Monthly Archives: October 2013

Willow Oak fall potluck

Yesterday was an insanely busy day – Samantha had church, birthday party, then her school’s first ever fall potluck. The head of school sent out a survey earlier in the school year asking for parents to indicate ways they would be willing to help out. One job was the school archivist. This is a fancy term for photographer of school events. I jumped at the chance for this job! After all, I would be taking pics at events any way 🙂

I still need to know kids/families that do not want to be photographed, so I am only posting pics of friends for now. Check out my handiwork. Super happy with my new school job!

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fire pit area

Mulched with the new solar light globes. What do you think?Image

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The 3 missing chickens

Despite the cold temps, I worked out in the garden this morning. It felt good to weed and cut back the summer veggies that were done producing. I gave all the scraps to the chickens, and I could tell by their “talking” that they enjoyed the special treat.

I went inside and got a phone call from Rahul. Aidan woke up vomiting on the camping trip, so they were heading home. Poor Aidan 😦

I was heading out to get him some chicken noodle soup and Pepto when I heard a lot of noise from the chicken coop. When I opened the gate, I saw Smooch with Buffy in her mouth! I screamed which I think really shocked her, so she dropped the chicken. I immediately scanned the area for the other 3 chickens but they were nowhere in site. I locked Buffy in the coop, put on my red garden boots, and went on a search for the other chickens.

I told myself that there was no way Smooch could have eaten 3 whole chickens. But if she did, there would be feathers and other evidence of the slaughter.

I looked everywhere for over 30 minutes but could not find any evidence of the chickens. Now I was starting to get scared that something very terrible had happened. I locked Smooch on the deck and continued my search. Finally I saw a hint of something black moving under the wooden path to workshop. I had looked under the path at least twice and saw nothing. It turns out the chickens had crammed themselves into the smallest of spaces under there hiding from the predator pooch. Whew.

Now for how this all happened……when I put the invisible fence correction area on the pool cover, I took apart the one for the chicken area to see how the wires were connected (I was determined *not* to have to pay for someone from the company to do this for me). It was raining when I was doing this, so I opted not to connect the wires to the chicken area back because Smooch has not gone near the chicken area since we put the correction in place.

I also cleaned out our refrigerator this morning, and as I usually do, gave the chickens the old veggies and expired salad. Today carrots were in this special treat, and I accidentally threw the carrots close to the fence. I can only speculate, but I am guessing that Smooch went for the carrots and then realized she did not get a correction and decided to hop on in the chicken area to play. Sigh.

So, here are my 4 chickens still with heads, legs, and wings.

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And here is a very irritated Smooch looking at her play toys from a distance since I reconnected the wires so that she would in fact get a correction if she went into their area.

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I will say it again,  just in case I forget about these crazy days down the road……no more puppies!

Kristan

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Samantha’s week

This week I was able to observe in Samantha’s classroom as part of the preparation for her first parent/teacher conference. She tells us so much about what she is learning, but it was still nice to see her “in action.” She has a work plan, and for a large chunk of time in the morning she works thru the plan sometimes alone, with a small group, or with a teacher. Here is what the classroom looks like (not her class, but it will give you an idea):

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I love that she is really learning, not just completing tasks. There really is a difference. She is learning about how to learn, plan, think critically….I could keep going.

I scheduled the parent/teacher conference for Wed night so that Rahul and I could both go. I finished my Girls TALK lesson, dropped the kids off at the babysitter, and off we went to hear how Samantha is doing. Her teachers (as usual) have no concerns and report that she is an amazing member of the classroom. Always eager to know more, help the younger students, etc. She did know a few girls in the class before the school year started, but she has also made a few new friends.

Thursday and Friday were teacher workdays, so we got to hang out one on one. Yesterday we went to PF Changs for lunch, an Old Navy shopping spree, and afternoon at Starbucks. Oh, we did go by the Social Security office to see about getting a new card in her name but the line was long and I opted to fill out the application at home and come back another day. Who wants to spend a day out of school waiting for a social security card?

