It's too bad that construction paper art is not considered one of the fine arts.   I enjoy few things more than cutting up construction paper and gluing it together.   I think that I could be a very successful artist.

Here are some of the things I've done in the past couple of days to decorate our new home.

Truthfully, I did these as examples for the children.  It's been raining for a million days straight, and they are constantly complaining that they are bored.   I wanted to show them that they could make their own fun.

The mysterious case of the missing hair.

I woke up the other day to find that CoCo was missing some hair.  Not just a few strands, but entire chunks of hair.  In one place, you could see straight down to the scalp.

I asked CoCo who cut her hair.  She predictably replied "Ginger."

I went to find Ginger, and asked her who cut CoCo's hair.  She predictably replied "CoCo."   I asked Ginger the same question a few hours later, and she stated that she "is not going to answer that question."

Smart girl.  It's always safest to plead the 5th.

I asked Owen who cut CoCo's hair.  He said that he didn't know, but I had a feeling that he knew something.

Maddie claimed complete innocence, and I believe her.

Later in the day, I found 2 rather suspicious chunks of hair.  One was in the basement by the craft supplies.  The other was hidden under some blankets in the girls rooms.

Before bed, when it was clear to everyone that no one would be getting in trouble for this experiment, Ginger finally fessed up.   Apparently, she cut CoCo's hair in the basement, and CoCo cut her own hair in the bedroom.

I'm a very proud of Ginger for telling the truth.  I am also proud of the girls for working together, sharing and cooperating.

Summer Break

I love summer break.  Each day brings a new adventure, a new opportunity to learn, and many new ways to look at each other.

These days, Ginger and CoCo put on their bathing suits as soon as they get up in the morning.  It really doesn't matter if we are going swimming or not.  They just like to be ready for anything.   If they aren't wearing their bathing suits, they are wearing their dress up clothes.   Tiara's, princess gowns, and high heel shoes are the mode du jour chez Rader.   

Maddie has been spending her summer learning to cook, practicing guitar, teaching an old dog new tricks and READING.  That girl has an insatiable thirst for books!!!  

And Owen.  Sweet Owen.  It can't be easy spending so much time with all of us girls!!  He has really enjoyed "working" in the yard with scrap wood, a few nails and an old hammer.  He likes making houses for CoCo's favorite bugs (Rolly Pollies) and other toys.   Some days, I wish it could be summer break all year!!

And then, there are the other days.  :)

Summer Vacation

This is what summer vacation looks like in our house.

Owen in a tree.

Riding a spiderman skateboard, backwards, down a hill.

No uniforms!!

Enjoying freedom.

Rainy days.


Summer break for the little girls is all about the dance parties!!

Before and After

It all started with me asking Owen if I could cut his hair.

"Sure, Mom," he says.  "Shave it bald."

And, I did!

Honorary Chickadees

There are a few additional "youngsters" that are a huge part of my life, and I thought I'd introduce them as well.

This is Mango.  He is our oldest child.  We rescued Mango in 1998.  He is a pure bred Shiba Inu, although he is ridiculously large for his breed.  The veterinarian guesses that it is because he was conceived in a puppy mill and his unusual size is a result of his inbreeding.  Mango was still a puppy when he came to live with us, but he is an old man now - full of grunts and dog farts.  He spends his days sleeping, guarding his food dish, and sneaking out of the house for a walk around the neighborhood.

Ambercita is a 6 year old Border Collie who has lived with us for 3 years now.  She has a great sense of humor, and spends her days "herding" the children.   She has an incredible amount of energy, and enjoys the fast pace of our house.

Jake is the oldest son of my best friend, Vicky.  He is 12 years old.  Both Ginger and CoCo are in love with him.  It's easy to see why -- obviously, he's extremely handsome, but he has a kind and gentle nature with small children that is rare in a boy his age.

At 11 years old, Zoe is the second oldest child of my best friend Vicky.   She is smart and funny, and gives her mom a run for her money.  Right now, she is a typical 'tween.'  She loves horses and being with her friends.  

Della is 6 years old, and is almost exactly the same age as Owen.  She is finishing up kindergarten this year, and is proving to be as smart as her older sister.   She has a quirky sense of humor, and is never afraid to put on a show.  She's a lot of fun to be around.

Honey is the youngest of the clan.  She is 1 year old, and keeps her momma on her toes!  While the other children in this family were quiet and reserved as babies, this little wonder is anything but.  She is strong willed, opinionated, and FAST.   It's fun for me to watch (since 3 of my 4 kids were like this as babies).

And last, but not least, is Mrs. Amanda.  Amanda was our nanny for 2 years while I was at work.  She quickly became part of our family, and has remained part of our family.  The kids adore her, and are constantly asking when they will see her again.  She is a fantastic young lady, and a blog about my family would not be complete without her.

That's it for 'chickadees.'  I have lots of other wonderful people in my life, who you will meet in the pages of this blog.  But - it will always be in the context of the chickadees.

I hope that you enjoy!!