Thursday, March 31, 2011

We pretty much just walk around all day looking cute

It's amazing how much more fun it is to have a 2-year-old when you don't have a baby to worry about.  Or maybe it's just Sapphire that's fun.  Either way, it is so fun to watch her take care of dolls and animals, paint, build Duplos, ride her scooter, and follow the boys around.

Quintessentially Six

Onyx says "The only things I like are Legos and LittleBigPlanet."  We're trying to help him branch out into other areas of juvenile fun, such as board games, playgrounds, and frolicking, but sometimes he's resistant to these strange pasttimes.  Once he starts he usually enjoys them, though.

Quartz has lost a lot of teeth, as you can see, and also likes taking pictures.  He has been enjoying soccer and riding his bike, as well as building with Legos and trying to get Onyx and Sapphire to play make-believe games with him the way he wants them to.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Etiquette 102?

Sometimes I think that I am rude without realizing it.  There are a lot of social rules that don't really know.  Or it could be I just don't really care about other people that much, and this is how it manifests itself.  For example:
  • If I'm calling a friend, and her husband answers the phone, should I chat with him or just ask for her?  
  • Is it rude for kids to play with other kids' toys at the park?  
  • Do I need to remember all the names of parents at, say, soccer, or just their kids' names?  
  • How close does a friend need to be before I should remember their birthday?  
  • If we invite someone over, and they don't invite us over, does that mean they don't want to be friends, or they are just busy?

Did I miss a class at college or something?  Or are there not actually rules for these sorts of things?  :-D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break!

First, can I just say I love spring?  As a kid, there weren't really very many seasons, just "more foggy-and-rainy" and "less-foggy-and-rainy", so I really enjoy the sudden burst of color and life that accompanies spring in a more temperate zone.  It's like fireworks that you can watch all day long.

And now, for a travelogue.

For spring break, we headed south.  Our first stop was to have lunch at Elephant Butte Lake.  It was a beautiful day, and the lake, though low, looked fun for boating on and wading in.  Quartz took this family picture; I think he did a good job, despite the fact that Wes and I both have that worried, are-you-operating-the-camera-correctly look on our faces.  :-)

We drove a few more hours to go camping in City of Rocks - in the middle of the flat, shrubby desert, all of a sudden a group of big rocks juts up out of the ground like apartment buildings.  They're great fun to climb on and walk through and find hideouts in.
This was right next to our campsite; the next photo is zoomed in
I wonder where Sapphire learned to make faces like that?
 The wind was pretty strong around dinnertime; our fire burned through three logs in one hour, so we had to hurry and make s'mores right after dinner.  Nobody complained about that.  We found a geocache, and the kids explored the rocks.  They felt quite independent -- Quartz had a two-way radio so we could keep in contact with them, and with the huge rocks they felt like they were far away even if they had only walked for two minutes.

Wes took this nice sunset picture
The next day we broke camp (Quartz loved that phrase) and headed north into the Gila mountains.  The drive up was a long, super windy forest road, so it took two hours to drive like 40 miles or something.  But at least it was forest, so we enjoyed it.  We got a cabin at the Gila Hot Springs Ranch, which turned out to be in RV park, so, not really a wooded secret getaway, but that's okay; it had a small playground.  It also had a goat farm nearby with uber-cute kids goats cavorting in the grass. 

We headed over to the Gila river to collect rocks and wade around.  Wading was everyone's favorite thing about the trip, I think.

The next day, we went up to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  They were home to 30-40 people for some time about 1100 years ago.  It was pretty cool because they were built inside caves in the mountainside.  Quartz enjoyed doing all the requirements to get his Jr. Ranger badge, and he now wears it whenever we go hiking.
Not sure why Onyx sometimes hides for pictures.
Then we headed home.  Everyone was pretty tired out, in a good way..
Nope, Quartz isn't tired, not one bit!
So, it was a great trip.  We want to do more (closer) camping this summer!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quotes of the month

A: "Sapphire, you're eating so much!  Where are you putting all this food?!"
W: "She's turning food into little girl."

O: "This lego ship doesn't go the speed of light.  It goes the real speed of light which is the speed of lego."

