Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trout Fishing with Papa

Our local river was stocked with trout this week on my dad's birthday (perfect birthday gift for him). We had it all set up that day to go out to the river once Aaron was out of school to fish - weather did not cooperate! So a couple days later on a much nicer day (hence the way t0o sunny pics) we did get the trout fishing trip in with Papa. I love that my dad is here to teach the kids to fish just like he did me. Both boys have always enjoyed fishing and this time Leah got to give it a try too! We are always especially impressed with Caleb's level of patience - the boy (THREE year old) sat there with Papa for 2 hours, didn't catch a thing and still begged not to have to go home. He has fishing down - he says "I watch my bobber and be patient." Definitely, the only time he seems to understand patience! This time since the catching trout thing was a big dud, my dad even taught Caleb how to throw the line out by himself - Caleb could cast the line halfway across the river - we didn't notice any other 3-year-olds doing that! It was a fun day for the kids! I think my dad was probably exhausted, and I know I was just from the sheer stress of having all 3 of them on the river bank - wish I would have brought life jackets for them so I could relax a bit too!

Fisher??? Hmmm....

Fisher Day 1 (bottom fish, very black back and tail).

Fisher Day 30 - ZERO black markings!
Fisher Day 30 - all gold and getting lighter!

So we have been proud pet owners for officially ONE MONTH as of today - way to go us! (see "First Pets" post below). The fish have survived for a whole month despite the odds. BUT we did have something strange begin to happen. Ever since our trip to Dallas, I noticed that Aaron's ugly (oops, I mean "unique") fish, Fisher, with the black marking was looking different. I pointed it out to Scott that Fisher didn't seem to have near the black markings that he did just 10 days prior to our trip. We began to ask ourselves, "Did something happen to Fisher while we gone and the grandparents on fish duty take it upon themselves to 'replace' him?" Hmmm. - we wondered and kept observing. Seemed like each day Fisher just wasn't looking like himself more and more, and we grew more and more suspicious. Hmmm. After a few days and me looking back at the blog pic, I was certain Fisher's black markings were not of the same fish. Luckily before approaching the grandparents with our replacement theory - we Googled. Turns out - goldfish can change colors for all sorts of reasons and in this case probably due to environment change or as Aaron is convinced "old age." So there is your science lesson for today - news to us!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Park Fun

Leah enjoying her picnic of popcorn and juice.
Vicious stick race - winner to be determined.
Seems like only time Aaron will pose for pics is with animals or nature - here we had both!
Caleb loved seeing how far he could throw the bread - pretty far too!
Leah looking awfully cute in her pig tails and thinking she is big stuff! fyi - I haven't cut bangs for her but they seem to appear naturally when we pull her hair back.

We had such a mild January weather weekend that we just had to get out an enjoy it. We have a great park here that we headed too - Aaron packed a picnic for us, we hiked along the river trail, fed the ducks while narrowly avoiding the pesky aggressive geese, went a on wildlife search and found a very big black buck, and had us a mean stick race in water that was barely moving. All in all, I love these moments when our little family of five can head out for the afternoon and enjoy & explore God's beautiful creation. Best part for me would be the BIG unsolicited hug from Aaron during our picnic. When I asked him what that was for he just grinned and said, "for doing this." :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun with friends

We had a fun Friday morning with a couple of friends coming over to hang out - started out with me watching a friend's two girls while she ran an errand and with one simple text we ended up with a backyard full of kids. This mild January weather is just too nice not to get out and enjoy! It is strange feeling having friends over while Aaron is at school - I will have to try to erase all traces of the fun that was had since he already thinks staying home is a much better option than going to school every day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dallas Zoo

Cousins! Outside of the reptile house. Not quite enough room to fit Leah on.
Aaron posing like a chimpanzee.
This photo is not zoomed in.
Our baby girl is getting way too big. Leah had a blast walking around the zoo and hugging complete strangers who she was certain wanted a hug from her. :)
All 3 of our kids loved feeding the giraffes.
Our sweet Caleb.
Aaron loves all things animals and all things science - any zoo is a very happy place for him.
Leah also can make a pretty good elephant sound, complete with hand motion and apparently most animals in the zoo make this same sound.
We had quite the busy weekend - stop to see great-grandmother Glenda (the kids love Glenda's house just like I did as a kid); two nights in Dallas at my sister's (craziness with cousins); a visit with college friend Amy and her new baby; great pit stop in Waco to visit great friends plus our now combined 8 kids!; and a successful late-night/kids in pj's ride home! The highlight (at least for the kids) was our trip to the Dallas Zoo.

The Dallas Zoo has come a long ways since I was kid - it was a blast! (and discounted admission in Jan and Feb). The weather was perfect - cool enough for the animals to be active and warm enough for me (um, I mean the kids) not to be whiny. Plus it really was not too crowded. We saw an elephant mad at the world run & stomp around like crazy, penguins talking loudly to each other, lemurs wrestling loudly with each other (or fighting, to be determined), a huge python eating a cute rabbit (so sad and gross but so scientific for Aaron to watch- yuck!) - just to name a few highlights. The kids got to feed giraffes which they loved. We also rode the monorail and that was great especially for Aaron who "already knew" everything the guide told us but was happy the guide at least had her facts straight.

The lions were the best we have ever seen - usually we are good 20 - 30 yards away. This time we got see them eat and we even got to eat our lunch next to the cafe with a glass wall between us and them - now that is a good way to get your kids to stay in their seats the whole meal. It was even nicer that my sister and her fam were with us - those cousins sure do love being with each other! Fun weekend and has me wanting to plan more! This getting out of baby-mode is getting to be fun!

First Pet(s)

Very happy Aaron

Okay - here's to a better year of blogging! We started off the year with getting Aaron his very much begged for "first pet." Christmas morning Aaron had three gifts from us labeled 1-2-3. First was a bag of rock - he was very confused b/c he was expecting it to be the marble collection he had asked for. Second was a small fish net - still confused. Third was his aquarium - way excited! He yelled "I am getting my first pet & it's a fish!" Funniest part was that Caleb then ran and hugged Scott and said "And I'm getting a guinea pig!!!!" (no clue and definitely not!)

Knowing Aaron, we let him pick out the plants and cave for his tank - he was very sure his fish would want a rainbow cave. We set the tank up and let the water adjust for a couple of days before picking out the fish - We would catch Aaron up way late at night just staring into his fishless tank. Day to the pick out the fish Aaron decided that Caleb should pick one out too so the fish had a friend. Aaron picked out the ugliest goldfish in the tank ("b/c he is unique looking") and Caleb picked out his and named him "Sticker." Aaron named his "Fisher" so they would rhyme. We have now been proud fish owners for 18 days and feeling quite proud that they are still alive. I think we prepared Aaron so much for the fact the fish sometimes die that he is now just waiting for the inevitable. oops. So far so good on our first pet!