April 28, 2009

Maybe I do have a green thumb...

Right after we moved to our house, I planted 4 peony roots. One died the first year. One bush of the remaining three bloomed the first year, but I was out of town and missed them. Last year, two bushes bloomed a little bit, and one grew the beginnings of buds, and then quit.

I have gently fertilized, pampered and weeded my peonies like they are my prized possessions for the past 4 years with very little result. This year, it paid off!!! All three bushes are either blooming or are about to. For most gardeners, I am sure this is no big feat. But for me, it is huge! I can make lovely bouquets, huge altar arrangements, beautiful little corsages, but gardening is hard. Trying to read a book about gardening makes my eyes glaze over, but with my parents and grandparents all having gorgeous yards and gardens, there's a lot of pressure (imagined). The weather has been just right, I must have put just enough water and fertilizer on because everything is growing amazingly. My flower beds look like I know what I am doing.

Sorry for the overexposed picture, it was dusk. This one is ruffly white with very faint raspberry stripes on the outside. Smells EXACTLY like a peony should smell. I love it!
The mother-load. There are 27 buds here. The only problem is this one kinda stinks. No happy peony smell here.
The unknown peony that has never bloomed for me. It's got a lot of big buds on it, I can't wait for it to open to find out what color it is and what it smells like!
An overview of the main bed against the house. From far left: white peony, oregano, poppies, hot pink peony, more popppies, unknown peony (the one that's never bloomed before), more poppies, coral bells, POPPIES, day lilies about to pop and a butterfly bush behind.
What the bed looked like 2 weeks ago. The poppies are at least double the size now. Mormor sent me a zillion seeds and I spread them last summer. The plants are really healthy and thick, so I should have to some gorgeous red poppies soon.
Here's my giant hosta in the shade bed under the hammock trees. This was several days ago. the leaves are up, but the inch worms are getting them. I need to spray them and then I'll put up some more pictures.
I have to say, I am so happy with my flower beds this year. Maybe next year I'll rip up some of the front yard for more flowers!

April 26, 2009

Rock Star in Training

Friday night Maggie entertained us with some songs with her guitar. She's got allergies and probably a cold on top of that, so she also has a nice, raspy smoker voice a la Janis Joplin (or for those of you who watch "30 Rock" - Jackie Jormp-Jomp). The funniest songs happened before I got out the camera, we nearly needed to make a trip to the potty!!! I am posting all five songs that she did for the camera. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. So precious!

Amazing Grace

Jesus Loves Me (combined with the tune for "Nothing but the Blood" but with maggie's own words)

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Jingle Bells (a favorite all year 'round)

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

The best part of the whole thing, though, was after she was done, she wanted to see herself on the camera. So I replayed one of the videos for her. She sat right next to me and got her guitar ready to play, and then started yelling at the Maggie onscreen to stop playing because she wasn't ready yet!

April 23, 2009

Rodeo Day @ MDO

Wednesday was Rodeo Day at Mother's Day Out. Let me tell you HOW MUCH I love theme days.

Quite a few of the kids got dressed up for the occasion (one little girl came in a full leather vest, chaps and matching hat combo!). I picked up a pink and blue bandana for Maggie that would work with the rest of the clothes she's already got. I thought she could still wear her pink cowboy boots, but they just would not go on. I swear she wore them last month once or twice, however, she has definitely outgrown them. So sad! I love those boots. Without boots, she wanted to wear her pink glittery flip-flops. It was chilly outside in the morning and I put her pink leggings on under her demin skirt. The resulting look of pink & blue bandana, blue shirt, denim skirt, pink leggings and pink glitter flip-flops was hip cowgirl. Not sure how I managed to be so cool. But, according to Kelly Webster, I am THAT mom. Kelly is the mama of Maggie's friend, Savannah. check out her cute freckles (click here)!
There were all kinds of games inside, everyone got a cute little cowboy/girl vest and cowboy hat, but the highlight for all the kids was the pony! One of the families that used to come to MDO has a horse farm, and every year they bring a horse for the kids to ride on. I was surprised that Maggie rode the pony without me. at the Greek Festival this past fall, she kept me in a headlock (no joke) for the entire pony ride. But, I put her on, took her picture, and away she went! It was so fun to see her having a good time. I took video of just the end of the ride. She loved it.

