Thanksgiving in Rolla

Ludi and London
Ludi and London

This year it worked out that I didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving. So we headed to down for a two-day celebration at my brother Justin’s. My youngest brother Jon still had to work Thanksgiving, but he and his wife Brittney were able to join us Thursday evening.

It was fun to have everyone together. The kids had lots of fun playing, we busted out the Jaguar for an NBA Jam tournament, we ate a lovely meal, we watched the Cowboys pull off a win, and we all got home safely again.

I’m thankful for such a nice Thanksgiving.

I didn’t photograph exhaustively, but here’s a slideshow of a few fun moments:

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Scenes from the backyard in autumn

A weird morning. My tummy was rumbly, but I had promised to accompany Jadzia on her field trip to Little Creek. So she and Ludi and I walked together to school. When I got there, the teacher said chaperones would have to ride separately, not on the bus. Oh well. I walked back home to get my minivan.

After arriving at Little Creek I waited about 20 minutes for the kids to arrive. As a children’s ministry teacher for many years, I know that it can take a while to get them all rounded up. Just as the bus from Vogt Elementary pulled into the lot, I got a call from the school — Ludi had thrown up. So with quick apologies to Jadzia and her teacher, I drove back to Ferguson to take Ludi home.

The rest of the morning went well. Jadzia and her class learned about groups of vertebrate animals: mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and birds. They got to interact with real animals and do a lot of activities and games. It was a fun way to learn.

After the field trip was done, I headed home for lunch. The kids were in the backyard playing, Yoli told me. After spending some time upstairs, I was headed downstairs to do some work. As I looked out my bedroom window, there was Josie talking into the gutter extension pipe, making announcements to somebody. Across the yard, Joseph was standing at the old brick grill cooking a muddy concoction. I couldn’t resist.

I grabbed the camera and went to capture a few scenes from a lovely fall day in our backyard. Enjoy.

Stories from Yoli: Inside the box, right side up

Most nights when I come home from work, Yoli has stories to tell about what the kids were up to. Stories of mischief, of cuteness.

Today is the tale of the girl in the tall box.

Now that we have drapes in the house, we no longer need some of the tall, empty boxes we had been using to achieve a modicum of privacy. But Yoli set aside one particularly large, tall box so the kids could use it as a play house for a while.

Today she cut out some windows, turned it longways on its side and let them have at it. Jadzia and Ludi were monopolizing the box, not letting their younger siblings have a chance to go inside. Eventually Jadzia got tired and went to do something else.

Later, Yoli noticed that Ludi had been quiet for some time. That usually means mischief is afoot. Yoli went looking, and found that the box had been turned right side up (vertical). Guess who was inside?

“I can’t get out,” Ludi said pitifully, sucking her thumb.

A picture story: “Fruits girls mistakes”

Check out this combined story-telling effort by Jadzia and Ludi. Jadzia wrote the words, Ludi drew the pictures.

(here’s a transcript in case you can’t read it: “Fruits girls mistakes. She ate too many cherys so she turnd red. She ate too many plums so she turned purple. She ate too many rasberys so she turned pink.”)

The kangaroo wolf

Yoli, reporting on events around naptime this afternoon:

Right before getting into bed, Jadzia told Yoli that “I’m a kangaroo wolf.” She was hopping and growling.

Later, after the girls woke up, Yoli saw Ludi standing still.

Jadzia was tucking a cat beanie baby into Ludi’s waistband. Jadzia told her, “I’m going to put this in your pouch.”

Then Jadzia became like a movie director:

“Now you need to hop. You are a kangaroo.”

“And also growl. You are a wolf, too. Put your hands up like claws. Good, good.”

Yoli reports that Ludi’s acting was very good.

Snow days in St. Louis

We’ve racked up some pretty big snows this year.

We had a fair snow of a few inches on almost two weeks ago. My brother Jon and I took Jadzia and Ludi to go sledding up on Killer Kill in Florissant next to the Ferguson-Florissant School District administration building. Good times were had.

Then, a little over a week later, we got the biggest snowfall we’ve seen since around 2008. I didn’t put a ruler to it, but we probably got 9-10 inches. Unlike after the earlier snow, our temperatures have remained below freezing so the snow has not yet melted and today and tomorrow we will probably get a little bit more on top.

After the big one, I took the girls outside to play in the yard. After other attempts in previous years, I wasn’t expecting to stay outside long. Usually one of the girls will get snow under a glove or in the face and start screaming and then everyone wants to go in.

Not this year.

Jadzia, Ludi, and Josie stayed outside to throw snowballs, build snow forts, and make snow angels. Jadzia got tired of it after a while, but Josie and Ludi kept with it longer. All told we were out of the house for 45 minutes or an hour. Not bad!

Here are some photos from both snowfalls:

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