Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cafe of the Moment

Living in the woods doesn't mean I have to miss out on the dining scene.  Just tonight, I attended the opening of a hot new cafe.
Since it was the first night, there were speeches, then I got to cut the ribbon (move the ceremonial branch).

After the host seated me in a most comfortable rocking chair for my wait (remarkably short), the waitress showed me to my seat.  The al fresco dining options are beautiful.

As was the well-thought out centerpiece.

By the time the grass/fern salad was served, the centerpiece had been augmented by a fresh clover.

This gentleman stopped by frequently to check on me.  Most polite.  (At the end of the meal, he recommended following the cafe on Facebook and Twitter.  Perhaps he's the social media manager).

The addition of a richly textured placemat (a piece of roofing underlayment) only added to the meal.

I like how the clover stem was artfully added.

Then the main course-- steak tacos!  As you can see, the emphasis in this establishment is on local (very local) and seasonable ingredients.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

The team behind the enterprise.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lincoln's 5th birthday

Today was Lincoln's 5th birthday.  He has been eagerly counting down the days, pretty much since he turned four.  He is such an enthusiastic child, it is deeply satisfying to spoil him a bit on his birthday.  Every tiny present or special privilege or phone call was received with an enormous grin.  It started first thing this morning when Evan handed him one of the key birthday presents-- a shirt that has a "5" on the front.  Ever since Gilbert handed down a "3" shirt, number shirts declaring age have been integral to Lincoln's wardrobe.  Last year's "4" shirt was a huge hit, and was duly modified in December to read "4 1/2" (I love Sharpies).  Now, he has a five shirt.  He hugged it to himself delightedly for a long time before he put it on.  Then, on to the menu of the day.  The birthday boy chose pancakes.  He also chose Kraft dinner for supper (I don't know whether to be mortified that he wanted that versus other food, or excited that I don't serve it too much for it to be moved out of the "foods we don't get all the time" category).  However, we managed to talk him into that for lunch, so we had pork roast and potatoes for supper.  Then, carrot cake with candles!

 See?  His shirt loudly proclaims his age.

Cute little cheeks puffing out for the big blow!

We had bought Lincoln some clearance Playmobil for his birthday, and I wasn't planning on giving it to him until Daddy came home, but the other kids were desperate for him to open it, so I caved.  Then, of course, the big kids had to play with him.  I agreed to drive them to school so they could have a precious extra half hour to play, and then Lincoln asked, "Can we pick them up from school today?  Because it is my birthday..."  Well, hard to argue with my kids wanting to spend more time together, so we did that.  And you have never heard such interesting going-ons as those Playmobil figures got into.  Lincoln had got a photo safari set, complete with elephants, rhinos, a cheetah, and some thrilling bones.  The new animals segued nicely into the lives of the already-owned wedding piano player, jogging mother, hunter, supermarket clerk, etc.  It's great fun to eavesdrop!

Lincoln had kindergarten screening last week, which is making me want to stop time a little bit.  I think he will be delighted with school, but I'm going to wildly miss my little daytime buddy.  It's also a huge change in my life-- no kids at home.  Should I be looking for jobs?  Becoming a school volunteer?  For at least a few years, I want to be home-- available for sick kids, keeping up with all the laundry and cooking and WORK of four kids in the house.  It's going to be different, though.  Sometimes, I want to grab my kids and move to a cabin in the woods so I can have them with me more.  For now, though, I just enjoy these precious years.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Parade 2015

 We did not have to travel far for our Memorial Day parade.  It happened right on our driveway.

 Cheyenne introducing the parade.

 Patriotic bike rider.

 Explaining the meaning of Memorial Day.

 Unfurling the enormous flag.


 Freckles and flags.

 Tall girl.

 Marching down.

 Old duffers watching the parade.

 Marching back.

 We even had candy thrown to us!

 The solemn rat-a-tat of the drum.

 The ukelele player got his own float.

 Little drummer girl.

 Loudly singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" whilst waving the flag.

 My pretty little song bird.

 Playing the ukelele is serious business.

I like these four kids. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Boys' Room

My Elly-belly (yes, I realize he is too old to be called that) came back from a couple of weeks away with his grandma and grandpa. I know how much Elliott loves order and cleanliness, and how rarely he gets to appreciate them in this household, so I cleaned his room to a fare-thee-well on the day he came home.
The view from the doorway.

This was Elliott's birthday present this year-- a magnetic board for playing magnet-shoot!  Evan hung it on the wall for him.  ( I don't know why this picture is smooshed into a square-- it isn't if you click on it, but I can't make it behave.)

This is another birthday present that came belatedly while Elliott was gone-- how can we improve upon a present that involves Magnet Shoot AND Apple products??

The boys' beds.  Evan had also just hung up their IKEA wall lamps (known as "bug lights" in this family from the shape of the inaugural light we bought Cheyenne years ago).

Elliott's bed, with the play refrigerator and microwave at the foot.  The Minecraft poster is another present from Evan for a little boy who is a bit obsessed.

Lincoln's bed.  I just hung up the clock on the wall-- another thing Elliott loves to know is EXACTLY what time it is!  The play kitchen stove and sink cabinet sit at the foot of this bed.  The wide open space in the middle of the room often becomes a restaurant, with the addition of a folding little kids' table.

The boys' closet...

Which is where their bureaus hide.  Eventually, they might have clothes that require some more room, but by then the play kitchen will probably be relegated to the attic so the bureaus can march out into the room.

And that's one room in our house.  As soon as school starts, I won't have anything to do, so I can clean the house from top to bottom and take lots of pictures.  (Okay, now my side hurts from laughing).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Friend Gilbert

We headed North for just a few days last week. We got to celebrate Gilbert's birthday while we were there!

Five years old!  Hard to believe it's been that long since Gilbert entered our lives.

What a sweet little face.

Starting to smile for real.

Look at all these people singing to me!


All five candles in one breath.

Justin bought Gilbert a tool box, so Gilbert had to help with the trim in Grandma's kitchen!

Earnest pounding.

For some reason, I only photographed boys during this trip!  Here is Mr. Hoyt, matching stripes with his mommy.

Lincoln was completely obsessed with Lily's old bumblebee costume.  The fact it was a skirt didn't deter him in the least.  I didn't get a picture of it, but he put the handle of a basket around his waist so the basket bottom was his stinger.  He was an enthusiastic stinger.

We might have to find a more masculine bee costume before Halloween.