Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Handsome boys

Who is that in the tree?




















Hey handsome, when did you start climbing trees?













How about a smile from my other handsome boy?













Oops, didn't mean to break your concentration! Just wanted a few pictures. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jazz & Arts Festival



We went to a jazz & arts festival this weekend and listened to big band jazz, ate funnel cakes & snow cones and enjoyed the children's art tent immensely. The boys made paintings with marbles & shaking, with straws & blowing, with their hands...they made paper train & dinosaur chains, books, hats, fish...all decorated with crayons, markers, stamps, stickers & more. Best of all, the art tent was totally free!




I took the camera with me, but the battery was dead! Oops! Camera phone saves the day again for some shots of the boys with their snow cones. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kite flying

We finally went to the dollar store for some character decorated kites & headed to the park to practice. It was kind of windy even!









We learned that there are a lot of skills in kite flying - keeping the string taut, untangled, and the kite out of any nearby trees are skills that you have to learn. Plus being tall enough to hold the kite up in the wind more definitely helps.





The kite did not land in the tree, though this picture looks that way!












View of Trainboy's kite up in the sky when he gave me a turn and I manuveured it up high for a little bit. Kites are fun! (I even managed to keep if from landing in a tree!)




The boys started playing with their scooters & then discovered the water fountains' fancy pet watering features - it shoots water out the side and into a little bowl at the bottom. We spent several minutes playing it.

It was a lovely park day. :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

1st Annual Road Less Traveled Science Fair

Look we won! What was the winning project you ask? Where's the awesome display? Ummm... we didn't make a trifold posterboard... it's a virtual science fair! This post is the display! (And everyone who participated was a winner. :P )

Well, for our project, we played with flying things. Originally it was just going to be kites, but we expanded naturally into paper airplanes as well.

Did you know you can make a great homemade kite with a paper, a pencil, tape, string & a plastic bag? Thanks to this link, we made our own kites. :) Unfortunately, we did it on a day when there was no wind. Ironic since about every other day is pretty windy here right now. But we had fun trying!

After that experiment, I promised myself we'd go kite flying on a windy day soon after. Well, we kind of did...a friend brought their awesome kites to a park day and the boys had a lot of fun helping them fly their awesome kites. (One was shaped like a working pirate ship!) Unfortunately, I forgot the camera, and it was beyond the scope of my phone camera. (I tried...) But beyond that, well, I procrastinated too long. Oops.
I asked Dinoguy what we needed to do to have successful kite flying and he said: "Wait for a windy day." So we learned that lesson well. :)

We did however, make paper airplanes several times instead, with the help of an awesome book called Championship paper planes that Fixitman owns. Trainboy preferred the basic jet model with large wings, while Dinoguy tried out a few of the fancier options (his favorite was the Thunder bomber, challenging mom's folding skills). I tried one of the non traditional looking models and was (a bit) surprised at how well it flew. (It looks like a U in flight!)

I learned lots of interesting stuff about making paper airplanes while folding them for the boys. Did you know the US uses non standard paper sizes? The A4 paper used by the rest of the world is based on the 1 x sq rt 2 rectangle, much like a credit card, (or the golden ratio), which is very handy for some folding purposes, so I learned how to trim an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper into an A4 paper, (thank goodness for a paper trimmer though!)

This is a video of the boys throwing their planes, but it will make you dizzy! Apparently, throw the plane for video means throw it at mom. Oh well. We had a TON of fun making kites and planes and playing with them. A successful time experimenting with flight was had.

Now go look at all the other awesome participants projects!

video

Thursday, April 17, 2008

104 things in 1095 days

I meant to write up some fancy post for my 100th post on this blog that was inspirational. Instead my 100th post was about my latest car accident with a tree. Oops!

So instead, I am posting a celebratory 104th post. :) When I finally started blogging last year, (and its almost a year to date!) I wasn't really sure what I had to say on a blog. But I felt like it would be a great way to share and keep in contact with friends and family, which it is.

