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May 27, 2009



Those are great masks! High five to your kids.


Hilarious! And those blue eggs are beautiful.


Huh, I think ordering egg sacs and watching them hatch would be right down Dean's alley.

Your (masked) kids are very cute!


Ha Ha Ha! I love that she put her binkie back in her mouth even with the mask on!


so cute!!!


Your children are adorable! My mom's daycare kids love masks and like to scare people with them even more. :D


What days or day are you going to be at Comic Con?

Sarah Miller

Baby birds are the closest thing to Muppets that nature has to offer.

Amanda Lane

Aww that is fantastic!


I love mantises! They are so fun, and when they get bigger they make excellent pets. Feed them small crickets and keep them in a terrarium or large plastic jar with air holes and greenery and they're just lovely. Clean and totally cool. Unfortunately, they're short-lived.


I love mantis's too! They freak my husband out, but I let them climb all over my hand when I find one! Cool!:) Your kids are adorable, even if I can't see their faces! They look about the same age and gender as my two kids! Cheers!;)

Ruby Diamond

Have fun at BEA! I wish I could go...


If the mantises don't work, I'll be happy to send you some of my zucchini. I never plant more than one but it somehow always ends up strewn all over my counter. Tell your bad beasties they can come on over to my house and chew all they want. Though my marigolds and onions might keep them away.


Looks like fun at the Hale house. ^_^ Your kids are adorable, btw. Love dem masks!

I lol'd at the chicken nuggets remark. Hilarious. Birdies sure is ugly, ain't dey?

Creepy mantises! Bugs are gross. It would suck to have to gather 200 of the little stinkers in your house... ugh. I don't envy you there. XD


Everything about that post was great. The eggs were beautiful that would be fun to watch and the masks with the binky - that is so my little girl. Have fun potty training (if that is even possible).

Kristi Stevens

I know you've posted about your writing schedule before but I'm very intrigued about an update. If you stop and open the door exactly at 6 p.m. will you stop mid sentence? What is your schedule like during edits? You've hired a sitter? How is that working? My first priority is as a mother but I would still like to get some writing in during the summer. A writing mommy update would be most helpful.

Miss Erin

I love this post. Full of life and beauty and love and smiles. :)


Did you know the sacs had that many in there? I would have been creeped out too. I'm not into having bugs in my house. My yard is good though. My sister just told me that Magnolias are good in gardens (for weeds or bugs I'm not sure).

Love the masks. Gotta love babysitters who are creative and invested in the kids!


Cuuute kids, even though we can't see their face! :D :D :D
I love mantises. Bugs are cute. Mostly. Except spiders *shudder*
Love the binky-through-the-mask thing. Classic.


Great post, thanks for sharing!

The kids are awesome in the masks, I love how the binki still works even with the mask on!

Sweet pictures of the mantis and eggs, we always had a lot of mantis hanging around our garden, they are very alien like, and they pinch! The nugget comment made me laugh.


LOVE all the beasties!! I wish I could get a chance to see a baby bird in person again. And your kids in their masks are ADORABLE!! The cutest beasties I've ever seen. :D

Laura Z M

My, those are unnaturally blue eggs.

Ack! The blue eggs of the omen!

They portend, I believe, a successful journey, the protection of a Mantodea army over your crops, and a long, healthy life for you and your loved ones.

Be safe.


I too am a tad curious about your writing schedule. Pray tell...

I had to smile when you wrote that you stop writing exactly at 6pm, as I stop at 7:00am (directly before the attempted shower; that is if one of the kidlets doesn't awake early to foil my b-line to the bathroom from the computer monitor).

We've also been spying on a mama robin and her three fledglings in our neck of the woods. Our babies have just got their blackish, mottled pin feathers and are still pretty awkard-looking, nothing like their mother yet. The other day my eldest said the that his favorite thing about robins is the cool white circle around their eyes. They are attractive birds when they come into their own, aren't they? And so "cheeky" (As I remember Mary saying in a Hallmark version of The Secret Garden years ago).

