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Autumn Wood ~ Shrooms


Chelsea’s note: Donna has a fall mini-series for us!  Applause!  Look forward to beautiful pics as well as creative and informative writing!

Posted by Donna

Walks in autumn wood nearly always include the sights and smells of Boletus edulism, also known as terrestrial fungus, a.k.a., mushrooms.

Yes, these little fellows. Everywhere I looked, they just seemed to pop up.

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Sometimes in clusters…..

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….and sometimes in pairs….

These “toadstools” were so interesting-looking, that I had to photograph their silhouette. Look what I would’ve missed had I not gotten down to their level and studied their anatomy!

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But I got a little curious to know more about what I was looking at so I googled “teaching kids about mushrooms” and here’s what showed up:

(A long time ago), a few eukaryote cells developed into multi-celled creatures. Some of them became animals, and some became plants, and others became mushrooms and the other funguses like yeast. So mushrooms are not either animals or plants, though they are more closely related to animals than they are to plants.

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There are many different kinds of mushrooms, but most mushrooms grow in more or less the same way. Most of the cells of the fungus actually stay underground, where they form a long, wide net of cells something like plant roots (they look like black shoelaces). These underground nets of cells can live a long time, even thousands of years.

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Like other eukaryote creatures, mushrooms use mitosis to grow bigger, and meiosis to produce tiny one-celled spores. The wind blows these spores away from the mother plant so that new mushrooms can grow in new soil.

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Most of the spores land on rocks or in water and don’t manage to grow at all. But when a spore lands on dirt or a decaying plant, it begans to eat the molecules in the dirt or the wood and sends a network of cells down into the ground. The network of cells is only a few cells thick, so it doesn’t need a circulatory system or a digestive system. When the network gets big enough, it sends up more mushrooms out of the ground, and these mushrooms produce spores, and the spores blow away to make new mushroom colonies.

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Some funguses have (developed) partnerships with ferns, which (happened) only a little later, so that each of them depends on the other to stay alive.

To keep from being eaten by animals or plants, many kinds of mushrooms have developed poisons so that nothing will want to eat them. It’s hard to tell which mushrooms are poisonous, so you shouldn’t eat any wild mushroom unless your parents say it is okay.

The biggest shroom I found all summer was in the daisy garden and rivaled them for bloom beauty, don’t you agree? It was like a giant flowerhead itself.

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And we all know, all good things must come to an end; this big fella (pictured above earlier) lasted almost 5 weeks and after using up all its mitosis, its life ended for now.

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And speaking of beauty….

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If your cowkids are curious to see more pictures, – Go to: http://scienceforkids.kidipede.com/biology/mushrooms/#sthash.bXeat54o.dpuf

{Mushroom beauty compliments of McCall, Idaho and Washington, D.C.}


Wordless Wednesday


posted by Chelsea

I’ve seen other people do “Wordless Wednesday” on their blogs and I thought I’d participate this week.  The other blogs don’t use words, just pictures.  I’m such a rebel!  Look at all these words! I’m going crazy with words! I can’t stop!  Actually, I wanted to participate because I don’t have time to write a big ol’ post about our big ol’ weekend, but I did have time to download pictures and edit ‘em :-) So… now I’ll share ‘em.  And I’ll try not to talk about ‘em.  No promises.

I do need to say a couple things.  First of all… we got to go to a homecoming football game on Friday night.  Buck gathered cows and moved them then rushed home, threw on some clean-ish clothes and we zipped up to watch Havin be the star of the show and lead his team to victory in their homecoming game, winning 72-0.  Seriously.

Now skip over to Sunday.  (Remember, no time for a buncha words!) Our friends Collin & Jessie…

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took the bull by the horns…

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(wasn’t that nice of Cooper to demonstrate? I guess technically that’s by the face, but we understand the demonstration, right?!) and put on a junior rodeo just like everyone has been saying “should happen” for the last several years.

I woke up a wee bit on the grouchy side of the bed because I didn’t feel like getting everyone ready and hauling everyone and their horse to town, but I put on a semi-happy face knowing it was probably going sure to be worth the effort.  And lo and behold! It was SO! MUCH! FUN! And we were SO! GLAD! WE! WENT!  Seriously.

