Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter is here

We had our first really cold day here yesterday -- with rain/sleet and some very tiny, almost invisible snowflakes at our house. The high temp for the day actually happened before daylight, and it only got colder as the day went on.
Yesterday was spent getting our Christmas tree up and decorated. We're planning to make popcorn chains to decorate the pinon tree in the front yard -- maybe next week when it's warmer than 15 degrees, because today it's just too cold to spend an hour or more in the front yard!
Today we woke to find a little snow on the cars and rooftops of our neighborhood, and a bright blue sky, so probably no more snow, but it is really cold.
And it's beginning to look a bit like Christmas, too!

Here's Dan putting a gold star in just the right place. I love how this picture turned out --and don't you just love that face?

When we arrived back home from driving Gary to work, the boys just had to touch the snow to see how if feels. They started out with a handprint each -- that's Dan's off the far right; Andy's is under the Y in his name. They'd written their names in the snow (at least they used their hands!) before I had a chance to get a picture of Andy's handprint.

Andy said he hopes this won't be the only snow this winter.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Egg Game

During the L&L Conference in September, we bought an egg game. It's an individual or cooperative game, where you spin the stone eggs on a big disc. The goal is to keep the egg spinning, AND on the disc! It's harder than it sounds, since the egg needs a downhill to maintain speed, requiring the player to tip and rebalance the disc constantly.

Dan has played with it -- and can start an egg spinning better than anyone I'd ever seen -- since we brought it home. Andy hadn't really been much interested in it until a few days ago, when Will visited for the day and played with it. He's also really good at starting the egg to spin, with a totally different technique than Dan - one that works better for Andy, too, it seems. Anyone who knows our boys, knows it's not often Andy & Will share a talent for doing anything the same way! It's pretty common for Will & Dan to share a method/style, but Andy & Will have always been like night and day, so it's cool to see Andy able to gain a pointer from Will.

I don't have any pictures of Will with the egg game -- didn't have my camera handy. Dan wouldn't let me take a picture of him using the egg game alone. Not uncommon, since he's often camera-shy lately. Andy, tho, the big ham whenever a camera comes out, let me a take several pictures of him. With 2 eggs on the disc!

Here Andy's starting the 2nd egg -- the egg you see is already spinning.

While I'm typing this, Andy yells "I can do three! Come take a picture! I'm doing three!"

And they can do it together, with 3 eggs!

more Thanksgiving photos

Blogger wouldn't let me add any more photos to the last post, but I wasn't done yet, so here are a few more!

Crystal showing Dave the right way to use the blender -- with a lid!
Dan -- barefoot and eating something -- with Spencer

Dan & Sorscha on the trampoline

Spencer & Dan running circles around Sorscha - a rare sight!

a wonderful Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving day this year at Crystal's house, enjoying the company of three families in our tribe. Best of all, Will joined us! He had another invitation, but he wanted to be with his family that day.

There was an amazing feast, with turkey (soaking in stock, so moist!) stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, candied yams, and several dessert choices. Dave made strawberry frozen drinks for the kids early in the day, and at sunset built a fire (okay, he tried but the fire never really took off!) so the kids could roast marshmallows for s'mores.

The kids spent the day snacking, playing video games or bouncing around on the trampoline. Dan spent virtually the whole afternoon on the trampoline, some of that time snacking on an assortment of finger foods -- everything from 7-layer jello, to cheetos, to marshmallows and Hershey's squares.

Dan on the trampoline with Spencer & Sorscha

Sorscha mid-air -- with a food cup in her hand -- while Dan & Spencer watch

Spencer running around the tramp

Will & Gary at Crystal's bar

Andy & Parker playing Dragonball Z Budokai on the Play Station 2

Will & Andy sharing the PS2

Sunday, November 19, 2006

a slow week

The waterworks at the pool where we spend Weds evenings.

We had a kinda slow week around here. Dan fought off a cold -- and sent it running my way -- and we took it easy. We did still get out for swimming on Weds night. This has become a new weekly outing with our tribe. The pool has a big slide, waterworks and enough lifeguards that I can sit and watch rather than being in the water. It helps that both boys swim like fish.
Dan having a snack at the pool.

