A Sunny Sunday in September

It was a beautiful day today! We had a quiet morning, reading the paper, building robots, writing scripts, and doing the things we do at home on the weekends. This afternoon we decided to take advantage of the beautiful summer-like weather and go golfing!

eve

Eve, wearing a jump rope as a belt in case she gets bored of golfing.

lex

Lex, still golfing like a hockey player.

pond water

I’m pretty sure they were using the gross pond water to cool off. I probably should have stopped them, but instead I snapped a picture and told them to come back to the green.

kids

I always love “looking up” pictures of my kids. Someday I’ll learn the proper photography term for this angle.

We made it half way through the course then we ran out of time and patience, so we ditched it and headed for ice cream instead!

ice cream

Yummy!!

After ice cream it was time to drop Lex off at his Lego League. While he did that, Alan, Eve and I headed to an awesome rock store called Gemstar. Mema discovered this place a few days ago and it was so cool she wanted to go back and take us along. So we went. And we loved it!

selenite

I think this is called selenite. Correct me if I’m wrong. It looks like firewood, but really it’s a rock! Very cool.

We met Mema, G’Tom, Carl, and Kathy there and we all bought a few cool rock products – even Alan! It’s definitely a store we will return to!

carl

Eve and Carl. :)

spinning

Awesome uncle. I wish he could still spin me like that!

We said our goodbyes and headed home for a proper night-before-school evening. I wish we had more summer vacation and family visiting and time for fun and exploration!

Notice all the different picture formats? I officially have too many picture-taking devices. I find myself using less of my camera and more of my phone these days. I like it for convenience, but I’m going to have to figure out the photo organization because I have an awesome system going for pictures from my camera, but ones from my phone aren’t organized at all. How’s that for a first world problem!? Then I ask Alan to take a group picture and he insists on using his phone! Too many devices!

Happy 89th!

We celebrated Popcube’s 89th birthday today!  Greg and Kathy and Carl came to town.  I love seeing my family.  We had delicious food and cake and presents and fun. We partied all night… or at least until 9pm when I put a stop to the fun and dragged my crew home.  Tomorrow will bring more family fun.

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Happiness is.

It’s apple time again!

We took our first trip of the year to the apple orchard this week! I’d like to go back a few more times, but we have so many apples already!! We went with Elizabeth and Alistair and had a wonderful time. We ran through the corn maze, picked golden raspberries, apples, and blueberries.

running

When I say “we” I really mean “they” ran through the corn maze while Elizabeth and I moseyed behind, chatting and occasionally regrouping the kids. Alistair looks like he’s yelling his corn maze battle cry! (I wish I could harness his energy!)

reading

Fortunately Lex took care of reading the clues so we weren’t lost in there forever!

a corn

Alistair says, “what’s the point of a corn maze if we can’t pick the corn?!”

e corn

Eve says, “well… if he picked corn …”
I say, “You’re not supposed to pick the corn! But… since you already did let me take a picture.” :)

pumpkins

Lex waving to the tractor driver hauling pumpkins.

lex apples

Lex’s picking method was to fill all of his pockets as full as possible before coming back to the bags. I love his efficiency.

lex tree

We broke a few rules that day. He’s so cute though! A little monkey in an apple tree.

wagon

This year we got a wagon. I learned my lesson from last year, hauling apples all the way down the hill.

weighing pumpkins

While I paid for our goods, the kids decided to see how much the pumpkins weighed – altogether.

strong eve

Eve helped bring the apples to the car. Strong girl!

Yesterday I made apple pie and triple berry jam. We had lots of black raspberries in the freezer from our back yard so I added those to the golden raspberries and blueberries we picked at the orchard. It came out great!

pie

Wait, don’t cut it yet! I almost forgot to take a picture!

BNL live in concert!

Last night we took the kids to see a Barenaked Ladies Concert. It was the kids’ first concert and they LOVED it!! Alan and I saw them many years ago at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester (a wee bit bigger than the Lebanon Opera House!) and we were excited to see them again. They put on a great show!

A terrible picture of very excited children.
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The show started at 7:30pm, which is bedtime for Miss Eve, so we were wondering how it would go. She, of course, is a trooper and loved every minute of it. Almost.
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For the final few songs the crowd finally stood up and started dancing. We had side aisle seats and the kids moved into the aisle to have a little more space. All along the aisle ushers were standing, watching the show. A few told the kids to move up so they could see better, so of course the parents went too!

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We stayed there for the final few songs and the encore. At the end BNL went into this long montage of songs, mostly not their own. They played some Red Hot Chili Peppers, Zepplin, Katy Perry, and more. By this point Eve was getting a little overwhelmed. We were really close to the speakers!! I took her back to our seats, then out to the lobby. Alan and Lex followed and headed for the bathrooms. We were only in the lobby a minute or two before the show ended and people started streaming out. Luckily we had a head start and beat the crowd! :) We got home at 10pm and everyone went straight to bed. This morning we could not rouse Eve, so Alan took them to school a little late. Totally worth it though!!

As an extra yay for me, we saw in the program that John Hodgman is coming in November and today Alan bought tickets! That will be a fun night out!

Revenge

“I’ll get revenge on you someday!” yelled Eve to Lex, after he apparently unmade her bed and failed to remake it properly.  Moments later they were laughing together again.  Ahh..  6am fun.  TGIF!

