So we loaded up the ol pickup with squirming children to venture out to Windy Knoll Christmas Tree Farm again this year. We discovered this tree farm last year and we love it. It isn't as picturesque as Prairie Pines, but the trees are really pretty, cheaper, and it's a mom and pop farm that's really friendly. So, Off we go.
Payton had to ignore me. Couldn't smile for a picture...it just might kill him.
Ella couldn't smile either because she was pouting about something or other at the time. Maddie on the other hand....well I'm pretty sure she was smiling under her hat. How could she not be?! Spaz.
I turned on the radio to B98 FM hoping to add a little cheer to our trip. It was Celine Dion. This is how Tim felt about that. He thought T95 was more appropriate for his Christmas cheer tank. Sorry bud.
So off we went! It was a cold and rainy day, but that didn't stop the kids from running around and touching each tree. They had a whole list of pro's and con's for each tree. It was pretty cute.
Payton's only stipulation was the tree had to be bigger than dad, because that was the true definition of "tall." We were successful. Tim just laughed and shook his head. He thought I was a Clark W. Griswold tree with no room for the angel on top. We were determined it would be just fine! Measurements shmeshurments.
Dinner, PJ's, and finally...tree decorating! They were more excited than they ever have been before. It's kind of cool now that they are older, they were actually able to decorate the tree themselves. I did have to do some relocating or all of our ornaments would've been all on the bottom 2 feet of the tree. It's a beautiful tree. Pretty full...lotta sap. Next we sat them down for the annual Christmas Pics of Busy Ryan Children.
This is my favorite time of the year....
Starts off with a winner right off the bat....I was a little disappointed, but then they went back to their own usual form.
And finally we were left with Payton who was so sick of saying cheese that he gave up. The girls were running down the hallway fighting over a book and seconds away from their own personal time-out corners.
Doesn't this picture just scream "TIS THE SEASON!"
Love her expression here. Can't force an expression like that. Good to know that's how she feels about her mother....
Now this pic is my favorite because it's beautiful and looks so wholesome. This is a picture that the Hallmark company would use to sell their books. However....although it looks like Payton is peacefully standing there listening to the story, he's actually blocking the light for Ella's book. It's one of those pre-recorded books and it reads the story based on how much light goes into the little holes along the spine of the book. So Ella gets into the story and Payton casually leans into the light to stop her story. She was screaming mad at him seconds after I took this. But at least I caught a brief 2 seconds of love and tranquility.
So this is our little Blue Jay. I don't know what's wrong with him, but for some reason, he is completely tame around us humans. He loves the kids, he loves riding on the handle bars of their bikes, and sitting on top of the swing set while they're swinging. He's also been a great study buddy for me. Most days I sit in my "dumpster find" rocking chair outside and study while the kids play and he's been around giving me moral support. I guess here he was making sure that I had the right material for the upcoming test.
Sometimes he just sits there and provides moral support...
Sometimes he stuffs seeds and leaves into my hand for snack time.
You must keep up your strength after all.
He even tries to help me turn pages. I think he knew I had the physical assessment stuff covered and really wanted me to focus on wounds. Good call.
Then he'll fly off to keep an eye on the kids and help them with their sidewalk art.
He helps Maddie find the best color option for her scribbles. Is it really any surprise he prefers the blue chalk? Seriously. I took so many pictures of this because it is just too cute and unbelievable. This is Snow White Disney type stuff.
Yesterday we did our best craft yet. The best part is that it's pretty cheap (4 ingredients...1 is water), and pretty easy to mix together. The kids did all of it...oh yea...what did we make you ask?...SLIME!! http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/09/kids-in-the-kitchen-slime/
So that website as the recipe and instructions. But you only need Borax (I had no idea what that was, but it's in the laundry detergent aisle. $5 for a big box), glue (we used clear, but you can use white as well, you just won't be able to see through it), food color, and water.
Seriously, it was an awesome craft. They were so impressed with me!
The kids were able to do each step, we just had to have a quick talk about not eating it...Maddie...
Maddie mixed the glue, water, and food color together. This is the only step that can really stain. Once the slime comes together the color stays put. We had no staining what-so-ever.
So Payton poured our Borax/water mix into Maddie's glue/water/food color mix and then the coolest part happens. It looks like you're just dipping your hands into water, but then you can pull the water up into a slime! It blew their minds...mine too. So pull the slime up and get rid of the extra water in the bowl. After that it comes together and it acts a lot like Play-Doh.
It looks like a huge mess, but you smash all together and it sticks...so you pick it up just like Play-Doh.
You can also smooth it out and when it gets thin you can see through it as clear as a window. It is seriously wild stuff. It had all of us, including me, mesmerized for a couple hours.
It met all of Maddie's tactile needs. When you leave it alone, it gets smooth and glassy, it melts into itself, and when you roll it into a ball...it BOUNCES!! So cool.
We only have two day left before the chaos of school starts. Payton goes back on Wednesday and I start next Monday. I'm trying to lay back and enjoy our last days, but anxiety is creeping in a bit and I'm starting to wish I could just start this so I can get it over with. I have one more project to finish this week for my nephew's first birthday. The countdown to Graduation shows 1 year, 8 months, 25 days, 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 29 seconds...again, providing it's a 12:00pm ceremony. :)
Luckily I have a very good imagination. It has come in handy this last month. In my house, I see beautiful things that I use to make believe that I actually live in a little coastal town of Maine. It's 73 degrees outside...not 114. Hmmm...I think we'll have fresh crab for supper, because that's what we do here in Maine. Seriously, the weather has really taxed my imagination. It's almost too much work to keep it up.
But we caught a break yesterday. It was seriously nice outside. We had a late night storm and it actually rained enough to bring the humidity down, which doesn't usually happen. It also stayed nice and cloudy so I was able to FINALLY have the windows open!! Excited doesn't even begin to describe it. Okay, you want the honest truth?...I cried. Just a little squirt, but still.
I popped popcorn and put the game on. Okay, so it was a rerun game from 2008, but STILL. It was football dang it. Windows open...football on....popcorn popped. Heaven.
Last night it was still nice enough to do lawn Olympics. Bathed and jammied and running around until it got dark. What's even cooler is that it's been too hot for the mosquitoes, so we didn't even have to goob them up with bug spray.
Ella was serenading the sky. Seriously, she was laying there and singing to the sky. "So bluuuuuuuue and so preeeeeeetty and so bluuuuuuuuu" Very inspired. A future John Denver if you ask me.
I call this one, "MOOOOOOON!"
He may be a genius, but he still has a 4th grade sense of humor.
Transformers pajammies. Manly man.
Maddie in camo.
It was a nice night.
I also found a countdown timer for my computer. Countdown is on for graduation from nursing school.