Old Faithful Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 7 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  https://www.BakingInATornado.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope             https://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Menopausal Mother                     https://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     https://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

The Crazy Mama Llama                     https://www.thecrazymamallama.com/

Follow Me Home                        https://followmehome.shellybean.com

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from in my house:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 9
  • Little Brother, age 7

Since I have been writing these blog posts since 2014, I have my own Fly Post Page.  Check it out if you want to hear more craziness from my house.

Playing Trivia with the Kids

We have this game called Beat the Parents, a trivia game where kids take on parents (obviously).  Daddy O. and I faced Big Sister, Little Brother, and their two cousins, ages 10 and 7, so we really had a good game going.

My 10 year old nephew was surprised as we talked about shots that happen at Starbucks, “What they put shots in your coffee?”  Not those kind of shots (at the doctor’s office or of the alcoholic variety)…but espresso shots!

Big Sister called out “world ball” during one answer.

“You mean a globe?” I suggested.  Yeah – that.

I asked, “What is Old Faithful?”

Little Brother shouted out, “a priest.”

Another little voice yelled, “a dog.”

Nice try…

Another question that stumped the kids, “What are blue jeans made of?”

They decided that silk was the best answer.  I guess we don’t talk about denim much. This is a really really fun game that we love playing.  Check it out if you haven’t before.

Tooth Fairy Questions

Big Sister’s tooth broke in half, so she wondered, “What does the tooth fairy do with broken teeth? Does it count as two teeth?”  Nice try…

Cold Days Call for Baking & Bundling Up

Wisconsin has had an awful winter – lots of snow and extreme cold, called a polar vortex. The kids and I decided to bake muffins on one of our snow days.

Big Sister guided me, saying, “The muffins should be golden, round, and bumpy.”

Can you tell that we watch baking shows?

On one of many horribly frigid days, I found myself sporting a fleece bathrobe over a hoodie and sweatpants.  I may have even had my hood up because I simply felt chilled to the bone.

I turned to Daddy O. and said, “Wow, this is what you married! Pretty hot, right?!”

Still Loves his Mama

We were talking about school, and Little Brother was being a little grumpy about it.  As we talked more, he shared, “I get lonely when I’m at school.  I miss you, Mama.”

This was so sweet.  I try to volunteer at his school during library time, and he really doesn’t even acknowledge me much, but he did admit that he wants me there.  I’ll take it!

Now shoo, Fly!  Go check out those other fun bloggers!

 

 

 

 

Fly on the Wall: ___ There it is!

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 6 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado 

Menopausal Mother

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Spatulas on Parade

My Brand of Crazy  

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from in my house:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 8
  • Little Brother, age 6

Since I have been writing these blog posts since 2014, I have my own Fly Post Page.  Check it out if you want to hear more craziness from my house.

Happy Dad

Mama O. to Daddy O. on a Friday afternoon: Have you been drinking?

Daddy O.: No, why?

Mama O.: You just seem extra funny.  I guess you’re happier on half days of work.  (His company has summer hours, so he works 9 hour days and enjoys a half day most Fridays.  It has been really nice – we’ve all been happier on Fridays!)

Our Kids

We had some extra quiet time around the house as our kids went with their grandparents for a mini-vacation this summer.  During that time, Daddy O. remarked, “I guess we can’t get rid of all of our children” (referring to our fur baby, Sumo Kitty sat at the breakfast table with us).

Sumo Kitty

Sumo Kitty – this is her typical annoyed expression

We were talking about face recognition capabilities.  For my laptop, I explained that the camera scans for my face and then logs me in.  Little Brother said, “Since Big Sister is a miniature version of Mom, I bet she could login to your computer.”

We tried it, and it didn’t work….yet.

Here is a picture of us together.

Mama O and Big Sister in the North Woods

Mama O. and her mini-me.

This summer we’ve been watching baking shows.  Nailed It was definitely a favorite in our house.  I think that’s why our kids are getting more adventurous.  Case in point: Big Sister added bacon to her cereal.  Who wouldn’t want bacon flavored Cheerios?

Bacon cereal

Anything is better with Bacon!

Historic Action Figures

Daddy O.: What are these?

Mama O.: They are Play Mobil figures my parents gave to the kids from their trip to Germany.

Duerer and Martin Luther

Playmobil figures from Germany. The writing in the book is in German, translates to Book of the Old Testament. The New Testament translated by Doctor Martin Luther.

