Sunday, June 29, 2008

Saturday fun

The butterflies have all emerged! Isn't it exciting? The first three had emerged yesterday morning, and then the last 2 this morning. Luckily the only surviving rose bush in our yard still had some blooms, so I went and snipped 3 to put in. (Of course, I had to shake them really well, there was a spider and another big bug on them....I wasn't going to willingly bring them inside!)

It is really hard to take pictures through the mesh and the plastic. In this one, one of the butterflies was checking out the flowers (which we sprinkled with sugar water). Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet? Now you do.

After watching the butterflies for a bit, we went to a graduation party for 2 of the younger cousins. (I still can't believe how big they are all we have the younger cousins!) The above shot is from a game of musical chairs (organized by the big kids- who all made sure to let the little ones play)

After we got home. I wanted a picture of me in the skirt I made (for the record, I love it. It is exactly how I wanted it to be. I am very pleased with how it turned out. ) You can also see some progress on the house painting project, the ballisters on the railings are done in the shutter color. I just have to do a final sanding on the shutters so they can get painted.

The best of the pictures of the three. The dresses look really cute on the Maggie and Cassie. They were still able to run and play at the party even though they were in a dress. I thought Nate looked cute in his Hawaiian shirt and it kind of went with what the girls were in.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New pictures

It has been a while since I have taken any pictures of me with the kids. In the first one, Nate didn't want his picture taken. Maggie, me and Cassie.

Now Nate is ready.

Nurse Maggie and Nurse Cassie were giving doctor appointments.

Firefighter Nate:

It doesn't need to be Christmas to wear Christmas jammies, and it is always princesstime:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Caterpillars, chrysalids and a blimp

Here are some more caterpillar pictures. It was hard to get really good pictures of them inside the little cup.

This picture sort of shows the caterpillars crawling up the sides. After a while, the side of the cup started to look pretty gross, with the frass that was stuck there. There was also webbing throughout the cup.

I put a paper towel behind the cup in hopes that you could see the chrysalids a bit better. In this picture 4 out of 5 of them were starting to form. Number 5 was finally at the top, but stretched out, not in position yet.

Here they are, all 5 after I transferred them to the habitat. The whole time I was doing that, Maggie and Cassie were watching me closely "Be careful Mama, be careful. Careful Mama....careful" "I am being careful girls" "Be careful.....mama, be careful" "Girls, that is making me more nervous, stop saying that" "Oh, okay." Silence for a half of a second. "Careful Mama...."

They are pinned nearer the bottom per the instructions. And now we wait for butterflies to emerge. (about 7 days or so)

On Saturday Lino and I were out prepping the shutters and porch railings to be painted. The kids and I had gone out back while the neighbor girl and her mom were over when Maggie started shouting to look up:

It was a Good Year blimp. It was moving kind of quickly, I wish I had put the zoom lens on though.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Caterpillar watch!

Well 4 of the caterpillars have formed their chrysalids. The 5th one will probably have its made by end of day today. I have to get the pictures on to the computer. They aren't the greatest, I didn't want to disrupt the caterpillars.

I am completely fascinated by the whole thing though. Lino keeps making fun of me for it. I am just amazed that they knew they had to go to the top of the little cup and hang upside down and curl their little heads up.

The first one to do it seemed to be the leader, got right down to business from the beginning. The next 2 followed pretty quickly. Numbers 4 and 5 really had me worried. They would sort of go to the top and bug the others, then just hang out on the side of the cup. (at one point, I thought #5 wasn't going to make it, he had gone back to the bottom with all the yucky webbing and frass...)

Lino figured #5 is just a late bloomer. By last night 4 had already been hanging upside down for a while and I could see his outer shell (?) starting. By 11 o'clock or so 5 had finally gotten in position--phew. (It reminds me of the movie Multiplicity--copies of a copy....)

The next step will be to somehow transfer them from the cup to the habitat--I should be able to get some better pictures then.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Caterpillar watch

The caterpillars have been pretty active. Yesterday they were moving up and down the sides of the cup. Very exciting.

Not the best pictures, but you can kind of see the webbing that they are making.

There are 5 caterpillars, and 3 hang out on one side and 2 hang out on the other.

The kids are anxiously waiting for them to make their chrysalids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You've got mail!

We got a small box in the mail yesterday, and the kids were very excited about it!

The box says live butterflies, but it had in it five Painted Lady caterpillars, and everything the caterpillars need to grow into butterflies.

It isn't the best picture, but those black things are the caterpillars. According to the little paper that came with them, they spin silk to move more easily and protect them. (I never knew that) Also according to the paper we will notice little green balls of frass starting to accumulate. What is frass you ask? Caterpillar poop.

So now we wait, approximately 7-10 days for them to start the change into chrysalids. The kids have been asking every hour if they are butterflies yet. That won't happen until about 7-10 days after they make their chrysalids.

Why are we raising caterpillars? Well, a few month ago the kids received a box in the mail from my cousin, and it had this in it. (We waited until it warmed up to send for them!) It is from Insect Lore

It should be neat. When Lino and I got married, we released butterflies after the service. We ordered 100 of them from Butterfly Celebration . They came to us already in the chrysalid stage and we had to put them in cute little boxes and wait for them to hatch. Which, conveniently enough happened 2 days before the wedding!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Going Green...

It has been a very busy June so far. Lino has been on vacation this week, and it has been a working vacation. We always seem to pick the hottest days to do big projects, and this week it was not any different!

This is a picture of our house when we bought it, November 2002. We didn't move in until March 1, 2003, because we were renovating the inside (kitchen and bathroom) And by we, I mean Lino, as I was very pregnant and not able to help. It also took a while due to Lino's work schedule, retail at Christmas time doesn't allow for very much free time at all.

All but 2 of those plants in the picture were removed the Spring of 2003. We kept a rose bush (it was still flowering) and the green one on the far left. I have absolutely no desire to garden, and although the previous homeowner had fantastic things growing, it just didn't appeal to me at all to try and maintain all of that.

Unfortunately, we think that Lino pulled up 2 hydrangea bushes. We didn't realize at the time what they were, since they were just big green stick looking things, but I wish we had kept them. I just adore hydrangeas, and after our current project is done, we will be planting some on either side of the front stairs!

Back to our project of the week:

Painting! It was time, 5 years ago the paint looked okay, but it was really starting to look old. So, Lino started scraping and sanding (on the 2 days that were high 90s this week!) and we sat down and picked out some colors!

I just love to paint and was very excited to be able to help. When we bought the house and got around to the painting part, I was very pregnant, and wasn't allowed to help. Then, when we finished our basement to a family room, I was pregnant with Nate and not allowed to help again!

Lino was very glad that I could help this time, he HATES painting!

Here is the start of the front:

And our helpers. They were so excited to help, and were very glad when we reached their turn!

Yes, Nate is wearing his winter hat. He loves that hat and wears it all the time. He put it on when Lino asked for a hat as a result of his newly buzzed head getting really burned. Nate didn't want his head getting sunnyburned either. (Notice Cassie's hair isn't past her bum? She finally let me trim it, I cut about 4-5 inches off and it is just at her waist now.)

So, we finished up the second coat on the front and did the first coat of the side near the breezeway yesterday. We still need to do the shutters, but Lino wanted to take a break from painting today.

We will probably have the shutters done sometime next week, and Lino will start the scraping sanding on the left side of the house so we can get that done next.