Friday 30 April 2010

Cause and effect

One evening while Charles and I were at Corwin’s soccer practice waiting for him to finish, they started up a scrimmage. Another boy, Ema’s younger brother who is Charles’ age (and a long time soccer nemesis — they’ve never been on the same team) was asked to join in because he’s quite a good soccer practice. Charles came to me a few minutes later, nearly in tears, and asked “why didn’t they want me to play too?”. I pointed that perhaps, just maybe, it might have been because I had askd Charles on a previous occasion and he had responded by running away screaming. Charles just looked at me, said “Oh” in a tone of elightenment, and wandered off. I decided, wisely I think, to not speculate on what that might indicate about Charles’ mental processes.

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Thursday 29 April 2010

Mom gets better

Today is Mom’s birthday. What more can be said? She remains a beauty of the eye and mind, a true delight to her friends and a source of boundless love and appreciation for her children. I would post a picture of her but that would draw so much traffic the server might crash and Mom wouldn’t want that.

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Wednesday 28 April 2010

Mid-week soccer

Charles had a soccer game this evening instead of practice. It was a rescheduling of his first game, which was rained out.

It was a lovely day, just a little cool and a couple of clouds in the sky. The game was at 5:30 and despite this I had to force the boys along to get there on time. However, it was such a nice day that Mom came along with us so it was an entire family outing.

When I checked on the roster of the other team I thought Charles’ team was doomed. Ema’s younger brother was one of them along with several other kids I remember from previous seasons who are quite good.

However, the game started off not too badly. The other team scored a goal early on, which was scary, but Charles’ team actually did better at field control. The opposing score was on a hard run by just a couple of players. The field dominance of Charles’ team eventually ground through the opposing defense for two scores by half time. However those defenses were very stiff — the goalie in particular made a number of excellent saves throughout the half. The opponents managed to make runs over to Charles’ goal but these were generally turned back fairly quickly. They did take a few good shots but the odds favored Charles’ team. Things were fluid enough that it could easily gone the other way. There was a lot of excellent soccer, even some good passing.

The second half was also very good, kind of an inverse of the first half. The opponents came back energized (or Charles’ team started wearing out) and maintained more control over the field. It was only through desperate defense, excellent goalie saves, and a good dash of luck that the opponents didn’t score. The defense was very stiff and near the end started just kicking the ball out of bounds as fast as they could to burn time (I couldn’t find out from Charles if this was a coach inspired strategy).

Charles’ team scored one goal during that time on a single player run just to have a more complete turn about. This left the final score 3-1, although it was a game that could easily have been 1-3 with if a few breaks had gone the other way. It was a well played game and exciting right to the end.

Charles had part of a good game. He played the first quarter then was taken out for the second. While he was playing he was energetic and moved around on the field quite a bit, although the coach did yell at him for being out of position. Charles was sidelined for the second quarter and sent back in for the third. He was not nearly as active and told me he was “tired” although he had only played a single quarter. About half way through he took a hard ball to the forehead and had to be pulled out of the game. He didn’t recover until after the game when we walked over to Corwin’s practice and there was a tree he wanted to climb. All of his head ache and dizziness evaporated to that arboreal tonic and he was good to go.

I want to note that Levi’s younger brother Calvin had an truly awesome game. He was all over the field, pushing the offense and providing key support for the defense. He played all four quarters and played full out the whole time.

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Tuesday 27 April 2010

Imaginary friends

I have been meaning to write about Mr. Frappe Latte. This is a character Charles sort of invented, as it’s his version of one of the characters from his Christmas shirt. Charles likes to draw Mr. Frappe Latte. At one point he had made a cut out of him and used at the dinner table after “finger buddies were surpressed at the dinner table. Charles will also do the voice if the mood takes him.

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Monday 26 April 2010

Parallel entertainment

Ah, the jaded state of modern youth. Corwin is an excellent exemplar. He greatly enjoys playing his computer games, but sometimes they are not as instantly immersive as he might like. For this reason he fires up a second computer to play videos so that there are no moments when he is not being entertained by electronica. Of course, he doesn’t stop the video when his game is providing sufficient stimulation so he spends most of his time with both active. He’s just lucky that Alice doesn’t use her computer much.

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Sunday 25 April 2010

Happiness is …

For various reasons when I picked up Charles today there wasn’t room for him in the back of the van so he, for the first time, sat in the front seat (or as Mimi calls it, the “suicide seat”). This made him very nervous so I decided to ease his troubled mind by turning on the butt warmer. It kicked in before we arrived home and Charles was so happy that he actually sounded happy. “This is great! Oh my gosh, this is so awesome!” were a few of the descriptions he provided. I think I will keep this as a minute in which Charles was happy, for the next time he claims that he is never in that state.

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Saturday 24 April 2010

Soccer Report

Despite the rains, both Charles and Corwin had a soccer game on Saturday.

Charles’ game was first. Charles was much more energitic than I have seen him in previous games this year. He had one good solo drive which almost scored, although his final kick was lacking a little something in speed when it reached the goal.

The first three quarters were quite good. There was a lot of good soccer and back and forths, even some passing. Charles’ team was a bit laid back on offense with some good solo runs but without much follow up by the other players. There was rarely more than the kid with the ball in the opposing goal box. Despite that they held on well. The opponents scored first but Charles’ team got the next two points, and then the opponents scored again after quite a number of shots and drives. Both teams bounced a shot off the supporting post at least once. However, the tide started to turn against Charles’ team after a couple of penalty kicks. One was for a slide kick and the other, I am not quite sure. It looked like a normal, if severe, collision between several players running for the ball. But it was called as a free kick which lead to a score. On the other penalty, the goalie blocked it but some of the players had entered the box too early so it was done again, this time for a score. Charles’ team rallied back for another score but the two penalty goals were the margin for a 3-5 loss.

The coach was unhappy with the first (sliding) call and very unhappy with the second one. He ended up sending an email the next day requesting a different referee for future games, which is a bit odd because that referee is the one that Corwin’s team likes best. I did think he was a bit tougher on Charles’ team than the other during the game but the only call I thought questionable was the collision one. The only part I found really distressing was that Charles was the goalie for the last three points, one penalty and two regular scores. I think he was quite tired by then and wasn’t reacting as quickly as one might like to attacks. He seemed completely unperturbed so I decided to not worry about it. I think the whole team was wearing down. But they pressed on as best they could even as the game was finishing up.

Overall it was a good game with some good moves by the kids. They did make some good passes, the defense was tough, and Charles was much more in the game. The one big issue was one of Charles’ teammates was taken out of the game with an injured knee. The coach thought he might have torn his meniscus but we found out later that he had just twisted his knee joint a bit (which isn’t fun but far more recoverable).

We were almost late for Corwin’s game, even though it was in the same set of fields. Corwin and Levi were hanging out because their parents and siblings were at Charles’ game and lost track of time. They didn’t head out for the other field until the official start time of the game. Luckily everyone else was running late so it wasn’t a problem.

It was an interesting game as well. Both offenses were active but I think Corwin’s team was definitely doing better at keeping pressure on the opponents’ goal. There were a lot of good drives in both directions with lots of fancy passing (sometimes too fancy, IFYKWIMAITYD). Corwin was about average for him. Not as much running as he should, but a lot of good kicks. Not quite as long as usual but with (I think) better placement. Corwin was very happy about being part of a direct goal chain. He started with a good return across midfield to another player, who drove in a bit then passed to an attacker near the goal who popped it in. All without the opponents getting a foot on the ball, so I think it’s reasonable for Corwin to count himself as part of it.

I felt a bit sorry for the coach’s older son. He has a strong tendency to not take shots at the goal despite being a very forward forward (IFYKWIMAITYD). This game, however, he took two excellent shots that were stopped only by superior goalie skill. They were everything you’d want in a shot - fast, accurate, and sudden. But the opposing goalie was quite good and mananged to deflect them.

There was a moderate amount of headers, but only two double headers that I saw. I thought the offense was well done, with lots of people forward without getting any offsides. The defense was a bit disorganized although they did manage an offsides against the opponents. The kicking was excellent, with good distance and placement, and very little crossing in front of the goal (something that plagues Charles’ team). The end result was a 2-0 win, both goals hard won.

One issue was that the referee decided Corwin’s shirt was too old and not yellow enough to work. He was forced to put on an orange goalie jersey which frankly I thought made the situation worse, not better. Apparently, though, we’ll have to get him a new shirt for the next game.

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Friday 23 April 2010

New York Hoofing

I apparently forgot to mention that I went to New York City on Monday and arrived back home on Wednesday. The kids noticed I was gone when they wanted to eat some of the snackage left over from my trip preparations and Mom said they would have to ask me. This bought her a few minutes while they figured out I wasn’t around.

I was out of town for a conference (did not go well, but that’s the breaks). The conference was in a building literally across the street from the Empire State Building. My hotel was about 3 blocks from it so I was able to avoid both renting a car and public transportation except from and to the airport. The trip out involved a bus to Grand Central Station then a van to Penn Station. I almost took the subway on the way back because the van wasn’t readily available, but the connectivity was poor and I decided that will all of the transfers and risks of misdirection, it would be just as fast to simply walk over to Grand Central. Even with that I was still sitting at the gate 90 minutes before my flight was scheduled to depart.

I brought back a little bit of loot for the kids, packs of oddly shaped gummy candy. I favor self eliminating gifts these days, to keep the clutter down. Once assured of getting candy, the excitement of my return faded out in to the normal quotidian rhythms.


The view from my hotel room


The conference building. I walked by it on a couple of trips because it doesn’t really stand out as a conference type location. The actual event was up on the 11th floor.

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Thursday 22 April 2010

Corwin chickens out

I had to rescue Corwin from a chick later on. Somehow while he was holding the chick on the chaise and watching TV (because nothing enhances Star Wars: The Clone Wars like a baby chicken) the chick managed to get on the back slope of his shoulder. He couldn’t find it with his hands reliably and couldn’t stand up for fear it would fall, so Dad had to come by and take the chick off his hands shoulders.

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Wednesday 21 April 2010

Parental duties, child expectations

Charles was trying to install a game on his computer and couldn’t find the install DVD. He came in to my office to get me to help. As I walked down in the basement with him, I probed his view of our relationship.

Dad: So what’s in this for me? I don’t need to install the game.

Charles: Nothing. What’s the downside?

Dad: I should be spending some time getting work done. You think I have to do this anyway just because I am the Dad?

Charles: Yes.

Dad: Hmmm. When you have little boys, are you going to do the same thing for them?

Charles: Maybe.

Dad: You’re going to avoid answering that until it’s too late for me to change my behavior?

Charles: Exactly.

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Tuesday 20 April 2010

Chess time

While Mom was out getting chickens Charles and Alice had prior engagements. Alice attended a birthday party for a classmate while Charles went to a chess tournament. Mom signed him up for it because Charles crushes everyone in his school club. The competition was a little tougher at the tournament, with Charles ending up with a record of 0-2-4. Charles seemed to mostly enjoy the experience although he wanted to leave the instant his last game finished. He admitted to Mom later that the games were more “interesting” than the school chess club. But Charles does like his easy wins.

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Monday 19 April 2010

Chicks

Yesterday Mom finally gave in to her chicken obsession. She took Corwin out (Charles and Alice had prior engagements and Mom was unwilling to wait) to a store in a nearby town to get some chicks. She had been checking out various locations for such purchases but her original preferred source would only set in sets of 25. This was obtensibly to discourage people from buying chicks for Easter and then disposing of them afterwards. Mom pointing out it was now well past Easter had no effect. But Mom did finally find a place that would sell chicks retail, althought they did talk her up from 4 chicks to 5.

Although the chicken coop is not quite done yet it is not yet a problem as the chicks have to be housed in a different setup to keep them warm while they are waiting for their feathers to come in. Mom repurposed her original guinea pig cage into a chick warmer by putting a heat lamp in the top. This ended up requiring some ingenuity to get the lamp at the optimal height for optimal temperature (as the chicks can’t be too cold or too hot). This does, however, put Mom on the clock to finish the coop. I think she has several weeks yet but that kind of time goes by quickly around these parts.

