A new nickname for daddy

Recently Liam and Reid have started calling me “dad-eye chugs.” That is not the spelling but the pronunciation. The name is has a complicated etymology, deriving originally from the name for a fat Bugs Bunny character, naturally. The name of this character is “big chungis,” and a particular formulation of that name which Reed was to create when he found himself pressed for space in writing his name for an online school quiz game. Makes me realize I haven’t recorded my other nicknames yet…

COW WARS

The phantom (Fluffy) menace

Long, long ago in a country far, far away…

I crawled lazily out of my bed, and immediately made a mad dash for the nearest tissue box to clear my nose of the buckets of snot that built up over the night. Then, fully awake, I headed to the kitchen for breakfast. Mom and Dad had already put out a bowl of corn flakes, which I ate happily. Realising that it was a weekend and that I didn’t have to go to school, I headed over to the red couch and started drawing. I wasn’t sure what to draw, so I went with my default, an epic Clone Wars battle scene (composed entirely of stick figures). Once I had sated my thirst for an army of dead stick-figure droids, I went to grab a sheet of origami paper. Continuing the theme, I decided to fold my most recent origami model, A Star Wars Droideka (see a pattern?). A Droideka is a large 3 legged droid that can roll around and probably what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Halfway through folding the base, I heard a disgruntled MOOOOOOO and some frantic yapping. Pulling myself out of the trance-like state that origami always puts me in, I slowly looked out of the window. I didn’t see anything for a second and was about to start folding again when a herd of cows appeared at the edge of the backyard. For NORMAL people it might be odd to have around 12 cows free-ranging behind your house. And to be honest, it was. Later, we assumed they came from the farm down the road. A farmer would let them out with him periodically to go for walks. Usually they would stick to the road but they undoubtedly had gotten out on their own because they were about to start munching on our over-tall grass when they started moving unnaturally fast to the middle of the backyard. 

They appeared quite skittish, as far as cows go. At first I was utterly baffled as to why they were moving so fast. But then I saw it: the menace, the terrible one, the nightmare of all cowkind. CENIZA. This tiny little dog was probably the most aggressive thing for a good many miles around. Despite her petite size, Ceniza (Niza) was afraid of nothing. Her owner lived not some 30-40 feet from our house. On the few occasions when we would take Niza out for a walk, she would attack anything she could get her vicious little paws on. This included much larger dogs (including one who gave her quite the thrashing later on), humans, birds, agoutis (large, yet defenseless rodents), and even Pizotes. A Pizote is a raccoon-like creature with an elongated snout and seemingly much more fierce than your average trash panda. Niza chased these poor, harassed, defenseless cows around the tiny backyard and out onto the road, making sure to give all the stragglers a little not-so-loving nip in the heel. Mom and Dad were disappointed when they saw our bio-lawn mowers leaving. I was mainly glad to get back to folding.

(This is a story that Liam wrote for homeschooling. In memory of his old Costa Rican home).

Español con amigos

This school year, Liam and Reid have picked up two new ways to enjoy Spanish. First, they’ve started weekly tutoring sessions with our friend in Costa Rica, Allan. These sessions have been wonderful (and, in fact, if any of you friends or family would be interested in Spanish tutoring, let us know–we cannot recommend Allan highly enough and he is looking to expand his tutoring work).

And, we’ve been connected with a young friend from Guatemala who visits with us on the occasional weekend for a day full of Spanish and play. Here the kids are with their new friend, playing a board game: