Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 100th Post!

For my 100th post, I thought I would try to do something fun. My idea was to think of something fun or special that happened in each month of 2007. Some of them were easier than others since most of the summer was a blur of hospitals and a new baby.

My List of Thanksgiving for 2007
  • January - we found out that baby #3 would be a boy; quite a change from our two girls!
  • February - S and I celebrated 6 years of marriage and had a wonderful, child-free weekend away, courtesy of Gran
  • March - we made our last trip to visit Nana, Papa, and PJ before H was born
  • April - got the nursery ready for a boy (even though he wasn't due until June, I was nesting like, well, an expectant mother)
  • May - H was born
  • June - the girls took their first trip away from home without their parents (they spent a week with Nana, Papa, and PJ)
  • July - K turned 5 and had her first big birthday party; L turned 3
  • August - K started Kindergarten and L went to school for the very first time
  • September - my best friend visited for some girl time
  • October - visits from all the grandparents
  • November - my birthday!
  • December - Christmas with the attack of the brined turkey

I hope that you will find this list both humorous and sweet. 2007 has been quite a year, including 3, yes 3, ER visits for me, and my very first ride in an ambulance. It's a shame I don't remember most of the ride. I'm so thankful for all I've been given. We are very blessed!

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Tonight, I'll be watching my beloved Auburn Tigers take on those other tigers from Clemson. I have plans to lounge around for awhile and watch this one last game of Auburn's 2007 football season. I really hate this time of year, when football season is over. It's just such a sad time. But before I know it, it will be September, K, L, and H will be a year older and I'll be gearing up for the start of the 2008 season.

Happy New Year (and a hearty War Eagle)!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different

Anyone tired of me talking about Christmas? Yeah, me too. So on to another subject.

(I actually can't believe I forgot to mention this little gem earlier but I've had a lot on my mind, I guess. That, or I'm getting old.)

A couple of days ago, I was doing some housework and K was looking for something to do. So I asked her to get me a drink out of the fridge in our garage. Both girls like to do this kind of thing because it gets them out of having to clean up. Within seconds she was back saying that there was a cat in our garage. I went out there to look but saw nothing and heard nothing so I assumed the cat had gone out without K seeing it. Our neighbor has 3 cats and all 3 at one time or another has been seen in our garage.

About an hour later our neighbor came by and S answered the door. I was in our room with a mound of laundry and went to see who was at the door. I heard her say, "Well, if you see her, please let me know." I knew immediately she was talking about her cat so I informed her that K had seen one in our garage. All of us went back to the garage and started looking for the cat. Again. When our neighbor called for her cat, we heard a faint meow. Coming from the car. Coming from inside the car. Knowing that none of the doors had been open, I knew that the cat must be tucked up in the engine.

We open the hood and look around for a few moments when we see two golden eyes staring back at us. The cat, smart creature that it is, must have gotten in our garage the night before through the side door and, searching for a warm place to sleep, found the car. Only she was stuck and couldn't figure out how to get out. Cats, they are smart little things.

With only a little coaxing and, thankfully, no clawing, S and I were able to turn her around so that she could get out the way she came in. I'm just thankful that we didn't need the car that morning, otherwise there would be a real mess to clean up.

This should serve as a good warning to all of you to make sure that your garage doors are closed up tight.

New Christmas Music

Even though Christmas has come and gone, I promised to blog about my experience with the new Michael W. Smith album, It's A Wonderful Christmas. Well, I was finally able to listen to the entire album even though I wasn't doing something Christmas-y (I don't think folding laundry is considered a Christmas activity). I will say that I love his previous Christmas albums (appropriately titled Christmas and Christmastime) and if you haven't listened to them, I highly recommend them. There is always a great combination of traditional music and new songs, a little something for everyone. I am all about good Christmas music.

So, onto my "review." This is a great album. For the first several days after listening to it, I couldn't get the first song, Christmas Angels, out of my head. I would describe it as an unexpected song because it starts out instrumental and the chord progression is not what you'd expect. There were some songs that I could hear in a movie. I could just picture a wide shot, sweeping the snow-covered landscape, exploring, in great detail, God's creation. Or little children sneaking down the stairs to peek at what Santa left under the tree.

