Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Category: Family Fun (page 1 of 8)

Music Makers

Part of Doodle's daily school routine is to write a short piece of music for Rosebud to learn and later perform for us on the recorder.  Doodle's compositions kill two birds with one stone: they press him forward with music theory, and they provide Rosebud something new to play now that she's worked through our recorder book.

Doodle picks out a tune using a keyboard app on a smartphone.  He'll sometimes have a question for me ("I forgot how to make an eighth-rest," or "How can I show that she should repeat this section?")  Then he neatly writes his song and passes the composition book (a spiral bound notebook) to Rosebud.

He's come up with some clever tunes.  And though Rosebud sometimes complains ("This one is too hard," or "Doesn't this measure have too many beats?") the overall verdict is that she enjoys it.  How do I know?  It's Sunday afternoon.  She has no music obligations, and she's in her room playing through some of Doodle's tunes...for fun!

Most of Doodle's tunes are original; sometimes they are inspired by a piece of music he knows or has heard (I'm talking to you, VogelJoy); sometimes he'll write a round or duet; and sometimes Doodle will write a descant for a song we already know.  So sometimes the family can sing along while Rosebud toots out the harmonizing descant.  Fun stuff.

Here's a sample of his work.

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Moody Noriega

I have a little ball that I've named Moody Noriega.  Let me tell you how it got it's name.

But first, do you know what a palindrome is? It is a word or a sentence or a paragraph or any type of text that is read the same both backward and forward when not including any punctuation or capitals or spaces, for example, "race-car" or "Stanley Yelnats" or "Aha!".

I created a program on Khan Academy which challenged the user to think of a palindrome longer than mine, that I had come up with myself: "No stop! A pot's on!"

One of the users put down in the comments a palindrome longer than mine: "'Are we not pure?' 'No sir!' Panama's moody Noriega brags, 'It is garbage! Irony dooms a man, a prisoner up to new era.'"

Then Carman and I came up with a game. We collect the left-over pipes from our stretch wrap and aluminum foil, and we set them up on their ends, and we take turns throwing at them, and whoever had knocked the most pipes over wins that round.

But we normally set at least two pipes on top of the "Panama Jack" box, that we ended up calling the "Panama Noriega" box.

And we ended up calling both the game and the ball that we throw to knock down the pipes, "Moody Noriega".

Moody Noriega

Trip to the zoo

This was the third attempt to go to the zoo. It all started at Rosebud's birthday, back in April. We planned on going, but that morning several people were feeling bad, so we just stayed home. Three months later, on my birthday, we tried going again. When we  got there, we found out that it is closed on Mondays! So, we ended up hiking around on Cerro San Cristobal and it was a lot of fun.

Finally, on Milkmaid's birthday, we went. (Milkmaid is photoshopped in)

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The first animal we saw was a rock. Or at least, it was, until it turned into a hippo.

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Continue reading

Doodle turns 10

Ten years ago on Sunday, I was kicked out of my spot as the baby of the family by this cute little guy šŸ˜€

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On Saturday we celebrated with Doodle's 3 special friends here in Santiago; Batman (9), Alex (13) and Max (12) [not their real names].

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The boys played Sprouts and Spot it (two of Doodle's favorite games). We also played the "Family game".  (We'll explain in a later post).

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Spotit

Next Carman showed the boys how to make a few of his favorite paper airplanes, and then they had a competition to see whose could fly furthest. Continue reading

Races at the National Stadium

A couple of months ago, after watching the Santiago Marathon and trying too late to enter a 5k that started a block from our apartment, we started looking for a shortish race that all of us could enter.

We found a race in the National Stadium in ƑuƱoa that we could all run in. Rosebud, Doodle and I each did 1k. Carman and Marathon did a mile (1.690k). Milkmaid said she would pass and just cheer from the stands.

The stadium is primarily used for major soccer games and concerts. However there is a  track around the soccer field in the middle which is where the race took place.  Stuck into the grass on the edge of the field were signs that said "Don't step on the grass!". 

Lots of people came up wanting to meet us, and asking us how to say various word in English. At least 3 girls asked me if I would be their friend šŸ™‚ One of the adults that came to talk to us was Carlos, a "Monitor Deportivo" (Sports monitor) at Parque O' Higgins.  His job is to teach kids proper running form, breathing and all that important stuff.  Carman and Marathon had their picture taken with him.

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This is Rosebud on the last lap of her race (two and a half laps!).  Rosebud is the one in the middle with the pink shirt. She and the little girl behind her stayed together for the whole race.

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Carman didn't start out really fast like some of the other boys, and passed many of them toward the end! (Green shirt.)

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Home stretch!

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Marathon did well in his race also, finishing in about 13th.

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I don't have any pictures of myself running, and I don't even know what place I ended up taking.  But most importantly, I didn't lose. šŸ˜€

Later that evening Carman said, "If I could warp time, I could have been standing in the exact same place as Messi!"

Carman Benchmarks, Old and New

Carman (16 now) is not much of a runner.  He much prefers cycling and he, like me, has a body much more appropriate for pushing pedals.

