Monday, 26 September 2016


The other day we were out to eat and got a very TALL glass of root beer to share.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Best Reason to Use a Self-driving Car

Recorded 9/22/16 on the walk to school.

Z: I can't wait to drive.

N: You know, it's not too far off, like, five years.

Z: Really?  I thought you had to be sixteen.

N: No, fourteen in South Dakota, so long as there's an adult in the passenger seat.

Z [grinning]: YES.

N: Of course, some people say that most of your generation won't even need to learn to drive because of the self-driving cars that are coming out.

Z: I don't want one of those self-driving ones... [pause].  Actually, if there's a machine gun in back I do, but otherwise I want to drive myself.
Blowing up stuff.  It's what we do well.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Apple Orchard

"The apples were ripe.  Almanzo and Royal and Father set ladders against the trees, and climbed into the leafy tops.  They picked every perfect apple carefully and laid it in a basket.  After the perfect apples had all been picked, Almanzo and Royal could shake the trees.  That was fun.  They shook the trees with all their might, and the apples came rattling down like hail.  They picked them up and threw them in the wagon; they were only cider-apples.  Almanzo took a bite out of one whenever he wanted to."
                                                     -- Farmer Boy (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Inductive Reasoning

Z and Eden both had a great first day of school.  Eden especially was enthusiastic about the whole thing.  However, this morning when I woke her up, she was tired and clearly a little nervous about going back to school.  On the walk to school she said several times that she would prefer to go to school in English, since that's the language she speaks.  She also said some of the kids knew more Spanish words than she did.  She's clearly not used to being confronted with a genuine challenge.  (Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Lisa goes to boot camp school with Bart because she wants a challenge.  Just as she's about to flunk out/quit, Bart gives her a little pep talk in which he says, "I thought you wanted a challenge," to which Lisa replies, "A challenge I could DO!  Duh!")

Anyway, I assured Eden that she would learn a little more each day, and told her that she could talk to her teacher in English even if the teacher only talked to her in Spanish.  She thought about that for a second and then said, "Does my teacher speak English?"  I was amazed and a little confounded.  The teachers never speak English in front of the students, and parents are sworn to secrecy about the fact that teachers can speak English.  Eden has never heard her teacher speak English.  So I said, "Well, you know, she only speaks Spanish."  Eden said, "But do you think she CAN speak English?  Have you ever heard her speak English?"  As a matter of fact, I have heard her speak English.  I didn't want to just straight up lie, so I said, "What do you think?"  Eden thought about it for a minute and then said, "I think she must speak English."  Wow.  It takes most kids 2-3 years to figure out that their teachers speak English.  Eden figured it out in one day.  No wonder she thinks she should be fluent in Spanish by now!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

First Day of School, First Day of Kindergarten!

Today is the first day of school and the first day of kindergarten for Eden!  She is so excited to be going to school.  A few tears were shed at the schoolroom door, but by me, not her.  It's seems to be old hat for Z.  They're both at the brand new Spanish immersion school -- Sonia Sotomayor.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

One More Summer Activity

The kids start school on Tuesday, so we decided to take one last trip to De Smet before the summer ended.  Most schools have already started, so I thought it would be a slow day there, and I was right.  We had a great time doing all the normal stuff.

Eden was thrilled to be allowed to drive the horses of both the big wagon and the little buggy all by herself.  She noticed that when Z drove the little buggy the guy didn't hold onto the reins behind him (as they usually do), so Z was actually driving the horse by himself.  When Z got back, Eden asked if she could do the same and he said yes.  So he just walked beside the buggy but Eden did all the driving.  When they got back he said to me, "She's a sharp one."  I said, "Yes, well, we think so, but we're biased."  He said, "I see the whole spectrum here, and she's a sharp one!"

This was the first time we took a look at this old church which was moved onto the homestead property a few years ago.

Z found an old hymnal and is "singing" one of the hymns while Eden accompanies him: