Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creature Feature!

To some of our friends in different geographical regions, this "creature feature" may pale in comparison to what you see on a daily or weekly basis in your neck of the woods. Since we're fairly suburban here, we don't normally see much wildlife.

But Summer...'tis the season, I suppose. Because last week? We hosted a few interesting new faces around here...

Jimmy spotted this black snake just hanging out in a tree in our backyard!  YIKES!!

The next day, I saw this bright green lizard in our front yard on our neighbor's house! 
We're accustomed to lizards in these parts, but they're not always this colorful.

But our most surprising guest was this adorable little mallard duck. It's funny that we've always claimed (especially Jimmy) we would never be "those people" who take in the neighborhood ducks and feed them, etc. 

But when this little guy appeared out of nowhere, and accompanied by no one, you'd better believe all four of us were ready and willing to serve our new guest!  How could you not, I ask??

Jimmy named him "Skeeter."  Madi protested and named him "Lucky Ducky." Most surprisingly, Charlie did not name him "Duck Poo!" He named him "Baby Duck," instead, and Charlie was very concerned that this duck could not find his Mama.

We tended to him with water, lettuce, melon, and bread for a couple of days. We even put a cat carrier in the front yard in case he needed a safe place to rest. We weren't sure if he were wounded or just lost. But after a couple days, we saw him take off and fly across the street. We were thrilled that our hospitality gave him the rest that he needed, and we certainly hope that he's been reunited with his family!

Monday, May 20, 2013

What a weekend!

Madi and I ventured off to Circle F Dude Ranch this weekend with our Girl Scout troop. This was our BIG reward for cookie sales, and it was amazing!  I have to say that Madi left nothing on the table...she is totally fearless. No...I'm not'll see.

We rode up with my dear friend, Carrie, and her daughters Ana and Monica. Madi has been pals with them since they were babies, and they still adore each others company.

When we arrived at our destination, the girls stormed out of the car to claim their bunk beds. We honestly felt like we were on the Amazing Race, and giddy up, we were the first car of our caravan to arrive.  The girls made their beds, and then hustled to put on their swimsuits to hit the lake.

The three of them insisted on hopping into a kayak. Carrie and I didn't even think about the consequences, until it was clear that they had no clue what they were doing. Because they were going around in circles, and they were drifting further and further away from shore. By that time, I was laughing so hard I could barely see. Time for another "Mother of the Year" award. Thank God for the Girl Scout sisterhood. Another girl from a different troop finally went out to rescue them. Thankfully, no one was crying!


After we settled in and had dinner, we were reminded that there was a talent show. Madi's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. She had brought her batons along, and though she'd forgotten her music, she was "all in" for the show. She did GREAT. You could have heard a pin drop while she was twirling her baton in sheer silence. It was a very proud Mommy moment. pictures :(

The next morning we were up bright and early for a BIG day of activities. We started with water play from 9 - 11. Carrie and I decided to join in the fun with the girls and we managed to conquer the Wibbit and the Summit. Too funny. Thank goodness that carrying Charlie has given me some upper body strength, because that was hard!

After the lake, we went directly to horseback riding. We saddled up and took a 45-minute ride through the property. I was terrified. Madi may have been, too, but we were separated, so she did just fine without sensing Mommy's fear. She was given a horse that supposedly acted up from time to time, so they ended up placing her horse directly behind the leader of our twenty-horse caravan!  


The girls took a breather after lunch and did crafts from 2 - 3 before the insanity began. I totally underestimated my daughter's determination. Madi was totally gung-ho to climb the Alpine Tower, and on first attempt, she made it to the first platform. The second she came down, she declared that she was going to try again.  The second time she made it all the way to the top.  I could have fainted. 

Not quite satisfied with the first try.
Yep...that's her at the tippy top.

And then...she did the same thing with the swing. The next day, Madi insisted that we return so she could go higher the second time around.  As you can see, her mission was accomplished!

Thank God for good harnesses.
That wasn't even the end of our adventure. Those activities were followed by another major jump by Madi onto this water thingamajigger called "The Blob," and even a hayride that evening. I swear she's the energizer bunny! She soaked up every experience possible.

The next day, we did a few things in the a.m., and left Circle F around 11:00. Suffice it to say, it was a jam-packed weekend, and a fun one that we will always remember.  We were five minutes outside of camp, and we took a spontaneous pit stop on "St. Anne Shrine Road," where we found beautiful unexpected treasure. It was the perfect way to end our weekend and count our blessings.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Fish Tales

A couple of weeks ago, I went in to Madi's bedroom to do something, and when I glanced at her fish tank, I couldn't find Aqua in the tank. I hollered for Jimmy (he's my lifeline), but when I looked down at the rug, I found my answer. Aqua must have jumped out of the tank and died.

Madi was sad, but almost immediately, she glommed on to the idea of getting a new fish. And so she now has another fish--this one a beautiful bright blue, which she has named "Indie" (nickname for Indigo).

As we were driving to the pet store, I overhead much conversation between Madi and Charlie about Aqua in Heaven and her new pet fish. He seemed very interested in it all..and then I had an epiphany.

You see, we've been working on improving several "areas" of Charlie's routine. He's clearly started to need some assistance in the area of going to sleep like a big boy. So, why not a little reward system for good behavior?

I threw the idea out there, and Charlie fully embraced it.  I promised him that, if he would go to bed like a big boy for the next week, he would get a fish that following Sunday.  We even bought his little fish tank to keep on the bookshelf as a reminder of our deal.

Worked like a charm.

Charlie was great all week, which gave Jimmy and me some time together in the evenings.

On Sunday, we celebrated. The three of us went to PetSmart again, and Charlie was adamant that he wanted a red fish. Thank goodness they had two at the store to choose from that day.

He loves his fish, and so far, so good. On all fronts.

Oh...and for those of you wondering what he named his fish?  If you've seen this post, you already know. guessed it.


Sunday, May 5, 2013


Madi's CCD (religious prep education classes) ended last week.

I know I mentioned it before, but what a blessing these classes were. I love being involved in anything that Madi's a part of, and I always learn so much from classes taught in "Kidspeak!"

I was so fortunate to be a helper in that classroom. Miss Kathi is so loving and kind. I will truly miss seeing her smiling face every Sunday, and I know Madi will, too. Madi and I both received the most awesome Goddie bags (God-filled goodie bags) from Miss Kathi. We will always remember our special first year of CCD, and her part in our religious education:)

Last October, I blogged about our family "Prayer Space" in this post.

Now, Madi has decided to create, in her bedroom, a little "Prayer Space" of her own, complete with a photo of our new Pope, a list of prayers, rosaries, an assortment of prayer cards, and a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother that she received from Miss Kathi for having the second most stickers on her folder in class!!! It is absolutely beautiful, and I'm so proud of Madi for taking her faith so seriously.