Tuesday, June 29, 2010

5 Kittens

Five baby kitten born on the evening of the 22nd. Winter has been SUCH a good momma to them. I was worried she would balk at the task since she is so young, but she has been just wonderful.

Her most difficult task has been to make sure they stay in the cat house. These babies are HUGE and that gray kitten is a rascally little one! He mewed on his second day and comes to the edge of the box when he hears us - even with his eyes shut.

The boys are dying to get their hands on them, but Winter is a very nervous mommy. If we start peeking in there too much she rushes in and lays on them. I had to give her some serious cat scratching to get these pictures and she still kept looking over to make sure I wasn't getting TOO close. Hopefully she will allow better shots soon.

It has been 20 years since I had kittens around. I've forgotten how sweet they are. We are hopeful that we can place them all in good homes. We think two may be spoken for. Poor Winter. She has about six weeks before her surgery can be scheduled, but I'm dreading it. We just can't keep making babies FIVE at a time... I'm thinking that we will have a policy about showing for the house - make an offer or take a kitty. ;o)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bear Creek Canoeing and Dismal's Canyon

Saturday was our long awaited trip to canoe on Bear Creek and to finally see the Dismalites. We headed out in late in the morning toward Russelville and Bear Creek Canoe Run. After arriving and meeting up with the Crawfords we spent a lot of time waiting... in the heat. Ugh.

If we look hot it is because we had been sitting there for over an hour in the 105* heat index. The kids were melting. Okay, Lou and I were melting too!

Lou and Austin, who looks just thrilled to be alive. He was like this until he got dunked, but that is a story for further down the blog...

Carson and Griffin

After floating down the river at a leisurely pace we stopped with a few other families to swim at a sandy bank. The water was icy cold with Lou snapped a candid of me that I kind of like.

After another slow plod down the river we stopped at a beautiful double waterfall. Both sides were just stunning.

The top of the falls was lovely...

and the falls just got prettier as you climbed up!

We found out that that was the half way point of the trip and we had the option to continue or take the steps across the river and end the trip there. Since it was only 3:30 and we had nothing to do until the Dismals tour at 7:30, the Crawford and Woods families headed down the river again! Griffin decided that his chances of paddling were better with Daddy since Austin was wimping out, so he ditched Carson and I.

We took off at a faster pace to try to finish the second half of our trip on time. Carson was helpful in the "rapids" but he gave out in the strait stretches so I was on my own trying to keep up with Lou. Oy! After about an hour and a half  Lou and Austin pulled in front of us and headed down a rapid. Since Carson and I had spent the better part of every rapid area in the shallows or in a tree I was happy to let them go first. This time was not so smooth though. A low hanging limb under cover of some branches capsized Lou's boat. We heard the boat hit and I could see Austin hanging onto the tree. But where were Lou and G? I panicked for a couple of seconds while back paddling before I heard G yell out, "Save me Daddy!" I told Austin to let go so we wouldn't hit him and head down stream and asked Lou if we should try to help or stay out of the way. He said he had it handled and just to go around, so Carson and I stayed out of the limbs, skirted a boulder... and smacked into the brush on the other side. LOL! We stayed upright and headed down stream to pick up all the things that had fallen out of the other canoe. I wasn't tired or sore until after all that paddling up and down stream after shoes, hats and water bottles. It turned out that the boat had filled with water and G had been trapped under it. Lou had ground his knees into several boulders to stay with him and the boat and pulled him out. The whole thing was very quick, just a few seconds, but scary non the less! Griffin has told everyone that his "Daddy saved my life!" There is quite a bit of hero worship going on around here! Poor Lou's knee is bruised and swollen for the second time in a year.

A few hundred feet down the river we saw the end point and pulled off. We found out that we had canoed NINE miles! WOW! Fresh Air Family provided the best hot dogs and chips I have ever eaten. LOL! It is amazing how good food taste when you are REALLY hungry! We were the next to the last people off the river at 6:30 so we hurried to shower, eat and head to Dismal's Canyon for the second half of the trip.

I don't think we have ever waited so much in our lives. Not since Disney! When we arrived we were one of the last families to the tour and ended up in group 4 with the Crawfords again. We waited 45 minutes before the tour start time. Then we waited another 45 minutes for our turn to see the Dismalites.

Esther waiting in the glow of the red flashlights.

Austin and Jake trying to be patient.

Was all that waiting worth it? TOTALLY! My only complaint is that my camera did not take a single shot of the glow worms. Ugh. I will have to go back and try again one day. Here is a shot from the web site. We saw about 1/3 of this amount, but they were SO beautiful! Now that was an awesome day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

104 Day of Summer Vacation

I have a new favorite cartoon to watch with the boys. If you get the Disney channel you already know by the title what I'm talking about. Oh yeah, it's Phineas and Ferb!

