Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just taking a minute to say...

I haven't forgotten about you.

My life exploded there for about a week or so...and I've had lots of good things to blog about, but not a single moment to do it. So, just know that stories and pictures are coming...soon.

Just not today.

Because it's Barry's birthday, after all...and I have many things to accomplish. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trees, trees, and more trees...

Do you remember last fall when I told you about how we are taking part in a conservation program and putting wetlands in on our property? Well, late in the fall, we had those wetlands dug. But that wasn't the hard part...not by a long shot. Now that spring is here, it's our responsibility to fill those wetlands with trees and tall prairie grasses. Barry ordered 1,500 seedlings from various places, and they all came in last week. Oh my, could I feel the pressure. Luckily, the weekend brought nice weather...and Barry wasted no time. He took the day off on Friday, and he, Noah, and I got out there early and got busy.
Here are a bunch of the seedlings in the back of the Cushman. Barry showed me how to make a slice in the ground, slide the seedling in, and then make another slice right behind it and push the two together to seal it. This made the process go pretty quickly. Well, other than the fact that we had 1,500 trees to do!
Truth be told, Barry did most of it. I helped out for an hour or so here and there, but I also had to be watching the kiddos, making meals, and getting the laundry out on the line, as well as preparing for our guests that were coming for the weekend. Never a shortage of work, I tell you. Look at my sweet hubby, out there just slaving away...
Noah decided that all of this work was going to call for a front loader, so he went to get his...
And then sat to contemplate the job ahead of him...
And then decided it was time for a water break...
Watching Dad plant trees is hard work, you know.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Signs of Spring!

We had some really great weather around here this past weekend...sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and temperatures in the seventies. It was absolutely wonderful! I took the opportunity between all of the work to grab my camera, knock the dust off, and get some pictures. Here are a few signs of spring that I witnessed...

This is a single bloom on a Royal Star Magnolia that we planted two years ago. We thought it died, since the other two we planted did. But no...we came out to find this beautiful bloom and were so excited!
The ever-present sunblock. With all of the fair skin in this household, we have these little spray cans everywhere. This one made it's debut this weekend.

The kids, dressed in play clothes, and playing outside with their dog. Scout was a happy camper, and so were Kendall and Noah. They all went to bed early and slept like rocks!

A pretty purple hyacinth. Barry loves the smell of these, so I planted them all around the front of the house. We really enjoy them, even though they last for such a short time.

The beginning of my garden. This particular picture is of the raised bed Barry built me just for my herb garden. I am so excited!

These are my chives. I guess since they are in, I can officially say my garden is started, right? Although, Taffy gave me these, so it was kind of like cheating...but still. The garden is started. Period. LOL!

Two kids, happy to be playing in the dirt which will be my garden in a few short weeks. They were digging holes and seeing what kind of critters they could find...and let me tell you, they found quite a few! I heard Kendall (quite a few times) telling Noah all about earthworms and poly bugs and ants. He just hangs on her every word, and then spits it back at me when she's at school. I'm glad he's listening...Kendall is full of information!

I hope you are all seeing signs of spring as well...get out there and enjoy this weather!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Enjoying Easter Goodies

The EasterBunny brought the kiddos these totally cute chocolate dipping kits. I'm telling you, our Easter Bunny has really great taste. He didn't bring jelly beans or Peeps, but he did bring lots of yummy chocolate!! LOL!

