Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 13-16, Lily's Birthday Weekend

May is birthday month in our family.  We kick off the month with Andy's birthday on May 4 followed by Lily's on May 7th.  I close out the month with a May 30th birthday.  Then there is Pop Pop Ed, Lily's other grandpa who has a birthday on the 11th and her cousin Lincoln celebrates his 4th birthday this year on the 25th of May.  Andy's mother also had a May birthday.
Luke's baseball game

This is Lily's first year playing t-ball

Here's Lily on 1st base!
It is amazing how much Luke's team has improved since last year.  

This year we celebrated Lily's birthday a week later than usual.  Andy, Evie and I drove out on Wednesday, May 13 so we could see some of Luke and Lily's ball games and gymnastics.  The party on Saturday was the biggest party yet and there were at least 30 children and we didn't even bother to count the adults that included friends and parents of the party goers. Lily got a trampoline for her birthday and that was the most popular while the giant slide was a close 2nd.  Pop Pop Ed and Pop Pop Andy manned the snow cone machine and were busy all afternoon crushing ice and getting sticky from the syrup.  The pinata this year was packed, by me, with small toys and not so much candy.  I must have overloaded it because when Ed lowered it from the upstairs balcony it broke loose from the handle and fell to the deck below.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.  The kids each had a ribbon to pull so they were not directly under the Rainbow Pony when it came crashing down.  Everyone had a great time, so good in fact, that we weren't sure they were ever going to go home.  It started looking more and more like rain and we deflated the slide so it wouldn't get wet.

and the pinata came tumbling down!!

Lily's birthday gift from her grandparents  Bichler and Foulk. It came with a balance beam also.

Party dresses

Trish and Chad's backyard looked like a carnival!

Deflating the giant slide, where's Tom Brady when you need him?!!

On Sunday after Luke and Lily had their practice for an upcoming gymnastics/parkour meet, we drove down to Rehobeth Beach and spent some time at Funland.  Evie was so cute when we finished our rides and went out on the Boardwalk she turned to me and asked, "Mamaw, is that the beach?". She was so excited that we had to kick off our shoes and head to the water.
Funland at Rehobeth Beach

Playing tag with the waves

Evie at the beach with her new "beach hat"
Saying hi to the horses at the farm.  This horse, Charlie, ate Evie's freezer pop earlier!
Saying good-bye

Jumping on the trampoline early in the morning. Still in our jammies!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday, April 24 ~Brrrrr, You call this Spring?~

As I type I am shivering and just about ready to go soak in the hot tub until it warms up.  Of course who knows when that might be.  I was so excited when the temperatures reached the 70s and thought that Spring had finally arrived.  Ah, but Mother Nature has a wonderful sense of humor!  Oh, well I have some wonderful spring pics to share that if you view them in front of your fire place or from under your electric blanket, I think you will enjoy.  Keep in mind that I did freeze my fingers getting some of the photos, thoroughly enjoying every moment!
This is the largest of all the woodpeckers (unless you can find an Ivory-billed), A pileated woodpecker

They make distinctive holes that are more rectangle in shape as they excavate trees in search of insects.

I always delight at the return of our Red-headed Woodpecker.  The red is so distinctive next to his black back.
The juveniles have a grey head for a while until they mature

Our best spring surprise is the return of the Red Fox which have had a den under our neighbor's horse barn for the last 3 years.  In the mornings they all come out to play in the sunshine.  I have my spotting scope set up in the living room so Mr. B and I can enjoy all the antics of the 5 young fox kits.  The mom and dad certainly have their hands (paws) full trying to keep them fed.

headed to the woods for a food run!

Last nights catch, looks like a mallard duck

Have a wonderful day!!  We are headed to Cincinnati this afternoon and Mr. B and Matt are going to see the Cubs and Reds play tonight at the Great American Ballpark.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 11 ~Spring Blaahs~

I think this is probably the longest I have gone without a post.  So long in fact that I had to re-read my last post to see what I was doing last month.  I am chalking this time lapse up to the "spring blaahs".  I know, I know, that everyone is supposed to be so grateful for spring, the melting snow, the increased sunshine and green grass but for some reason, even though I am looking forward to warmer weather, I do not relish all of the work that comes along with spring and summer that follows.  To me, April means showers, that means MUD, and spring flowers, that means DANDILIONS, and where there are dandilions there is crab grass!  Yes, each spring all I can think of is all of the work that is involved in keeping up our 4 acre paradise!  Paradise!  That is what our visitors and family call it, I have another 4 letter word for our little paradise on the Little Darby, WORK!  Andy has already been mentioning that the garden should be tilled until I remind him that it is under water.  Last week he was on the phone getting estimates for a split rail fence that he wants to put up in the pasture to replace the old fence.  I heard him say something about installation, his reply, "no, we plan to do it ourselves".  And I'm thinking, "when?".  The barn roof leaks, the deck needs refinished, the fish ponds will need to be cleaned and there are a multitude of sticks in the yard from the past winter and the spring winds that have been passing through before we can even think of mowing the grass.!
At least the snow covers up all of the spring clean up that will have to be done!
At the present, this is all under water!
Okay, well I feel a lot better now that all of that is off my chest.  Since I last posted, we had to put our dear Molly down.  That was soon after I returned home from Atlanta (baby shower) and Dover (Lily's art show).  Molly's tumor had grown and she was blind and unable to get up from the floor without a lot of assistance.  We knew that this day was coming but it did not make it any easier.  Andy helped me load her in the car and said his good-byes and then I took her over and stayed with her until she passed.  Strangely, it was very peaceful, mostly because I had listened to her whimpering for the 2 day weekend knowing how frustrated she was at not being able to get up or see once she was up.  Andy has said he doesn't want another dog so for the first time in our 43 years of marriage we have a pet-free home.

Evie, the dog whisperer
Molly never really enjoyed walking too much, but Shorty seemed to make it more tolerable.

Molly's 4th of July attire

It took us forever to get Molly to walk on grass, I don't think she had ever been on it before.
Lily was small when we first got Molly and I credit her with a lot of Molly's socialization..
Please do not feel too sorry for me, "for this too shall pass".  Once the weather warms I will be outside where I enjoy being any way, the inside housework will go undone until the week before the 4th of July and I will be too busy cleaning up our little paradise to feel this annual "spring depression".  I look forward to walking in the woods again, once the water goes down, and looking for the new wildflowers and those elusive morels.  A batch of morels, floured and fried in butter would do wonders for my morale!  Happy spring cleaning!
Walks in the woods

Easter egg hunts

Spring flowers

Migrating birds

Hooded mergansers

T-Ball practice