Sunday, October 30, 2011

a top ten list and trunk or treat

Once upon a time (an entire decade ago!) Ethan was supposed to be born on Halloween. Bush was bypassing Congress for security's sake. Toxic chemicals were discovered around the World Trade Center ruins. Anthrax was found at State Department headquarters. It was a great time to come into the world :)

My Dr. didn't want him to have a Halloween b-day (she thought that would be a sad day to have a birthday. I thought it was kind of cool, but whatever. Just get the baby out of me, already...), so she scheduled an induction a few days early. Ethan was born at the exact time my induction appointment was supposed to begin. And we've never been the same since (in a very good way...most of the time).

Here are the top ten things we love about him:

10. He's happy to just be himself--he doesn't worry much about what others think of him.
9. He's good at being obedient and doing what is right.
8. He's sensitive, and loves to feel the spirit.
7. He's SO smart, and has a great memory for facts.
6. He's kind to everyone--even his brother and sister sometimes :)
5. He's daring when it comes to food. He'll try almost anything once.
4. He's creative, and loves to think of future inventions or other cool things he can build someday.
3. He's loving, always giving hugs to everyone.
2. He's generally cautious. I haven't had to worry about him falling off scary-high places or doing dumb things that would get him in trouble.
1. He is an all-around good person, and we're lucky to have him in our family!

For his birthday, we made him his favorite breakfast--fried eggs, toast, and mangoes.

For lunch he was excited to have pizza and orange soda.

Even though we weren't having a party, he wanted a "Lego Birthday"
so I made him a quick (and fairly sad-looking) Lego cake.

One of his grandparents sent him a Weblos shirt, and other fancy scouting accessories :)

His other grandparents gave him this Lego space shuttle to build.

For dinner, we went to the church for a Halloween party and a little trunk or treating. Ashley wanted to be a devil, so I went as an angel. Josh was a spaceman, and Ethan was a vampire (although his costume only consisted of a cape and teeth and slicked hair. He didn't want to wear a white dress shirt. I guess he was more of a contemporary vampire--but we didn't get any pictures of him)

Here's our decorated car. It was creepier in the dark.

The ward kids went around and around and around, until the adults ran out of candy.
Ethan said he only went around once, but Ashley and Josh went around twice.
Little Red Riding hood came by about ten times.

Here they are, tired, happy, and enjoying the loot while Chris helped with some after-party church-cleaning.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

trying again--video of capoeira class...

For some reason the video I posted in the last post doesn't always work, so I thought I'd repost it in a different format. I hope these ones work!
This is Bohasha showing the kids what they can do someday

This is Ashley trying to do what he told her to do :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

ciao, capoeira!

Today was the last day of the kids' Brazilian martial arts class. This is their teacher, Bohasha Porto. He was such a great teacher, and fun to watch! I told the kids to strike a capoeira pose, and this is what I got.

The class was small today, many of the kids weren't there since it's a school holiday.

Josh tried out a back flip.

Ethan needed a little more help...

Here's a little soundless video of Bohasha doing his thing--for your viewing enjoyment :)

 Here's Ashley trying to do the same thing :)

We're going to miss Bohasha's class!

a bask of gators, a herd of bison, and bunch of good friends

Today we went to find some alligators with our friends Zane and Annie (if you look close, there are even gators on her skirt). It was a gorgeous, warm morning with a little fog and a lot to see. We walked on a boardwalk out to this overlook.


You can't see the alligators in this picture very much, but this small lake had a dozen of them floating around under water, and a dozen laying on the shore by the bushes. We decided to not dip our feet in the water.

We thought this was a miniature bat hanging on a sign, but we decided it's some kind of a chrysalis.

The kids looked too much like alligators here, so I didn't feed them.

This guy was hiding down the hill below the Do Not Feed sign. I'm not sure what he's been eating, but he's HUGE. probably six feet, and fat. The ones near our house are only about 2-3 feet long.

Lovely day to walk through the prairie. Poor little Annie got left behind by the big kids.

