April is National Kite Month.

How exciting, I know.

But we are headed to the beach soon where the "'air is right" for flying a kite.


Joe brought home a paper kite he had made at school.  (Way to go, Mrs. Palmer)  I love that his teacher makes the effort to do these little extras with the kids.  And the kite really flies!  I looked for some instructions online so we could all make a paper kite to take to the beach.  There are tons, by the way.  This one has picture instructions and a video. 

I'll see if I can document them flying (or crashing) at the beach to share later.

I also recently checked out this website:  http://www.thetoymaker.com/

There are so many fun things to do here.  (We will definitely be coming back to this site this summer!)  There happens to be a download for Koi Kites.  They won't be flying in the sky so much as flying through the trees down at Pinestraw Hill.  Won't that add some great color and whimsy to our little playground?!

I might use some of these Bluebirds, too.  Or, maybe add them to a spring wreath.  So many possibilities! 

Find some fun and let me know what was your favorite.


Phobie & Phleak (Part 3)

{If you missed the first two installments of Phobie & Phleak, you can read them here and here.}

“So, Phobie, I’ve just been following you the whole time. How do we know where to go?” asked Phleak once they were on the other side.

“Dude, you think I’m only good at archery but I’m a pro at navigation. Footprints, been following the footprints,” said Phobie pointing to the prints on the ground.

Just then Phleak looked up. “Whoa, Phobie, it’s a bulldog!” said Phleak excitedly. “Let’s follow it,” suggested Phleak. Without waiting for an answer, Phleak followed the dog.

“Hey, Phobie, you might want to see this!” yelled Phleak.

Once she was there her eyes were wide and mouth was open. “The solid silver bow and arrow,” Phobie whispered. She looked over at the bulldog. It was growling loud.

“Phobie, get the trophy. I’ll distract the dog,” whispered Phleak.

As she was about to grab it, a handcuff fell on her wrist. “That didn’t work,” she mumbled.

“Phobie, watch out!” The dog was running toward her. But when it was about to jump, Phobie pulled out a red bandana and threw it to Phleak.

“What’s this for?” he asked.

“He’s a BULLdog!” reminded Phobie. Before Phleak knew what was happening the dog was running toward him. “Phleak, I have the bow and arrow. Now you drop the bandana and run!” yelled Phobie. With that, they were out. They ran all the way back to the Archery Academy. The bulldog’s fat, short, chubby legs gave out the first half mile.

Back at the Archery Academy, they were getting ready for the big contest. They had already been rewarded with extra dessert for returning the trophy but they didn’t tell anybody that a dog was thief. Once the contest started Phobie and Phleak were getting bulls eyes like crazy. It turned out they tied and shared the solid silver bow and arrow.

The End.


My Kind of Snow

I thought you were tired of snow?  my daughter said.
Completely and totally tired of the snow you have to shovel and walk through every time you open the door.
Definitely done with the kind of snow that knocks out our power for days at a time.
But the kind that you drive to, swing up over in the gondola and swish down on skis in--
Especially when a friend offers a complimentary lift ticket with the deal. 
Love that kind of snow!

It was such a gorgeous day to be there.
At the top of the lift, you turn around and can see Lake Tahoe.

Most of us had not been skiing for quite a while, but that did not stop us from owning the slopes!
We were pretty much superstars.

I mean, check out that air!  Mr. White is going to want some tips from this lady.

At the top of this bowl, we took the following two shots. 

It was a great day of skiing.  It included one big fall for me (it usually does) where I lost everything as I snowballed down the mountain.  Pole, pole. I can get my balance back. Nope. Ski, ski, glasses.  Slide.  Check for broken bones.  None.  Take a bow for my audience on the lift. 

Yes.  That is my kind of snow!

It's not very often I get to be in the pictures.
That's what this little linky challenge is about.


Phobie & Phleak (Part 2)

{If you missed part one of Phobie & Phleak, you can read it here.}

In the morning they started on again. Then they reached a bridge 1,000 feet above ground. Phobie stopped just when they were about to cross. “What’s up?” asked Phleak.

Phobie pointed to the bridge. “That’s what’s up.”

Phleak looked at her. She was white as a ghost. “Don’t tell me you’re scared of heights,” said Phleak. Phobie didn’t answer. “Come on, Phobie. It’s the only way across. You gotta face your fear if you want to find the silver bow and arrow,” encouraged Phleak.

“I already did that last night but heights are my worst fear!” Now Phobie was about to blow her head off.

“You were scared of the dragon?!” shouted Phleak.

“Be quiet, Phleak!” Phobie said annoyed.

“And I thought I was the scared one,” Phleak said in disbelief.

