Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Few Christmas Pictures

We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! We had a lovely time with family. The top two pictures are from Christmas at Mark's parents house and the bottom three are from Christmas morning at our house. The boys have been quietly playing with their presents ever since.
This is the first Christmas in our 9 years of marriage that we have not had to travel. Although it was a lot less hectic, we did miss seeing all of our friends and family in Oklahoma. Thankfully, some of you will be here next week for the baby's birth.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gingerbread House

Outdoor Hour Challenge #42 Moss and Lichen

Today's weather was just perfect for a nature walk. Recently we have been doing our nature walk's near the house, but today we ventured out to the countryside. We did see some moss, but not very much. The Lichen on the other hand was everywhere.
I think this rock has both the Foliose (leafy) lichen in the top left corner and also the Crustose (crusty) lichen on the rest of the rock.

In this close-up of a fallen branch you can see the reproductive "cups" of the lichen.

Here is a Foliose lichen growing on an oak tree. The underside of the lichen was a dark brown.

We saw plenty of examples of the Foliose lichen and also the Crustose, and then on our way back to the car we came across this Fruiticose (shrubby) lichen. We could easily see the little cups on the end of each branch. If you click on the picture you might be able to see them as well.
Although we didn't see very much moss we talked about how moss reproduces and looked for spore capsules with our lens. This was very interesting and we want to be sure and keep on the lookout for spore capsules as we come across more moss on our nature walks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It won't be long...

We have only two weeks and a few days until we get to meet this sweet baby. I would be grateful for everyones prayers as this will be my 4th c-section. It is such a busy time with Christmas coming. I am hoping that I am not forgetting something. We put the baby bed up last night and that caused some excitement among the brothers. It is hard to believe that it is so close to the birthday!

Outdoor Hour Challenge #41 Flowerless Plants

The weather has been cold and windy all week. That is until today. We have beautiful weather today and we were all anxious to get outdoors. Early in the week we read the above book and talked about plants that never bloom. In the past we have spent lots of time studying mushrooms and attempting to identify them. I love mushrooms and the boys know it, so anytime they find one they run to tell me about it. Therefore, the book was helpful to get them thinking about other plants that never bloom. So, today I sent them outside to see if they could find a plant that never bloomed and bring it to me.

They were excited and ran out the door as quick as they could. It wasn't too long before they were ringing the doorbell and the above picture is what I saw when I opened the door.

They had found some moss growing next to the house and around some shrubs out front. Above is a close-up of their specimen.

Next, they took me out to show me where they found it and in the process we also found the following moss. I think it is called miniature pine, but I could be mistaken. We will have to look it up.