Anyway, we got these out the other night because the kids were just dying to break into them and try them out. Each kit came with a little tub of dark chocolate that you had to heat up, a package of honeycomb, and a package of really good marshmallows...not the Jet-Puffed kind either. I also went ahead and peeled some clementines so they could dip some fruit too. Oh, and of course, the thing the kids were really hyped up about...the little chopsticks. They could not wait to get their grubby little paws on those! Here, Noah is trying to figure out how to use his...
Kendall got it figured out pretty quick, and was more than happy to demonstrate. First you pick up a marshmallow like this...
Then dip it in the chocolate, like this... looks good! Do you think she was enjoying herself?
And then Noah decided he was ready to try it out. Here we go...
I think they liked it, don't you? The marshmallows were definitely their favorite, but they liked the honeycomb and oranges as well. And they were so sweet to think of saving some for Daddy, since he wasn't home. I'm hungry for chocolate!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Bowling

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you know that for the past couple of years, the Kuck family has held their Easter get-together at the bowling alley. My MIL brings a big basket of Easter candy and cookies, we eat pizza, play pool, play video games, and bowl. It's relaxing, the pizza is fantastic, and most importantly, we are all having fun. The kids always have a great time, and it's nice to do an activity where the kids and adults are interacting, instead of the kids going off and playing and the adults sitting around talking. This year was just as fun as always!

I'll bet you wish YOUR family went bowling for Easter, don't you??? LOL!!!

Easter Fun

We almost forgot to color our eggs this year! I am usually on top of this, and have my egg-coloring kit bought weeks in advance. But not this year...Easter just crept right up on me! That being said, we didn't get to color our eggs until Saturday afternoon. I decided to try a different kind of kit this year...a sponge painting kit, which I thought would be easier for the kids.
They each did one, and then we started having problems. See, the dye was really thin and watery, so basically what happened was the colors all ran together and turned the eggs gray. Not very pretty for Easter eggs at all. So we scrapped that idea and decided to try to dye them on the fly. I pulled out some gel food coloring, added some vinegar and hot water, and we were set to go. Except that I only had yellow, green and blue. I had used all of the red making a red velvet cake, so no pretty pink eggs....bummer!

Needless to say, all of our eggs were dark gray, dark green, dark yellow (almost gold) and blue. Not very springy at all. But the kids decided it may be a good idea to jazz them up a bit with stickers and glitter, so we let them go for it. It helped, but let's just say that this was not our best year for pretty eggs! Barry reminded me more than once that it didn't matter, because the kids were having fun and they were happy with them. He was right, as always! LOL!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break? What break??

This week was Kendall's spring break, and I didn't have anything big and exciting planned, mainly because the rest of the family had to go about our normal routine. None of the rest of us were on break! Monday was a really nice day. The kids played wonderfully together the entire nice to see! And I was able to get some things done, which is always nice. Tuesday was my birthday, and since we didn't have anyone to watch Kendall (I had a couple of appointments), Barry took the day off and hung out with the kiddos while I went to work. We got up and got going early because Barry suggested we go out to breakfast. WAHOO!! My workload was a bit light, so I decided to also get my hair cut, which I desperately needed. The nice weather is here and I wanted a little change. Damon did not disappoint me! He gave me a sassy little angled bob, and it's totally cute! Just what the doctor ordered.

I came home, read my cards from the kiddos and opened some gifts. The kiddos got me a really cute picture frame and Barry got me 4 bottles of my favorite wine. Keep in mind that we can't get this particular wine in Ohio. He had to have it shipped to one of our friend's offices in Wisconsin, and then he shipped it to Barry. CRAZY!! But I am so happy that Barry went to the trouble...and I am definitely saving it for when my favorite Canadian, Sarah, is here at the end of the month! Then I sat down, watched The Office, and ate my chocolate truffle cheesecake that Sheri made me. It was a good day. Well, except for the snow...but I don't want to talk about that!

Wednesday we had nowhere we had to go, and nothing we had to do, so I enlisted the kiddos' help and we did some MAJOR spring cleaning! We did Kendall's room from top to bottom. We weeded out toys and clothes, dusted, swept, and cleaned the bathroom. We got rid of a whole bag of toys and just "junk", as well as a huge pile of clothes. It was AWESOME! I also finished all of the laundry, dusted and swept the entire house, cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen, seasoned my cast iron skillets, and made dinner. It was a fantastic day! And then, to top it all off, a girl came and bought my crib, which I had posted on Craig's List. Yee-ha! And even better, she also wants to buy my stroller, infant car seat, and monitor. ROCK ON! I am on fire, people! LOL!