April 15, 2009

Great White Throne Burial

Maggie's fishy, Dora, died on Sunday. She started going downhill on Friday, so I prepped Maggie by saying the fishy would be dying soon, and pointed out how she wasn't eating or swimming around much. I waited until Monday to point out poor, dead Dora. She wasn't much phased by the news... I had already told her we'd go get a new fishy (fish are just not as emotionally taxing as a cat or dog).

The big flush.

So Monday after dinner we hopped on over to the pet store to get a new fish. My original plan was to get another feeder fish (best $0.25 you can spend on a pet), or a slightly more expensive fancy goldfish (they are more found and cost a whopping $1.99). So, um, I guess it would be a good idea if you DIDN'T get the crazy animal lover to scoop up your chosen fish. Because I ASKED for a tiny fancy goldfish, but what I got back was NOT "Yes, ma'am, which one?" but "Actually, we only recommend bettas for fishbowls." He had asked me what kind of tank I had at home just previously. Ug. I hemmed and hawed. Salesperson not budging. We brought home a betta ($3.99). Maggie picked out a beautiful blue male. I asked what we should name him, and she didn't know, so I started going through names she might like. We settled on King Triton. I think it fits.

April 13, 2009

Had to Do a Double-Take

"Mama, I have a hole in my shirt." {Look very closely at the bottom left side of her shirt.}

I almost didn't believe it she said it so calmly. Little stinker! She had picked up my scissors and cut a big ole hole in her NEW shirt. Like, just got it out of the closet a week ago when I moved her spring clothes into her dresser new.

That will be getting stitched up and patched, that shirt goes with everything she owns!

Also, please note the too-cute braided pigtail. Maggie's hair is finally thick enough to put in two braids, but her hair is so fine yet that it takes me a while to get started. I tried to french-braid it, and no luck. That will have to wait until she gets some more.

Resurrection Day

When Maggie woke up on Sunday, she got two surprises: an Easter basket brimming over with goodies from us, Gramma Sue and Gramma Amron, and an empty tomb!
Her cutie-patootie basket was jam-packed with stuff. I think next year I need to find a low and wide one, so I can display her goodies better... let's see what I find on clearance this year.

I got the tomb idea from "Treasuring God in Our Traditions" by Noel Piper on the Desiring God blog (click to see the entry). Anyway, I thought it was a neat way to let Maggie interact with the real meaning of Easter- building the hill then painting it, adding the crosses, and we even put a paper Jesus on the cross on Friday, then in the tomb with grave clothes. So on Sunday morning, when she woke up, the tomb was empty, symbolizing the fact that Jesus rose from the dead on that day.

He paid the penalty for our sins on the cross when He died, and his rising from the dead showed that His payment - the trade of his perfect life for our sins - was sufficient for God. No more sacrifices are needed, only faith! Yay!

April 11, 2009

Eggs in the Yard

After Maggie's nap Saturday, she got to collect the copious amounts of eggs we put out in the yard for Easter. And I mean copious - I had all these cool eggs I purchased on clearance after Easter the previous two years, and of course I had to fill them all. Of course.

She now really understands that the eggs are filled with treats now, and was so excited to pick them up.

In this short clip she finds an egg with Sleeping Beauty - excuse me - Sleeping BLeauty. If you try to correct her, it goes one of two ways: 1) "No, Mama. It's Sleeping BLEAUTY." 2) "That's what I said, Sleeping BLEAUTY." And, things are BLEAUTIFUL.

Posing with her bounty.
More Easter festivities tomorrow!