The kids like the chicks although they’re too delicate for Charles or Alice to actually hold. Corwin has been enjoying his permission to pick up a chick, although the big win for him so far is “none of the chicks have pooped on me!”. I am waiting for a flying chick the first time his luck runs out. Polynomial is fascinated by the chicks, or at least she is when any human is paying attention to them. She will jump up on the person or the table to get a look / sniff / lick. We let her do that with the guinea pigs because, short of actually biting them, it wasn’t going to cause damage. With the chicks, a hard nose jab or even knocking them out of hand would not turn out well. So poor Poly has been left completely unsatisfied, even less than Charles and Alice.

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Sunday 18 April 2010

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

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Saturday 17 April 2010

Soccer Report

Charles and Corwin had soccer games today. Corwin was scheduled for a double header so I decided I would watch Charles’ game in the morning and catch Corwin’s second game. Unfortunately Corwin’s team was over staffed for the second game so I didn’t see any Corwin soccer.

I had a confusing morning, for some reason thinking that the game was at 9 so I took Charles over at 8:40 and was upset that the coach, who told us to be there 20 minutes early, wasn’t around. Of course, the game was actually at 10:10, as I realized shortly after arriving, so Charles and I popped back home for a bit of rest before coming back.

Charles’ team this year has a couple of really good kids who dominate the game. Charles himself, for some reason, just isn’t display the energy or drive he has in past seasons. I actually some difficulty getting a good Charles action shot, as opposed to my normal problem of having far too many. Charles only mixed it up at the opposing goal once and didn’t really have any strong drives. Charles did manage to do reasonably well while defending, with a good number of clears, which turned out to be mostly futile because the offense at that time was hanging back. Charles’ kicks would just be returned by the other team because Charles’ kicks landed further out than any of his teammates were positioned.

Charles made some good passes, unlike many of his teammates. The coach commented after the game that it went generally well, but there needed to be more passing and less holding on to the ball until overwhelmed.

Before that, and afterwards, it was a different story because the dominant kids were leading the offense. During those times the ball stayed almost entirely on the other side. I think the final score was 5-0.

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Friday 16 April 2010

Scream and the world comes to you

Alice has a rather interesting technique for locating a parent when she needs one. She starts by calling out (“Mom!”), gradually getting louder. If seriously pressed, she might wander around a room or two, increasing volume all the while. Eventually, should Mom for instance not actually be home or be outside, Alice will eventually run out of volume and collapse in tears. Actually looking around the house for the parent of desire just doesn’t occur to her, even if mentioned. Let me also note that the delay because successive louder calls is approximately one second, leading to a roughly 50% duty cycle for the Alice voice. This means that if Mom is upstairs, or busy with something that cannot be instantaneously put aside, we get to experience most of the Alice volume ramp up.

I do find it interesting that Alice will melt down in to a despairing puddle before deciding to switch from “Mom” to “Dad”.

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Thursday 15 April 2010

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

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Wednesday 14 April 2010

More toothiness

Yesterday Charles went to the orthodontist to get his teeth works checked out. The big news is things are going well enough that Charles will not be getting headgear yet as originally scheduled (although there’s always hope for that in the future). Almost as good is they did do some work on his braces which left him in some pain for which he could fall off the ibuprofen wagon once again. He’ll be back on it in a day or two so he better enjoy it while he can.

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Tuesday 13 April 2010

Parking Cub Scouts

This evening, instead of the regular Cub Scout meeting, they decided to go for a walk in the park. Fortunately it turned out to be the park next to our neighborhood, so Charles, Alice, and I could walk over (Mom was off to a meeting of her Lutherist Inner Circle Church Ladies). Apparently Mom had done this last year (and everyone said she did a wonderful job) so I was tagged with it this year, primarily because I knew where the beaver dam was.

We set off in a great surge of boyish energy, which unfortunately meant that we missed the first turn off for the dam as by the time I got there, half the boys had already gone on out of sight. I decided then to make them walk the longest way around in a (later seen to be completely futile) attempt to work off some of that energy. I tried pointing out other features of the park as we walked along but mainly ended up talking to parent and older siblings who already knew it. We saw a lot of squirrels, and some deer, but no rabbits. Perhaps it’s not quite the season for the last yet.

