Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Amazing Blueberry Eating Canine

This is the time of the year that we spend a lot of time picking blueberries,, enjoying the abundance of them on our blueberry bushes. Sylvia and I like to go out in the morning and eat blueberries for breakfast, right from the bushes.


Guess what we witnessed a few days ago? Brady joined us and calmly walked up to the bushes. He sniffed to make sure he got a ripe and juicy one and proceeded to carefully pick it off the bush and joyfully munched it.

First time ever I have seen a dog pick his own blueberries!
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Young Grasshopper

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fifth of July

After the fireworks got canceled on the 4th of July we got another chance a day later.


The day was spent playing board games. I think this one took like four or five hours?


But finally it was night time and we headed over to the fireworks location. We still weren't sure whether it would actually happen, since there was quite some rain just before we arrived.


Being optimists, we got our blankets and food out anyway, since at least we could be comfortable while waiting for the thunder storm fireworks to start.


We ate and we talked and we had fun and hoped for the best.


We kept looking at the sky which didn't help much since it looked like thunder storms.


But not only thunder storms. There also was a glorious rainbow. By now I felt that even if the fireworks wouldn't happen, we had had a great time hanging out with family and friends anyway, so who would care.


But the fireworks did happen and were quite spectacular!


What a wonderful time we had!

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Airport Day

Another year, another airport day. I had only two of the kids fly this time. They had an awesome time though! It is so nice for kids to be able to experience this.


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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monkey Bread

Many years ago a good friend taught me how to make monkey bread. It involves bread and butter and sugar, so it tastes really good. We used to eat it pretty regularly.

But then for some reason we stopped eating it and recently I found out that the younger kids didn't even remember the monkey bread or anything about it at all! Time to fix that!


We used a different recipe, which called for baking in a tube pan and I have discovered that that does not work with our tube pans / oven because all the butter and sugar and some bread bubbled out and led to some interesting results... involving the smoke alarm and quite a lot of oven cleanup.

Next time I am just going to use a normal baking pan again!

Happy that my younger kids now know about monkey bread! You know, cultural literacy and such.
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Monday, July 08, 2013

We Got CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After many years of dreaming about chickens, many years of drooling over way overpriced chicken coops, many years of talking myself out of it, and a few weeks of ticks overtaking the backyard I have decided to go for it.

Yes, time for backyard chickens!


Everyone chose their own pet chicken. We had a friend who needed a good home for some of her chickens, so it all worked out perfectly.


Another friend built the chicken coop out of pallets.


Now we are the proud keepers of backyard chickens!


Looking forward to making then part of our composting cycle.


To use them for organic pest control.


And to enjoy their eggs. Some white, some blue and some brown.


We ended up with a Spitzhouben, a Blue Cochin, a Barred Rock, a Chocolate Wyandotte Bantam mix, and three Americaunas.


And with many less ticks in our backyard once they can leave their coop!

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Five years ago I became an American citizen!
This year we celebrated by having friends over and spending the day playing board games.

We had a great time and after the games we went to our local fireworks. After picking up some extra kids that was. And did I mention that it started raining? And thundering? And lightning?

Most people left the fireworks place, but we got ourselves in just in time to wait there for at least an hour till we were thoroughly wet, and THEN they canceled. We still had a good time anyway, hanging out with friends and eating water melon and cherries and chips.

We are going to try again tonight. The prediction says 'You might or might not get a severe thunder storm' so who knows...

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July too!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Brain Bee!

This year was the first time that we had a local Brain Bee (a kind of trivia contest about neuroscience). It was open to all local high school students. Jane signed up.


I was impressed with how much support the competitors got, they had neuroscience students run study sessions with the high schoolers to help them prepare for this Brain Bee.


Finally it was the Saturday of the Brain Bee and I dropped her off at her high school so she could take the bus together with the other competitors of her school.

First they had a written test (not multiple choice to Jane's disappointment ^^)
Then they had neuroanatomy questions where they had to figure out what is what in a brain model.
In between they got to see and hold! real brains, sheep and human! How cool is that?


Last there was a diagnosis section where there were a doctor and a patient. The patient would describe his symptoms while the doctor would tell what the treatment would be. The participants had to write down what they thought the diagnosis for the patient was.


Time to count the scores and announce the finalists. Jane was one of the five finalists so that was pretty cool!


The finalist got to compete in a trivia / spelling bee format where they would be kicked out when they answered too many questions wrong.

Jane was one of the last three standing! The suspense, it was killing me!


She won!

Now she can compete in the National Brain Bee in March next year. So proud of my smart girl!


More photos and an article.
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