Friday, October 31, 2008

Oops, Wrong Pup!

Walking Ra. This was before we got Giant, so I am sure he won't mind, would he? ^^

Thursday, October 30, 2008

First Halloween Pictures

Yesterday we had our homeschool Halloween party.

Ninja, ballerina and bee. Amazing how much bigger Erik is than the two girls.

We took Giant so he could be exposed to many kids and grownups in costumes. He did quite well.

Kate was a 'vitch', a vampire in witches clothing.

There was tons of good food. See the cupcakes in the middle? Kate made 48 of them for the party.

There were a bunch of craft activities, although I have to admit that my kids mostly went for the sugar highs instead ^^

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today, Giant visited our homeschool art class at our local art gallery. We attempted to do some socializing at our green, but Giant was Not Impressed by the rain.

I went to city hall to ask if a dog license was required as he is not officially our dog. I was informed that because he is considered a service dog all fees for his license are waived but he will need his shots before they issue his license. In another few weeks he will be old enough for his Rabies vacination and then he will proudly wear his official dog tags.

Giant does not particularly want to walk around the block, he seems to prefer to stay Home. Especially when it's cold and rainy ^^


-I wish for you .... Comfort on difficult days. Smiles when sadness intrudes. Rainbows to follow the clouds. Laughter to kiss your lips. Sunsets to warm your heart. Gentle hugs when spirits sag. Friendships to brighten your being. Beauty for your eyes to see. Confidence for when you doubt. Faith so that you can believe. Courage to know yourself. Patience to accept the truth. And love to complete your life.-

- A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.-

Click here for more for Gaggle of Girls pictures of our visit.

Introducing Giant!

Sylvia 'We got a puppy, and his name is Giant, but he is little!'

He is 9 weeks old, and he has been named after the New York Giants.

He seems to be settling in well, that is if we ignore the peeing , pooping, and the occasional puking ^^

But he is so cute we don't care.

Did I mention he is perfect?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Salt Marshes, Geocaching, and Good Friends

Today, we drove down to spend the day with Rachel's family.

I brought five of mine, the ones who fit well together with her three.

We spent time on three beaches.

We went geocaching in the salt marshes.

The kids climbed many trees. Sylvia even figured out how to climb DOWN, which is a good skill to acquire.

Life is good for sure!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Meet Cody!

No, not our puppy yet, but a K-9 police dog.

He was one of the stars in our Homeschool Safety Day

He demonstrated how to apprehend a subject.

Cody also showed us how to sniff out drugs. It was interesting to hear about the police dog training and see similarities and difference with guide dog training.

At the end of the demonstration, all the kids got to pet Cody.

Quote of the day:
Sylvia, 'I think there is something like a police kitty.'
Me, a bit doubtful, 'Hmmm, I am not so sure about it.'
Sylvia, very decisively, no trace of doubt in her mind, 'Yes! I think there must be a police kitty, because kitties like to pounce and kitties can pounce on the bad people!'

Update on our own puppy situation: Poet went back to his trainer, and on Monday we'll get our very own black lab who is specially named after a football team. Any guesses on name?

Lesson of the Day

Do not leave half open wine bottle on counter and forget about it.

This cartoon from Geek & Poke seemed fitting.

Too bad most of our fruit flies actually didn't seem to drown but were having immense fun infesting my kitchen. Took me a while to figure out that it wasn't the normal half-eaten banana, or rotting apple core :p

Life is Good Episode 42: Cake and Ice Cream!

I love friends who visit and bring cake. Home baked cake even!

How better to celebrate than by adding ice cream and have an ad hoc party right here and now?

I especially liked the way some of my kids fully participated:

Life is good!

Go in peace, and eat cake and ice cream just for the joy of eating it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homeschool Day at the Park

New England homeschooling in the fall.

Preview of Safety Day Pictures

I should sleep, but I am just posting one picture of Erik visiting an ambulance.

Luckily, he didn't have to use it, just was learning about it. And running and jumping, to increase his chances of actually USING it. Gotta love little boys!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Loving Kindness

Yes, I still do exist, and yes, I still do write this blog. There was a bit too much life and I didn't write when I should have. Today I am jumping in with a post I have been wanting to write for a long time.

Have you ever noticed that when a friend makes a mistake, we are usually pretty good at accepting it and helping her move through it, and supporting her cleaning up the mess it caused? But when we ourselves make a mistake, or aren't perfect, we really tend to beat ourselves up over it. At least, I seem to have a tendency to do so.

It is very easy to be disappointed in yourself when you mess up something, or fail to do something which you felt you should have done. You know, when it turns out that you aren't the perfect mother you always envisioned. That maybe sometimes you are not successful in everything you do or try. Or that you didn't get to finish all 451 items on your to-do list for the day.

