Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Random favorite pictures I haven't posted

This is a hodge podge of pictures I've been meaning to post

On June 19th, Lillee was in her first wedding as a flower girl. Unfortunately, the flower baskets did not arrive so Lillee walked down the aisle without scattering flowers, but she was very cute :) The other flower girl had to be carried down by her father.

Lillee had such a great time at the wedding and she thoroughly enjoyed the dancing! Here is Lillee dancing with the bride, Debbie.

and dancing without our friend Camilla

and dancing with our friend Jayson

And then there was the cake!!!

And I'm sure, by the look on Grampy's face, that he's teasing her about her cake...probably something along the lines of, "You can't eat ALL of that by yourself, can you?"

Lillee watching the bride and groom dance and wanting to be dancing

So they indulged her and invited the ring bearer to join in.

Lillee and I with her special rose that she carried around for 2 days.

Lillee and Debbie

These are the girls that Lillee had over for her Girl Party a couple weeks ago. This group of girls are so cute together. They're all in Sunday school together (CTR 5) and they have such a good time but church class is structured for learning and there is no play time. So I felt the girls needed some play time. They came over for snow cones, cupcakes, playtime and bracelet making.

Just a cute Chase picture.

Another cute Chase picture.

And another cute Chase picture.

My cute kids with awesome blue eyes.

A favorite one of Lillee.

I made Al a father's day tie from this picture of all the kids.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A bee visit

I visited the bees yesterday and they're doing so well! The hive body has 10 frames in it---5 from the original nuc and 5 empty, foundationless frames that I put in. I'm being a bit of a beekeeping rebel and not using foundation in my frames and the girls are doing very well with them. Here are some photos of their progress in the last 2 weeks.

These 1st three photos are all the same frame. You can see that the bees have almost completely drawn the comb to the inside edge of the frame. What you have here are cells for the queen to lay eggs and then all those worker bees are feeding the eggs with honey (carbs) and pollen (protein). The capped cells have brood in them that are in the later stages of development, the open cells may have an egg or larva or be empty. They can also contain honey for feeding the brood and workers.

An overhead shot into the hive.

Here is a picture of some wavy comb, but you can see that it still fits within the frame. Because these frames do not have foundation, the bees have nothing to guide their comb building other than them being bees and knowing what they're doing instinctively.

A different view of the wavy comb.

And yet a different view of the wavy comb. you can see they're attaching it to the sides toward the top. Being attached will help stabilize the comb during extraction (although this frames won't be used for honey extraction, they're for brood rearing.

Another frame drawn out by the bees in the last 2 weeks.

Another frame of drawn comb, not as far along as the others, but getting there.

A shot from the top of the hive. The dark frames are the ones that came with the nuc. The lighter frames are the empty frames I originally added to the hive. In the three weeks that the bees have been in the hive they've drawn out 4 of the 5 empty frames and raised a buch of new bees.
During my visit, I took out the empty frame on the far left of the above picture and moved it to the center, where the bees like to work. I also removed two of the drawn frames in the middle and placed them in another hive body that sits on top of this hive body in hopes that the bees will finish drawing the three empty frames in the lower hive body and move up to the 8 empty frames in the next hive body.
Fun, fun, fun!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lillee's Wedding

I would have never thought that I would hear my 5 year old planning every detail of her wedding, but it has happened!

Lillee has been asked to be a flower girl this coming Saturday and as it gets closer and we fuss over her dress, her hair clip, how her hair will be put up, her shoes, etc then she's getting excited about all the hoopla. So tonight she announces, "I want Grandma Ros, Grandma (Jane), Mamaw and Mommy to be flower girls at my wedding." Can you picture it?!?!

So that's where the planning began and I had to furiously take notes because I did not want to miss a word of this future soiree. Lillee was so animated, talking non-stop (this is nothing new for Lillee), and planning every single little detail! She was seriously excited and completely serious about it all.

The flower girls (the above mentioned ladies) will make crowns, they can be all different colors and we'll draw them with pencils or paints and cut them (I love that this is how my daughter thinks of crowns). And then Lillee said she would tell all of us to buy pretty shoes and pretty socks (because G'ma Jane just bought her pretty sandals and socks for her flower girl dress). And our dresses would be brown, Lillee's newest favorite color, with smiley faces all over them.

