Tag Archive | Esther

18 Years…

What does that span of time make you think of? Perhaps the length of a marriage, the first years of life from kid to adult, your total years of education – grades 1 through university. A long lived friendship. This week it marks the end of the time spent with a very unique and memorable cat for a very dear friend. IMG_0016

Ludere was a lion in a pussy cat body. He was totally and utterly committed to the woman in his life. So much so that you were always aware that Karyn was HIS human, he only occasionally deigned to allow other lessor beings to touch the cloud like fluff that was his amazing coat of white fur. Quickly followed up by a decisive swipe of a well armed paw.

In fact, that was pretty much a game between Ludere (otherwise known as Dere, or hell cat, or he who should not have back turned on, oh or pretty white fluffy danger kitty) and Ken.  Dere would lay down with his soft underbelly exposed, all sweet and fluffy, allow for a minute or 5 (always random) of lovely petting only to, without ANY warning, lash out claws extended. To add in some more fun, this would sometimes be combined with a little bit of “friendly” gnawing on the extended hand. 

My personal experience with Dere and petting were always with the supervision of Karyn. Usually with her distracting him with her affection so I could sneak in a quick pass over his back. I swear he could count hands, because that was always followed up with an intense stare and the knowledge that he could get me if he wanted… but he didn’t, not right now… but that was his choice, not mine. 

Ludere has been a fixture in all of our lives for as long as we have known Karyn. He is the stuff of legends, has been for years – like when he almost literally scared the pee out of our friend Sean. Or his relaxation (be it momentarily) around Esther – something that did have to be seen to be believed. 

Dere has been a fascination for our kids since the first time they were CAREFULLY introduced to him with the warning to – not touch the pretty kitty, just look. They have followed him around from a distance, tossed toys… from a distance… put food in his dish… from a distance… I sense a pattern! But, this has not decreased their fascination or love for him. Every FaceTime Trinity has had with Karyn has included a wish to see and or hear about him. Pictures have been drawn of the majestic white kitty, stories have been repeated about his intense stare and – that time I got to pet him while Aunty Karyn held him (down, possibly… not that they noticed that part). Dere is family. Like a cranky but beloved uncle that you just want to be around, but possibly does not want you around, because he REALLY doesn’t like kids (or is it people, well anyone but Karyn – really – we are merely tolerated and lucky to be in his presence).

So now, 18 years after Karyn brought home her adorable and slightly belligerent ball of fluff, we are saying good bye. Ludere will never be forgotten, his lengthy life has been full of anecdotes and adventure. He was a cat of action, except when he wasn’t (after all, cat = sleep a lot). He was a one lady man. He was amazingly photogenic, though I personally feel 90% of those photos perfectly capture his wish to take over the world by force and remove all excess humans – but only if someone were to do the work for him, because he IS a cat after all. 

Ludere leaves behind his beloved human – Karyn, his cohabiting kitten – Loki, and an extended family of admirers including his god daughter by proxy – Trinity. I think we will be talking of his feline exploits for years to come. Thank you Karyn for bringing home that tiny kitten with a huge personality way back in college. IMG_0017

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Happy Mother’s Day 2014

I know I know… BELATED but I AM catching up and it WAS a special Mother’s Day for me…

May 11

It seems we have set a precedent with our busy May weekends. BUT this was Mother’s Day so it was a special kind of busy… First off we had to head to Sunday School. There was a parent meeting about VBS and the following year’s Sunday School during class. Even Echo came along to enjoy the various people at church. In fact, next year she is going to be in Sunday School for the very first time! And it looks like she will be in VBS this summer (end of June) as well.101_7419

After Sunday School we headed home to take our yearly Mother’s Day photos. I think we all looked rather spiffy!101_7423

101_7428And then it was time to change out of the finery and leave Echo with Nana and Baba for the first part of the really MOMMY centered portion of the day. We got out to Lochness Park (seriously! But no unknown monster in the depths sorry!) to begin what we hope will become a lifestyle change for us all – GEOCACHING!101_7431

I have wanted to try out this GPS based treasure hunt for a year now… but until we had to upgrade our phone we really could not do it. Amazingly enough Minnesota has thousands of cache locations for us to find and explore. Some are micro where you just sign a log, some larger where trinkets can be left and taken.101_7430

I sat down and made sure to make up a few marshmallows (crochet) to leave at the nicer caches. The kids have also grabbed some of their small and not favourite toys to leave behind as well.101_7435

101_7442Amazingly enough I was the first one to find a cache!!! Talk about appropriate. And the excitement, the working on keeping our eyes open… the out and out exercise coupled with a treasure at the end has everyone in our family absolute hooked!101_7433

We ended our circuit around the lake with lunch in the vehicle out of last year’s picnic bag (awesome purchase from Target). And it was time to head home for an amazing nap and dinner from the family’s favourite Chinese restaurant.

And boardgames with Daddy

And boardgames with Daddy

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mommies in our lives… a special call out to those titled ladies in our kids’ lives – Grandma Reinsch, Grandma, Nana, Great Grandma Rapp, the God Mommies: Darcy, Christine, Xinny Karyn, Esther, Ada and Bree… Thank you so much for taking on the responsibility of being a support to the kids. We love you all!!!101_7439

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Lions, Our Resource Entry!

Zander’s animal choice was LIONS! So of course we had to find all that we could about where they live, what they do and how they survive. I hope these are helpful!

BOOKS:

  • Magic Tree House #11: Lions at Lunchtime HERE
  • Lions by Tammy Gagne HERE
  • I am a Lion by Karen Durrie. This AV2 book has a website you can visit for supplementary activities and some print outs. HERE
  • Mouse & Lion by Rand Burkert and Nancy Ekholm Burket HERE
  • Welcome to Kenya by Patrick Ryan HERE
  • Tanzania by Patricia J. Murphy HERE
  • (We also made use of various magazines… National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick… all thanks to Nana and Gammie!)

TV:

  • National Geographic’s Big Cat Odyssey
  • Wild Kratts Bad Hair Day (Season 2)
  • Lion King

WORKSHEETS:

  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den with Bible Story Printables HERE and game HERE
  • DLTK’s lion printables including a story HERE
  • Colouring page with PreschoolMom.com HERE
  • Letter L printable with Activity Village HERE
  • Grassland Food Web printable (no activity) with Exploring Nature Educational Resource HERE
  • EnchantedLearning printable HERE
  • First Palette animal printables HERE
  • Lion King official printables HERE with Family Go
  • Africa Resources with Homeschool Creations HERE
  • Africa Theme unit with edhelper.com HERE

LAPBOOKS:

  • HS Highlights Lions lapbook for purchase HERE

CRAFTS:

  • We watched the Lion King in the end and of course had to do some of the official crafty stuff found HERE on DisneyFamily.com

KENYA:

  • We had a series of maps we looked at to answer some questions: Ducksters (HERE), The Forestry Department for a mountain location (HERE), BBC for the equator line (HERE)
  • Kids 4 Kenya HERE
  • Activity Village section HERE
  • National Geographic Kids with printable HERE

Tanzania

  • National Geographic Kids with printable HERE
  • A map with Ducksters HERE
  • Activity Village section HERE

VIDEOS:

Esther found this one for us on the Lions and the Masai…

And I came across this lovely ones of Kenyan children dancing.

We had two more from Esther that she deemed interesting… the kids agreed! First, A Lion Pride – Introducing Daddy to the Cubs by BBC Wildlife

And the other… Lion Pride in Kenya, Africa by Brian’s Art for Animals.

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