Thursday, April 30, 2009

We have BABY caterpillars!

SO.... about a week ago, I noticed that our butterfly treehouse contained some new additions.... hundreds of extremely tiny, mint-green butterfly eggs scattered all over the orange slice and the paper plate that were in there.
(Here is a picture that shows an example of butterfly eggs. I did not take a photo of our eggs with my camera, just 'cause those things were so small!)

At any rate, I didn't think much about the butterfly eggs... until last night. I guess I figured the little eggs wouldn't really hatch.
But, they did.
And when we got home yesterday evening, there were hundreds of teensy, weensy caterpillars crawling in -- and out -- of the treehouse.
(Here is another picture just for reference. Ours our not this color, but it gives you an idea of what they look like!)

So, I spent about an hour or so delicately moving the minuscule little creatures into the treehouse and taking the whole thing outside. Sean gathered some thistle (which, apparently, is their food of choice), and we left them to hopefully chow down.
I checked on them this morning and found (and relocated) several more escapees. I'm not really sure how many will actually make it. But it sure was a neat surprise! The whole butterfly life cycle starting all over again! WOW!
Here's to hoping those little 'pillars make it to butterflyhood!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Still here... just sleepy...

Sorry I have been a bit absent from the blog world of late! I really do have several things to post, but I haven't pulled the pictures off my "real" camera just yet!
So.... in the meantime, here is a view of what's been going on in my life. Yes, those are the dogs.... on the bed....playing with their new favorite toy (since they completely destroyed hamburger toy... don't ask)... and that's me, trying to sleep behind the pillows!

(Just for the record, it was bed time. I was not trying to sneak-in a nap at 3 in the afternoon or anything!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not Gone... Just Busy

I haven't blogged much lately, 'cause there just haven't been enough hours in the day...or days in the week... etc., etc.
With that in mind, my latest task to keep me more busy than I need to be is joining our neighborhood event committee. Our first assignment is fund raising for our soon-to-be-constructed "common area" (a playground/pier/picnic area for the people in our little community).
We have a great group of ladies on the team, and we brainstormed a bunch of ideas the other night. Hopefully we're on the right track to success. But I, of course, welcome any ideas for neighborhood events, parties, fundraisers, etc.!
In the meantime, let me introduce the event committee:
(And sorry for the poor photo quality; not only were these snapped with my iPhone, they were taken while giggling...!)
In order: Season, Leigh Ann, Paige, Natalie, Cynthianne, Tina (represented by an empty seat, since she "escaped" right before I took pictures) and me

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Patriot Beginnings

Sean, Jaiden and I attended the Birmingham Tax Day Tea Party yesterday, April 15, 2009, at Veterans Park.

We even brought signs. Here is one I made:

It was pretty amazing.
Thousands of people with hundreds of signs and American flags participated in an event held around the nation... an event meant to show our frustration with issues like: the bailout, over-spending, our economy, unfair taxes, socialism, nationalized health care, illegal immigration, abortion and more....
(BTW, you can see the back of my head and Sean's gray hat in this photo that I pulled from flickr! See us?!?)

Here are some of my favorite sign slogans that we spotted:
* T.E.A. Taxed Enough Already
* Washington D.C. District of Corruption
* Free Markets, Not Free Loaders!
* Socialism: a great idea until you run out of other people's money
* I'll keep my guns, freedom and money; you can keep the change
* Can we bankrupt America? Yes, we can.
* Love your country; fear your government.
* Wall Street got a bailout; All I got was the bill.
* If 10% is good enough for God, it's good enough for the IRS.
* You Can’t Multiply Wealth by Dividing it
* If you’re not OUTRAGED, you aren’t paying ATTENTION!

I don't know if this is correct, but it was said that 7,000 people attended the tea party here in Hoover. Rick & Bubba were there, too, giving live reports to Sean Hannity.

All in all, we didn't throw any tea off a ship in a Boston harbor, and we didn't dress up in costumes and feathered hats (well, most of us didn't!), but I still felt like I was taking a stand and being a patriot... especially when the national anthem was sung. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I stood next to soldiers, veterans, democrats, republicans, moms, dads, children... people who love America and love being American.

God bless us all.
Pray for our country.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

La Fiesta and Shipley's Do-Nuts: The Perfect Combination

Since Dad's birthday was officially yesterday, we went to our favorite place -- La Fiesta -- for birthday dinner! (I could probably eat there every day... and not get tired of the food!)
We told them it was his birthday, so, of course, they got out the big drum and the goofy hat and sang "Happy Birthday" to him (in Spanish).
(Get the feeling we go there a lot? Well, we do, especially for birthdays. Check here and here for more goofy hat pics!)

Here's a picture of dad in the infamous hat...

...and a picture of a picture that they took of all of us. (Yes, it's blurry. It's a picture I took OF the picture they took!)

Sean and I also stopped at Shipley's Do-Nuts while we were in Hoover. (Did you know they have 1/2-off donuts after 5:00? AMAZING!)
And I must say, even though I felt (and still feel) pop-the-top-button-off-your-pants full, Mexican food and donuts make a wonderful meal! ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Anniv-Easter-Day!

