Monday, July 27, 2009

Addie Geo-CachesToo!

Addie and her family also Geo-cache
It is something we have been doing for 2 summers now.
This summer will make our 3rd summer.
Although we haven't cached yet this summer, we intend to on our
way out to Colorado and back.
Our goal is to get three caches in each state so that we can
add each state to our cache page.

As you can see we are called the Family Circus
it is a cartoon family in the Sunday funny papers.
They have three boys and one girl and the
similarities don't stop there.

Our geocaching adventures have taken us into some
interesting areas. We have been in the deepest forest and up the
highest fire towers (it was at the top on the outside of the tower)

As you have discovered a person can get pretty beat up in their
searches. These are called "geo-stripes" there is a whole glossary of terms
if you haven't found them yet.
This info can be found in the Geocacher's U site.
If you watch the rotating header on this site long enough you will
see Addie's dad and brother (on dad's shoulder) geocaching.

We have been down a steep ditch digging in a pile of rocks
on a lovely summer day,
(We are wearing pants to avoid poison ivy and burning nettle weeds.)

and we have been up a tall hill in the snow and cold
(another fire tower)

This was our 100th find. It was part of a series of puzzle caches
and for me (since I solved the puzzles) was thrilled to find.

Geocaching has given our family something to do together that is relatively inexpensive
(other then when gas was almost $5/gallon)
The whole family enjoys the activity (mostly)
and it takes to places that after 10 years of living here
we have never been too.

I hope you have a lot of fun - and it gets easier as you learn
If you need any hints let Addie know - she is usually
the first to find the cache.
(Which is why we play huckle-buckle -beanstalk - see glossary)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

we've been geocaching!

just a couple of weeks ago, sabin went geocaching for the first time with her friend andreas. we were thereby introduced to the whole idea of geocaching (addie, i heard you've been doing it for two years, you must tell us about it!). since then, i've downloaded the app for my iPhone so we can do it wherever we are and we've found three caches within walking distance of our house.

the first one, we really took the long way and ended up scratched and covered in thorns and weed seeds rather unnecessarily, but we found it!  sabin led the way:

here's a shot of the wrong way we was quite treacherous:

but we did find it in the end, our very first cache as a family (sabin had found several together with her friend):

and here's what was inside. it was originally a crystal cache, with quartz stones to trade, but people had traded lots of other items into the box. we had taken a piece of quartz from the black hills with us to trade, taking the cache description very seriously.

then, a few days later, we went on another geocache walk and found this book cache up near the old farm where sabin used to go to pre-school.

we thought the idea of a book cache was really cool. we brought a book to put in and we took a book out as well. super fun!

and then yesterday, we took Else, our neighbor who is a sort of surrogate grandmother to sabin along on to find a cache.  it wasn't one where you trade, it was just a film case where you should log that you found it. it was a relatively new cache, as we were only the 5th ones to write in the log.

addie, i hope you'll share some of your geocaching experiences with us.  we're totally newbies. and the last one was difficult for us, because we didn't expect it to be magnetic and up high, we were looking on the ground. we hope we get smarter about it! and we want to make our own cache eventually too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Buller Finally Made It!

My main goal for Buller when he arrived in the States
was for him to make it to the
Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

On Sunday July 19, 2009 Buller arrived at this location. Luckily for our cold blooded friend it was a lovely day out. Those have been few and far between in the great state of Minnesota.

The Mississippi River runs the length of the United States. It starts just outside of Park Rapids, MN at what is now a State Park named Itasca. It then travels North to Bemidji and then starts heading South toward Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.The Mississippi flows out of Lake Itasca and travels 2552 miles before becoming part of the Gulf of Mexico and eventually part of the Ocean. A man named Schoolcraft was the person who discovered the correct source (as others had been named as such) and the short story is on the sign below.

Remember Sabin: click to enlarge it
so that you can read it better

We try to make it to Itasca State Park at least once a season if not more often. There are miles of bike/hiking trails, camping, boating, fishing, dinner cruises, naturalist programs, swimming, shopping, restaurants, etc. Plus it is one of the last great stands of old age/ untouched forests in the area. Almost everything else has been logged at one point in history.

Here is a collage of our time at the headwaters. I will first point out the upper left and lower right pics - these are from a 10 mile canoe ride that Addie's mom and dad took down part of the Mississippi on Friday. You can read about that here. Buller came along for the ride, but due to the rain and cold he stayed in dad's jacket.