If you are at all inclined to purchase new Christmas music after the holiday, please add this to your list. It's worth it!

Friday, December 28, 2007

What Did You Get for Christmas?

There are several things that would be on the list of favorite gifts this year (see post below for mine and S's). But the best thing the kids got was the Cootie game. I remember playing this years ago and it was kind of boring. The girls, however, are having a blast with it. K and L love playing it and it forces us to play with them. Usually, I'm not a game-player but for some reason, this one has been really fun. I've enjoyed getting to play with them and see their personalities erupt. They even played it with a friend yesterday afternoon.

One note to the makers of Cootie: could you please, in your next redesign of this game, include two girl-colored Cooties? Also, if you would, please include two girl-type accessories for the Cootie? You see, right now there's only one hair bow, one set of eyes with eyelashes, and only one pink Cootie (although the box shows a purple one. But that's neither here nor there. Pink will suffice). It would save a lot of hassle and fighting for my little girls (and my hair would be ever-so-grateful to you as there would be much less pulling out of the hair over said fighting).
But we really are enjoying it!

Something I've Never Done Before

So, ask me what I did on Wednesday. Seriously. Go ahead and ask. Okay! Stop pressuring me! I'll tell you. I went with S and the kids and ordered our new car. YES! A brand new car. I've never had a brand new car much less ordered one to my exact specifications. I was blessed to be given a car when I turned 16. I drove that until S and I purchased something a little more family-friendly about 7 months after we married. I still drive that one so a brand new car is a foreign concept to me.

Oh, y'all, I'm so excited/scared/elated/in a world of "what have I done?". I'll give all the details when we actually get said car. It's a beauty!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Making New Memories

I must say that Christmas 2007 has to be one for the books. So many fun and funny things happened that I don't know that I can include it all in one blog. I'm going to do my best so just bear with me.

First, on Christmas Eve, Papa, PJ, S and I enjoyed a meal of wine and cheese. It's become a little tradition of ours to do this on Christmas Eve when they are with us. It was delightful until I tried to cut the end of my thumb off with a very sharp knife. No trip to the ER was necessary (I've had enough ER visits for this year, thank you very much!) but there was blood and I had a large bandage on my thumb for opening presents on Christmas morning.

Christmas morning saw grandparents up before grandchildren. I didn't really think this was possible on Christmas but it was. The girls didn't get up until almost 8. We ate breakfast, then H demanded his breakfast. Since I'm the only one who can do that for him right now, I excused myself to take care of that business.

As I was sitting on my bed nursing H, S came in and said that he'd had an accident. That's not something I want to hear coming from him. He comes around the corner and I see that his shirt is soaking wet. You see, S likes to brine his turkeys. They are the best turkeys you've ever put in your mouth, moist and delicious, never dry. Well, in order to brine them, he puts the brine and the turkey in a trash bag, then into a cooler for the night. As he was lifting the turkey out of the cooler, the bag split, sending all the liquid and the 13-pound turkey splashing back into the cooler. Brine went everywhere: on the floor, on the counter, on S, on the windowsill, on the dishwasher door, on the living room floor, on the ceiling (I kid you not). So Papa, PJ and S spent the next 20-30 minutes getting all the brine (which includes a good deal of spices) off the surfaces it did not belong on.

The presents were fun to open, the meal was delicious and filling and tiring all at the same time. Stockings were opened and S even got to build a fire, which made it feel even more like Christmas. We spent Christmas night playing a game that K got. At one point, K, L, H and I were on the floor playing this game while S doted on the fire and Papa and PJ were playing with their presents (Sudoku for PJ; a WWII book for Papa). It was the perfect picture of a cozy Christmas night, all that I'd ever dreamed for my kids. This is a memory I never want to forget.

By the way, the turkey was delicious!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Memories of Christmas Past

I posted a few days ago about one of my favorite Christmas Eve memories. Today, I thought I would post one of my favorite Christmas Day memories.

Christmas when I was 11 was a pretty memorable one. There are other that stick out, like the time my mom and I made it to my grandparents' house only minutes before a huge snowstorm hit. Or the time my cousin, Ebie, got a Cabbage Patch Kid from her mom (my aunt). Only Aunt Jane had waited just a little too long to get said doll and was left to choose from the boy dolls. Ebie's doll came named, as did all the CPK dolls, Clint Lionel.

