Thursday, July 28, 2011

Girly A is THREE!

 We ended up with two little celebrations for Girly A - a little family dinner on the day itself, and then a bit of a party with friends the following week.  I completely skipped out on her birthday last year because we were in the middle of our move, so the friend party was totally motivated by guilt.  Yup, that's the good stuff. :)
Anyway, since I knew we'd be doing cake for the friend party, we just grabbed pink hostess cupcakes for the family affair.  Quite sufficient!

 We hide the presents and the birthday kid looks for them - we sing happy birthday loud when she gets close and quieter when she is far from the presents.  Girly A didn't really get that part, but the big kids helped. :)  But she certainly excelled at ripping the wrapping off and being tickled pink about her gifts.
 And for the friend-party, we had her little play group over, plus siblings.  We had a sprinkler, wading pool, and sidewalk chalk in the back, and coloring pages and play doh at the table.  And all the food was served via toothpick.  It takes better that way (scientific fact!).  (aside: Joseph's childhood photo album is full of birthday pictures of he and Jake in their swim suits.  I think Girly A's will be the same. :)

 I tried making a ruffle cake, and ran out of frosting half way through the top.  That's a TON of frosting on that thing!!!  So I just spread it out across the top, and I think it turned out darling.
  Thank you again to the internet for inspiring pretty things. :)

 Make a wish!!!
What a cutie!
At three years, Girly A is talking non-stop, finally potty trained, loves to snuggle, sucks her thumb (!?) and plays with her hair constantly.  She adores J-boy, and is his little copy-cat (much to her parents' chagrin at times).  When she gets hurt (or is disciplined by mom or dad) she cries for K-lady.  :)  She NEVER naps, and likes to sleep in and stay up late.  She is a darling little girl, and we all simply adore her.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy as...

 Yup.  We've got bees.  Joseph has been wanting bees for years, and I guess this was the year to finally do it!  They are absolutely amazing!  Joseph ordered 3 bee boxes and all their odds and ends, along with a smoker and a suit and a veil thing.  He got them back in February or March, and eagerly awaited the arrival of his bees (Did you know you can order bees by mail?  We actually found a local-er source, so we just had to go up to the city to procure ours, for which I'm sure the post office was grateful!)
In April we got about 500 little worker bees and one queen.  She was kept in a little cage in the middle of the workers so they could get used to her pheromones and want to stay with her always and take care of her.  It worked!  (I wish that would work for me....  I could use 500 little workers...)
 This is some renegade honey comb they built while Joseph's back was turned for a week or two.  Those little white things on the edge are little bee eggs! (We had to murder them when we cleaned out the unwanted comb - it was kind of tragic, actually.  But I was there for moral support and picture-taking, so Joseph got through it alright, and we didn't squish the queen, so all's well that ends well.)
All the closed up cells have bees that were in the final stages of development.  Sad!
 Mmmmm... honey!

This is a boy bee.  There's a special frame that has a slightly larger framework for the bees to build up the bigger honeycomb, and the queen lays the male eggs in it, since they are larger.  I'm not sure how that all works, but apparently it does, cause I watched this guy push off the top cover of his incubator cell and hatch out of his extra large honey comb, and he was BIG.  It was utterly amazing.  I took off my camera lens and flipped it around for a wanna-be-macro, and thoroughly freaked myself out by the size of this man-bee.
There he is learning how to use his legs on the big-fat-man-bee-honeycomb-frame.  But his life was cut short.  In the beehive, the boy bees are just loafers.  No bringing home the bacon - no, they just eat the honey the ladies are working hard to make.  So they've got to go.  Joseph flicked him off and stomped on him (I kind of gasped - I mean, I'd watched his miraculous birth just moments before!)  Then Joseph wrapped up the whole frame in a trash back and stuck it in the freezer to kill them all off.  Right next to the apple juice concentrate.  Makes me shudder, but, hey, it's for a good cause.  (cause:  honey and a happy husband)

Right now we have 2 bee boxes full of bee eggs and honey and the queen and stuff, and another box on top that's full of honey.  There's a little wire frame separating the top box from the bottom two - it's big enough for the workers to get up and make the honey, but too small for the queen to get through and lay eggs.  That top box ss HEAVY, so there must be lots of honey.  The bees need the two bottom boxes to survive through the winter, but we get the top one.  I'll let you know how the harvesting goes.  I imagine it will be messy.  :)

