Tuesday, August 25, 2009

funny for the day

From the Shoebox blog this morning. (well, really from yesterday. Details, details) Anyway, I got a good, out loud chuckle this morning and thought I share it with you. It could just be that I am weird. If so, don't tell me. Ignorance is bliss.

Worst Back To School Items

* Thong gym shorts
* Overly-sharpened scissors that don’t close
* Powder blue Sissy-Boy brand sneakers
* Spine Mangler—the ergonomically incorrect backpack
* Blank ruler
* Vodka
* Switchblade
* #3 pencils
* Ryan Seacrest lunchbox
* Formaldehyde wipes
* Bully-attracting body spray
* EZ-WEDGE undies
* Temporary teardrop tattoos

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A few random pictures of the young'uns...

Ivy and the neighbor's grandson let some chickies play in the pony stable.
According to Ivy, the chickies love it there.

Max likes these pretty yellow chicks and also one that he calls "Penguin".

This boy has more energy than he knows what to do with!

My little girl is growing up fast. :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

They're Here!

Our baby chicks arrived today! Wow! The excitement around here was undeniable. I admit to being pretty pleased myself. What fun to watch the kids squealing with delight and amazement!Everyone wanted to be first to see the little fluffy ladies. I could hardly get them from the post office guy for all the clamoring and "Let me see!" pleadings.

Nobody wanted to sit down in the car but we had to get the little peeps home. After all, they had just spent days in that box without food or water!

The squealing started again with, "Can I hold one?!" added to the commotion. What fun!
Ivy still has her little chubby baby hands. Aren't they sweet?
And look how "cozy" that baby chick is!
Four at once. I am not sure how many kinds there are. Some differences are subtle and I am not sure if the difference is individuality or breed. We'll have to figure that out.
Temporary chick house. Blissful children.
This one is missing it's upper beak. I named her Pinocchio. What looks like a stub of a beak is actually just the nostril part. It is kind of soft, like cartilage. I really will be surprised if this one survives. Maybe it will find a creative way to eat. But it had better hurry!

One of the chicks arrived dead. I guess that was the extra. The rest, 25, including Pinocchio, were fine and frisky!

These are "Rainbow Layers". Several different breeds of chickens that lay different colors of eggs. Blue, green, brown(?) and I don't know what else. We'll find out. The blue layers, mixed with a brown laying breed will give pink eggs--at least that is what I have read.

Our chicks are all hens. That is what they tell us. They ship at one day old but I think that there is some way that they influence gender (rather than just determine it).
I will have to look that up.

Aww...Aren't they sweet?! Both of them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Another laugh from the Shoebox blog. Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sad again.

A couple of mornings ago I noticed the lack of morning crowing coming from our backyard. I looked out back and sure enough, the coop had not been locked up the night before. After last week's removal of Indiana Jones, our only rooster now was John Quincy Adams. After noticing the quiet, I nudged Steve awake and quietly told him what I suspected. We went out to inspect. Mostly because we were trying to avoid having Annette find a mess. We didn't find anything at first and for a moment we were perplexed. Then we saw the feathers. Not on the bird. So we had a very, very sad little girl that morning. All morning. Fortunately, the reminder that we have 25 baby chicks coming this week cheered my little girl somewhat. And having a cuddly kitty to sit with you doesn't hurt, either.Unfortunately, little sisters like kitties too.
Ivy wins the kitty. Annette was fine with it, really.

Now to find a comfortable position to snuggle.
This isn't it...
I don't think this one will work, either.

Look at that happy kitty.
Hey, little friend, will you please sit still?

Ah. This is better.

And Annette? She was feeling better by lunchtime. Playdough always helps.

First fulll day of school.

Misha is helping Vitali with his worksheet. Vitali was soooo proud to be in Kindergarten. He kept asking, "What am I, mama?"

"Kindergarten" I would say.

"Kindergarten, ah. Yes, that's right. I am getting bigger!"

"Yes, Vitali, you are getting bigger. But you are still very little."

"I am bigger than this cup!"

"Yes, you are bigger than that cup."

Vitali just beamed. Plus, he is 42 inches. He is very, very proud of that, too.

Misha was a very good teacher to Vitali. I was actually surprised because he normally thrives on opportunities to be bossy. But he very kindly showed Vitali what to do and waited while Vitali figured things out. Good job, Misha!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Indiana Jones, the rooster has had to move to a new home. As big roosters usually will, he was getting nasty. It was comical in a way. He was sneaky, the kids had gotten used to keeping an eye out for him in case he was moving in. If you turned around and looked at him, he would also turn, pretending (yes, apparently roosters can pretend) to have never been looking! But, if they didn't catch him, he would sneak up and peck and occasionally attempt to scratch at them. All indications were, he would only get more and more dangerous. Since we don't keep them penned, he had to go. Decision was made and we told the kids.Our softy, Annette, spent all day and the evening in and out of tears at the thought of Indiana having to go. But the others kids varied from being mildly sad to trying to balance the strange sad-but-realizing-this-is-necessary emotion.