“At least we know it’s real!” Phobie shot back.

“Good point,” Phleak said in a small voice. “Hey, Phobie, did you know I’m scared of swimming?” admitted Phleak.

“But you’re a platypus! Ok, Phleak, that ain’t cool!” Phobie said trying to keep the laughter away. With that, she crossed the bridge.

About two miles later they came to a river. “You’re not making me swim across that,” Phleak squeaked.

“Yeah, unless you see a boat,” said Phobie.

“Come on, Phobie. A lot of people are scared of swimming,” complained Phleak.

“Maybe a lot of people, but a platypus?” pointed out Phobie.

“Fine!” Phleak said as he jumped in the river.

“Now that wasn’t too bad was it?” said Phobie.

Will they ever find you stole the trophy? 
Will they make it back in time for the competition? 
Stay tuned for next week's exciting conclusion of Phobie and Phleak!

Joe Had a Birthday

Joe had a birthday a few weeks ago.
He turned SEVEN!
Is every year a "i can't believe he's so old" year?  This one definitely was.

He woke up to one of his favorite things.
(something he always has at the grandparents house)

Old Man Joe is what he wants his grandkids to call him.  We were informed of this recently.  How he's going to have grandchildren, I don't know, because he also informed us he's not having any kids.

We made him wait until after school to open his presents which, of course, was pure torture.
There were some really great presents sent by the grandparents.  Boxes that had been sitting out a few days taunting him.  He showed those boxes who was boss.

He had a few friends come over to celebrate with him one afternoon.
Aren't they just adorable?!
There was a lot of energy in the house so we sent them outside for a bit even though it was a snowy mess.
They didn't care.  They still threw it, climbed it, and made it yellow. 

One of his present boxes was so crazy big he decided he should sleep in it!
And he did.

That kid.  Gotta love him!


Hike at Bullards Bar Resevoir

Bullards Bar Resevoir is not that far from the house.  However, the road we usually take still had trees down everywhere from the snow.  So by the time we got to the trailhead, it was already time to have our picnic.

Once the bellies were full we took off.
Some hike a little faster than others.
The kiddos played this game where they would run ahead as far as they could before we lost sight of them and them freeze until we caught up and gave them the signal to run on.

The view of the lake from the trail was just spectacular, even in winter (the water will be higher come summer).  I was just thinking what a great trail this would be to bike when, whadda ya know, a few mountain bikers passed us.  They gave us some tips for when we come back with some bikes, and a few less kids.

Whenever you go to any body of water, you must find something to throw into it.
Usually rocks.  Rocks are good. 
But if you find a stick and throw it in first then you can try to sink it with the rocks.

This is really more of a boy thing.  So Abs and I played with the camera.

Surprise!  We found a frog.  Thought it might be too cold for the little boogers.
Trek is a critter lover.  Ever since forever.
The summer he was toddling, he received several stings from critters that don't like to be picked up by pudgy little pinchers.  Yet it has not deflated his interest one bit.
Bean is more wary of wriggly, crawly, jumpy things.
Oh, and Trek has on his "handsome" shirt.

 Lastly, a quiz.
Anyone know what kind of bird this is?
It was well camoflaged.  We passed by it a couple times before anybody saw it.


Crazy Crayons

I love crayons.  Especially the way they smell.  Maybe that's weird.  I can't bring myself to throw any away.  Even after they are little, broken, peeled pieces that you can't quite tell what color they are supposed to be.  There are tons of projects to do with leftover crayons.  Check out http://www.crayola.com/ if you don't believe me.

But a couple friends of mine (Hayley & Christine) have recycled their crayons in some fun ways.

I wanted to try it too!

Step One:  Peel the crayons (he was throughly engrossed in this part of the activity for a good 20 minutes!)

Step 2:  Bash them with a hammer.  (very satisfying)

Step 3:  Put crumbled bits into candy mold (or silicon ice tray if that's all you have on hand) 

Step 4:  Place it in the oven at 250-275 degrees until crayons are melted.  (because my mold is actually an ice tray, i placed it in a dish with a bit of water so the whole thing wouldn't melt inside my oven)

Step 5:  Let them cool then pop them out of your mold. 

Step 6:  Color!


Little League Update

Saturday at the ball field...
Team pictures
Opening Ceremonies
Big game against the Riverdogs

Here are Joe and Abby to give you highlights from the game!

Joe said:
Joe on third base...
Im one of my baseball games I allmost caught a line drive in the air.
In the same game I had to dive and stop the ball.
In that same game I hit a popfly.

Abby said:
My baseball game on saturday was one of my best games.
I hit a grandslam and caught a popfly!
It was awesome.
We tied!

