Friday, May 27, 2011

Child Labor

I'm pretty sure this would be classified as child labor, but it isn't forced. He wanted to try mowing the lawn and we weren't going to turn down a willing mower! He mowed most of the front lawn, did a great job, and was very excited about getting paid for it.

He had a hard time not leaving strips and tufts of long grass in between rows, but got much better as he went along. We have worked out a deal...$3 for the front lawn with tufts, $4 for the front lawn with just a few tufts, and $5 for the front lawn with no tufts.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


For our last date, Jackson and I went rollerblading on the river trail. It is a paved trail that follows the river. On our way back we passed a group of people who were all staring up into a tree. We stopped and bladed back to them (it takes us a while to slow down enough to stop :) ). They pointed out a mother owl with three babies. We found some landmarks to help us find the same tree again and planned to bring the kids out to see the owls.

The next Friday we packed a picnic lunch, picked up Jackson from work, and parked ourselves under the owl tree. We spotted one adult and two babies. They were sleepy...this one is giving a big yawn.

The adult wasn't sure if we were worth opening his/her eyes for.
We rummaged around underneath the nest and found bones...
...and a pellet!
We were so excited to find a pellet.
We ate our lunch and compared the owls to a book we had brought to try to figure out what kind of owl they were. We decided they were great horned owls.

This little one woke up a bit and peered down at us intensely.

Once we got home we used toothpicks and tweezers and carefully broke apart the pellet and separated the bones, feathers, and fur onto different plates.

Essie just picked her teeth with the toothpicks :)

We looked at the bones we had and compared the skull to some pictures online. We decided that our owl had eaten a mouse. I lucked out and found a life-size picture of a mouse skeleton. I printed it out and we matched all the bones we could. We weren't sure if we got some of them in the right places, but they looked pretty close to us.

Then, the boys drew pictures of one of the baby owls using one of the pictures we took as a guide. We also happened to have a "Wild America" video that had an episode about owls, so we watched that too. This was by far our favorite home school day yet!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Berry Family Dinner

Last week we had the Grand Junction-living Berry clan over for dinner. We love having everyone together. Just a few weeks ago we held a mini-concert at the retirement home Grammy lives in. While Jackson and I were playing some music, Alexander was bouncing and bopping to the beat. Grammy wanted to see him do that again, so she asked Jackson if he would play something for us. He got out two cellos and a guitar and had Julia and Judd join in with him. It was great!

FYI...Judd is a trumpeter not a guitarist. They take a while to get going, so you can skip the first half of the video. I get a bit impatient and tell them to hurry up and start playing...I was worried about Alexander on Grammy's lap. He was getting squirmy and she is quite weak.

Sunday, May 22, 2011



The pictures aren't loading in the order that they usually do...hmmm...oh well. I'm not going to fix it.

Grandma Chelle and Bubba went to Hilton Head on vacation and brought back hats for all of the kids. Thomas loves to put his had on Alexander and watch him pull it over his face and struggle to get it off. For future reference, Alexander doesn't actually suck on the binki...he just chews on it and plays with it like a toy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Berry Cousins 2011

This year for Mother's Day I put together a wallet-sized accordion book full of pictures of grandchildren for both my mom and Jackson's mom and grandmothers. For the Berry cousins, I had them each choose a hobby to portray in the picture.