Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Volume 1 Issue 1

Because this is a newsletter, rather than your typical blog, it will be quite a bit of information once a week, instead of snippets daily. Please leave your comments on any of the individual entries as we will be sure to read them all before posting the next addition of The Koru Weekly.

Letter from the Editor by Noreen

Thanks to all of you who clicked on the blog link! We are grateful to have you. In this, our inaugural edition of our family newsletter, you will find a sampling of what we have been up to. In this and future additions you can expect to see book reviews, our own news articles, artwork, journal entries, and photos. We’d love to hear your comments, feedback and ideas! We will update the blog with a new issue weekly, so check us out every Friday. If you want email notifying you every time a new addition is avaiable, just send us an email and we'll add you to the list. Happy Reading!

The Whip-Poor-Will by Whitney

Today I was out side playing with Cooper, when I saw what looked like a rock sitting on top of our fence. But on closer inspection I discovered it was a Whip-Poor-Will! I ran inside to get dad’s camera and got some pics. (I think it was a female)

Note by Dad: Dad has never seen one as it is not native to Utah, the Western United States, or the day-time. It sleeps during the day and feeds at night. Hense the large eye. Definitely a lifer for Whitney who spotted and identified it! Great job!

Cub Scouts by Noreen

Daniel looked so handsome in his scout uniform today, I just had to grab a picture. He is a Wolf Scout and especially had fun using Dad's hammer at scouts today.

First Scout Camp by Steve L.

Two weeks ago, I went on my first overnight Boy Scout Camp with my Dad. The first thing we did when we arrived was choose a spot and set up our tents. Then we played a little demolition Frisbee (it's called demolition Frisbee because it hit the picnic table, three people, a camp leader, a tree and a tent. And the Bishop's car. Oops.)

At about 6:30 we went down to the end of camp for dinner. The Stake provided it. Dinner consisted of : watermelon, carrots, pork sandwiches, soda, bags of chips, and for dessert there were big brownies, LARGE rice krispy treats, and HUGE rice krispy treats mixed with choc chips.(ugh) I ate myself SICK.

The next morning Jared #1 cooked the eggs, Jared #2 cooked the bacon (yum) and I cooked the blueberry chocolate chip pancakes. I let one of the camp leaders taste some and we won the prize for best breakfast in the camp.

That morning we were in charge of the flag ceremony down at the amphitheater. Jared #1 was the announcer, Jared #2 held the flag, and I was color guard. As I stood back, saluted, and watched them raise the flag I loved the way the flag looked against the trees and came back a few minutes later and took a picture of it.

That afternoon I went on a compass trek. We would take a compass, hold it at certain degrees and look for a landmark so many paces away. Then we would march over to the landmark and do it over again. And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over, And over!
After the award ceremony we packed up and left. I love camping!!!!!!!!!

Memorial Day by Noreen

It was Steve’s first day off since starting his new job 3 months ago. We were determined to bust out of the house for the day (as much as we could with a new puppy anyway) and shake off some of the dust that had collected on our adventurous spirits since we landed in the States. We planned to visit the Salt Flats and Antelope Island, or maybe a hike and a family bike ride before joining Steve’s family for the traditional holiday B-B-Q. Whitney and I woke up early and left quietly for a mother/daughter date at our local IHOP (International House of Pancakes.) To our surprise the garage door opened to reveal a blustery, rainy day. I thought there was a law that Memorial Day had to be the beautiful opening of summer!

Home from breakfast and still determined to get away, the kids and I decided to show Steve and Whitney the Aquarium in Sandy. (They had missed our fieldtrip there on Friday, and the kids were anxious to show them the jellyfish and stingrays.) By noon, half of Utah realized their outdoor plans for the day were not going to happen and they joined us at the aquarium. Although crowded (we lost Ellie once, while trying to help another lost toddler find his parents) we had a wonderful time. Dad read the kids every description of every animal and the kids were determined to touch the starfish, horseshoe crabs and stingrays. It made me laugh to hold my 6 and 3 year old daughters over the stingray tank as they begged to touch the elusive animals. Steve and I had taken a Western Caribbean cruse to the Cayman Islands several years ago and paid big bucks to take a speed boat to a colony of stingrays you could feed and touch in the wild. Well, once there, I was petrified. Every time one of the massive creatures would swim towards me I would climb on my husband’s shoulders and scream my guts out. When the emanate danger had passed, I’d climb down and we’d start laughing our heads off, until the next creature made its way towards us. Then the process of climbing, screaming and laughing hysterically started all over again. Eventually we made it back to the boat, without touching any stingrays! Well, I wasn’t about to touch one at the Aquarium, but Ellie, Janey, Daniel and Whitney sure enjoyed it. (Steve L. feels about the same as his mom when it comes to touching the freaky creatures.)

Ellie loves the starfish and the horseshoe crabs.




Steve L.

Cooper Has Arrived! By Whitney

As many of you know, I have just gotten a new puppy! He is a red tricolor Miniature Australian Shepard, and his name is Cooper. At his first vet appointment he only weighed 3 ½ lbs!

Australian Shepherds are not native to Australia, but actually came from America. It’s the fact that shepherds Down Under use them so much that they were dubbed “Australian”. The Aussie Shep, like many herding breeds, are very intelligent dogs, and are frequently used in the agility ring, (an obstacle course for dogs) and the obedience ring. They also do well in tracking, performing, herding, and just about every other thing that they put their minds to. Because of their intelligence they need mental as well as physical stimulation, which they can get in training.
They are easy to train, but they need to be trained. They need to feel useful and have a job to do. They are not a good apartment dog, and need to have lots of exercise. They are great with children when they have grown up with them, like exercise, (like Hiking) and will catch on quickly to what you are trying to tell them.

