Friday, November 25, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Feed the Birds

Just behind our house is Glover Archbold Park.  This is a narrow strip of National Park that runs right through the center of DC and provides a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.  We have walked through this park on several occasions stopping to throw rocks in the stream, pick up trash left along the trail, and look for wildlife.  Usually we only see various types of birds on our rambles through the woods, but a few times we have come across deer -- always a treat for the boys.  Our latest service leaf called for making winter bird feeders for the birds that don't migrate for the winter.  So, using this very helpful and easy recipe, we bought some bird seed (well, 10 lbs. actually since we couldn't find it in a smaller quantity), chose our shapes/molds (cookie cutters) and set to work. 

The whole process took under 30 minutes and then we left our creations overnight to harden.  We think they turned out quite nicely and were very pleased with the results.  Next time, however, we will spray all the cookie cutters with cooking spray before we fill them, it makes removing the final product infinitely easier.

Our last step was to head outside and hang them for the birds to find and devour, hopefully anyway. 

 While in the forest we happened upon two enormous owls swooping in and out among the tree tops (sorry, no pictures, it was getting dark and they were pretty far above us).  I don't think the owls will appreciate our offerings, but hopefully some other birds will.   

In a few days, we'll check on the feeders and perhaps make a few more to replace them, we certainly have plenty of leftover seed since we quadrupled the recipe and still only managed to use 3 cups.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- unexpected packages in the mail

- dining al fresco in November

- piles of leaves everywhere which means endless fun for the under 6 set

- productive days where everything on the "to do" list gets crossed off

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- Mo Willems, if you are not familiar with his Pigeon books or Elephant and Piggie series, you are missing out (whether you have kids or not) -- if you do know these books then you will likely be thrilled to know that there is a new book coming out early next year in each of these series: The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? and Listen to My Trumpet!

- Tums: 9 weeks to go and the heartburn is constant, antacids don't make it go away, but they provide relief when I just can't stand it anymore

- that the weather is still warm enough I don't need to wear nylons to church, oh, how my pregnant self hates those things!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- these to look at every time we leave and return home...hopefully we'll have them for a few days longer before all the leaves fall

- this banana bread recipe -- when you Google "World's Best Banana Bread" this tops the list of results -- I don't know that it's the best in the world, but we made it today and it's pretty darn delicious

- pie shops like this one -- pure genius!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- federal holidays -- Happy Veterans Day!

- my baby brother who is celebrating his birthday today

Happy Birthday, Lyman!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- not having to rely on public transportation

- short check-out lines at Costco

- successfully checking several items off the Christmas shopping list

- this scrumptious blog

Thankful November

Today I'm thankful for: 

- the end of midterms HALLELUJAH! 

- the celebratory spa pedicure I treated myself to this afternoon -- I know my feet will be under wraps for the foreseeable future, but it was heavenly and I loved every hard earned minute 

- this blog, she has such great ideas for things to do with little ones

- jam, especially boysenberry and seedless raspberry

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- beautiful fall weather -- I was worried that winter was upon us after the cold-spell we had a couple of weeks ago, but the last few days have been glorious and the forecast is for that trend to continue right through the holiday weekend

- leftover Halloween candy, particularly of the chocolate variety, and especially because my kids don't really eat it...more for me!

- Trader Joe's, they have saved my life more than once this year ensuring we still get a well-balanced, affordable, and delicious dinner in spite of our crazy schedules

- Kids and a husband who happily eat leftovers -- I have heard there are people out there who refuse to consume leftovers, luckily none of them live in my house -- how does one cook without creating leftovers anyway?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thankful November

Today I'm thankful for:

- light traffic and plenty of parking for school drop-off and pick-up (this is such a rare occurrence, it must be noted)

- new recipes that are hassle free to make and taste good to everyone at the dinner table -- tonight's was Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

- this blog, lots of great ideas for the organizationally challenged, like yours truly!

- parents who know everything, even the stuff that Google doesn't

- a reason to sing this song (apparently the title of which is "Fat Turkey," who knew?):

  There's a great big turkey down on Grandpa's farm
Who thinks he's very gay.
He spreads his tail into a great big fan
And struts around all day.