S: "I want snuggle with that bear.  I want snuggle with another one.  HUUUUUUUUG!"


W: "We are going to play the not whining game.  Starting now, everyone who has not been whining when the round ends gets a surprise."
Q: *sniff, sniff*
O: "I almost never whine!"

Q: "You are like bank robbers stealing from your kids!"
W: "No, we are like the government giving you a fine for breaking the law."
Q: "Fine!  I guess you'll see how mad I am when I go and live in the backyard!"
A: "I'll call you when dinner's ready."

S: "Hold me!"
A: "I'm carrying this laundry basket right now; would you like to help me?"
S: "Hold me first, THEN do laundry!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Disney Princess Water WOW! Activity Boards

If you have a young girl, princess items are almost always a sure win. Over Christmas, my daughter received the Disney Princess Water WOW! Activity Boards as a gift. It's a bit like the AquaDoodle only with pictures and on cardboard.

Cute, right?

We open the package and get started. It's easy to fill the pen, just squeeze it while holding the bottom under water and let go to let it fill. Give the pen a little squeeze and we're off to the races!

The purple end pops off easily to dip the end in a bowl of water

And yes, I do mean races. The combination of a slight pen and tiny 3 year old hands proves that by the time you finish coloring the picture, the top half is already drying and disappearing. So, I take a stab at it. Swiping the pen quickly over the smallest picture, I have it filled in no time. I try a bigger picture. I find I need to keep giving the pen a squeeze to make it wet enough to reveal the photo. When I get to the biggest piece, forget about it. The kids had a great laugh at mom's super speedy skills.

Well, I did it, but that doesn't mean Emma is going to do it. And who is going to be using these, after all? Certainly not me. I like good old fashioned coloring books and crayons.

As for the pen, when you squeeze it to suck up the water, it only fills halfway. And for as quickly as the water is used up, you find yourself refilling it too frequently.

In the end, my daughter took to fingerpainting with the water from the bowl I was using to fill the pen. And because they are cardboard, they are now completely warped.

Not so WOW.

Between the pen issues, the picture drying before it's finished and the warped cards, I'm not impressed. If you are looking for an artistic activity for a girl, I'd suggest skipping this one.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Less Than 20 Days...

A looooooooong time ago in a lifetime far away I made an announcement about raising $10,000 for a small village in Ethiopia.

Then work got crazy. Then God said let it sit a while. Then I fell ill. I mean deathly ill, and I felt every bit of the 40 years I'm about to be forced to claim.

I just don't bounce back like I used to. Matter of fact, I would say there was no bouncing, merely a thud on the bathroom floor.

Anyway, I'm going Baptist Rogue on you now. This is the guilting portion of the drive. Would you please consider giving to the children and families of Dube Bute? Click on the tab on the top left- you can give directly to Dube Bute- 100% of your money goes to the people there- even the credit card processing fee is covered by Glimmer of Hope- NONE of your money goes to overhead or administrative costs.

Tomorrow I'm going to post a letter that I would greatly appreciate you circulating on your Facebook page, e-mail distribution lists, blogs, etc. You may not know me, and you may even find it humorous that 40 is literally KILLING me. But you know a child.

Imagine that child suffering from flu or bronchitis because medicine is not available. Imagine that child filthy because there is no water to bathe in. Imagine that child hungry because her food source is dying from easily cured animal diseases. Imagine that child missing her mom and dad because she's been orphaned because of illness and poverty. Imagine that child without hope because she will not know the luxury of education.

Now imagine if she were your child.

She's God's child.

He said we were to help her. Will you help her in the name of someone you know? Someone who would be honored to have his/her name attached to your donation?

Come on- you know someone who is turning 40, or 30, or 60 or 8. Celebrate their lives by giving life to a stranger a world away from you. Tell all your friends. We're almost 10% there. We need 90 families to donate $100. If you have a family of 5 that's a cheap dinner and movie with your entire crew. Can you sacrifice that for a child who has nothing? And if $100 is too steep give $1 joyfully- it's just as valuable a gift as far as God is concerned.

Help me please. It will make 40 a year of blessing.

See y'all!