I know you don't answer these blog queries, Shannon, but I just finished the four episode BBC series of Wives and Daughters and just needed to share my exuberance with someone. Have you seen it?! It's right up there with all of the fine productions Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice. The reolution scene in the rain will be incised in my mind as one of the most pleasant and least-maudlin love scenes of my acquaintance (exlcluding my own, naturally...). And the rain streaming down Molly's face only heightens all the poignance of the tears welling up in her eyes during the moment of realization.

I had no idea there was such an impeccable film"e" version of this story until just a month ago, and am now already calculating when and where I can absorb it all again with my sisters/sisters-in-law present for a heightened estrogen extravaganza.

The next family vacation? Father's Day? ("Enjoy a femaleless afternoon while we all escape to the entertainment center in the basement--good luck with all the kids! Call us up if you see blood!")

So my sister gave me the Elizabeth Gaskell book of W&Ds for my birthday several years ago. Saying as she did so, that she thought I would like it, as it was said to be reminiscent of Bronte/Austen novels. The giganto-tome took me an entire year to read, and then when I finally was utterly and completely invested in the characters, I breathlessly turned the last page of the book--to have my longing for resolution fulfilled--I came upon a closing paragraph that (at a glance) looked much too short for what I was anticipating.

Something like these terse and shocking (paraphrased) words slapped my senses: "The editor of this book regrets to inform the gentle reader that Elizabeth Gaskell died abruptly before she was able to write a satisfying conclusion to her dramatic tale. Thus, we in her audience can only surmise what might have happened between Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley. The editor would suppose that..."

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"What?!" I remember gasping, flipping frantically through the last few pages to see if I had somehow skipped a page or two in my excitement of the approaching climax. Rereading the last paragraph again, more carefully this time, the full measure of the enormity of the disastrous situation rested on my mind.

There was no ending to this beautifully-wrought tale! Was there ever such a book as this, so wisely crafted and so unjustly capped? Astounding. Unparalleled!

But in steps the BBC! And honestly, Gaskell, wherever she is(need I ask after she left us such a legacy), must be pleased. So Shannon, if you haven't yet seen this masterfully-portrayed version of Wives and Daughters with the most deliciously silly hairdos and the most genuine performances by the delectable cast, then you've got to indulge sometime soon this summer. By the way, as you're on a garden kick in your recent posts, the cinematography in the aforementioned flick is stunning. Enjoy, enjoy! And happy zucchinieeing!


The mantis is my favorite bug. I'm wishing I could go to BEA. I want to meet Katherine Paterson, too! Enjoy!

Jenny Tonks

HYSTERICAL! Love the binky mask the best!

Okay, I had *no* idea that a person could order creepy critters online! Yet another reason for me to fear the Internet, LOL! :)


Oh how cool! If you find any, the brown ones are gals, green are boys, but do not put the gals together! My fourth grade class did that, and it was like watching them fight for death: They females eat each other. CREEPY! GROSS! But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Rachel Danielle

I loved those pics! The masks were great!


Binkie Beasties! Love it!!!

Avery and the delicious Posie Nubbins

Eggs and masks. How great!
Praying Mantis' freak me out, though.

I'm going to be submitting a Rapunzel's Revenge video entry once I get a youtube account up. Be on the look out!

Heather Z.

The binkied one is definitely the fiercest of the beasties. Positively adorable. :)


GAH! They're not allowed to be that big! I guess I don't click through my feed reader often enough because I swear didn't you JUST HAVE that little baby girl!!

Of course, that was before I JUST HAD my 15 month old, so, never mind I guess :P

Emma H.

I love robin eggs! They are so cool!

Amazing masks too!

Julie Castellon

The picture of 200 mantids crawling around the refrigerator! Eeeeek! Super impressed with you gathering them and moving them outside.

Would love an update on the robins. Did they make it out alive?


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