Gooooo Rivercats!!!

{pictures by T. Konz}


Free {Big Sister} T-shirt Design

Some Woodleaf friends just welcomed a new baby boy into their family! 
I created this image for the big sisters' t-shirts...

That is one lucky little brother!

So...if you know someone becoming a big sister, you, too, can make them a t-shirt like this!
All you need is to download the Big Sister Design and print it out on iron-on paper.
Iron-on to the t-shirt of your choice and ta-da!!

I scored the cute tape clip art for free at Pugly Pixel.  The rest was just shapes and text I put together.

I would love to know if you used this design!
Leave a comment on this post or email me.


Under Where?!

Moms out there, back me up on this one. 
You don't have to be gone very long at all for things to get out of control. 
I was in my room for a only few minutes and come back out to this!

He was fully clothed before I left.  I didn't even know he could get his diaper off by himself!
He thought it was hilarious!  (i did, too, actually)

Had to censor that last one.  I'm not sure about blogger's nudity standards.
You better believe Trek was not far behind (ha.) in getting his clothes off.  They had a blast running around nekkid until hypothermia became an issue and I made them put their duds back on.

Smile!  It's Wednesday!


Phobie & Phleak (Part 1)

Bulls Eye! Phobie was at archery practice getting ready for the big contest. There was a big contest every year. This year’s trophy was a solid silver bow and arrow. Phobie and her BFF, Phleak (Phleak is a platypus), loved archery so much their parents put them in this school called Archery Academy.

Phobie is tall, with cloudy blue eyes, long dark brown curly hair, and freckles across her nose. Phleak is a furry, webbed footed, beaver tailed, duck-billed, superstitious creature with blue eyes. Another thing you need to know: Phobie is NOT a girly-girl! She usually wears a t-shirt, skinny jeans, a hoodie, and skateboard shoes. Phleak on the other hand is a platypus so he doesn’t wear anything.

A day before the contest, their archery leader called everybody in. The leader didn’t look happy. Then, the most dreadful announcement they had ever heard was announced. The leader said, “The solid silver bow and arrow was stolen.” They all gasped.

“What! We had it well guarded,” said Phobie.

“I guess not well enough,” said the leader holding up a smashed lock.

That night, Phobie said, “We’re sneaking out.”

“To go for the solid silver bow and arrow, have you gone mad?” said Phleak.

“It couldn’t be that hard,” pleaded Phobie.

“We don’t even know who the heck stole it,” complained Phleak.

“We’ll go look for fingerprints!” said Phobie.

“Fine,” grumbled Phleak.

Once they were in the place where the solid silver bow and arrow was stolen, Phobie found fingerprints. “I found fingerprints!” she announced. “But they don’t look human,” she added.

“WHAT!” yelled Phleak.

“Shhh,” hissed Phobie.

“Have fun tracking the thing,” squeaked Phleak.

“Nice try, Phleak,” said Phobie, grabbing Phleak and their things. “Ready?” asked Phobie.

“No,” said Phleak.

“Don’t worry. It’s not like there’s going to be any dragons,” laughed Phobie. “Come on.”

They had walked about two miles when Phleak said, “Phobie, we should probably set up camp. It’s a full moon. The werewolves will be out.”

“You’re so bad. You should really go back to the cabin when we tell around-the-campfire stories,” giggled Phobie.

“Stop it, Phobie,” complained Phleak.

“OMG. It’s the Headless Horseman!” Phobie joked.

“Could be real,” mumbled Phleak.

“I know. A man got his head chopped off in battle while riding a horse and goes around haunting people,” told Phobie.

“You think I’m superstitious? You should meet my family!” exclaimed Phleak.

“Really? Because, when you first came, I killed a spider and you got heck-of nervous,” Phobie shot back. When Phleak came to Archery Academy he told Phobie that killing spiders was bad luck. “Phleak, stop glaring at me like that!” compained Phobie.

“Tents,” urged Phleak.

“Fine,” grumbled Phobie.

She took off her backpack and turned around. “Phleak, don’t turn around, whatever you do,” whispered Phobie.

“What is it? A dragon? Because that’s one thing I don’t believe in,” said Phleak as he turned around.

“Arrrriik!” screeched a dragon.

“That was loud,” announced Phobie.

“You’re taking this surprisingly well!” panicked Phleak.

“I know,” agreed Phobie as she took out her bow and arrow.

“That’s a dragon with a lot of teeth. Have you gone crazy?” shouted Phleak.

“Maybe, but I still have a brain and am using it!” Phobie said watching her arrow soar through the air.

“Nice shot,” Phleak said right after her arrow hit the dragon in the eye and came tumbling down dead.