Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We're Five Years Old!!!

Today is Juli, Elisha and KJ's fifth birthday! Five years old! I can hardly believe it.

To commemorate the day Gretch, my sister Katie and I all spend the day with the kids at pre-school. All three kids got to be the leader. They passed out treats, everyone sang happy birthday to them, and as a special treat, we took the butterflies in to release them near their school.

Juli performing her leader duties, learning how to use the calendar.

Elisha was more interested in posing for the camera than making sure she was on the right day.

KJ decided to point to the year and pose.

A little story time with Aunt Kate

Some coloring time with mama.

A little sibling mischief.

Releasing the butterflies.

They weren't so sure about leaving the comfy confines of their little habitat, but we convinced them.

This one really did not want to go.

Really, Really didn't want to go.

After lunch, we sang happy birthday and the kids got little cupcakes. Thanks Aunt Kate!

Some presents from mom & dad.

Balloons and t-shirts from Aunt Kate & Uncle Steve! Thank You!

I had to tell them to smile for this one. Of course KJ cheesed it up!

Happy Fifth Birthday Juli, Elisha & KJ!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Day of Pre-School - Year Two

The kids started pre-school this morning. This is their second year. They'll be in Kindergarten next year. Everyone did really well. No tears were shed, in fact, they were wondering why mommy and I stayed in their classroom so long.

It's amazing how quiet the house is when it's just me, the dog, the bird, and 5 butterflies.

It's also amazing how much they've grown in just one year. This was their first day of school last year:

And this is today:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Painted Ladies

Just before labor day I ordered a Live Butterfly Kit from InsectLore.com. It arrived last week and the kids were just in awe. There were several live caterpillars in two jars. We watched them for a couple of days. The kids had lots of questions, I won't bore you or disgust you with the details.

A few short days after the kit arrived, the caterpillars transformed themselves into chrysalides (cocoon like stage) that were hanging from the lid of the jar. I transferred them into the "observation habitat" and we again waited and watched.

We didn't think much was happening. In fact, Gretch and I started to talk about returning them because we didn't think they survived. I'm glad we let them be for a few more days because I noticed something different today. The first Painted Lady butterfly hatched this afternoon.

It just so happened that I borrowed my good friend Tom's macro lens this morning for a shoot that I'm doing tomorrow. I'm really glad I had it, I was able to get some photos with some really good detail. I can't wait until they start eating and opening their wings. I hope to get quite a few more pics.

The red stuff on the netting below the butterfly is normal. It's called meconium and is the left-over color and unneeded tissues from the butterfly's wing formation. (I've learned a lot about butterflies in the past two weeks).