Saturday, May 31, 2008

Park adventures

We went to our local park twice this week with different friends and had wonderful adventures.

On Wednesday we went and the kids ended up in the volleyball sand court. I walked Trainboy over to join his brother and discovered the reason they were having so much fun - it had a lake in it and was like a beach! The kids had an awesome time building sand castles and rivers and running around splashing in the water.

On Thursday we returned and got to feed baby ducklings at a really close range! I couldn't believe how close the mom let the kids, I guess it was because they were hungry. We also played on the waterfall/rocky area that kids love and then headed over to the friends house for a snack and more play. The kids had such a great time they didn't want to go home, even though Mom was ready for dinner and bed!

I am having trouble getting the pictures from my phone to this computer right now - I need to find the software CD, so until then, this post is pictureless. It was holding up my post queue though so I'm releasing it for now. Stay tuned for changes if you even see this message. :P

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

We had a busy and fun memorial day this year. The boys & I went to the arboretum first for crafts and a children's concert. I got confused on the time it started and so we got there way too early.

Here is Trainboy sitting on a stone. I didn't get the camera out fast enough as he spent a few minutes lying on the face of it carefully reading the letters written on it to himself.

Dinoguy made friends with three grandmotherly women who were also there early and had them teach him a little bit of canasta and then Trainboy joined in and they just had the three ladies wrapped around their finger they loved talking with them so much. The ladies kept telling me how well behaved and polite my boys were as well. Here he is trying to help adjust the umbrella for one lady to help keep her shaded.

Right before the concert began, Dinoguy saw some kids with umbrella hats and wanted one badly. He went down and asked how much they were and came back and told me, "Mom! They are only two dollars! Can I please have my wallet!" So he went and bought himself an umbrella hat, which of course meant Trainboy had to buy one too. He determined it was a much better rocket than hat though.

The concert finally began and we enjoyed it for a while but the boys were tired and it was HOT so we left a bit early and headed home for some rest before going to the pool with Dad. The singer was Sara Hickman, and she brings her daughter to concerts and has her participate - that's who is next to her. There were several cute songs and the boys did like it for a little bit, but if it had started at 11 am like I thought it did (and I'm know that's what the paper published!), they would have enjoyed it more, since 1 pm is much hotter and later in the day and we had been outside playing already for several hours!

Dinoguy is really into swimming and we already spent all of Saturday at the pool - well, I spent a few hours with him and then when I was tired came home and sent Fixitman with him. Trainboy refused to go to the pool on Saturday. On Monday he originally didn't want to go either but changed his mind right before we left and ended up having a blast and being very brave and jumping in and all sorts of swimming escapades.

Fixitman & I were a bit surprised but glad to see he is not as fearful of water as he used to be. The beach later this summer will be another interesting adventure with water since last summer he refused to go near the waves and didn't even want me to go in them and only played in the slues (little ponds on the beach depressions).

I love their new rash guard shirts we got from Lands End - I really feel it will help keep them safer from the sun and icky sunburns this summer. They wear them with no problem. I think they will become even more common here in the USA now as they are in Australia and the rest of the world. Here is Trainboy PUTTING HIS HEAD UNDER RUNNING WATER willingly in the splash park area of the pool. And then he did it again! And was laughing! In the bath that night I ask him to put his head in the water and he did it then too! He is growing so fast I can't believe it.

Well we had a wonderful Memorial day, even though we didn't go to any of the memorials for the soldiers, I did mention it to the kids. I hope you had a wonderful memorial day too. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Park play with dogs

We went to a local park with friends this past week and took Sarge with us in the truck. Our park days are numbered as the weather is starting to get too hot to be outside in the afternoon, but we had a great time.

While I brought my camera, I never used it, but luckily my friend did and took these great photos. (Which is why I am in some of them!)

Sarge showed how awesome of a dog he is and was wonderful with all the kids who wanted to walk him and take him around. When he needed a break he would go sit under the picnic table, it was really cute. Toward the end he lay down near me and a sweet baby friend who loved patting and touching the dog so much! I wish I had a video of her cute squeals of delight at being able to be near the dog.

Another friend brought her adorable puppy as well for the kids to meet and play with. He was such a well behaved puppy! The kids did play on the playgrounds and we also went on some nature hikes on some nearby trails, but the dogs were definitely the big hit of the day.

Fort building

We have done a lot of fort building lately. Dinoguy ask me to take a picture of this fort that he spent a while designing - he was very proud of it.

While Fixitman & I bemoan the ridiculous number of pillows on our current couches, (but free things are not something you can complain about really!) the kids have embraced the building possibilities of the couches and had a lot of fun.

Goodbye Taurus

This is the seemingly minor damage I sustained in a fender bender in a Wal-mart parking lot that resulted in our trusty Taurus being declared totaled.

We have had this car since before Trainboy was born and have driven it round the country more than once. We have put more than 70,000 miles on it and it has been reliable and good to us and now it is gone.

Sadly, it was my fault, as I missed a stop sign. I was alone in the car and didn't have the radio on either. But I had taken a wrong turn and was slightly lost (surprised?) since the frontage road had ended for some reason and so I was trying to get back on the freeway and driving thru store parking lots looking for an entrance when it happened. Doh! But no one was injured in the accident, thank goodness. :)

But the damage resulted in bending the door tower bar, which apparently functions somewhat as a roll cage in the car and is expensive to repair and so cost of the repairs was more than half the value of our car and the insurance declared it totalled! Double doh!

