Friday, September 27, 2013

"Tree Crickets"!

With the older boys in school, I've had some more time with Lincoln and Thea Belle on their own. Actually, not as much time as I envisioned, but still, some time. One day the first week of school, we took a stroller walk and found a cicada who had just emerged from his skin. We were excited because we find their skins everywhere and sometimes we find a live one on the ground or on a tree. But to find one just emerged is rare for us. Brad just loves the sound of their whirring -- such a summer-ish, familiar, childhood sound. He grins everytime our house is quiet enough to hear their tree chorus. (Of course, it might be relief from our kids' cacophony! (-:)

I think most people know this, but did you know cicadas in our area of the world have a 17-year life cycle? Something neat I learned from wikipedia is that they are unusual in the insect world in that they have a temperature-regulating biological mechanism that is similar to sweating. I had no idea!

 My boys have been obsessed with watching this gif from the wikipedia article on cicadas. It's mesmerizing.
File:Cicada molting animated-2.gif

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gonzo Flies -- Gonzo-Style...

Deke wanted Gonzo to fly...well, I'm not very good at functional engineering...

But it looked kinda pretty...



Poor Gonzo...On second thought, Deke and Gonzo are soul mates.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in Altoona!

Over the longer Labor Day weekend a few weeks back, we headed down to Altoona, IA to visit Brad's family. Thea Belle and her cousin Ivy love each other! Yay! Dancing with girl cousin-friends!

Boy cousins and Brad trying to figure out the gaming system...

Birthday celebration for Thea Belle!

Fancy cupcakes from The Cupcakery in Des Moines.

Pretty Ivy; brother Milo chill in background

Great-Aunt Kay is excited about chocolate!

Max trying to escape my photos -- ha! Gotcha!

Great Grandma Trellis, down at the head of the table, joined us for church, dinner and birthday celebrations!

Corn Maze time! -- My first time, even though I grew up on a farm surrounded by corn fields: There weren't too many farmers around my part of farm-country that would mow mazes in their cornfields. At least, that's my explanation of why I never encountered such a thing until now.

I *love* freshly-haircut-ted boy heads...

Corn Tee-pee

Oh, so pretty!

I badly wanted to do the big maze -- but it was $6 a person and not $1 and it was supposed to take grown-ups a couple with 6 kids, 7 years old and younger, you got it...

The maze also included a game where you have to find 8 different punch shapes found in different crannies of the maze -- If you find all 8 you get to enter a raffle. Brad and Kara love games like this so we finally found all 8 even split up into two kind of groups, Kara and Me with the younger kids and Brad with the older boys.


Special Grandma reading time, cuddling...