Monday, July 28, 2008

Splashing in the Creek

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At the side of the creek

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Awyn's turn!

Awyn got to hold the wheel for a bit too. Can you tell I didn't get her covered in a second coat of sunscreen in time? Her nose is now peeling.
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Driving the boat

George let Sam and Awyn have turns at driving the boat. It was fun to spend time with friends, and we're really glad they came. The tour on the lake was excellent.
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NPS's finest gov't transportation

Eric got to ride the train from Pauls Valley to Ardmore to audit the trails on rails program. He said they had a great time.
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Monday, July 14, 2008


Yes, I freely admit, part of the thrill of leaving Big Bend National Park was the idea that we'd be done with blood-sucking assassin bugs. I thought perhaps we'd be bringing a few with us in our bedding, especially as there are many tears in the box-spring for the bed that is now Awyn's. My fears have been confirmed; yesterday I caught a cone-nose in Awyn's room. I saved it in a baggy, but I don't think it survived, as it's no longer wiggling legs when prodded. Now I'm pondering ways to get rid of any progeny that might have moved with us. I thought about taking a picture of my bug in a bag, but I may just use stock footage that I've saved from others. Then again, a picture of a nasty little black bug that sucks blood and is known to be a vector for Chagas disease might slow down the proposed visits from relatives. It's the sort of bug that most people would look at and simply know was something to be squashed. I've done a little web-research to find out what kinds of assasin bugs might be found in Oklahoma, and yes, there are a few varieties that are apparently somewhat less noxious or possibly even desirable (shudder) to have, but the variety that moved with us is NOT welcome in my home no matter what else it might hunt.

I'll post a link to a great website for those of you who like to look up bugs on the internets.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hamming for the Camera

Yes, they're at that age, where posing for the camera is more common that candid shots, and both kids like to ham it up a bit. I took this picture this morning. They're in front of the crepe myrtle, a bush/tree that I'm thrilled to discover in the yard. Perhaps I'll plant more of them. I've had them in the yard in Arkansas, and I think they're very pretty.

Story Time

While we usually discourage any lingering around the top of the stairs, it's very convenient to the shelves of kids books between Sam and Awyn's bedrooms. They love being read to.
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Bike Riding Princess

Well, at least she was willing to exchange her tiara for a helmet. Both kids have a hard time riding on gravel, so I've been letting them practice on the porch. Awyn can go forward and backward. Sam's outgrown his bike, so it's hard to tell if he can't pedal, or he can't pedal.
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Thursday, July 03, 2008

We're Okies now!

It's official, we're finally Okies. Yesterday we got our OK drivers licenses and got plates for the jeep. For those of you paying attention, we already did the van about two weeks ago or so, as the first step in getting drivers licenses.

We also took Sam and Awyn to see WALL*E or however you type that. It was loved by both, Sam especially. Awyn sat on my lap, because she was scared the seat would close up on her. I think there were boosters available that prevent that, but I doubt she would have been willing to sit on one of those; she won't sit on one in a restaurant. Eric carefully explained to the kids both before and after the movie why it wasn't available on instant replay. I think Sam understood.

We've been keeping busy around the house. I've got flower planters going on the porch, and some herbs. I bought some tomato plants and strawberries. I'm not sure where I really want them; I should have bought a couple more planters. So I put them in the garden to keep safe with the idea of transplanting them to better locations - certainly I don't want the strawberries in the garden. There's a fence around the garden, and we've been trying to put the gate back up. To shorten this story up, I went out to water them this morning (and the carrots that haven't popped up - old seeds, not sure if they'll come up) and something has dug up two strawberry plants and one tomato plant. They've been plucked cleanly from their holes, root balls and all. Whatever it was went under the fence, or over - it did so with enough force to pull the barbed wire holding the top edge of the chicken wire down 2 feet, wire clips and all, and pull it up from the bottom. The chicken wire is torn, and I'll have to replace it. My mistake was in assuming that the wire was partially buried. It was not. So I'll have to see about getting some cinder blocks to go along the bottom of the fencing. The silly part is that the gate isn't in right, and whatever it was could have gone through the gate. There are possibilities as to what it was; armadillo, raccoon, wild hog, turtle (unlikeliest). My personal guess would be armadillo, but it's rather a lot of destruction, and usually they content themselves to digging little holes around the pecan trees.

We also took the kids to the doctor for their annual well-child check-ups. Sam's right in the middle of the road, Awyn's at around the 75th percentile. Both seem healthy. Sam only needed a varicella booster to be caught up for school in the fall. Awyn didn't get any shots this time; she'll get a few more when she turns 4. Sam cooperated with the doctor, Awyn was not as thrilled. She did open up and eventually let him listen to her heart, but there wasn't any way she was letting him look in her ears. He teased her about needing to see if there were bunnies in her ears, so now she's happily talking about the bunnies in her ears. She doesn't want the doctor to get them.

We're finding the internet dial-up to be incredibly frustrating. We don't know if we can afford to upgrade to satellite; we're still waiting to see how our monthly finances settle out. I don't have a job, and other than substitute teaching, there aren't any real prospects thus far. I'll apply with Pauls Valley, but again, there aren't that many openings in the state for assistant SLP's. The School of the Deaf only needs housemothers right now, Sulphur isn't interested because I'm not local, and Wynnewood can't afford to hire me as anything other than a sub. (and that only pays $45/day!) I could go work for Walmart, Braums, or some other Joe-job, but they don't pay enough to be worth putting Awyn in daycare, that is if I can find a daycare for her. I know there's a head-start in Sulphur, for low-income kids, and another for Chickasaws that does occasionally take 'minorities' in. At this point I think we can't afford the gas for me driving the kids to and from schools at 15 miles each way a few times a day, so Sam will take the bus to Wynnewood. Also, the Sulphur K classes are nearly as crowded as the Wynnewood classes, so it's not really that much 'better'.