Open House

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We had open house at school tonight.  Eve totally stumped me with her “Guess Who” challenge.  I had a hard time picking hers from the group.  I thought she was a much better speller! 

It was fun to see so many friends again.  I feel so disconnected from the school community lately.  I haven’t seen many of these kids since December of last year and I’m amazed at how tall the kids have all gotten!!  I know it happens, but it was crazy to see! 

I was nice to chat with the teachers too.  Both kids have nice classrooms and teachers.  Things seem to be going well.  I came home feeling happy.  :-)

Montessori Day 2

Happy sunny Thursday afternoon. I have a few minutes and thought I’d check in. There is no “Montessori Day 1″ post, so don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. Now that the kids are in school and Montessori has started, I find myself with a little over an hour at home, no kids, each afternoon. So far (day two) I have been revelling in it! I have grand ambitions of getting projects done, or cleaning, or something… but so far it has been tea and my laptop and a gentle breeze through the window.

Montessori school is fun and interesting. After two weeks of prep, in-service days, and home visits, I was eager to just get the school year started. Yesterday we had 22 little ones in this lovely classroom and guess what — they are just kids! Nothing magical about Montessori. They still roll around on the floor, pick their noses, run in the classroom (and get told not to), poke their friends, talk too loud, fall off chairs, and trip over their own feet. At each school visit when we had a new student come in to see the classroom, the teacher would give that student a lesson and the student would be still and quiet and focused and do very well on the work she offered. I was dying to see how that held up with there was a ton of them all together. Yep, just kids! :) Of course this is just day two, so perhaps after a few weeks when everyone has settled into the routine, then I’ll see the Montessori magic. Parents swear by it.

Everyone is super friendly and I’m enjoying getting to know people. Some are names I’ve known from around, or friends of friends, and now I’m putting faces to them. Others are completely new to the area and I’ve been happy to be able to recommend playgrounds and other kid-friendly places in the area.

Overall it has been a very nice week, and you can’t beat the hours! :) My own kids are happy that they get to be home each afternoon. Well, at least they come home each afternoon, sometimes I drag them right back out again to karate or something else. Tomorrow we are going apple picking! I hope it’s not 85° and humid like it is today!

I watched a neat video on the importance of connections and relationships in the classroom this afternoon. TED talks are just amazing! Check it out if you have eight minutes. She is a passionate and humorous speaker, like most TED presenters.

CHaD 10K Hike

The time has come again to participated in the CHaD. This year, like last year, the kids and I will be doing the 10K hike and Alan will be running the half marathon. We registered the kids this year (in the past they’ve always just tagged along with us) and learned that an organization called Positive Tracks doubles any funds raised by youths. So, if you’d like to donate to our efforts please donate to the kids through the widgets on the right. If you will be in the area on October 26th, then join us!! We are part of a fun, active team and would love more members. Happy hiking, for a great cause!)

Seacoast Science Center

Yesterday we headed back to the Atlantic to spend the day with Mandy and Rachel at the Seacoast Science Center. It is a cute little museum that has aquariums with Atlantic ocean animals, some hands on exhibits, and a cool “touch tank” with sea stars and other little creatures. The center is located in a state park that used to house a weapons battery during the Great Wars. We had a nice day exploring the museum, exploring the park and rocky coastline, and, of course, checking out the playground.

touch tank

The touch tank was pretty cool… and cold!

libby

Meet Libby, the giant orange lobster that was rescued from a grocery store tank and now lives here.

battery

There is a big hill here that is really an underground concrete building that used to house a weapons battery. There were giant guns (not there now) that could shoot 15 miles into the harbor!

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Lex tried to go inside and was disappointed to find the doors locked.

view

It was a beautiful day and there were lots of boats in the harbor.

coast

We rocked along the rocky coast for awhile. From there I could see two lighthouses that we visited last week with Rosy.

hot

It was a HOT day and the air was stagnant. No nice coastal breeze to be found. After walking along the rocky shore in the hot sun for awhile we took a break under this lovely tent, all set up for a wedding.

slide

At the playground the kids played hard, as usual, but I could tell Eve was wearing down when I found her like this at the top of the slide. Just resting for awhile, out of the hot sun.

skate

We went back into the museum for a chance to touch a “chain cat shark”, a skate, and a big crab (I want to say hermit crab, but it wasn’t that, it was something else that started with H and I can’t remember at the moment!). The shark was prickly to the touch. Here is the skate. It’s hard to take pictures of moving animals in dark areas!

skate belly

The underside of a skate. It looks like a smiley face, but really the “eyes” are holes they use to take in water from underneath and blow out air from corresponding holes above. That’s how they breath.

touch tank 2

Back to the touch tank. We were all pretty worn out by now!

sea star

Hello sea star. Thanks for letting us play with you and your friends all day.

By the end we were all hot, hungry, and tired. And probably dehydrated! We decided to head halfway home and meet Mandy and Rachel for dinner along the way. Eve napped in the car and I almost did too. Dinner, however, was nice and once we were fed and hydrated everyone felt much better!

I think that was our final trip to the Atlantic for this season! I wish we lived a little closer. Tomorrow we all go back to school again and my Montessori kiddos start as well. I think I’ll be pretty tired by next weekend!