Thursday, August 16, 2012

I moved my blog!

I moved this blog to Wordpress, since I have a store blog on Wordpress, and that makes it a little easier for me to post.  Come find my blog at!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's Baseball Season!

Last Saturday we had Jack's first baseball game.  This year he's playing farm ball, which is little more like baseball as you probably know it--except that the coaches pitch.  He loves baseball, and he is pretty good at it too, so it's fun to watch him.  He achieves a feeling of success when he catches a ball, or hits a pitch, or gets an opponent out, and you can see it on his face.  When he finished his game last week he walked up and saw his audience and had the cutest grin, because he knew that he played well and that his family had watched him.

Will and Caroline were pretty cute watching the game together.

I WILL get to third before the ball does!

Hustling Home.

One of my favorite sights: watching Trace
feel well enough to help out.
I took a few pictures, but mostly I watched the game.  There's more to watch this year as they attempt to field the ball and make a play.  You need to know which base to throw to, and what to do if a fly ball is caught.  The mental part of the game is a lot more complex this year, and I think Jack learns something new each practice and each game.  Where is the shortstop position?  How to always cover your base.  Which is the only base you can run through?  What is a foul ball?

Jack works so hard at school, and he does well, but I don't think he often has a feeling of success.  In baseball he has that feeling, and he knows that he can do it: so it's a joy to watch.  Go Red Sox!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Summer is coming . . .

Watermelon salad.  Sure, it's not yet the season,
but I  was evoking summer! 
I am truly a summertime girl.  I love all the seasons, and especially the cycle and the movement as we switch between them.  But the warmth of summer, with her promise of an abundance of fruits and vegetables is my favorite.

Today was the first day this year that has said summer is coming.  It actually felt warm outside (and there were eight inches of snow on the ground a mere week ago!).  We didn't resurrect the outdoor cushions yet, but we put the glass back in the patio table, and we ate dinner outside.

Around here we call these "big fat nasty burgers"
The rule is: once you pick it up, you can't put it down!
It was lovely to send the kids in to wash their hands, and to otherwise not stir from the back porch.  Both kiddos were filthy--they'd been playing outside for hours in the dirt, and the evening finished with baths for all.

Caroline's strategy was to eat her burger in pieces:
first the bread, then the meat.
In other news, we're looking forward to Jack's first baseball game on Saturday, and it appears the weather is going to cooperate.  He's on the Red Sox this year, a farm team, so the coach pitches to them.  Trace has been helping with the team a little, and Jack loves to play catch in the yard.

Can you fit that in your mouth Jack?
I hope wherever you are the the weather is sunny and there's a hint of summer in the air!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Crafty Day

Today was a crafty day around our house.  Jack had a cold, so we stayed home, and took the opportunity to paint canvases and decorate them.
Caroline chose two small square canvases, which she painted pink and purple.  Jack painted one larger piece turquoise.

 Then we took stencils (which each child had chosen) and black Sharpies, and added a silhouette.  Caroline chose two horses:

 And Jack chose a hummingbird with flowers.  Didn't they turn out great?  It was a very simple project for a snowy day.
Now Caroline didn't make it in any of these pictures, and that's because she was busy making another craft with her Dad.  That's right, Mr. Trace Fike made a craft today.  In fact, he did much more than that: he actually made a poncho for his daughter, complete with "puff balls and flowers," as she requested.  Apparently Trace and Caroline had a conversation last night about a poncho that her friend Marilyn has, which she likes.  He told her that he would make her one today, and so he did.  Can you believe it?  I thought he was kidding when he told me--but no, he was serious.  And so, the pictures of Trace and Caroline:
 Of course you use a tape measure to make a square of fabric!
 Careful measuring.
 First try-on.
Final draft, with pom-poms and a flower, as requested.  And yes, he made the poncho for Barbie too.  This is one amazing man that I married!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Toby Tiger

We have a cat, and we get to keep him forever, as the kids say.  This is to distinguish him from the stray, who only comes by once in a while.  We picked him up from our local animal shelter last Thursday, and he's been warming up to us a little more each day.  He might be nocturnal: today he played with a rubber ball from 4 am to 8 am, and he's been sleeping ever since.  He likes to hide and sleep up high.  Right now he's resting in a cupboard in Trace's closet: at least three feet off the ground.  Most of the night he was sleeping on the bed with Trace and I--he's pretty friendly at night.  And boy oh boy, his purr machine works perfectly: he can purr for hours during the night. 

