Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Birthday - A Movie - A Fire!

It's been another busy week in the Boondocks.

Tuesday was Nathan's 12th Birthday which meant we were busy with preparations for several days ahead of time. We like to take the kids somewhere special for their big days , which usually means an outdoor outing. Due to the uncomfortably warm weather on Tuesday, we made an exception this year.

Shortly after noon we all piled into the truck and headed for town, and proceeded to the mall, and the Cinema. The kids had never been to a movie theatre before , and it was a nice cool place to spend a hot afternoon, so we thought it would be a good choice for the special event.

Turns out we were right. Nathan and Lindsay both thoroughly enjoyed the cool air, as well as the movie we chose to treat them to. We were pleasantly surprised at the price of admission, but were quickly shocked back into the present time by the prices at the concession stand. It cost more for popcorn and sodas than admittance! It was worth it though, to see the kids eyes widen at the site of the huge bags of popcorn and the large cups of soda. We ordered small of each and they were the size of large that I remember when I went to the movies as a youngster.

The film we saw was Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. As with the first two Ice Age movies, it was an excellent film! Including us, there were maybe 15 folks watching this particular showing, and most of those were adults, in their 50's and older. Including our two, there was a total of three children, and the chuckles and outright laughing could be heard throughout the film, from both children and adults. I would highly recommend this film for the whole family!

Nathan's Birthday Cake
After the movie we headed to Albertson's where we picked up Nathan's choices for dinner, Macaroni and cheese, Broccoli and fish, and his cake, which he was tickled to note was an Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs theme.

Back at home the kids played outside for a bit while Pa and I blew up balloons and set the table up with gifts, balloons and the cake. Nathan was thrilled with his gifts, which included books (he loves to read!), archery equipment, a dissecting kit (that was the closest thing I could come to his request for something having to do with bones) and cash. The kids then headed back outside where Nathan practiced his archery skills until dinner time.
Straight As An Arrow
Bulls Eye!
Yesterday was another exciting day, which included a surprise visit from the head forester for our area. The kids were wandering around their paths in the woods on our property when they smelled smoke and investigating further they discovered a fire. They immediately ran back to the house to inform us. Pa grabbed the shovel and we followed them back up to the fire. Fortunately, it was still small enough we were able to deal with it. While Pa was busy doing what he could with the shovel, the kids and I set up a relay of sorts, to get jugs of water up to the site.

Once we got the fire out we came back down to the house and called the forestry dept, and the forester came out to take a look. He was great! He praised the kids multiple times for finding the fire, and taking the correct action, then proceeded to show his trainee, as well as the kids how to determine the cause and path of the fire. He determined it was airborne, and the most probable direction of origin. His theory was the same as ours, and once he'd finished on our property our neighbors got a visit as well.

It turns out this forester lives in the neighborhood as well so he was doubly grateful for the kids' discovery and actions. We were all shaking our heads, feeling our hearts pounding as we realized how fortunate we, and the whole neighborhood were that the kids discovered it when they did. It was just getting a good blaze going. Mere minutes, or a good gust of wind later and it would've been raging into a wildfire beyond our control with dozens of homes, including ours in it's path.

Today, we're heading to town for our weekly visit to the Library and some shopping, including a search for Nathan's last Birthday gift from us, his choice of a quiver for his archery pursuits.

Hope you all are having a safe and fun week, and that you are able to stay cool!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bouncing Back

A Boondock Hangout
Originally uploaded by boondockma
I guess it's been awhile. Time to shake off the haze and post an update.

After better than two months of trading illnesses back and forth between my family members, I was left feeling more than a little worn out. It all started with me, the last week of April. Then Lindsay caught it, followed by Nathan. Then I took another turn and the circle began all over again. Finally, Pa got his fair share, then back to me once again before it all ended. We've all got the sniffles now, but other than that we all seem to be healthy once again.

This bout with illness really has me baffled, as we are generally a healthy family unit. Sure, we have the seasonal downs, but they usually make their relatively quick rounds through our bodies and leave. We've never experienced so long a battle as this one. I'm figuring there must be a reason it was different this time but I can't figure what that reason may be with one possible exception. The day after our last trip to the beach, they posted warnings to stay out of the water due to high levels of fecal contamination. Ah well. We're just feeling grateful it's all over and done with, and looking forward to healthy, fun days ahead!

To celebrate feeling better, and taking advantage of a sunny day, the kids took me on a little stroll along one of the paths they've blazed on our property. Although it was a bit more intensive than they had let on, it was an enjoyable little hike and I enjoyed the opportunity to put the camera to good use once again. I must say, I was quite impressed with the trail they had created. A lot of work went into it's creation through the years.

Since I've been negligent in posting updates, I've missed a couple Saturday movie reviews! We've seen several good ones and want to share a couple of the best with you today.

Saturday Night At The Movies

Last Saturday evening we all sat down together and enjoyed a really fun film, Bedtime Stories, starring Adam Sandler. I wasn't too sure about this one when I first saw it, but the kids had seen previews and were quite insistent and so I gave in. What a delightful film it turned out to be! All four of us were laughing and exclaiming our "Oh No!" comments throughout the film. I would recommend this film for families with children aged 7 or 8 and older.

Three weeks ago we watched The Spiderwick Chronicles, A magical adventure filled with excitement, mystery, danger and the incredible power of family it had all four of us riveted to the screen. I will note for those who would shy away from anything hinting of "wizardry" (although I don't recall any actual "wizards"), or if your child is prone to nightmares, this film does contain some pretty scary scenes including some violence, which I suspect is the reason for the PG rating, you may want to read the more complete description and reviews before renting this one for your family. Taken in it's context as a fantasy adventure and nothing more, it's a wonderful film I would recommend to families with children age 8, or maybe 10 and above.

I will try to be a bit more diligent in posting here, and will try to get around to visiting all of you soon. As we are still playing catch-up with yhousehold chores around here, I'll have to make it a little at a time, but will make it around to all soon!

Hope you're all having a wonderful summer!