After a goodly amount of tramping around and bit of searching we found the dam and the kids actually seemed to think it was cool. Then they discovered that the receding water line from the big drain pipe in the dam had left all sorts of nice mud around the edges. Amazingly, only shoes got muddy and no one fell in the water or the mud. Alice naturally listened attentively as I told her to stay back and then immediately walked out in the the mud.

I must be living right because just as I was wondering how to fill up some more time, I checked my timepiece and discovered we had only 6 minutes to get back to the parking lot. I sent the rest of them on their way via a shortcut and the three of us headed back to the house.

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Monday 12 April 2010

Detoothening

Today was Corwin’s big tooth removal day. Mom took him in to the oral surgeon this morning. It was considered serious enough that Corwin was given general anathesia for the procedure. Originally he had been scheduled to have six teeth pulled but three had fallen out or otherwise disappeared by this morning. Two we knew about but we’re not quite sure when the other one came out. Corwin was only able to claim one for payment, so we made out well in the savings department with two teeth completely free. Yay us and Corwin’s forgetfulness!

Corwin came home with a little box of his teeth. I suggested making a necklace or charm bracelet out of them but Corwin didn’t seem up for crafts. He was mostly incoherent when he came home mid morning but by evening was recovered enough to play video games and practice his violin. He also went light on the pain medication so we’ll be sending him back in to school tomorrow. His primary problem is just eating because he’s decided he doesn’t like most of the soft foods he would normally eat (oatmeal, yogurt — this from the kid who used to empty entire boxes of Gogurt).

Tomorrow it’s Charles’ turn with the orthodontist.

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Sunday 11 April 2010

Out of the wilderness

Corwin and I left Friday evening for the camping expedition. There were 15 boys for the trip, which seems like a large number to me for the troop. We were scheduled to leave the gathering location at 5:30 but didn’t get on the road until 6:30. The scout master indicated that perhaps the troop would try something a bit different next time to create a more expeditious departure.

We arrived at the campsite around 8. It was still light but starting to fade. We rapidly set up tents and tried to get supper started. One of the adults was too busy helping to get his tent up before dark and decided that it was nice enough to just sleep under the stars. I thought it a bit brisk overnight but he survived without permanent injury.

The outing was mostly unstructured, as the primary goal was to just rack up some camping time for various advancement requirements. The boys spent a lot of time fishing, as the campsite was on a little peninsula in a small lake (a big pond, really). Unfortunately (for the adults) there had been a problem with the pipes and there was no running water at all. We had to bring it in ourselves in big containers.

Most of the boys went off on a hike Saturday for some orienteering, but I was left behind with the lazy boys who refused to go out on the trail. They were required to fix and cleanup lunch, which they mostly did, even if we had to track them down after lunch for KP.

Next to fishing, chopping wood for the fire was the second favorite activity. I spent some time at it myself, but primarily went out to find decent sized trees suitable for the scouts. They did some training for it so that younger scouts could get a card authorizing them to chop. The boys were mostly good, although they’d get a little wild now and then. They chopped a lot of wood, I was impressed. We had to stop them from working on in to the night, as darkness didn’t dampen their enthusiasm.

The last morning required the boys to clean up the campsite, which was not as popular as other activities. There was a lot of whining about “I already got my stuff”. I took to responding to any inquiries about our departure time with “we’re leaving as a group, so no one is leaving until everything is cleaned up”. Getting the equivalent response from the other adults eventually generated some grudging willingness to contribute and we were able to depart.


What Corwin did while camping (note left hand)

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Saturday 10 April 2010

Mom's free day

Freed from the need to take care of her husband and oldest child, Mom had an excellent time wihle Corwin and I were off camping.

Charles had a soccer game in the morning, which his team won. Charles himself didn’t play so well, not showing a lot of energy during the game. Mom claimed that near the end, the coach took him out because he spent a very loong time, during play, trying to tie his shoe without success. It was still off by the time the coach gave up and pulled him.

