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.
- 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!
- 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
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
- 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?
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.
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.
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.