Welcome to LOTS OF LITTLES ... a little blog about this and that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a little June

Remember when June was HOT??? I think I do ;) Today it is 54 ... and it's been damp and gloomy ... coolish and stormy ... for nearly two weeks.
It had been hot enough to go shirtless :) Actually ... he had been dressed ... but I stripped him down to protect his clothing while he was eating watermelon.
I don't know why Foof has long sleeves on ... but she remarked, "I would take off my shirt if I was an immodest girl or if I was a boy ... I would definitely take my shirt off!"
Little Dude and what he calls the "scooter sheen" ...
Remember this??? http://lotsoflittles.blogspot.com/2009/08/little-ritual.html
And this??? http://lotsoflittles.blogspot.com/2009/09/little-ending.html
Well ... my children still like to visit with the mail carriers {we have a couple} ... and the mail carriers still like to visit with my children :)
Halo (and Buddy) are working on a "case" concerning a questionable character they call "Tonka". Halo is trying to gather information from the mail lady ...
All ready to record important clues in her trusty notebook ...
The mail lady is trying to sketch a certain vehicle she often sees ...
The kids are pleased with her cooperation ...
and Foofie is happy to be included in such confidential business :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

a little chirping

Okay. Just so you have the whole story ... the pet warbler experience was very short lived.

The following day, Goldie hung out on the rock ledge in our front yard for hours ... just sitting and tweeting in the sunshine ... and the kids were guessing it was going to stick around. But alas ... some other birds came along ... and they all chirped together ... and then Goldie decided to join them. So that's good. I'm hoping we can be done with pet birds now -- for this summer at least!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

a little warbler

Remember my useful and helpful children??? Well ... they have been blessed with a new bird! It seems a tad strange to be blogging about birds when our country appears to be on the brink of economic collapse ... but we have another bird ... so what can I do???

The bird was resting on a tall, thick blade of swampy grass when Buddy spotted it and picked it up early this evening. We think it's a sutton warbler ... and it is really very cute. Its name is Goldie and it is sleeping in our garage.

I had a cute little video of it chirping ... but cannot seem to upload it just now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a little Bobbin

Bobbin escaped and that's fine by me :)

I need my children to be useful and helpful -- not constantly playing with Bobbin or digging up worms for her ... not to mention that we are running low on sanitizer. The kids had put a colored band on one of her legs and so they have since spotted her ... but they were not able to re-capture her.

Monday, June 13, 2011

a little FMSC ~ by Halo

Hi, it's Halo again for a rare but special report!

On Friday, my parents Sunday School group met at Feed My Starving Children. Let me tell you a little about this organization first. It is a christian organization but they invite believers and non-believers to partake in this ministry. A gal who works at FMSC told us the story of
this eight year old boy named Omar. So what's the big deal about this kid Omar? Well, Omar was eight, right? So what's the average weight of an eight year old boy? About 60 pounds? If any of you have little boys around this age, you probably make sure that he's well fed before school each morning, and has lunch money or a lunch box packed full of good food for a young boy. At night, you more then likely feed him (and the rest of your family!) a good, nourishing supper. So what would you say if I told you that Omar was only 17 pounds?! Crazy, right? Well, it's true, Omar was only 17 pounds. You could see his rib cage, his eyes were sunken and hollow, his arms and legs were as skinny as toothpicks, and there was a sort of sadness about him. If you had seen these pictures, it would probably bring tears to your eyes. After 16 days of nourishing food from FMSC, he was already much improved!! After six months of their food, he was a very happy boy with an excellent weight of 73 pounds!

Most of the group helped pack "Manna Packs". There are four parts to these packs: chicken flavoring, dehydrated potatoes and carrots, soy protein, and rice. They told us that food scientists discovered the perfect combo to help malnourished children. FMSC is targeting children in between the ages of 4 to 8. Then we put the food packs into boxes. That night, 51 boxes were packed -- enough to feed 30 children for a whole year!! Amazing!! Surprisingly, the meals are totally cheap!! Each meal costs only 24 cents. To feed one child for a whole year only costs $90.00!!
(yes, we had to wear hairnets, even the men!)
This is a picture I got off fmsc.org, since I didn't take any pics, and I had to use something :)

I was at a table with a lot of kids: Timmy, Nate, Eli, Ray, and a girl named Kayla (who was not from our church) and Kayla's dad, and Mrs. Varberg, Nate's mom.

