Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trying Something New

Based on my theory that something forbidden gains extra mystery and wonder, I decided to let the kids Trick or Treat this year. I really hate Halloween. However, I love costumes and candy, and so do little kids. Obviously a problem. Thankfully, our tiny little town is a very safe place to live, and the people here are great. Not a single house we passed went out of their way to be scary or creepy in any way. We know everyone (or almost, anyway) and can tell you who their relatives are and most of their life story. If there's anywhere that it's safe to Trick or Treat, this would be the place.

Needless to say, the kids loved it. Their country cousins came to join us, and they went around a few blocks near our home. (Based on another theory, which is that if you make them walk the whole time, they get tired more quickly. Shorter time equals less candy.) My sister-in-law and I walked around with them the entire time, and it was just enough of a success that the kids enjoyed themselves, but not so much that they'll be obsessing about it all year. Perfect.

Jaida is a southern Belle, and Addy is a fairy princess. Little Jack is too busy flying around saving the world to make into many pictures. (He's Superman.)

Here's Zaya in his costume. In case you can't tell, and surely everyone can, right? right? he is Luke Skywalker. He has his Mark Hamill hair going on right now, so I thought that would be perfect. He didn't argue, because what little geek doesn't want to be Luke Skywalker...even if their only contact with the Star Wars series is through the Lego game.

Mim wanted to be a cat. Not any specific cat, just "a cat". Well, ok. So mommy tried to come up with a cat costume. The ears were a loaner from our friend Ms Julie. Otherwise, we just improvised. She especially loved her tail, which will be visible in later photos.

Zaya led the charge to the houses while the girls followed more demurely (but only slightly) behind.

We went by Lisa (formerly Tina) and C'uncle M's (also known as Blondie) house. Yes, that's right, they share the same house now, because they recently got married. If I had remembered to take my camera to their wedding, I would have a post about that too. You'll just have to imagine it. (It was lovely.)

Mim was really working the tail in these pictures. We had to try so hard to stop laughing, because it really was hilarious, but she wouldn't have understood why. I did not know my daughter had those kinds of moves.

At some point in the evening, Mim began losing her black spots. (She should have four on her back.) One of them is visible in this picture. Can you spot it?

It must have been a Jedi mind trick.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brave New World

We are now the proud owners of a Tokay Gecko named Coyote. (in Spanish, so it's pronounced more like coy-o-tay) Zaya's hermit crabs died last month, and I had promised him that when the hermit crabs died, he could get a different pet. I talked him out of the snake, and the tarantula, but then he decided he wanted a lizard, and there was no convincing him otherwise. So, a lizard it is. (It looks just like the one in the picture, but that's not ours.)

The tricky part-

1. Geckos only eat live crickets (and other small, soft-shelled insects). The crickets have to be "gut-loaded", which means fed a super-diet of nutritious cricket food. The crickets have be dusted in calcium powder before the Gecko eats them.

2. Geckos need their vivarium to be at a fairly high temperature, so there should be a heat lamp going at all times. Heat lamps make me nervous. His cage has to stay at a fairly high humidity level too. He should have lots of live plants and large sticks to climb on. (Although ours just seems to hang out on the glass all day.)

3. The Tokay Gecko is called "the pit-bull of the gecko world" for its aggressive nature and ferocious bite. It should not be handled. Once it bites, it doesn't want to let go. Or so we've heard.

So why did we get a Tokay Gecko? Well, first, I foolishly made a promise to my son, thinking his hermit crabs were going to defy the laws of nature and live forever. Second, the other lizards were at least $50 more than the Gecko. Third, I had no idea how complicated it would be. But mostly I blame Geico.

So now we're on the lookout for a bigger terrarium, a good source of live crickets and a super-safe, kid-friendly heat lamp with a low-light night option.

At least it's not a tarantula.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Working Things Through

I promise we're all still here. I don't know what's happened to my blogging motivation. It just seems like there's nothing to say once I sit down to the computer. Oh, things are happening, but I have trouble believing that they would interest anyone. Life is busy and stressful, but in a good way.

School is going well for the kids. We recently had parent teacher conferences, and everything is progressing as it should, I guess. I love the school that they are going to right now, but we've been talking a lot about what we'll do next year. We're seriously considering homeschool for a while. Even here, I don't feel like I can explain myself, and I know a lot of people would tell me I don't have to, so I won't. Suffice it to say, that it would really just work for us right now in many different ways. We'll continue to support the little Christian school that they're in right now, because I believe very strongly in what they're doing, and they are awesome people.

Every day, though, when I leave the house at 7:30 (late again) and get home at 4 (after having driven all over and done a kajillion things) I think, "Hmmm. Home. Just us." And the thought feels like a cup of warm milk to a midnight insomniac. I don't know what all might happen between now and next summer, but as of October the 26th, 2010, that is my plan for the next school year.

Here are a couple of pictures from this last week. Mim is drawing something on her board, and the first two pictures were cute and smiley. This is the look I get when she's had quite enough of the camera and would just like me to mind my own business for a while.

I recently bought a new game for the kids from thinkgeek. It's called Aba-conundrums, and is a series of puzzles to use with an abacus. It's teaching them how to use the abacus and some basic logic skills. Here's Zaya working on a puzzle.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Crackle, Crackle

We're getting excited about firing up the wood stove for the first time. We haven't yet, of course, but nights are getting very, very cold. Well, ok, sort of cold. Coldish. Cool, if you will.

You have to understand that our house stays at about 80 degrees throughout the summer. It might be 77 or 78 in the early morning, and 82 in the afternoon. So waking up to 67 in the morning, feels downright chilly.

I'm sure I'll be tired of hauling wood around from the backyard within a few weeks, but for now, I'm looking forward to having a warm place to stand and try to coax circulation back into my fingers.

Mim, on the other hand, still sleeps with her fan on, and last night she opened her window so she could have "a little cool air". I know she's my child, but sometimes I wonder...