Buried in the Sand

I can't believe how busy our life has become..... It's Thursday already!

I wanted to share with you the scrapbook page that I just finished.
These photos were taken last summer. Our family favorite vacation spot is Warren Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan. We love the huge expansive beach, the cold water and the huge Dunes.

Medals Awarded!

We are back home and recovering from to little sleep. Everyone is a little cranky, including me!

We had a great day on Sunday! Ben won his last game and placed 3rd in the tournament. He played defense, and was a little disappointed that he did not have a chance to score. He really does not enjoy defense, but its important to try every position and contribute to the team. The kids were so proud of their Bronze medals!

Ethan also played on Sunday. It was pretty obvious that he was tired. At Ethan's level, they do not keep score, therefore everyone receives a medal. Another proud moment.

Even Dad earned a medal for helping coach Ethan's team.

By the way... The rumor is that one boy was asked to apologize to our team for calling us losers. Thanks goodness! Someone is teaching respect.

Time to get back into our normal routine, and finish up the 7 loads of laundry.
We finally arrived in Dubuque Friday evening. after Freezing rain and 2 bathroom stops, just in time for the Opening Ceremonies to the Iowa Winter Games. Ben, Ethan and Andrew walked across the ice and waved when the Ames Flyers were announced. The highlight of the evening was fireworks in the arena. I heard there would be fireworks, but I really wondered how well that would go because it was sooo cold outside. It was pretty impressive for an indoor display.

4 Hockey games today. 2 for each of the boys. Ames has a smaller club than most of the other cities. The bigger teams are much better than we are. Ben still loves it and never complains about losing. We will hope for a little better showing tomorrow.

I heard that several kids from the other teams called us losers. That really hurts my feelings, I really hate that kids can be so cruel. I hope that we have taught our kids that comments like that can really hurt and are completely unacceptable.

I {heart} Elmo

I finally sat down with Nadia, my camera and Elmo(s). She has had an obsession with Elmo for several months. It started with the Sesame Street Characters on her diapers, it progressed to watching Elmo on TV a couple times and week. She knows all the Characters by name including; Bert, Ernie, Grouch, "ista" (Rosita) Zoe, "Bird" (Big Bird) and Coo-Coo monster (cookie monster). She called him Coo-Coo Elmo for several weeks before she figured out that he was a monster, not an Elmo. We have a mini stuffed Elmo and a tickle me Elmo that was Ben's. We have several Elmo books and she loves to page through them and name all the characters. Yesterday we bought an Elmo Potty movie, See yesterday's post for explanation on that one. If I switch to diapers with out Elmo, maybe she would not be so exited about her diaper. Hummm. that's not a bad idea.

This Weekend, we are heading to Dubuque for the Iowa Winter Games. Both Ben and Ethan are playing. It should be a really fun weekend. I will try to post a few photos and some statistics from the Hotel room. Have a great weekend.

Potty time!?

It seems a bit early, especially since the boys were not trained until almost 3. Nadia is 21 months old and is interested in sitting on the potty. She tells us after she fills her diaper, but I guess that's progress. In fact today, I caught her pushing and quickly ran her to the toliet, of course, she had already gone. A mere 1/2 hour later she announced that she wanted to sit on the potty. Yep, she had already went. People tell me that girls train faster.... time will tell.

What else makes her a little girl,
She loves to have a "pretty" barrette or clip in her hair- they are always falling out, but she really likes them.
She likes shoes - she wants to wear shoes everyday and usually have an opinion which ones to wear. She also likes to try on shoes when we go to target.
She sings and dances and plays with her baby
She likes to put things into bags and carry them around
She does like the Thomas the train set, but that's because Ethan plays with her.

It's hard to believe that my baby is growing so fast.

Winter Wonderland

Today was a snowy and cold day. In fact, it is still snowing and is suppose to continue to snow through out the night. 3.5 inches of snow has already fallen and the temps are a cold 11 degrees F or -11 degrees C (for those of you the prefer metric!) Not as cold as Winnipeg, but it feels cold enough for me.

Nadia and I had a nice, quiet day at home. I did not have to teach class today because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We spent the day doing laundry, and scraping. We only ventured out to pick up B and E from school. We will see what tomorrow brings, but it's not suppose to be any warmer.

Time to head to bed.

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Ethan turned 6 today. We escaped Ames and headed to the water park in Omaha. We have had a great day so far. I gotta run, back to the water slides!

Owl Science Project

Check this out! Ben's class was studying the food chain in Science. Today they concluded the unit by dissecting Owl Pellets. These are rodent bones found in Owl Pellets. He was very excited to find 2 skulls, a scapula, a pelvis, a neck bone and several leg bones.

The following is the information that I found online about Owl pellets, pretty cool stuff, no wonder Ben was so excited.

Digestion in Owls

Compiled by Deane P. Lewis 1999-03-30, last updated 2005-03-24
Like other birds, Owls cannot chew their food - small prey items are swallowed whole, while larger prey are torn into smaller pieces before being swallowed. Some Owl species will partially pluck bird and larger mammal prey.

Unlike other birds, Owls have no Crop. A crop is a loose sac in the throat that serves as storage for food for later consumption. Since an Owl lacks this, food is passed directly into their digestive system.

Now, a bird's stomach has two parts:

The first part is the glandular stomach or proventriculus, which produces enzymes, acids, and mucus that begin the process of digestion.

The second part is the muscular stomach, or gizzard. There are no digestive glands in the gizzard, and in birds of prey, it serves as a filter, holding back insoluble items such as bones, fur, teeth and feathers (more about this below).
The soluble, or soft parts of the food are ground by muscular contractions, and allowed to pass through to the rest of the digestive system, which includes the small and large intestine. The liver and pancreas secrete digestive enzymes into the small intestine where the food is absorbed into body. At the end of the digestive tract (after the large intestine) is the cloaca, a holding area for wastes and products from the digestive and urinary systems. The cloaca opens to the outside by means of the vent. It is interesting to note that birds (apart from the Ostrich) do not have a bladder. The excretion from the vent is largely made up of an acid which is the white part of a healthy dropping.