Back to Christmas at 11. We were there a few days before Christmas and my Papa, in typical male fashion, had a few gifts left to purchase. One thing he wanted to get was a phone for Ebie. Of course, I wanted a phone, too, even though I had gotten a very cool Snoopy phone the previous year. Papa would always pick out one gift for all his girls (my mom, me, my aunt, and my cousin) that was just from him. I was sorely disappointed when he came out of the store with only that one phone. I had a bad attitude about it for the rest of the day.

Christmas morning rolled around and my bad attitude reared its ugly head when Ebie opened her phone. She was very excited, as any nine-year-old would be. But then I got to my gift from Papa. It was a small box, much smaller than the phone. I opened it up and inside was a beautiful silver heart locket. I felt so guilty about wanting some stupid plastic phone. The locket was beautiful and I knew that he had me in mind when he bought it. I immediately put it on and gave him a huge hug. What a wonderful Papa I had!

Quotable Quotes

L is probably my most quotable child. K comes up with stories, has a very vivid imagination and a tender heart. And since H really isn't talking just yet, L would be my most quotable child.

Well, we have another L gem of wisdom. This is after she came home from school and told me that her teacher read the story of Handsome and Gretel. Anyhoo, we were in the car the other day on the way home from school. K had gotten a treasure from the treasure box and L wanted to see it. K said no. L said, "Please let me see it." K, again, said no. "But K, God wants us to shay-yer!"

I just had to laugh!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just FYI

I had H weighed at the doctor this morning for his RSV shot and he weighed in at a whopping 20lbs, 7oz. My word that boy is big!

A Favorites List

I thought, with Christmas just 4 days away, I would post my 10 favorite Christmas songs. Not that any of you really care but I thought it would be fun to share the songs I like to listen to the most when the season rolls around. I do have an unwritten rule that I will not listen to any Christmas music until December 1. That way I don't get tired of all of the songs before Christmas actually gets here. I also tend to decorate my house much later than most people for a similar reason. So, without further ado, here are my 10 favorite Christmas songs (in no particular order):
  1. Behold the Lamb of God - Andrew Peterson
  2. Gloria - MercyMe
  3. No Eye Has Seen - Michael W. Smith
  4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Amy Grant
  5. Welcome to Our World - Chris Rice
  6. Labor of Love - Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson
  7. It Must've Been Ol' Santa Claus - Harry Connick, Jr.
  8. Silent Night - Sarah McLachlan
  9. Christmas Lullaby - Amy Grant
  10. A Baby Like You - John Denver

Sorry, S, but Christmas in Hollis by RunDMC fell short this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Praise Baby DVD

On my sidebar is an ad saying "My Baby is a Praise Baby". H got a Praise Baby CD as a shower gift and I have loved it. So when I saw that there was a Christmas DVD available, I jumped at the chance to get one. I received my certificate in the mail today along with a really cute bib. I'll let you know how it turns out!

The CD is of praise songs and hymns sung by an adult and children. It is very well done and we have listened to it over and over again in the car (K and L adore it). If you have young kids and are looking for a great praise CD for your kids (that won't drive you crazy) I highly recommend this one!

Christmas Eve Memory

When I was growing up, our Christmas Eve's were almost identical: eat breakfast, play with neighbors/cousin/grandparents/aunt and uncle, eat lunch, rest at home with family, eat dinner and prepare for church, go to church (favorite part was singing "Silent Night" while lighting candles), go home, get ready for Santa, have trouble going to sleep.

One year, however, was distinctly different. My grandmother had been ill with cancer and was going down hill fast. I was a senior at Auburn and having a hard time being in college while trying to assert my independence as an adult. Let's just say that life wasn't so easy for me.

My mother and I headed up to D.C. to spend Christmas with my Mimi as we always had. My aunt, uncle and cousin couldn't make it that year so it was just the three of us as my grandfather had died several years earlier. Mimi was so weak from the cancer and surgery that she couldn't make it down the stairs to have Christmas in the (completely finished) basement as we always did. So we took the top part of her fake tree and put it upstairs in the living room. It was a little tight but we made it work.