Lucy,

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who is bound and determined to catch stuff with her rope, made 5 out of 6 shots in the dummy roping.

Katelyn,

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who is bound and determined to make-her-horse-go-where-she-wants-to-go, walk-trotted the barrels with Daddy’s help and then spent the rest of the day in the practice arena making TJ go where she wanted to go (!!) by golly…

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Then because I’m being short with words (WORDLESS Wednesday, remember?!) I’ll quickly explain that Havin’s dad is our farrier and he needed to reset some shoes on some horses.  So… he drove an extra 60 miles to shoe horses at the junior rodeo… and that way we got to see their family and his daughter Heidi got to be in the rodeo!  Look at her go….

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And her big brothers hung out with our little kids…

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Hi Havin!

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Hi Hogan!

In addition to having a really fun time in their events, the kids also got to see friends…

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And watch them compete, too…

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And run around in the pasture together…

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Look at them go!

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I’d like to know what this conversation was about…

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And basically we all had an all around fab-dab-u-lous day.  We got home in time to hang up our ropes and our hats…

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And get back in bed.  On the not grouchy side.

So there you go! I guess I found the time to commentate.  Just know I could have said more.  A lot more.  WordLESS is relative.  Less words than their could have been!  I think I probably won’t make a habit out of participating in days without words.  Not even less of them.  It’s just not me.  I mean look at me go!  564 words.  That’s what WordPress just told me.  I guess that’s LESS than 565. “WordLESS than 565 Wednesday”… I see a trend in the making.


Turnin’ Two


posted by Chelsea

Before Cooper was born, my sister-in-law, Tawny, who had been a mom-to-a-boy for a couple of years already, was excited about helping us welcome a boy into our family.  She said, one of the many things Cooper would do, would be to  help me better understand my husband and men in general.

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In the last two years, I have heard Tawny’s words ring true as I’ve been baffled, amazed, and in awe of this little man…

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and his ability to show me how differently boys and girls are “wired”.

He’s a bizarre combination of ornery and insanely sweet.

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He has no regard whatsoever for what, if anything, he wears.  He will bounce up from crazy tumbles, more irritated that it slowed him down than the fact that he’s bleeding.   He takes his play very seriously,

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He will play “work” on anything he can get his hands on- most recently a squirt bottle, bike pedals…

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and the underside of his scooter– little man is mechanically inclined. He takes note of every sound- every airplane that flies over, every tractor that drives by, every engine that starts… and usually reproduces its sound. He’s observant, for example– like a good little cowboy, he’s determined to shut any gate he notices is open..

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whether it should be/can be or not.

We love everything about this little man of ours.  He’s the busiest little blessing we’ve ever received and can’t imagine life without him.  Happy 2 to you, Mr. Cooper!

 


Rememberance


Posted by chelsea

Two years ago at this time, I looked like this…

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I know, I know.  You can hardly tell I was pregnant, but I was.  I was so pregnant that I woke up most mornings crying because I was still pregnant.  But you know the old saying, “this too shall pass”?  Well, indeed it did!  And I wouldn’t have traded it for anything because, besides a lot of stretch marks, look who we have to show for it..

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Little man is turning two, so stay tuned because I”ll make a real big deal about it later in the week! :)

 


The Culprit


posted by Chelsea

There’s a reason I haven’t been blogging very much lately.  A good reason.  A busy reason.  An adventurous reason.  A stinkin’ cute reason.  A handful of a reason.  A climbing reason.  A mess-making reason.  A no-more-crib-cause-he’s-climbing-out reason.  A won’t-stay-in-his-new-big-boy-bed reason.

A Cooper reason…

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I’ll blog again.  Maybe when he’s 5?  or 15? or 25? I don’t know, but I’ll come back periodically… and when I do, I’m pretty sure I’ll have a lot of adventurous stories to share  :-)

 


Lucy Girl


posted by Chelsea

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Lucy learned to drive the feed truck,
While on a “binki” she still liked to suck.
She’s always been her dad’s right hand gal,

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And her little sister’s all-time-best pal.

