Bluebonnets 2012

The Texas rite of passage every spring is to take pictures in the bluebonnets.  This year, thanks to a miracle from God, and the random rains we’ve gotten, bluebonnets are in fairly good shape.
Since I took A LOT of pictures in a short time, I opted to do a quick collage with Picassa, really loving that.

First up is Superman, both the boys wanted to show off their fighting poses.

Next is Batman, and for some reason this is showing up as a link……..2012-03-142

And finally Princess, who was not in the mood to get her picture taken.2012-03-141

And then group pictures.  Sigh, I love bluebonnets.
Sigh, bluebonnets make me so happy.  I want to go and get one more round and get a shot of me with just each boy  Oh and a better one of me with the kiddos.  This was an unplanned photo shoot, so none of us were really dressed well for the pictures.


Because I need to have at least one of these each year.  Even though there just weren’t any really great bluebonnet shots to be found.



Batman wanted a picture in front of the yellow flowers.  And for the record, Batman is the one in the dark shirt.




You can’t really see the flowers, but there are some behind me.  Mainly I like this one because it has me in it with all of the kids hugging me.


This would be a sandwich hug, you’d get that joke if I ever completed the art activity I want to do.  Hopefully soon.


See what I mean about the flowers being rather pitiful?  Usually you’d just see this field of blue.  Sadness.  When we were driving home from Mississippi I saw some fields like that, but then Princess was sick and we weren’t going to stop.


This is over by Jeff’s work, and after he went back to work the kids enjoyed playing in the water.



We finally found a “decent,” and by decent I really mean that it wasn’t completely and totally pathetic, just a little bit.


But, then they were feeling silly or tired of taking pictures, so I got shots like this.




The boys were cooperative enough to get me these two shots.  I actually like the one on the left a bit more, it’s not as posed.


And I got these slightly silly individual shots. I like the one of Princess a lot.



So, I was looking through some old pictures trying to delete down a bit, and I noticed something:

1.  We don’t seem to have any vacation pictures where at least one of my boys doesn’t end up with a head wound.


2.  It’s always on the right side of the head, usually close to the hair line.




3.  It’s never Princess.  Her only head wound comes from her brothers dropping a shovel on her head.


Yeah, that was a fun night.  I’m calmly getting dinner ready and the boys come in saying, “Mom, Princess is red.”  She’s red, what does that mean?  And then I see what that means.  She’s covered in blood and I can’t see where the injury is.  So, into the bath tub as I attempt to get the blood off enough to discover the wound.  Head wounds bleed a lot.  No really, a lot.

Eventually I discovered the wound right on top of her head, and after putting pressure on it the bleeding stopped and all was well.  Okay, not well.  At that point in time I had three kids with head wounds.  Batman was recovering from this one.  Then a week later his brother got an identical head wound.  And then her.  Seriously, my kids………

Science Sunday: Plants and seeds

Science Sunday
I was given a copy of Planting the Wild Garden by Blue Slip Media to review, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.


Because we’ve been planting a garden.  And before you ask, yes you NEED to dress as a pirate to plant your garden.

It’s a neccessity.

So, “Planting the Wild Garden,” is a story about how seeds are spread and it follows all of the different ways seeds are moved.

I loved the simplicity of this story and the pictures.  They reminded me of the Jan Brett style with pictures within pictures, but more calming.  It’s water color instead of acrylics, so the colors aren’t as bright.


Before reading it we had gone on our annual bluebonnet hike to find a good place to take pictures.  There’s not really any yet.  We need a good day of rain and then no rain for a while to get some.

So, we got a great chance to examine some flowers and try to look for their seeds.  We didn’t get to see the seeds yet, but we saw where the seeds would be.


After reading the book we talked about all the different ways seeds are strewn about, and I remembered this picture from an earlier walk.

It was a great talk about how seeds are grown.

So, all in all I think this book makes a great addition to anybody’s spring plant study.  I look forward to reading this book over and over again.

And, the kids and I are heading out of town to go visit my grandparents in Mississippi, so if you don’t hear from me much this week you’ll know why.  We’re off on a great adventure with my Mom.  Poor Jeff has to stay home and work with only Mac for company.

Oops, this was supposed to be scheduled for Sunday……..  So, it’s up a few days early.


They’re awesome this year!  I am proud to say I have not yet crashed the car into anything looking at them.  We’ve made a couple of separate trips to find bluebonnets, and had a blast doing so.  It’s been wonderful.
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This first set is pulled over on the side of the road near my house.  I was having all sorts of fun trying to make sure I didn’t get the fence in the background too much or the cars, and trying to keep the kids from picking any or running too much into the street.

Batman declared this is his favorite.


I let Batman pick this one flower, because it’s hard to constantly say no, but I want them to learn they can’t pick other people’s flowers, or flowers on the side of the road, because if we all picked just one, then there would be none left for everyone to enjoy and say “how butiful,” I just love when my kids say that.

