Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Don't Touch the Wildlife

Red velvet ant

On a walk down through the neighborhood today, we found a red velvet ant, which is a flightless female wasp known for its aggressiveness and painful sting. It is also known as the cow killer, because it has been rumored that its sting is so painful that it could kill a cow. It isn't actually lethal, and it is a pretty insect. We watched it cross the street, and it didn't seem to notice us.

The hummingbird also made an appearance today, but decided not to dine at Chez Angle when it heard someone on the other side of the window yelling for her son to come and see it. As if he would understand and come running, duh...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the day that West Virginia gained a native son and the world gained - well, we're not quite sure, but we'll let you know when we have it figured out! Happy birthday, Dad! In honor of his birthday, here are a few photos we managed to get together:

Melvin, Joe Joe, and Dad
Dad's the sketchy-looking one on the right, Melvin on the left always looked the same, and Joe Joe in the middle doesn't look so scary now

Dad and Melvin
Dad looks a little more clean-cut here with his big brother and best friend, Melvin

Joe Joe and Dad
Joe Joe and Dad practicing their cheer for homecoming

We thought you'd enjoy this look back at the many faces of JWK.

In other news, Gabriel fed himself with a spoon and a fork today with a little help. Also, and this is huge, he ate pad thai! We had a spicy and limey chicken pad thai for dinner, and Chip couldn't get enough. Forget the walking, our little boy is eating Thai food! We are so proud, sniff sniff...

We saw a luna moth tonight. We'd read about them, not only in our favorite book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but also on the internet while researching the big moths that have been visiting us. We knew that we are in their range, but they've always sounded like they are almost mythically rare and we never expected to actually see one. After reading so much about their beauty and seeing many photos of them, we still weren't prepared for the amazing creature we saw dancing before our eyes tonight. Its wings were a vivid green, and its body was a brilliant white. It was flying a little clumsily, but when it briefly landed on the window sill near the kitchen sink, it held its wings out and literally took our breath away. We can't believe that we find moths interesting, but there is such a large variety on our kitchen windows at night that we can't help but notice them. We're even starting to record the varieties we can identify, along with the frogs, turtles, etc. that we find on our property.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Dad! Your presents will be in the mail soon, even though you have us - isn't that present enough? Ha ha ha!!!

Prayers, Please

We would like to ask for prayers for some of our friends, if you are so inclined. We would not like to say for whom or why, but we believe that God will know what you mean. Please don't ask us for details. Thanks!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

GL Misses His Grammie

Morning 21 Aug 05

After a leisurely breakfast with lots of food and lots of sunlight, Mom went back to Troy today. We already miss her. It was a really nice week. We got a lot of work done and also did some cool things, like visit the botanical garden, root for Matt at his softball game, and eat some great food both at home and at restaurants.

Cute PJs

We're almost finished with Chip's room. We started by painting clouds on the ceiling, but when we went to pick up his curtain rods at Bombay Kids (won't put those up until we buy the curtains), we found some adorable decals that don't hurt the walls and match his bedding, mobile, and nightlight perfectly. We also found some PJs to match! Click here for some photos.

Gabriel is showing even more personality, if that's possible. He yells at everyone we pass in stores, and he's starting to play act that he's sleeping or eating. He's walking a little more confidently now and actually does it intentionally to get places sometimes, and the food situation is starting to improve, which is good because we have been really frustrated with feeding him baby food so much.

Eating corn

The other day, he ate corn on the cob by himself. Today, he ate cheese (that we fed him) and capellini with meat sauce! We fed him the pasta, but he had two forks and was feeding Mommy with them. He also imitated her spinning the pasta around the utensil. He's imitating a lot more now, and we think that might actually be why he tried the cheese.

We spent some time this evening doing yardwork. The trees in the front yard - a cherry, a plum, and a river birch - have various fungal ailments and are dropping their leaves like it's autumn. After we swept the driveway, we washed the Liberty and sprayed the trees with fungicide. Our mosquito spray has been working really well, so we only need to use that every couple of weeks.

Roses in foyer

On the bright side, the rose bush on the side of the porch is doing great, especially since we thought it had already bloomed for the summer and was dormant. We've got three beautiful deep red roses that we cut and put in a vase in the foyer, and there is a yellow rose blooming along with more buds. It's a nice treat to have freshly cut flowers from our own yard in the house. We miss cutting tons and tons of daisies in our Ann Arbor yard, along with irises, lilies, and whatever else happened to be blooming.