On Thursday, Dan built a fort in my bedroom. Here it looks more like the detritus of a wild party, but that was the closest I could get with a camera.

Friday, we went to the movies. It was a last minute decision, so we caught the city bus since we didn't have the car. I took a moment to notify our e-group we were going and Crystal & Sorscha met us there. Completely by coincidence, we ran into to another family from the tribe who had tickets for the movie, too! We had a great time watching Flushed Away, which is a great movie. I loved the music and the story was more fun than the average kids' movie.

And yesterday, we got heat!!!! We'd been freezing at night -- and baking by day to stay warm -- while we waited thru unexpected delays in getting the furnace repaired and serviced for winter. Yesterday, the wait was over -- and for less cost than I had feared -- today, I sit at the computer feeling toasty warm. Best of all, the furnace here is much quieter than the one in our last house.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Paper airplanes in the park

Yesterday, the boys had paper airplanes they were just dying to fly in a big open space. We don't have a big yard, we didn't have the car yesterday, but we did have bus fare and time, so we headed out for our favorite park from the old neighborhood. Two bus rides and a lot of walking later, we were at the park trying out the airplanes.

Andy making a jack rabbit shadow puppet

Andy launching his plane

A pre-flight consultation on technique

A joint launch

Dan, catching his plane as it lands

More tribal park photos

Here are a few more kid and tribe pictures from the park.

Okay, not a park picture -- Jenny & Eliza on Halloween.

Dan, with Scotty's pedal car. Not sure what the yugioh blanket is about.

So it was a seat cover?

Andy upside down on a swing -- doncha love the facial expression?

Eliza in her baby bird Halloween costume - funny she should be running here, because that's also how she trick-or-treated, at full-speed.

Our own gang of four

Dan and three buddies had a great time at the park this past Monday. All three boys are kids he's played with before. This gang consists of his best buddy Scotty, and Conor, with whom we share most Fridays -- they made their first visit to our Monday playdate this week -- and another 5yo boy from the Monday playgroup. As Dan says, "two 6-year olds and two 5-year olds." Dan's in the red shirt, Scotty in blue -- it can hard for even me & Jenny to tell them apart sometimes.

The first time together for all four was a beautiful day at our regular park. As a bonus, the park workers ran the sprinklers for a short time -- maybe to flush it out before winter. The boys caught some sprinkler time, then climbed onto the tire swing. Turns out 4 is the perfect number for a tire swing that holds 3 boys, if you can agree on turns to push the swing!

Dan & Conor sharing (or fighting for) a turn pushing the swing

Does this mean Conor won?

Halloween pix

yeah, I know I'm late for Halloween -- it was 10 days ago after all! My only excuses are we've been busy and I really have to fight for computer time lately!

Here are some pictures of folks we know and love in Halloween costumes.

Dan -- not in costume -- with Eliza watching the fortune teller crystal ball at a friend's house on Halloween.

Andy had made a robot costume out of a cardboard box, spray-painted red, for the Friday party. By Halloween, he'd decided to wear his old standby cape instead and carried a trident we got at the thrift store. Dan chose a phantom costume on that Friday, abandoned it early on, then spent two days obsessed with finding his favorite batman cape. We found it, literally on our way out the door to go trick-or-treating. By then, we'd acquired two cheap capes, and found another (less desirable apparently) cape. So he had a selection of four! He chose the two fabric capes (the cheapies were plastic) -- one front and one in back, and announced he was a floating head! We had a great time trick or treating with Scotty & Eliza, while Andy went with the older kids.

The latest in Halloween fashions for truly tribal Moms!

Dan reaching behind to close the door on Scotty's costume -- a mini-van made out of a cardboard box. They had a great time playing with it at the park the day before Halloween -- it mounts onto the pedal car that seemingly goes everywhere with Scotty these days. Scotty wore/drove it trick or treating, too. It was a big hit!