Friday, August 31, 2012

Ava's Birthday

We went to Ava's birthday party last week and it was lots of fun!
You can see by Izaak's goatee what color cake we had!

The party hats and blowers were very popular.

Evan shows you can use the hats in various ways!

The hit of the party was the treasure hunt Jenny did. Here she is reading the first clue.

The kids aren't quite sure what to think.

When they got a clue, they ran! Each one wanted to be the first to find it. Jenny had cleverly spaced out the clues so that they were running from side of the house to the other. It started raining a little, but that didn't matter at all.

Ernesto on the move.

At the end they all won treasure bags, full of prizes.

Then it was time for a little more excitement: a pinata!
Isaac was ready to leave his mark.

Swing, Charlie, Swing!

Pinatas always bring out smiles!

Each kid got to hit the pinata and then it broke. Perfect timing!

Thanks for a great party, Jenny and Bryan, and happy birthday, Ava!

How to Wear Out Kids Quickly

 Playdates are all the rage this season (okay, every season!). We had a bunch of kids come to the house a little while back. They wanted to play on our rock climbing wall, which I thought was a great idea. Not only does it build their strength and coordination, it also tires them out.

 The climbing wall isn't very high, but part of it is on a sloping wall, and it is difficult to make it up that angle while hanging upside down.

 Ava's giving it a try!
 Sam and Desert Girl during a relatively 'quiet' period.

 Ava and Desert Boy trying to climb on the same holds at the same time. That didn't work so well.
Fortunately they figured it out before I had to say anything.

The rock wall makes me want to go climbing soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Night Sky

 We went to a special night sky program the night of the Perseid meteor shower. We didn't see a whole lot of shooting stars (mainly because we were tired and went to bed relatively early), but I did take the opportunity to dabble in photographing the night sky. I have a ways to go, but it's a fun diversion while waiting for a turn to look through the telescope! In the above photo, can you find the Big Dipper? Desert Boy can identify that asterism easily now.

Do you know what you're seeing in the next photo?
 For those of you who know astronomy, there are lots of right answers (and please leave some in the comments!). For those of us who just dabble in astronomy, I'm looking at the big picture: the Milky Way galaxy. That cloudy-looking river of stars that flows across the top of the black roof above us is present nearly every night. We are lucky to live in a place with so little light pollution we can see so far out beyond our planet.

Sometimes we can even see some extra things in the night sky:
Like a UFO! Okay, I don't really think it's a UFO. Do you know what it is?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cookhouse Cleanup

 We had a cleanup at the cookhouse this morning to get ready for the Snake Valley Days Barbeque. This is a fundraiser that benefits the local fire department. It's also a long-time event, and lots of folks return to Snake Valley to visit friends and family.

 The place looked lots better with all the grass cut. The recent monsoons and some irrigating have helped green up the grass.

 The cleanup included some fence paint retouching.
 Janille hefted the 50 pound boxes of potatoes. She is strong!

Next Saturday will be a full day of food prep beginning at 9 am. All volunteers are welcome!

 We had to change a couple of the signs that had last year's date on them.

 Dave went up on the roof to reattach some of the aluminum that had blown off. In the past, the cookhouse has been used six days a week during the summer for feeding lunch to they hay crews. During the past couple of summers, the hay crew has been smaller and they've been on their own for lunch. That means the cookhouse doesn't have the regular use and care, so we have more cleanup to do.

 Kayli doesn't look too thrilled with painting.

 The little kids, however, were thrilled to have a chance to help paint.

 I took off Desert Girl's pants and socks and shoes as I didn't want her to paint her clothes.

 Brian and Desert Girl had a little discussion over the brownies.

Desert Girl's painted look. She was proud of all her painting. I love her chubby little thighs. She's lost a lot of her rolls and sometimes I look at her and can't believe how big she is!

 Then Uncle Tom brought out something that had all the kids running close. I went over to take a look.

 It's a praying mantis!

Sam wanted to get a closer look.