Six of the men/older boys, worked in the warehouse. As you can see in the picture, there are two plastic bins with rice and soy protein. When we ran out of rice or soy we would yell, "Rice please!" or "Soy please!" and they would run -- I mean RUN :) -- over and exchange our almost empty bin for a full one. Another job for the warehouse guys was moving the full boxes of food bags, after we packed them they would rush them away and tape them up, and stack them on pallets ... then make sure that we had fresh empty boxes sitting near by. Whew! What a mouthful ... and an evening full!! We had an awesome time and I would definitely donate some of my money to this organization -- and I certainly would go back!!

P.S. Some guys at my table were quite intense!! It was pretty funny!! One of the boys (I won't name who!) scooped rice, and like the first three times he poured it in he would pour it sooooo slllooowwwly, and say, "Look at that! Isn't it beeeuutifulll?" It was really funny. Another one of the guys, (I won't name who again, you just have to guess!) was so intense, this is what he said, "C'mon you guys, chicken. Now veggies, soy, it's your turn, rice, keep it going there!!" It was totally hilarious!!

Thanks everyone -- it was super fun!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a little veggie garden

Last week was garden week. We had been talking for the few weeks prior -- or rather I had been talking -- about attempting a vegetable garden again. We've had many garden woes in the past ... last year, I think the issue was lack of sun. Husband, however, said he didn't have any time to help with a garden ... I'm in the middle of fixing up two houses and two apartments right now and I'm behind on paperwork and ... and ... the garage is a mess and ... and ... a million other things ...

Then, we were at Menards to get some stuff Husband needed ... and while he was doing that ... I made my way to the gardening area and started perusing the seeds. I love looking at seeds! They are like little magic pellets! It never ceases to amaze me that one can put a tiny seed in the dirt -- along with water and sunshine -- and a plant will grow! What a Creator! When Husband came over to collect us, I had my hands full of seed packets ... "Wouldn't it be great to be picking squash in September??? And look here, these beans are ready to harvest in only 48 days! I think we still have time to plant. Don't you just look at these envelopes and think ... WHAT PROMISE LIES WITHIN?!?!?"

Husband agreed to help build a garden ... and that made everyone happy :)
On Memorial Day we only had enough time to do a bit of planning ... and then Husband worked on it nearly every evening that week ... and Saturday too. It involved a trip to Menards for boards and gypsum pellets, two rototillers, three visits to a dirt place {loading and unloading a trailer of dirt each time}, and lots of sweat. On Friday, he nearly gave up ... frustrated by the heavy, muddy clay. But he persevered and finished up on Sunday afternoon ... and we were able to plant Sunday evening. Needless to say ... it turned it to be fairly expensive it terms of time and money ... so we're really really hoping it is successful!

It's not quite finished though ... we still need a fence!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

a little robin

Remember Swiss Family Robinson??? Ever read it??? My kids have. I think that book has contributed to their crazy ideas of capturing and taming a deer ... or a bunny ... or a duck. Also fueling these desires was an old-time kids manual {from over one hundred years ago} of stuff to do which we downloaded earlier this spring. In the manual, there were some tips about how to domesticate a wild bird ... even hawks, crows, and owls. My two oldest kids were thrilled!

One of the first sentences about capturing wild birds was ... "It is a mistake to suppose that keeping a wild bird in confinement is a sin." I explained to the kids, however, that some people are different about animals ... and might not like nor approve of their taking and taming a bird ... especially today ... in this culture ... where animals are often overvalued while some unborn children are undervalued and mercilessly killed. Furthermore, it's a culture where nature is often revered and awed without any credit given to its Creator.

