Monday, September 23, 2013

And the best toys award for the summer go to.....

This summer was full of great sticks, rocks, plenty of mud puddles, and some great pine cones, but in the "toys we had to purchase department" our newly started collection of animal calls came in first place for best toys of the summer. 

It all started with a couple of turkeys that wandered into Nana and Pappy's gardens, and we ordered our first turkey call so Saule could communicate with them. Its hand held, easy to use, makes a variety of turkey sounds, and would probably attract a turkey if it was used correctly and quietly. Saule stalks them around the yard, shaking her gobbler and living in a world of wild things. Its all fun and games for the turkeys and her!

It was so much fun we also invested in two other calls, a deer buck call and a prey/fawn call 

All the calls are easy enough for Ursa to get a sound out. We have gotten endless entertainment out of them in the yard and forest for imaginative play, and living room for parades! We have yet to attract animals- well not real ones anyway. Each call invokes a different kind of fantasy play- you might find a wounded fawn, a flock of turkeys or even a bear!

The selection to be had of animal calls is huge, and a trip to the local sporting goods store revealed a entire range of "hunting" supplies beyond our wildest dreams that could be put to good use in our games. Hunting blinds for bird and squirrel watching, Camo suits that look just like cut grass, tree stands that make an instant and movable tree house, feeding stands to attract deer, salt licks for porcupines, coyote pee the possibilities are endless!

I highly recommend checking out this new and exciting line of "toys" for kids of almost any age, as they are very well made, and can continue to be used to bird/animal watching later on.

Watch Saule and Ursa in the woods here

Of course no game in the woods in complete without a trusty hunting dog! Or a good hiding place in the yard!

Monday, September 9, 2013

To infinity and beyond! Or Guatemala that is...

To infinity and beyond!

                                Can you guess where we are headed in less then a month?

"Where are we going sis?"

Guatemala! We are headed out in just a few weeks to start our next journey in Central America! We fly in on a one way ticket and will see where the road takes us. Honduras is going to be on the list, beyond that we aren't sure yet. We are all very busy getting ready.

Saule has been working really hard learning about Mayan history and studying the wildlife in Central America. She is also putting a good deal of time into learning all the relevant Spanish such as ice cream flavors, and phrases to use with other children, such as "¿quieres jugar a las muñecas?" We ordered her a dry snorkel for our time in Honduras, and she is practicing using it in the bath. 

Here are some great sites for kids preparing to go to Guatemala, or learning about the Maya:

Paulius will be working on the road, so he is going to carry his pack with his things (Including his big screen!), and I will carry my pack for the girls and I. Saule is taking her small day pack- filled with her workbooks, art supplies, and personal items. All in all we will travel with 2 small packs and Paulius larger one.

 I found a site I really like called  and was able to get some things we needed for Saule, since she has outgrown most of her clothes. While cruising that site I found some other really neat camping gear for kids. They had great prices on things, and ideas for other quality kids stuff. And also had some great kids items on sale.

I discovered a great page for a Spanish refresher It lets your listen, type, and see images of Spanish words, and is very easy to use. My Spanish is all self taught so this is a useful way to correct some of my mistakes quickly, and refresh some easy vocabulary.

Lots of other little things coming together too, Lonely Planet orders, vaccine research done, things here tied up nicely. Just a couple more weeks and we are on our way.

The truth is though, its always difficult to leave, move, uproot, even with great things to come. It was really difficult deciding what to do with this precious time- more and more so it seems as time passes. There are so many wonderful ways to spend the days, and so precious few days. Time seems to be passing so quickly.

 Fall is a beautiful time in the Hudson Valley. The leaves here are starting to turn, and all the fall festivals are in full swing. Pumpkins, apples, and migrating birds seem to be all around us. Its the last of the yard sales and the first of socks and hats of the season as we stretch  out our days with no heat. This morning the shadows here on the mountain side were covered in frost. Is our baby bear hibernating yet?

One of the hidden blessings in leaving is the way it allows you to really enjoy what time remains. I will truley enjoy our remaining days here on the mountain watching the seasons turn. Our last few days of fall at Nana and Pappy's house- apple pie and falling leaves. One last NY pizza. One more story hour. Its all so good. "Kaip mums gerai" as prochuta says.

Summers in a nutshell.

With the weather starting to cool down here in Windham, NY and the leaves starting to turn, its looking like our summer is coming to close and fall is fast approaching. As always blogging gets put on hold when the weather is nice and life is full of many lovely things to do.

We hit a bunch of ag. fairs this summer and had couple of really nice BBQ's with friends and family. Several days each week we would venture to Windham path to hike and bike. There was an outing to the city to see the sights, and some pony rides at nana and pappys house. And several homeschool gatherings. Mostly we spent our time here in our yard, enjoying the summer days, building our own little Erie canal in the drive way (and visiting the real one). We picked blackberries, raspberries, and flowers along our lovely little driveway, and made daily observations as the seasons turned from early spring all the way through until todays crisp fall morning. The hummingbirds came, and have now gone again. The milkweed bloomed, and now turned to seed.

We spent a few nice weeks at the Cape, where Saule turned 5. She learned to swim under water, made lots of friends, and chased crabs up the beach. She skinny dipped with Tete under a full moon. Ursa seemed to appreceate the small things in life like mud, sand, leaves, flowers, bugs, and birds.

And of course an epic carnival in Provincetown, MA. 

Dora- our ever faithful companion was always with us, never far from the kids day and night. She has become an ever present friend for us all.
And then all of a sudden, there were yellow school buses again. Zoom Flume water park was closed. The streets are empty here in Windham, leaving most of the trails for us to enjoy in solitude- just us and the remaining critters. Wondering if our little bear is headed towards hibernation soon?