Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This is the story of a boy

 Once upon a time there was a baby named Ethan. He was a funny little guy who never EVER wanted to sleep. But he was a good baby and his parents loved him.

 One day he grew into a little boy. He was a bright child who said interesting things all the time. All the time.
 "We're going to ride on a boat. We're in a big white car. Is our car white? We have a big white car and we're going to ride on a boat. Is Ash-a-lee sleeping? I think Ash-a-lee is sleeping. Is the sun in my window? Is it sunny outside? is it sunny outside? it's sunny outside..." and so forth.
 He made his parents laugh every day. He helped them learn to be less selfish and more loving, especially when runny noses, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights were involved.
 He had fun playing with his grandpa with "two hairs."

 And he had fun playing with his Thomas trains for hours and hours at a time.

 He grew bigger and soon he had a little sister and brother who wanted to become just like him. Ethan tried to be patient, even though they were sometimes a little annoying. He took good care of them.

 He loved all of his relatives.
One day when Grandpa was setting up a train table for him, Ethan rubbed Grandpa's arm and said, "I looove you."
Grandpa said, "You only love me because I buy you these things, don't you."
Ethan nodded and said in a dreamy voice, "Yeah."

 He aspired to become many things as he grew up. A wizard, an astronaut, a scientist, a lego creator, and a really good person.

 His story isn't finished yet. He still doesn't know what he'll be when he grows up. But he has time. For now he gets to be a kid, and learn and grow every day. But what he has become already is a smart pre-teen with a sensitive heart, who love the gospel, loves his family, and loves trying new things...
Including chocolate covered bugs.

Here's to the next 11 years, and all the love and laughter and tears it will bring us. Happy Birthday, Ethan!
We love you

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some scary gators and some silly boys

 Our brave cub scout leader took the boys on an afternoon "hike" on this scenic boardwalk.

 Here's the group, ready to tease see some gators.

 One of the best things about living in The Swamp, is that when the rest of the country is experiencing fall, with plants dying and leaves falling, we're experiencing something totally different. Once the heavy humidity of the summer starts to fade and the birds fly south to us, it's like we live in an amazing aviary, with butterflies and bird songs filling the air.

 This guy has the biggest head I've ever seen, and I'm pretty sure he just ate the cub scout group that came right before ours. Look at the bulge in his belly! This is looking down from up high (see picture below...)

 Here's our clever cub scout pack, mocking a few gators who happened to be minding their own business. Our small pack is now much smaller, and a few gators are much less hungry...
 You can see at least a dozen large alligators sunning themselves on the grass on the other side of the water.

 Ethan wasn't happy Chris made him stand so close to this alligator for the picture. He's a smart kid, who knows he should stand farther away.

 This is the same gator Ethan didn't want to do lunch with.
  He's thinking Chris looks like a tasty snack.

 The Swamp is full of brilliant people like these fine young men, who sit one foot away from losing their foot.

 I don't know why they wanted their picture taken with the sign. But here it is, for your viewing pleasure.

 Another friend of The Swamp. I love seeing these turtles everywhere I go.

Wild-ish horses that prance around the prairie. I don't believe they are totally wild, because they are sometimes fenced in. So whatever. Here are the wild-ish horses.

We had a brave leader, some silly boys, some huge gators, but nobody was lost, hurt, or eaten, so it was a successful cub scout activity in The Swamp!

A big Weblos and a little move

 Ethan earned his Weblos badge last month. Since we don't have many scouts, we did most of it "home school" because he really wanted to have it. The boys on the front row? That's about how many scouts we have, give or take a few.
 Even though we got rid of 2/3rds of our possessions before moving here, we still have WAY too much stuff. This is what I discovered as I had to pack it all up again. I remembered fondly the days in college when I could fit everything I owned into my car. Those days are long gone. But according to billy joel, "the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow's not as bad as it seems."

 The kids showing off their old, packed up rooms.

 Ethan was a great guard when we had to leave our things outside for a while as the men dumped the bigger furniture in our new apartment (half a mile away). We ended up with a truck that was just a little too small for our mountain of stuff.

Here's their new room on the first day, as the kids unpacked and tried to figure out where to put all their belongings. Luckily the room is really big and there was space for everything.

We're finally unpacked and it (almost) feels like home.