Friday, June 3, 2016

Bird Art

The past month we have been enjoying the many different birds that have come to visit our wetland.  They are all so beautiful and unique in their own ways.  Owen's favorite is the American Robin.  We read a book called Round Robin and Owen drew the picture below of the robin from the book.  Don't you just love kid art?

Not only have we read some fascinating books about birds, we have had the chance to observe some birds up close in our own backyard.  We watched a House Finch couple make a nest, lay eggs and hatch right in our very own backyard tree.  However, tragically the babies were eaten by a predator.  By the way the predator tore apart the tree we guess it was a local raccoon family.  We were very sad for the loss of these five baby birds.

Days later we were greeted at our very front door by a baby bird that fell out of his nest to early.  We found the nest in a front yard tree, however the nest was falling apart and when looking into the nest another baby fell out pathetically to the ground.  So, we had TWO baby birds staying IN our house till they learned how to fly.  At night they slept in our house with a blanket over the bin and during the day we put the bin on our back porch so the parents could find and care for them.  It was so fascinating to watch the mom and dad come to our back porch and teach the baby birds how to fly out of the bin we had created for them.  The parents modeled OVER and OVER for the babies how to fly out of the bin.  Repetition is important in parenting!  Owen wrote a story about the little birds in his nature journal.  It is a fun family memory to share!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Grandparent's Day Celebration!

This evening we celebrated Grandparent's Day!  Earlier this week Owen created cards for each of his grandparents and sent them in the mail.  Tonight we had my parents over for dessert to celebrate, appreciate and honor them.  Owen wanted a sunflower theme (we are currently doing a sunflower unity study in preschool) for our celebration, so he drew a sunflower on our chalkboard and put it outside our front door. Owen also decorated the brownie pan to look like a sunflower.  After dessert we went for a nice cool evening walk around our trail to check out the "new bridge."

I am so thankful for my parents and their deep love for each of their grandchildren.  They are intentional, thoughtful, kind, serving, giving and helpful grandparents.  It is evident that they take great delight and enjoyment in their grandchildren.  I am also thankful that they talk with my boys about Jesus and show them what it looks like to love and follow Jesus.  I am so thankful for all my parents do for us.  Just this week my parents have watched the boys when I was not feeling well, took time to listen to one of my boys chat (non-stop) on the phone and picked us up for church!  Thank you for loving us all so well!  You are wonderful Grandparents!


Slow Saturday Morning

It has been awhile since we have had a slow Saturday morning.  Yesterday morning we had no where to be and so we enjoyed a nice relaxing morning of slow fun.  We walked, talked, chased, played and created!  A refreshing morning for us all!

This part of the trail is always so inviting, don't you think?  Yesterday I was even well enough to go for a short run around our trail.  It felt so wonderful to be active again after two weeks of back pain and also the stomach bug for a few of those days.  So thankful to be healthy again and so thankful for Tommy who was there to take care of us all!  He served us so well!

Here the boys are playing their most recent game they made up called "echo."

Along the trail we sat and talked, found new flowers and chased moths and snakes!

When we returned home from our walk we had received a package of finger-paint, and so of course we had to try it out right away!  It was fun to explore the feeling of having paint on our hands, even Tommy and I joined in on the fun!

You can probably guess what we did right after painting...yep, strait to the bubbly bath the boys went!  

I am looking forward to more slow Saturday's this fall!  What is your favorite way to spend a slow Saturday at home?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Holczer Camping Trip 2015

Last weekend we took the boys to Battleground Lake for their first camping trip.  We had such a wonderful time as a family.  We enjoyed slow days of playing in the dirt with trucks, hiking around the lake and playing on the nearby playground.  
Campsite #30
Me with my two boys!
"Daddy, I am sleeping."  ~Henry
Owen racing Jack CarMack and Redbeak down the track he made!
Our good morning view!
I surprised the boys with a special book for camping called The Secrets of the Apple Tree.
While reading the book you shine a flashlight or glow stick behind the pages to find something
that is hiding on the page!  Owen enjoyed discovering the secret on each page!
Henry, "helping" us get ready for camping!
Camping requires a lot of packing!
Playing with the trucks on our campsite!
Henry's favorite part of camping was the "swing and slide."
Bear paw cookies for dessert!
Brrr...the morning's were a bit cold!
Owen is always ready to go in the morning! 
Hiking around the lake on daddy's back!
A fun tree we discovered while hiking!  While enjoying our hike,
Owen turned to me and said "I am having an adventure in my mind!"
I wish I was able to enter his mind and see what was going on in his little head!
Half way around the lake!
Family selfie
A slow evening stroll by the lake led to this bench overlooking the lake.
The boys are watching someone swim across the lake!
Traffic cone clowns!

