Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bunny Chores

I don't know if I've updated the online world on the status of the bunny brothers.  They are thoroughly enjoying their new location- in the backyard!

They have nice grassy runs that they can graze (supervised, only, of course) in.  The kids are doing a fantastic job with their bunny chores- cleaning litter boxes, feeding and watering.  We also monitor the weather very closely- when the outside temp is over 80 degrees, they each get frozen bottles of ice in front of their individual box fans to make personal evap coolers!  Since they are Angoras with some heavy wool, we make sure that regular haircuts happen to keep them cool- (I invested in little pair of electric shears- we aren't really using their wool for spinning yet, so I just keep them clipped short!)

While I think they liked being with the family in the house, judging by the amount of hopping and running they're doing, they like it even better with their paws on the grass and fresh clover under their chins a few times a day!  We'll re-evaluate rooming situations when the snow starts to fall, but for spring/summer/fall, this is the best setup ever :-)

Here's a video of some regular bunny chores to get a feel for their new digs :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Babies and Puppies and Friends!

We had a wonderful gathering and celebration in honor of America's birthday!  Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join us-- here are some photos from the day :-)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fourth of July Bike Parade (on the Third!)

We love our neighborhood bike parade and cookout!  This year was even better because I had two legitimate bike riders to get ready :-)   We rode our bikes down to the community center and commenced the celebrating.

The face painting (well, my kids opted to have some arm-painting done.....)

 Games and prizes!
 And then, the decorating!  The community center had TONS of great decor options this year, and the kids really got into it :-)

 Finally, the parade.  They led it with a 'pace car' to prevent the bigger kids from turning it into a street race, but Alex didn't like how congested it felt.  Next year, she decided, she would hang back a bit further and get some more space towards the end of the 100 or so kids who participate!

Here come our riders--

 Happy Fourth of July!

Dissecting a Camera

Amazon has this great program where they will buy your used (but in good condition) electronics.  We've been able to send several things to them, but for some reason they rejected our old camera.  So Dave decided to supervise a camera dissection--
Alex was excited about it to start:
Dave: "OK- here you go." (steps back)
Alex: "How am I going to get into this?"
Justin: (softly) "a screwdriver"
Alex: "Maybe I need a hammer"
Justin: (still softly) "you need a screwdriver"
Alex: "Dad, do you have a hammer I can use to smash?"
Justin: (now louder and giggling) "No! You need a really SMALL screwdriver!"
Dave brought out an assortment of tools and the kids got to work.  Alex tinkered for a good 15 minutes, but got frustrated and wanted to just smash everything.  She decided to go and read for a while.  In the meantime, Justin kept working and working......and working!

 We ended up just leaving all the parts of the tray for the time being, as every so often he wants to sit down and continue deconstructing the camera.  He managed to get most of the pieces out, reserving a spring for use in one of his trains upstairs that needs a new spring.  What a guy!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Afternoon in the Big Backyard-

It's been another week of Science Museum camps for the two Marotz kids.  Alex took a "Get Set to be a Vet" course, and LOVED it!  Justin was enrolled in the preschool Lego camp, and wished it went on forever (even though the majority of the building was done with Duplos, which he was a bit disappointed with).  Justin's class was only an hour long, so one morning we killed some time in the Science Museum's "Big Backyard" while waiting for Sister to finish up.

Our favorite part of this outdoor classroom is the natural landscape maze--  we wandered and wandered and made lots of discoveries!
 We found some bees working hard--
 Also some red spider mites..... lots of them.....
 But the best part of the whole morning was when a train passed by.  Justin heard it coming from a ways off, and found a good spot to watch.  He waved, and waved, and waved and waved---  until the engineer finally saw him and gave him a friendly smile and wave back!  Thank you, sir, for making my four year old's day!
 After the engine passed his spot, he decided to run alongside the train for a while.  I love this shot--
 And then we reached the end of the fence and we just had to sit and watch it some more.  Ah.....trains......

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Camping on our own!

We had so much fun camping at Lake Elmo park with the Girl Scouts a few weeks back that I decided we needed to try it on our own!  Dave visited us for dinners after work, but slept back at the house to keep an eye on the dog et al.  

The kids and I make a GREAT team!  We got the tent up with no problems--
 Played some games and went to the swimming beach before coming back for some afternoon 'down-time'.  I found these two plastic drawers in the clearance section of Target, and we filled them with paper, scissors, watercolors, washi tape and stickers.  Their "quiet boxes" are a hit!

We stayed two nights-- coming in and out to go to Vacation Bible School and run countless other errands during our 'camping'.  It pays to live really close the the park!

Justin's photo of Alex in the tent.  I think it might be a winner (remember, the Washington County Fair is just around the corner!)

Mmmmm....dessert-- banana boats stuffed with marshmallows, brown sugar and chocolate.

And a successful breakfast of bacon and mushrooms- followed by some fishing :-)

These Frog Toggs were LIFESAVER (the things wrapped around the kids' waists)!  They are water-activating cooling bandannas that kept my two comfortable in the slightly humid afternoon--

Our new camping cot (which arrived halfway through our camping trip) saves TONS of space in the tent---

As you can see the kids were getting a bit crazy by the end of day two, but we made it!  Next camping trip will be with Miss Kolachi, too!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, Kolachi-Dog!

I can't believe it's already been two years since this girl had been in our lives!
Quick photo montage recap:
3 Weeks old with Breeder, Zoa Rockenstein

 Meeting Alex for the first time- 5 weeks old!

 Puppy pick-up day-  8 weeks old!

10 Weeks Old- Family photo shoot
6 Months old with Santa

 Enjoying the beach at Park Point- Duluth (1 yr old)

Learning how to pull a sled- (1 1/2 yrs old)

 ...and how to herd sheep (almost 2)

and here we are today-- 2 years old!  What a blessing and a joy this girl has been to our family. :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sunfish and Sun!

Shawano isn't Shawano without some quality fishing time with Papa Bob!
 This year, the kids pulled 12+ 'keeper' fish from the lake.

 It was a good thing they caught so many because we had a CROWD to feed!  Two of Bob's cousins and their spouses joined us for a wonderful lunch. (Shout out to Terri- a blog-following cousin who is always so kind to my children!)
 AND, we were surprised when two of Dave's cousins and their families joined us as well as his Aunt and Uncle!  The kids lucked out that Mr. Christopher was around to expertly clean and filet their fish.  He is a trained chef, so you can be sure that we were all watching to try and pick up some tips!
 It was a beautiful day with tons of good food and many, many good conversations!
 Family photo with our Matriarch-- Great Grandma Alice!
 After we returned to the hotel for the evening, we got to hang out with the kids' (third?) cousins in the hotel pool-- great way to end the day!