Saturday, July 24, 2010


T came screeching into the living room late this morning. "I have 2 BUTTERFLIES in my box!!"    I was surprised.  Not that they hatched, but that it only took about a 2 weeks.(If you think about it, it's quite amazing--a big ol' fat ugly caterpillar transformed into a beautiful graceful butterfly in 2 weeks.)

Beautiful butterflies!!  And I wasn't expecting them to be as big as they were.  We let them climb on us for a few minutes and then took them outside and released them.  He's got about 5 more he's waiting on.  Stay tuned!

Friday, July 23, 2010


T REALLY DOES belong to D and I.  Though looking at him these days he looks like he might not have two whiter than white white folks for his parents!

He's defiantly gotten his tan on this summer.  He looks like someone plucked him straight out of  a beach in Californian, with his blond hair and  blue eyes.

J, on the other hand...

J just prays every year this will be the summer the sun will fry his freckles and they will disappear forever.  (Apparently, from about 8 years on, it's very uncool to have freckles, no matter how adorable your mother tells you they are!! hehe)    So far, no such luck. I guess we haven't mentioned the sun is part of the reason you GET freckles.
(In case you are ever curious, this is the look you will get from your 12 year old when you tell him you want to take a picture of the adorable freckles on his nose. 12 year olds are so grouchy and have no sense of humor... unless it involves body functions.) 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Random-ness Of My Life

T's caterpillars in various stages. Being the nerds we are we found out that these are called Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and will turn into the most beautiful butterfly.  They loved herbs, which expains why my garden was suddenly gone one day.   Oh well.

J's new black Havana that he bought already bred had 6 babies a week ago. We were surprised to see 2 CHOCOLATES in that mix.  He's only had blacks.  (Seriously, could anything be more cuter)

DAISIES!  My very own daisies from a plant that I planted only this spring! I was thrilled with the one bloom I had a month ago, but the plant just exploded! They sure do look pretty in my kitchen!

Friday, July 16, 2010

T's Fair Projects

This is T's 2nd year in 4-H so he was much more relaxed about things.

His woodworking project was changed at the last moment. He's been collecting the caterpillars that are mowing down my herb garden. Most have now turned into cocoons and declared he had a great need for a nice big bug box, so that is what he made.  It turned out perfect and the judge gave him a blue ribbon and said it was the best darn bug box he's ever seen.    T was mad it has to stay at the school until Saturday because he has stuff to put into it, and needs it now.  ;-) 

*I have to smile every time I see the boys' woodworking projects this year. They reflect them so much and the things they love.*

He also put in 2 cooking projects. He' s getting a lot better in the kitchen, LOVES COOKING, and I've discovered he's not really a cookie person. He's more a cake/pie person and has needed a little coaching on why it wouldn't be a good idea to take that 25 layer, triple chocolate cake for your level 1 project! haha  But he made German Chocolate Cookies and a Strawberry Coffee Cake. Both got blue ribbons as well as state fair blues!  He was pretty excited. Last year he was still too young to take anything to the state fair.

On to next year! =)  

J's Fair Projects

J had a good day Wednesday!  For his woodworking project, he made a chess board.  He's really big into chess this year, so I wasn't surprised at all when he told me his plans.  D had some blood wood at the shop that J fell in love with as soon as he saw it and thought it would be a perfect dark wood for the board.

  He worked on it here and there over a week or so, but I think the worst part was waiting on the glue to dry in the various stages  It was frustrating to him to do a little bit and then have to leave it alone until the next day.  Lots of gluing and sanding.  He got a purple on this project as well as a state fair blue. He's been itching to get to take a woodworking project to the state fair so he was thrilled!

He also had 2 foods projects.   He did EVERYTHING this year. From picking the recipes to the baking to the picking of the 3 "perfect" cookies.  It was nice! =)   He did great and made Chocolate Mint Cookies (oh so good and I will be making these around Christmas time!) and Banana Oatmeal Drop Cookies.  Both got State Fair blues!

This is J's 3rd year in Rocketry and a project that he declares every year is the last year.  Usually as he's sanding out fingerprints/runs for the 1,000th time.  He really enjoys it though and I saw a LOT of growth in this area too this year.  He did a super job on his fins, which have been his problem area. However, he put all his attention in his fins and the judge also pointed out his launch lugs needed a bit of care too.  He did get a purple and state fair blue on his rocket.  I think it will be good for him to take his rocket to SF and play with the big dogs.  He will get to see pretty fast what he will need to improve on as some of those rockets look like they have factory paint jobs and they use a device to measure the alignment of the fins!!