I worked on Thursday, and Sheri was gracious enough to take Kendall for the afternoon. They went to a movie, for ice cream (big surprise there!!) and then to Michael's for a craft item to work on. Kendall was thrilled to get in plenty of time snuggling with Sheri's bunny, George, who is always a hit with the kids. Would you believe that George is like 12 years old??? That's positively ANCIENT for a bunny!And today, my sis and I took the kiddos to IKEA. They had a ball in the play area, and Jess and I got a little shopping done. I got some new pictures and things for my office and some frames for the house. I made it out around $150 total, so not too shabby! It was a fun time and a really good thing to do on such a rainy, dreary day.

We have a busy weekend coming up, but I'm looking forward to the craziness and seeing all of our family. Hope you all had a good week too!!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Ask and you shall receive...

So...remember a couple of days ago when I said we were hoping to get one of our hens to sit this Spring?? Well, ask and you shall receive, because later that day, Kendall went out to collect eggs and this is what she found...A hen protectively sitting on 9 beautiful eggs. We hurried out with a crayon and marked each egg with an "X", so we would know which eggs were hers to hatch. Of course, as Barry pulled each egg out from under her, she pecked at him (like any good mother would), but we got them all marked. She will only get off of her eggs to eat. Other than that, she just sits there and periodically turns her eggs.

Barry had to show Kendall how to reach under her to collect any other eggs she may lay while she's sitting, so they don't get mixed up. Our sweet little hen gets more tolerant each day, which is good for Kendall. So, it looks like we will have 9 baby chicks in about 2 weeks! How exciting!

Also, in the "Ask and you shall receive" deparment...I needed a pair of shoes to match two sundresses that I will need for a couple of events this summer. One sundress was given to me by my mom. It's strapless, and white with a chocolate brown floral pattern and a faux belt. Very cute! But I don't wear heels, so I needed a pair! Also, I have another halter-style sundress that is an olive green with chocolate brown and tan in it. I have worn this one a few times, but since I didn't have any shoes to match, Sheri always lets me borrow hers. I thought it was high-time to get some of my own shoes...don't you agree???

So Sheri and I went out shoe shopping, and I said a little prayer, because I don't really like shopping anyway...and you know you NEVER can find something when you need it. But look what I found!!!
They are not overly fancy, which is what I like...and not overly high, which I like even more. AND they go with BOTH dresses!! Oh yeah, and most importantly???? They are comfortable!!! I am VERY excited about this little development, let me tell you!

And so, the lesson of the day is this...ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE!!! LOL!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Garden Lineup!

Guess what I did today?

I finally placed my order for all of the wonderful seeds and plants that will adorn my garden this summer. It's definitely my most ambitious garden yet, and I'm by no means a pro, so wish me luck! The problem is that I can't look through these seed catalogs and not be completely taken in with all of the wonderful looking veggies. I want to grow EVERYTHING!! Barry just shakes his head at me... he does that a lot!!

So here's what we'll be trying to grow around here these next couple of months...

Heirloom tomatoes (I'm so excited about these!)
Gurney Girl tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Sugar Baby Watermelons
Green Beans
Asparagus (which won't come up until NEXT year...)
Buttercrunch lettuce
Ruby Chard
Spaghetti Squash
Red Cabbage
Yellow Squash
Garlic, Cilantro, Chives, Italian Parsley, Basil, & Oregano

My, oh my...that seems overly ambitious as I write it all out like that!! Wish me luck! And feel free to stop on over to help with the weeding! LOL!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Some updates

Hey there all...I'm so sorry I've been a bit lackadaisical about posting regularly. Whenever I sit down to write, I always feel like nothing exciting has been happening around here...just the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. However, this week I was going back through some of my old posts, and I realized that the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives is EXACTLY what I used to write about!! And then I took that thought a little further and realized that maybe, just MAYBE, that is what you all stop by to read! So I offer my sincerest apologies to you. I will do better about writing a whole bunch of non-important details of my life for your reading pleasure... LOL!!

