Tuesday, September 27, 2011

She's in Band

Tara is in 5th grade.  This year, she is able to take band.  She is playing the Alto Sax.  She is borrowing her instrument from her cousin Amy.  This Saxophone used to be her uncle's, grandfathers.  Her teacher told her that it is in excellent condition.

When she got home from school, she could hardly wait to assemble it and show Madeline and I how she plays.

Of course, the Henny's were curious about the. . .ummm. . .very loud "noises" coming from Tara.

So without further adieu, here is Tara with her first Alto Sax solo. . . 

Even Caspian liked the way she played.
Don't ya just love Madeline's style?  Gotta love the socks!  
It'll be so fun watching Tara learn to play this awesome instrument!! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trained Chickens

I've said many times that our hens are so incredibly friendly.  They are like little puppy dogs.  They follow us when we are in the yard, and like to be held and petted as well.  When I call them, they come.  Check out this video I shot this afternoon:

Madeline has been training them to jump for treats

If you have never owned chickens, let me tell you. . .they are such a source of entertainment.  We have so much fun with our girls Jasmine, Daisy and Dixie.

They love to perch in trees.
Don't they just look so happy and content?  Truly they are.  These hens are treated very well.  They get to forage and free range every day (almost all day).  They get lots of treats, and even dinner scraps from the table.

The only thing better than a good chicken shake. . .
. . .is catching it with my camera!

Sometimes they get so excited over table scraps that they lose all manners and just start flinging food everywhere.  Then they'll chase each other around trying to steal each others pieces thinking that it must be better than the identical stuff on the plate.

And what do you think has got them so excited this time?  It's leftover chicken and corn.  What!  It's a good source of protein.  Ask any chicken owner who gives their chickens table scraps for treats.  Almost all of them do it.  You know who you are!

Okay fine!  Let's change the subject.  This is Oreo our neighbors tail-less cat.  He comes over our house all the time to visit with Caspain & Faline, and to watch the chickens.  They are entertaining to him as well.

Tara and Madeline call this a "Kitty Kiss".

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waiting for their ride to school

This year, I have been carpooling with another family to and from school.  It has been such a blessing.  It is 13 miles one way to school, and gas prices are TERRIBLE here in Michigan.  Melissa drives the kids to school in the morning, and I pick them up after school.  Because our children attend a Charter School, there is no bus service.  Having someone to split the cost with is WONDERFUL!   

This morning, when the girls went outside to wait for their carpool ride, I was struck at how colorful they looked!  

Aren't girls fun??

Monday, September 19, 2011

Magic Kingdom Here We Come!!

So It's official  We are going to Disney!

The girls found out last night, and this morning, Tara asked me "Mama?  Did I have a dream last night".  I wasn't sure what she was referring to "I don't know Baby.  Why?"   Tara: "Are we really going to Disney"?

I am so excited!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

We're In The Midst Of A Cold Snap

The girls were at Riley's house after school playing today.  Her mom fed my girls dinner (Tara informed me that "it was really good").  We kind of go back and forth with that.  I'll feed her child now and then, and she'll feed mine.  It's kinda nice.  Really nice actually.  Anyway, when the girls got home, they were really cold from playing outside.  It's not really cold yet in Michigan, but compared to summer, it is definitely getting cold.  We woke up to 35 degrees this morning, today's high was 61.   It was in the low to mid 50's this evening while they were playing.  When the girls came in the house, they both asked if I'd make them Hot Chocolate.  Yes, it needs to be capitalized because it's very special.

This is our favorite kind. . .

So Tara decided that they would go back outside while I made it, so they could get nice and cold.  While they were out there they picked some flowers.

After the flowers were put into a pretty vase. . .

. . .they were ready to enjoy their Hot Chocolate.

Drink up girlies!!

Hot Chocolate. . .one of the simple pleasure of life.  Today also is a very important day.  It's my mom's 74th birthday.  Happy Birthday mom.  I love you so much and you are one incredible woman.  She raised 7 kids.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why We Remember. . .

. . .the day that changed our country.

I was sitting on the recliner holding my 10 week old baby when I found out.  I'll never forget the feelings I experienced the moment I saw the first images come across my T.V.  I was frightened, I cried and wished that my husband was home with us.  I held my baby close.  I was afraid to put her down because I didn't know what was going to happen next and didn't want her alone if something were to happen to us.  As the first days passed, our country came to understand the meaning of the word HERO.  A hero was someone worth looking up to.  Not a celebrity.  Not a sports figure.  Not a movie star.  The true heroes were the fire fighters, and police officers.  The first responders whom sacrificed their lives in an attempt to save the lives of others.  The people trapped in the twin towers who sacrificed their lives while they helped others to safety before finding safety for themselves were heroes.  Ordinary citizens who stormed the cockpit of a hijacked plane in an attempt to save the lives of those on the ground were heroes.  Then, when the men and women of our military went to war to fight for our freedom and security (and those who are still fighting today), more real heroes emerged.  I will never forget. . .

Where were you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spaghetti Is Yummy!

Aside from being an easy cheap meal, and the fact that it offers freezable leftovers, my family LOVES how I make it.  And guess who else loves it. . .
"What's that mama?"  Yes, they think I'm the mama hen.  "It's okay Henny Penny's, give it a try,  It's spaghetti." 
"Wow mama!  This is really good!  I love you spaghetti mama". . .They never just say "I love you".  It's always "I love you yogurt mama". . . or "I love you meal worms mama". . .and of course "I love you chicken scratch mama".  You see, the way to a chicken's heart is through it's stomach.

Wait a minute. . .

Bawk. . .bawk. . .what going on??

Excuse me Faline. . .I think that was OURS??

What. . .you too Caspian??

"Oh well.  That really was yummy spaghetti.  I love you spaghetti mama!"

I love you too Henny Pennys.  I really love you too!

Here's my recipe:

2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1 1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 to 2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
12 oz. tomato paste
3-15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1-16 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
1-15 oz. can of puree
3 tbsp. fresh parsley or 1 tbsp. dried
1 tbsp. sugar
2-15 oz. cans of water
Add mushrooms, and any vegetables to your liking.  I personally LOVE mushrooms, but none of my family likes them.  Yes, my recipe does not include onion as I am not a fan, but feel free to add them.

Brown the ground beef and drain all fat.  Add tomato paste and simmer (while stirring) for approximately 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients (including veggies you like) and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve over noodles.  My personal favorite are Barilla Linguine.   Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1st Day of School!

Yup. . .It's a new school year.  Tara started 5th grade, and Madeline started 2nd.  It pains me how quickly these two are growing, but it is inevitable.  For weeks now, Tara has been saying that she's "not looking forward to school starting".  But this morning, she was up bright and early and feeling quite excited.  I always have mixed feelings whenever they go back to school.  I love them so much and miss them when they go, but the school they are in, is like no other that I have ever seen.  It's an amazing place.  Remember what it was like to wear your new school clothes the first day of school?  They were pretty excited.

Ron always comes to drop the girls off the first day of school.  Tara drove with Daddy and Madeline drove with me.  When we got to school, they posed in front of the Dolphin statue/fountain.  It's a tradition, and also it is their school mascot.

Tara's showing 5 fingers for 5th grade, and Madeline 2 for 2nd grade.

Here they were last year. . .

And the year before.  Also, Madeline's first day of Kindergarten (holding up a sign language K for kindergarten). 

They both got the teachers they were hoping for. . .

And I think it's going to be a wonderful year.
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