Misha, totally confused by this emotive challenge, opted to exhibit what he felt was what we wanted to hear, "Indiana is bad! I don't like him!" (said in babyish voice) Since it was obviously an attempt to please us, we didn't feel the need to validate his artificial feelings. We simply coached him by introducing the concept of "no, we are sad because we like Indiana, but we need to take care of our family so it is a good decision". We explained the difference between animals and people, too. Since it is always possible that he is not secure in the fact that if he's badly behaved we will still keep him, this is something we want to be careful to affirm.

Planning on putting an ad for a free rooster on craig's list, Steve was mentioning this to a friend at church. She keeps chickens and offered to give him a home. Her rooster would keep Indi in line. In fact, it was one of her little silky roosters that is our other feathered pet here.

Steve, Annette, and Misha put Indi into the Cat carrier for the trip to his new home. I tried to take a picture but only snapped one before my battery died. And the one I snapped had Max squarely in front of the carrier and, thus, Indiana Jones.

The good news is, the kids are okay with it now. Having Indi in a place where we can visit him is the best of both worlds for the kids and especially for Annette.

And, do you want to know something? When Steve and I turned out the lights that night, we both said how we missed Indiana Jones and even felt badly about him having to go. He was a good pet until the pecking started. He was comical and interesting and we never had to feed him! But most of all he was ours and we liked him. I am kind of looking forward to seeing him in his new place. I hope he does well there. At least he has a chance. Craig's list probably would have meant he would have been someone's dinner, or worse.

Oh, and one other thing: Besides being glad that Indiana is in a good home, Annette was especially pacified by the fact that her daddy, perhaps feeling a bit guilty, ordered some guaranteed-to-be-hen chicks online that will be arriving next week. The only problem is, you had to order at least 25 at a time....

Friday, August 7, 2009

One rule for a flat stomach

Have you seen those ads? The ones that promise that if you just follow this one, simple rule, your belly fat will just melt away?! I see them all the time and just now thought, if there is a simple rule, it must be free on the web somewhere. I just want to know what it is!!

So I "yahooed" (I don't Google, usually). The first result was this one. Pretty much what I expected. Read it. You will get a chuckle, I am sure. :-)

Have a good day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good week at VBS

A few weeks ago (yes, this post is out of order) the kids attended the VBS at a little church that is practically our neighbor. Actually, I guess that it is our neighbor since it is the only building we can see to that direction.The little church is up a hill and since their VBS is an evening one, the kids could head up there after a quick dinner and Steve and I could have two hours to ourselves every night for a WEEK! We had a great time and so did the kids. Win, Win!The church is very small. So small in fact that they were wishing we would start attending there on Sundays because their children's group could jump from four to ten! The childrens' teachers were able to spend more time with them one-on-one and, of course, the highlight for the kids was cookies and juice, crafts, and little prizes that they got each night. We enjoyed watching the pretty sunsets each evening from the top of the hill. The final night was a pizza party and we all sat outside and had a slice of pizza while another of the beautiful sunsets cast its golden glow on everyone. The prizes were unassuming. I am pretty sure that most of them came from yard sales but the kids didn't care one bit! A prize is a prize after all! Their crafts came home the final day in little bags.Steve and I enjoyed the walk up the hill each night to drop off and pick up the kids. By the end of the week, the older four made the mini-trek themselves but we still had to walk with the little ones. The final night was a little program where the kids sang the songs they had learned that week.Steve and I went swimming one night and out to eat another night. We also went for walks and had friends over to play scrabble and share ice cream one evening. I am already looking forward to next year! :-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Clearly, we have lost our minds...

We went to dinner at our friends' house last night. We didn't come home with a little aluminum foil covered plate of leftovers. No, not us. We came home with a PET. Not just any pet, either. A CAT! And, do you want to know who the softy is who caved to his little begging girlies? Daddy. Yup. Mr. Not-a-cat-person.
A black cat will be a photography challenge for me. Here, I forgot to turn off the flash so it, confused, thought I was taking a picture of a black hole climbing a tree and flashed for me. How thoughtful. Ungrateful me doesn't like flashes very much.
Good morning, little kitty. We want you to know that it has rained incessantly here for several days. Enjoy those long, waving grass fronds. They will hopefully be gone tomorrow...

Well, kitty, now you've seen us in our jammies.
You are officially part of the family...

These guys are thinking very carefully. About what? The cat, of course. What are they thinking? I have no idea, but I have endless speculations. They stayed up there on the hill like a couple of gossiping girls peeking out from behind those trees trying to look uninterested every time they caught us looking at them.

This new little guy is a hit around here. Annette and Hannah are out in the garage right now making him a house out of a cardboard box, some rags, string and an old hacky sack. Reports are that he loves his house. LOVES it. So the reports say.

He doesn't officially have a name but his name was Houdini at his old house. Hannah suggested we add "Hairy" to the front to change it to Hairy Houdini. Steve wants to call him Chyorni or Koishka, Russian for 'black' and 'cat', respectively. My guess is he'll just stay Houdini. We'll see.