Archive for A Day in the Life

Breakfast with our Sand Hill Cranes

Our sand hill cranes having breakfast.

Our sand hill cranes having breakfast.

Three years ago, we enjoyed the company of a pair of sand hill cranes. We affectionately named them Vern and Erma. They spent a lot of time just wandering around our property like an old married couple wandering around a park. We only had Nickolas at the time and he got quite a kick out of seeing them around. We would look for them if they were gone for a day or two.

Here they are, back in 2010, meeting up with two other visitors that we had that day.

Here they are, back in 2010, meeting up with two other visitors that we had that day.

They came back the next year but didn’t linger nearly as long. And then they were gone.

Until yesterday. We saw them eating out of our birdfeeders in the backyard early in the morning. Then they went around to the bird feeders in the front yard and lingered all day just as they had in the past. Well, who knows if these are the same two, but we’re going with it and are excited that Vern and Erma are back.

I have attempted to take pictures of them from inside the house, but they easily see or sense when I get too close to the window and scurry away. Although scurry isn’t really the right word to describe how they walk, if you’ve ever seen one do so. They have a jerky little strut–knees bending backward, necks jutting forward. Every once in a while, I get a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye as I pass by our windows and sure enough, there are Vern and Erma just strolling by.

I shot a little footage of them eating breakfast while my kids were eating breakfast. The kids didn’t realize their voices were being recorded, so they giggled like crazy when I showed them the video and want to watch it over and over, not because of the birds, but because they think they {themselves} are so funny.

I hope the birds stick around, BUT I hope they don’t continue to wake us up at 6am like they did this morning. I do remember that was their calling time the first year they visited. We thought we were being invaded by pterodactyls that first day, but now we’re used to their call. Although at 6am, it’s quite annoying, no matter how much we appreciate their company.

 

The Amazing Groh Kids

Life has been busy, but my blog has been quiet. Too quiet. Thought I’d post some fun stuff to change that.

This past week, my kids participated in an area Vacation Bible School program. After the first day, they came home begging to invite other kids to join them for the following day. They have good hearts, but this excitement was also greatly influenced by the promise of prizes if they brought friends. Well, prizes or not, I was happy to invite some of their friends and even though it was short notice, 4 different kids were able to accompany them over the next 3 days. I had my first taste of being a soccer mom–picking up and dropping off kids, arranging and rearranging carseats, scheduling times and routes. It was fun! But I’m also looking forward to a bit less running around next week  🙂

Well, there was an illusionist at VBS who really captured my kids’ attention and they have been creating and performing their own “magic” tricks this week. Here’s one of them they came up with:

The Amazing Disappearing Ella

Amazing, huh?!  🙂

To be fair, here is the same trick being performed by Ella:

The Amazing Disappearing Nickolas

I thought this was pretty cute and clever.

They each said a couple of other random things today that made me laugh, and that’s one of my favorite things to do, so I’ll share the chuckle.

On the way home from VBS tonight we drove through Panda Express for dinner. Ella’s friend was still with us and said, “Oh, I didn’t know Panda Express was Chinese food. I love Chinese food.”  Ella said, “Yah, so do I.” That’s all, but it just struck me as being so {obviously} funny, because, you know, she’s Chinese.

Then, while eating that Chinese food at home, Nickolas looks at me and says straight-faced, completely out of the blue, “America really doesn’t run on Dunkin.” Ha! Where’d that come from?  I run pretty well on Dunkin’, but I didn’t take the time to explain that.

I hope to post again before too long.

Dandelion Bouquets

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The weeks fly by, don’t they? I think we’re really done with snow for a few months now {“I think” being the key words there} and spring is upon us again. I’ve been busy working on my Grohing Up Together Facebook page and Etsy shop and had to take a bit of a break from my blog. I hope to be more active on here again soon.

But today is a beautiful day and we’re all hoping to enjoy some time outdoors. I was out trying to capture the beauty of my flower garden in snapshots and my kids wanted to stay inside. Until that is, my son heard the neighbor’s lawn mower start up. He has always loved our neighbor’s mower for some reason and is quickly dressed and informs me he is going out to watch “Mr. Gary” cut the grass. At this point, of course, I’m heading back indoors, but he doesn’t care, he wants to watch that mower.

So I sit down to upload some pictures and he calls me over to the patio door. “Mama, can you come here?” I turn to see he has a handful of fresh-picked dandelions for me. He tells me that he knows they’re weeds, but they’re still pretty, and a little sticky, and I take them and give him a kiss and a smiling “thank you.”

Just then my daughter shouts, “Can I go outside too?” I tell her that of course she can and she runs upstairs to change out of her Super Girl outfit and put on some play clothes. She yells down the stairs, “If I put on long sleeves can I not wear a coat?” I reply with another “of course” and get up to get another vase, because I’m pretty sure I know what’s coming next.

