Friday, August 31, 2012

A quick jaunt

 We had relatives visiting NYC all the way from Turkey. So we wanted to stop in and have dinner with them. We headed in early so we could explore a bit. We missed our first train, so we had an hour to kill before the next came. We walked around in downtown Milford, and found a bakery. So we noshed the entire hour away. IMG 5264
Not too bad… IMG 5265
After we arrived in the city, we decided to walk a bit in Central park. We did not get to see too much. This park is huge and it will be a few trips in before we can say we have seen it. This time we decided to check out the water conservatory. IMG 5287
 It had these motorized sail boats that you can rent and cruise around.
So we did. IMG 5289 IMG 5303
Our relatives happened to be in that area at the same time as us, so Addy stayed and chatted, while I sailed with my boys. IMG 5302
I wish I was fluent in Turkish. It would be really awesome to have a conversation with Addy's family. I would even accept really cool technology to make this possible. I wish I lived way in the future and could have a chip implanted in my brain, so I could be totally fluent in Turkish. That would be so great. And a teeny bit scary.
 But more awesome than scary, you know?
Then we happened upon a bronze statue of Alice in Wonderland. IMG 5288
 We finally made it to dinner which was so yummy and all Turkish. I did not grab many photos as there were photos being taken all around me. I will post one here later. Dinner was long and all in Turkish, so it was hard for the kids to sit there and "be good", but they were! IMG 5304
 So I wanted to take them somewhere cool for dessert. IMG 5336
Well, we were really close to an epic candy store.
 So off to Dylan's we went. IMG 5334 IMG 5338
 I am pretty sure they were thrilled. IMG 5335
Finally, after filling their bags, IMG 5337
we headed home. IMG 5341
 It was another pretty great day.
 Life is GOOD!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catching big bass

at Beaver dam lake. IMG 5093 IMG 5105 IMG 5107 IMG 5120 IMG 5121 IMG 5122 IMG 5125 IMG 5126 IMG 5127
I love it when we go there!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BIG year!

I believe this year is going to be quite huge for us.
In so many ways.
We are taking part in a few truly great projects. I am most excited for Evren this year as he is finally old enough to participate in so much. I remember what last year did for Kaya and it really left me with my jaw open, and my heart singing.
We will be participating in Destination Imagination again. This made us so busy, but was worth it on so many levels that we are happy to do it all again. I have no idea what challenge they will pick this year, so it will be exciting to witness the birth and completion of 100% kid driven creativity and perseverance. I am thrilled that Ev will be a part this year.
Marlin is going to audition for the Penny Lane Players, a local, 100% homeschooled, amazing, Shakespeare theatre production group. This year it will be,  "A Midsummer Nights Dream".  Kaya will be doing some tech work, and I think Ev will find something to do, props? He loves our friend Cath who will be in charge of that dept, so I am pretty sure he can fold in and feel included.
The one I am most over the moon excited for, and am counting down the weeks until it begins, is the Huckleberry Hill Project. It really embraces passion based learning. This big kind of project based learning is what works for us. We become alive and vibrant, pushing ourselves, each other, stretching and growing, and big things are happening and it is so wonderful that I can't put it all into words just what kind of beautiful magic unfolds and makes you stop and look around while your eyes blur with happy OMG! look at all of this crazy good crap that we are actually doing tears. It really changes you, and instills so much good mojo and confidence and good productive exhaustion that it is literally soul cleansing. Unless you walk that journey with your kids, you may have no idea what I mean, but I can tell you that if you have, you would understand every word of that psychobabble sentence that just shot out of my brain. Anyway, I have not visited the farm that will be hosting us. But Jess has, and so has Cath (Marlin has since changed her project so disregard what it says in this post).
Just look at it!
 I can't begin to describe how awesome this will be for this particular group of people. Kaya will be launching his sustainable, local, backyard chicken and egg project. Marlin is launching Cookies For a Cause which will feature organic seasonal flavored dog biscuits to be sold to raise money for shelter dogs in need. Evren will probably primarily focus on participating in the documentary making project on Type 2 Diabetes.
Lastly, in the spring we will participate in the dig. It will have a Mayan focus this year as it is 2012. But maybe if the prophecy holds true, then maybe we won't....
How big is this year?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lake Wintergreen