Big Sister: My guy looks nothing like Martin Luther King Jr.

Mama O.: No, it’s Martin Luther, a famous German who translated the Bible from Latin (just keeping it high level).

Daddy O.: Who’s the other guy?

Mama O.:  I think it’s Albrecht Duerer, a German painter.

Daddy O.: What?! I didn’t know they made historic, German action figures?

Mama O.: Pretty awesome, right?! LOL

My German major and one German Art of the Middle Ages class IS being put to good use.

Tip for the Outdoors

While camping and hiking, we remind kids of the saying for poison ivy, “Leaves of three, let it be.” The kid’s aunt chimed in, “Leaves of four, eat some more!”

Remembering Past Summers

Last summer we took an amazing family vacation to South Dakota.  My scrapbooking hobby always runs behind, so I have been putting together some pages from last year.  Since he saw some pictures from our trip, Little Brother asked me, “How long did we drive to South Dakota?”

I responded, “About 7 hours was the longest we were in the car.”  And then he said, “That was painful.”

This is more of the summer grumpiness we experience with Little Brother every year.  Last year, he said, “Adults almost always ruin my mood – especially you Mom.”  I’m not going to lie, I can’t wait for back to school time!!

Lyrics from Another Time

Does anyone remember the song “Whoomp, there is is!”?

Our kids heard it and immediately thought that they were saying, “Poop, there it is!”  Sigh…you have to love potty humor.

It’s no surprise that this is what Little Brother painted when we took some time to paint at our local pottery shop.

Summer painted creations

Poop Emoji bank (Little Brother), Pony (Big Sister), and Soap Dish (Mama O.)

Okay, that’s all for me and my crazy crew.  Now be sure to check out those other fun Fly on the Wall blog posts!

 

Seeing the Light: China Lights Season Two

I had to share these gorgeous pictures of China Lights, something my family has really enjoyed the past two years.  Here is my post from last year (if you want more pictures)!

Similar to last year, we arrived before sunset with our tickets in hand.  We managed to catch the lights display on the very last day. My first pictures are at twilight, when the sky is a lighter blue.

China Lights Dino, Flower collage Go Mama O.

Dinosaurs, flowers, and hummingbird in the tree

The displays had changed from 2016, and it was still a great variety, though the dinosaurs replacing the beautiful pagoda was a little under-whelming. This was my shote of the pagoda from last year:

china-lights-header

2016 Pagoda – one of the highlights of the exhibit

One of our favorites this year was the panda scene.

China Lights Panda Scene

Huge bamboo forest – so adorable

We also liked walking through the tunnels of the Chinese Zodiac signs.

Chinese zodiac tunnel Go Mama O.

View from the path – walking under Chinese zodiac signs

More beautiful lights: flowers, the regal entry gate, dragon and tunnels.

China Lights Gate collage Go Mama O.

The lights really come alive when it’s really dark! Love the variety.

We liked these little owls too. The colors and detail are so pretty!

Moon, Mama O, Daddy O, Little Bro

Is it a moon or a banana? Big sister took this picture of Daddy & Mama O. and Little Brother.

Though it’s difficult to choose, my favorite animal was the dragon.  It’s one of the largest displays in the entire exhibit, and I love the moon in the picture.

China Lights collage dragon, elephant

Massive dragon, and patterned pachyderm

China Lights is becoming a wonderful family tradition! We hope to enjoy more light displays together through the years. Cheers!

 

 

Mini Fly on the Wall

Hey there! My Fly on the Wall friends just posted yesterday, but I wasn’t organized to sign-up in advance to participate.  After reading the group’s posts, I thought I would join in with my own post.  Better late than never, right?

For more Fly on the Wall, hop on over to this writing challenge founder’s blog: Baking in a Tornado.

South Dakota Vacation

We ventured to South Dakota during summer, and had an awesome time! It was a great family destination for our 5 and 7 year old kids. Before we went, my 5 year old son asked, “Do they speak English in South Dakota?”

On our drive from Sioux Falls to Desmet, our kids decided to make a honking sound whenever they saw an animal. This continued throughout the entire week. Sigh. Fortunately, there are open fields for long stretches where you don’t see much at all, like this:

Desmet Ingalls Homestead

View of the prairie from the Ingalls Homestead in Desmet, SD.

The drive up to Desmet from Sioux Falls though beautiful, went through a quite rural part of the state.  The population density is quite low in much of South Dakota, so I told Daddy O., “If we ever want to live off the grid, we can move out here!”