And after she has been outside about a minute, I am again called to the patio door to receive another {slightly larger} bouquet of dandelions, because one must compete with one’s sibling at all times.  🙂dandelion bouquet It’s a good day. A great season in life. A time to get up and get back outside and enjoy time with my kids while they still want me around. Dandelion bouquets won’t last forever.

 

Snapshots of a Snow Day

I love snow days. I’m sure that comes as no surprise. I love the anticipation, waiting for the weather forecasters’ predictions to come true…or not. Even though the powers that be called off school for today around 8:00 last night, I still found myself checking outside to see if the snow would start before going to bed. I was up again checking around 3:30am. When would it begin? Well, it finally started coming down around 7am and hasn’t stopped since.

I admit that I am spoiled and would not appreciate it as much if I had to get up extra early and shovel my way out to get somewhere. I’ve done that in the past and don’t miss those days. Also, as I’ve said before, I appreciate all those who must continue to work through this stuff and whose lives get harder because of it. Thank you to all of you!

I thought I would spend some time doing some creative writing today, but with the kids home, my time alone and ability to concentrate were greatly depleted. I could however, take pictures, so that’s what I’ve done. Hope you enjoy some glimpses of our day–snapshots of a snow day:

The kids dumped out their entire supply of vehicles and played together for quite a while this morning.

The kids dumped out their entire supply of vehicles and played together for quite a while this morning.

Oatmeal applesauce muffins I made this morning. Included chocolate chips in the ones for the kids and blueberries in mine. Yummy!

Oatmeal applesauce muffins I made this morning. Included chocolate chips in the ones for the kids and blueberries in mine. Yummy!

Next I pulled out a big box I had on hand and the kids got lost in their imagination for quite a while again.

Next, I pulled out a big box I had on hand and the kids got lost in their imagination for quite a while.

The kids love nothing more than staying in their jammies all day and generally consider it a great accomplishment. I hope this does not carry over to their adult years, but for now, it’s fun.

I got to spend some time reading while the kids were busy--in my favorite reading spot.

While the kids were busy I got to spend some time reading–in my favorite reading spot.

Got my crew working outside so Ken would be able to pull into our driveway.

Got my crew working outside so Ken would be able to pull into our driveway.

We were out from 1-2pm and I actually shoveled the entire driveway for the first time ever. I like to do it, but I’ll probably be paying for it tomorrow…maybe even tonight. Oh well. It was fun. We went back out around 4pm to clean it off again.

My ingenious kids--came up with this on their own in order to keep the snow out of their eyes.

My ingenious kids–came up with this on their own in order to keep the snow out of their eyes.

 

Retrieving his umbrella after the wind blew it out of his hands.

Retrieving his umbrella after the wind blew it out of his hands.

Enjoying the snow bank along the side of the driveway.

Enjoying the snow bank along the side of the driveway.

Just playin' around.

Just playin’ around.

And back inside for some hot chocolate. They got their clothes wet so they had to change out of their jammies.

And back inside for some hot chocolate. They got their jammies wet outside so they had to change into actual clothes.

 

 

Happy Chinese New Year!

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The kids made these great Chinese dragons in their art class. I think they did a great job! When they are not in use I have them clipped to our art display board which, this time of the year, hangs over our big humidifier. When the humidifier turns on it blows air and the ribbons from the dragons’ mouths dance in the air–it looks pretty cool.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we went out for “Chinese noodles” as my daughter calls them, after church today, with our friend Jim who is visiting from Tennessee.

Speaking of Jim, we have had a great and busy weekend, including a revolving door of guests, lots of games, eye dr. appointments, playing outside in the snow, fighting sea/snow monsters, and even a serious light saber fight.

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Trying out a pretty awesome game that Jim created.

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The blue skies of Saturday made for a magnificently beautiful day!

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Battling the sea monster which Jim painted on our pirate ship a couple of summers ago.

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The light saber fighting was done with most of the lights out, so this was one of the only somewhat decent action shots I got.

Surrounding Beauty

I had to post today’s view from that round window that I mentioned yesterday, along with some other photos of the area surrounding us. What a beautiful drive as I took my son to school this morning. We talked about how God gives us the beauty of winter, maybe as a special gift for those of us who stick it out in the cold year after year. Something especially for us to be thankful for, directly from the hand of God. I appreciate it every year, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

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Quoteworthy

On the first Sunday of this year, our church’s worship leader (thanks Cheryl!) presented us with a very inspiring video. One of the quotes that was included in it really hit me and I knew I needed to write it down and ponder it often. Every time I think about it, I am motivated to do something bigger than myself. Here it is:

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; suddenly you are doing the impossible. –St. Francis of Assisi

Is that a good one, or what?! Do you have any inspiring quotes to share? Please share them in the comment section. I’d love to hear more.

I’m Divin’ In!

Into the world of blogging that is! I still have a lot of tweaking to do, but I’m excited about getting started and sharing my thoughts, ideas, experiences and, of course, pictures, with anyone who chooses to look my way. Stay tuned, there’s more to come!  🙂