Morning tea together while watching the boys play in the dirt!
After the boys went to sleep each night, Tommy and I snuck out of the tent
to read this page-turning book we have been reading together this summer!
 (Yes, we finished it! Now YOU can check the book out at the library!)
Last trip to the swing and slide!

And now we start planning for camping next summer!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sunflowers and SONfollowers

We recently read a book at home called "All About Flowers."  Owen was drawn to the sunflower page and he told me that he wanted to camp next to the sunflower field because it was so beautiful.  The book told us that "the sunflower gets its name from the way the blossoms turn to follow the movement of the sun."  We were amazed at the thought of how the sunflower bud follows the sun all day long!  

With sunflowers on our mind, we went for a walk that evening to a nearby house that has a small sunflower garden.  Sure enough, as we observe them closely, the sunflower buds were facing in the direction of the sun.  As we talked about how the sunflowers are unique in the way they turn toward the sun and are in constant pursuit of sunlight, we too, as Christians, should be in constant pursuit of Jesus and set Him before us throughout our day.  

A few days later I was running into the grocery store for a handful of things and as I entered the store the sunflower bouquets caught my attention right away.  I added a bouquet to my basket and brought them home for us to have a daily reminder to fix our eyes on Jesus.  I like how Matt Papa explains this very thing in the quotes below:

“God’s Word says “fix” because this is what we have to do when we wake up in the morning. We have to “fix.” We have to glue. We have to fight. Because if I don’t fight every day to “fix” my eyes on Jesus, my ADD soul will look to a million lesser things.” 

“I don’t wake up in the morning just naturally reading my Bible and singing worship songs. I must, with a warlike aggression, place the glory of God in front of my face, or I will not change . . . I will not worship Him. We must be like David in Psalm 16:8 who said, “I have set the Lord continually before me.” 

As the week pasted by, I realized my great need for the constant reminder that the bright yellow sunflower offered.  Many times I walked by the flower and recognized (again and again) my need to stop and seek Him with what was on my mind.  I must intentionally seek Him every day, every hour, every minute, every morning, every night and in every circumstance.  I must continue to recognize my great need for Jesus in my life!  May the sunflower serve as a reminder to me to be a SONfollower!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hey Bug!

Big Bugs!

This BIG beetle was gifted to Owen a few days ago by Erik Cummings who works on staff at Glenwood.  Erik knows how much Owen LOVES bugs and knew he would enjoy this one!  Owen was very excited to receive this fun gift!

A few weeks ago Owen and I were reading a book and came across a cute little bug poem which he requested to be read over and over again.  It goes like this:


Hey, bug, stay!
Don't run away.
I know a game that we can play.

I'll hold my fingers very still
and you can climb a finger-hill.

No, no.
Don't go.

Here's a wall - a tower, too,
a tiny bug town, just for you.
I've a cookie.  You have some.
Take this oatmeal cookie crumb.

Hey, bug, stay!
Hey, bug!

by:  Lilian Moore

Friday, July 3, 2015

House Finch Refections

This year we got to see not one, but two different House Finch bird families make their nest in our tree.  They even used the same nest, one family after the other.  Each time, from beginning to end, it was so fascinating to watch them grow.  (You could probably tell by the number of pictures I posted of them on Instagram.)  The tiny blue eggs hatched into little delicate pink fuzzy birds.  

Quickly they began to grow larger and look more bird-like.  It was not to long before they grew feathers and developed their loud chirping voice. 

All to soon they became to big to all fit in the nest together.  They were forced to find refuge in the tree limbs surrounding the nest until they were ready to try out their wings and fly!  All to fast, the mommy and daddy bird had an empty nest!

From the moment the babies hatched the mommy and daddy birds gathered food to bring to their babies continuously.  While the mommy bird spent most of her time in the nest, the daddy bird was always on a nearby fence or tree.  As I sat outside while my boys played, I had lots of opportunities to observe him.  The male house finch is a small handsome gray-brown bird with a bight red head and chest.  The daddy bird was always loudly singing a sweet song toward his babies while perched nearby.  It seemed to me that he was singing to his babies so that they could always hear his recognizable voice.  It was my favorite part to watch and think that the daddy was singing a lovely song to his babies throughout each day.  It became my daily joyous reminder that I too have a Father singing over me!

"The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save,
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Photo taken from Merlin Bird ID app