Monday, April 30, 2012

We went to the zoo. . .

And a mighty fine time we had there.  It was perfect weather.  Just enough cloud cover to keep it cool, but not enough to rain.  It was a nice break from the norm.  Now, I saw many, many picture worthy things while there.  I had been sure to pack the camera with all the myriad other junk I had to bring, but when aforementioned photo ops presented themselves, I dug in my bag for my camera and came up empty.  Alas!  I imagined the camera sitting at home on the table NEXT to where the aforementioned myriad pile of junk had been.  I spent most of the day kicking my hind end wishing I had my camera and thinking of the blogging opportunities I was missing.  Argh!

We saw and heard much.  Ate many a PBJ and apples and chips, and downed the water.  We saw animals of all kinds, shapes, and sizes.  Some I didn't even know existed.  It was a good day. 

Calvin, being the tiger-loving boy that he is, begged for an opportunity to see the tigers, so, hot and tired as we were, we decided to head to the house of big, wild cats on our way out. 

That's when I found my camera.  

Better late than never though, eh? 

Can you see the excitement in his posed little fingers?  He's ecstatic to be in a picture with a live tiger.  (can you see it?  I haven't had the heart to tell him yet that it's a very small tiger.)
 And this is the one meant for printing and hanging on his bedroom wall.

 Dev was happy to be there, as usual.

 Iggy was taking a ride on our pack mule (We call her Mom.)
(By the way--Bogey was zonked out in the stroller at this point and missed the photo op.  He still doesn't believe that this zoo has tigers)

 Our new pet (just kidding--it's just a statue)

Dev took this one of the cheetah.  I was proud of her.  A lot of the times while we were looking at a certain animal, she knew all these random facts about it ("a rhinocerous has poor vision, so it relies on its sense of smell when charging" "an elephants ears is the shape of Africa" "a cheetah can only run speeds up to 60 miles an hour for a short span of time.").  Apparently all those animal atlas books and movies are paying off.  
If you come visit me, I'll take you to the zoo.  And THIS TIME I'll make sure to bring my camera (or find it a long time before we are about to leave!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

The many faces of Iggy

What do you think of my rolly polly happy little guy?  I think he's pretty darn cute.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spoke too soon

So, my last post may have been a tad braggy about living in tornado alley and still not experiencing any tornadoes.  Consider this a printed retraction.  We experienced our first major tornado not even a week after my last post, and, while I know dear friends and family are anxiously awaiting family and new house pictures, I had to post this video first. 

The tornado missed us by ten miles.  (to the east), but that didn't stop us from all sleeping in the basement with tennis shoes, flashlights, food, water, and a hatchet next to us.  We reassured the kids that we were going to be fine, said prayers, and laid them down to sleep on their cushions in the basement.  Then the Hubby and I went out to the porch to watch.  The lightening was crazy!  I've never seen anything like it! And then there was this low rumbling sound--like a train off in the distance--almost.  I could feel the pavement under my feet vibrating.  I realized about the same time the tornado siren went off that that rumble was the tornado--I could hear it ten miles away.  The realization was awesome, and I don't mean that in a teenager, sweet valley sort of way...I mean, I was awestruck, that something so powerful and amazing could be produced in nature.  I was suddenly aware of my own fragility.  That's when I decided that it was time to go downstairs.  Enough awesomeness for one night.

And although I knew we were going to be ok, it was a long night.  The storm raged most of the night; I could feel our house rocking in the strong winds several times.  I was glad when I opened my eyes and finally saw that the blackness outside the window was starting to lighten.

Everyone should experience something that much bigger than them, it's pretty humbling.  And strengthening...because now I know I am prepared and can live through it!  (*knock on wood!*)  This video doesn't show the tornado--I don't want to disappoint you(it was ten miles away, remember?)--but it is pretty wicked cool lightening.  This is right before we decided to take cover. (Don't worry, mom, I was NOT in any danger!)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hints on the state of Kansas (for foreigners)

I've been in this very obsessively flat state for a little over a month now. Things are slowly coming unpacked (the treasure hunt feeling is lessening day by day!), and it's starting to feel more like home.
In case you are thinking of joining me here, I've compiled a list of hints on the state of Kansas--things I wish people would have told me before I moved here (you're welcome).

(*ahem*searching front shirt pocket for reading glasses**)

Hints on the state of Kansas (for foreigners)

1. buy yourself one of those old granny scarves to tie around your hair-do. That is, if you are one of those old granny's that gets her hair done in a salon once a week and doesn't want it messed up under any circumstances. If you don't tie a scarf around your 'do, it will blow away and be frazzled looking when you reach your destination. On any given day.

2. the tornado siren goes off every monday at noon. That's how they test it, you see. If, on your first monday, you hear the siren and think that the world is about to end, don't call up your new friend in a panic. She'll just laugh at you. Remember: every monday. Noon. Just a drill. Don't panic.

3. There is a significant difference between "tornado watch" and "tornado warning." "watch" means there's a chance. Warning means it's happening. Again, don't call up your new friend in a panic. She'll laugh at you again.

4. Also, while we're on the subject, the tornado siren can also mean, "run out on your porch to see if you can see it!" That's what the natives do. It's like a call to gawk. If you head straight to the basement, you may be labeled a sissy.

5. "town" is at least a 20 minute drive away. Make sure you get what you need while you're there, 'cause it's not like you're gonna wanna run out and grab what you forgot any time of the day. Shopping takes time and effort now.

6. Religion is rampant here. Not that I am anti-religion ('cause I'm not), but the first thing most strangers will want to know about you is what church you go to. And depending on your answer, they may or may not decide to talk to you more.

7. If you hear a loud rattling sound in the middle of the night like your house is about to fall apart, don't leap out of bed in a panic. It's just the sump pump.

8. A sump pump is a device put into a well in the basement to pump the extra water out of your house and into the backyard. It goes off automatically and randomly day or night.

9. Apparently the water table is high here, so when it rains, some puddles won't soak into the ground. They just sit. for days. and don't soak in. (hence the need for a sump pump *see number 8)

10. There are rabbits here. They will eat any garden you plant. Take precautions.

11. Accents are heavily twangy here, with a big emphasis on an "R" sound when there ought not be one. For example, people here "warsh" cars.

12. most people are friendly and happy you're here. Especially in your ward, they'll put you to work right away, and probably ask you to speak in church and give you two callings right off the bat. That's how generous and welcoming they are.

13. The green stuff growing in the fields is wheat, not corn. And don't you forget it.

14. There are no landmarks to guide you when you're lost. People give directions in terms of North, South, East, and West. If you're not confident in your ability to know which direction you're facing, you might want to work on that now. Getting lost on a completely flat terrain is very easy.

15. Sliding down your new stairs may cause the breath to get knocked out of you. Twice. Just be careful, is all I'm saying. They may look fun, but they're killer.

Pictures to come! Welcome back to bloggy world, me!

**I don't wear reading glasses, but I wish I did because then before I read you something interesting, I could swish them on with an air of self-importance. **