Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the merry, merry month of may

Yes, I do realize that it's over halfway through June, and I am just now getting around to posting pictures from May.  Sorry about that!  It's been a *bit* busy around here.  But now, finally, I will share some photos of all our different May events:

May 1st ~ Ben made May Day baskets for his teacher and two of his friends.  He thought it was great fun to put the baskets on his friends' doorsteps, ring the doorbell, and run! :)  He put toy cars and candy in the ones for his friends, and tulips and candy in the one for his teacher:

On the 3rd, Emmalie and I went to our church's annual Spring Dinner.  There were pretty centerpieces:
 lots of yummy dishes to eat:
 and a presentation (including samples!) on chocolate:
 Emm even won a door prize, this ceramic watering can filled with flowers!

We made several home improvements in the month of May.  The first was the front of our garage.  As you can see from the closeup below, the wood above our garage door was rotten.  (It was the worst in the middle, there, but was rotten all along the front.)  It had been that way for too long, and we finally had a professional come look at it.  Luckily, the repairs were purely cosmetic, not structural.  (Still expensive, however!)
This is how it looks now, with brand new wood.  It looks so much better!  We decided not to put the old eagle back up, but plan to put something else in its place, maybe a big house number.

We also put a new door on the boys' bedroom.  I didn't take a photo of their old door, but it was just a plain, hollow-core door that had never worked properly since the day we moved in (it wasn't hung straight and would drag across the carpet), and had been totally unusable for about 2 years now.  We took the old one out:
 then put in this new six-panel wooden door:
 We put up new trim, as well:
And now it looks awesome!  Best of all, the boys can easily open and close their door whenever they want!

Our third project (also the quickest and least expensive) was the landing at our front door.  The linoleum had originally been a cream color (it still was in one small corner of it), but had yellowed/discolored over the years, and has looked like this since we moved in:
 We bought some peel 'n' stick vinyl tiles that look like slate to put on top of it, along with a new metal guard to go over the edges.  Here's George at the beginning of the project:
 And here it is, all done!  I don't know how much you can tell from the photos, but it really does look SO much better!

The 13th was Mother's Day, and we decided to go somewhere we'd never been before, The Morton Arboretum.  All five of us really enjoyed it!
 Besides trees from all over the world, there were also lots of pretty flowers:

 Ben loved making his way through the maze garden:
 In the Children's Garden:
 Me and my kiddos:
 Emm by a Japanese tree:
 I loved these blooms!
On our way home from the Arboretum, we stopped at Giordano's for supper, yum.

On the 17th, I (and a few other parents) chaperoned the Kindergarten class on their field trip to Brookfield Zoo.  Here's Ben on the bus:
 We saw a few animals, though not nearly as many as Ben and I would've liked:

Relaxing awhile before getting back on the bus:

On the 21st, Ben's school held a special event outdoors, with food, a dj, dancing, and more.  I went along to help supervise his class.
 The Kindergartners (Ben's on the far right) were right in front when it was time to dance!
 Do si do!  Swing your partner!
 Ben dancing with his friend Isabella:
 Playground time!

On the 25th, George, the boys, and I went out for some pizza at Garibaldi's.  (Emm was at a friend's.)  There was a balloon man at the restaurant, and he made Ben this cool balloon helicopter hat:

The 28th was Memorial Day.  We grilled and ate outside on the patio:
 Ben, full after 3 slices of watermelon!

 Me, showing off my new, cooler haircut:

Finally, on the 31st of May, Ben's class held a Kindergarten graduation ceremony.  I went early to help his teacher get them all ready.  The kids had some free time before it was time to don their caps and gowns -- Ben built with the Legos:
 All lined up and ready to go in the gym:
 The cute graduates:
 They sang some songs for the parents:

 Ben gets his diploma:
Ben and Emm.  She had finals that morning, but then had the afternoon off, so she was able to come to the ceremony.  Nick was still at school and George couldn't get time off from work to attend.
 Me and our graduate:
 Ben with his teacher:
 Ben with his best buddy, Xander:
Many of our flowers bloomed in May, and, of course, I took pictures.  Here are some ajuga plants (before I got around to weeding!):
 Our clematis after a rare rain (we've had very little moisture the past two months):
Another clematis on our trellis.  We've had this one for a couple of years now, and this is the first time it's bloomed!
 Wild geraniums:
Lady's mantle:
 A peony:
 A peony after that rare rain I mentioned above:
 Pincushion flower:
 Wild roses:
We've had two wisteria plants for several years now, and this was the first time one of them bloomed!  I think this plant is five years old.  (The other is 6, and still has yet to bloom.)
 The kids and George also expanded our mini vegetable garden a bit:
 Some chives, planted last year:
Nick had started many seeds inside (those are over 200 tomato plants in the top half of the picture!).  Unfortunately, the extreme heat killed them off shortly after the kids transplanted them all.
 Planting seeds and seedlings:
 Emm put fencing up around the garden, to help keep bunnies out:
All in all, May was a good month, and I even felt pretty good for a change!  (Wish that were still the case.)  Hopefully I'll get a chance to share some of my June pictures with you soon....