Huxley!

Meet our new pup! Fresh in from the Bahamas. Winter will be fun for him. 😄 He is practically perfect in every way. He’s calm, he’s quiet, he’s small(er), and, most importantly, he LOVES Alan! 😄😄😄 Actually he loves everyone!

Unfortunately he has heartworms and tape worms, but we have him on meds and he’ll be healthy soon enough. He makes us laugh and smile and awww every day.

Canopy Walk

We had a fun family outing today. VINS opened a new Canopy Walk at their nature center. It’s a beautiful, HIGH, walk way that gets you way up into the tree tops.  There are interesting and humorous signs along the way telling you about where you are and the nature all around.  The forecast called for “dreary weather” but the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day! Yay!

We stayed for a raptor showing as well. The birds are cool, as usual, but we are old hands at the raptor program. Eve was able to name the birds before they even came out. :)

Somehow the subject of donuts came up earlier in the day (while I was showering!) so the kids had donuts on the brain.  Alan surprised them with a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way home. Everyone came home tired and happy.  :)

Animals, Apples, and Ascutney

We had a lovely family outing today to the apple orchard and Mt. Ascutney.  We made our annual trek to Wellwood Orchard, where I was overwhelmed with how many people were there and how big my kids are now!  While Alan waited in the donut line (there was a LONG donut line!), the rest of us visited the petting zoo. We discovered that visiting the animals isn’t quite the same when they’re overfed, not interested in the food or people, and it was hard to walk anywhere.

The goats would politely sniff at a handful of food, then walk away. No more greedily gobbling down the food, hanging around the feed dispenser, or bullying small children for food.

Chickens in trees.

Chickens in trees do NOT want to be touched.

The bunnies were hiding in their houses, probably trying to avoid getting stepped on.

This fat sheep was happy to eat any food you brought her. :)

We decided to just buy apples instead of picking our own, but the kids wanted to check out the big rock, so we hiked up there and climbed a giant rock for awhile. :)

King of the mountain!

I almost caught them both smiling. :)

We bought some apples, fudge (I can’t resist!), maple candy, and salsa, then headed off to hike Mt. Ascutney.  By “hike” I mean drive most of the way to the top, then hike the final 20 minutes, which was enough of a hike for my wheezy lungs!

On the way up they posed for a picture!

A closer cropped view. :)

The view from the watch tower was amazing! You could even see a mountain in Massachusetts! I think we still have a little more time before peak leaf colors though.

There was a guy on the top of this tower! Alan felt a little nostalgic for his own tower climbing days. I did not!

Eve did not climb the tower with us, so this is a modified family selfie.

She hung out at the bottom instead.

It was a beautiful drive on a beautiful day in a beautiful car with a beautiful family.

Life is good.

Oh, baby!

I am having a very good time with Lex’s health class homework.

He came home the first week of school and told me he’d have to take care of a robot baby for a 12hr period.  He was *very* uncomfortable with the idea. There was also a vague option of an “alternative assignment” for those who couldn’t do the baby thing, and he seriously considered it, but since he didn’t even know what that alternative assignment was, he ended up talking himself into the baby.  He talks about it a lot and I know he’s trying to work himself up for the task. He decided he wanted to have the baby on a weekend, and have it activated on a Sunday… but when?

At high school open house last night the health teacher reminded him that he only had two weeks left, which means just two weekends.  We talked him in to taking baby this weekend. The teacher set it to activate on Sunday from 10:00am-10:00pm, times he chose so he can wake up and prepare himself before baby activates.

I got home from school today and he said, “Sooo…. I brought home a baby today.”  LOL!  Other kids have named their babies, but Lex is 100% resistant to that.  :)  He cracks me up.  He also keeps talking about all the baby noises it will make, and he calls them “ambient noises.”  LOL! I’m having so much fun with this.  I said, “You mean coos and baby gurgles?” He said, “I think of it more like Minecraft ambient noise.”

When Eve got home she was equally weirded out by the baby.  Much to my surprise though, she seems to be warming up to it.  We watched a show this evening and she cuddled the baby the whole time.

I can’t stop laughing about this whole situation and Lex’s extreme discomfort.  He’ll do fine, but he’s just so worried about it.  Last night he says, “Oh, no, I just realized I’ll have to shower during that time…. what should I do with the baby?”  LOL!  I told him he could probably ask someone else in the house to look after it while he showered.  :)

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to take any pictures of him with the baby because I don’t want to stress him out too much…. just enough to make myself laugh!

