Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's all fun and games until someone pokes their eye out

One of the best things about teaching preschool is that I have the same holidays as my kids. Christmas break is still in full swing around here. It is two in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas. I haven't taken a shower in two days. I have no intention of leaving my house anytime soon. I'm feeling quite lazy, although, in my defense, I did finish sanding and staining our end tables and painting my thrift store lamps (they are a.w.e.s.o.m.e, if I do say so myself). And after I write this post I'm off to hit the showers, because now that I just wrote that I feel like a grody slob.

So, now that I'm done over-sharing I'd like to tell you about our little excursion to the reindeer farm. My parents were here for Christmas so we went around doing things that normally we would never do like bowling, going up to Hatcher's Pass for hot cocoa in a little Swiss chalet looking restaurant, and going to see Santa and feed the reindeer at the Reindeer Farm in Palmer.

The setting for this place is absolutely amazing. We drove down snow covered tree lined roads to get there, and then we get to enjoy the backdrop of the mountains once we arrive. If I could pick the a spot to plunk down a house, this would be it.

They have all kinds of animals at the farm, not just reindeer. There are horses, now fluffy with their winter coats.

This is Bruce the Moose. He just lost one of his antlers and he'll shed the other one soon.

They also have Santa. He wandered around the farm taking pictures with children, feeding the reindeer, and going on hayrides with the other patrons. Right after I took this picture Princess Blondie ran back and gave Santa a great big hug and I missed that once in a lifetime photo opportunity. Grr...

Then we were off to the pen to feed the reindeer. Did I mention that they have the best views in town? Just look at those mountians. Now do a full 360 and picture mountains everywhere you look and you will understand what it looks like there. Except that part the view is blocked by the butte. But if you would climb the butte, and do a full 360, this is pretty much what you would see all around. 

The reindeer will eat right out of your hand.  It is quite an experience to see a herd of reindeer walking up to you looking for food. They know that kids mean one thing--snack time. 

The tendons in the reindeers' legs don't allow them to kick back or to the side, so they are perfectly safe to be around.

The only thing you have to be watch out for are the antlers. They'll poke your eye out! Princess Blondie used her ninja-like reflexes (she got those from me) to dodge the antlers and kept her eyes intact.

Santa let the kids sit in his sleigh.

And then we went for a hay ride. On the right is a field full of reindeer, and on the left is a field full of elk. One bull elk for a field full of females. Many may think he is a lucky son of a gun, but I think all that time with women is beginning to get to him. He was spinning around in circles and then charging across the field when we drove by. I imagine he is ready for a little peace and quiet. 

As we were leaving I saw the harnesses hanging up in the barn.  It all seemed so real. It's almost enough to make a believer out of me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

There's one in every family...

My parents are visiting for Christmas so it's been a while since I've been on here. I hope to catch up soon. Until then I leave you with this shot.

I hope you have all been having as much fun with your crazy families this holiday season as I have been having with mine. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What about Bob?

Meet Bob, the newest member of our family.  Bob was the name chosen by my husband, agreed upon by me, and we finally convinced the kids that it was better than Larry or Spike. Although I have to say, I kind of think he could pull off Larry. I love people names for dogs. It really highlights their human qualities.

We got Bob from the local shelter. He's about a year and a half old and is a lab mix. 
Here's what we've learned about Bob so far: 
1. He makes Stinky Beagle look positively short and squat and very, very round. Princess Blondie said it looks like Stinky Beagle shrunk like she was in the washing machine for too long. Bob and Stinky Beagle are complete opposites personality-wise as well. Bob: playful, outgoing, friendly, energetic. Stinky Beagle: timid, shy, cautious,  lethargic. 
2. Bob is potty trained. For this reason alone, Bob is awesome. 
3. Bob comes when you call him. He hardly barks. He goes where you point. He sits, shakes, sort of lies down and almost stays when you tell him too. Yet another way he is the complete opposite of Stinky Beagle. I'm beginning to wonder if she is a cat trapped in beagle's body.
4. Bob is an attention hog and gets jealous anytime you pet Stinky Beagle. He barges his way in between us and her. He needs to learn some manners. 
5. He and Stinky Beagle fight over food. They really need to learn to take turns. Or I just need to buy another dish. They are not so good at sharing. 
6. Bob thinks he is a giant lap dog. He crawls in on your lap when your sitting on the couch. Especially if Stinky Beagle happens to be sitting next to you. Refer back to number 4.