You can hear him gobble at the girls and boys,

He thinks he's singin' when he makes that noise.
He'll sing his song another way
Upon Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

- our wonderful and talented friend Nancy who carved out time in our her schedule this afternoon to take our family pictures (below is a sampling of past photo sessions)

- an extra hour of sleep last night, we all needed it and the boys miraculously slept in too, huzzah!

- midnight ice cream runs -- only twice have I ever had a pregnancy craving I just couldn't shake and last night was the second time -- Cookies and Cream Ice Cream never tasted so good!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thankful November

Today I'm thankful for:

- 5-year olds who read and 3 year olds who want to

- cinnamon rolls made from scratch by someone else

- broken parking meters, especially when the change compartment has been woefully neglected

- this blog's DIY under $5 feature, though so far just for future reference

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thankful November/ We Love Washington DC, #20

Today I am thankful for:

and storytellers dressed in blue;

Chickasaw Nation dancers;

 and a red, plastic canoe.

Teepees you can stretch in;

 and building a life-size igloo.

Baskets meant for weaving;

 and a temporary tattoo.

 A buffalo hunter in bronze;

and an outing with my two.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thankful November

Today I'm thankful for:

- babysitters who come at a moment's notice

- this blog THXTHXTHX which reminds me there is always something to be grateful for  

- the luxury of someone else to wash, dry, fold and put away my laundry

- high school marching bands who have no fields to practice on and therefore take to the streets -- an unexpected, but not unappreciated roadblock in the middle of my morning commute

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thankful November

Today I am thankful for:

A husband who is always in a good mood, always happy and able to make dinner, always willing to manage baths and bedtime by himself, and still at the ready to be my sounding board in the midst of being the solo caretaker of our children and home. 

A Month for Gratitude

Oh, hello dear neglected blog.  I wish I had time for you.  I have things to say and share.  Lots of things actually.  I even have pictures to post.  Lots of pictures and I know how you love pictures.  But, time is what I lack.  Lots of time.  

This semester that was supposed to be on the lighter side in terms of workload and homework demands is proving to be anything but.  I'm enjoying my classes, at least.  

But the homework is out of control.  And, I'm struggling to keep on top of things.  

Even as I type this I have a midterm hanging over my head.  Sure, I've got 12 more hours before its due, and that's plenty of time to finish it, but perhaps only if I don't also sleep.  And here's the thing about being nearly 7 months pregnant and not sleeping -- it's kind of an impossible combination.  And, despite the fact that everyone, literally EVERYONE, remarks on how I'm can't possibly be that far along because my stomach is just not big enough, whatever that means, I really am 30 weeks pregnant.  


I really feel like it too -- from my aching hips to my endless visits to the bathroom to my increasingly limited wardrobe.  And this baby is a mover.  My others were pretty calm, at least before birth.  But, this one, well, it never seems to stop kicking and spinning and stamping on my bladder and exploring my ribcage and making the most of its very limited space.  Especially, it seems, when I am parked in front of the computer, drafting papers, writing essays and praying for inspiration.  In case you were wondering, it is hard to focus on anything academic when the baby inside you is doing calisthenics. 

But, despite my stress and filled to overflowing calendar and discomfort, I'm grateful for all of this.  I am happy knowing that in 10 weeks (wow, that's a long time from now!) we'll welcome another member into our family.  I'm happy being in school and daily edging one step closer to this degree that I am working so hard to earn.  I'm happy to have a busy calendar full of lots more than just assignment due dates (though, there are plenty of those).

I'm grateful for all these things and so many more.  I'm grateful for November and being reminded of the importance of giving thanks.  Maybe I'll try to be a little less neglectful of my blog this month in an effort to be a little more grateful for, well, everything.  Even my midterms...okay, that might be going overboard.     

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Halloween

We've had a very festive, busy, and fun Halloween.  We cut, frosted and gorged ourselves on ghost and goblin shaped cookies, we carved pumpkins and were up to our elbows in seeds and slime, we went to a community costume party, we trunk or treated and then trick or treated just for good measure.  And now, our costumes are off and ready to be cleaned and packed away, we've sorted the candy and other goodies, we've watched "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," and tomorrow we'll toss our pumpkins before they start to mold.  It was a good year.



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