PHOTOGRAPHY!!  This was his first year for this project.  I hate it when my kids are in a new one projects.  I stresses me.   Anyway, he really enjoyed it and I REALLY ENJOYED having him in it.  I love taking pictures so it gave he and I some common ground that resulted in some nice conversations.  Here are his pics he took.

These 2 got blue ribbons.

 This one got a red. She didn't like the focus or the lighting.

State Fair blue for this one. I was surprised as this is one of my least favorite pictures he picked to take.

State Fair Blue.   This was one of my favorites, (and he had lots of fun setting different poses up for this pic!)  but was worried about how it would do as the top of the head is a bit cut off when we had it printed.

State fair blue, First year champion and overall 4-H Grand Champion Photo. (My terminology isn't correct, but this is in "BECKY" terms.)

Seriously..I think I peed my pants a little when D called to tell me this.  COULD--NOT--BELIEVE IT!
I wanted to tell everyone the story about this picture.  We were at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club getting ready to head out on the boat.  J and I were looking at the boats, he was taking different pictures, and  he was trying to get the boats and water lined up just right so there were straight lines of boats on both sides with water down the middle.  J had a vision in his head and he just could not get the shot he wanted.  Anyway,  while we were doing this, D is up telling J to come up and see it from where he's standing.  We kept rolling our eyes and making fun of him because *we* are the ones that like taking pictures, not him. And that he didn't know what he was doing.  hehe  Finally J goes up to shut his dad up, snaps a picture, and.....there is it!  J learned that sometimes just changing the angle or direction of the shot can make a world of difference.  And we will be hearing about this from D until NEXT fair time...and probably even after. ;-)

Bunny Results

Thursday was the bunny judging at our county fair!! We had 15 rabbits total this year and think it must be some sort of record!

J took his Californian buck, Truman, Havana doe Chelsea, and Havana doe Golly.  He only took Truman because he uses him for Showmanship.  However, it was a good thing he did because Truman took home the purple!!  Golly got the reserve!  (Truman is the buck he took last year to county and was told he was too small, but went on to win one of the top prizes at the state fair. HOWEVER, he seems to have a hot/cold relationship with the judges.  He's shown him 6 times now.  4 times got great comments, and 2 times were pretty much told he was junk.  It's hard when you get conflicting comments, especially when you are 12.)
Michelle snapped this pic of J hanging on to the judges EVERY word.

T took a Castor Mini Rex  buck named Chance, and a Castor doe named IZZY.  We knew Chance wasn't going to do well, but T bought him to be a herd buck and we really wanted to get some comments on him.  Judge told T not be breed him because he has horrible guard hair.  We bought Chance when he was only 8 weeks old and it's hard to tell a lot about a bunny  at that age.  T will have to make some decisions.  Anyway, Chance got a red ribbon, and IZZY got a blue so he can take Izzy on to the State Fair if he would like.

J also took 2 frozen market rabbits that he got blues on and he will get to sell at the auction.  Judge Addison was really impressed with them and with J for going through the dressing process.  However, I am certain one of our local little girls in our club is now a vegetarian as she was SHOCKED and APPALLED at those frozen bunnies. I explained to her that ALL her meat she eats used to be alive, but her response was..."But bunnies are cute!"  She didn't even bat an eye when he was judging the frozen chickens, but "they look just like the ones you buy at the grocery store!"  haha

J also did showmanship and got good remarks and a purple, but from a mom's point of view I saw what happens when he doesn't make time to practice enough.  He's got lots of practicing to do before the state fair!!  Lots of kids are interested in doing that next year!! YEA!!

And I can't leave out that I took down Levi, one of my Hotot babies, and D took down Chomper, his standard Rex.  We decided that the winner got a to pick the movie for a date night. Sadly, D will be dragging me to some manly macho movie as Chomper kicked little Levi's batootie. BUT--LOVE IS IN THE AIR!!  We put Levi next to the cage Chomper is in, and now that little 2 lb buck is in LOVE with that 8 1/2 lb Rex.(I guess he likes girls with curves!)  He spends most his time trying to find a way to get over into the cage with her and seems oblivious to the crowing chickens, mooing cows and screaming pigs!
It's never boring at the fair!