Lillee really hopes G'ma Ros doesn't have to work that day. G'ma Jane promised Lillee that G'ma Ros would not be working that day LOL For those of you who do not G'ma Ros, that is Jane's mother. I won't reveal her age, but I will say...she is Jane's mother, you can figure out the math, generally.

Then Lillee continues her planning...."When I get big, I'll buy a sewing machine and I'll sew big, giant roses to go on your (the flower girls') heads and all of your head will be covered, except your eyes and mouth. And I'll make the fabric go all the way to your feet so your legs are together like the stem and your arms will be leaves, sticking out like this (she says as she throws her arms out to the side). Your face will be all yellow, except your eyes and mouth, and your head can be any color you want."

I couldn't write any more without bursting out in laughter and Lillee does not take well to being laughed at. So I told her what a wonderful idea it all was and she needed to get to bed. I know she's in there right now with a million plans running through her mind and she can't wait til morning to jumped from her bed to tell me all her plans. She's already scheduled for us to start making crowns in the morning :)

I love her! For all she drives me crazy, she is an amazing girl, such a nurturer, such a mother, so intune to the Spirit. I can't wait to see her grown, married with children, and planning every detail of everyone's lives. She's my Mini Me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Drive-by Blog Posting

I'm out of time, yet again. But I know if I don't share what I have, I won't remember to do it later. So here is the quick and dirty version:

We avoided another visit to the ER, but barely. I broke my toe last Friday night. I was walking along and somehow kicked the corner of the sofa...wanna see?

Connor is folding a basket of towels for me and as he spread a towel on the table, he asked Chase is he wanted to help. This is Chase's way of offering a helping hand. This is typical in everything he does!

We had a lovely afternoon flying kites. The kids were exhausted! This is our local sledding hill, you've probably seen it before while covered in snow.

Lillee is going to be our scientist, or more specifically our entomologist. She loves all things bugs, worms, creepy and crawly. Here, Lillee has a lightning bugs (aka Firefly). She caught it the night before and put it in her bug specimen jar. In the morning, she wanted to let it go, but the lid flopped down on his rear section and mushed his light. She bandaged him with scotch tape. It took my a good 5 minutes to try to gently unwind the tape so as to not damage the poor guy any further.

Today, I saw on a local message board that a guy we know had some bees in his shed and he wanted to know how to get rid of them without poisoning them. So I called him up and offered my beekeeping knowledge :) I headed over to diagnose the situation. When I arrived, I found the bees had burrowed into a piece of fiberglass insulation. Long story short, bumble bees make a hive in the ground, not like honey bees, and they substituted the fiberglass in place of dirt. I was able to get them all out of his shed and I felt like the hero beekeeper! Here is a picture of their hive.

These two boys have the most amazing bond. Connor was sleeping on the sofa one morning and when Chase saw him, he ran across the room, threw his head upon Connor's back and gave him the biggest hug saying, "Nonnor, Nonnor, Nonnor!" Connor is so patient and sweet to Chase, it's just wonderful to see my boys love one another so much.

My 4 kiddos! Aren't they adorable :) Lillee (5), Chase (18 months), Isabel (4), Connor (7)

For those of you who have seen our pictures over the years...do you remember the picture of Connor on the floor with the eggs? here's Chase's version, with grapes :)
We're been super busy, but we're all well and enjoying life! We started our summer reading scripture challenge and the kids are encouraged to read some church history as we're planning our trip to Palmyra and Pageant next month! A busy summer ahead, full of exciting adventures and lots of time with family. Fencing class ends next week and swimming classes start the next week. Violin and piano are continuing sporadically through the summer as we're around. Lillee will be a flower girl in a wedding next weekend and the list just continues. We may need to take some time off in August to have a break from our summer!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

There's nothing finer than fresh picked berries

I love this time of year...well, except for the heat and the humidity, I could do without those. But I could never do without the wonderful berries that start coming in this time of year. We made our first trip this year to our favorite orchard for some strawberry picking. The kids love it, strawberries are a favorite in our family and Chase is no exception, he could eat them all the time.

Chase went picking with us last year but was too small to come out of the sling. This year he had a blast!

He was fascinated with the irrigation system and the hay.

Connor didn't want me to get a picture of his strawberry juice covered mouth.

Lillee, Connor & Isabel were great pickers...Isabel was the most productive. Connor and Lillee ate most of what they picked.

We did not leave with many strawberries, I couldn't keep the kids out of them. This is not a picture of them putting strawberries in, they're removing them!

This is what happens on the way home, after a morning of hard work in the field.