After tossing around a few names for a day (including Topaz, November's orange birthstone which would be appropriate but difficult to pronounce, don't you think?) we settled on Toby Tiger.  So here you go, meet Toby Tiger.

Jack cuddling with Toby Tiger.

Comfortable in Trace's closet.

Sleeping together.  Too cute!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween is a busy day around here.  There's a preschool trick-or-treat around the downtown stores, and then in the evening we always trick or treat around our neighborhood.  This year was no exception, although it's hard to believe that after six years, this will be my last year taking a child around downtown.  These kiddos are getting big!

This year Caroline was a character from her newest favorite book, Ladybug Girl.  The girl in the book is even named Lulu, and since we call our girl Carol-lou, or Lou, or Lula, she seems like a perfect match.  Caroline was extra excited because she had outgrown her rainboots last year, and we've been waiting for her size to come in at the army surplus store down the street--and on the weekend before Halloween they finally did: so my ladybug girl had ladybug rainboots to wear just like the ones in the story.  I don't think you can see them in any of these pictures, but they might make it into some other photos this winter. 

Jack was a pirate again this year, with the addition of his talking parrot, which was fun to take to school.  He was wanting to be something scary, and we decided that the parrot startling people would be scary enough (just ask Grandma Jo--once the parrot said something when she was babysitting and the power had unexpectedly gone out.  That parrot can be scary!)
The rest of the pictures tell the story of our day.  First we have Caroline with her best monkey friend Marilyn, ready to go visit the downtown shops.
 Lindsey, Graham, Marilyn, Caroline and I.  Check out the next picture for an explanation of my outfit.  I am awfully lucky to have such a close friend who lives so near, and with kids similar ages.  Marilyn and Caroline also go to preschool together, and they're such good friends that Linds and I have both mistakenly called them Mar-oline and Car-ilyn.

 Caroline as a pumpkin. 
 Do we look alike?  Could we be sisters?  We were Waldo for Halloween--or actually one of the other girls at the store, Khrista, was Waldo, and we were the imitators.  Or maybe we were Wenda?

  Two kiddos ready to go trick or treating around the neighborhood.  Doesn't that pirate look tough?  He's pretty good at saying "Arrrgh matey," "batten down the hatches," and "shiver me timbers."  Trace even taught him a pirate joke: where do all pirates come from?  Arrrrgh-kansas.  I'm not sure Jack knows why it's funny, but he repeats it with a nice growl!
Oh, in the middle of the day Caroline had her Monday ballet practice.  In the midst of getting two kids, their costumes, and a Halloween snack for Jack's class (this was easy and cute, but time-consuming), I forgot Caroline's ballet bag with her ballet and tap shoes in it.  The first part of her class is ballet, and then the last fifteen minutes they work on their tap moves.  I ran home and got her shoes, so I missed the ballet, but I thought I'd share this video I took of the little girls, in costume, practicing their tap to Kermit the Frog's Happy Feet.  Too cute!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Caroline can ride a bike!

It's still October, so hopefully Grandma Jo can see these videos.  Caroline has been getting really good on her balance bike, so today we went for a bike ride and voila! she's a bike rider.  Aunt Becky stopped by this afternoon by surprise and we went outside to demonstrate Caroline's new skill, this time with a camera.  Here's three videos of the novice bike rider and her brother.  In the final video she's trying to get started uphill, and you can see how her balance bike skills come into play: she gets herself going (eventually), and I never help her.  She figured this out on her own, because she wants to ride in the Agony with her Aunt Becky someday.  Well done Caroline!