pig that ran under the gate and off to a safer environment without children!

OH, I hear ya squealin' little piggy! I want to escape the arena of my life for a few moments to catch my breath for five minute's peace every now and then, too... But, those chasing children find me every time! Whether I have hidden under my covers, in the backyard, in the quiet car, in the shower, behind my long clothes in the closet, in the "off-limits mom's stuff" closet, behind a tree, sitting like a statue and pretending to be marble instead of a real mom, walking down the street with a sandwich and a water bottle wrapped in a red handkerchief tied to a stick slung over my shoulder, they always find me! Please, other mothers... steal these ideas if you'd like. But, if you have any better ones... SHARE, please! It is for ALL our mental health I implore you, share your favorite hiding places with us other mothers!

Anyway, while little piggy was out trying to get her five minute's peace, Blossom spotted that boy wearing a red ball cap, gray t-shirt, jeans and what used to be a nice pair of tennis shoes! So, she tried to get her hold on him so she could get in the game with him!


Oh, but the pig was being chased back toward the arena! Bud took a step away. I was sure she would get her grip on him.


But, he was determined to get that piggy and he was fast like lightening and she was left there standing without him... again.


She turned and looked at the crowd.

Oh, don't spot your mama... hide hide hide - isn't this big ol' heavy camera bigger than your mama? Well, bigger than her face, but that brightly colored shirt and big ol' baby belly is hard to miss.

I've been spotted.


And she has had ENOUGH of this pig chasing. Why in the world would she want to chase that cute little piggy anyway? It just squealed and oinked when anyone got near it.

[Cue audience noise: Awwww, Oh, no... Oh, look - she's so cute! Oh, no! Someone's unhappy. Awwwwww...]


That piggy is not friendly and snuggly like our dog or the little stray cat that she has claimed in our neighborhood.

I'm done, this is not fun. I want my mommy and daddy. They won't leave me hanging!


Ok, so mommy will leave me hanging to take more pictures, but DADDY won't! He'll share his Salt & Pepper Sunflower Seeds. We're pals like that. Who needs pigs. Or brothers and sisters who want pigs. I've got my daddy and that's all I need.


Ha, and they didn't even get that ol' greasy pig! Serves them right for not keeping me close by!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We spent a long time over this past weekend doing an assortment of things. And wouldn't you know, I didn't get my camera OUT of the van. "Oopsy-daisy!" Thursday night, we drove to Bend. Friday morning we got up and drove to Pendleton. Saturday Pops and Blossom went to the Oregon State vs. Cincinnati football game in Corvallis, while Bud, Branch and I went to "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs" at the theatre.

I think I missed too many photo opportunities to believe. However, the one that is burned in my retinas is a picture of Pops walking in his black jacket, holding Blossom's right hand while she's wearing an orange hooded jacket and taking about 6 tiny steps for each of his "normal" monster strides. They are headed toward a bunch of OSU fans at the stadium. Pops is 6' 3" tall. Blossom is a mere 3' 4" - how cute is that!?! She turns her head up adoringly at her daddy as they head off for some fun time together - just the two of them! Then I turned the van on and drove off in hunt of a movie theatre before I drowned in a sea of tears.

On not such a sappy note...

We spent last Friday at the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon. We planned to attend the Westward Ho! Parade in the morning, but ran behind and missed that. However, we did get there in plenty of time to go to the rodeo. I didn't bring the camera out of the van for a few reasons. First, my back has been bothering me and adding even just a couple pounds to carry around means a fair amount of discomfort. We had to park several blocks away from the main area and walking with extra weight... yea, no, thanks! Second, we were headed to a bunch of bleachers and I figured that we would be up higher in the stands since we had not pre-purchased our tickets... So, I didn't want to be on constant high alert for some treekid knocking my camera bag off the bleacher so that it could careen to the ground. Third, and finally, we were going to a rodeo. I have a lot of rodeo pictures. I figured this rodeo would be similar to every other rodeo we've attended. So, why go through the other two issues to get pictures of something I've "been there and done that" over? Right?!?!


The Pendleton Round-Up is WAY different then any other rodeo I've ever been to. First, the arena was a combination of both turf and dirt. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be thrown from a wild beast EVER, let alone onto some hard turf! Give 'em the fluffed up dirt to break the fall!

I kept thinking that the arena looked more like a high school football/track field than a rodeo arena! It wasn't long before the rodeo announcer confirmed my suspicions! (Good luck Pendleton Buckaroos vs. Crook County on Friday Oct. 2... hope the horse and cattle poopie is all gone by then!! OH, AND I hope that you have a different practice field!!)

