Monday, July 30, 2007

Blooming Butterflies!

Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison has a butterfly event every year and we have taken the girls to it since Emma was 2 and Abi was a baby. So today was the day to go this year. We have had butterflies and moths on the mind lately as Aunt Mandy has found 2 different caterpillars for us in the last week. A dear friend had given Emma a wonderful butterfly barn for her birthday, and we weren't sure that the 2 caterpillars could cohabitate, but they are handling things quite nicely. The first caterpillar received he name "Junior" and made a cocoon overnight right after we got it. We did some research and found that it is an American Dagger Moth caterpillar. They like to eat maple leaves. The second caterpillar, Mandy and I found at her house, on the milkweed. The allusive monarch caterpillar! So exciting to everyone. (If you are not excited, just pretend). She is named "Laura." It ate a ton of milkweed the first day. Pooped A LOT (Abi's observation). Then yesterday, it "glued its butt" to the screen on the butterfly barn. This morning when we checked, it was still just a caterpillar glued to the screen and by the time we got home from seeing the butterflies at the gardens, it had formed its chrysalis. The girls were pretty pumped and we just hope we will be home to see it hatch out. God's creations are amazing!

The one on the left is a mini Monarch and the right is a Julia. The gardens had pamphlets this year that the kids could carry around so they could identify the butterflies they saw. We also saw a Queen butterfly and a Zebra butterfly. Abi was especially pleased to be able to lable each of them.
Abi as a leaf that is about to be eaten and Emma as a chrysalis.

My friend the dragonfly.

Zinnias as big as my hand and RED. OH MY!!!
This would be my children testing their limits. The sign directly behind Abi says "please do not touch the pebbles in the pool." Emma, whose reading skills are rapidly improving, read the sign and quickly said "it doesn't say anything about touching the water." That is true, Emma.
Emma is learning how to use the camera. This is her photo of her shadow. :)
The chrysalis we found when we got home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


One of my favorite flowers is the Poppy.

This is the window ledge above my sink. It is lined with small bottles/vases of various sizes in red and green and blue. The girls like to keep them filled with flowers for me. Today, Emma had picked this poppy for me and it must have stirred something in her.

Emma asked Renae ( the young lady who is living with us for the summer) to come out on the porch so she could tell her a secret. A short time later, Renae came back in for paper and pencil and then went back out. When they finally came back inside, Emma read me the poem that she had made up and had Renae write down for her. It made me so happy. She read it in this great, poet type voice and just seemed way too grown up for a 6 year old. I can't believe the creativity they possess sometimes. When I woke up this morning (at 6 o'clock) I was struggling to get out of bed and I could hear God gently tell me that this day held surprises. I hauled myself out of bed and went for a long walk which was wonderful in itself. Little did I know how much more there would be. After Emma read me her poem, I held her and told her that God was right, this day did hold good surprises.

The Poppy Poem

By: Emma Gratz

Poppy, poppy, your petals are so soft.

Your petals are so loose.

Your smell is so graceful.

Your pollen, the bees will surely drink.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Noun meaning:
an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

I don't know that I have an aptitude for it, but lately there have been some desirable discoveries that I have come upon quite by accident. My pastor's wife refers to serendipity as "delightful surprises." I think that fits.

When I came in from working in the garden the other day, I was greeted by this lovely spread on the kitchen island. Made me smile.

I looked up from weeding my garden to see this lily floating down the river. I had to run for my camera so that I could share it. Later several more flowers floated by. Not sure how they got there, but I sure enjoyed them.

Yesterday was one of those "practically-perfect-in-every-way" days. I really wanted to get some stuff done around the house, but nothing was getting accomplished. All morning, I kept thinking how nice it would be to take off and just go to our favorite State Park. At 10:30 my hubby called and asked it if would be ok if he took a 1/2 vacation day to go to "the beach" (as the girls call it). Ummm, yeah I think it is ok. So we did. He tied up some lose ends at work and I packed a picnic lunch and off we went. It was 75 and partly sunny with a little breeze. As it was a Wednesday, there were hardly any people there. I curled up on a blanket and read and watched and took some pictures, but mainly just rested. Curt and the girls swam and swam and swam. Then we got some ice cream and went for a short hike. All in all wonderful. We don't do just random things like that nearly enough, but I will take what I can get.

A delightful surprise for a Wednesday.