So we have turned in our car and said goodbye and deposited the check and will eventually probably buy a minivan so that Sarge can ride in the car with us easily.

Blackberry season has begun!

We made the trek to our favorite pick your own farm again this week, our last voyage in our trusty Taurus. We were double rewarded with some of the first blackberries of the season as well as some of the last strawberries of the season here.

Dinoguy loves blackberries. He may have just fond instinctual remembrances of the blackberry bushes behind the condo we lived in for the first 2 years of his life that had delicious blackberries available for anyone to eat for most of the summer. We have great memories of the fun of these blackberries. We would eat them until we were gorged and then eat some more.

So while we had originally gone just to get some more strawberries before the season ended, when Dinoguy found out there were blackberries available, he knew that's what he wanted to do instead. So he & Fixitman headed to the blackberries while Trainboy & I picked strawberries.

It was interesting to see how much Trainboy remembered from our jaunt to the strawberry patch previously. He told me all about which berries we should pick and would not pick the ones that weren't totally ripe. He also managed to abstain from eating any before we had paid.

Anyway, we had a wonderful time and have been eating sweet delicious ripe berries full of flavor all week as our reward. Yum. :)

Playing with trains

I have met so many mothers who when I mention to them how much Trainboy loves trains tell me that their kid did for a while and got over it (and they sigh with relief). I smile and change the topic because I am sorry that they have viewed their kids' passion as a temporary annoyances to be survived while I see them as things to celebrate and feed.

Trainboy has been playing trains for over 2 years now since we borrowed (on an extended basis) my parents old train set and shows no signs of slowing down. If he decides at some point to move onto another topic of fascination, I will support him, but right now I feed his desire to learn about trains as much as I can. We have gone to ride Thomas the train, his dad has taken him to model train shows, we read books about trains from the library (and not just fiction picture books!) and more.

Anyway, we still have a wonderful time playing trains, whether on our train table or on the floor. The train set has been expanded significantly to the point we have laid track all around the house so the kids could drive a train in a circle thru the house.

This is our latest train track creation. It was a lot of fun. It was based on a train track design given to us with one of the track acquisitions (and how much Craigslist is our friend there!) But we expanded it to include as many bridges and tunnels as we could. Dinoguy also loves to play trains, and in this photo is directing Trainboy and I in a game where we are driving our trains to a party, I am bringing the balloons on my little train, Trainboy has the cake and Dinoguy has the other decorations.

I could discuss all the different topics of learning that can be covered in trains, but let's just summarize by saying the possibilities are endless. It is so much more than little boys using their imaginations and building skills here.

Bath Fun!

Maybe this doesn't seem like much more than a cute picture of the kids playing together in the bath, but it is much more. This is the first time in about 2 years that Trainboy has taken a bath with his brother with bubbles. He has hated bubbles/been afraid of them since meeting a jacuzzi that he didn't like and his personal dislike for water in his face has made playing with his brother, a very active playful bather not fun. So Trainboy wanting to join Dinoguy again in the bath tub - even when there are bubbles in the tub - is a great reason to take a photo. (And it is a really cute photo don't you think?)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Computer problems

We have one working computer of three currently. And it needs to be returned to the company soon so it isn't really ours! One needs a new power switch, we mailed off for it and the UPS man says he delivered the box but it never got to our door or something so we have to file a claim. The other won't start anymore for unknown reasons and so it's being mailed off for repairs. Meanwhile we are lucky to have this computer to at least check email, look at maps so I don't get too lost on our adventures, and read our friends' blogs. So while I haven't updated b/c I wanted to include pictures and don't have that ability with this computer, eventually there will be updates of our activities. :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Letterboxing fun

Hiking on paths at a nature preserve, trying to follow directions when you are somewhat directionally challenged. Keeping 2 kids and 1 dog hydrated while you are lost for about a half hour. It's a bit of work.

Finding the box and stamping our books? Priceless fun with my kids. They both enjoy a good letterboxing expedition occasionally and ask if we're going to do it sometimes. I try to stay prepared to find a box wherever we go.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

See-Saw Fun

What happens when you get to Home Depot for kids craft day and they are out of kits? (ie you arrive too late in the morning?) In our house, it means Fixitman decides to build a see-saw out of scrap lumber in the garage.

Thanks hon, the kids love it. :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Up in a tree

We spent a bunch of time at parks this week. On Wednesday, I looked over to the other side of a park and saw this:
Now to give you a bit more perspective, I walked over closer and took another picture:
Hmmm, maybe I should back up the focus to help you see how high up he is.
He was way up that tree. Mom is taking pictures to help her stay calm at this point. Where's his brother?I think he's wondering how he can get up that tree too.
Later on they built a campfire out of rocks and grass under that same tree. It was a really neat playground, but the boys played mostly with the awesome trees all around it.

Trees are awesome. Here's a big beautiful shade tree in our back yard to go with the beautiful big one in our front yard. I love our beautiful trees. I hope you have some great trees in your life. If not, go plant a tree! :D


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