Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Strawberry Jam 2011 STYLE!

Aren't the strawberries pretty?  A couple Saturdays ago I went to my favorite local strawberry patch and had a great time!  I so love inhaling the fresh strawberry scent at the strawberry patch. For the first time in 5-6 years, the patch was not muddy! Hooray! I went in my trusty boots anyway!
I picked all 8 gallons in one row!

This is one of my favorite activities all year. I usually get the pleasure of picking with friends and my sweet boys. This time however, they were all busy, but this was the day I set aside, so I enjoyed alone. As the morning went on more and more people came out to the patch to pick. ME? I like to get out there as early as I can! To watch the morning "wake up" the countryside is a beauty to behold. (I guess I'm a country girl at heart)
It was fun chatting with different people. (one recognized me!) We discussed recipies and how long each of us had been coming to the patch. This particular patch I've been coming to for 6 seasons!

Once the berries are picked and washed, we move onto the stem removal. From there it is time to cut up the berries. The boys favorite part is the smashing of berries. (its an opportunity to get messy and productive at the same time!) Even the mess that I clean up is worth it! The whole house smells of summer - this is one of my first signals that a new season is soon upon us. Next step is the canning part. We have to cook the berries and work in some Sure-Jell and add some sugar!
Cory was suprised to learn that we had 67 jars that needed lids and rings! (can you believe it caught that look?)
This takes up the majority of my day when I commit to Strawberry jam, but its okay, I love it, as it reminds me of time spent with my Grandma years ago making it for the family. Today that is my job, and I take it seriously.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Final Countdown of Elementary School Days

Sigh. The last two weeks of school are bittersweet.
While we are so proud of our boys, it is kinda sad to say goodbye to familiar things and move into the next chapter of our lives. We are now parents of a middleschooler and a highschooler. WOW! Where has the time gone? All the 5th graders at Sango Elementary had their big promotion day Friday. There were videos of the kids saying what they wanted to be when they grow up. (yes, Brian still talks about being a dentist)
They showed pictures all the way through the years. Ah, the memories. Today, I will pull into car circle for the last time. This time has passed so quickly.  I managed to catch Brian's baby picture on the big screens before he went up to get his certificate.

Here we are right after the ceremony. While the kids had to dress up, Brian made it a point to look as "GQ" as possible. He picked everything out. He is growing up so fast.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Go-Kart is Running!

Yay! This weekend the final touches to get the gokart back on the road were completed! Uncle Glen came up for Mother's Day weekend and helped get the engine working again.  Sweetie got two new tubes put into two tires. We got those back from Rural King yesterday!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strikers Spring 2011

Our little man's first soccer picture!
Awww.. he's growing up!

Saturday, the Strikers had their final game of the Spring season.  They ended their season with 7 wins and 2 loses. The least aggressive player succeeded in scoring his first goal in the last 4 years, and the crowd went wild. This sweet, meek little boy turned into quite the aggressive player and finished the season out with 4 more assists on goal!
Our favorite soccer player scored 4 goals this season and assisted on 7.
This season was a tough one, but the boys growth and character shown through. They encountered dishonest refs, teams that cursed, and talked trash on the field. We are so proud of their stellar behavior, and upstanding behavior in the face of adversity.
Many of these pre-teens have grown up together and it has truly been fun watching them work their way through from age 4/5 to current 11/12.  Next season they will play on yet a bigger field and be stretched some more!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring Arts and Craft show at Centennial Park

TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists) hosted their 40th craft fair this weekend! For the last three years, a precious friend and I have made the short trip together down to Centennial Park. They charge no admission, and the parking is free. However, my friend and I donate every year! We look forward to this annual event with much anticipation.
For anyone who loves having all their senses stimulated.. this is the place for you! (Fall fair is September 23, 23, 24, and 25). Saturday it was raining some, but we weren't gonna let some steady sprinkles keep us away!
The first thing that we enjoyed were some baby geese with their mom walking along the stream. They were so cute! Centennial park is beautiful from the wildlife and the amazing parthenon, a big locomotive, and several walking/running trails. Eye popping color was everywhere, it was so pretty! Next thing I noticed was the wonderful smell of kettle corn. There were all sorts of vendors selling food, the tempting smells called to us through the who event.
Eye candy galore was everywhere you could see. The brightly colored booths offering all sorts of goodies lovingly made beckoned us for a closer look. I have a few favorites I enjoy visiting with each year. One of the artists weaves her own (very soft) wool hats and scarves. She has her loom on site and often you can "catch" a demonstration. She showed me a new technique she learned, and it was fun to be recognized by her.
Another friend of mine from highschool has a booth where she shows off the beautiful beads and jewelry she creates in her workshop in Cumberland City. Pottery, wood crafts, photography, stained glass, paintings, and creative metal yard art made out of all sorts of parts!
Below is a picture of a small piece of yard art I bought this year. (massive amounts of eye rolling by Sweetie)
I love it!
I was told this turtle is a birdfeeder. I love the fork feet and spoon head/tail! This creative artist also had a huge praying mantis that doubled as a hose reel! (If I could have photographed it I would). This gentleman is so talented. I wish I could share a website, but he isn't online yet!
We spent a few moments chatting about "being gone" when your creative juices are flowing. I understand. It is neat to share creative vibes with another artist. I so enjoy writing, and am exploring other outlets as well.
What do you like to create?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nashville Predators Round 2 of the Playoffs!

This blog is a little overdue! Easter Sunday our family got to be a wittness to NHL history! We were so excited! The boys and Sweetie got their faces painted, we all waved our rally towels and cheered our Nashville Predators to victory and into the history books as they played their way into Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

Rinne - our goalie he was rockin' every puck that came his way! YES, (see photo below) the yellow horn thing from the Olympics? Yep there were two of 'em tooting their way through all night long.

See, everyone was standing up and screaming for the last 8-10 minutes of the game waving their rally towels!  LETS GO PREDS!

Barry Trotz and the Nashville Predators!

Spring means Nests!

This year we have a momma bird that has taken it upon herself to build her nest in a very interesting place. This one is in the boy's clubhouse in between the legs of their telescope!


This dainty little nest is in one of my petunia baskets on the front porch.

This robin and her mate take turns sitting on the eggs in her nest, perched also on the front porch, but atop the corner cabinet.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Field Trip to the Adventure Science Center

As the last days of elementary school come to a close for our family, I'm cherishing every moment. The class parties, special lunch dates in the cafeteria, field day, science fairs, PTA meetings, class plays, field trips. Over the years for both boys, I've spent as much time as possible being involved in thier schools.
This fall our oldest will embark upon his highschool career; while our baby will move onto middle school. This is a different era, one of independence. This is bittersweet for me.
When this last field trip of the year came up, I was thrilled that Brian wanted me to chaperone. (I realize that time is closing fast, as Cory informed me if I helped with his end of year dance at middle school he would just die.)
We boarded buses and left for downtown Nashville. I was blessed and got to de-board the bus due to overcrowding. (yes, I said blessed! The fumes and the noise level that pummels you from all sides as the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round - I volunteered to drive myself!) What about sitting with  my elementary student? Nah, he was hangin' with his buddies, I was to sit up front with the lunches. No thanks. I wasn't  missing any bonding. I thoroughly enjoyed the peace en route to said destination. (and appreciated it even more once we were leaving!)
Once inside, we chaperones were given huge stickers to wear on our shirts to identify us to the children. Let me paint the picture for you. We had a little over 70 students! I had 7 very energetic 5th grade boys. We had a set amount of time to complete each section of the center. We also had a workbook that we had to fill in our experiences and answer some questions relating to the topic. (I enjoyed this as much as the boys did, it took away from us having fun!). We got most of the blanks filled in, and yes, I helped them with their answers so we could go play a laser game where we fought germs to keep a body healthy. We were the only group that got to do this, and were quite the envy of some other groups. We learned about our weight on earth versus our weight on various planets, how to check our blood pressure, and what foods to eat, and how metabolism works. The boys really enjoyed learning how to shoot off a rocket, they each got a chance to do that, and weightlessness. All in all it was a wonderful experience, and my son and I had a great time together.

This is only six of the boys, the seventh one was visiting the bathroom. I couldn't take as many photos as I wanted cause they moved so fast, and we had those workbooks to complete!

This is in the planet room where we all took turns seeing the differences between our weight here on earth versus other planets!

Google sponsors a booth that was a hit with all the kids! The kids could run their hands across this sphere and they could zoom in or out all over the earth!