Hi Ho Cherry-O

I made a great $0.99 purchase at Goodwill last week: Hi Ho Cherry-O! Lily is in love with it, and she freaking won the first four games in a row against me and Art. Way to teach a life lesson about wining/losing there, board game. She handled losing as graciously as I can imagine is age-appropriate after her winning streak though, so that’s good.

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Sad, sad, sad

Today was a sad, sad day. One of our rats, Franklin, suddenly became ill a few days ago and his condition declined so much so fast that our family made the decision to euthanize him. We involved Lily in deciding so, and she chose whether he would be cremated or buried as well. She opted for a burial, so in the sleeting freezing ice rain Art and I dug a little hole at my parents’ house.

I can handle the normal daily emotions of an almost-four-year-old from average goings on. The moaning, the whining, the crying. Her emotions are still primitive at this age, naturally, and she swings to both ends of the spectrum easily. But this deep emotional hurt she’s experiencing with the loss of a pet–it’s just so sad.

Tonight as we were laying together as she was falling asleep I could feel her start to wipe her face. I asked if she was alright and she quietly cried, “it’s just so sad!” Oh, Lily, it is so sad. It’s sad to lose this furry little friend, and it’s sad to watch you so heartbroken. I wish I could protect her from feeling like this, but I know I can only be with her while she does–hopefully helping her understand and cope as best as her almost-four-year-old self can.

Goodbye, sweet Franklin.









Very early reading skills

Bob Books Fun! Level A, Set 2 (re-released as Bob Books Set 2- Advancing Beginners)Bob Books Fun! Level A, Set 2 by Bobby Lynn Maslen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lily’s just beginning to recognize a few 3-letter words and these Bob books are perfect for encouraging her.

View all my reviews


Lily has started nagging that she wants to learn how to read. I wrote down a few words (“cat,” “rat,” “dog,” “zoo,” and “egg”) that she promptly memorized. She can sometimes recognize a few others (“the,” “fox,” “sat,” “car,” “hat,” and “sun”). All of that put together means she can actually somewhat sort of read a bit of the Bob Books, which is totally awesome. She mostly looks at the pictures and makes up the story as she goes, just as she does with every other picture book, but I’m going to keep encouraging her to move her finger along the words while we read together so she can jump in when she knows a word. These will be excellent books in a year or two, and still fun to check out from the library every now and again in the mean time.


Camp Fire’s inclusion

Our family’s most recent adventure is aiming to start up local Camp Fire club. Similar to Scouts, but boasting an all-inclusive policy, we were excited to begin preparation for a fall 2013 start following a regular school year calendar. We have some friends on board too, and we should have a nice little turn out of families come September.

In my reading (and reading and reading) online about what being a Camp Fire club involves I happened across many things that got me even more excited. Their inclusive policy is outlined as being “open to all community members regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or any other aspect of diversity.” Their Promise is “young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are. In Camp Fire, it begins now. Light the fire within.”

But then I found the Camp Fire Law…

Worship God–Respect all people, places and things as gifts of love. Share friendship and warmth as gifts to be given to others.

Seek Beauty–Look for the good in all people, places, things and nature.

Give Service–Show you care. Be a helper at home, at school, in your neighborhood, in your community, in your world.

Pursue Knowledge–Try new things. Experiment with a new skill. Learn more about something you already know.

Be Trustworthy–Be honest, truthful and do the things you say you will do. Be worthy of the responsibilities others give you.

Hold on to Health–Exercise, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods and keep your body neat and clean. A healthy person feels good.

Glorify Work–Do the best you can with everything you do. Be proud of your work. Finish what you start.

Be Happy–Enjoy life. Be cheerful even if things don’t always go your way. Be positive. Help others to be happy. Have fun.

Queue my eyebrow raising and head cocking to the side. It’s all well and good, but for us personally (and for probably half of our interested families), that there “worship God” was going to be an issue.

Now, I don’t wave my atheist flag often, as there’s never really a need to, but as a secular organization we felt that the first line was out of place. I will also admit we probably jumped to conclusions a little quickly that Camp Fire was some secretly religious group. Art emailed the main address on Camp Fire’s website regarding this apparent conflict between their all-inclusive policy and the first line in their “law.” He just received the following response…

The “Camp Fire Law” is a part of our history and tradition. At no time in the organization’s history has a Camp Fire member been asked to take any oath. The Camp Fire law is a desire or a goal, not an oath. Our guiding principles for programs today are our Core Values.

The Camp Fire Law is not in the current program curriculum but is referred to as an optional historical resource. Camp Fire participants, their families and the councils may choose to not use or to use the law in either the original or most recent revision as a part of understanding our heritage.

Well that’s a relief! We were thinking that with our individual club, and my contact with our state’s council had confirmed as well, that we would just skip the Law and carry on normally. Receiving this response from higher up the chain of command was very reassuring that Camp Fire is going to be a great organization to invest our family’s time and energy.

Recent Instagrams

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Spring in January, rat birthday party with friends, haircut, spring semester, volunteered with some greyhounds. Life has been good!

Not nasty protein bars

1 cup oats
2/3 cup powdered peanut butter (like this)
170 g (6 servings/scoops) unflavored whey protein isolate (like this)
1 tbs honey
Water as needed

We mixed the dry ingredients, added water to bring it together, then stirred in the honey. It’s currently in a wax paper lined small dish in the freezer and will be cut 3×3 into 9 servings. We’ll wrap those individually and store them in the refrigerator. Each single servings breaks down to…

Calories: 141
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 10g
Protein: 20g


It’s not the world’s most flavorful, but what flavor it does have is good. Looking forward to eating these!

Edit: Maybe we had a little too much water, but these were really difficult to cut once frozen, and when kept at refrigerator temperature they blobbed out a bit. It was still tasty to eat with a spoon!