Corwin missed a double header for his team, which they split with one win, one loss.

After that Mom resumed work on her chicken coup and made quite a lot of progress. She got the framework built and started working on installing the nest boxes and various doors. She is still a bit up in the air about how to handle winter but she’ll freeze those chickens when she comes to them.

Alice, meanwhile, has resumed her cruising in the Barbie car while the weather is nice.

The three of them went out for books, and nice dinners, living a vibrant carefree life while Corwin and I struggled for survival in the wilderness.

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Friday 09 April 2010

Campbushed

It turns out that Corwin needs just one more day of camping for some Boy Scout thing. A couple of the other boys in the troop did as well so an outing was organized. It turned out to be popular and in the end 15 boys signed up for the event.

Mom had put down on her parental interest sheet, back when Corwin joined the troop, that she was interested in camping. Therefore she was “volunteered” to fill out the adult complement. Mom then cleverly swapped me in as her replacement so I will be heading out for a weekend with the troop.

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Thursday 08 April 2010

Hooked

Charles has been handling his medicinal regime for his ear infection quite well. In fact, he came home this afternoon and reminded me that he needed to be dosed. At least he has gotten over wanting ibuprofen for the pain, which he was taking once or twice a day as well. I told Charles that he was hooked but he seemed unconcerned. Given that we’ve probably only got another day or two of doses of the medicine left, we’ll just let Charles have his good times for now and let him go cold turkey when it’s gone.

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Wednesday 07 April 2010

Ooooh, shiny!

One of the eggs Alice got at the church was shiny purple. It was a big hit, Alice is still playing with it and asks about it if she can’t find it.

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Tuesday 06 April 2010

Playing house

As I mentioned some time before, Charles has been teaching Alice to play Battlefield 2. One price of this is that Alice makes Charles play house. They play the game with no opponents because Charles likes driving around and exploring the maps. Alice makes him find a “house” (usually a guard tower of some sort, with a door and some windows) and then set up a little house hold in it. Alice talks about how she will decorate things, and then sends Charles off to his “job” in one of the vehicles. This lets Charles drive around as his “work” while Alice ponders draperies.

Still, Alice does like to go out and do some shooting with Charles now and then. She particularly likes the little puffs of smoke grenades make when they go off. I don’t think, however, that Charles’ dream of having his little sister be his helicopter gunner has worked out.

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Monday 05 April 2010

Park Snippets

[morning]

Dad: I thought I went to bed early last night but I’m so tired.

Alice: Maybe you’re just a tired old man.

[afternoon in the park]

Mom: You should get up and play soccer with Charles.

Dad: I’m too tired.

Alice: Like you are every day!

I will note that I was the soccer goal, a point being scored if the ball hit me.

While we were walking back from the park we walked by the beaver dam. The park district had put a large (12 inch diameter) pipe through the dam leading out to a stand pipe. While we were there there was enough water that it was pouring out the top of the stand pipe. We’re not sure what the point is, although I think it’s either to reduce the flooding of the main park by keeping the water level lower, or to drive the beavers out by preventing them from keep the water level up where they like it. Some of the tree the beavers have knocked over were large, 18 inch diameter or more. I have no idea what the beavers thought they would do with these trees once they were down, there is no way a set of beavers could actually move them.

Near the end, we walked by the naked lady statute Charles announced “I know what to do!” and, as I predicted to Mom, he ran up to the statues and bounced the soccer ball off her butt. It’s good to have a boy who knows what to do in such stressful situations.

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Sunday 04 April 2010

Easter!

Corwin and I had to get up early today because it was Easter and we were supposed to help out with the Easter breakfast at the church. I ended up just taking picture because they had more than sufficient crew of pancake flippers. Corwin did some flipping and then had to leave because he was the acolyte.

After services there was an Easter egg hunt in the church. This time they segregated the children by age before letting them go. It was so fast I barely had time to get any pictures — they should have talked about the plague of locusts before hand.

We went home for our own egg hunt, using eggs that Corwin had boiled and Mom and Alice had colored (in super vibrant colors!). Mom locked Polynomial inside because she figured Poly would find (and eat) the eggs faster than the children.