April 9, 2009

Dyeing Eggs

Wednesday night we dyed Easter eggs. It was not the ordeal or mess I thought it might be! What a nice surprise. I showed Maggie how to dip them in using the little wire hook-thingy, and I only had enough eggs for her to do one in each color (because I cracked several while I was draining them -don't drop the pan in the sink!).

Checking to see if she got her hands dirty. Silly girl!
Getting to eat one of the cracked eggs. She thought it was pretty awesome.
After a couple of bites, she shoved the rest of it in her mouth and chomped away.
After she finished eating her egg, she squished this one, just to see if she could. She'll be eating that one for breakfast.

April 8, 2009

It Was Worth the Drive

Tuesday Maggie and I hit the open road for Atlanta. My brother, Zach, had a 6-hour layover there from Seattle on his way to Kuwait. That's right, I said Kuwait - all the way on the other side of the world. He was recruited by a contractor for the US military to work in their mail processing center for the next year (he worked in the military mail when he was in the army). I hadn't seen him since last summer, and he won't come home for another year probably, so we thought it would be a good idea to get together before he left for this new adventure.

We got in the car just after 10 am, and pulled into the airport parking lot right as he landed! Talk about good timing!!! Maggie, Uncle Zach and I wandered around the airport for the next 4 hours. It was really good to see him, and Maggie had a BLAST with her uncle. Of course, I cried when it was time to go home.

I did make it home about 10:30 that night. I would've gotten home quicker, but the Georgia State Patrol were out in force, so the cruise control was set lower for the Georgia stretch.

Maggie still carries these glasses with her everywhere. And wears them QUITE seriously as you can see.
Snow at the rest stop outside Chattanooga. Snow on the ground April 7th. Ick!
Zonked for nap time. So comfortable.
Playing in a phone booth. We let her play in there for a good 20 minutes; I didn't know they were this much fun, did you?
Hello? Who's There?
I didn't get a good picture of it, but Maggie was playing with Zach's facial hair. Thought it was pretty funny.
The police who patrolled the airport rode on these Segway/tricycle contraptions. Right through stores and everything. The office let Maggie hop on up. She was mesmerized.
Maggie's good-bye hug. Zach walked us out to the car in the garage so he could see Tyler's car (grandpa car).
Please keep Zach in your prayers this next year. He is in a foreign - very oppressive - land, no friends, and no family. He is supposed to get a blog set up at some point soon after he gets a computer and digital camera, so I'll put a link on my blog once it's up and running.

April 5, 2009

Mooo-oom, Stop taking Pictures of Me

Look at that naughty face. Friday night we went to our friend's coffee shop for their "Grand Re-opening". Even thought we got Maggie a hot chocolate with marshmallows she still didn't want me taking pictures of her.You should have seen her face when Amanda offered her seconds on the marshmallows after she ate the first batch. Sheer joy!

April 4, 2009

Good day, Sunshine!

Wednesday April 1st was beautiful! It was so sunny in the morning that Maggie asked for her sunglasses. Here we are on our way to Mother's Day Out.And in her car seat, ready to go. And after MDO, we headed over to Savannah's house for a minute. They found some grape hyacinth growing in the grass and Maggie thought that s hysterical apparently. Could she BE any more beautiful? Did you notice the color of the sky? Perfect!

Resurrection Eggs

A couple of years ago I had heard about "Resurrection Eggs" so I thought I would check them out. You can make your own (you can google it), but I found some a month or two after Easter last year or 2 years ago clearanced for 90% off, which was a good thing because they are expensive.

They are an inventive and cute way to walk through the meaning of Easter, Jesus' last week of of life, His death on the cross and Resurrection. Each egg contains a little trinket to symbolize some part of the story. Maggie LOVES to go through the carton talk about each item and what it means. It's really neat as she gets older she can comprehend things more and more, and we can talk about what a wonderful sacrifice He has made for us.