Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ants and Swimming and a Birthday Boy and such


We are finishing up our science book on insects.  We did an experiment with ants.  They each had to think of something that they didn't think the ants would go through to get to food.  Isaac picked toothpaste; Maggie picked mustard;  Silas picked dish soap;  Eden picked vinegar.  They put blobs of jelly out on paper plates and put their item in a circle around each. And of course one plate without anything but jelly as the control.  Then we came back about every half hour to see what would happen. What do you think?






At first the ants avoided all the plates except the control, then as the different items dried, they ventured over them.  All except for the dish soap.  Even after it dried, there were very few ants on the dish soap one.



Kissy Kiki.





Nothing Eden wears every surprises me.




Now and then Art and I actually get in a picture.



Visiting with the Grand-kitty. 




Pizza and Donut still aren't what you'd call the best of friends but they are starting to tolerate each other and Donut doesn't hiss at all the other animals like she used to, so that's progress. 



Maggie is great working with Laz and Kiki.






Summer swimming.















Turns out Laz is not a big fan of the big pool unless someone big is in with him holding him the whole time.  But he very much enjoys his little set up in the turtle pool right nearby.  He has the hose on mist and feels so powerful spraying it everywhere.  




And the last birthday of the year is Isaac's.  And he was very excited!  We started the day out with donuts from Granny's Donuts.  We sat out on the back deck on our new-to-us outdoor furniture.  We were very blessed to be given an entire patio set in great condition by some neighbors down the street who were moving.  Our whole house is full of furniture that was either free, curb-side, or Craigslist.  There are only a few things we have that were bought new.  I love free stuff!  









And we are ready to party!
 


Guess who's NINE years old??






Minion cupcakes, with chocolate mint cupcakes by Isaac's request on the bottom layer.






Somebody likes cupcakes!











This picture cracked me up.  A picture's worth a thousand words.  Hmmm...  wonder what this one is trying to say?  LOL!










Hannah's fresh from work hair.  










One of the biggest hits was a Lord of the Rings companion book.  Hannah got Silas a Hobbit one for his birthday and Isaac really wanted a LOTR one.  All four kids gravitated over immediately and there was some excited discussion for several minutes.












The time of year when my kids get new clothes - their birthday!  Isaac modeling some outfits from Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Lori's family, and from Hannah and Windsor.  He's all set now!






 Handsome boy.  Nine years old... where did the time go?

Happy birthday little man!




Sunday morning, ready for church.




Hannah and Daddy ready for church. <3 <3 
(my angel and my knight in shining armor)




I love Kiki's hair after Windsor takes it out and it is all puffy and fluffy and cotton candy.  She looks FABulous.  Unfortunately, it won't stay like that, but I think she's so cute.





I saw this phone lying on the dresser and it made me smile.  One of the areas that Art has worked extensively in is with Motorola cell phones in south Florida.  Since the time he started working there as a test engineer 23 years ago, test employees are often given the opportunity to have discarded test phones for free.  So for years, I have had the benefit of being able to use the latest phones.  Not all of them work at first, but Art knows how to take them apart and fix just about anything.  I don't even know the names of all the phones I have used, flat skinny phones and phones that swivel and phones that open up, and now Canaan and I love our Droids.  Hannah has a Droid to play games on and still uses her Razor.  And the man who could use any phone at all, what does he use?  This poor beaten up whatever it's called.  He's used it for years and years.  I can't even remember when he got this phone.  No games on this thing.  No back light for his failing eyes.  Too thick to just slip into your pocket so he clips it to his belt.  And while it's possible to text on it, he never texts anyway.   

I smile because this is just how Art thinks; it still works and does the job, so why get something new?  When given the opportunity to have anything better, he always offers it to me first, and then to the kids.
  
I smile to think of all this phone has been through:  calls about adoption papers and travel dates, calls from hospitals, calls from home twelve hours away while he worked contracts through long nights to provide for us for five years.  Middle of the night calls with not much to say, making sure he was awake while he drove; middle of the day calls when he could hardly get a word in edgewise.  Calls to calm my fears.  Calls to say "I love you and I'm on your side."

And I smile because this phone reminds me of Art: not fancy, but tough, hardworking, resilient, beat up a bit on the edges, but just as good as the day it rolled out of the factory, or better, never pretentious, always dependable, faithful, humble and strong....

And if he reads this he will laugh and say, "You got all of that out of a phone?"  
It's the little things.

(And yes, the phone still works great; after all, it IS a Motorola.)



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Monday, July 8, 2013

Tea Party, 4th of July, and Hanging Rock


I have a good friend who has blessed us with many hand-me-downs.  This past week we received several boxes and some other goodies, including some outrageously beautiful dress up princess dresses.  I mean, these are Disney store dresses, prom dress quality.  My little princesses had a very fancy tea party with their friend Leyna.



Eden is just so lovely, growing up so fast.







Making cookies for Granny for her birthday!



4th of July grilled steak and chicken fahitas with roasted corn!



Doing fireworks from Canaan!







Kiki and Laz watched from the back of Canaan's truck, but Kiki really didn't like the loud noises and would hide behind Hannah each time something went off.



But she was brave enough to hold a sparkler!











Helping Laz hold a sparkler without poking himself (or anyone else) in the eye.











Happy little Americans running in the cul-de-sac.





And now... off to Hanging Rock.  We hike Hanging Rock at least once a year, but we may have to do this at least once more this summer.  It's such a fun place.

First off on the trail, Canaan caught a crayfish:



And Windsor was not impressed.






 Children whittling with their pocket knives.



 Such a beautiful place.



 Laz, Candice, and Isaac.



 Some friends along with us on this trip.














 Exploring...



 Even Laz made it to the top.  This was Laz's first hike.  This was a little tricky for us, but in the Baker family, nobody gets left behind.  We were able to stroll him up for the first part, but when the trail got rougher, we all took turns toting him and handing him up and down the rocks.  Not sure how we'll manage when he gets heavier, but we'll figure it out.















 Sweet sisters.  (Eden isn't that much shorter; it's how they're standing.)







Laz hiking down to the water fall.  Daddy got quite the workout.




 Enjoying the falls, so refreshing!
































Great looking group!




Okay Eden, now you're scaring me....



 Beautiful Windsor!











 Good sister.


 

Don't be afraid Kiki; I've got you!








































And a fun (but exhausting!) time was had by all!!!
If you've never been to Hanging Rock, you need to go some day!




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