This poor blog has been so neglected, and I have so much to post, but I'm overwhelmed by how far behind I am.  So we'll see what happens.  I'm entirely noncommittal about any future regularity of posting, but I will try to update.  I still have stuff from April.  Ugh.  But I have learned that if I don't put it on the blog, I'll most likely forget it within a year, so I guess I'd better blog it!  Some sort of incomplete record is better than none at all!  Wish me luck. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Damage Control

Sweet Baby A decided to give herself a trim a few weeks ago - here she is, hiding her face in shame. Her hair was finally long enough to just tuck behind her ears (she yanks out pony tails and barrettes and headbands, so tucking behind the ears was actually a really good option.)  And then she gave herself a mullet.  I think this is a first for our family - I don't remember J-boy or K-lady getting fancy w/ the scissors.

I tried to clean it up a bit - curly hair can be so forgiving... But I sure missed her long pretty curls.

We needed to get Baby A a passport, and I decided it would just be easier to take the picture myself. Nope. :) Lesson learned.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Reunion

 Joseph's extended family enjoyed a reunion in this sweet little spot tucked away in a quiet valley of northern Utah.  Joseph flew out to meet the kids and I after our little visit with my parents, and together we enjoyed some good times, good food, and good company.  
 There were games - Joseph and Jacob won the horse shoe tournament!
 These two were inseparable.
 A little blurry, but it was so sweet to see K-lady greet Aunt Bev - it's been WAY to long!
 She was entranced by the tether ball.  It's the little things, right?

 Taking her little cousin for a ride.

 We enjoyed a few extra days with Joseph's parents and siblings - went to Temple Square and celebrated the fourth of July together.
 I took pictures for my brother-and-sister-in-law's family @ the temple.  Such beautiful folks!
 The kids and dads went on a hike while my sister-in-law and I made a pilgrimage to Ikea.
 They found and killed a rattlesnake, skinned the thing and grilled it on the BBQ.  Ew.
 And watched Tangled during quiet time. :)

 And watched fireworks from Uncle Jared's beautiful balcony overlooking the southwest side of the Salt Lake Valley.

 wobbly camera. :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

June 2011

We attended the baby blessing of our newest neice - it is always so fun to visit Jake and Jen!!
 Father's Day fun
 We got new patio furniture - so nice to have a comfortable place to banish the children outdoors.  At least for a few weeks till it became unbearably hot!  We've been diggin' the games on family night.  And a little craftiness on the side - a housewarming gift for my sister.
 When the weather turns good I get an itch to build something. :)  This was quite gratifying - quick and easy.  The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry.
The kids and I took off to Utah a few days earlier than Joseph - the drive was beautiful.  I drove through part of this stretch of the Flinthills a few months later and it was dead dead dead fried up from drought and heat.  Quite the contrast.
This is at a rest stop along Bear Lake - almost to mom and dad's!!!!  We had an interesting twist to add some spice to this trip.  In an unfortunate act of service, Joseph inadvertently acquired an infestation of cockroaches in our swagger wagon.  It was disturbing (in other words: resulted in days and days of scrubbing/vacuuming/bombing the van, more than a few episodes of weeping on my part, reaffirmed our no-food-in-the-van policy, and meant that all snacks consumed during our 20 hour drive had to be stored in sealed containers and only enjoyed OUTSIDE of the car.  Hence the nice long break at Bear Lake rest stop.  Might as well take pictures while I'm at it, right?

 In between my boughts of cockroach freakage we had a nice visit with my parents/sister for a few days - we visited Grandpa at his work site...

...and visited Scotty at HIS worksite - he was a counselor at this boy scout camp up in the mountains for the summer.  It was breathtaking.  He lived in that picturesque little cabin up there.  It was the first time he'd seen my kids since Christmas of 2008! 
We explored the camp a bit...

 And ended the night with a camp fire.  I sure love this guy!
 And so do my kids!
The last thing I did at 'home' was work on my music stand for a bit with dad.  It's coming along nicely, if I do say so myself. :)  That's the desk, all rough cut, and behind it the stand part is laying along the work surface, all clamped together and drying.  Next up: shaping the edges on the desk with a file and a router, and turning the pedestal on dad's big fancy lathe.  It's gonna be good.