When driving past the many farms and lush green fields, my son observed, “I bet that farmer has 5 green thumbs.”

We could almost picture what it must have been like for the first settlers in the 1800’s who arrived here.  The Ingalls Visitor Center consists of the Ingalls homestead, a sod house, shanty, church, barn and one-room classroom. We even rode on a covered wagon and learned about what life was like for the Ingalls family. We were struck by the extreme quiet of the land: no sounds of planes or cars zooming by on nearby roads, simply the sounds of the wind rushing through the prairie grasses. Beautiful.

Wildlife Watching

We were excited to see bison, but just saw a lot of cattle, especially on the eastern part of the state. My daughter explained, “The cows are all black, and the bison are chocolate colored.” Can you tell we like desserts?

bison Custer State Park.jpg

See, they are chocolate colored! Bison at Custer State Park

We drove the wildlife loop road at Custer State Park, and having been in the car for at least an hour, our kids asked, “Can we watch a show (on our portable DVD player)?”

“No!” I said, “Nature is your show. Look out your window!” So many amazing views:

Custer State Park collage.jpg

Top left: a baby burro paid us a visit on the Wildlife Loop, top right: view of the Cathedral Spires, Bottom left: Stockade Lake, bottom right: bison along the road out of Custer State Park

The Black Hills

When we arrived in Rapid City, I said, “Look, kids, the Black Hills. Aren’t they pretty?”

My son’s response, “They look gray.”

black hills view from Mt. Rushmore

View of the Black (gray) Hills from Mt. Rushmore

In Rapid City, we enjoyed an awesome meal and beverages at Firehouse Brewery. We sat in a covered outdoor area (fortunately) and watched a major rain and hail storm come down. The food and beer were delicious – a welcome change from the fast food we had on the trip out to Rapid City.  The company was nice too with everyone getting along, and I remarked to Daddy O., “This feels like a date night, except we have our kids along.”  He replied, “It’s like our marriage is one long date-night.” Awh….

Hitting the Road

I have memories of my own family vacations as a kid, and we would wake up EARLY, maybe around 5am to get a jump on a day of long driving. I have not been able to replicate this timing for my family much to my dismay.

One morning after sleeping in, my daughter said, “Waking up early for me was unsuccessful.”

This happened on most days, and I just had to go with it. Oh well…

Best for Last

I was talking about the errands I ran during the week, talking about the things I picked up at a grocery store in a quick stop.

My son chimed in and said, “Wow, Mom, you work hard.”

“Yes, dear, why yes I do! Thank you!” He got a big hug for saying that!

Hope you all are hearing sweet things like that in your home too!

Have a great day all! Thanks for stopping by.

Now check out more Fly on the Wall posts, starting with Baking in a Tornado.

 

Family Vacation Pictures: The Good, the Bad, and Mostly Silly

Hi ya! I was scrolling through some pictures from our road trip out to Washington D.C., and I couldn’t help but make some collages of our many attempts to get a nice family picture. It was a beautiful spring day on the Mall. While we missed the main cherry blossoms, it was still a lovely temperature, which was much, much nicer than the spring we’ve been having in Wisconsin. My kids were having more fun being silly for pictures I was trying to take to mark the occasion: their first trip to D.C.

Here’s what I could capture:

Go Mama O. family vacation silly pics 2017

Top: Goofy faces in from of the Washington Memorial, and cuddling her water bottle at the Lincoln Memorial. Bottom: On the road! Daddy O. isn’t so sure about this trip in this picture (ha ha). 

Go Mama O family vacation 2017.png

More family picture attempts that day. That’s my annoyed face in the lower right.

The one on the top left is one of the last pictures of the day. We quick grabbed some ice cream and shakes from an ice cream truck because it was hot and we were all tired from a day of walking.  If my son had worn sunglasses, it might be almost passable.  At least we are all in the picture, unlike the one at the Lincoln Memorial, where my son is hiding behind Daddy O. (riding on his back). I also like the one on the top right, where my daughter looks confused and my son is sort of winking.

At any rate, these collages are fun.  Much like any family vacation in its entirety, they are not perfect by any means. There are good times, bad times, and down right ugly times as kids (and adults) get tired, impatient, and sick of being in the car for so long. We were silly. We did laugh and have fun, and we did it all together, making memories along the way.  These pictures are reminders of all that!

Cheers to family pictures of all kinds!

More stories about our trip will be coming.