Monday, August 24, 2009

Celebration Park!

My mom lives near the coolest park! It is called Celebration Park and has a zero depth water park, a huge playground, trails for walking or riding bikes, 2 ponds to look at ducks, fish or turtles, soccer fields which are GREAT for kite flying. We manage to get to the park at least once a week--sometimes more.

The park has some great climbing equipment that Isaac loves to practice his climbing on. Oddly, even if it is blazing hot outside none of the boys love to play in the water portion of the park. Isaac doesn't like getting sprayed and neither does Graham. Ewan doesn't mind it so much and has played in it a few times but prefers to run around on the playground part instead.
Today we went and rode bikes there for a while and played. These are some pictures from one of our recent excursions to the park.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Me and My Big Brother

A few weeks ago I went to spend the night at my brother's house. It had been many years since we had any kind of quality time together as brother and sister. He is 13 years older than I am and when we were growing up I always looked up to him. I thought he had to be the coolest brother on the planet. We did a lot of fun things together when I was a youngster.

Post (my) high school we sort of went our separate ways and didn't talk very much (and by not much I mean never). I always have had a big space in my heart for my big brother and missed him a lot. At my visit to his house, we made a commitment to restore our relationship and my heart has been happy since.

We took this picture together and I like looking at it because I love him so much!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Photo Experimentation

I've been playing around more with iphoto on my computer and this is the result. The top picture is the original and the bottom picture is the experimental one. Which one looks better to you and why?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mom, Can We Keep Talking About Chickens?

I've been reading a book called Real Food What To Eat and Why by Nina Planck. The book has led to several interesting discussions between Jon and I. While in San Antonio this past week (post and pics to come) Jenny and I talked about our desires to have a chicken coop in the backyard for eggs. We went to eat this past Saturday with my mom and the kids and ended up talking about raising chickens. Since the topic was fresh on the mind from the conversation in San Antonio, I asked mom how many chickens a family would need to provide fresh eggs for eating. My mom grew up around chickens because my grandma and grandpa raided them for eggs, food, and um, competition.
We were discussing all the needs for chickens and Ewan started chiming in with his own knowlege of chickens. I was surprised at how much he knows about caring for chickens. He knows you need a coop, you can let the chickens out in the morning for some feed and then collect the eggs while they are busy eating, and that you need to make sure they all get back in the coop at night so they don't get eaten by any predators (his words). He volunteered to be the egg collector and the feeder. He also volunteered to help them find insects to eat.

Occasionally, when Ewan gets excited about something, he wants to keep talking about it and talking about it and talking about it. It is an endearing quality that he has. If you try to change the subject you get the response, "Mom, can we keep talking about _____?" In this case it was chickens. If you try to contribute to the conversation he lets you know that he isn't finished talking. This can go on for 45 minutes.

Ewan decided that he would be the teacher and that all the chickens could go to chicken school. He will teach the chickens the alphabet and what to do if they see a cyote. He knew this was somewhat silly but I think part of him thought it could be a good idea.

We talked about waht kind of food to feed the chickens, if you need roosters or not, what the chicken coop should look like. He thinks the coop should have a picture of a rooster painted on it and that it should have a button or lever on it to open the coop door--but it HAS to be high enough that a cyote can't figure out how to reach it. And he thinks we could have enough chickens to sell some of our eggs and give them away to people who might need some eggs too. He also thought we could find out more information on That isn't a real website but Ewan thought that is where you should go online to find out more about chickens. Even though he barely let me get in a word edgewise, it was fun to see him so excited and on board with doing something that is currently outside of his box.

I have a lot of dreams about how I want our family to live once we get back from the UK. Chickens, huge vegetable garden, own cow, compost pile, recycle get the idea. Who knows if all of that will be possible, but chickens are definitely high on the priority list. Until then I expect to keep hearing, "Mom, can we keep talking about chickens?"

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wild Cat Rescue

In the town next to where my mom lives, there is a wild cat rescue place that takes in big cats from people who try to raise them as pets. There are several lions, tigers, cougers, lynx, and bobcats. It was 3 kinds of hot today but we went and walked through to see all the big cats up close. There were two layers of fencing but I have never been so close to lions and tigers before in my lifetime. If I had a stick I could have stuck the cats with it--that is how close we were to them.

Graham was quite fascinated with the tigers and Ewan and Isaac liked the panthers. Unfortunately, cats being cats, most of them were sleeping and not too active. We got some good looks and some not so good smells. It was a nice way to spend some time on a Sunday afternoon though.

The Case Of The Missing Tooth!

Today I picked up Ewan from Sunday school and in addition to getting his craft from his teachers, they also handed me a little baggie with a tooth in it. Apparently Ewan was doing the coloring portion of craft project and popped up announcing this his tooth came out.

I didn't think his loose tooth was that close to coming out but it most certainly was! I can even see the new tooth just coming in underneath. He said it didn't hurt at all.

I had to dig around all the packed clothes in the duffle bags for the tooth fairy pillow. We are using the tooth fairy pillow I had when I was a kid. My mom made it and passed it onto me a few months ago. After I was about to lose hope that I would find where I packed it, I found it in the one crate I packed. I had to dig around through all the space bags but I found it! So, tonight we will trade his tooth for a special Sacagawea coin and leave him a special note praising him for taking care of his teeth.

Here he is with his missing tooth!