But after several failed attempts, it appears that we have finally succeeded in getting into one of the free footraces around town and the older kids have been noticeably motivated to run lately.  This particular race will be a road mile, with separate heats for each age group.

So today, as the time approached for our every-other-day 4-5 mile run, Carman announced to me that he had found a good mile course in our neighborhood.  Later I realized that he intended to run it hard, with the caveat that we would be toe-striking and nose-breathing.  I thought he had a shot at beating me because he had seemed pretty strong lately over middle distances when we would get frisky during our otherwise relaxed runs.

It was just in the last year that he officially out-sprinted me for the first time.  Starting about five years ago, he would challenge me to a sprint every so often and always manage to come up short.  We raced on the beach at Valpo about 15 months ago and I won "on a technicality".  (He misunderstood where the finish line was -- gotta love that šŸ™‚ )  Finally, he beat me outright in a local park about six month ago and it was official.

Beating me in running was a long time coming for him compared to cycling, in which he blew me away on a time trial in September of 2012.  I know it was fair because we rode the same bike.  (No, not at the same time, silly.)

Similar story with armwrestling, with the baton passing to him (for left and right arms) about a month ago.  We haven't been swimming at all lately, but I already know that I'd be lucky to be keeping up by drafting off of either Carman or Sudoku at this point.  Carman could certainly out-do me in push-ups and pull-ups by the time he was 12.

But in running, no.  Certainly not distance running. After all, I spent huge chunks of my life doing this!  Surely I'm not going to be struggling to keep up in this, too?

We started our mile time trial and, within 100 yards, I knew that I couldn't hang with him. He pulled away. I thought maybe he was going out too fast and would come back to me. He kept pulling away ...  very evenly like he was an old pro at this.

He finished in 5:40 and I in 6 flat.

Looking at the bright side, now I have a real training partner!

 

Puerto Varas Trip – the Bus Ride

It looks like I'm going to beat Carman and Sudoku with a post (finally!) about our trip to the south of Chile (relatively speaking).  One could go MUCH farther south in this long, skinny land, and hopefully we will some day.  While we can now technically say we've been to Patagonia, there is so much more to see and explore.  More to explore in the north too.  They say the night sky is just incredible there.  One day.  Maybe.

In December, just before the high summer season hit, we took an overnight bus to Puerto Varas.  The bus trip could be a post in and of itself.  [This post has turned into that!] We were impressed with the bus line (we used TurBus, I think) as well as the bus terminal.  The terminal for the private bus lines is very big, relatively clean, orderly, and the buses were arriving and leaving on time.  Our bus left around 9pm.  Seems rather late, huh?  But the bus terminal was totally bustling with people and buses.  Continue reading

Family pics from Thanksgiving

This year we went to the Santiago Community Church for Thanksgiving, like we did last year. Before we left we got some family pictures out on our balcony. This is our "normal picture".

While I was getting the camera set up, I asked Doodle and Rosebud to come out to and pose for the camera.

"Can we go yet?"

The answer was no, and now they're grumpy

Rosebud is mad and Doodle is bored.

They're both getting pretty pepped up now...

Rosebud is FUMED!

I think "Rosebud is bored" pretty much sums this one up

Rock onnnnn

Let's stop there before someone gets hurt šŸ™‚

Guess Who? (City)

Doodle and I have created a new game that's very educational for both of us.

With labels turned off in Google Maps, I look away while he zooms in on a random city somewhere in the world. Then I look at the city and tell him what continent it's on. Sometimes I can tell him what country it's in, and once I was able to tell him what city it was (St. Louis).

Here are some of my techniques.

This city has some reddish roofs, a developed road system (hence the traffic circles) and the center of the city is very tight, signifying pedestrian based zones. To the west, you see the face of first-world subdivisions.

What do these point to? Europe. Probably central-northern, judging by the shade of the green spaces.

Prague, Czech Republic

Considering the photo below: the only thing keeping me from guessing Africa is the hard-to-see road layout, which points to a developed country. The roads wouldn't look like that if Continue reading

Belated Photos

For the Chilean independence holiday, Dieciochera (September 18), you may remember that there was a weeklong festival in the park next door.  The festival is sponsored at least in part by the city of Providencia, and the city provides the park's immediate neighbors with free entrance tickets to the festival.  This gesture is, I suspect, a sort of apology for all the disruption.  Our apartment complex is right next to the park.  During the festival traffic is heavy around our usually quiet block, and finding a parking spot is nearly impossible.  Noise is also an issue.  Concerts would start around noon, and music would blare from the park until midnight.  We could hear it inside our apartment, and we're on the side opposite of the park!  I can't image being in one of the units that faces the park.

The city sent us a few different types of tickets.  Basically, we were all able to go together two times.  But we also had two tickets that could be used repeatedly for the entire week.  So, at any given time, two of us could go enjoy ourselves.

So, one afternoon, Rosebud and I went together.  It was like a mother-daughter date.  Here she is all dressed up and ready to go.

You can see she had a spring in her step as we headed to the park. Continue reading

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