I would like to share pictures of all the "different" things that go on at the Pendleton Round-Up as opposed to any other rodeo, but I don't have them, so I'll just have to go again next year and YOU will have to keep reading for another year just to see Pendleton through my eyes!

Only one picture that I took in Pendleton... after we were loaded up in the van and driving away from all the fun - on the side of one of the walls of the stadium!!


Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck...

Pops, Branch and Blossom rode home from Cheer Camp last night and Pops noticed that Blossom had a nasty scowl brewing. She appeared to be so mad she was near tears. So, he asked what was wrong.

Her response...

"I didn't get goosed. And, I wanted to goose a cheerleader."

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Daybook

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, Sept 21, 2009...

Outside my window... It is DARK. Fall is on its way, it is pretty dark by eight o'clock, now.

I am thinking... That I will try to do this Daybook each week to help me get on the ball with blogging!

I am thankful for... Burt's Bees Lip Balm. Chapped lips chap my hide.

From the learning rooms... Week 6 of our lesson plans, this week! We did a strange/non-traditional school week last week. It was fun, but we are back to our normal schedule. I hope to take some pictures of some projects this week of some of the treekids' work.

From the kitchen... Gonna be baking this week... Cupcakes, probably for a gaggle of Little Flowers' Girls! But, something seems necessary for here at home, too. Brownies? Blondies? Cookies? Oh, I just cannot decide!! Something sweet, though!

I am wearing... Oh, this is a bad day to answer this! I have on a pair of ill-fitting shorts and a tank top. My hair is up in a ponytail and I am wearing NO makeup. It was HOT today - 97 or so! I tried my best to not turn on the air conditioner today - it is late September, after all!

I am creating... Lots of things on my sewing machine! I finished up a surprise for Branch tonight to go with a little ditty I made for her the other day. I need to hem my skirt and then I will take a picture or two of the things I have been making. I also have a diaper bag in the works and a few more things on my sewing list. Make something for one child, and requests pour in from the others!

I am going... To get Mount Washmore under control. I am four (or possibly) five loads from all clothing clean in our home - which will last for one afternoon, but it will last for that one afternoon and I will smile for ONE afternoon. Does anyone want a poorly paid job? I am going to offer to pay someone to come do laundry and be paid very poorly to do a spectacularly great job at it!

I am reading... Lesson Plans. Patterns. Other interesting blogs... I cannot get sucked into a book right now!

I am hoping... To try very hard to write on this blog Monday through Friday this week... Wish me luck! With a late start today!

I am hearing... Water running out to Bud's pumpkin patch via a drip hose.

Around the house... I have a bit of nesting going on. I re-organized the three main closets upstairs. I hurt my back in so doing, but I feel better for getting it done. I learned, though, to not be in such a hurry. I will take it easy and be patient and have Pops move my heavier items around for me when necessary. No lectures needed, thanks!

One of my favorite things... All the new little baby thing that I have been secretly snatching up here there and everywhere!

A few plans for the rest of the week... The girls have cheer camp/clinic in the evenings this week, with a half-time show at the football game on Friday. Thursday is their Little Flowers Meeting. Saturday is OSU vs. Arizona and Pops will be going and taking one of the treekids with him... to be determined which one on Saturday morning! Sunday is week three of working with the preschool class at church for Religious Ed/Sunday School (so far, so good.).

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Tonight, a mama deer and her 2 babies - out the front door, on our street.

To read more daybooks, head over to Peggy's.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Being Prepared...

There are times in my life that I feel very prepared. I have it all "together" right down to the last detail. Other times... I could have used a bit more TIME or knowledge on what was to come.

This past Monday was one of "those" times. I should have gotten everything ready for our camp out the day before. But, here is the rub. We had a busy Sunday and I had a busy pre-natal appointment Monday morning in the bigger town! There is always an excuse, I suppose.