I got the news last May that my Pomeranian Vixie had been accidentally killed by a much larger dog, while staying at a cousins house while we were in New Zealand. I was devastated. The owners of the large dog were shocked at what had happened, and wrote out a check for what we had paid for her. With the check, and numerous hours of baby sitting from my Aunt Bree, I was able to earn all the money I needed for supplies, vet bills, and the dog. (Thanks to my Aunt Bree, for the play pen, the stair gate, and the baby sitting opportunities. Thanks to my Aunt Brooke, who also has a Mini Aussie Shep, for the advice. Thanks to my cousin Analese, for the name tag and tennis ball toy.)

I had about a year to study and think about getting a dog before I could actually get one. I did a LOT of research on what breed to get and I have written a 10 page paper on dog care. I went from investigating Brittney Spaniels, to Pointers, to American Water Spaniels, to Bohemian Shepherd's, to Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles, to American Indian Dogs, to Golden Doodles, to Keeshons, to Dashunds, to Lochens, (say LURv-shen) to Schipperkes, to Chinese Crested Powder Puffs, to Bishons, to Poodles, to Cocker Spaniels, to Cock-a-poos. (Phew!) But finally I came to the Mini Aussie Sheppard. And since we were not renting anymore, I could get one!
(They shed twice a year.)

Then I went dog searching. Well actually I was looking for unborn litters of puppies that would be born in a certain time frame. I had to get home from the Con-Con first.

I then found a family group of breeders called McPups. So then I set up an appointment to go see the puppies they had that were the right age. They were one month old at the time.

There were three boys and three girls. (I had already decided that I wanted a boy.) All the girls were red merles, and with the boys there was a red merle, a blue merle, and a red tri. (Cooper.) Steve and Daniel immediately wanted Cooper, Janey wanted the red, but I liked the blue. (Ellie liked all of them, and was hysterical when we left with out one!) But we decided that the blue was too big, (He was nearly twice as big as the others!) And the red merle would be a couch potato. He slept the entire time we were there. Cooper was up and about, and friendly. So we decided to take him home in a month. I gave the breeder a $100.00 deposit, and we left him to get a little older.

I found an online web site called Pet Edge that has great merchandise, and good prices, I was able to get most of my supplies from there.

I found an awesome vet hospital that is a very short drive from our house. They have friendly staff and good prices.

He is doing well, training wise and loves people.

We are looking forward to living with him.

Liberty Girls by Noreen and Janey

This week Janey and I hosted the first meeting of our new girls club “Liberty Girls.” There are several club chapters in Utah that follow the American Girls Book series and my Sister-in-law Laura and I have started a new one. The girls read one of the books at home with their mom and then we get together and do activities based on the book. This summer we are reading the Kaya books about a Native American girl from the 1764. We read “Meet Kaya” for our first meeting. The story was beautifully written and full of choice and consequence, good family relationships, history and culture with beautiful illustrations.

We opened our club meeting with a narration on the book by Janey and made tepees out of sugar cones, icing and mini M&Ms. The book talks about how the Nez Pearce Indians followed the food supply and spent some time every year catching Salmon. I cooked some Salmon and we ate it out in the Tepee in the backyard. Most of the seven girls were brave enough to try it, and wouldn’t you know, it was my two year old niece that volunteered first! Janey had made a horse piñata when we were reading Black Beauty together and decided that the club would be the perfect place to bust it. Whitney volunteered to teach the girls about horses, and how the Indians used them, and had them each color own. We then attempted to make Indian jewelry. (Tip: Don’t buy clear elastic bead cord and expect to tie it around tiny wrists and ankles. I just isn’t going to happen.) Over all it was a great successes!

When I asked Janey her favorite part she said, “I don’t have a favorite part, I love it all!”

The Long Anticipated New Comic by Steve L.

Clint the Candy Bar - Issue 1, Page 1 (click image to view larger)

Clint the Candy Bar - Issue 1, Page 2 (click image to view larger)


Book Review by Noreen

Mother by Kathleen Norris

My Mother’s Day tradition is to read the book Mother by Kathleen Norris. Although it was written in 1914, I find the issues the book tackles are surprisingly modern. Caught between two worlds, a young girl compares the life, love and impact of her own faithful Mother (of eight children) and the very wealthy, socialite circle that she works in. It is the touching story of a Mother’s love, and always leaves me with a couple joyful tears and a resolve to be better at showing my love for my children. An easy read and a fun love story to boot. I highly recommend it and give it a 10 out of 10.

Book Review by Steve L.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. 256 pages. Fiction

The Phantom Tollbooth is about a kid named Milo who thinks the world is a big drag. He is very bored and never has anything to do. “When he was out of school he longed to be in it and when he was in school he longed to be out.” Then one day he finds a mysterious striped box in his room with a card that says, “For Milo, who has plenty of time.” Inside he finds a tollbooth and a few signs. He drives his electric car though the tollbooth and finds himself in a “land far from home,” where he meets many strange characters and has many fantastic adventures. While there he learns that life isn’t so drab after all.

My favorite character is Tock the watchdog, who is a dog with a stopwatch for a body.

I thought it was a hilarious and exciting book. I liked all the play on words the author used. It’s a have to read book! I give it a rating of 10 out of 10.