Another important public service announcement…Queen Anne’s Lace! (also included: a lightning bug update)

Queen Anne’s lace is blooming!

I have great childhood memories of picking the white flowers, putting them in jars of water, adding the dye and then watching the flowers turn the color of the dye over the next few days.  Here’s a website that explains why these are the ideal flowers to use for this activity, and how to know which flowers to pick to get the best result:

http://quazen.com/recreation/crafts/dying-queen-annes-lace/

Dying the flowers is definitely on my list of things to do with the kids in the very near future.  (Thinking we could make a Queen Anne’s lace rainbow bouquet for someone who needed a pick-me-up?  Or, if we weren’t traveling it would be fantastic for Father’s Day…)

And since I’m already in public service announcement mode, I will provide an update on my previous announcement that lightning bug season is here…see the post at the following link for details: https://lotsofjoyfulnoise.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/we-interrupt-this-blog-for-an-important-public-service-announcement%E2%80%A6/

Update: On Friday night, we let all the kids stay up late to watch for lightning bugs.  Now, this easily could have been one of those activities that you build up in your head as something wonderful, only to be let down by the actual experience.  I was nervous that it would be that way – we’d end up covered in mosquito bites or end up with zero lightning bugs sightings, two exhausted parents and three grumpy, over-tired kids.  But I have to say, the experience was even better than I had originally, optimistically hoped.

The best part might have been while we were waiting for the bugs to appear.  We sat on our back porch for at least twenty minutes and just watched the sunset while we held, rocked and talked to our kids.  That might not seem like an accomplishment, but it is actually huge.  These days, it is so hard to get the kids to just sit and snuggle with us for too long.  We still get our fix while we’re reading them stories or watching a movie, but books and movies are big elements to add to an interaction.  On Friday night, it was just us, the kids and the anticipation of lightning bugs.  And the kids were willing to sit still in our laps – even when there was nothing to see – because they knew something was coming, and because they were so excited about being up late.  E & S both kept saying over and over, “You know, I have never seen a real live lightning bug before!  I have only seen the fireflies on Sesame Street!  And Ray and Evangeline in the Princess and the Frog movie!”

And then, across the field behind our house near a cluster of trees (they always seem to be near the trees…), I saw one little flash of light.  We all ran over, and pretty soon there must have been 7 or 8 lightning bugs flying around us.  The girls were so cute, running around in their princess pajamas and bare feet squealing, “I saw one light up!  Did you see it?  I saw another one!”  We caught one in a mason jar and kept it for about 3 minutes, just long enough for the kids to really look at it, and to see it light up several times.  As it flew away, S craned her head so far back to follow the flight path that she almost fell over backwards, and E asked if we could have one to keep as a pet in our house (“It would be like my own night light!  A pet that could come sit by me anytime it was dark and I needed to see!”)  T, who at his age really just enjoyed seeing his sisters so excited, seemed to be looking at us with an expression that said, “I knew it!  I knew it!  I knew that cool stuff happened after you make all of us kids go to bed at 8!”

Well, cool stuff happened last Friday night right around 8:40.  E, S, and T saw their first lightning bugs… and my husband and I got to see our kids light up.

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