Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baby Duckies

We went to visit our friends last week. They had just gotten baby ducklings in the mail the week prior. Yes, you can order ducklings through the mail. I was surprised too. Shipping's a bear, though.

There are three, so we all took turns holding them. They are about 8 days old here.

Check out how little the wing is. Like the arms on a T-rex!

Here's my friend Jen now, trying to show me some sort of finger on the adult duck's wing.

That's Jack, by the way. He's a grown male. The three duckies are going to be his girlfriends when they grow up.

These are Pekin ducks...not to be confused with Peking Duck, which is a roasted duck dish. Pekin ducks are very heavy-bodied, and do not fly.

I think these ducks are generally raised for meat. I don't really care for duck meat, but I do like the eggs. Fortunately for Jack, I think Jen only likes the eggs too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome, Charlie

One of the girls' favorite trappings at Grandpa Dick and Grandma Fran's house was Charlie, the moose. As Fran prepares to move back to New Hampshire, Mark asked if Charlie could move in with us. She agreed.

The girls were thrilled to welcome Charlie!

He fits right in.

It will be great to have him around, especially at Christmas, to bring happy thoughts of Grandma and Grandpa.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Play School

One of the girls' favorite games this year is to play school. They draw upon aspects from all of their teachers and subjects, and make worksheets for themselves, each other, and Mark and I. I'd like to share just a few.

Here is Mae's work one Saturday morning, completely self-initiated:

OK, now just to clarify, Mae often grouses about doing homework, and sometimes complains that it's "too hard". Clearly she's been sandbagging me.

But really, I'm so proud of how they are doing in math--adding and subtracting with carrying and borrowing, with some basic multiplication as well! I must say, I have been very pleased with the curriculum and level of instruction we get in our little rural schools.

Okay, now here is a sample from a packet Abigail prepared for Mark to complete. Pay attention to Mark's answers (he did intentionally make some mistakes to add interest). If the text is too small, click on the picture to make it larger.

I love the little illustrations Abigail added to incite thought in her student.

These are treasures that I am definitely keeping FOR LIFE! And here is just a little commentary from Abigail that sums it up:

Abigail was particularly proud of her 100% attendance last year, which actually was a complete surprise to me. This year, both girls have been amazingly healthy--no sick days yet!

Did I just jinx that?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Last Sunday, Mark's father Dick passed away. He was 89 years old. He left behind a wonderful legacy with a wife of 66 years, eight children, 17 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.

Dick was a classic New Englander--a private man of few words, solid as the New Hampshire granite where he made his home for many years. He served for over two decades in the Navy, sacrificing years away from his young family during WWII and beyond. He carried the self-discipline of service throughout his life, waking up before dawn to walk 3 miles a day until just one year ago! He loved gardening, crosswords, Louis L'Amour and Lee Child. He was a Mac owner and an e-mail hound. And he was a man of deep faith, which sustained him in tough times and gave him hope for new life.

We were fortunate to be able to make a trip to visit Dick and Fran last summer. He was enjoying a rebound in health and was in good spirits, along with Fran. It was a wonderful visit and I am so grateful to have this memory for the kids.

Here's to a life well-lived!