Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Girls, Boys, and Construction Toys

My children received Duplo construction blocks from their aunt for Christmas. In the past two months, the blocks have received countless hours of use. Luke is especially fond of building airplanes, boats, tractors, etc., and can spend hours happily occupied this way. Lily plays with the blocks less, but it wasn't until this morning that I really paid attention to how she uses them when she does. She was happily playing this morning, and I listened in to an intricate game in which different blocks (not people figures, just blocks) were assigned characters: she was planning a wedding, and had a bride, a groom, and all their friends!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My baby sister and her violin

My little sister has become quite the accomplished violinist. I watched this video of her with 2 year old Esther on my lap; every time the violin stopped playing Esther would clap her hands and cheer "hurray!" and then say "Again! Again!" I can't wait for a chance to hear her in person.

Our Family Compass

Fill your mind with truth

Fill your heart with love

Fill your life with service

My husband and I chose this quote from Thomas S. Monson as our family motto before we were married. Last week, I created a family crest to go with it (please note that I claim no great artistic talent!). The water springing up near the roots of the tree represents Truth, the trunk of the tree is Love, and the fruit is Service.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lily's Twin

Lily made this paper doll today to be her "twin sister".
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When a Monkey wants to read...

Where does he go? I spotted Luke up in the top of the closet with a book and couldn't resist taking a picture!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Busy day

I think I wore Lily out yesterday. It's two hours past her normal wake-up time, and she's still asleep. We did have a full and very active day yesterday: I took the children to the Botanic Garden, and they ran, explored, and climbed trees for a good two hours. Later Lily had her Irish Dance class, which was another of hour of pretty vigorous physical activity. In the evening she wanted to come with me when I went to the gym, and spent another 40 minutes or so running, jump roping, chasing a hula hoop, practicing her dance steps, etc. No wonder she's tired!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Grandpa magic

My dad was here for a short visit last week; we all had a wonderful time! Esther, who was only 6 months old last time we saw Grandpa, climbed right up on his lap the minute we got home from the airport. I think I took this picture one day when she was traumatized from slipping on a wet floor after her bath; I couldn't get her to calm down, but Grandpa did.
It's too bad he lives half way around the world from us... I think it's our turn to visit next!
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Natural Weed Killer

There are patches of clover near our home that attract honeybees. I wouldn't mind either the clover or the bees, except that each of my children has been stung mulitple times. So I'm attacking the clover. Last summer whenever I was outside I would work on manually pulling the clover out of the lawn. I decided to try a different approach this year: vinegar. This picture shows my test patch about 24 hour after application--you can see the clover has turned white. Vinegar also kills grass, so you don't want to use it indiscriminately; waiting a week after application and then reseeding the areas with grass would probably work (and help the clover from coming back). I know there are broad-leaf herbicides that work well, but I prefer to avoid chemicals wherever I can. Regular kitchen vinegar I know won't hurt my kids. Just put some in a spray bottle, spray the weed you want to get rid of (it doesn't take a lot), and voila! Good for patios etc., but unless you want acidic soil it might not be a good idea for the garden!
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