From there I will start at the top left and continue to the right and around
1) Loon - Minnesota state bird. Came up right in front of our canoe
2) This is a shot taken at the Lake Itasca swimming beach - across the lake is the headwaters. You can barely see people walking across
3) My feet (mom) on the rocks of the headwaters. Imagining the water going across my feet will eventually be in the ocean
4) All four kids sitting on the Headwaters
5 &6) A shot of people walking across
7) Buller basking in the sun on the rocks collecting memories
8) Rocks to send to your mom out of the Headwaters - they will be making the return trip with Buller
9) Canoe trip - cousins in the canoe behind us
10) Heading down the path toward the river
11) The kids and dad walked from the Headwaters to the first bridge.
12) Dad holding Addie's brother's homemade boat he was floating down rocks
13) People from all over the world come to see this
14) Ducks and ducklings on Lake Itasca
15) Buller on the log bridge
16) Addie sitting in the headwaters
The middle pic) Buller hanging out at the Headwaters of the Mississippi sunning on the rocks.


Sabin -
Ask your mom if she ever made it to this place?
Did her family take a trip here?
Does she remember it?
Are the pictures hidden in your granparent's basement ;)

leo's adventures

sabin's class has a class stuffed white tiger named Leo. they've had him since "nulte," which is what kindergarten is called in denmark. he goes home with one or another child every weekend and there is a whole book written of all that leo has done over the past three years. sabin got the privilege of taking him home for the summer and since we'll have to write in his book, we took him along to dublin last week (we should have taken Early too, but that's another story, i'm afraid we didn't.  us bad.). but i thought we'd share some of the adventures leo got up to anyway.

most of the time, leo rode on the back of far's backpack:

he got some good things to eat and drink:

he saw some sights:

and he was occasionally naughty and went places he shouldn't have been:

he had a scary encounter with the terminator:

and it didn't end well. as you can see, he got shot:

but later, he recovered and enjoyed reading a book about a white tiger at starbucks.

quite a lot of adventures for just a few short days in dublin.  next week, both he AND early will go to singapore. we'll definitely share what they get up to there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yeah! for the day

We were able to spend a some time on the lake. We went on Addie's Grandparent's pontoon boat. In the middle of the lake that they live on is a sand bar. We park the boat there and play around in the shallow water. It was a cool 70 degrees, but when the sun came out it made for a warmer time.

It was nice to finally get out on the lake - even for only a little over an hour

(Since Buller is not a water animal we left him on shore)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fourth of July

Fourth of July is America's Independence Day celebration. It is a Holiday that Americans take the time to remember our independence as a nation and to enjoy family time.Our family went fishing, swimming, to a parade, and a carnival.Here is Addie fishing for sunfish on a lake a walk away from our house.
Here she is playing at the beach - of the same lake (but the opposite side)
Sunday is the day of the parade. This is the marching band from the high school. People in the parade throw candy. That is the kids' favorite part.
This year we watched the parade at a friends house. They are on the parade route.It is was terribly hard for Addie's dad to get the timing right to take this picture on the carousel. This is her favorite ride. She chose the horse with pink on it.

Here is Addie waiting for the fireworks. We have watched the fireworks on the lake in a boat the last two years. It makes for a very late night since they don't finish until almost 11pm. We did not arrive home until almost midnight. It was a great weekend.

Surely you don't pout like this
do you Sabin?
I love how Kendra
(family friend- blonde to the right)
is looking at her :)

It can't be perfect
all the time!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

summer is so fleeting

we've been horribly neglecting our dear blog here as school ended and summer began. the weather's been glorious and that's drawn us outside, away from the computer, which is no doubt a good thing. but, i thought i'd share a few pictures of sabin's summertime activities from the last few weeks.

we burned a witch

we had breakfast at school on the last day
in sabin's new classroom.
the parents are going to get together and paint it white this summer
that orange color on the walls is awful!

we spent time at a nearby beach

we had our final riding lesson of the season

we played on another beach with sabin's cousins
nicolai and christian
and she stayed with them for the weekend.

in all. we are thoroughly enjoying summer.

we'll do some fun stuff around home in the next couple of weeks including:
  • sommerland sjælland (a do-it-yourself kind of amusement park)
  • lejre (a middle ages park you can visit)
  • maybe a trip down møn's klint (my favorite place in denmark)
we'll also have a long weekend in berlin or somewhere like that together with sabin's big sister mathilde, hopefully taking the train down.

and then at the end of july, we'll go to singapore for ten days. i'll be working, but sabin and her dad will hang out by the pool and eat sushi and generally enjoy themselves.

our school holiday is only about six weeks long, so we have to try to make the most of it! summer is just way too short!