Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar eclipse watching

Last night was the best lunar eclipse we've been able to see with the kids. Not only was it early enough that they were all awake, but we had clear skies and were able to see the moon from the beginning to the end. They had a lot of fun running outside from time to time to check on the progress of the eclipse.

B took some pictures of the moon and photoshopped them together--this is what we saw from eastern Idaho:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Road trips, ABCs and 123s

Muscat Beach, Oman, June 2006

A year and a half ago, we went on a road trip through Oman with some friends from Abu Dhabi. It was hot, but it was really fun--we saw some amazing things, from nesting sea turtles to centuries-old forts and palaces.

Somewhere along the way, our friends let us borrow a CD of theirs: Here Come The ABCs by They Might Be Giants.

We loved it. I can't say for sure that it helped S learn her ABCs, but she did learn that "C is for Conifer" and what a conifer is--not a bad thing, right? The older kids enjoyed the music very much--it's witty, fun and energetic, and great for traveling. C soon had "Alphabet of Nations" memorized, learning the names of several new-to-him countries in the process, and was singing it long after we had returned the CD.

Well, TMBG has now released Here Come The 123s, and I knew we'd enjoy this album as much as the ABCs. In fact, now that we've listened to it, I think it's better in some ways.

Songs include "Infinity," "Nonagon," and "Triops Has Three Eyes"--so it's a lot more than songs about numbers. Each album also has a bonus DVD available, with music videos to accompany the songs on the CD.

I think it's perfect that TMBG have started making albums specifically for children--their music has always had a certain quality of silliness to it, while at the same time giving you something to think about.

If you like it, definitely take one of their albums on your next road trip!

Ras al Jinz, Oman, June 2006

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Celebration photos

Here is K with the children's choir:

And a few more photos from the dress rehearsals:

It was fun to watch--the show was really well done (script, music, choreography, performance, etc.) thanks to the many volunteers who put it together. It was a celebration of the temple and of this part of Idaho, showcasing the joy of music, the joy of dance, the joy of faith united, and the joy of promised blessings brought to pass.

Well done, K! (She's holding a stray piece of wheat she found on the floor.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thank goodness for books!

With all the snow days we've been having lately (8 more inches last night!), I'm so glad we all got new books for Christmas. We do have a library in town, but when it's snowing, or just icy cold outside, I'd much rather stay home and pull some books off our own shelves. Here are some books the kids have enjoyed reading recently:

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge

The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

The New Way Things Work and Pyramid, by David Macaulay

Encyclopedia Brown series, by Donald J. Sobol

A Million Dots, by Andrew Clements and Mike Reed

The Snowy Day and Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats

Around the Year, by Tasha Tudor

Friday, February 1, 2008

More snow, and mosque & temple cont.

Schools are closed again today, and all three kids are happily playing in the mounds of snow in our yard. I was surprised schools were closed. It was really snowy and windy yesterday, but it had stopped before I went to bed and I assumed roads would be clear by this morning. Maybe they don't plow roads at night here? I really don't know. The whole snowplowing issue is bizarre. This is a small town, smaller than I have lived in before, but because it is rural there are miles of country roads outside the town center. I know the city has two snowplows, but I have never actually seen one of them. I know our street was plowed once at least, because the plow left a wall of snow in front of our driveway. The university never closes, but we live within walking distance so there's no problem for B getting to work.


Kristin in Abu Dhabi has some great photos and layouts of her visit to the Grand Mosque. I love her digital scrapbooking designs.

The temple dedication has been postponed to Sunday Feb. 10th, because of President Hinckley's funeral tomorrow. The cultural celebration will be next week, Feb. 9th. Hopefully I'll get some photos. I've gone to all the rehearsals with K, and it is a fun and moving tribute to the pioneers and local residents, and a celebration of the progress that has been made here over the years through their efforts.