This weekend was quite busy. The non-stop kind of busy that makes you wish for another weekend -- ASAP!
In addition to regular working and cleaning the house activities, I made a cake on Friday afternoon, picked up Jaiden after school and then Sean, Jaiden and I ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant, saw the movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens" (in 3D, of course), and dropped off J at my Mom and Dad's so that the next day Sean and I could mow and spray several yards, come home and change, meet Mom, Dad and Jaiden at Olive Garden for Mom and Dad's 45th anniversary dinner and then head over to Sean's grandfather's house to celebrate the three April birthdays in his family (while Jaiden conked out in the car ... and on the couch... and in the car again). Then we woke up early the next day so I could make a nice breakfast and so all of us could enjoy looking at our Easter candy and gifts and then get ready and hurry to church. There, we enjoyed the service, chatted a bit with family and stopped at the bank and the store on the way home, changed clothes, grabbed the dogs (and the cake) and headed over to Mom and Dad's for lunch to celebrate Easter AND my dad's birthday, which is on Monday. (BTW, balancing Easter gifts, a large cake, a 6-year-old, a purse, a birthday gift and 2 dogs while maneuvering through a work truck full of clothes, supplies, trash and who knows what else, is not an easy task. Items fell. Cakes teetered. Dogs whined. Keys were misplaced. Feelings were hurt. And the clock just kept on ticking!) As soon as the last bites of turkey, ham, rolls, stuffing, veggies, cake and ice cream were finished, we jumped in my mom's car (as to avoid a second helping of work truck insanity) and raced over to yet another house so Jaiden could hunt for Easter eggs. Sean, Jaiden and I stayed there for a few hours, chatting and, yes, eating more food, before rushing back to Mom and Dad's in time to help my grandmother into the car so she could leave. Sean then mowed my parents' yard before we gathered up the dogs (leaving Jaiden at Mom and Dad's since there's no school on Monday) and drove to Sean's parents' house, where we were entertained by some Dance, Dance Revolution on the Wii and by my sister-in-law's trying on of a very ... um.... interesting bridesmaid's dress. Then we made it home, where Sean and I both collapsed.
So... in a nutshell, Happy Anniv-Easter-Day to all!
Wake me up on Friday....

Friday, April 10, 2009

And Then There Were Five...

Well, we now have 5 beautiful butterflies in our butterfly treehouse! The last two popped out after Jaiden and I left the house on Wednesday morning. And now that I finally dug out the "real" camera, here are a few more shots of our "Painted lady" butterflies!

They are much more active now, spreading their wings, fluttering around and eating! They seem to like the fresh oranges, and it's quite entertaining to watch them unwind their long "tongues" and drink the OJ! (You can spot 3 butterflies in this shot!)

And they'll even sit on my hand for a bit... especailly if I have fresh orange juice on my fingers. FUN! (Maybe that's the secret when visiting a "butterfly farm" -- wear some sugar water or juice as your perfume that day!) ;)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wii Revenge?

Sean and Jaiden tend to hog the Wii Fit... a lot. So, I decided to have a bit of fun while they played on "the little white thing you stand on."
I took some sneaky photos of both of them looking pretty silly in the various Wii Fit exercise poses.

The only problem: I'm sure they will get me back one day -- a little Wii revenge -- whenever I get to use it again, that is!
Of course, in this case, that may be Wii Fitting. Ha-ha! ;)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Butterfly Update

Still only three butterflies when we left this morning. So, for now, here's a picture of two butterflies, one of which seems to be quite the adventurer... That, or he's contemplating his escape!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

From Chrysalides to Butterflies!

On our way out the door this morning, I decided to take a peek at the caterpillars... uh, I mean chrysalides.... to see if there had been any changes overnight. Lo and behold, there were three butterflies looking back at me! (Well, sort of; they were really just hanging around... literally!) Now there are only two chrysalides left! They may turn into butterflies today or tomorrow.
Jaiden and I were pretty excited. We gathered a handful of flowers and made them some "food" (sugar + water). I'll have to pick up some oranges and carnations on the way home... that's what the directions say, anyway!
This photo shows two of the butterflies (and the two remaining chrysalides). The other butterfly ventured out a bit and was hanging near the top of the butterfly treehouse. I only had my phone ready, so excuse the low-quality picture. I will post some better photos soon!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Goodbye, Dogwoods

I'm posting this picture because I'm wondering if all the wild dogwoods around our house (like this one!) will survive the freezing temperatures tonight and tomorrow!
Ah, Alabama weather....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brian Regan... and Dumb Pictures

Sean and I went to see Brian Regan at the Alabama Theater last night.
His brother, who opened for Brian, was really funny, too! We had a great time and took a few pictures (none allowed inside, of course).

These are shots of us walking back to the car -- in the rain -- and of us in the car -- in the rain.

But I am beginning to realize that self-taken pictures with an iPhone aren't all that easy... or all that great!
Oh, well! It's documented, at least!