Thursday, October 16, 2008
Princess Party
On Sunday Emma had her princess party with her cousins. They all dressed up as princesses. Emma's cousins even brought along a dress for her that she liked better than her own. I think it's right cute myself.

How old are you?

A cake a four year-old would love. Especially one who only eats the icing anyway.

You can always count on lots of help to open your birthday presents.

Dancing princess.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Oy, the sass
Overheard from the other room from my four year-old, to her father:

"All you had to do was say "yes!"

"Daddy! I'm trying to concentrate here."

She's not very nice when she's struggling with a video game. Today it's the Leap Frog Click Start. Saturday it was her new Leapster 2. She got so mean on Saturday I had to "tell her off." Unbelievably, she then proceeded to put the Leapster down on the floor and sit quietly in her little arm chair. After a few seconds I asked her what she was doing. She said, "I'm trying to calm down."
Fall Foliage at Night
Last night M was walking the dogs near midnight. He saw the ring around the moon and wanted to try to get a picture of it. I have here the best of the bunch. Then he got the idea to try to take a night exposure of the fall foliage and see what he could get. Both of the foliage pictures below were taken near midnight under the same sky in the moon shot. He set the camera on a tripod, ISO 1600 and shutter speed 30 seconds. In case you doubt that those pictures are really taken at midnight you can click to enlarge them and look at the stars in the sky. Pretty cool.

How We Got the Aerial Photos or Emma's First Plane Ride
There is an old air strip outside of town. It's been unused for over twenty years and had become overgrown. Someone new bought it and planned to use it so he cleared the runway of the overgrowth. Then he invited Emergency Services to use it for landing the air ambulance instead of using the school grounds, which they'd been using for years. We live well over an hour from the nearest hospital so the helicopter lands in town on average about once a week. Everyone agreed it was much less danger to the community and the kids for the helicopters to be landing outside of town.

The Emergency Services folks wanted to raise money to make a proper helipad on the property. Enter the nice construction guy. He flies over here several days a week to work on a big mansion being built in the area. He offered to give plane rides to the locals to raise money for Emergency Services. They jumped at the offer. They planned a "fun day" for Saturday and were offering fifteen minute plane rides in any direction you chose for a minimum donation of $25 per person. There were to be two or three planes giving rides. They also had their firetrucks and an air ambulance there for the crowds to check out.

M was determined that he was going to get Emma a plane ride. He showed up almost an hour and a half early to get on the list. Good thing he did. Small communities are fairly predictable. Sure enough the list was already thick with emergency services people and their pals taking the first rides. By showing up super early he secured spots 27, 28 and 29 on the list. The event started at 10:00 a.m. and it was 12:20 p.m. before they got their ride.

Popi rode with them. They said Emma sang in the back of the plane the whole way. M had the pilot fly over our house so Emma could see it. The pilot had to circle around and tilt the plane for Emma to get a good view. Their ride lasted about 13 minutes, but by that time they had over 130 on their list and no chance of getting to them all. As it turned out the pilots came back and gave rides the next day to finish off the list.

Climbing on board...

Rolling away from us and they headed to the end of the runway.

Emma with her gear on, presumably singing.

Our house from the air. We're center-left, tucked against the trees.

M's view over the dash as they were coming in for a landing.

Safely back on the ground. Woo hoo!

Monday, October 13, 2008
Our Fall Foliage: A Different Perspective

Emma's 4th Birthday
Emma's day began with school. They had a field trip to a farm. There they got to see apples being pressed, gather eggs from the chickens and pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. They ate their lunch at the farm and enjoyed cupcakes sent by the grandmother of a boy who's birthday was the next day.

After school Emma went to Mary's for the afternoon where they gave her a couple presents. She got an alligator puppet and a giant wand of bubbles.

After work Grandma and Uncle K came down to the house and we shared a birthday dinner of pizza and cupcakes. Then Emma opened her presents. She was quite entertaining. She was pretty full of herself all day.

The night ended with some serious bedtime drama, but I blame that on the over stimulation and sugar.

Birthday videos from Thursday
Emma opens her presents and shows them to you.

Good to know...
Your 4 year-old can drop a Leapster 2 on the floor five times the first day and it still works.