Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's been a wild, wild weekend....

It's kind of been a very full weekend around Gracewatch. It's past my bedtime, so (once again) you're going to get the short version.

We begin with the Steamboat Days Kiddie Parade -- that's Mouse being a fish, since she was marching in the library's "Make a Splash" float. Bear also marched, but being nearly 10, did not want to be photographed in a fish hat. Jaybird sat on the sidelines and cleaned up in the candy department. "It sure took a long time to get that candy," she remarked. We stayed for the free kiddie concert and cheap hotdog lunch. The older kids stood in line for 30 minutes all by themselves to get a lousy hotdog, chips and pop for a dollar. Way to stand in line, kids!

Next up we have something nearly as exciting as a parade -- yep, backyard berries. It's that time of year, and this year, it seems like all the berries are coming at once: we've got small juicy strawberries, and big plump raspberries, and just the first few blueberries (although we expect a pint or two down the road). The kids are very, very excited about hunting for those juicy little treasures. Each of the first three blueberries (over three days) was announced, paraded around, and examined extensively before being consumed. So friday evening, we had them on vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, we celebrated Bear's tenth birthday by having lopsided lemon cake and ice cream. And he opened presents, after a great deal of anticipation. The "big" present was a new bicycle -- a 21-speed mountain bike. He had very much outgrown his old bike. He proclaimed it the "best birthday ever."

As part of the birthday celebration, we went down to the carnival. Every year we go to the carnival, and every year I am reminded of exactly how seedy and sad it is, and what a ripoff besides. But . . . the kids really enjoy the rides:

Or I should say most of the rides. Bear and Mouse went on the bumper cars and neither of them could get their cars working properly; Bear came away sulky and Mouse was openly sobbing. Nothing that the human canonball couldn't cure, though.

And then, today we went to the Steamboat Days parade -- a two-hour extravaganza that Jaybird in particular enjoyed from start to finish (especially the candy). We got some good photos and video, but here is my favorite (shot by Starling):

Yes, it's me, with Mudpuppy, in honor of Father's Day.

We also went to a picnic and a party and a play and quite a few other things, but that's all I'm going to write about, since it is now way past my bedtime.

On a more serious note . . . my father was hospitalized over the weekend after falling over backwards in the garden. He is in more pain than the morphine can adequately address, since he broke several ribs and fractured a couple vertebrae; he also had a collapsed lung. Amazingly, Fairview Southdale sent him home twice -- even though he was screaming in pain the second time -- without diagnosing any of this. Fortunately, he is now under much better care at a competent hospital. Prayers are appreciated.

Just eatin' my YoBaby yogurt!

Theological musings over lunch

Once in a while, our kids do something to reveal that they really are the children of a couple of cburch nerds. To wit:

Over lunch the other day, Bear pipes up with, "Dad, if God existed before the beginning of time, how could he move? Because you would need time to move, right?"

As I was groping for the beginning of an answer to that one, Mouse chimes in with, "Yeah. And sometimes I ask myself, Why am I me? Instead of another person or animal?"

And then Jaybird comes in with, "And sometimes I wonder if this is all real, or if we're just part of God's dream or something."

Must've been something in those hotdogs!

Dance camp

The girls had dance camp this past week. It's called "Spirited Feet" 'cause it's a Bible dance camp, sponsored by our friendly neighborhood Evangelical church. The theme was the "Fruits of the Holy Spirit." Here's an excerpt -- watch Jaybird try keeping up with the older girls:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mouse rides a bike...without training wheels...successfully!

The thrill of accomplishment! She was very bummed previously about riding bikes since she has a bigger one that is too intimidating for her. We were given this smaller one, and she took off!

Bear finishes triathalon!

Here is Bear after completing the Kids Trinona, the kids' version of Trinona, our local triathalon. His age group had to swim three lengths of an Olympic-size pool, bike about a mile and then run half a mile around the track. Bear finished in 15 minutes and 50 seconds, earning a participants' medal in the process.
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Happy, Happy Baby. Just watch where you throw that head!

Eight month old Mudpuppy is the happiest child alive. The verdict is in. This video is an example.

Earlier, Starling (that's me) went to the library with Mudpup in his car seat for a quick exchange of videos. That's an errand Jackrabbit usually does with Mudpup and Jaybird every week. A man I didn't know remarked how happy Mudpup was and said "Oh, he can't be that happy all the time, though!" To which the library assistant (whom I didn't even know) chimed in "Yes, actually, he is."

On the down side (is there a down side to this?), he was happily exercising/throwing himself back in my arms earlier, while I was sitting at the dining table, and threw himself into the table edge. Ouch. Yes, he cried, poor boy. But not too long.

Jackrabbit adds:
I get this wherever I go with him. "What a happy baby!" Truly, it is the most frequent comment we get about him. Heck, we find ourselves saying the same thing (or a variation -- "What an easy baby!") at least five times a day!

Visiting the Science Museum

We visited the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul this past weekend. Jackrabbit wanted to do some special summer outing with the kids, since we were up for a three day weekend, and we hadn't been there in years. Plus, they have an exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls (the real scraps are there, along with tons of pottery and historical goods from the era!) which Starling wanted to see. Starling enjoyed the Dead Sea Scrolls (Mudpuppy not so much), and the kids loved the museum. Bear in particular got into the experiments--he inherited the logical gift in our family. It really is an impressive museum, and we bought a family membership to explore it better this year (since we're up in the Cities regularly anyway, and the membership pays for itself after two visits. Besides, Jackrabbit wants to see the Dead Sea Scrolls too--but the display is a bit intellectual for the kids. So I'll watch them next time!).

Birthday girl

We're halfway through our "birthday season" -- the three months when the older kids and Starling have their birthdays. We celebrated Starling's birthday a couple of weeks ago with cake on the deck:

Next up is Bear's birthday...he's already counting down the days....