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Rahul had today off because of the Cub Scouts camping trip (more on that in a bit) so he took Samantha to the State Fair this morning (with the understanding that no animal petting was aloud….every year kids get really sick from attending the fair). I have always known she was a daddy’s girl, but after he won her “Cotton Candy” pictured below, I am sure my PF Chang lunch seemed not so cool 🙂

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Now for more on camping. This weekend is the fall Cub Scouts camping trip. Rahul is going with not one, but both of our kiddos….for 2 nights! Yes folks, camping in 30 degree nighttime weather with a bunch of 9-10 yr old boys. Wow, I do love that man. Samantha was SUPER excited when CJ’s sister invited her to sleep in her tent. Marissa, being the youngest of 4 and the only girl, has been camping since she was a baby. So, with thermal underwear, puffy coats, gloves, hats, (and some beer for daddy :-)) off they went after Aidan got home from school today.

You might be wondering what I am going to do with the house to myself for 2 nights….I have a lot of plans! A movie tonight (if I can work the TV and DVD without Rahul here :-)), gardening tomorrow, running with my best running friend, maybe a quiet nap or 2….woo hoo!

Marissa’s mom asked why I was not coming along. She is a den leader and goes to all the camp outs. I explained that I do not pee and poop in holes in the ground, I need running water to brush my teeth at night, and a white noise machine to sleep. Plus, I do not think I have ever slept an entire night in a tent in my entire life. Just out of my comfort zone.

So send warm and toasty thoughts to the rest of my family this weekend. I am sure they will have a blast, as will I!

Kristan

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a new play friend, mulching and BIG news!

Our neighbor’s dog Chato has been spending more time outside during the day. He is an old guy and has started a habit of leaving “presents” for Jay and Megan when they are out at work. When we are outside, Chato gives us a friendly bark which got me thinking about possible playdates. Smooch and Chato get along great, despite their age difference. What if hanging out with Smooch some would make having to be outside more fun for Chato? I asked Jay and he gave the green light.

This morning after mulching more of the fire pit area (more on that in a sec), we made a surprise visit to hang out with Chato. I had to drive Smooch next door b/c she will not go beyond the Invisible Fence flags (what a good girl!). They played for about 30 minutes, then toddler Smooch was done playing and plopped on their deck for a nap. Before she got too comfy, we headed back home (via car, hahaha). Here is a pic of the Caldwell Woods dog park 🙂

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Now for mulching. I started out with 10 bags of mulch a while ago, but then got busy with the class I was teaching at Peace and just life in general. Now that I have a teaching break until the spring, I decided to try and finish my mulching project. With 12 bags loaded in my trunk, I thought for sure this would be my last load of mulch. Nope. I swear every time I mulch an area it gets bigger as I mulch it! So, one more load will be needed to get the area exactly like I want it. Also, Rahul picked out some solar string lights that we are going to hang above the fire pit area. I cannot wait to see how it all looks. What is that saying….one project leads to another project, which leads to another project, etc.

Now for the BIG news. This post is #1000 for my family blog. Yes folks, I have posted 1000 times about our family. Some funny, some serious, some pretty mundane. But it has been a great way to keep in touch with friends and family and document our amazing life here on Wild Azalea Lane. I will keep posting. Keep reading.

And, if anyone is curious, here is a link to my very first post back in Feb of 2006.

https://theshimpifamily.wordpress.com/2006/02/24/being-more-reflective-about-family/

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Fun weekend with Mema and PPops

Mema and PPops came to watch Aidan and Samantha’s triathlon this weekend. They must truly love their grandchildren to get up super early and hang out for over an hour before they actually started the race! Post-triathlon, I took Samantha to her church activities while everyone else went out for Indian food for lunch. (During church time, I got to look over the 400+ pics Rahul took at the triathlon 🙂 )

Later on we had a nice long nap and a relaxing afternoon watching football (finally a win for the Redskins!!), playing badminton, and hanging out by the fire pit.

Good times.

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Tar Heel Youth Triathlon

We officially have 2 kid triathletes in the house! After only learning to ride a bike 3 weeks ago, Samantha completed her first triathlon this morning. This was Aidan’s second race this year. I was super proud of Samantha as she peddled her heart out up the last hill on the bike course. And, I was *that* mom who cheered and chased her down the dismount lane with the course volunteer screaming “mom, get off the course!” Oh well. Here is a sample of Rahul’s awesome triathlon photography. Enjoy!

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