The Crafty Crow and Full Circle (we're sisters, did you know?) are putting together a kids ornament swap and you and your little (or big) ones are invited to participate! Everyone loves ornaments and creating them with your kids is even more fun :)
* Sign uphere. In your email include your first and last name, your shipping address, and your blog address if you have one. Sign ups will close at midnight PST on Sunday November 16th. We reserve the right to close the swap early if we get more participants than we think we can handle so sign up quickly to guarantee a spot!
* You and your kids will make 5 - 8 of the same ornament and receive the same amount back. (Final amount will depend on number of participants).
* Sorry, we are limiting this swap to the United States only this time around.
* With respect to everyone's practices and faith of this season we have chosen a neutral theme: Winter Wonderland! Inspiration for ornaments include: trees, snowmen, mittens, pine cones, birds, deer, ice skating, squirrels, rabbits, snowflakes, berries, leaves, the moon, stars, icicles, etc. Basically anything having to do with winter and nature :)
* Ornaments have to be mailed on or before Monday, December 8th!
* Please do not sign up if you won't be able to complete the swap - no one wants any disappointed kids! If unforeseeable circumstances keep you from participating please email us immediately so we can remedy the situation.
We are in the process of making a button to put on your blogs so check back soon!
If this sounds fun and you'd like to join, then send us an e-mail (see above), we'll be waiting!
As you may recall, my youngest son is visually impaired. In his left eye, he has light perception only. His right eye has a narrow field of vision, but he can see large objects pretty well and and small things up close. Print is difficult unless it's fairly large. He also has a hard time with his colors. He doesn't see the whole spectrum and needs high contrast to see the best. I made some color blocks for him to practice seeing the differences.
I purchased these one-inch wood cubes at the craft store and painted each side a different color. After they dried, I gave them a coat of Mod Podge. I love Mod Podge - it makes everything shiny ;)
One of the things we do is have him identify the color blocks that don't match the others and then he tries to find the colors that match. He likes the challenge and it seems to be helping exercise his eyes. Auntie made the coordinating pouch to store them in. She's the best!
Like millions of people across the nation last night, we bunkered in, prepared for a long night, prepared for what could go wrong, prepared for possible disappointment while hoping beyond hope change could really happen.
My husband's family had a big reunion in southern Oregon. We went by Crater Lake on the way there...
and came home via Portland...
In The Pasture
One of the most exciting things that happened this summer is we adopted a horse! I still can't quite believe it. My niece had read in our local paper about a group of young horses that had been rescued from an Indian reservation in northern Idaho. The horses were originally purchased for a rehabilitation program on the reservation, but because of circumstances out of their control, they lost their funding and the horses were about to be sold for slaughter. You can read about them and see the other horses on their website. We went a few times a week to help groom the horses and muck out the pasture. Prior to arriving here in town, the horses hadn't been treated well and were underweight and generally looked pretty ragged. They were naturally shy of humans, but the more we went, the more they warmed up to us and their sweet personalities started to emerge. It wasn't long before we fell in love!
Her full name is Pocahontas, but we call her Poco for short. She's a two-year old registered Paint. My niece also adopted a horse and we took them to their new boarding place at the beginning of September. She has kept us very busy! I've immersed myself in horse-training books and gotten some help from a local trainer. We're also learning about horse nutrition, hoof care, safety, health care and the list goes on.
She's very affectionate, mellow, a bit stubborn and makes these facial expressions that seem to reflect a sense of humor - a good fit for our family :)
Two of our beloved older pets passed away this summer.
Our sweet Jack was seventeen years old and died in the beginning of September. I worried so much about him in the end. Every day, for the last six
months, the first thing I'd do in the morning is see if he was still
breathing and every evening wondering if he'd make it through another night. Although he was frail and completely deaf, he didn't seem to be in any pain and spent most of the summer snoozing in the backyard. He was the kind of dog that was friendly, without exception, to people and other animals alike, including guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits, cats and dogs. All met with a wagging tail and his English Springer bounce. We loved him dearly. We miss you Jackie boy.