It's also been a great way to share some of the fun photos we are always taking of our adorable children. I've also enjoyed connecting and sharing with new friends who share some of my educational philosophies. It has also been good for me to just spend the time writing regularly. I play with numbers in my head all the time and games like Suduko all the time, but I love words too, and have started playing games and enjoying them more, instead of feeling tortured by the search for the right words.

But I digress. My celebratory post is about 104 things I want to do in the next 1095 days. I chose those numbers because this is my 104th post, and 1095 days is 3 years from now. Seemed reasonable. I saw this idea of making such a list on a friends blog - and now I am off to make my own list of things.

I don't really have any big things I've learned about blogging to share. All I can say is I'm glad I have this record of some of the things in our life. I think I will do the blog books at some point and that can be my scrapbook. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Strawberry Picking!

Today we went strawberry picking at a pick your own farm with friends. It's berry season! Strawberries are a big favorite in our house . No cute faces in these photos, we were all to intent on getting those yummy berries in our baskets (or tummies mostly in Trainboy's case).

The safari hats were what the boys purchased at the gift shop yesterday at the zoo. They love their hats, though it was very windy today and we did chase Trainboy's hat a few times across the field.



Dinoguy was a great strawberry picker helper, and very good about not eating all the ones he picked. (Since we were told not to eat them until paid for - how hard is that for a little boy?)

Trainboy just made sure no one saw him, though all the berries in his basket in the picture have little bite marks in them. He eventually got his fill and let me fill the basket with berries to take home. Yum!

We are going to make jam tomorrow, as well as freeze a bunch and dry some for trail mix. I love berry season!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Playing at the zoo

There were new penguins at the zoo and many other fun things to do too! :) We had a lot of fun hanging out with friends at the zoo! It is a fun place for the kids to run around and explore.






We also visited the herpetarium for the first time and Dinoguy loved the rhinoceros iguana. I was freaked out by the gaboon viper.





Fun at the zoo is compounded by riding the carousel and playing in the old west town. The must see animal today for Dinoguy was gorillas.








The cutest thing was watching Dinoguy help care for another friends' baby. He insisted on helping push the stroller, playing with the kid and making sure he was entertained and happy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trash Bash Fun

Here's Dinoguy & Trainboy having an extremely healthy free lunch at the civic center after we spent all morning picking up trash in the neighborhood.

The trash picking up was a bit stressful to me, I thought it'd be fun to bring Sarge, but it really wasn't. The boys had never walked so much in one stretch and were quite tired by the end.

I believe we had a good amount of fun, they rode their scooters around and liked playing with the latex gloves they gave us to pick up the trash.

We also felt very thanked with the food, and other handouts, including reuseable shopping bags, fluorescent lightbulbs, handouts, coloring books, crayons & pencils, and oh yes, the free tickets to Six Flags we won in the raffle!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Driving skills

Have you ever walked into a doorframe? maybe a tree?

I was turning around today in a parking lot, but managed to back into a tree and break a tail light instead. Oops.

I don't know why I only hit inanimate objects with my car, but at least the only thing really damaged is our checking account balance. In the past year, I have driven into a tree stump and dented the side of the car, taken the sideview mirror off the car TWICE with the garage, and now backed into a tree and broken the tail light.

Before this, my first car accident was when I hit a tailhitch of the car in front of me at a stoplight because I thought the light had changed, and then realized it hadn't. (We were both stopped for a while before I did this.) I did not damage their car at all, just mine. This happened when I was 16. I cried hysterically for approximately 3 hours afterward, certain that my father would never let me touch a car again.

My 2nd accident was about 3 weeks before our wedding when I was turning down rows in a parking lot and managed to turn into a cement base of a lightpole. No other cars around, I just managed to misjudge the turn. It was at university and the cop that showed up asked me at least 3 times what kind of drugs I was on to do such a thing. I also cried hysterically for about 3 hours after this one, since it was my parents car again and was quite damaged.