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She’d rather tags calves before school starts

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Than fill out monotonous chore charts.
She loves a calf with a brockle face,
Especially one she might be able to chase.

Lucy often explains the meaning of a “springy cow”
To which non-rancher types often voice, “wow?!”
The “birds & the bees” are simple and true,
From the cows & the bulls she’s taken her cue.

She’s a responsible, Type-A, oldest child,

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And with her siblings (and dad!) she loves to play wild.

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She’s determined and strong with her high pony tail
and she’ll eat anything, even spinach or kale.

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Lucy’s energy stores never run dry,
No matter how hard we all try.
We call her our energizer bunny,
And her sense of humor is witty & funny.

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She’s on spring break this week
And with it, an adventure she’d like to seek.
Lucky for us there’s work to be done
And lucky for her she’s able to do it in the sun!

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A Formal Introduction


posted by Chelsea

If you’ve been around CC for very long, you’re already aware of the fact that I love PG Tips black tea with cream and (raw) sugar.  My girls do, too.  It’s an important part of our life, particularly our fall/winter/spring life.  If there is the slightest chill in the air, we need tea.

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It’s a treat.  It’s a distraction.  It’s a way of life.

So… since Cooper is getting “older”, you know, quickly approaching his 2nd birthday, we decided to introduce him to our tea time.  We were strategic…. we took it outside because while he thinks he’s a real pro without a sippy lid, he’s actually not.

The girls were pretty thrilled to include him in our afternoon habit.  We all watched on to see what he’d think of his mostly cream and sugar (with a little bitta tea) combination…

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We’re pretty sure he enjoyed every drop…

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because…

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once he started…

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he didn’t even bother coming up for air…

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And when he finished his, he checked to make sure no one was looking so he could start in on Katelyn’s…

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We have another tea drinker on our hands, folks!


Five Years Old!


posted by Chelsea

This weekend, Sunday to be exact, in the wee hours of the morning, at approximately 4:50 a.m….

His girl.

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My girl.

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Little sister girl.

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Big sister girl.

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Our Katelyn girl.

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Our growing up too fast girl.

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Our girl who takes life with ease.  Our girl who loves sweetly, gives generously and learns quickly.

She surprises us, delights us and unites us.   We adore this little monkey and can’t believe our Baby Kate is turning the long awaited, much anticipated, magical number FIVE!


They Warned Me


Posted by Chelsea

Ever since he was born folks warned me it would happen.  “His sisters will dress him up in all sorts of things, dresses, skirts, you name it!”  Well, they were right…

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…..But what nobody knew is that Mr. Cooper won’t have any part of it.  As soon as they get him dressed in the perfect skirt and matching shoes he proceeds to….

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take it all…

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right…

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OFF!

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Better luck next time sisters! :)


Seven


Posted by Chelsea

Our Lucy girl is growing up.   She’s headed back to school this morning after a couple of weeks off.  A few things about our girl this morning…. because, afterall, she turned 7 in December.  We celebrated…

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… with a flourless mint-chocolate (super-duper-uper-rich) cake.

Now that she’s seven, she thinks it’s funny to try to resist my picture taking efforts…

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And has even been known to flare her nostrils when I come in for a close-up…

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That is, unless her little brother is involved….

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…then she’s a pretty proud big sister.  (It’s hard to tell they’re related isn’t it?!)

Lucy doesn’t realize that some girls spend hours in the bathroom trying to make their hair look like hers does after 3 shower-less-brush-less days….

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Here’s one of the great things about our Lucy girl.  Since day 1, she’s been a strong and determined child.  Whatever she puts her mind to (the key= her idea!) watch out because she’s all in and there’s no stopping her.  From crawling to walking to dressing herself to swinging a rope to addition and subtraction to biking to skiing to sorting cows… once she decides to do it- let the fun begin!  As of late, she’s decided she loves to read and it is so! much! fun!  Watching her grow and learn is one of the highlights of our life.  She’s energetic and ambitious and we couldn’t love her more.   She knows how to play hard…

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and how to love creatures great and small…

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… and basically, we’re just pretty dang proud to be her parents.  Yay for turning SEVEN!

 

 


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