Happy weekend all!

 

A day at the fair

The Tunbridge World’s Fair comes every fall. It’s the talk of the town and everybody who’s anybody goes.  Schools take field trips there to learn about the animals and old-timey life. Adults go there in the evenings for late-night shenanigans, or something. Everyone talks about The Tunbridge World’s Fair as the greatest thing on Earth. After living in this area for so many years, we decided this year was the year we were going to experience this amazing event.  Guess what?  It’s much like any other fair. :) :)  A bit bigger than the Cornish Fair, about the same size as the Delaware County Fair, plus some Hannaford Mills old-fashioned activities and displays.  Same rides, same funnel cake and french fries, same games, same crowds.  We had fun. :)

Giant watermelons and squash

Even gianter pumpkins!

Cows sleeping in weird positions

and cows poking their heads through walls.

Pigs and piglets.

Eve started the trip really grumpy, but with enough animal and cotton candy she managed to turn that frown upside.  We had fun with her and her silly self.

Booping animal noses everywhere she went

Even when it took a little help from dad.

You don’t get many real smiles from Eve these days. I had to share this one. Also, Alan is a powerhouse!

We saw some cool new things, like painting on mirrors…

We bought one for our mudroom. You’ll have to come visit to see it.

And some cool old things.

Eve bought herself a wolf tail, because, why not?!

Walking along, wagging her tail.

No one was interested in rides this year, but that’s ok, we all had fun.  We left just as the rain was staring to fall.  We got sprinkled on an bit, but nothing too bad.  The skies opened up when we were in the car, driving home.

I’m glad we can now check that off the Upper Valley bucket list.  Maybe we’ll even go back again next year.  We’ll see.

Lex

There is a lot going on in Lex’s world these days. I thought I’d share a little of it. Last week he had another belt test and was promoted to second level brown belt, which means he now has a brown belt with a black stripe, worn on the inside. Next time he tests he’ll be able to switch the stripe to the outside, then the following time he’ll test for a full black belt. I said he’s dabbing his toes in black belt range now. :)

Brown belt, black stripe

Videos:

  • https://youtu.be/Ulj_wrK9_VQ
  • https://youtu.be/H9jxHBnoZWo
  • https://youtu.be/XVJ6TnDMGPo

He also auditioned for high school jazz band last week. Unfortunately there were four kids auditioning and the band director said two is ideal and three is a stretch. She called me Friday afternoon to tell me that she did not accept Lex, but that it was a super hard decision and he’s really good and please keep playing and he’ll surely get in next year when this year’s senior graduates. He was sad when I told him, but he admitted that he knew she wouldn’t take all four of them and he’s the youngest, so it made sense. He’s still doing band and pep band, so he’ll get a fair amount of drumming this year anyway, plus he’ll audition for district band and district jazz band, both of which are single weekend events later this fall and winter.

Lex has also joined the First Robotics Club, and will be doing tech crew for the high school musical AND the Trumbull Hall Troupe production of Newsies. He’s starting to wonder if he’s over-committing himself this fall. Not being in jazz band will give him an extra study hall, which is probably a good thing.

Last weekend, at family meeting, Lex brought up the topic of a cell phone. It’s the first time he’s asked for one! Alan and I both agree he’s ready, and that it would be helpful given all he’s doing these days, so we agreed to get him one. We agreed that he would buy the phone and we would pay for the service. Today Alan took him cell phone shopping. They ended up ordering one, which we’ll pick up later this week. I think they had fun shopping together. :)

This afternoon we went to the fair and Lex ran into two friends who invited him to hang out with them. He was eager to go with them. They wandered around, got food, watched the animals, and had fun. It was weird to see him go, but nice to see two friends who wanted him to go along with them. He’s definitely growing up!

<3

Weekend Update

Happy three day weekend! We made it through the first week of school and we were all ready for a break! Friday night we went to high school football game. I think my first ever! Lex has joined the pep band this year and they play at all the home football games. We were the family taking pictures of the band, not the field. :)

Do you see him there, way in the back? Nope? Me neither.

There he is!

Ok, maybe a few pictures of the field as well. :)

The t-shirt orders for pep band hadn’t come in yet, so Lex picked his most school-colors related shirt.  Apparently he needs some blue shirts. :)  At the game they had a concessions stand where we bought lots of junky food, and an apparel stand (for lack of the appropriate word) where we bought two Hurricane t-shirts for Lex.