We finally made it to Lake Wintergreen in Hamden, CT. It is part of West Rock Ridge State Park. We had just enough time to do a micro trip. Which is just a really fancy way to say that we just wanted to scope it out, and poke around for a half hour! IMG 5190
We did a super quick trail walk, and explored around the banks of the lake. We spied a few cool things like a really dark colored sunfish, which they tried to sneak up and catch unsuccessfully. IMG 5191
 I think the best thing we saw was a beautiful golden orb weaver spider. IMG 5189
Evren snagged Kaya a Chinese Mystery Snail for his fish tank. ( image taken from google images, not mine!)

 It is an invasive species here in CT, so it's perfectly cool to kidnap it out of it's unnatural environment in my book!
 It turned out to be a cool little trip. I think micro trips are great. They let you just pop in and see what's going on, with out the pressure of putting aside a bunch of time and planing to go there "one day".
Which sometimes, and sadly quite often, never happen.
I know about those ever elusive "one days".

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the yard

IMG 3934 IMG 3935 IMG 3936 IMG 3937 IMG 4892 IMG 5030 IMG 5031 IMG 5032 IMG 5033 IMG 5051 IMG 5052 IMG 5053 IMG 5068 IMG 5069 IMG 5079 IMG 5080 IMG 5081 IMG 5082 IMG 5106

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A letter from Andrea.

We are always so happy when we get a special letter from Andrea.
She has become Marlin's pen pal. IMG 4692 IMG 4699
I am so grateful, glad, and excited each time a new letter comes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ice Cream place #5

IMG 4813
Rich's Dairy Farm, Oxford, CT. IMG 4812
So we hit up Rich's Dairy Farm, finally.
I say that because we have lived here for 5 years, it's a few towns over, and we have never ventured there before.
I have heard good things about it. IMG 4814
So let's see how it fared: IMG 4807
I hit up the rum raisin, I am trying to compare all of these places using that flavor if available.
The portions here were gigantic. IMG 4808
It gets less points for that.
I mean they were stupid big.
I am not a fan of super sizes.
  IMG 4806
The rum raisin had a lot of raisins, but it was weak on the rum flavor. I like that particular flavor to be the opposite actually. But it was super creamy and the waffle cones were great. IMG 4809
Also, they lose points because they had a big yellow jackets nest in the wall above a bench that wasn't dealt with. IMG 4810
The bees were annoying, scary ( I am not a yellow jacket fan) and I am pretty sure kids will get stung in September when they are super aggressive. That's just my own personal fear though… Another thing that bugged me was that there were no bathrooms. At least have portapotties for the kids who are desperate. There is no where nearby to take kids to pee. Also, this was weird, but they won't take hundred dollar bills! So if that is all you have, like one family in our party, no ice cream for you! Luckily they were with our group so we pulled it off. Lastly, even though they had a ton of flavors, the place lacked charm. I mean it would have been cool to see the cows at least. It wasn't bad, just so-so. I think it would be so much better to get a cone or a cup in their smallest size, which is still huge, and take it to go the Southford falls State Park for a hike and eat.
Anyway, since we had friends drive up a long way for this tour, we decided to play some mini golf! IMG 4811
We were going to go for a nice walk to see the falls at Southford State park, but the weather was iffy. Mini golf turned out to be a lot of fun. The moms chatted on the shaded porch, and the Dad's and kids had a fun game. For whatever reason the place had a red caboose in the parking lot. IMG 4820
I think they should convert it and sell shakes and smoothies out of it.
 At least that's what I would do.
So even though Rich's dairy didn't do it for me, it did turn out to be a great day with friends!