$1.50 at DI

One of my greatest accomplishments for this week: buying tinker toys at the DI for $1.50. 



We sure are enjoying the Olympics over here. There has been a lot of figure skating (we need a break), and skiing, and watching the snowboarding was whoa! These people make it look oh so easy. Ollie and Ansel along with cousins and friends have made Olympic and country flags to parade down our street on skateboards, bikes, and scooters. The magic of the Olympics is something. And Korea is doing a great job with hosting. And that drone show during the Opening Ceremonies!?! Jess and I were like, “we are living in the future!”

When I see these people who have put so much time into something, it gives me the extra push I need to do something myself. Does the Olympics do that to you? 

And p.s., did you hear about the Cinderella Law that the Koreas put in place in 2011? It’s a law that restricts youth from gaming from midnight to 6am. Oh man! There is such a problem with gaming addiction that this is a law? And how do they enforce it? I worry a lot about the overuse of technology.  But to hear about this was shocking!


Counting the birds

We have a good friend in the neighborhood who is a legit birder. She goes on trips to watch and photograph birds. She's on the board of the Great Salt Lake Audobon chapter. She has several sets of binoculars and a scope. And she's one of the nicest people around. Recently, she's taken Ollie under her wing, along with a couple of other kids who like birds. As a result, Oliver has learned a bunch about birds. And so have I! Latest year we had the opportunity to go on the Christmas Bird Count activity. 

We counted birds in a specific area of Salt Lake County and then reported them to the group who will then report them to the chapter who then gives the numbers to the national organization and hopefully that gives us an idea of what the bird population is up to. We spend several hours in the cold and snow looking and counting birds.

We had the opportunity to spot several birds. Of course we saw California gulls and Canada geese by the hundreds, but we also saw a Kingfisher, a bald eagle, a red-tailed hawk, a Great blue falcon, a pie-billed Grebe, American coots, and many ducks including the pintail, the ruddy, the shoveler, the bufflehead, the golden eye (Common and Barrow), the green winged teal, the gadwall and this Hooded Merganser. This photo is courtesy of our friend. 

There was a dinner that evening with the Audobon chapter and it was really neat. Ollie and his two birding buddies were the only kids there. Oh, and Ansel. He didn't get to go on the count. And even though his attention span for looking at birds dwindles after 4 minutes, he couldn't bare to miss something that Oliver was doing and so he got to come. The kids' favorite part of the night was the sparkling cranberry juice and raffle. They each came home with prizes. 

I stink at recalling the birds.  I can spot a moving, flying creature from very far away (thank you contacts!), but my best guesses always tend to be wrong. Still, I try. And truth be told, I was reading the bird guide Ansel received at the raffle the other day, and hopefully someday in the future I can point and say, "hey, there's a Clark's Grebe!" And be right. 


And he’s five

Ansel is five and I just can’t believe it! This kid was so excited for his birthday. He counted down the days. 

It sure is fun to have a kid whose birthday is in February because it brings lots of excitement to the month. Poor Ollie’s Birthday is in May, Jess’s is in June, and Ian’s in August; we usually have so much stuff going on around those times I scarcely have time to make a cake. But February. This is the month to be born. It’s like March. It’s great to be born on a month when hardly anything is going on. Sorry Valentine’s and St Patrick’s Day.

Ansel asked for three things for his birthday: gum, a Hot Wheels car, and a birthday party. We have a rule around this household that birthday parties start at age six. I told him this. And he kept asking me. And one night I was telling Jess and he was like, “just throw the kid a party.” I relented. I can’t believe I did. 

Soon Ansel was sorting out the list of invitees, calling them invitations, and storing them in the bullion envelope from the Ramen he had for lunch.

After explaing that an invitation has to contain more information than solely a name, we made real invitations and handed them out on a walk one afternoon. 

Then came the day of the party. There was a ninja theme and the kids were eating it up. Thankfully they are all masked for this shot so I feel like I can include it. 

The best part was the piƱata. It was mayhem, but good mayhem.  At one point the head of the bull fell right off leaving the body full of candy. So I tied the thing back up and the kids had a heck of a time making it burst. It was even better than all the ninja activities I’d planned out. 

The whole thing ended up being a good time. Fortunately, I’m slowing getting the hang of hosting without feeling stressed. Baby steps people but steps nonetheless.

Happy birthday to this kid. I love him lots and lots.