All of this led to some questioning ... Why would someone have a problem with my kids taking a bird? Don't people take cats and dogs from their mothers? Do all animals serve a useful function? Were some created just to display God's glory? Why are there pests? Do pests have a useful function? Were there pests in Eden? Were they pesty then ... or is the pestiness of pests a result of sin? Would the mother bird feel sad -- or feel anything -- about her nest being raided and her birds killed? Would a mother bird mind if one or some of her birds were taken? Would the captured bird yearn to be free? Would someone care more if a given pet was a bird versus a turtle ... or perhaps a toad? And why? Or a particular bird ... like a sparrow might be considered more acceptable to capture than say an oriole? Why are some animals more "sacred" than others? What is actually different about the death of a bird as compared to the death of an ant??? Okay, I think I'm going overboard ... I was just trying to consider how other people might think about this ...

Some conclusions ...
1. Animals should be treated nicely when possible. Right??? This, however, brings into question things like bats, spiders, mice and the like. Most people try to kill these things when they are inconvenient and feel no remorse over doing so. So how does this square??? Does anyone know??? I sure don't :)

2. The mother bird isn't able to feel sad over the loss of her birdie(s). She has an instinct to feed and protect them ... but then they leave. They don't have a need to have contact with each other ... as we do ... and their lifespan is brief. The average lifespan of a robin is 18 months.

3. The earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord ... the cattle on a thousand hills ... and all the pets people have are His :)

4. It would be a learning experience for my children to care for and play with this bird ... and it would hopefully fulfill their pet-longings for a LONG time :)

5. I am definitely not a pet person and I would rather do without any sort of pet ... but Husband and I consented to let them take a bird or two.

So do you recall the baby cardinals I mentioned in a previous post??? Well ... my kids were hoping to take them as pets ... but that didn't work out since a critter got to them. But we also had a robin nesting nearby ... so the kids took her two birds ... one of which has already escaped. The remaining bird is called "Bobbin" ... named by Little Blondie who was trying to call it robin. The kids made it a cage and have been feeding it worms. The funniest and craziest part about it is that the mother is still trying to feed it! The mother bird has brought food to it when the kids are playing with it in the yard ... and also when Bobbin is in the cage! {I am going to try and get a video of this!} Someone had told my kids that once you mess with a baby bird the mother will have nothing to do with it ... but that definitely isn't the case here!

Here they are still snug in their nest ...
The cage ... it has been remodeled a bit since these photos ...
The on-my-shoulder stunt ...
Bobbin landed on one of Foofie's workbooks -- apparently Little Dude was helping her with it ...
Even Daddy likes Bobbin!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

a little boy/flowers/birds/girls

Lately, I've been taking lots of pictures of Little Blondie. Sometimes it's rather bittersweet watching your babies grow up, you know??? I can't believe he's already TWO and I simply love this stage of the delightful twos ... and I just want to record every smile, every laugh, every word. But of course I can't. Nonetheless, I've been making up for months of very low picture-taking ... and now you know :)

Foofie decided to wear a winter scarf for her first time ever -- and it was the first of June :)
Two of "our" cardinals hatched early on June 1.
Little Blondie checking out Grandma's flowers ...
and statues.
This shot is a tad blurry ... but it makes me laugh :)
Deep in thought???
My mother's ornamental strawberries ... I love this shade of pink ... but I think I prefer eating my strawberries over gazing at them ;)
And her "prized swedish lupine" :)
And then -- the following day -- there were three! Tonight, however, we discovered that the nest had been raided. It was disheveled and empty ... and one bird was found lying dead on the ground below. It's kind-of sad because birds are so neat ... but kind-of not so much I suppose ... because it's part of His sovereign plan and animals aren't made in His image and not one sparrow falls to the ground without His knowing.
Oh, I almost forgot. Earlier in the week two birds kept going in and out of our garage. Barn swallows. They were starting to build a nest on top of a short carpet roll we had on a high shelf in our garage. We moved the carpet roll outside ... and they have moved on :)