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I have to admit, bluebonnets are a large part of what I love about Texas.
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This second set is my kids in their outfits for my Mom’s wedding.  Can you tell it’s a country themed wedding?  These flowers are out in front of my Mom’s church, where she works and attends.
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Then I did some of each kid by themselves.  So, obviously this is Princess.  The boys get a bit harder.
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This is Batman.  His belt wasn’t falling down, that’s the way I’m telling them apart right now, for these pictures.  Eventually I had to take off poor Superman’s holsters, but he still played with the guns.
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Superman wouldn’t cooperate and go sit by himself over in the flowers, he was too worried about dropping his guns and losing them, but he’d sit over here.  You know, the place with almost no flowers.
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Princess already got a close-up, but she’s too cute not to include these pictures.
I mean how can you not be happy looking at that?  Isn’t it gorgeous?

stART: Legend of the Bluebonnet

Ummm….  Pretend I’ve figured out how to insert a button using LiveWriter, and the button is here.  I’ll figure it out soon. Hopefully.

legend of the bluebonnet
Last week after much trials and travails we read “The Legend of the Bluebonnet” by Tomie DePaola.  I think every kid in Texas has this book read to them at least once.  I know when I was interning in a kindergarten class in high school the kids were read it.  Then when I taught school I read it to my class.  Why?  Because it’s perfect for teaching this age range about Texas.  We’d also usually include some of Paul Goble’s wonderful books about Indians, but I think I’m going to save some of those for when we study Oklahoma.  Maybe……

And, funny story about this book.  So, I actually wanted to do this project about two weeks ago.  I went to the box I was sure the book was in, and it wasn’t there.  Now, to really understand this dilemma you have to understand how many books I have.  I have a 6 foot bookshelf full and overflowing with children’s books.  Those are just the picture books.  Then in the game room Jeff and I have another 10 bookshelves, those are mostly not picture books, but I have to admit my gorgeous fairy tale picture books are in my shelves.  And then there’s two big tubs of books sitting behind our couch.  Then another three boxes in the garage.  So, when I say it was a bit of a disappointment, now you understand why.  So, I searched through all the various boxes, and found lots of other wonderful treasures, but not the book I wanted.  I finally broke down and went to Half Price Books and bought myself another copy.  And another 6 books to go with it.

In my defense, I do have about two tubs worth of books to sell back to Half Price…….  Okay, back to the project.
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So, we read the story and talked about *SPOILER ALERT* how the girl gave away her most precious treasure, her doll her parents had made her.  Then I asked the kids what their most precious treasure was, and what would be hard for them to give up.  At first they were all about giving away their sister’s stuff.  The boys were quite sure she wouldn’t mind that.
So, after much searching they all found their precious dolls, and I took a picture of them in it.  I then pasted the picture into a word document and scaled it so I could have two of them side by side on the bottom half of the paper.  I printed this out, and cut it into two separate pieces, and folded these papers in half like a card.

Now, I got out the blue paint we made a special trip to the store to find.  Blue is Superman’s favorite color so we go through a lot of blue. And a green marker.  I drew a line to represent the stem, and then had them make fingerprints all around it for the bluebonnet.  Oh, and we used just a little bit of white paint to give the projects the occasional bit of difference in the blues.  Again, this is one of those projects every kid in Texas makes, so it’s not super original.

Princess really was not going to cooperate with the whole make fingerprints and really wanted to fingerpaint.  She did eventually put a whole handprint on half of the paper.
And here’s the finished projects that I got pictures of.  Including mine, which I made so I wouldn’t keep telling the kids they were doing it wrong, and instead just let them enjoy themselves.



The outside of the little kinda sorta book.  I bet you can tell which one is mine.025

And then here’s the inside.  Hopefully this makes my explanation a little easier to understand.
And of course it ended with my kids having a free for all painting time, and then stripping all of their clothes off and running happily to the bath tub screaming “Naked, naked, naked” over and over again.  This was a fun new game.  I wasn’t as thrilled.
For more great story ideas go to A Mommy’s Adventures.  I might also link this up to Debbie’s geography linky over at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn (hmmm, it didn’t automatically make that a link…..  I guess I’m still figuring out this whole Live Writer thing) because ultimately this is going to go in our Texas lapbook that I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do……..


Anyone who’s lived in Texas knows you have to get Bluebonnet pictures with your kids. Sadly, bluebonnets this year are rather sparse and hard to find. I kept hoping I’d find a magical patch of perfect bluebonnets, but they were hiding mainly on the side of really fast highways I wasn’t willing to get my kids out at.

So, finally I broke down and pulled over to the side of the road one day and got some not fabulous pictures, but some fun ones. Here’s my favorites.



Batman would not look at me for his pictures.


For once she’s not sticking out her tongue.


Really, they’re hugging.



Sigh, I love bluebonnets.