The series of recent renovations on my car hasn't caused hours of crying, but angry yelling at myself, maybe because the car is mine this time and all I see in the accidents is money flying out the window.

And yes, I do occasionally walk into door frames or trees.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Garden fun

Trainboy waters some of his stick flowers. He plants them, waters them, picks them, and shows me that they are growing.








Some of my herbs & plants - cilantro & thyme in the pot on the far right on the ground. Sage in a pot and Strawberries in a pot on the top. Oregano & Mint in the pot on the left, and my lantana flowers in the box.



My tarragon, rosemary & parsley in the pot on the left, and a whole lot of basil in the pot on the right.










I wonder where Dinoguy might be?













Dinoguy worked on teaching Sarge to "mush" today. We've been enjoying the movie Balto lately. :)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Home Depot Craft

We remembered to go to the Home Depot craft this past Saturday morning! :) Dinoguy is quite good with a hammer now. Trainboy is still too soft with his hits, but fairly accurate. They had some fun making the flower boxes, and I had some fun picking out a few things for our little garden. (It took me 30 minutes to get these photos off my phone since I didn't take the camera with me, enjoy them even if they are lower quality!

I want a large garden. A humongous garden. But with the uncertainty in our life at the moment, I don't want to spend money to make a good garden plot and our yard's dirt needs amending to really grow anything. (And protect the garden, and future compost pile from the dog.) So for now, I just have my herb garden in pots and Dinoguy's strawberry plant and a couple flowers in the front planter box. No pictures of that right now because I am not good at remembering to take pictures when I'm doing things and now it is too dark to take decent pictures. So I will add them later. :)

But I did take a picture of what I found in the back yard today when I went out to play with Sarge. :) He's gotten quite good at this! My friend Mel has another pic of him in a tree at a park on her blog, here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Auto Show

We love to go to the auto show every year. Trying out cars, looking at cars, seeing old cars, sitting in fantastically expensive cars...and then all the free stuff. :) We rode the train down to avoid traffic. Here are some photos of the boys having fun looking at cars. :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Punctuation quiz

This quiz was on Happy and Free and I found it interesting and amusing. I took it and liked the results too. :) When I don't know enough about a situation, I do turn to books and learning.

We are having a relaxing day at home today after two fun filled days playing at parks with friends. I hope you have a happy Thursday too!




You Are a Question Mark



You seek knowledge and insight in every form possible. You love learning.

And while you know a lot, you don't act like a know it all. You're open to learning you're wrong.



You ask a lot of questions, collect a lot of data, and always dig deep to find out more.

You're naturally curious and inquisitive. You jump to ask a question when the opportunity arises.



Your friends see you as interesting, insightful, and thought provoking.

(But they're not always up for the intense inquisitions that you love!)



You excel in: Higher education



You get along best with: The Comma

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Contentment

The questions are all similar in nature: If you could go backward or forward in time to any event in your life now, would you? If you could redo something in your life, would you? Do you wish you lived in a different era of the world's history? Do you spend so much time anticipating the future that you fail to enjoy the present? Or too much time dwelling on the past?

Reflection, contemplation, preparation, these are all good things. We need to cherish the past, learn from the past, prepare for the future. But we also need to live in the moment and learn to love our life, just as it is now.

We are in a fun period of transition in our life. Fixitman's job is changing significantly at his company. This brings with it uncertainty and worry and fear. And yet I woke up on Monday and wondered if it would be nice to just skip this stage of life and move on to the "more enjoyable" next stage.

Well, I don't want to skip April, my favorite month for multiple reasons. But beyond that, I realized, I love our life. I love enjoying my family and playing and discovering and learning with them. My kids are fascinating and wonderful. My dog is loyal and loving. My husband is amazing. Even now, when we are facing uncertainty and don't know where we are headed, I can stand up and say: I would rather be here, with my family, facing these challenges together, than anywhere else in time or space. Bring it on.

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