May 3, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Big news! Chloe has finally agreed to wear sandals without socks.

One of the great things about staying home with the girls is that we don't often actually have to "stay at home." The weather has been beautiful so we've been invited on a few outings. Several moms met at the Elm Fork Nature Preserve in Carrolton last Wednesday. Chloe's one of the big kids now. At least we are trying to help her in that direction. As much as I feel like she is my baby, it won't be that way for long. Plus, she's starting to really love being included in whatever the bigger girls are doing.

The kids are a little unsure of each other...

and then they get excited!

I attempt having our picture taken.

5 moms and 10 kids! We're off. We go on about a 30 minute? hike in the woods. Boy, I was aching! Chloe actually walked most of the way with me. Most everyone's strollers were used more as luggage carts.

We made it to a clearing for lunch, which was pretty brief considering there was a gigantic bright orange playground in sight.

Just hanging out.

On Friday, we celebrated a late Earth Day with some our library friends. Our new friend, Krista,
has two little girls. Her family lives on a beautiful piece of land in a picturesque red barn- very far from town! We headed out there for some activities. Here the kids paint empty soup cans (recycling for the planet!).

They jump and jump- Hannah's favorite activity.

Krista shows the kids the vegetable garden. All sorts of things are planted- watermelons, squash, you name it!

She shows them how their compost collection works. They all get to turn the wheel.

Everybody takes a turn on the Barbie mobile! I was nervous at first about letting the girls ride it- as I am most things I admit- but Hannah did a great job driving her sister around! I had to help with a bit of the steering. At one point, I turned around and Chloe was in the driver's seat and they were riding along. There was no way her foot could reach the pedal, but when I trotted over to investigate, Hannah was stretching her own to make it go : )

I foresaw the teenage years at this moment. There they go! See ya, mom and dad.

After lunch, Krista brought out her dirt and worm desserts. I've seen these in magazines before and always wanted to try it. Chocolate pudding, crushed oreos, and gummy worms!

Some of the little ones relax on the porch.

Finally, the kids' cans have dried and they plant flowers and herbs!

In the meantime, my painting is finally done! The green walls are nice, happy, and fresh feeling. After discovering the dingy beige trim and baseboards were oil based, I found out I had sanding, priming, and painting ahead of me, but that's done, too. A nice, clean contrast to the green. Eventually the whole house will have white trim, but that's far into the future I'm afraid. Hopefully the carpet order will come in at the end of the week and after 1 year, the room will be useable again. I plan on sewing a couple of large floor pillows for the girls, covering a simple frame or two with the same material, and moving their book corner into this room. This will make room for the soon-to-be-needed baby swing in the den.

The green keeps changing depending on the light, but here is one more view. Now I've been working on the backyard. I've spent hours just standing in it, imagining all its potential. The last time it looked nice was for Chloe's birthday back in November. It's turned into a crazy, weedy mess since then. Anytime Dax was actually able to mow, it rained! Now, it is mowed, weed-eated, bushes are trimmed, and I'm completing the flower beds as we speak. I didn't realize there was a red mulch made of recycled tires- it's supposed to last longer and of course, you're recycling! It looks really nice, and finally the yard is coming together. Still need some rearranging of items back there and some general clean-up before I take any pictures.

I also finished my last big concert for a long while. Lone Star played our Angels of Light concert last Sunday. Our guest conductor/composer was Frank Ticheli- one of the most famous names in wind music! He's actually an alum of the high school in Richardson (where we rehearse) and came to conduct a couple of his pieces. We shared the stage with the Lone Star Youth Orchestra and there were some really great moments. He wrote a beautiful piece called Angels in the Architecture. We also played Chaos, an electric guitar concerto, Bernstein's Mass, and Aurora Awakes by John Mackey, who also came to the concert. It was truly a great last concert.
Dax and I begin rehearsals for Dirty, Rotten, Scoundrels this weekend!

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