 Sam looked a little unsure of what he's getting into, while Desert Girl gave advice. She likes giving advice.

 The transfer.

 What a cool insect!

 Desert Girl agrees!

 The praying mantis climbs onto Sam's finger.

 He shows it off.

 What a fun way to end the morning.

Storm Clouds

I'm working on a longer post, but it's taking a bit of time and I just feel like I have to post something now (yes, blogging can be addictive!). Here's what I saw this morning: the clouds kissing the mountaintops as they started forming and gathering more power. The early morning light made the scene even more dramatic. I just wanted to find an awesome vantage point, sit with my camera, and take a zillion photos of the changing cloud patterns. Instead I went for a long run. And repeatedly wished I had a camera with me, as the views were stunning. It was a good morning.

We've had a lot of monsoonal moisture this August, which has our part of the desert greener than is usual. It sure has been a strange year weather-wise. Thinking of all those in the path of or impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac. If you're one of them, good luck!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Signings

You're a book signing!

Saturday, August 25, 11 am - 12 pm at the Western National Parks Association Bookstore in the Great Basin Visitor Center in Baker, Nevada


Tuesday, September 18, 6 pm - 8 pm at the White Pine County Library in Ely, Nevada

This is a new experience for me, and I'm not quite sure what to think. But it will be fun, and you should come if you're around. I'll write whatever you want me to write in your book. I'll even write that you're awesome. Because if you're reading this blog, you are awesome!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Interesting Walk

 We had so much fun at our beach out in the desert that we went back a couple days later. It was a hot afternoon, and usually I try to keep the kids out of the sun in the middle of the day, but since school was starting soon, it was time to make an exception. We lathered on the sunscreen, found our sun hats, and headed out.

 Big storm clouds loomed in the not-so-distant horizon. We kept a close eye on them, not wanting to be in a large body of water if lightning struck. Maybe it would just feel like a little tingle, but maybe not.

 When the water is high enough, the lake is a reservoir, storing water for irrigation. Gradually, the winter and spring accumulation of water is decreased due to agricultural use and evaporation so that water doesn't even reach the dam outlet.

 The lower water levels mean that there is plenty of sand for everyone. You can also walk out a long way from shore and still only be knee deep in water. During high water, the lake is high enough for my husband and me to flip our 15' Laser multiple times and never have the mast touch bottom. This time of year, it might be hard to find places you can't touch bottom.

 The kids and dogs were having a blast.

 Desert Boy and Sam hanging out in the big float tube.

 After swimming awhile, we decided it was time for an adventure walk. I love adventure walks, as we never quite know what we're going to find. I encouraged Desert Boy to collect some shells for a future craft project (which paid off with a blue ribbon in the fair!).

 This photo is for my friends Kris and Amanda, who love foot shots! Note how our feet are still relatively clean. Not all the sand was so kind to us...
 Just a little ways down the beach we found oozy, gooey mud. If anyone wants some, I'll go back and bottle it for you and sell it to you for $50. I'm sure it's good for your skin.

 Not all was beach. We also found rocks (with fun water lines).

 Ava and Desert Boy kept their shell buckets close.

 The cloud cover had cooled off the rock so it was bearable for walking on bare foot. Or scooting down.

 We did get a little hot on the walk, so we just waded into the lake and cooled off. Then we continued walking. I thought that was so cool.

 Ava had lots of smiles.

 Finally we got to the part of the lake I wanted to get to--the side with lots of California floaters. These are large mussels that are native to the area. They live in the mud, but when they die they float to the surface and the wind pushes them to the edge of the lake. The kids had a great time hunting for them. I managed to forget to take photos of them!

 Desert Girl was so happy sitting in the one-inch deep mud and spreading it on herself.

 Isaac soon joined her.

 Somehow the kids talked Jenny into carrying their shell buckets!

 Maybe it was so they could have a running contest!

On the way back we discovered something interesting--and by Ava's reaction, gross: a catfish head. That's one big catfish! Thinking about it makes me have some second thoughts about swimming in the lake!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates