I always seem to end up making blog entries with lots of miscellaneous stuff in them because I didn't blog when I was thinking about the thing in the first place. Oh well. Here goes.
The largest and most expensive item of note is that we decided to buy a laptop for Saren for her 10th birthday, which hasn't actually occurred yet. I had been thinking about it for awhile and mentioned it to Pat, but we hadn't made any final decision on it. We were at Best Buy and they were having a sale on a very basic laptop that was due to end the next day. So we talked about it a bit together, and asked some questions of the salespeople, bit the bullet, and said, "Happy birthday!" Needless to say, she's totally thrilled with it. Also needless to say, this was her only birthday present. (That's not true. She'll get gifts from her sisters.) And while it might seem to be somewhat insane to get a laptop for a ten year old child, you've got to understand that this is a ten year old child who spends almost all of her time on the computer. She loves the games she can play (and just found out about a new one yesterday), she loves creating graphics and things using Paint.net, and she loves figuring out html codes to help enhance the rpg forum (based on Warriors) that she created herself, and she likes to chat and email with people. And it's not every day you enter the double digits, you know. I suppose, though, we could have chosen to be more discreet and waited until her actual birthday to give it to her.
I wrote the above two days ago and then I never finished. Not that there is any real purpose in my telling you that, just... well, there you go.
Now that we've set up a wireless router for Saren's laptop, both of the computers (laptop and the one I'm using now) lose their connection to the internet every so often. I'm not sure if it's because I bought the cheapest router they had or what, but it's mildly to extremely irritating.
Harper has been working on a novel. It's Warriors-similar and I've been really impressed with how she's been sticking with it. Every night before I read to the girls (and sometimes during the day as well), she'll sit and dictate to me and I'll write it all down in her little notebook. She's probably got about 20 pages filled (front and back) now. She's even used some of her money to purchase three new notebooks (they have to be small ones, about 5 inches by 7 inches or smaller) in anticipation of stories to come.
Saren has had an on again/off again relationship with vegetarianism since she was 4. It usually didn't last much longer than a couple of weeks because she just wasn't very dedicated and kept forgetting. About a month ago (or maybe two? (I have no concept of time)), she decided she was going to stick with it. And she has.
This weekend we went to the Hoover Dam to check on our dam letterbox. It's been in it's hiding spot since April of 2004, and it's still going strong. We had thought about maybe retiring it, but after we got there and saw how many people had been by since the last time we had checked on it, we decided it really needs to stay. There's a dearth of letterboxes in this area and our dam one is actually a really good one. It's got good clues (if I do say so myself), it's relatively easy to find, out of the way enough that it hasn't been taken or ruined by random people stumbling upon it, and it's located at a major tourist attraction, so it gets lots of traffic. We think we might go back sometime soon and replace its book and its box.
We did our Boulder City tradition when we checked on the box. We went to our favorite antique store and we ate at A&W. Eating was not so good because we discovered that A&W doesn't really have any options for Saren, so now we need to find a new traditional Boulder City eating establishment. There was angst over that proposal. The antique store was fun. Each girl got a beanie baby (a favorite buy from that store) and Saren and Harper each got a big colored feather (another favorite). I love the antique store because it's like a free museum. We saw two pairs of metal skates from the fifties (the kind that you strap to your shoes) and I very nearly wanted to buy them, they were so cool. There were lots of old typewriters and old cameras and old phones and a Gremlins lunchbox that Pat thought was pretty awesome. I love that store.
And that's about it. I'll leave you with some photos from a Life Learners day a couple of weeks ago at Mt. Charleston and some from Life Learners at the park yesterday.
Irina with her friend, B