Friday, March 25, 2011

You Learn Something New Everyday

The camera was sitting on the kitchen counter Tuesday night and Rachel picked it up and was carrying it around.  She loves to look at the LCD screen.  You are always at risk of losing pictures when she does this, though, because she is quite capable of getting to the "delete all " button, no matter how many steps it requires to get there.   I know this from experience.  I asked her to give the camera to me and forgot about it for a few minutes.  Then Allison asked, "Did she actually take a picture?"  I was certain that she had not, as she had never been able to do that before, but I turned on the camera to see.  I was expecting to see nothing new, and at the most a picture of Rachel's fingers, but this is what we found!  

Well, you cannot argue with a picture.  Rachel is the only one not in it.  Turns out she can not only delete pictures, but she can take them too. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Florida Field Trips Rock!

Tuesday Leah had a trip to Port Canaveral.  I was not sure what to expect, because all I know about the port is that it is the place where the cruise ships dock.  Turns out that the port is home to more than just the cruise ships.  We got to tour a fish market where they bring in the fresh catch and process it.  They have their own boats, so that was pretty neat. to get to see a shrimp boat up close.  The owner of the market also showed us how shrimpers use the Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs)  which prevent netting and killing  sea turtles in the shrimp nets.  It was neat to see how shrimpers now accept the devices as a natural part of the shrimping process.  Over twenty years ago, when I was studying marine biology, shrimpers were very angry about the new TEDs devices the government was just starting to make them use.

While we were at the fish market, a cruise ship came into dock.  Another chance to get to see something up close and personal for the first time.  The kids really loved seeing the huge boat, too.  After the market we had a picnic in the park that is also in the Port.  There is actually a  county park with camping sites, playgrounds, picnic tables, beaches and a fishing pier.  Who new.  I had herd the name of the park, but did not know it was at the port.  The pier was the coolest part of the trip.  We got to walk out and look at the wildlife in and around the water.  The grownups were having as much fun as the kids.  I have to say that living in Florida does make for some really fun field trips.    

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Say What?

Rachel came home from school  the other day with red paint all over her shirt.  I asked her what she painted and she said, "Shirt."  No kidding. 

When I pack Rachel's lunch for school, I always ask her when she gets home what she had for lunch.  It is always interesting to hear what she says.  She usually says, "chicken."  I will tell her I don't think she had chicken because that is not what I put in her lunchbox.  Then I ask her again and she will answer, "ham" which is what was actually in her lunchbox.  I will ask her what else she had, and she will name the other things in her lunchbox.  I am so excited that she is able to remember and name the things she ate.  I still cannot count on her telling me the right answers, but she is getting there. 

Rachel is also becoming a tad bit bossy.  She will now tell me she has made and mess and that she wants me to go clean it up!  Can you believe that?!  LOL  She will come up to me and say, "Mess" and I will ask her if she made a mess.  She will say, "Yes."  She will then say, "Clean up?" and I will say are you going to clean it up? She then says, "No" which is followed by, "Upstairs."  I ask her if she wants ME to go up stairs and clean up her her mess and she says, "Yes."  Little stinker!

Rachel has also perfected the disgusted teen attitude.  You know the one.  When they cross their arms across their chest, take a deep breath and say, "humph!"   She has been walking the dog with me lately and wants to constantly run.  Well, the dog has to do his business, and that requires him to stop periodically (he also has to sniff every verticle surface he can get to in order to make sure no other dog has peed on it since he last made his rounds) and eventually Rachel get too far ahead.  At that point I have to tell her to stop and wait for us to catch up.  That is when I get the attitude.  She turns around, says "WALK!"   I say for her too wiat, and then crosses her arms, stomp her foot, puts her head down, and says, "Humph."  Girls...........what to do with them! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Family Harmony

I was looking through some pictures today and came across this one.   You gotta just feel the love when you look at this picture, right!?!  I guess Allison had no idea anyone was paying attention to what she was doing.

This really says a lot about Leah's and Allison's  relationship.  Allison is the bossy big sister and Leah is the submissive little sister.  I cringe to think that I must have been just like this to my little sister at that age.  At least my little sister was the same size as me and could fight back.   Allison is not always arguing with Leah, but it is definitely happening more frequently, than it use to. 

The closer Allison gets to the teen years, the meaner she has become toward Leah.  We discuss it on an almost daily basis, trying to get Allison to see how she acts from Leah's point of view.  No luck with that, though.  Right now, Leah is the annoying little sister that says nothing but "stupid" and "annoying" things.  (I have not made it on to that list yet, but I know my days are numbered ) Allison will be thirteen in August.  She will be leaving elementary school behind in May and heading off to middle school in August.  I am sure that as she makes that transition,that poor Leah will take some heat from Allison when things aren't going right at school or around the house.  I know that there is little hope that I can change Allison's perception of her little sister at this point, but I look forward to the day when the are the best of friends again, and they look back and laugh at the things they did as children.  I hope that is sooner  rather than later.       

Friday, March 18, 2011

Time Change

Apparently, changing time is hard to do for Rachel.  She has really been dragging this week.  She isn't usually too hard to get up in the mornings, but this week she is not wanting to get up at all.  When I tell her it is time to get up, she tells me, "No, all done!"  After dragging her out of the bed against her will the other day, she proceeded to lie down in the kitchen floor and go back to sleep.   I felt bad about handing off this happy child to the teacher, but I got over that and was glad I did not have to listen to little Miss Grouchy all day. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Horsing Around

The girls have been enjoying their horse back riding.  It is even more fun now that it is not cold.  We had some really chilly riding days, but fortunately winter is over.  Allison and Leah go riding on Monday afternoon.  They ride together, and it is just them so they get to do whatever they want.  The lady that does the lessons is VERY laid back, and she lets the kids do what they want to do.  I am okay with that, because the lesson are very cheap and the girls are having a great time.  A couple of weeks ago, she took Allison and Leah trail riding.  She loaded up two horses and their tack and my two girls and took them to a nearby park with horse trails.  This week she let Leah and Allison exercise two of her minature ponies.  The girls had a blast.  The girls are now thinking that they are serious riders and are wanting to get riding helments.  Notice in the pictures below they are wearing bicycle helmets.   

Rachel rides every Thursday afternoon ,and she may be more in love with horse back riding than she was last year.  She talks about it constantly and to anyone who will listen.  If a stranger stops to tell her hello, she starts talking about horses.  It is always the same conversation.  She says, "Horsey," then pauses and waits for you to repaeat it, then she says, "Guke" which is Rachel speak for Duke and is the name of the horse she rides.  She waits for you to repeat that, then she will say, "Trot."  This is a close as she comes to saying a sentence, and she uses it every morning to say goodmorning to her daddy.  Rachel has been so excited this week because she is getting to ride twice.  Tuesday she got to ride to make up for some of the classes we have missed due to rain and cold.  She will ride again this afternoon.  She is now always asking to wear her shirts with the horses on them.  She only has two, so it doesn't happen every day, much to her dismay.  Twice in the last month she has asked to wear her horse shirt to sleep in and then worn it to school.  The girl is loving her horses!!   Oh yeah, she is finally starting to hold the reigns and even trying to turn the horse!  She is looking like such a big girl up on her horse these days.  Below are some pictures of Rachel and Duke.