Grandma and Grandpa Virgil had some down so they were able to eat Easter dinner with us. After that we mostly just lazed around the house, because I at least had eaten until I was full. Mom did make us take a walk in the park to work off a bit of the calories in the late afternoon, and because the weather was astonishingly nice.

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Saturday 03 April 2010

The ear ache of canceled games

It was supposed to have been the start of the soccer season today but it rained on and off over night and was still raining when it was time for the game to start. All of the games ended up being canceled even though about the time Corwin’s game would have been going the sun broke through the clouds.

I am not sure how well it would have gone for Charles. He woke up kind of grumpy and mewled on the way over to the field as we checked for other players. He claimed his ear was very sore so instead of a game I took him to a clinic which diagnosed him as having an ear infection. Mom claims this is a first for our family. They prescribed anti-biotics which I was able to get in apple flavor, although Charles couldn’t tell. He just said that as long as it tasted sweet it was OK. Meanwhile we’re giving him cherry and grape flavored ibuprofen suspension for the pain.

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Friday 02 April 2010

Working in St. Louis

Last Sunday, I went to St. Louis for a church service trip. There were six of us. Our youth leader Jason, my mom, three girls, and me. We left around one from our church, and we arrived around four. My mom drove me there in our car. So I couldn’t watch a movie. Instead, I listened to the BBC radio series: The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy.

When we finally got to St. Louis we were told that we had to go south and look for the road Belmont. Both of those pieces of information were wrong. We were supposed to go north and look for Delmar. The place we were staying at was the 3rd floor of a church. There was nobody else in the church while we were there. There was also a huge kitchen with an industrial size dish washer. For beds, we got air mattresses. There were about ten per person. The church also had a lot of board games and a pool table, so we weren’t bored.

Since this was a service trip we were working. Our first job was helping out at a senior center called five star. We helped deliver food and interacted(i.e. playing cards) with the seniors. We did this on Monday morning and Wednesday morning. We also helped out at the Christian Activity Center(CAC)in East St. Louis. The CAC is an after school activity for kids of all ages. They had a gym, a playground, a library/study hall, a computer lab, vending machines, and Foosball tables. There were a hundred or more kids there. I worked in the library/study hall and helped kids learn how to borrow. Sadly, they all still used there fingers to add or subtract numbers, so I had to lend some fingers. We did this on Monday and Tuesday afternoon. We also did yard work at a women shelter.

We also checked some tourist spots such as the Arch,the St. Louis Basilica, and the Union Station. The Arch was neat, especially the elevators. They were small, slow, and rickety. The view was great though. The Basilica was HUGE. Almost all the walls were covered in mosaics and it was neat. We had dinner at Union Station on Wednesday and it was delicious we also went shopping. We spent along time at one shop. It sold airsoft guns, blowguns, swords, knives, and more. It was run by a person named Victor. He knew some bible questions that stumped Jason. He really liked to talk about Jesus. He had a big wooden stick for people who didn’t want to talk about Jesus. After Victor we headed for home around 8 p.m. We got back around 10 pm.

Posted by Corwin at 6:19 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thursday 01 April 2010

Home improvement

Mom took the children off to some local home improvement show, with a number of booths from various companies. I think she was looking for chicken coop concepts but I don’t she found anything useful. However, Corwin and Charles did get free onions from a local furniture store. The smaller one they named “Bob”. Alice found Bob the Onion such a boon companion that she was moved to sing about it.

Posted by Dad at 6:33 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Dog banning

In the early days of Polynomial, she was restricted to the main floor because of her habit of near immediately using the floors on the other levels as bathrooms. As she got better about this we relaxed her restrictions until she had full run of the house.

Unfortunately Poly has reverted and started using the landing down to the basement as her potty. I have had to do multiple carpet cleanings there from her peeing but the last straw was a large array of doggy poops which I almost stepped in. As much as possible I keep the door closed and encourage the kids to do so as well, with threats of them having to do the cleaning the next time it happens. I don’t know why Poly has suddenly decided that’s the place to go.

Posted by Dad at 5:14 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL