Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I hate to scare you with bad news, but our little monster is currently refusing to wear a costume. Hopefully, I will change his mind before Tricks-Or-Treats are over. Even if it doesn't happen, we will have more goofy festive pictures for ya. It will take time to pry pictures out of Dylan too. In the meantime...we hope your Halloween is spook-tacular!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Mole Day!

There are 6.02 x 1023 particles (atoms or molecules) in one Mole. This is Avogadro's constant. This number is precious to chemists who simply LIVE for stoichiometry. Therefore, it is celebrated by chemists, teachers, geeks and their secret societies worldwide. That celebration, in the form of geeky jokes, wacky songs, goofy craft and baking projects, a few more beers than usual, and color pages intended to brain wash our children, is observed from 6.02am till 6.02pm on October 23rd!
In honor of Mole Day, I made these science cookies for David to take to work. All of the glassware are sugar cookies and the atoms are cinnamon butter cookies. They are all decorated with green chocolate. Due to a shortage of chocolate, some of the glassware had to be left uncalibrated.

"It's a Blue, Red, Green, Yellow Day"

"Do you want to paint, Mama?"
"Wow! Look at that pitcher!"
"I'm a reo ardiss."
"It's a feeling inside" (He took this moment to quote from his "Love Is" book)
It got real serious, fast, and furious when the tongue got involved.
"Can I have more paint, please?"
The final product was pretty impressive! It is hanging to dry with the other three he created today.
"Ta-Da!" "Can I have more paper, please?"



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ready... Aim... Fill the Freezer!

Hunting season has officially started at our house. David is not a big game trophy hunter, but does go freeze his butt off every year to fill our freezer with healthy meat of known origin. This morning it is 23 degrees out. He left around 5 am for a snowy destination in the Sapphire Mountain range.
This is the trademark smirk and wink of a confident hunter who has checked his Nat Geo Topo maps. I worry and think about him, he thinks about the elk, and in the end we have a great barbecue season. That's our agreement. It is still a strange ritual that I haven't yet wrapped my head around. After years of being a vegetarian, I never thought I would marry and appreciate a hunter. Yet, I know there is something compassionate and brave about hunting your own meat rather than selecting it, conveniently wrapped, from the grocery store; many steps removed from the unknown butcher and altered living conditions of the animal. It may be old fashioned, grizzly and foreign to most of the nation, but there is something honest and connected about hiking into the animal kingdom and selecting a healthy, free-range, member of an obvious food chain.
This is the mark of a tired hunter who is going out again tomorrow. David went hunting with a friend with two teenage hunters-in-training. One of the teens got a bull Elk and they spent the day hauling it out of the mountains. With any luck, David will have a shot this time and be done with it for the season. I am proud of his hard work, strength, masculine energy, sportsmanlike conduct and strong ethics. You're a good man, David. The soup will be hot and the fire, warm. Be safe and come home soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Much Silliness!

Silly sock monkey! Whenever he is able, Ben pulls his socks off of his feet and puts the stinky things on his hands. Well, I suppose Jim Henson was called "Silly" for years before Kermit came to be, right?
Silly shopper! Ben was given a sticker at the grocery store. When asked where he wanted to put it, he decided to wear it as a nose. He was feeling so silly, that he didn't take it off until he was buckled into the car.
Silly ticklish knees! Band-aids really are just glorified stickers, I guess. In another fit of sticker silliness, Ben decided that there were "Owies" on his knees in need of "Bird-Aids" (parrot stickers).
Silly Chicken! Not like, "They taste like chicken", but rather, "Our cat is a total chicken"! We caught a gang of quail chasing our cat. I counted about 30 quail, who grouped together and marched. They started under our bird feeder and backed her across the yard to the assumed safety of the low spruce branches (far right). When I opened the door, they scattered. Only then, with a lone quail sitting on the garden box, did she head toward it.
Silly Cereal! Do you remember "Count Chocula"? With Halloween fast approaching, I found a box of this snacky cereal at Target and used it as part of my excuse to drop in on our college student. He has been busily studious in his private college headquarters. He is doing well in school, living alone, learning how to cook, and meeting good new friends who are also serious about their studies. Hopefully, he eats this as a treat and not as real cereal.
Silly Mom & Dad! We splurged on some Alaskan King Crab for dinner last weekend, thinking that Benjamin would probably refuse it and eat a hot dog. Ben wanted crab. Ben wanted a LOT OF CRAB. Benjamin ate a third of a pound of crab legs as fast as his Dad could crack it for him.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wheeeeeee!

We hung Ben's tree swing yesterday! These are pictures we took as we were getting the height right. We made our adjustments and we have clipped off the extra chain you see dangling in the picture. Installation is complete!
 
The branch and hardware can, theoretically, hold well over 100 pounds. However, Ben has decided you have to be "this tall" to ride this ride.

Ben said, "This is the best swing ever; I ever had in my whole life!". That's a fact.


He continually added to his critique, "Wheeee! This is AWESOME!".

We hung the bird feeders where the critters could watch each other.

Now that the smoke is gone, Ben can contemplate mountains, the tree and other important matters, as he sways. He is one happy little dude!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Potty Training Update!

No. I am not going to tell you that Ben peed at the park. I just figure that you would much rather see pictures of Ben at the park than you would want to see pictures of a toddler-potty full of pee. However, it was! Ben peed in the potty today! He decided, on his own, to put his tushy to the task. We are so proud of him!
It's all down hill from here!
Times are changing!

He is on his way! He only needs a little help, now...
...until he's got the hang of it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

The gates are gone! The gates are gone! Chaos abounds! Can you say, "Watching like a hawk"?!?
How many toys do you see in this picture? That's right... we have an adult living room again. Our previous, open face glass TV stand, and accompanying plastic gate barrier, has been replaced by this second-hand wooden TV cabinet with doors. The remotes work through the glass doors yet Ben is reminded to leave them alone without the aid of the old grey "baby" gate. You will notice that we have our coffee table out again too! The big people of the house are rejoicing.
Ignoring the clutter of my "Office", you will notice that the gate we used to step over has been removed. Ben, having a vague, but ever-expanding, understanding of HOUSE RULES, is learning to "use" the computer.  This is a nifty little toddler math website we like to visit (http://www.ixl.com/math/pre-k).
After stopping Ben from kicking the cat, three times in a row, I decided to bust him out of time out and go find something he could put his foot to.
Ben kicked that soccer ball around the entire perimeter of our property!
Thanks to hundreds of firefighters and a couple of cooler windy days, the smoke of fire season is finally clearing away. We have blue skies and mountains again. Ben ran and ran and ran.
Potty training is not going as well as I had hoped. I suggested to Ben, yet again today, that he could "water the trees" if he felt like he needed to go pee. Scowling, he declined by saying, "I don't wa-wanna!". However, he noted that the leaves are changing and he was really impressed! He told me they were "yellow, orange, green and  off", as he gestured that they were falling from the tree. I love autumn, but I was pretty bent on getting him potty trained and I caught myself thinking, "Maybe he will want to write his name in the snow".

Monday, October 1, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CONNIE!

This beautiful lady...

mentors the budding pianist...

rocks out like a teenager...

throws a hell of a party...

leads the fun parade...
 
and makes the world a more beautiful place for all who know her!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CONNIE!
WE LOVE YOU!