This is the end of the trail. You can climb up and see an amazing view But it was pretty :)

These bison kept getting closer and closer to us. And they were jumping all over each other once in a while. Annie kept saying, "I've got a bad feeling about this." Luckily, we didn't have our own running of the bulls. I don't think we could have run very fast while keeping an eye out for alligators at the same time :)

We saw gators, bison, fuzzy caterpillars, a chrysalis that looked like a bat, jumping spiders, a baby snake, Kudzu (which we learned Ethan is allergic to), and a grasshopper. It was an exciting day in The Swamp!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Do Drugs.

This week was Red Ribbon Week at my kids' school. Ashley came home with a ribbon on her shirt that said, "Ask Me, See Me, Be Me" (whatever that means).

Me: So, do you do drugs?
Ash: No.
Me: That's good.
Ash: But my teacher does.
Eyes wide, Me: How do you know she does drugs?
Ash: She drinks coffee every day.
Me: Yes, some people use it like a drug. You didn't tell her she does drugs, did you?
Giving Me a funny look, Ash: No. That would be rude.

So there you have it. Ashley does NOT do drugs, but her teacher apparently does. What are they teaching kids these days...

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Last night I got an email from The Friend saying they accepted one of the stories I sent to them! It's a story (based on a true story from my life) about a little girl who has to play the piano at a recital, and is scared, but prays and everything works out :)

They didn't say when it will be published, but it's a story called Ruby's Recital. Maybe we'll see it in about 9-12 months...

Just had to share, it made me smile last night when I read that email! If any of you ever want me to write one of your kids stories to send to the friend, let me know the details--I love writing those little stories but don't have a ton of my own experiences I can think of. I don't get paid for it, but it's fun to do. According to my friend who used to work at The Friend, they are really interested in stories about boys, about kids using the values they learn (being kind, not cheating, lying, etc.), and holiday stories w/o santa and easter bunny, etc.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The campus has some really cool statues scattered all around. This one is about 2-stories tall. The rest of them are life-size. Some of them are life-like, too. I thought they were permanent, but apparently they are going away this week. I thought I'd share a link so you can see them, too.

It's been fun walking around trying to find all of them. In fact, the other day I saw a man stop walking so he could text someone. He was standing so still, he looked like a statue. I told the kids they should go over and look at him. They were busy admiring an alligator statue, and when they were finally done (the guy was standing completely still--even about 10 minutes later), they decided to go look at the texting-man statue. Suddenly the man walked away and the kids were shocked. It was pretty funny :)

Check out the statues here:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

staring at the stars

Last night we went to the observatory on campus. It was hard to find a place to park, with all the bus-sized campers taking up spots in all their pre-tailgate-party glory. When we finally found a spot and began to walk toward the observatory, it was dark and hard to find the way. I wondered why there weren't more lights, or at least lit-up signs to guide us to the observatory. Maybe they were closed. Maybe they didn't want anyone to find them.

When we finally stumbled into what looked like a back yard with a fence around it, people were standing around all over the place, lined up to look in telescopes. I was expecting a huge telescope in a room where the ceiling slid open, and you could see inside a nebula and other cool things like that.

But then a professor (I assume?) started telling us about space, and had a green laser pointer that seemed to touch the stars as he talked about them. And he let our kids hold a meteorite--that's what it's called when it's on Earth. We learned that when it's falling through the atmosphere, it's a meteor. When it's in space, it's a meteoroid.

Another professor started telling us about the sun, and how someday it will burn itself out and become a spinning white chunk of carbon with a doughnut cloud around it (or something like that, which I didn't understand). The professor said he wished he could be around in the however many thousands of years it will be when that happens. I decided I'm glad I won't be around for that.

As we wandered back down the hill, I realized that was why it was so dark--so it wouldn't interfere with the star-gazing.

It makes you look at the stars a little differently when you learn more about them! The kids loved it, especially when they got to hold a meteorite. They said it was heavy, and surprisingly warm.

I don't think they believed me when I said it was probably warm because the professor had been holding it in his hand for a while :)