First day of school!

Wahoo!  School is in session!

Now I've got some work to do...


Escaping Caterpillars

The kids put a bunch of caterpillars in a shoe box last night.  They punched air holes in the top and meticulously plugged every gap they could with napkins and tape.

Today, they opened the box, and I saw...nothing.

"Where are the caterpillars"

"They got out"

"(gulp) All of them?"

"mmmm yeah I think one small one is still in here somewhere..."

So I decided to go out and get a butterfly house - everything is enclosed, with netting and zippers.

As of this moment, I have not found any of the caterpillars.  Either the dog ate them, or they are still at large.  Either way, yuck.

Horse Lessons

horse1 Perhaps like all nine year old girls, Annelis loves horses.  She constantly reads about them, draws them, and has tons of horse toys.  For her birthday, we signed her up for some riding lessons at Foxridge Farms.  This is a great facility located on Skyline Blvd, just a few miles from our house. 

Not only is she learning to ride, but also how to take care of a horse.  She brushes it, cleans hooves, saddles it up, guides it along...lots of cool stuff.  Today, she rode a white pony.  Towards the end, she was riding it bareback and practicing running dismounts (getting off while the horse was still moving).  She loves it. 



Annelis, Mette and (neighbor/buddy) Violet have been busy gathering caterpillars. 

Seriously, I think we must have at least 50 of them in a butterfly house. 

They only seem to eat one sort of weed/plant, and we're running out of it on our property.  I picked some on the side of Skyline road on my way home from a bike ride today.  The kids were thrilled.

These things eat a LOT.  Every morning, the plants are stripped down to bare stems.  The amount of caterpillar poop they clean out is impressive.

The girls are hoping they all make cocoons soon.  I am hoping the same thing, so I can get rid of them.

Cinnamon Rolls

I usually make a lot of pizza Friday night.  We have a good time, and the kids stay up late. 

Saturday morning, everyone sleeps in except those who don't sleep very much, namely me.  So I've been following up Friday night pizza with Saturday morning cinnamon rolls (I use left-over pizza dough).  The smell coming out of the kitchen is fantastic.  I'm hoping it'll be a warm memory for my kids for the rest of their lives...when Dad would make cinnamon rolls.


Bug Catching

At our camping trip this weekend, the big activity for the 7 and under girl crowd was bug catching.

It started first thing in the morning, at the bathroom building.  A big light there would attract about one hundred moths each night.  My job was to lift the kids up so they could catch the moths on the celing, and put them in the bug holder.

Once all the moths were either captured or chased away, the kids moved on to "calipiters."  Big ones, little ones, whatever they could find.

When darkness came again, it was back to moth hunting.  Nothing could stop them, not even s'mores.  Very surprising, but true.


 DSC_0467 DSC_0476



Mette went camping with her friend Violet on Wednesday, and she's coming back today.  Julie and Patty have been sending me updates along the way.  My favorite one so far:

Mette's quote of the day:

These pancakes taste like popcorn, and I don't like popcorn.

Annelis is kind of enjoying her time alone with us.  We stayed up late last night dancing to Saturday Night Fever.

More Pool House Destruction

This morning, we picked up where we left off yesterday.  We started with this:


And had it knocked down in a couple hours:


A lot of it fell into the pool itself:


...So we spent the rest of the day tearing things apart and throwing it in the dumpster.  We ran out of room, so we'll have to get another one soon.  Regardless, it looks better now:


And yup, don't know if anyone noticed, but It was hot out there again...

Pool House Coming Down

poolhouse1We had another dumpster delivered on Friday, this one jumbo sized.  I could park our mini-van in that thing.  The weekend plan: tear down the pool house!  It was long overdue. 

The pool house, a horribly nasty shack adjacent to our horribly nasty pool, was not safe.  The floors were rotten, and it was full of all kinds of junk.  It had to go.

Step one was to clear out the inside.  There were plenty of gems in there, but the best find has to have been this:


Under a tarp, we found 30 (yes, 30) containers of 20 year old muratic acid.  What in the hell am I going to do with this?  Metro's toxic waste disposal only takes a limited number, so it will take a while.  Anyone want some acid?  ;)

Once the junk was cleared out, things started coming down.  The inside walls were partially covered with cedar paneling, and in very good shape.  We are going to try to recycle that wood in some way, maybe lining closets with it or something.  The other walls were full of squirrel nests and huge spiders.  As it turns out, these are not very fun to find when doing demolition. 

The highlight of my day:  Holding a 4x8 sheet of plywood and falling through a rotten deck board.  It just doesn't get any better than that.

We got pretty far today, but we're not done yet.  At the end of day one, the pool house is empty.  The roof and walls are gone, inside and out.  All that remains is the framework, soon to be just an unpleasant memory.

Here's a before shot:


And after:


Also, I don't know if anyone noticed, but it was really hot out there today.  108?  What???

The wrath of the pen, Mette style

My girls (Annelis and Mette) got into a little argument last night.  Mette decided to record her feelings on a white board.  For those who don't read kindergarten writing, it says:

Saturday, June 21, 2008
Annelis hurt my feelings by saying you are the rudest sister in the world

Also note the depiction of Annelis, green skin and all.  This is my favorite part.


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