Friday, February 27, 2015

USS Alabama


Nothing like a battleship to bring the boy out of a boy.

Or the boy out of a man.

Nicholas was still Nicholas--all boy.  He jumped up here and then commanded that they spin him around to open up whatever this is.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


We build,
so we have a launch pad for that zipline.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I Feel Pretty

So Pretty.

And a little creepy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Three months

We chose this guy when he was about a month old.

And he was adorable.

At three months, his tongue alone is as big as he was just eight weeks ago.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Remember the year this was my Valentine's Day gift?

Well happy Valentine's Day.
A Leaf Blower for you.

And for me, a wonderfully creepy piece of art.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Boys Vs. Girls

Patric wins on coolness factor in January for arranging a Boy Scout outing to the Montgomery Hyundai factory to see cars being made.

During which they got to ditch school early;
hang out with their friends;
and take a small group tour car making in action.

Thumbs up for the Boy Scouts!
We tried a second Girl Scout troop (the first troop story later, after I've calmed down a bit yet).  We went to the first cookie booth sale the day after I returned from Africa--it was written down wrong on the sheet and was not happening the day we arrived.  We tried again the following Saturday.  No one showed up, and we received an e-mail later in the day asking whether anyone was going to participate because the leader wasn't really feeling well.
Um, no. 
I will now be withdrawing the ladies from troop number 2.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


And I returned from away.
And I took Grandpa back to his plane for some much needed rest (because Patric and I seem to be incapable of coordinating our work travel). 
And Saturday morning I took the kids bowling.

The boys jumped right in. 
The girls refused and watched cautiously.
Until Alida could resist no longer.
Notice the lights are up.  They started during the last ten minutes of an hour long session.

And Elaine finally  got over the shoes at the end, and I got this photo here of her about the get a spare. 
Alas, perhaps they will learn to jump right in when presented the opportunity someday, instead of playing for 10 minutes before our time is up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Would Never have called this

Hands down, most intuitive, most attentive, most bonded with the new dog: Elaine.

The dog, who has grown from 11 to 17 pounds in the three weeks that we've had him...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Vacation" Photos: Uganda

Sunrise on Lake Victoria, Entebbe, Uganda
The kids always ask why I get to take vacation all the time when I travel for work.
I'm not going to lie, I always make sure to do some vacation-like things, even if the schedules are a little grueling.

Chimpanzee Reserve.
A short 90 minute boat ride across Lake Victoria...

Said boat.

During which we crossed the equator.

Later, we decided to go into a remote National Forest one day. (somewhere way down there, you can see the local park station where we started.)  Not quite like doing the same in the US.  Here you have to hire a guide to take you.

And she will have a gun.
Probably more effective in an emergency with a wild animal than the letherman tool I had stashed in my pack. We needed neither.

But before getting there, when the car wouldn't make it the entire way because the roads are that bad, we had to walk up the mountain just to get to the hike we were going to take.  The walk up the mountain took us through a few local villages, where they let out school to come look at the strange people. One brave girl approached me and touched my skin.  When I smiled at her, she shrieked and ran back to her friends and they rolled on the grass laughing.

You would think this would make me tired, but not enough to sleep in ever.
This is sunrise in Mbale, Uganda.

Yummy food.
I chose the beans and rice at this restaurant.  I was the clear winner.

And the Nile.  We were halfway across when we asked the driver what we were crossing.
Oh, that's the Nile, he said casually.
That was about half an hour after he had casually shrugged off the moment when he rear-ended the driver in front of us during a traffic jam.  The traffic jam during which we bought Fanta soda from people selling to the car windows, considered buying bananas, and my traveling companion strictly forbade me from buying the meat on a stick.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stuff I find around the house

When questioned.
Elaine: I was tickling her, so she wanted revenge.