Several hours after eating, the indigestible parts (fur, bones, teeth & feathers that are still in the gizzard) are compressed into a pellet the same shape as the gizzard. This pellet travels up from the gizzard back to the proventriculus. It will remain there for up to 10 hours before being regurgitated. Because the stored pellet partially blocks the Owl's digestive system, new prey cannot be swallowed until the pellet is ejected. Regurgitation often signifies that an Owl is ready to eat again. When the Owl eats more than one prey item within several hours, the various remains are consolidated into one pellet.

The pellet cycle is regular, regurgitating the remains when the digestive system has finished extracting the nutrition from the food. This is often done at a favourite roost. When an Owl is about to produce a pellet, it will take on a pained expression - the eyes are closed, the facial disc narrow, and the bird will be reluctant to fly. At the moment of expulsion, the neck is stretched up and forward, the beak is opened, and the pellet simply drops out without any retching or spitting movements.

Owl pellets differ from other birds of prey in that they contain a greater proportion of food residue. This is because an Owl's digestive juices are less acidic than in other birds of prey. Also, other raptors tend to pluck their prey to a much larger extent than Owls.

Thanks 2 U

Just wanted share this scrapbook page. A tribute to my 3 children and everything that they have taught me. I still need to work on the journaling (hidden under neath, see the pull tab on the left side). These are the photos that we took this fall while playing in the leaves. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Bye, Bye Free time.

Ben's soccer Spring 06 Andrew helped coach

The spring semester started at DMACC this morning. I am teaching 2 classes; Intro to Athletic Training and Intro to Personal Training. I really do enjoy teaching these classes, but my free / scrapbook time will be drastically decreased for awhile. Here are 2 Layouts that I finished last week. Both sets of photos are from 2006, which completes my photos for 2006. That's all I have room for in the book at least. It feels good to make some process and to use up some really old supplies.

Our Boat Tour of Lake Muskoka on the historic Segwun ship.

Caucus Frenzy

The Craziness of the Iowa Caucus has come and gone, maybe the TV commercials and the phone calls will quit for a few months.

I attended the Story County Precinct 2.1 Democratic Caucus last evening. This is my second Caucus experience, as I caucused in 2004 for Howard Dean. I must say, that the whole process is on the chaotic side, and multiply that by 99 counties and it's just nuts! We had 550 people attend our caucus, It was standing room only.

This is how the evening proceeded.

1st we stood in line about 1/2 hour to check in, and waited for everyone else to check in.
2nd we were all asked to group up with the others that supported the same candidate. That was called the first alignment. At this point we had about 40 people the were uncommitted to a certain candidate.
3rd we were given 30 minutes "woo" others to our candidate. Then the second counting began. Have you ever tried to count pigs? That's what it felt like to me. The count does not feel very accurate. Finally the Obama group filed into a room and we were counted on our way out, kind of like pigs.....
Keep in mind that all the candidate groups are doing the same thing at the same time, hence the chaos.

The final results from our precinct were Obama 176, Clinton 132, Edwards 117, Richardson 88.
After a bit of crazy math, the number of delegates sent to the state convention were decided. The Obama crowd is still a little confused by the math, but Obama and Clinton ended with the same number of delegates. I was never good at math....

My current thoughts about why I supported Obama;
He is a young, fresh face to politics
He seems to be a person who unites, not divides
He has worked in the inner city and understands issue of poverty and health care
I liked his Christmas Commercial with his family ( I know, Lame reason, but it caught my attention.
It was exciting to be on the winning team. We will have to see if he can take this all the way. Thanks for listening. Rosalie

The photos were taken by my neighbor Sue Ellen Tuttle, owner of One Small Dog Photography. Her camera is never far away. Thanks Sue Ellen!

Highlights of 2007

The Boys are back at school today. They were not ready to go back. We had a nice vacation, filled with hockey and a couple trips to the sledding hill. Nadia and I are having a nice quiet morning, she is watching Seasame Street. She loves Elmo, Cook-Cook Elmo (Cookie Monster) Bert, Ernie, Grover and Bird (Big Bird)

The last couple days we have been talking about our favorite memories of 2007.

Our summer trip to South Dakota
Climbing on the rocks in the Badlands
Our campsites
Sleeping in our tent
The Water Park in Souix Falls

I was chosen to sit on 2 creative teams for scrapbooking, a very exciting honor.
I entered 2 scrapbook pages into the state fair competition and won a Blue and a Red Ribbon. Not bad for my first time!

Ben scored a Hat Trick (For you non-hockey people, that's 3 goals in one game) in Waterloo. He has a total of 6 goals this season.
The other thing he mentioned was his Gameboy for Christmas. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa.

Started Kindergarten and loves it!
He lost his 2 bottom teeth, the tooth fairy delivered $1 each time
Ethan is reading, he sounds out the words and corrects himself when the words do not follow the phonics rules.

Nadia's life was full of highlights in 2007:
She learned to walk, but that seems like ages ago
The biggest chance is her explosion of words:
She calls her brothers "guys" or "bim" and "E"
She will raise her voice at you if she thinks that you are not paying enough attention to her.

She loves the snow and wants to go outside with her brothers, but did not like sledding. To much snow in her face, I guess.

We upgraded our Van this November. We bought a 2006 Kia Sedona. Our favorite part of our new van is the power doors!

We were healthy, happy and truly blessed in 2007. I hope and pray for a fabulous 2008.