Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ah, not-so-sweet memories

A few weeks ago my Dad brought 2 of my high school yearbooks to me when he came to visit. Check out my high school "librarian" - Sr Isadore!!! No wonder it took me so long to figure out I wanted to be a school librarian - I finished my degree when I was 32. With a role model like her.........

Monday, July 30, 2007

African Lion Safari

One of our favorite summer adventures is going to African Lion Safari in Ontario, Canada. You drive through the "reserve" and look at all the animals - some will come up to your car. This year I decided to try making it a day trip instead of staying overnight in a hotel. We left yesterday at 8 am, stopped to pick up Big Al and breakfast, and didn't get there until 12:15!! It takes a little less than 3 hours to get there but our detours stretched that out a bit! On the way home, I made a wrong turn and drove 10 miles in the wrong direction before I got back on course. We made it home by 10:15 and everyone was in bed by 11:00. It's 10:30 am and we're all still in our jammies, the kids are vegging in front of the tv - It's going to be a lowkey day!

We got there just in time to see the elephants going to one of the ponds for their first swim of the day.

Our absolute favorite part of ALS is going through the baboon area. This time the baboons didn't even come near our car; usually they climb all over it. We looped around again and threw some peanut butter sandwich crusts on the roof. The baboons were all over us!

I never knew how dumb ostriches are! They came up to our car and pecked at the windows until we drove away.

A definite highlight of ALS is the playground and waterpark. The kids spent a lot of time on the little slides in the little kid area. The water here was suspiciously warm and cloudy. The water in the "big kid" area was cool and clear. Hmmmmmm
Elly needs to take swimming lessons - soon! She doesn't mind getting splashed and will put her head under water.

This is the first summer that Alex can get totally wet, now that his chemo port is gone. He is making up for lost time!

When Alex got out of the car, the first thing he told his mom, in the driveway, was "A baboon made a big poop on the car!!" When we were ready to leave the park, we stopped to get a snack and found this on top of our car!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fun in high gear

Another fun week filled with adventures - I'm so glad I have kids who are willing to play with me. Cousin Big Al spent the week with us.

One day I suggested that we go to a local park (Ellison) to go snake hunting. I have only seen ONE snake there in the 20 years I've been going so I didn't really expect to find one. The kids were excited/scared. We saw THREE snakes!

Lewis is back to wearing his goggles when we go out. Yes people, he's 5 and going to kindergarten - what of it??!

Another day we went to a working farm that's run by a nonprofit and open to the public. It's free and I thought I was getting away with a cheap outing. Seems they have added a few features since last we visited - $3 pony carriage rides (x5) and $1 petting area (x5) - do the math.

On Friday we went to a spraypark/playground at Seneca Lake. Big fun once again. Frances is a monkeybar maniac. She swings back and forth until her hands hurt too much to go on!

We were only in the sprayground for about 2 minutes when whistles blew and someone yelled into the bullhorn - "everyone out, we have an emergency." Turns out the emergency was a baby spit up and it hit the water! It smelled like there was enough chlorine to kill the bubonic plague but they shut down for 1/2 hour. We had a snack and then resumed the merriment.

I don't think I need to explain this one.

Elly kept squealing that she didn't want to get wet and then sticking her head in the water.

Ana looking like her usual cute self.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Recent reads

One of the great things about summer is reading time! I am always the first one up, I get my coffee and have at least 45 minutes before anyone else gets up. Of course I sneak more time in during the day when we're not playing too!
Here's what I've been reading.
What an awesome book! Unique story and great ending!

This one is a quick read for Young Adults. It's about a girl from Nepal sold into sexual slavery. Makes me want to go to Calcutta and kick some ass.

I was so excited when this book came out - I LOVED Snow Flower and the secret fan. This one was compelling BUT just didn't move me much.

OK, I admit it, I read Patterson. Not high literature but a fun read!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Big Lew wants a daddy

Lewie asks me quite regularly if he can get a daddy some day. I've offered to look on ebay and pick one out, if the price is right. Until then he will just have to be satisfied with his grandfather, 4 uncles, and 4 teenage boy cousins. Here's Lewie with his favorite cousin/babysitter Sean. Nothing says male bonding like painting finger and toe nails.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sit back, we have some catchin' up to do

Well hey there! It's been a while. Missed seeing my lovlies? Here's what we've been up to!
Last weekend we headed to Vermont. I have 4 children who can handle a 6 1/2 hour car ride without a whole lot of whining - especially now that we have a dvd player in the car! So we went to Vermont to attend a Chinese culture camp just for the adventure of it all. We slept in a cabin and met lots of new people. It was fun. I think you have to know Vermont to really appreciate what this weekend was like. Vermont is CRUNCHY - think granola and birkenstocks........ and lots of flying bugs.
Here are my little darlings on our nature walk. Frances thinks nature walks are "freaky."

Frances did a little brush painting.

Elly painted a dragon mask.

Hiking up to our cabin.

We got there on Friday and on Sunday morning it was raining. We decided to leave on Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning. We took a ferry across Lake Champlain to reach NY, which the kids LOVED. Since we got home early, we had all day Monday to play. We went to Stonybrook, a NY state park, about an hour from our house, with a gorge and 3 waterfalls. It was awesome. Here we are wading in the water.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Cheers for Big Al

May I introduce my GREATnephew, Alexander. I coached his mother (my niece) through his birth and cut his umbilical cord. In May 2005, Alex was diagnosed with leukemia and has undergone countless rounds of chemo, spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies. On Monday, he got his chest "tubies" (medication ports) removed and is officially DONE with treatments!! Yahooie! He came over to play today (he adores my kids) and proudly showed off his naked chest. We are so happy that all the yucky stuff is behind him! We love our Big Al.