There's 104 Days of Summer Vacation,
And School comes along just to End it.
So the Annual Problem for our Generation,
Is finding a good way to Spend it.

Like Maybe!
Building a Rocket,
Or fighting a Mummy,
Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower,
Discovering something that doesnt exist, (Phineas: Hey!)
Or giving a Monkey a Shower.

Surfing Tidal Waves,
Creating NanoBots,
Or locating Frankenstein's Brain, (Phineas: It's Over Here!)
Finding a Dodo Bird,
Painting a Continent,
Or driving your Sister insane! (Candice: Phineas!)
As you can see, Theres a whole lot of Stuff to do
Before School starts this fall, (Phineas: Come on, Perry!)
So stick with us, cause Phineas and Ferb are gonna do it all! (X 2)
(CANDICE: MOM! Phineas and Ferb are making a Title Sequence!) 

The boys and I spent last week doing a whole lot of nothing in the form of running errands, watching TV and cleaning house. Did we do ONE summery thing last week on our own? Nope. As they finished up an episode of Phineas and Ferb this morning, I started talking with them about the show. Which character was their favorite and why.  No one choose Candice. Why? "Well, because she doesn't DO anything." Ah ha! Just like you guys have been doing nothing? Little light bulbs went off in their heads. Don't you love it when that happens? I asked them to remember what they did after TV time was over each day. So far it had been nothing. They were a little disappointed in themselves at that point I think. So we sat down and wrote a list of the things they wanted to do this summer:

Camping under the Stars
Learn to make cups (that one is G's - that boy is a sucker for a field trip!)
Build a clubhouse
Hang out in a Hot Tub
Go to Spring Park
Have an airsoft/paintball War
Water gun fight
Visit a Waterpark
Build a robot
Meet the Mythbusters (that may have to be a long term goal - LOL)
Make a card tower
Buy Ice Cream from an Ice Cream Truck
Family Game night (twice a week)

No Eiffel Towers or Dodo birds, but I think it's a fine list for the summer. Don't you?

Home is Where the Work is...

Ah Home, sweet house. Un-homing my house has proved to be liberating and painful at the same time. Taking the place that has been your home for the last eight years and turning it into a house that someone else will like is a bit hard on the ego. Letting go of the idea that you know exactly what kind of house everyone else will love and objectively removing ones favorite things is like pulling a bandaid off. Even worse, our projects are taking so long that it is more like the ten minute tug and peel of the bandaid when I've always been fond of the quick tear.

I am, however, finding a lot of peace in the emptiness that all this removal has created. I'm not sure how much will be returning to live with us after this. The books will for sure - I miss them terribly - as well as our board games. I'm trying to look at the delays in marketing the house as a hidden blessing. Maybe the home we are meant to have isn't ready to be ours yet either....

Here are this week's projects:

The sidewalk is finished. Well, sort of. Sigh. After the project consuming six long hours BEFORE pouring (long story) it was finished just two hours before a HUGE pop up rain storm swept through the county. Lou threw a tarp over it. There wasn't much else we could do. The lines of the side walk are nearly perfect thanks to Lou's long diligence in starting the project, but the top is now scarred with rain drops in the center that makes the concrete hard on the feet. There is about 1/2 inch to work with from the top and we are researching whether we can resurface it a bit and stain the entire thing to match up better.

That's our pool in those boxes. It is eight inches deeper than our old one which is going to create some interesting problems as far as the decking goes, but after looking for a matching one for six weeks, it was time to just buy something darn it. It has 17 post (where 16 is the new standard) and should fit in the deck in general. This project is now at the mercy of the professional installers' schedule and ability to fit it in the existing deck. Pray it works out. If it costs too much at this point, we won't be able to afford to move.

This is the project the boys are most excited about. Meet Winter. She showed up at our house about a month ago looking all tiny and wanting nothing more than three boys to haul her around. After checking around the neighborhood for any lost kittens (we thought her to be about 10 weeks old) we decided that she was ours and I called the vet to make an appointment. Her timing was perfect as Whiskers (Austin's beloved 7 year old cat) disappeared around the middle of February. Before we made it in to the vet, I noticed that not only was her little tummy getting fatter, but she had nipples showing. Uh-oh. I called the vet back and said "Either she's pregnant or has the worst case of worms ever." During her exam the vet said, "Yeah, she has worms. BIG four legged ones." She is quite the faker. She is about 8-9 months old an due any day. Oh, well. At least she is healthy and vaccinated. She has started mousing and, even hugely pregnant, allows Griffin to hold her and smooch her head. That is one good cat. The boys can't WAIT for the kittens to be born and are already asking to keep one. We have a running family bet in when and how many kittens there will be. I'm betting on the week we show the house and that they will be born in front of the door. Just kidding, but you have to admit that is about how things have been working! LOL!

Friday, June 4, 2010