Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eleven Gorgeous Years Old

Yep, our boy is eleven today. He decided to decorate his own cake, with his favorite thing in the world: hippos! I love his cake idea, which he drew out on paper ahead of time.

Then it was off to the pool for some fun with friends (and a splashing from grandma!)

And to the park for presents, cake, and lots of playing with his friends. It was a beautiful day, the sun shone on us despite forecasts of clouds. His friends are all so much fun, he definitely has a great group of people who love him. And he's such a cool kid, I can't begin to express. Well, maybe this sums it up. I heard him telling his best friend on the phone (who we thought would be out of town for his birthday, but as it turns out could make it): "I don't want any presents, don't worry about that. I just really want you there." He's got a big heart and a sweet and funny way with words, a ready smile and is a true friend. I'm lucky to be called his mom. Happy Birthday punkin.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Best Thing About Karate

For the last two weeks, our karate classes have been combined, which means I've gotten to be back in the class with the younger kids. I have to say, the best thing about karate is watching these little girls with curly ponytails and barbie t-shirts come in, get in karate gis and kiyai (yell) so loudly they scare the heck out of you. It's a far cry from the silent little "seen but not heard" proper girls of our parents' generation. Go karate girls!

Friday, August 17, 2007

They're Here!

Late Monday night, our pregnant cat Patches was starting to wander around restlessly. She crawled way back into our closet, and I was pretty sure she was going into labor. I tried to stay awake, but probably drifted off around midnight. At four in the morning, I woke up to the sound of mewing, very close by. She was having her kittens on our bed!! There were three kittens already born, two alive and one that looked like it had been stillborn. I quickly woke up the kids and my husband and we all got to watch as the last two kittens were born. Talk about your homeschooling biology lesson!

Patches has shown herself to be a conscientious mother cat, cleaning up all of her kittens (though not unfortunately my down comforter, which is off to the drycleaners!) and getting them settled in and nursing. We ended up with two orange tabbies, one that looks like it will be a calico, and one light grey with a dark grey mask over its eyes. They are endlessly fascinating to watch, and "kitten TV" is the pastime of the day.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

No Kittens Yet

The kids are on kitten watch, hoping they will be able to see the blessed moment (unschooling biology and sex ed in action there!) but so far no births have occurred. Just one every-expanding mama cat. She is not terribly happy about staying indoors but we don't want her to wander off into the woods to have the kittens. She does get to go out on the upper balcony for some fresh air though. Stay tuned...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer's Half Over, And We're Busy As Bees

I just realized today that summer is about halfway through. This one has seemed to go unusually fast. My hubby's been out of town a lot more than he's been in, which makes my days a whirlwind of trying to do all the stuff I normally do (take care of 14 animals, two kids, all the kids' activities, housework, etc.) plus all the stuff he normally takes care of (mowing lawns, fixing things, pumping bicycle tires, all the little things I never notice he's doing until he's gone and then Wow, they add up!). Still, we've managed to do a lot of cool things in the last couple of weeks since I posted last (as you can tell, getting around to blogging is much more difficult when he's gone, and I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow on more nights than I can count!)

So, since a picture's worth a thousand words (and it's 11:34 pm already and I'm running short on both brain power and words), here's a little picture history of our last two weeks:

We went to a homeschool park day, took a hike up a local butte, and discovered an Eagle's nest complete with at least one baby eagle we could hear (we've seen the parents flying out over the playground to the river to bring back some dinner). The nest is huge!

The very next day, I crazily packed up the car to go camping at the beach with some friends. The walk-in campground that we love to go to was full (and they don't take reservations) but we used that as an opportunity to discover a new campground (at 6:00 in the evening, hoping we weren't going to be sleeping in the van at the side of the road!)
The beach was beautiful. It was warm and sunny and there was lots of sand and blue water. We had a kite. Who could ask for more?
The next day we went to a different beach, with a small river coming in, a lighthouse, tide pools, and lots of seashells to find.

The very next day, after unpacking all of our camping gear, and packing all of my triathlon gear, we set off for Washington so I could do a triathlon. I qualified for the National Age Group Triathlon Championships next year! And Asa did her first triathlon ever: 50 yard swim, 3 mile bike, 1 mile run. Hubby ran with her the whole way (including trying to keep up while she biked) so she would feel safe. She finished with a big ol' grin!
And a medal, of course. Now doesn't that just make this triathlete-mama's heart beat with joy!

After the triathlon, we got to have dinner with my sister and brother-in-law who live in Washington, and also with an old friend of my husband's who lives in Texas but was up for a wedding and to compete on the bagpipe at the Highland Games. So of course, we had to go see her play. It was really cool to watch, I've never seen an individual bagpipe competition before, and she is amazing (she has been playing since she was old enough to hold a set of pipes)! We got to watch her father compete as well, and enjoy the rest of the games, look up a family clan (each clan had a tent there, ours is the Kerr's), and watch big burley guys in kilts heave big stones and hammers and poles around a field. Unfortunately it really started raining and we took off for home.

Once back at home, we took our newly adopted cat to the vet to have her spayed. I also wanted to ask if we were feeding her too much as she was getting rather round. Surprise! She's pregnant! We are about to have kittens. The kids over overjoyed. Cat may never give birth with children hovering over her every move.

Also on the homefront, our spring chickens began laying. The Aracanas lay the green eggs, aren't they cool?

And finally, this past weekend, we went to a Living History Festival at a local historic ranch/park. They had lots of old-fashioned kids' games like fishing. Here's Mackenzie hoping to pull out a cool prize.

And of course, the piece de' resistance, the Civil War re-enactment. Lots of big booms, horses rushing around, big guys playing soldier. Fun!

Well, that's two weeks of summer in a nutshell. Imagine all of this plus our usual karate, Asa's violin lessons and playing at the local marketplace, the kids' never-ending play, crafts, creativity, playdates, science experiments, trips to the library, etc. Wow! Think I'll go to bed now before I nod off at my keyboard