(I have blog post on the boys' other fair entries but wanted to get a pic of their woodworking projects to go with them so hopefully I'll get that up day!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rocket Search and Rescue

 Things have picked up around here as we are getting ready for our county fair this week.  Sunday we launched J's rocket.  The rockets have to have been flown once and have to have a report on the flight as well as a couple of pictures when entered in the fair. This always makes me nervous.  My fears are that 1. The rocket will blow up/catch on fire/be damaged beyond repair or 2.  We will never find the rocket.

The rocket J chose to make this year is called "The Magican".  It has a clear plasctic tube between the nosecone and the body so it looks as though the nosecone is floating.  It used a "E" engine.  Which is a BIG engine so we were excited to launch it.   That bad boy didn't disappoint as it went up about 1000 feet in the air before it's parachute went off.  It was the best flight we have ever had. ended up the pasture ACROSS the highway from mom and dads.  Uh Oh.  D and J took off to go find it  and Dad, T and I took off in the car to go "watch" the recovery process.   After watching for  few minutes I started feeling guilty ( it was REALLY hot out.) so we dropped Dad off and T and I headed over to help, but ran into a rattle snake before we got there.  That sent us back to dads house until I get could my heartbeat slowed down.  By this time my sister was home so I left T to keep gramps company and we headed down to the pasture where we found the men hot, tired, sweaty and upset.  J was convinced it was lost forever and D was just mad because he saw about where it went down at, but couldn't find the "dang" thing.  E and K called and were on their way to help, so that would be 6 people out for the search and rescue.  About an hour in, M and D spotted a white flower on a yucca plant  up on a hill that they were convinced might be the rocket, but sent me up there to check it out.  I was almost there, but as I was headed up I looked to my left and saw...something white....with something that looked like fins! I took off screaming  and dancing I WON I WON I FOUND IT!!!  =) It ended up landing over 1/4 of a mile from the launch site!!   So, Mom saved the day, the rocket was fine, and D kept telling everyone that he really HAD looked in the place it was,  but he just must have been looking the other way. hehe   It really was lined up with the trees D had used for "markers" when it went down, just a bit further than thought.
So 2 and 1/2 hours after we headed out to launch the rocket "real quick" before lunch, we headed home. Hungary, hot, sweaty and tired.

But all is well again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our New Hobby

We are Geocaching!! Don't know what that is? It's ok. I only recently was clued in!! (I could very well be REALLY behind.)   It is explained as:

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online

So, someone takes and hides something, and then puts it's exact location on the website. 

D happened to stumble across the Geocaching website and looked up our area and was excited to learn there are 12 Geocaches within 30 miles.  After a short daycare day, we took off on our adventure!

First one found was at our city park. J found this one.

Second one on the nature trail at the lake. This one proved to be more difficult because the trees kept messing with Gloria and it was very hidden. 
 On a mission!!
We were being watched closely!

And the 3rd was found 14 miles south of town.  J got to it first!

Go to  to see if there are any treasures close to you!!

I'm still not sure why the thrill of it is so great, except its like a modern day treasure hunt.  VERY FUN!! (And D has fallen even more in love with Gloria and how she's brought us "so much fun."  Gag... J thinks I need to name my camera!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th Of July

Hope everyone's 4th was as happy and joy-filled as ours!  My men spent most of the day blowing up firecrackers they bought with money they had left over from our trip.  I was super proud of them for bringing home money, but not sure how I feel them using it to purchase items that blow up.  Hmmm...

Later in evening we headed out to one of our favorite familys house for fabulous food, fabulous conversations, and a fabulous fireworks show, thanks to a group of pyros and jr pyros in the making.   It was...well, fabulous!

Ripley's Aquarium

One evening at the beach we went to Ripley's Aquarium.  I had been looking forward to this so much and it was one of my "have to's" on our list.  I love zoos so I couldn't wait to get there!!   It was FABULOUS!! The only thing I would have done different was going earlier.  We went in the evening time, and it was crowded, and we had to hurry to get through it before they closed. =(   I also had a hard time getting good pictures. The lighting in there was really "funky" and dark, and no matter how much I played with my settings I couldn't get really good pictures.