So, what's been going on around here??? Well, I've been working hard to keep up with Sheri and the new cooking blog. If you haven't stopped over yet to check it out, you should! We've been making some pretty mahvelous stuff over there. Sheri is a maniac...she's cooking or baking something new and exciting most every. Single. Day. I'm lucky these days to try something new once a week, but I AM pulling out some old favorites of ours while trying to work in some new things. I highly suggest you tune in this week to see what Sheri made me for my birthday (which is Tuesday, but she's already got it done...darn overachiever that she is!!!).

Barry has been working hard to get the basement finished. He has been drywalling, mudding, sanding, putting some laminate flooring down, and priming. Fun, fun, fun!!! I've just been trying to get a vision of what we want that space to look like so I can pick out some paint. He's been harassing me for 3 weeks or so now to get it done, but I have other things on my my garden!! It's time to plant!! And mulch!! So much to do...

The kids are keeping plenty busy with the nice weather we've been having. They are also really into building with blocks, legos, kid'nex and the like. We've seen some pretty elaborate stuff lately. Kendall also started piano lessons this month, and she LOVES it. She practices constantly, and is zooming right through her first book. Noah has discovered the Go, Diego, Go!! movies at the library, and that has been his big thing here lately, along with his unabashed love for all things Thomas-related.

My business is still slow, but I'm hanging in there. I'm really hoping things turn around when the weather is a bit nicer, as is usually the case. But if not, I guess I'll just enjoy a little more of the summer than usual, eh? Gotta find that silver lining!

My friend Jenny, from back home, is getting married this week in St. Lucia. She is having a reception the first week of May, and let me tell you what fun this whole thing has been. I went to the bachelorette party a few weeks ago, and what a fun time we had!! I was so happy for the opportunity to see a lot of my friends that I haven't seen in years. We had a party bus that took us to all of the dive bars around the lake. Here we are, showing our "WOW" faces...There were 80 jello shots, many beers, and a couple of different types of shots involved. There was live music, dancing, singing, bumper-peeing, and my sister taking over the bartending. There was 80's music...and lots of it. I distinctly remember Poison playing a lot while on the bus. The next morning was a little rough, but we persevered!! Can't wait for the reception...more peeps to catch up with!!
The chickens are back in business, and I have eggs coming out of my ears! I am selling free-range eggs for $2.00 per dozen, so give me a shout if you are interested. We're hoping that some of our hens will want to sit this year so we can have some baby chicks. Kendall checks almost every day...she really, REALLY wants baby chicks!! I guess we'll see what happens there. You can be sure I'll post about that if if happens!!

Kendall is on Spring Break this week, and I'm hoping to enlist her help to weed out her closet, dresser, and all of the other stuff in her room. It is a serious black hole in there. We might even be able to get Noah in on the action too, as he is THRILLED that Kendall will be home all week to play. On Friday, Jessie and I are taking the kids to Cincinnati to IKEA for a little shopping. It should be fun...the kids will totally dig the kid play area. And I'm hoping to find some new pictures to hang in my office. I'm trying to do an inexpensive "redo". Wish me luck!

And last, but not certainly not least, Noah has started saying "L" instead of "W". For instance, he would say "Wook!" instead of "Look!", or " I wuv you" instead of "I love you". And though it was so stinkin' cute...I am happy to see him enunciating correctly. I guess he's really and truly not a baby anymore... :(

That's it folks...humdrum details for ya. But hopefully this week will bring lots of pictures, funny stories, and good recipes for me to share. The kids being home always provides me with material!! Happy Sunday to you!!
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