The weather has turned very springy, into the upper 60′s the past few days. Tonight, we had a bit of an ordeal, necessitating the kids hanging at their Aunt’s for a few hours. As we arrived home around 8:15, Flossie and I sat down for dinner (thank you Aunt Jeanne for feeding the kidlets). Instead of putting on PJ’s and such, Tyler grabbed his glove and ball and went out back, with his sister following. Hard to argue with that…so out back they went, tossing the tennis balls against the climbing wall on the playset, with only the feint rays of daylight barely over the horizon and the floodlight from the patio to barely illuminate the yard. Tyler is getting into baseball with the weather change, and Nora wants to play as well, and he has been repeating my words they I have boomed into his ears over the years, and she is willingly accepting his tutelage. Of course, he was in his school uniform…sometimes, kids will be kids.
Picking Nora up today, she held something close to her chest and teased us with an impending surprise, of which we had to wait until we arrived home. Tyler almost spilled the beans as we pulled into the garage, but his sister quickly whipped him into a hush before he was able to complete the spoiler.
So…the big surprise…today, Nora earned her Golden Key. This is one of several items of recognition for pre-school and kindergartners at Challenger, and signifies the student has a handle on the basics of phonics. Needless to say, as you might infer from below, she was quite pleased at her accomplishment.
Saturday afternoon, the kids and I dug out the gear for the slopes, and as I searched for matching gloves and other displaced items from the kid’s bag, they decided to help me tune-up the board. All checked out well, it was all loaded up, and we rolled out at oh-dark-thirty northward for McCall for an enjoyable day in the sun on the slopes at Brundage.
Brief post as a few sheep and heavy eye-lids call. On Saturday, and late last week in general, the cold-snap lifted as weather fronts dislodged our several-week inversion. Instead of peaking around 10-15, maybe 20 for a high, the temperatures rocketed up into the mid-thirties, brining about a thaw, creating a slushy, swampy mess. What better weather, when it starts drizzling, than for your daughter to head outside (in a short-sleeve shirt, but better than the sun dresses she wears this time of the year around the house I suppose) and enjoy some time on the playset.
I had the pleasure tonight of some fine kindergartener composition du jour to satisfy the brain cells after dinner tonight. As I understand from Nora, the first two sentences are on the board, and then the students continue the story from there — I guess that is what kindergartner’s do.
In extended class today, Nora decided to decorate her spelling practice page with a picture of herself, in red crayon:
Later, I did have a chance to participate in a rousing back-and-forth regarding Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Hungry Hitchhiker, but that was more question and answer busy work for “the teacher” instead of an immersed experience of a winter character. No fear, Tyler and his young author project is nearing.
Tonight, Tyler educated his mother about SHARKS. Since his visit recently to the Idaho Aquarium, his fascination with creates of the water, such sharks, manta ray, etc has grown, and he went digging for books on the critters at the library recently.
And…now a video clip with Tyler and Nora doing some Sunday reading…
The past two nights, both kids have strapped on the tools of ignorance and played catcher on their respective teams, racking up two innings together, compared to my single inning in my Little League career behind the plate. Both kids did exceptionally well, showing much improvement over their previous times at catcher. Notice Tyler snagging one of the pitches — a week ago he was still running backward when you threw the ball at him.
A typical Sunday will find Flossie hitting the grocery store to secure mass quantities of cookies and milk for her family for the upcoming week (sometimes she brings home yucky vegetables and other things the kids and I revolt against, Mom’s…). Depending on behavior in the days leading up to this epic shopping adventure, one or both of the kids may accompany Flossie and add thirty to forty percent to her shopping time, as well as visiting the ladies in the bakery department for free cookies.
This week, Tyler and I had to get our ears lowered, so it was Nora and Flossie. Over the past few trips, Nora has been eying a pair of cheerleader pom-pom’s in the toy aisle for some reason. And, for some other reason (unknown to myself), Flossie decided to give in to Nora’s conning and running in the door this afternoon, Nora had to show me her new found play item. With that…words cannot describe things, so I will let the audio/visual aides complete this short story. Go…Broncos !
Flossie had to run to the crafts story earlier today, and Tyler and Nora accompanied her on the journey. While there, they picked up supplies for Tyler’s upcoming Geography presentation on the state of Wyoming, as well as picking up a couple craft projects for the kids. Tyler picked out a mold and paint kit, and is eager to mold his race cars and paint them. Nora picked out a jewelry box that one can decorate with sticker-like sequins. She cracked it open after lunch and has worked on it by herself for about two hours across the afternoon, and just brought in the results. She was quite happy, and now has some decorating on the sides to work on.
We have kicked around the idea of taking Tyler and Nora camping this year, but to-date, we have yet to take the plunge. Over Labor Day weekend though, we decided to head up past Idaho City to a familiar twisting waterway, Crooked River. Flossie and I have hiked along here several times, the first probably in 2001 with Ralph (and Ralph only back then). We also took a hike here with Larry and Jeanne back in 2003 or so. The Crooked River Trail is fairly flat, and the trail stays pretty close to the waterway, usually ten feet or so above it, so it keeps things easy for short legs and gives ample opportunity for rock chucking and taking a dip in the mountain water.
We left Boise just before noon, and enjoyed a nice drive on Idaho 21 through Idaho City. The sky was clear, with the temperature hovering around 78-79 degrees on the way to the trailhead. We arrived just before 2PM, tossed on the packs, saddled up the dog, and set out on the adventure.
We made it about two minutes down the trail before Nora had to use the restroom. While Flossie took this chance (and period of time) to teach Nora how to be a lady in the great outdoors, Tyler, Eros and I jumped down to the river and kicked off the shoes to see what the water felt like. After spending a few minutes on our own, the girls re-joined us, and Nora and Tyler kicked off their pants and had a good time. We walked out into the middle of the stream, but the water climbed up to waist level of both kids, so we halted our advancement across the river.
After getting clothes and shoes back on, we continued down the trail for a quarter of a mile, and took a break for lunch. The kids were a bit upset the jelly was showing through the bread, they are not used to roughing it I guess. Eros enjoyed the break, finding a comfortable spot in the shade, and she was rewarded with the crusts from Tyler’s sandwich. Then, we put the packs on and headed back onto the trail.
We made it another quarter mile, and then the toils of hiking for a bit began to set in with the short-legged kids. Tyler bemoaned how much he hated walking and Nora just plumb started to wear out. Eros, however, voiced no such concerns. We made it down to a bend in the river, snapped a few pictures of the surroundings, and then turned around, going about 8/10th’s of a mile along the Crooked River in just over an hour.
The trail was fairly busy, and we passed one family camping just off the trail with a few older pooches guarding the camp. A number of kids, some right around Tyler’s age and a few years older, also trekked along the river on this beautiful day. Eros loved the smells, and on our way back, she had the opportunity to visit a rodent friend. Unfortunately for her, she never caught wind of him, although Tyler’s keen eyes picked him out as he casually enjoyed a snack, ignoring our picture taking and gawking.
The kids had enough of the fun, and we did not take a dip in the water again. We arrived back at the Escalade after three hours on the trail. The temperature had warmed to the mid-80′s, although the shaded trail with river nearby made it very pleasant and it never felt a bit hot. The dusty Erben’s hopped back in the car, and we headed toward big city again (snagging buffalo wings on the way home for dinner).
You can view all the pictures from the day in the Flickr set. The kids may not have been wild about the entire journey, but it was good to get them out of town and into the woods. They are excited for Grandpa Larry to come with them next time and “maybe we can bring our tents and eat marshmallows” they claim. May need a few more hikes to roughen them up a bit still.