With Mimi being so weak, she stuck close to home and expected the same of us so we weren't able to do most of the things we loved to do. We did manage to escape a couple of times but stuck close to her because she wanted it that way. One of our outings, incidentally, was to the drug store near her house where we discovered "Smints". We still laugh about that one. (I guess you had to be there.)

On Christmas Eve, the weather was terrible. My mom and I had decided that we were going to go to a Christmas Eve service, even if Mimi didn't go. We were planning to attend the service at McLean Presbyterian Church, which is, incidentally, where S and I would meet less than a year later. The roads weren't exactly easy to navigate but we figured we could make it and needed a trip out of the house. We were like caged animals, ready for some wide open spaces.

Just as we were planning our evening out, Mimi told us that we could go but we couldn't take her car. She really didn't want us to leave. I remember being angry and frustrated with her, not understanding why we couldn't go out for just an hour. I was so disappointed and was afraid that it wouldn't feel like Christmas if we didn't go to the Christmas Eve service.

Trying to make the best of a difficult situation, my mom made the decision to have our own Christmas Eve service at home. We all gathered in the living room after dinner. My mom read from Luke 2 and I sang a carol (I don't remember which one). Then we prayed, all of us taking turns. Mimi went last and thanked God for her daughter and granddaughter who stayed home with her and for sending His son to save us from sins. She thanked Him for her family who wasn't with her and said, "Amen." Then we turned out all the lights except for the tree and sang "Silent Night." It was a beautiful service, one that still brings tears to my eyes as I recall it.

Mimi died the following March, succumbing to the cancer that ravaged her body. We were all with her. We were able to spend one last Christmas at her house before having to sell it. While the last Christmas we had with her was very difficult, it is, in some ways, one of my favorites. I learned a lot about family, about God and His ultimate plan that I don't always understand, and that even little outings to the CVS can bring great joy (Smint, anyone?).

Monday, December 17, 2007

And the Rush Begins

This is going to be a crazy week and it all started yesterday. I had to make cupcakes yesterday afternoon for K's teacher's birthday celebration today. Her birthday is the day after Christmas (which isn't so great) so we surprised her and celebrated a little early. Then I had to be at our evening service early so I could sing with the praise band. I was pooped when I went to bed.

Today has been non-stop. Blessedly, S is in town this week to help out. He still has lots of work to do but he's at home and I can leave H home to run errands, take kids to school, etc. Actually, he took the girls this morning which was a huge help. We're having friends over tonight so I have to get the house ready for them, including their children. While I'm not a huge fan of large groups of children, I love these kids. They are all sweet children and friends with my kids so it makes the time with them fun.

L has to bring snack on Wednesday (I'm making cupcakes again. Cake mix and frosting were on sale a couple of weeks ago, buy one get one free. That was just too good to pass up. I'm usually one to make things from scratch but, frankly, I need the break this week. Who are you to judge me?!) There are two more parties on Friday and the girls both get out an hour early for the Christmas break.

Then, we have to get ready for my dad and stepmom, who arrive on Saturday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to having them here as it's been a couple of years since they have celebrated Christmas with us. In and amongst all the parties and preparing for guests, I also have to finish my shopping! And all this fun is on top of our regular activities. I have a feeling I'm going to crash at some point. Did I mention that I still have to cook Christmas dinner? Fortunately, S, my dad, and stepmom will help with that so I'm not left to do that on my own. I'm thinking I'm sleeping in late on December 26!

With all of that said, may I not forget the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It Finally Feels Like Christmas

We have finally (finally!) decorated our house for Christmas. I've been waiting for S to get back in town to get a tree and have put off getting out all the decorations until we had the tree. Since he's in town for awhile now, we got our tree this morning. The girls were so excited they could hardly stand it. We put up all the stockings and other decorations last night after dinner.

Now, when I say "other decorations" I don't mean that we have that many. We have a nativity set that I was given as a wedding gift and I still remember who gave it to me. It's been added onto over the years and I still love it's simplicity. I also have 2 beautiful nutcrackers that are very different in their themes. My father and stepmother gave me one of them many years ago (they have a huge collection themselves), a very traditional looking nutcracker. We received the second one from S's parents last Christmas, a Crabber nutcracker as a tribute to S's hometown of Baltimore. It's beautiful but not very Christmas-y.

The one thing I can't seem to find is my wreath. A couple of years ago, I bought a fake one for $5. It was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up. The only problem is that I can't find it. All our Christmas stuff is in one place in the garage and I still can't seem to find it.

Next week is going to be busy with parties and gatherings. I'm looking forward to some of it, dreading other parts. The one thing I'm truly thankful for is the family I've been blessed with. This is going to be a wonderful Christmas - I can just feel it!

Add This to Your List of Christmas Treats

These things look awesome. I haven't made them myself but have had something very similar. My guess is that I would have a hard time turning one of them down...

Edited to Add: I made these this morning before church. They are heavenly and were devoured by all in our family who are currently eating solid foods.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Favorite Time of Year

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the music (if you haven't heard Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson sing Labor of Love then you're really missing out), the focus of fellowship with friends and family, the food, the decorations, the lights glowing from the windows and doorframes of houses all around. Of course, we don't have a tree up yet but that's an entirely different post.

But that got me thinking: why aren't we doing this all throughout the year? Max Lucado touches on this in his book God Came Near, so this is not my original idea but I am expounding on what he wrote. Why aren't we focusing on Christ as our risen King all 365 days of the year (or 366 in the case of 2008) as opposed to this one day? Aren't we supposed to celebrate Him everyday?

And why don't we get together with our friends, neighbors, coworkers, family at other times in the year? We really should. I realized that I only saw my dad's parents at Thanksgiving and my mom's parents at Christmas and sometimes one other time in the year. We should open our homes, welcome in others. The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of your time. We all have very busy lives, some busier than others, but if we're taking the time to slow down one day of the year, why can't we take just a little more of our time and focus on Christ the other 364 days?

I've noticed that as I get older, we tend to focus on the parties, the gifts, the decorations, the tree, the food (which is a huge part of the holiday. Please don't get me started on food because S and I have had many discussions about what's to be eaten on Christmas day). But when was the last time you invited your coworkers or your friends to your house for dinner? And Christmas parties don't count. Just think about it.

So here's a challenge for you (again, to the five people who regularly read this blog): invite someone to your home for dinner or dessert and coffee and some fellowship in 2008. And don't wait until this time next year. Do it after the holidays, after every present has been unwrapped, exchanged, worn, broken in, broken, and loved on. After all the food has been eaten and your stomach returns to its normal size. You can serve soup and salad to cut down on calories (just check out BooMama's site for some soup recipes. There's bound to be at least one that you're willing to try).

O, come, let us adore him,
O, come, let us adore him,
O, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Name Change

For the five of you who actually read this blog, you may notice that I've changed one of the names in the header. As I mentioned awhile back, H's nickname of Moose just wasn't sticking for some reason. I don't know what it is but we just can't seem to call him that. It's almost contrived.

One name I've noticed that S uses a lot is Chunky Monkey. And it's so true, y'all. He really is a chunky monkey. Oh, the boy has fat rolls everywhere and aren't we thankful for those fat rolls, especially since he had absolutely no fat on him when he was born. So we're sticking with Chunky Monkey, at least for the time being. If he's anything like his father (who was 11 pounds at birth, by the way), he'll thin out as he gets older.

Maybe this name will stick!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I Have No Title But it is a Funny Story

On the way home from school yesterday, both K and L were crying. (Then H started in so all three were crying which made me want to cry. But I digress.) That means, at least in our house, that they are extremely tired and in need of a nap. K didn't sleep long but did play very quietly in her room. She was quiet enough to allow L to sleep. For quite awhile.

When she got up, L came in my room and said, "Mommy! There's something in my bottom!" This is a phrase I do not enjoy hearing as it could mean so many unpleasant things. She was crying and I was convinced that she had messed in her pants. So I, begrudgingly, turned her around, prepared for the worst.

She did, indeed, have something in her bottom. It was the daddy from her dollhouse and a Snow White bedroom slipper. I'm guessing she put them there for safe-keeping or maybe she was just saving them for later. Wouldn't want K to get her treasures!


It's A Soup-Tacular!

I found this link on BooMama's website and thought it was a fabulous idea. Even though it's not that cold where we live, it's definitely soup season. I'm posting two recipes that I love. They are both hearty and delicious although one is a little, um, richer than the other. Enjoy!

Beefy Lentil Soup

1lb ground beef
1C dried lentils, rinsed
1C sliced carrots
1C sliced celery
1C diced onions
1C cut up cabbage or green beans or corn or any veggie you want
1C finely chopped green pepper
1pkg beef ramen noodles-discard flavor pack
2 lg beef bouillon cubes or 2Tbls "Better than Bouillon"
46oz V-8 juice
4C water
1bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef. Add chopped veggies & cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on high until mixture boils about 10 minutes. Reduce heat & simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Note: You can use ground turkey in place of the beef and it's just as good.

Chili Blanco

1 pound great northern or navy beans, soaked overnight
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
6 cups chicken stock
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
2 (4oz) cans mild green chiles
2 tsp cumin (or more to taste)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups Monterey Jack, grated
1 cup sour cream

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add drained beans, stock, garlic, chiles, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Cook at a simmer until the beans are tender (this can take several hours).

Just before serving, add the chicken, cheese and sour cream. Mix well and continue cooking until the chicken is warmed through.

Serve with fresh cilantro, salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Note: You can use two cans of drained, rinsed white beans if you don't want to deal with dried ones.

Monday, December 3, 2007

H is 7 Months Old!

I can hardly believe the month of November has come and gone. H is growing so rapidly weighing in at a whopping 19 pounds, 3 ounces. He's smiling and giggling a ton these days. He's also discovered faces and his own feet. We're still working on solid foods and we get some really interesting faces when he tries new tastes. It's very funny and very cute. He has a way of melting my heart, no matter how tired I am. It is a joy and a blessing to have him in this family!

Christmas Preview

I took several photos of the kids today trying to get a good one for our Christmas card. I did get a good one but I'll post that one after the cards go out. In the mean time, I thought I'd share this one because it's just too sweet to share. Plus, there's a story behind it.

When I was pregnant with H, I really wanted to get a couple of "belly" shots since it was to be my last pregnancy. One shot I really wanted was of the girls kissing my tummy to be followed up after H was born with one of them kissing him. Well, the belly shot never happened but the follow-up did. Plus, I got to fool around with my new editing software, playing with the black and white feature. It was so fun!

At Long Last, Pictures!

I know I've been horribly delinquent posting pictures of our family as of late. The truth is that S got me a new computer for my birthday and I hadn't, until today, figured out how I was going to load pictures onto the computer without the software that came with the camera (that is long since gone). It turns out, though, that with the special software that came with the computer, I don't need the camera software.

Anyway, on with the pictures...
The box H's new stroller came in

Sassy McBritches (to borrow a phrase from BooMama)

L's Thanksgiving program in which she actually participated (unlike her sister)

The girls with their new friend, Boo

Our New Friend

When I was about 7 years old, some friends of mine came to stay with us for the weekend when their parents went out of town. (I realize now what a luxury that is!) We were out in the backyard when we spotted two peacocks that had escaped from the zoo nearby. My friend, Bo, ran inside to tell my mom. He said, "Miss Pattie! Miss Pattie! There are peacocks in the backyard and I'm not lyin'!" We still laugh about that today.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. After lunch, I forced the girls to go outside and play. I don't know what is going on with them but lately they haven't been interested in playing outside. They do their best to come inside every 30 seconds for various reasons, the most popular being a trip to the bathroom. They were outside for all of a minute when they came running inside and K exclaimed, "Mama! There's a turtle on the back porch! A real live turtle!"

I told them not to touch it and went out to inspect it. Sure enough, a small box turtle had found his way to our porch in search of food. He was covered with dryer lint (from the load that was, at the time, being dried) so I cleaned him off and put him back in the grass. The girls wanted to touch his shell and I told them they could as long as I was out there with them. K decided that we needed to name him "Boo" because that was a good boy name. Not sure where that came from!

We watched Boo for the next hour or so as he made his way back to the porch, across the length of it, then back out into the yard. The last I saw of him, he was digging under some leaves, trying to find a worm. Every now and then, K would say, "Where's Boo?" and then try to find him. L said that he left our yard to go explore the neighborhood.