We found Ruby as a stray when we lived in California just a few weeks before we moved here to Idaho. I think she was about fourteen years old when she died in May of kidney disease. Our little skinny-minny was a bit shy and I always thought Carl Sandburg must have had her in mind when he wrote "The fog comes on little cat feet" because she had a way of quietly appearing at your feet with a smidgen of a mew asking to get in your lap. We'll always love you Ruby.
The circle of life rolled through our house in a big way this summer. As we nursed our older pets in their last days, we also welcomed new kittens into the family.
**Warning** -copious kitten photos to follow- I tried to pare them down to just a couple of my favorites, but it's a pretty difficult task when you have the CUTEST kittens in the world! ;)
I posted when these little babies were born and since then they have been held and played with non-stop. We kept three of them and two went to live with my sister. The kids named them Scarlet, Luna and Jet. Cassi's kittens are Alice and Tansy. I'll let the photos speak for themselves...
Walk right past the water gun squirt games and ring toss, past the
spinning wheels and bumper cars and all the other Midway rides and you
get to my favorite part of a county fair - the animal barns!
Oh, but if you want to stop by one of those little mini-donut vendors on the way out and get some piping hot cinnamon-sugar donuts or ones dipped in chocolate, I won't stop you ;)
This is our hometown July 4th parade. We always sit in the same spot and wave to people we know. We like the parade and go to it for the nostalgia more than anything. They used to throw candy and squirt us with water, but they're not allowed to anymore :( Not as much fun as it used to be.
Ketchum's Wagon Days parade is always held on the Labor Day weekend. No motorized vehicles are allowed, so it's basically a HORSE parade - which we love! This year the Budweiser Clydesdales were one of the entries - the horses are magnificent, but I love the dog, too. After the parade, the Clydesdales and wagon were set up for viewing so we could see them up-close and ask questions. These special horses must be some of the most pampered in the world! Riding in air-conditioned trailers and stopping at top-knotch ranches to spend the night, ten horses are rotated regularly through the eight-horse hitch to ensure each horse gets some time off.
We had the opportunity to visit a local dairy farm.
The experience was an eye-opener! We learned each cow is milked every 8 hours, 'round the clock, and gives 11 gallons of milk a day. We also visited the cheese factory where all the milk from this farm was sent to. We were surprised to find out it's the "largest barrel cheese producing plant in the world"!
While I can appreciate the high level of efficiency and the quantity produced from these factories, it still made me sad to see how the cows live and sacrifice so we can have our milk and cheese. Their life spans are shortened to just 3-4 years, mothers and babies are separated shortly after birth, female calves are raised to live the same life as their mother and male babies are either killed or sold for veal. I respect everyone's right to choose their diet, but, after our visit, we had a few in the family convert to soy products ;)
I spent the early part of the season trying to collect photos of all the wildflowers in our area. I managed to identify a little over fifty of them. Here are a few of my favorites...
Swamp Black Gooseberry
The adventure of geocaching! I'd read about it a few times and seen other bloggers enjoying it and figured it was time for our family to give it a try. We found several caches over the summer and next year we want to make a few of our own.
Out and About
We went on lots of hikes (this one at Fox Creek)...
Holy canole! Have you missed me? ;) I guess things just got a little busy with me for a while and before I knew it, months went by! Geez!
Summer is my absolute favorite season and I feel almost desperate during that short time to make the most of it. I get frustrated with myself because although I was on a high enjoying the long, warm days and glowing colors of the season, I also felt stressed, knowing that it goes by so quickly for us and that it's such a long time before the next summer rolls around. So, I took photos and blogged "in my head", but never actually sat down long enough at the computer to make some posts. And, now, even though we're almost at Halloween, I wanted to chronicle some of our summer here. So, the next few posts will re-cap "What We Did This Summer" and then I'll get back to some regular posts.
Although human subtlety makes a variety of inventions by different means to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous. ~Leonardo DaVinci