Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Feats of Strength

Today started out as a normal day, with Baby Ben taking his new friends for a walk.
Phoebe and Sirius went for a walk, too.
I spent much of the morning playing games. Melanie, who doesn't miss much, quickly observed that winners sit next to Ben. He soon learned to be more careful with his cards.
We had a great lunch.  I don't remember what we ate, but it was just like old times.
Jeff planned a walk for us.  Before we left, Will and I tidied up the kitchen.  Will can drum on anything!
Jeff told us the walk would test our strength.  However, the river was higher, the log was longer, and the kids were younger than practical.  No matter.  The idea of testing our strength appealed to the younger generation.  Some ran across, others found a safer method.
There was a lot of encouragement.
Some weren't sure at all that they could do this, so Matt met them halfway.
It was very satisfying to watch these kids do something in spite of their fears.
And the encouragement helped.
Maybe it was essential.
This was actually quite exciting.
Once the littlest kids saw that this could be done, they didn't need much coaxing at all.
Boo was ready to go by himself.
Uncle Dave quickly got on the log behind him so Melissa wouldn't worry.
The plan, you see, was for everyone to cross but Melissa and me.  We were going to walk the dogs around another way.
All of a sudden Phoebe ran across the log, so fast that my camera missed it! At that point I knew I was doomed.
The only tricky part of the whole day was getting Sirius across.  He went halfway and ran back.  Matt crossed the log and encouraged him from my end.
Melanie encouraged him from her end.  He made it!
This encouragement was for me.
Ella told me I could do it.  I could have, too, if the log had been lying on the ground.  But not over a raging river!
Luke called to me.  Matt took my camera.  I made it.  Whew!
To my shock, once I was across, the kids went back!
The last person I expected to go back was Ben, but he was in fine form!
And then he crossed again.
Facing your fears, especially when the biggest risk is just getting wet, is exhilarating!
And forth.
This was probably Jacob's 10th time across.
The big kids, who could walk across the log, scooted along to help the little kids.
But I still held my breath.
And you would have, too.
Child's play took on an entirely new meaning.
We all felt better after this adventure.
Julia is now certain she can tackle anything.
Of course, Boo has never had any fear.
We had such a fun afternoon.
It was magical.

Mammals At The Aquarium

Our family loves animals.
 Fish. Mammals. Adorable people of all ages.
On this trip I saw faces I'd never seen before.
These faces weren't new.
This face was, though,
I made two complete rounds through the aquarium.
The first time I looked at familiar faces.
Sometimes the faces were very willing to pose for me.
They became an attraction in and of themselves.
It was easy to make our own fun.
There were many exciting things to see.
And sometimes the attraction watched back.
This mammal was definitely worth watching.
Even Baby Ben tried to see what was going on.
Having fun together can build strong bonds.
Learning new things can build strong brains.
Curiosity is thrilling to see.
And it's contagious.
We had the best time.
Kate is interested in everything.
This mammal is one of my favorite subjects.
It was hard to get even a small group to sit still for a second.
We laughed a lot.
We laughed a lot.  Wait.  I already said that.
We all learned together.
And we even saw a few things we had never seen before.
Melanie is becoming quite the photographer.
Melissa and Boo are excellent company.
In case you are thinking some people are missing, well, some had to work, and some were tending the sick and afflicted, which has varied throughout the week.
Papa Ben explains when the signs are lacking.
Or we could just ask Will.
After the first round through, most of our mammals went home.
Some of us, though, simply hadn't seen enough.
Five of us stayed, including three mammals named Ben.
This Ben had more fun the second time through than he did the first time!
That's because we are the fun crowd.
There are always great things to see in an aquarium!