Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Windy Days

 We live in a very windy place. There is almost always a wind blowing through our little valley. The kids decided it was perfect for flying a kite so they took their new Easter gift out for a test flight.

 The park near our house had a big field that was just right for kite flying.

 Evidently the wind here comes and goes in gusts and the kite would go up and stay up for a bit and then it would tumble out of the sky and nose dive down to the ground.

 I was alright with this because that just gave us an opportunity to switch who got hold the string during the next flight.

 Everyday, when the kids see that the wind is whipping through the trees in the backyark the they ask if they can take the kite to the park.

I guess it counts as p.e. so I can even claim it is school.

Monday, April 7, 2014

There was Green this weekend

 This is one my kid's favorite weekends to head to Grandma's house. They know Conference Weekend is always when the pasture grass is green and soft and the weather is perfect for a lot of outside play.

In years past the grass has been really long but Grandpa has had a number of cows in the pasture for a number of months and they have eaten the grass all short and left a lot of "pies" all over the place. This didn't stop the kids from spending a good amount of time outside enjoying the sunshine and green.
 Grandpa's tire swing got a lot of action.

 The kids have also been working on their fort. They have a group of trees that they have made into their fort. Together, with their cousins, they have dragged branches and such to make a sort of fence around these trees so the cows don't come in and leave their calling cards inside.
 The fort has a number of great climbing trees.

 They would love to have an actual tree house but I explained that growing up we didn't have any tree houses either and that we made forts much like the one they created here. I showed them a few places we had made into forts but many of the trees have over the years fallen or cut down and used in the fire. They kids weren't impressed by any of them.  They prefered their fort and when the cousins came they quickly headed out to their little bunch of trees. I guess things don't change too much.

 The kids wanted to find some more cat tail fluff but the swampy area at the bottom of the pasture wasn't all that swampy and this wasn't the cat tail season. Who knows if there will be a cat tail season this year?

 Grandma's violets were in bloom. This little corner flowerbox by the house has had violets for a long as I can remember. Some bushes are now gone that used to be toward the back but the violets come back year after year.

 Sophie took control of the camera during one of our walks. She needed to "collect" nature (via pictures) for her STEM class. So she snapped pictures of a lot of different flowers and trees and rocks as we made our way up the street. I am not going to post them all here but she did end up taking quite a few lovely pictures along with the nature she was "collecting".
 California Poppies were so cheerful decorating many places along the road.
 These little quail sit on the mailbox of one of the neighbors along the street. Sophie loves to take a shot like this with us in the background.

 Oh look.... miner's lettuce right next to a huge amount of poison oak.
 My parents live in such a beautiful place. It is so nice to go up for a weekend and enjoy time in nature and with family.
This really is a beautiful time of year in the Sierras.  It won't be green for long. There is only a few short weeks where the grass is green before the summer sun scorches it to a yellow. We know the first weekend of April is especially a great time to hang out at Grandma's house.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Spring Day in San Fran

 We have been getting a bit of rain this week. We in California really need the rain so I am happy to get every drop. I didn't even mind driving in it today as we made our way into San Francisco to visit the Legion of Honor art museum. We met some friends there and had a lovely time viewing some great statues and paintings.  

This museum is in a park right up at the tip of the SF penninsula. We were able to get a look at the Golden Gate Bridge from the grounds.

Rodin's Thinker was right there in the courtyard as we walked in. 

 We walked through lots of galleries and looked at pictures from many different time periods. I of course loved it when I walked through the impressionists. Monet's Water lilies and Seurat's Eiffel tower were there. The kids recognized those as well as the names of many of the other artists.

Molly of course got tired of walking through the galleries and had to remind me every few moments that she was hungry and asked if we could go home now. Evidently 4 years old is a little too young for an art gallery.

 The kids all had fun just getting to see some friends and if that ment they needed to walk through galleries and look at art then that was fine with them.

Wait a minute. Aren't we sitting in an art gallery and yet all the kids gathered around one of the older boy's ipod to watch him play Minecraft or some other such game. 

 I didn't get any pictures of them, but I really enjoyed getting to see some Greek Amphora. There are quite a few pieces there that I wish I could have had a little more time to study. But my little four year old museum buddy wouldn't let me hang out too long infront of any one painting or item.

I of course brought my camera but quickly figured out the battery was dead. After visiting most of the museum already I remembered my phone has a camera on it. So I pulled out my new phone and took a few pictures of our visit with it instead. I have had this phone for about 5 months but I haven't used it for much more than calls and texts. It isn't a smart phone and isn't anything grand. Just the cheep phone that Verizon gave me with my plan.  I am pretty impressed that I even figured out how to upload them to my computer. I had to use bluetooth to do it and I admit I am rather clueless as to how all this technology works. But I am happy to know I can use my phone to take pictures and I can even get those pictures onto my computer too. Hurray! I still like my little point and shoot camera better but it nice to know there is a back up plan, for when I need it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fairy Houses in the Spring.

 About a week ago we went to the park. Sophie needed to gather some "nature" inorder to create a piece of nature art for one of her classes. Our neighborhood is rather manicured and not much in the way of nature debris is left hanging around.  So we had to really search for some twigs and leaves for this assignment.

Rather than take the items home, Sophie decided to get to work right there at the park. She started stacking up the twigs into a fairy house.

It was amazing how quickly a few other kids noticed what she was doing and started gathering twigs and things to build a house of their own.

Henry of course climbed up into the trees. 

 It may not look like much more than a stack of twigs with some leaves thrown on top for a roof but there was a lot of work that went into building this little structure.

 And no house is complete without a little fenced in garden.

 For days after the kids asked if we could go back to the park to see if the house was still there. Or they asked if they could go back to the park to build more fairy houses.
 My kids go to the park to play with twigs. They will spend a short amount of time on the play structures but mostly they like to play with the nature around them.

Today it is raining, the sun isn't shining so it is nice to sit here are remember the fun they kids had out in the beautiful Spring like weather. I couldn't help smiling yesterday as I drove down our road that is lined with tall trees. For the 4 months we have lived here these trees have been brown and ugly. Now they are green and full of leaves. It is so lovely to see all the green. The hills, the trees and the flowers all make me smile. I so appreciate the spring rains we are recieving because it is making the world such a beautiful place. Nothing more lovely than they the colors of nature in the spring! I may amend that statement when the colors of Fall show up in about 6 months. For now I am thrilled to enjoy the Spring.