Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just a Quick Hello

This crazy busy madness continues around here.  We keep saying "after this week, things will slow down". . . . . . well, we are saying that EVERY week and so far things have not slowed down.  But I am swearing, vowing, promising myself and the kiddos that next month WILL be better.

In the meantime, I have been working like crazy to get my hours in this month.  So we have been working lots of territory, some I have never been in before.  And we get rewarded by getting to see little critters like this cute little mommy bunny.  She was not very shy, which was a little worrisome but at least she posed well for her picture.  We are seeing lots of baby animals this time of year.  Yesterday two fawns were standing in the road with their mommy.  They were so cute all speckled and long-legged.

And we had a visitor from Arizona!  One of A.'s buddys is here spending the summer with her Grandma so we kidnapped her for the weekend.  It was fun to hear them compare how much each of them has changed and what they like and don't like about Michigan and Arizona.

We had a congregation picnic on the Sunday she was here and they all had a blast!  The girls got together Saturday night and made cupcakes for a cupcake walk for the little, little kids.  They turned out beautifully.

It was such a fun picnic, lots of activities, sack races, three legged races, water balloon fights, cake walk, softball, chicken trivia for the grown ups, and then they all made roosters out of solo cups and had a rooster call contest.  Strange yes, but absolutely funny.

And while the big kids had a water fight, the little kids made good use of what they left behind.

Even the birdies decided it was a good time to eat.  The mom and the dad were sharing in the chore.  It was so cute to watch them.  One would fly in and feed the two little ones and then call out.  The other parent would then swoop in and feed while the other one went off to find more food.  So cute.

Garden update pics coming up.  Everything is growing like mad!  And strawberry season is in full swing and we haven't even started yet!  Better get your orders in if you want some strawberry jam!

Friday, June 22, 2012

First Number 3

Just a little video because I am such a proud Mommy.  J. gave his first number 3 this week.  Z. gave the bible reading this week in our upstairs school and then we had to quickly head to our downstairs school for J.'s talk.  They both did such a good job.  We are so proud of them.

I started the recording a little late because I was trying to do it without making noise.  His opening words that I missed are "Do you like to read?".  Enjoy!

For those of you that I have e-mails for, I am sending you some other exciting news.  Want to hear the news?  Send me an e-mail at

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's Bugging You?

On any given day you can find me multi-tasking somewhere in the yard.  Weeding, gardening, watering, goofing off, umm, I mean, being very productive at something, all with camera in hand.  And more often than not, when I am trying to photograph something a little bug flies in the way, or sits in the way on whatever it is that is patiently waiting to be remembered forever in a photograph.  These little bugs apparently like to be photographed so I oblige them, then shoo them away.  Then we head inside and google away until we figure out what it is.

So, this post is dedicated to all things that are bugging us up here in the north.

Scudder's Bush Katydid nymph
This cute little guy will not be cute much longer.  It is in general a Scudder's Bush Katydid baby or nymph.  Scudder's Bush is a generalized category for all sorts of these katydid's and until I see it full grown I can't tell you specifically which one.  And when they are full grown they are not nearly as cute as this.  From some other photographs I found on the web it probably is a Fork Tailed Katydid or Scudderia furcata to be scientifically correct.

Brown Leaf Katydid
I didn't realize this little guy was actually a bug until I tried to brush it off and it started to crawl away from me.  I left my dirty gardening thumb in the picture so you can see how tiny he is.  Still not totally positive if the identification is absolutely correct but it is the closest I could find and I could not find the scientific name.

Clavate Tortoise Beetle
This is one weird looking bug.  When we were de-potato-bugging our potato plants I saw one and told the kids "Eww, bird poo" and then it flew off.  What?!?!?  So we found another and snapped some pics and googled away.  It is a Clavate Tortoise Beetle or Plagiometriona clavata.  Seems like they can do a little damage to your plants so we are going to have to watch our for these little guys.

Colorado Potato Beetle or Potato Bug
Our nemesis!!! We hate, hate, HATE, these little guys.  Although they are really kinda cool looking.  And they are awesome at the whole color coordination thing.  But they do terrible, terrible things to our poor potatoes.  So we have been busy plucking them, their larvae, and their eggs off of all three rows of potatoes.  Ugh, can't wait for their season to be over.

Green Metallic Bee or Augochlora Sweat Bee
This was one of those get in my way moments.  While the kids were loading up the paddle boat at the dock I was wandering and finding little flowers hidden here and there and saw these little flowers.  And this little bee kept buzzing in the way.  He was very pretty though.  I found him called by those two names there.  Scientific name is Augochlora pura.

Long-Legged Fly
Flies, flies, they are everwhere. . . and usually much uglier than this green jeweled beauty.  Not much more to tell other than that, scientific name is Condylostylus and there are a number of species names after that depending on your region.

I have no words of wisdom for you on this one.  Have you ever tried to google "spider" to identify one?  Creepy!  It just makes me squimish and I can't get very far, so for now she is our friendly brown and black spider.

Loads of butterflies

cute fuzzy caterpillars

Jeweled Dragonflies

So many things to "bug" us around here.  And don't get me started on the bugs!  Har, har.  Anyway, so many more pics to show you but my computer is starting to drive me nuts so I am signing off for today.  Love, hugs, and kisses to you all.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Home from Arizona

We survived sunny Arizona!  It was so nice to see all of our friends and family and friends that we have known long enough to be considered family.  We arrived Saturday around noon after stopping in Albuquerque and catching some much needed Z's.  It also insured that we arrived looking and smelling fresh!  Much better impression to those that haven't seen you for months.

We grabbed some lunch and then headed to my niece's graduation party.  Very fun.  My sis was hard at work making cotton candy for everyone.

I think all the kids were in a sugar comatose state by the time we left the party.  Besides the cotton candy they had a candy table set up with all sorts of sweets in different little jars.  Very cute.  They also had Eegee's (yum! yum!) and a snow cone machine.  She also had a blow up obstacle course which I think the adults had more fun on than any of the kids.

Sunday and Monday were relax days spent with family.  The kids all went swimming in Uncle Reuben's pool.  Monday friends from all over came to visit.  So nice to see them all, kids that are growing like weeds and meeting new little faces.

This little guy is so cute and such a pefect blend of his parents.

Tuesday we visited more family and then headed up to my big sis's house.  They took us kayaking down the Salt River.  We had so much fun and the weather cooperated somewhat.  It wasn't too unbearable hot and we got too see so much wildlife.  We saw more Blue Heron Cranes than we have ever seen and we also got to see wild horses.  That was the highlight of the trip.  Hopefully my brother-in-law will send me some pictures.  They have a waterproof camera and he was snapping pics for us.

Me and the hubby after kayaking.  We went to this fabulous pizza place on the way back home called "Barro's".  Very yummy pizza.

The cousins.  Proud of themselves for making it down the river.  Z. rode in a kayak with his cousin.  J. powered his own kayak and had fun going through the rapids with his dad.  And, for those of you in the know of A.'s perils with canoes and kayaks you will be proud of her.  She powered her own kayak and at the end decided she loved it.

Me and my gorgeous big sis.  Thanks for making our trip so much fun.  We love you so much and miss you more than you know.

Friday we headed back to Tucson to see more friends we missed the first go round.  Then we hit the big highway.  Sad for those that we missed seeing AGAIN!  Ugh so sorry, I promise we will be back.

So that is our trip in a nutshell.  And now we are back home in our green, green home and busy again.  Garden updates coming soon.  Everything is growing like mad.  And I am happy to say the cages I built around the plants the deer seem to like the most worked well because they are all still alive and growing.

Love you all!