7. Bob is not terribly modest. I'm not used to having a boy dog around with all of their boy parts flopping about. I guess I'll get used to it.
8. Bob is the only one who gets to use his real name on this blog, because really, I have nothing more clever to call him. What could possibly be better than Bob?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The one about the Christmas musical

Oh children's Christmas programs, how I love thee. There is nothing funnier or more sweet than watching a bunch of kids in a Christmas program. Sonny Boy had his last night and it did not disappoint. I had a few good laughs during the show, but this morning when I looked at the pictures I found some really great stuff and  I've been giggling to myself since. I'm glad it's just me and the dog at home. Stinky Beagle doesn't care if I just sit here and laugh to myself. She's too busy sleeping 23 hours a day to care.

First up, the kids all enter and start looking for their parents. 
Aaaaand, he found us.

 Then my next big goal is to get a shot of Sonny Boy when he's really singing his heart out. You have to be quick though, because usually he is trying to look cool, and cool seven (almost eight) year olds can sing and do some of the motions, but not get really into it. 

 Here he's still got that 'yeah, I'm singing but I'm still cool' face on.

 I was trying to get some pictures of Sonny Boy's fellow scout friends because I saw their parents sitting on the opposite corner of the gym in the back. I managed to get a few. Lord knows these pictures will never leave my camera and actually make it to them, but at least I made, the effort, right? It's the thought that counts and all that jazz? Anyway, that's not my point here because I don't know who that kid in the plaid shirt is, I was aiming for someone else, but I want him. Look at those cheeks! I just want to kiss them. He's like a cuddly little teddy bear.

And the pictures just get better from here. You may think that Sonny Boy is really singing his heart out here, or that perhaps he is trying to attack the kid in front of him, but he is actually mid yawn. Yawning while in the middle of the song. My kids sleep 11 or so hours a night, so I don't know why he is so exhausted that he needs to yawn mid song.  I also did not fix the red eyes in this photo because I thought it made them all look like zombies. And I guess I just thought that was funny.... It's funnier when the picture is bigger. Feel free to move on. 

 At this point I direct your attention to the boy directly below Sonny Boy. His face is awesome. Now this is a kid who doesn't care how cool he looks. He is excited about Monty the Flying Moose.

And for the grand finale, all the kids looking like they are saluting Hitler. Their arms are supposed to be flying reindeer, but come on, am I the only one who sees this? Someone needs to have some sort of kids program summit where they can find a solution to the Hitler salute that shows up in all sorts of children's musicals.  There is some choreography that just needs to be banned. Hitler really ruined it for everybody. Jerk.

Princess Blondie's kindergarten Christmas program is next week. I'm am really looking forward to it. The younger the kids, the better the antics. My Christmas will not be complete until there is one kid who scream-sings louder than all the others and a little girl pulls her dress up and shows everyone her underwear. As long as it's not my girl.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Long winter nights = me being lazy

I sit here this morning drinking my coffee black, waiting for the sun to rise. It is 9:23 am. The sky is beginning to lighten, but no sun yet. I doubt that I will actually get to see it today, as it appears it is going to be cloudy, but it's not quite light enough for me to tell yet.

Yesterday the school bus had its headlights on at 4:00 when it drove up the hill to drop my kids off. This time of year they leave for school well before the sun comes up and come home just in time for the sunset. Luckily, they really have no qualms about playing outside in the dark. How can you be afraid of the dark when there are cheerful Christmas lights wrapped around houses, trees, and bushes? They suck all the fear out of the night.  We have almost made it to the shortest day of the year, December 21st. My parents will be arriving that day to spend Christmas with us. It's the perfect day to arrive, because with Gramma and Grampa here no one will care how short our days are.

One good thing about the short days? I'm actually up to enjoy the sunrise. One of these days my camera and I are going to take a trip to the hay flats to watch the sun come up. That's a much easier thought to stomach when I know I don't have to be there until at least 9:00 am.

For now, Stinky Beagle and I are going to stay inside where it is nice and warm and watch the sunrise from my window.