We just found a grasshopper on our bay window, which is surprising since we are at least 15 feet off the ground. About half an hour ago, a new moth visited us. It was at least as big as the others (5" wingspan), but it was much more delicate and had spots on the wings, which it held differenly than the others. It didn't crash loudly against our window but instead fluttered. It was quite pretty. At the moment, there's also a small moth with hairy legs on the window by the kitchen sink. It's a lot scarier looking than the big ones.

And don't forget, everyone: 22 August marks the day Jack William Kelly entered the world, and everything's been a little crazier, we mean nicer, ever since.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Grammie's in Town

G and Grammie by rose bush

G taking a dip

Gabriel has been having a lot of fun with his Grammie the past couple of days. They've gone swimming, inspected the house inside and out, played lots of games, and just walked and walked and walked. They got to see our hummingbird friend yesterday and even found a good-sized turtle in our side yard:


The Chipster has been walking more and more. His record so far is 10 steps, which takes him across the family room. He's getting quite good at it and is gaining confidence every day.

Amazon lily pads

Yesterday evening, we went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and got to see pretty much everything. We learned from a docent how the building models in the Locomotion exhibit were made, and we saw some Amazon lilies that we'd never seen before. They were big enough to hold a small child (literally), and some of them were as much as 4 feet in diameter. They looked like something out of a science fiction movie!

Jack sent us an e-mail this morning and said that he is eager to get back home and that even Camp Lejeune will be a welcome sight. He must be homesick! He's reserved us a lodge and cabana on the beach just like last time we were there, so we're going to have a great time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Bloggin' Again

Chip helping peel wallpaper

We apologize for the several-week delay in new posts. Our internet connection wasn't what it could have been for a while, and then we moved, and we're just getting settled, although there are tons of boxes to unpack and huge piles of cardboard to recycle or trash, or whatever.

Although everyone's seen photos of our new house, we have taken a few more since we've moved in. We've made a few changes already, and have lots of things we'd like to do. We painted Gabriel's nursery - it was a team effort - and finally bought him a crib with his birthday money, and we hung a plane mobile. We still have to paint clouds on the ceiling, but that won't be hard to do once we get the paint.

Nick replaced the kitchen faucet and sprayer, and it looks awesome. The sprayer is pretty strong, but it sure gets the job done! Outside the breakfast area, we hung a birdfeeder, but it kept getting knocked down somehow when our backs were turned, so we eventually left it down and hung a heavier hummingbird feeder. Since then, our little hummingbird friend has been visiting every morning. This morning was the first time we got to see him actually eat from the feeder.

There are lots of birds, mostly of the jay family. The other day, one little sparrow tried to get into the family room. It kept knocking on the door, or so it sounded. We finally turned around to see what the commotion was, and it flew away.

We have begun stripping the wallpaper in the guest bathroom downstairs. We walked in the other day looking for Gabriel, who'd wandered off, and he was in there using the peeler! Of couse we grabbed the camera and took the photo above. He must have really paid attention to his mommy stripping wallpaper, because we sure didn't show him how to do it. It's really slow going, so we're going to rent a steamer from Home Depot tomorrow to see if that helps. We're going to take away the mauve and paint it a nice khaki color. We're going with sort of an early American palette - classic colors.

Patty's mom just got here today and will be here for a week. We're really excited and grateful that she came here so we can get some things done, and also just because we're happy she's here.

Yesterday, we went to World of Gymnastics, where Matt's aunt Yolanda and uncle Chris work. We went so that Gabriel could play on the trampolines and inflatables, but Mommy and Daddy ended up having all the fun. We jumped into foam pits, climbed rock walls, did flips on high bars and trampolines, and even used a pommel horse trainer. It was really, really fun.

We've put a bunch of our photos online, rather than take up space on this page. They can be found here. We've titled each one to give a clue as to where and when it took place. There are pictures of a variety of things, including our new car - a Jeep Liberty, and a couple rooms in our house that were recently changed.

The only other thing we didn't talk about was Chip's birthday party. We had a really great time, and it went really well. Thanks to our family, the house looked beautiful and as though we'd been here for a while, and thanks to the good folks at Publix, his cakes looked really cute and tasted delicious. He had yellow cake with vanilla frosting, and we had yellow cake with strawberry filling and buttercream frosting.

We feel like we're in paradise in this house. It's the perfect place for us, and we're already really happy here.