These are from inside the "Dangerous Reef" exhibit.  There is a track you get on that slowly takes you though it, so you don't have to try to look and walk at the same time...perfect for ME!  Anyway, the tank is made from 2 1/2 inch acrylic and holds back 6,675,000 lbs of water!

Sawfish Shark. Look at that face!!

Whoa! Can you see the teeth?  He looked pretty mean.

J and T "petting" the horseshoe crabs

One of the staff flipped one over for D to see.  They have legs like a lobster.  Very bizarre, but very neat! They are related to spiders and scorpions, are not true crabs, have copper based blood blue blood that is used by scientists to diagnose diseases and are true living fossils as they have been on the earth for over 200 million years.

DORY! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....

The Octopus's little suction things kind of creeped me out, but he was fun to watch move around.

I LOVED the JELLYFISH!! They are so beautiful and moved like they were dancing. 

I could have stayed until they kicked me out, just watching these guys.
 This was shot looking up into a window under the stingray tank from the floor below.  It was amazing.
 Their faces are adorable and they look like they are smiling.  Much friendlier looking than the sharks!

 So peaceful to watch!
"Petting" the stingrays.  We can't remember which it was, but they had just added either a new stingray or shark in the tank.  Whatever it was, the staff was not real sure of his attitude yet, and you had to remove your hands from the water any time he came close.  Made me nervous, but the kids loved it!

It was so amazing to see these creatures these Kansas people had only seen on SpongeBob and Animal Planet! ;-)  If you ever get a chance to go, GO!! And tell them the chunky girl with the wide eyes and open mouth sent you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

12 Steps Anyone??

My entire family is withdrawing.  From what?  From various addictions we picked up at the beach:

Habit #1: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts   Our beach gang put away....get this...11 dozen doughnuts while we were there.  The men would drive down most nights around 10 o'clock, when the "HOT" sign was on, and bring back doughnuts so soft and warm they just melted in your mouth.  We would feast, talk, laugh, moan, rub our tummies, threaten to get sick, go to bed, and get up and have them again for breakfast.  Come night time, the cycle would repeat.
Our entire beach gang gained some weight that week we were together.  The most was 12 lbs... not me.. ...and the least amount was 1lb...again..(sadly)...not me.  But I'll never again see another Krispy Kreme without lovingly thinking of those moments sitting around the table, gorging ourselves sick on those little round pieces of glazed Heaven.  

Habit #2.  Kirk's Ice Cream Shoppe   Now, I guess this really isn't a HABIT, since we only had ice cream there once, but that was because it was a day or two before we left and had we discovered it earlier, we would have gotten more.  This place is amazing.  There are buckets after buckets of ice cream, and people just standing behind the counter with scoops in hand, waiting to make you the cone of your dreams.  Seriously, when we walked through the door, it was like the gates of Heaven opened up, and the choir of Angels were singing to me.  T got a waffle cone with coffee ice cream, J and D got cotton candy, and I got bubble gum..that had REAL pieces of bubble gum, by the way...with a scoop of cotton candy on top, all in a waffle cone, dipped in chocolate, rolled in sprinkles.  Yes, I know I have the taste of a 5 year old, but it was HEAVENLY.

 Habit #3  Dublin's Carolina Red wine.  My husbands sister and brother in law turned us on to this wine.  D and I love to try different wines, all while trying to find the "perfect" one for us. Well, this would be it.  Sadly, we can not get this wine in Kansas, so we loaded up the suitcase with a few bottles for us to enjoy over the next few months.

Habit #4 Shopping  We LOVE all the beach stores that are out there. I had forgotten about them (I was at Myrtle when I was 17.)  until we pulled into town and saw the first WINGS and EAGLES.   There is store after store after store with those stores having chains usually just a couple of blocks down from each other.  I don't necessarily enjoy spending the money as much as I do just loving the atmosphere of the stores.  There is so much to look at, loud and funky music playing, weird and ridiculous things made from shells, hermit crabs, dead sharks in a jar (no joke!)--LOTS TO LOOK AT!!!!
And,  no trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without a trip to "Gay Dolphin."  It is a store right off of the boardwalk that is right on the beach, and is probably 3 stories tall, with things JAMMED PACKED into it. Seriously.  I was knocking things over with my purse!!  There is just level after level of jewelry, shells, t-shirts, and gadgets.   It's just a fun place to go to just LOOK around.

I miss the beach.  Withdrawing is hard.