If I had it to do all over again, here's what I would have changed:
  1. I would have known that the "confirmation email" sent to my email inbox after Pops reserved the cabin contained a code/combination that would allow us to get the key to the cabin out of the lockbox on the porch.
  2. In knowing what the email contained, I would have read it and brought the code along with us.
  3. I would have brought my laptop along with, even if I never turned it on. Just incase I needed further information - like a telephone number - from that email or any other information, like a code that would get us the key to the cabin door.
  4. I would have made Bud's Giant Cookie the day before and known that it was very a little crisp instead of soft and chewy, and would have then had time to make something else or another cookie!
  5. I would have been prepared to sleep on the (vinyl) mattress at the cabin in something other than a mummy bag. (On a side note, my pregnant body is aching more these days and I find it most comfortable to sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees... try THAT in a mummy bag! It is impossible - if you hope to zip up your bag and stay warm in the 40 degree overnight temps... Not complainin', just sayin'!) A couple of nice quilts would have worked marvelously!
  6. I would have brought instant coffee for Pops instead of the ground kind that he had in his tub of camping supplies so that we could have averted our little problem of not knowing exactly how to make "regular" coffee in a jet boil. (Ooooops! Don't pour in the coffee grounds until AFTER the water has come to a boil and you turn the flame off. Trust me on that one!)
  7. I would have done all the packing up of the food stuff and been ready to go when Pops came up the stairs and was ready to go, so that we would have only taken half of the items and there wouldn't have been confusion over what to eat for breakfast! (What do you want, a strawberry pop-tart or a brown sugar pop-tart? Nope. That's all there is. Which kind? Oh now, don't worry your pretty little heads over this... we rarely eat pop-tarts around here and I also had a container of strawberries in the cooler. It's just that Pops also brought a box of Honey-Nut Cheerios AND Brats! Now, who needs all those choices!?! We were gone for ONE night, and all of these items were consumed in part for breakfast... EXCEPT for the strawberries!)
  8. I would have worn different clothes.
  9. I would have taken different pictures.
  10. I would have prepared more in order to relax and enjoy myself more!
There's always next time, right? Or perhaps, I should leave all the chaos to the more relaxed members of my family and I can stay at home snuggled into my own cushiony, cozy, soft, 500 thread-count sheet covered bed. But, then there is the problem of missing out on the s'mores... for that I was prepared with an extra six-pack of chocolate bars!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Camp-Out Birthday

Well, our camping outing for Bud's birthday was a fun time!

This year, Bud requested a "Giant Cookie" instead of a cake for his birthday. So, I baked it up and decorated it like a baseball...


It looked ok, but the taste... was NOT a cake!! I don't really love cake, but giant cookies are not on my radar at all! They are hard to bake, as you don't really know how long to bake them! Turns out, I baked this one too long to be a chewy cookie. So, it was a bit crispy and that is not my preference. I have suggested that I would be happy to make cupcakes as a treat ... I am thinking "Black Bottom Cupcakes"... mmmmmm, yes! That will be this afternoon I think!

Anyway, present time is a fun treat, too! Blossom loves the present part. She would like present opening to go on for hours and hours!! She gets so excited about someone opening "HER" present!


Seems that Bud was pretty excited about opening this present, too! I do not know why Scooby Doo is so exciting, but this is the ENTIRE 1st Season... from way back when and it is a thrilling 14 episodes of mystery. Oh, "we" cannot wait for THAT fun to begin!


Branch likes to give presents, too. She likes to watch and make sure that the excited response is the one SHE is looking for in her gift giving! She keeps track of her loved one's favorite items and when she can, she aims to please!

She was certain that THIS "Dinosaur Cove" book would fit the bill for Bud - and she was right!


We got to the camp sight as the sunshine was fading, so we opted to take pictures of our surroundings the next morning. Beautiful, eh? Hard to believe this is practically in our very own backyard! Ok, so it isn't THAT close... but, it is close enough to run up here and enjoy just whenever! No pre-planning needed to go cook out, fish, play on the swing set, run through the trees, lay in the grass, watch the bald eagles, geese and ducks, enjoy the serene surroundings God created, etc...


What are those crazy kids up to? Well, they are collecting very important supplies for their building. Architecture Design 101 for small folks. We have had a fun and fruitful family school time so far this week! All hands on, not so many text-type books. Oh, well... back to those texts next week!


Blossom wanted to help in the building, too. She wanted to add something beautiful! What is she adding?


Oh, just a wiggly, squirmy, "lady bug" caterpillar!


She spent quite a bit of time collecting these creatures! She had over eight in her pocket at one time! She thought they were so cute and lovely. Yes, they all got cleaned out before we left the camp sight!!


Back to the building... They were fashioning themselves a teepee!! Bud is finishing up a unit on North America for Social Studies and one of the things that we talked about was housing... and we touched briefly on the homes of Native Americans... long ago. So, here they had all the twigs they could imagine at their disposal and they created!


Blossom was often found on the sidelines. Here she is enjoying her cup of hot cocoa. She sure was a BIG help to Bud and Branch!


Success! They could sit inside (one at a time) and peer out through the cover of the pine needles.


Blossom loved being in the teepee and she was sure about where and how big the door should be (just right for her), what should go inside (her!), and what should NOT be inside (anyone except her).


We did get Blossom out of the teepee for a bit so that Branch could have a turn sitting inside for a picture.


But, someone was totally and completely put out by having to get out for someone else's photo-op!


It must've been time to start cleaning up and working on getting home! Let's just say that sleep was somewhat elusive for a few of us. More on THAT later! We had a nice time celebrating Bud's birthday in a fun new way! Maybe we'll try it again for another birthday!!