Saturday, 29 June 2013

Friday, 28 June 2013

Photo Shoot

Z and Eden had their pictures taken at Penny's a couple of weeks ago.  The last time we had a formal photo shoot, in May 2011, they looked like this:

And here they are now, June 2013:

More photos to come soon!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Z Dances

A few weeks ago Z was dancing and shouted out to me, "Mama, check out my movès!" (He's a natural Shakespearean.)  And boy, has he got the movès!  I asked him to teach me some and he said, "Just let the music be your teacher."

I can't do it.  Clearly Eden can't keep up either.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Backyard Fun

We finally, finally had a warm, sunny day yesterday.  It's back to chilly and rainy today, but we tried to enjoy it while it lasted!

Tired dog.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Gak and Stuff

A couple of days ago Z and I made gak.  It's like home made silly putty.  It's very easy to make and lots of fun.

Z was still playing with it when quiet time arrived, so I sent him to his room with it.  I checked on him a half hour later and found this:

He said he tried to make a hat out of it.

So he got his summer haircut a little earlier than expected.

My handsome men.

My  beautiful children.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

De Smet

Earlier this week Z, Eden and I went to De Smet, SD with our friend, Krista Miller.  She's moving to Idaho (sad!) and wanted to see De Smet before she left, so we volunteered to go with her.  When we left Sioux Falls it was rainy and cold, but the further north we got the sunnier and warmer it became, until we found 70 degree temperatures in sunny De Smet.  Yay!

For those who don't know, De Smet is the town made famous by the last five books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder -- By The Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years.  The actual 160 acres that Pa claimed for his homestead have been turned into a living museum which is not only fascinating historically, but also tons of fun!  During the summer it's a working farm, but worked using late 19th century tools and machines.  There's a schoolhouse on site, where the kids can dress up and everyone gets a lesson from the teacher.  Animals abound, all amazingly friendly and docile under eager, childish hands.  The claim shanty that Pa built has been replicated, and children learn how to do laundry, churn butter, and make little games. (Z did the laundry twice and exclaimed "I could do laundry all day!") There's a dug out and a barn full of animals and interesting machines, like one that shells dried corn, leaving a cob with which to make a corn cob doll, like Laura played with in the Big Woods.  (Eden made one of these.)  There's a wonderful machine that is used to make rope, which Z used to make a jump rope, and one of the incredibly nice teenagers who works there will show you how to twist hay, just like the Ingalls did during the long winter of 1880-81 (this is the same hard winter which drove Teddy Roosevelt out of North Dakota).

Unfortunately I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I would have liked, since I forgot my camera, but these are all courtesy of Krista.  Thanks, Krista!

I know I'm biased, but I'm just not sure it gets any cuter than this!

Z in school.  During the Spelling B the teacher asked Z what his name is and he said, "Lazarus, but you can call me Z for short!"  The teacher exclaimed over his name and then asked him to spell it, which he very nicely did. 

Our two little 19th century scholars.
The writing on the blackboard behind them is a riddle which says:
"In marble walls as white as milk,
Lined with a skin as soft as silk,
Within a fountain crystal clear,
A golden apple doth appear;
No doors there are to this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in and steal the gold."

Can anyone guess the answer?

One of the barn cats had just had kittens, and Eden and Z could not get enough of them.
They were adorable. (The kittens and the kids!)

Eden was fascinated by the miniature horses, but also a little spooked by them.  The teenager in charge of the horses saddled this horse, named Star, twice for Eden.  We finally got her to sit on Star, but she couldn't be convinced to take a ride.  I'm not sure Star even noticed whether she had on a saddle or not, or whether there was a child on her or not!

Z, on the other hand, had no such qualms!  He rode Toby twice, drove the two BIG horses that pulled the wagon (and all of us) to the schoolhouse, and also drove another little horse pulling a child-sized carriage.  There was one other miniature horse that had had a baby the day before, and it was just beautiful!

The homestead also boasts the original cottonwood trees that Pa planted as a windbreak around the house.  They're huge now, and beautiful.  In town, you can also visit the house that Pa built for his family as well as the actual Surveyor's House the Ingalls lived in during their first winter in Dakota Territory.  It's funny to visit, because in the book Laura describes the house as absolutely huge, but by today's standards it's tiny.  We didn't have time to look at the town houses since we were on the homestead for almost four hours, but that will be for another visit.

So come to South Dakota, see De Smet, and feel free to visit us in the process!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

At Home

The weather continues to be wet and chilly here, which I must admit is very frustrating!  Usually June in South Dakota is gorgeous, but not so far this year.  We were supposed to go to swimming lessons this morning, but they were cancelled, so we stayed home and mostly stayed inside.

Nathan keeps a bag of birdseed on our front porch and the squirrels discovered it and gnawed several big holes in the side.  The result is birdseed all over the front porch, but also animals all over the front porch.  So we did some animal watching.

There was a beautiful cardinal right beside this rabbit, but just as I snapped the picture it flew away.

Nathan hates the squirrels but the rest of us like them.


The Washington Pavilion has a special exhibit on Dr. Seuss which we went to see last week.  Lots of fun!  Z brought a magazine home and made a Lorax's mustache and a Cat-in-the-Hat's bow tie.

And a couple of days ago the kids and I went with our friend Krista to De Smet and had a fantastic time!  (Pictures of that will be posted soon.)  Z made a rope with a machine from the early 20th century and is now getting very good at jumping rope!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Eden Sings


Psalm 147 
("He counts the number of the stars
He names them every one.
Our Lord is great and great in power,
His wisdom search can none.")

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed: