Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stained Glass

Here's my latest project...stained glass art. I'm teaching my students how to do this, as well. I'll try to get a picture of it in the window when it's done.

And here's Mr. Ichabod...aka...IchaBAD watching me work at the computer. He's so helpful. I don't know how we ever got anything done without him :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Frogs and Fish

It's that time of year. We started frog dissections today. These kids did a thousand times better than last year's group. No gagging, puking, shrieking or acting dumb. They had fun but got down to business pretty quickly.

This might be my favorite thing I've heard or seen all year. Everybody knows how important the outdoors is to us Yoopers and how important trout fishing is to this Yooper family, specifically. It's like a rite of passage - going trout fishing for the first time, getting your first pole, your first pair of waders. Learning where to put the pop so it stays cold, learning what to wear so you don't scare away the fish, how to hold your line, recognizing the pull at the other end that indicates you have a bite...
My mom knows more about fishing than just about anyone but it is my dad who taught me about trout fishing. Our dads pass on their secrets and show us where the hidden fishing spots are. They are the ones who patiently wait while we untangle our line for the 50th time or snag a tree or fall in the clump grass or step in a hole and swamp our waders. So when I saw these pictures of my cousin Jake taking little Axel fishing for the first time I was so proud of him. Trout fishing was a huge part of Joey's life; it was something he shared with his dad and with Jake; with his uncles and cousins. He was starting to teach Jeb the ropes as well. The big ol' extended family would go out for the day and then gather in the evening to share their catch and tell their fish stories. I know it has been heavy on Jake's heart that his brother isn't here to teach these things to his son. I know he wants to make sure Axel learns everything he would have had Joey lived. It is a big responsibility for a little brother to shoulder but he has stepped up in a huge way. I couldn't narrow down the pictures because I loved them all so much. I loved seeing our little boy perched on a dead tree while Uncle ties a hook on the line. I loved seeing Jake making sure Axel was situated in the tree before getting too far away. I loved the traditional pose of boy on man's shoulder...of little boy walking through the burnt moss - I can imagine him being intrigued by the sound of crunching under his feet. I loved the picture of Axel looking up at his uncle, knowing there is trust and admiration in that little face as he imitates what he sees. I loved the boyish happiness upon discovering a turtle and the way Jake let Axel work up his nerve to get close enough to touch it. The blue lips in the backseat from his Superman ice cream cone after a long day on the stream was so cute...and then there is the last one. I get teary everytime I look at it. I just love it. Love. Jacob, rough and gruff, holding his nephew close when he was too tired to walk back to the car. I'm so proud of Jake. He makes me want to step up, stretch more.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Boy

I love the McCarty kids. They are part mine. I love babysitting them, playing with them, watching them grow, seeing the new things they've learned, kissing their cheeks, tucking them in at night, saying their prayers, singing with them, spoiling them, and loving them. Last year I took Baby Girl to the zoo for some one-on-one time with Tee. Today, I took Baby Boy. We had so much fun. We got a late start because it was raining and I was waiting to see if it would clear up. It did. I'm so glad we went. It was sunny but not HOT. It stayed in the high 60s most of the time we were there. We didn't cover a lot of ground because Baby Boy was fascinated with each stop and it took some cajoling to go to a new place. He loved the petting zoo. He wanted to pet the sheep but they were in their "safe place" away from outstretched hands so we went to the goats instead. He had to pet each and every one. He didn't want to leave until he had given them all his undivided attention. 

This boy is fascinated with balls. It is pretty much the only word that comes out of his mouth. We would go to exhibits and I would say, "Look Bubba, a monkey!" He would say, "Ball!" Sure enough, there was a ball in the pen for the animal to play with. We stopped at a pig pen. I said, "Look Bubba, a pig!" He said, "Ball." I said, "No, there's no ball in the pig pen." He said, "Ball." Sure enough...upon closer inspection, guess what was there? He doesn't miss a thing.

When I took Baby Girl to the zoo, she loved the carousel. Baby Boy wanted nothing to do with it. He puckered up his little face and shook his head no so we went to the zoo store instead and bought him a lion. On our way home we stopped at Jack-in-the-Box and shared a chicken nugget meal. Once we were back in the car we sang Baa, Baa Black Sheep and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. I taught him to sing opera and he would match me note for note. We also made fish lips at each other in the rearview mirror and laughed and laughed. Guess what else? He is finally saying Tee! He's always known who I was. If I asked him, "Where's Tee?" he would point at me but today, after lots of fun, he was saying it in the car. Little goober. He was determined to do it on his own terms.

Here are some pictures from our day together:

 My favorite picture in the history of EVER!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Belated Bloedel Birthday

Okay, I went through about sixty pictures -- so I really did narrow them down. Still, there's about 20 to look at. This is mostly for you, Mom and Dad. Wish you were here.

On our way...via ferry

The gatehouse entrance

Walking through the meadow...Little House on the Prairie?

Mirror Reflection

Look at the size of this leaf...
Temperate Rain Forest

The Mansion

Indie saying hi to JP from one end of the reflecting pool

JP saying hi back

The visit...Summer 2014
**We are going to visit at least once each season to see the different types of plants and flowers.