We sometimes forget that life isn't only about successes and about perfection. Life is just as much about failures and forgiving ourselves for our failures. Life is about falling down, and about getting up again. Don't beat yourself up for tripping and falling down. Those things happen. Get up, and hug yourself with loving kindness, and realize you are doing the best you can under the circumstances you are in.

Instead of focusing on the things which aren't getting done, I have been focusing on the things which I did get done. Which are always less than I wanted to, but even baby steps can take you a long way if you make enough of them. It makes an amazing difference to pat myself on the back for what I did do as opposed to yelling at myself for what I didn't get done.

Not to mention that I don't think it would be good for my kids to have a mother who is totally perfect. I feel it is important for them to see that I sometimes do screw up, or drop some of my juggling balls. I want my kids to see how to deal with imperfection, since they might have to deal with it some day too. I want them to realize that loving kindness is important and acceptable, even if deep down we sometimes believe that we aren't to be loved. So easy to only see the things we did wrong, so much harder to love oneself.

Hmmmm, I am rambling, but it's my blog, so I can ramble all I want. Instead of apologizing for the rambling, I'll ask you to show loving kindness towards yourself, and I will be happy with myself for finally writing this post.

Go in peace, friends.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Twenty Five Caches in Twenty Four Hours!

Just came back from a great weekend, filled with geocaches. Well, almost a weekend, it was more like a fast and furious twenty four hours. And the best thing? I went caching in Canada!

Almost two years ago, we tried to find some Canadian caches. That trip was wholly unsuccessful. This time we did better.

I used my American passport for the very first time! It worked beautifully. It felt so good to just nonchalantly hand over my very own American passport. Still feels a bit surreal though.

On the way back, we didn't quite want to explain geocaching, so we went for a simple 'sightseeing' as what had brought us to Canada. Looking back, maybe not many people go sightseeing at 2am, which got us into this situation at the border:

Border guy 'What brought you to Canada'
Friend 'We were sight seeing'
BG 'Did you buy anything , or give something to anyone?'
Friend 'No'
BG 'So how long did you stay in Canada?'
Friend 'Not very long, we didn't enter till 4 or 5pm.'
BG wondered about our sanity, sightseeing in the dark, and was sure we must have something to hide, so he asked to open the trunk. He opened some of the bags in the back, but couldn't find what he was looking for, so fished a bit more.
'You gals were restless and decided to drive around Canada for a few hours?'
We, nodding and looking innocent 'Yes, restless we were!'
Reluctantly, he gave up on us and let us get back into the States.

In Canada, we didn't have much caching information, and it got dark soon, and it was cold, but we managed to find ten Canadian caches. Not bad at all!

One cemetery had barbed wire around it, a bit surprising. Is it to keep the inhabitants in? Is it to keep the animals out?

We found an old rickety bridge and the remains of an even older one.
We visited a beautiful cemetery next to a church.
We searched for a long time for a cache at 'l`arbre sur la roche' and couldn't find the darned thing.
We found ourselves in the middle of tens of 'ecolier' buses.
We had more DNF (Did Not Finds) than we would like to admit, but we can blame the darkness and the Canadian cache hides, right?
We stopped at many 'Arret!' signs and enjoyed trying to interpret some Canadian signs 'Don't drive your fourwheeler over our snow mobiles!'
We drove through more saintly streets than I ever see here in the US. Many holy people Canada must have!

Today we went to a geocaching event in Vermont and met old and new friends.
We introduced new geocachers to the game.
We found too many boring guard rail caches, but it did boost our numbers.
We drove on dirt roads for which the label 'road' seemed a misnomer.
We started the day with two DNFs, which is the best way to get them out of the way all at once, no?

Such a great weekend, and I came back to more painting done by the kids and my friend. Life is good!

Poet Meets Roomba

'Woohoo, a new toy!'

'It is MOVING! And makes scary sounds.'

'I'll attack it! I'll crush it with my mighty jaws! I'll bark at it and make it feel sorry it dared to enter the house! Don't worry, I'll protect you guys, just sit and watch me take care of it!'

'Awwww, I wanted to play with it some more!'

Monday, October 06, 2008


This year's pear harvest. Not very impressive, but hey, we got some ^^

We had some apples, and many many plums. This was our first plum year. Next year I will know that they are ripe around early September. This year it was hard to figure out when we could start eating them.

I love having our own fruit trees!

He is Just Too Darned Cute!

Poet is amazingly well behaved for such a young dog. Even Sylvia can get him to sit, although maybe it has to do with the reward he gets afterwards.

He is very eager to please.

He loves going out on walks. Between the kids, he gets many walks. Of course, it is not snowing yet ^^

And he is getting used to children, here is a good socializing moment.