Sunday, December 30, 2012

Old Pics

These are three pics (of pics) that we came across at my mom's. We were freakin' adorable!!

Have a great day.

Summer Reading

Every summer, my kids participate in the summer reading program. If your local library has a program, please participate. It is one of those things that will make a world of difference come budget time. There are 2 seperate programs. One is for elementary and the other for middle/high school. I have kids in both. They read so many pages/books/minutes/hours, whatever you decide, and then they get prizes. Their checkout receipts are entered for a drawing, there are performances and movies, and crafts!

This was the last craft day. I enjoyed the poster and matching the characters. I'm weird, I know. It's also a great list of books. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my favorites!

This is Ms. Suzanne with my kids. She is wonderful, and we love her. She takes the time to actually listen to what the parents and the kids want and then does her best to implement it. To go along with a Frommer's giveaway, she organized a Harry Potter tea party for the England guide. That was fun!

There were these little beauties. You decorate them and then make them a pin or a magnet. The magnet is better. These were too heavy for the pins. After they were decorated, Ms. Suzanne had glow in the dark paint to coat them with. The first thing we did when we got home was run to the big girl's closet and shut the door. They really glowed.

Then there were masks. Can you tell the big girl takes her art very seriously?

The boy, not so much. His mask was just plain fun.

And the baby hiding behind her mask. Crazy thing. She gets crazy from her father.

The big girl won a prize! There were only a handful of kids in the upper grade program this year. This was the prize for the last week. Gotta love prizes!!

We are reading fools. Most of us will read anything we can get our hands on. Please utilize your local library. It's about more than just books. They have foreign language programs, computer access, internet capabilities, and most of them have friendly, knowledgable people that can help you with just about any information you need. If they don't have it, they know where to find it. The kids also participate in a book club that meets once a month and a Pokemon Club that meets twice a month. They also have Lego clubs, chess clubs, movie days, cooking classes, homesteading classes, farming classes, and so much more. Most of the programs are free. You would be amazed at how much your local library has to offer. Our library staff knows us by name and we get priority service because of it. That never hurts, either. 

Have a great day.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Family Pics, 2012

I love the fact that I have the following pics, but I am not happy about the reason. At. All. They were taken at my mother's funeral. It was good to see my family. Some I had never met. Some had never met my children. But we were able to come together to mourn and grieve the loss of a mother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. We were also together to celebrate her and her life.

 This is Big Sis. Isn't she beautiful? I love her like no other. She is my friend and my soul. She is an amazing woman and I don't think she knows it. Now it's in print for everyone to see.

 These are four of the reasons my sister is amazing. These are my gorgeous nieces. I love and miss them dearly. How can you not smile when you see them? They just make my heart sing.

 My mother had three brothers, one of which died a few years ago, and two sisters. These are my aunts and uncles. While I was growing up, we saw them as often as we could. We went for Thanksgiving and Christmas and, when we were lucky, a week or two in the summer. And football and basketball season we saw them ALOT. They are huge Arkansas Razorback fans. And loud!! I love it!! Those visits are some of my best memories.  
These are my cousins. Sweet summers. Laughing and running. All of us listening to Van Halen in GP's room, cranked as loud as it would go. That was the first time I had ever heard rock music. It was like the heavens opened up and David Lee Roth started singing. Magical moment for a kid who was forced to listen to Country and Western. I don't mean that stuff we hear today. Think ooooolllllddddd C&W. Dancing in my cousin C's room. That woman was quite the dancer, let me tell you what. R is the tall one in the ball cap. He is my cousin D's son. I had not met him before this day. That stinks. The other man is my cousin, G. And Big Sis. :)

My heart yearns...

Have a great day.

Bees Knees, Part II (And Now I Know What That Means!)

I posted (months ago) about taking a bee field trip. I have the pics to prove it. And now I can post them. I figured instead of a "year in review" post, which I can't remember anyway, I would get the pics going. Be prepared. It may be a whirlwind. Let's get started, shall we?

The pic above is us going into the zoo. I will not even go into the difficulty involved in this pic. The big entrance sign was supposed to be behind us. At least most of us are smiling. The boy is quick. You have to watch him when he's in charge of the camera.

This cute sign is in front of a secondary hive the zoo has. I thought it was cute. And somebody should clean off the lens on my phone. If you look over the top, right side of the sign, you can see the secondary hive.

This is the secondary hive, and the back of hubby's head. The bees flew in and out looking for flowers. Interestingly enough, bees won't sting unless you are trying to harm the hive or standing in their flight path to and from the hive.  Kinda cool. There was a queen in this hive. The facilitator challenged the kids to find her. The boy did. He is tenacious.

Honey bees are not just important, they are vital to our crop survival. They are the number 1 pollinator. Roughly 30 % of our food supply needs to be pollinated. Bee population has shrunk 40 % over the past 20 years. Colony Collapse Disorder has become a major issue for bees. Only the queen and the honey will remain after a collapse. All the other bees will fly away and start a new colony. Other bees won't take honey from a collapsed colony. Possible causes for hive collapse are pesticides, malnutrition, mites, viruses, and intensive agriculture. Pesticides are poisons that don't discriminate. They just kill. Some genetically modified crops are not conducive to healthy bees. Somebody help me up on my soapbox and we can talk about GMO crops and the dangers involved in that. Please inform yourself about those dangers.

One bee will make 1 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. I say her because the female does all the work. When a queen becomes a queen, she kills all the other possible queen bees. She flies high into the air while the drones, who are all male, chase her down to mate. Once they've mated, the drones genitals are ripped off and he dies. Just thought I'd throw that cautionary fact out there. Drones are fat, male bees that have one purpose, and one purpose only. They make baby bees. After mating, the queen can no longer fly because her abdomen is too big. The worker bees, all female, take care of the queen, feed the babies, build the honey combs, clean the hive, and do whatever else needs to be done to keep the hive running.

The bees knees refers to the pollen sacks they have on their legs. That's where they store all the pollen until they can get back to the hive. It's one of the most important parts of the bee. There's your fun fact for the day.

That's the boy in the yellow shirt. I guess he wanted to look like a bee. Strange one, he is. I love him soo much!! This is the beekeeper with the hive. He was asked where the worst place to get stung was. His answer was anywhere boney. It's like getting a tattoo. The closer to the bone the needle gets, the more ouchy it is. He was very good with the kids and loved his job. Love that!

This is part of the hive that the beekeeper showed us from the hive above. This is where the bees are taking care of the babies. What you don't see is the honey. All that glorious honey made me want to play bear. Interestingly enough, the bears aren't after honey. They are after the grubs, or baby bees. It's the protein they want.

We got to walk through the zoo to get to the bee hive from the education center. On the way, we got to stop at the butterfly gardens. We liked the giant butterfly bench. And the boy had the camera. You would think I would learn.

In the education center, they had huge displays of all sorts of bugs and yucky things. You should see the size of this beautiful butterfly. It was bigger than my hand! I like the "eyes".

Before you could get close to the hive, you had to suit up. I really have too much hair for the hats. Mine doesn't really cover me, but I got it on. The big girl decided she was close enough and chose not to suit up. Crazy girl. Aren't we cute? Just say yes.

It was a great field trip. It got us wanting our own mini hive. And when would we have time? Please be careful when you see honey bees. They are very vital to our crops, which means our food supply. Don't kill them unless you have to. Walk the other way to avoid them if that's what it takes. And eat more bee spit, um, honey!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I'm still here. It's the holidays and I need some quiet time. Give me a bit and I'll be back.