For Ella's birthday she got a little butterfly house. After we got back from vacation in July I went online and ordered her some caterpillars. They arrived and grew and grew and grew and actually turned into cocoons. After about a week the butterflies emerged and the kids loved watching them eat and fly around their little house. 

After a couple days we decided it was time to let them go. We went out in the back yard and opened their little door and away they flew. Ella was pretty sad that they flew away so fast and didn't stay around to play. I told her we'd have to get some more caterpillars for you.

Jump ahead a couple weeks....

I was out in my garden and came across a monarch caterpillar. Upon closer inspection there were two caterpillars. So I cut off the milkweed that they were hungrily eating and brought it inside and put it in the butterfly house. After a couple/few days they turned into beautiful cocoons.

Now we wait for them to emerge beautiful butterflies. It's hard to see from the photo, but their cocoons are very pretty and they have a line and some specks of gold on them as well. 

Now on to the garden - I have to take a picture of this thing. I have cantaloupe and watermelon growing in my pepper plants. I have tomatoes growing in my zucchini plant, cucumbers everywhere - you get the idea. 

Here is a photo of what I picked on Friday.

See what happens to your pickling cucumbers when you let them grow too long? They get big, but I'm just making relish so it's fine. The cantaloupe are almost ready to pick and the watermelon is getting bigger. The squash are almost done also - it's fun!


Hair Today - Gone Tomorrow

I did it! My hair was finally driving me nuts, so I went and got it cut. Long hairs everywhere, always tickling something, getting stuck, and the most annoying of all was when I would be sleeping and roll over and my hair would get stuck. Argh!!

Well I looked and looked and found a cut I liked. A long bob, or rather termed the "lob". I'm quite in style right now! My hair was also long enough to be donated, so that was nice.

Here is the before:

And here is the after:

It feels so nice and it really is the perfect length. I can still fit it up into a ponytail too, which is key. And yes I know it's a little redder now, but that will wash out. :-)


Carousel and Bug Safari

On Thursday we went to the zoo with Nana and cousin. Everyone had a great time. Man the place was packed! No matter when you go the place is always busy. Before we left the zoo the kids wanted to ride on the carousel. It's a really old carousel - nearly 100 years old. Nana went with the kids because those things make me really dizzy and I don't like to ride them. Ella wasn't so sure at first, but had a great time and Sam LOVED it and cried when he had to leave.

Today we went to the local nature center and went on a bug safari. We were trying to find bugs from all eight bug categories. I think we found all of them. The kids had so much fun chasing the bugs with their nets and showing our guide all the different things.

It's been a good day. I canned my last batch of peaches. I have about 20 jars in my pantry. Yummy!!

I also gave Sam a haircut the other day. Zan said he was starting to look like a hockey player. He didn't want me to cut it too short though. Apparently he likes it longer. 


Here...Then Gone... And Back Again...

Hold on to your hats - this could get long!

Wow, I can't believe July went by without a post. We've been pretty busy around here. In mid July we took a vacation out to Racine, WI on Lake Michigan. 

Our trip was fun. The kids had a great time - they especially liked staying in the hotel with the pool. The hotel was right on the harbor and looked out over the lake.

On our first day there Zan was doing race stuff so the kids and I walked along the pier/harbor and down to the beach. 

Ran into a little history about Racine...

There was a drawbridge on the way to the beach that the kids loved watching go up to let the tall sailboats underneath. (Didn't get a picture)

The beach was great! I couldn't believe how soft the sand was. I really wasn't expecting it. The first day we went there the seagulls had taken over the beach. I told the kids to go get em!!
They had a playground there that I had heard was really great. It was very nice - it was also very, very similar to the playground in town here. I guess we have great playgrounds here.

They loved walking along the sand dunes...

This picture screamed to be in black and white too!!

One of the other reasons we went to Racine was for Zan to complete in the 70.3 Ironman race. He did well. Here he is crossing the finish line...

And with the kids afterwards...

Before we went to watch Zan finish the race we found a splash pad that was only a couple blocks from the hotel. Yeah, the kids were wearing their clothes, but we were on vacation and they were having a blast!!

The following day we went to visit the Jelly Belly warehouse. We took a tour of the warehouse; unfortunately not the factory and dropped a fair penny in the store!! YUM!!

We also went to the beach to go swimming. The water was very cold, but it was hot so it felt pretty good. Up to a certain point anyways...

Apparently sand castles are not my thing, but I made a sand turtle...

We drove a little out of town to go see the dinosaur museum - it was small, but fun.

We also found the best toy store with attached ice cream shop!! I wish it was closer because it really was the best. 

Here's a picture of Sam's dinosaur that he was feeding crackers to.

So that was our trip in a nutshell and photos. I'll put some more photos on my other blog if you want to check them out.

Other than that everything has pretty much been business as usual. The garden is doing very well. I've been picking tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, peppers, green beans and a couple blueberries. I have cantaloupe and watermelon growing also. Here are some pictures I took today.

Then I realized I hadn't posted a completed photo of the deck, so here you go...

I also finished Sam's new big boy bed. He really likes it and his new robot sheets too. 

See, July was kind of busy, but not too much. Now it's only five weeks until school starts again. The summer is going too fast. I wish it would cool down a little bit though. It's been so humid and sticky out. 

I'll try and get some more posts here in August!! :)