The game was good.  The home team won.  It was really a massacre, which meant no overtime and minimal delays, so I was happy. :)

On Saturday I was up bright and early for WW, exercise, and errands. I got home at noon, just in time to unload groceries, grab the family, and head out to the karate dojo’s 25th anniversary celebration at Storr’s Pond.  Lex was kind of on the fence about going, but decided at the last minute that he wanted to.  It ended up being a lot of fun.  My phone battery died (it sucks these days) so I didn’t get many pictures, just one of these cool cupcakes!

Cupcakes! I didn’t have one, but I think my kids had more than our families fair share. :)

Karate has been so amazing for Lex. They are kind and supportive and patient. It was wonderful being at this event with so many families (many I knew, many more I did not) all celebrating Sensei Ken and all the hard work he and everyone else there does for our kiddos.

We were all exhausted when we got home Saturday afternoon.  Actually, I was exhausted FRIDAY afternoon and just stayed that way until Sunday. :)  We got home from the picnic and Eve went right to bed. She slept from 4pm-8pm.  Alan went up to take a nap at 5:30 and ended up sleeping until 8:30.  It was a weird afternoon.  The landscape folks working next door worked until 8pm.  Lex and I were very disoriented!  Once Alan and Eve were both awake again we had a late dinner and watched some TV.  It was 10:15pm and I realized we were all up watching TV.  Crazy.  Lex and I went to bed shortly after and left the other two to fend for themselves.

I woke up Sunday and found the kids both reading. I  asked where Alan was and Lex said, “I think he went to the beach.”  NOT what I was expecting to hear!  He has a friend who has a beach house in Maine and there had been talking about going up there for the weekend, but it never worked out.  I guess Alan decided Sunday morning to head up on his own.  He had a great day there, while the kids and I had a relaxing day at home.  I made some healthy food, we played a few rounds of Clue, watched a cool documentary, and generally enjoyed our down time.

And now, thanks to Labor Day, we have another whole day to not labor!  Yay!  Elizabeth came up for a visit and Alan took Alistair and Lex out for some joyriding in the Tesla (the real reason for their visit!) while Elizabeth and I enjoyed some hot tea (it’s cold and rainy today!) and conversation. When they left, Eve and I went to pick up our CSA share and check out a new candy store in town. I figure the two balance each other out.  I also made super delicious zucchini bread yesterday, so we’ve been enjoying that with tea on this rainy Monday.

Tomorrow we are back to school.  I feel almost ready.  I have a handle on the to-do list, most of the tech stuff is done, and I even have proper lesson plans for the week!

Our plans this week include a contentious Select Board meeting (I’ll be watching from home!) and a visit to a new humane society to check out a dog Eve found online.  She’s really working this dog search!  I’m glad it’s her this time, not me. :)

Happy September!

Little Free Library

Guess what?!  I got a Little Free Library for DBS!  :)  I’m super excited.  I’ve wanted one for awhile and last spring I asked the boss if we could put one in front of school.  He loved the idea.  I was hoping to find a boy scout or someone to do it for free, but ended up asking a neighbor who has a crafty family and a good mid-western work ethic! :)  They are a pretty awesome family and like to do family activities.  They had a few kids go through DBS and were excited to make a lasting project.  I was thrilled!  I gave them free range on design and they ran with it.  The week before school started they were ready to install.

I love these people. They are amazing. As is the Little Free Library they created.

They even brought some books to get it started!

It has solar powered lights running along the inside of the roof. A very classy touch.

There is a website called LittleFreeLibrary.org that started the movement (as best I know) and maintains a map of locations. I went to registered our new addition and discovered that it’s a trademarked name!  Of course! In order to use the name (which we obviously and clearly did!) and be listed on the map you have to pay a small fee and get a plaque.  Guess what I did ASAP?! :)  The plaque should be arriving in the mail any day now.

During the first week of school I was talking to each of the classes about it and I was thrilled that so many kids had already found it and started getting books.  I love the expressions when I tell them that although it’s called a “library” they can actually KEEP the books if they want to!  And add some of their own that they are done with.  The kids love it!  I’ll check on it regularly and keep it stocked with books as well, just in case kiddos take books faster than they leave them.