Last time it was the batteries for the kids toys. This time it’s music for 8, and us once we saw how cool his was.
I wanted to have a way to play music for 8 as he goes to sleep. The Goblin Child has a computer in her room but there’s no room for that in his. We talked about ways to go about it and a Raspberry Pi came up. Next thing I knew he was fiddling around in there with some speakers and the tiny box that is a Raspberry Pi.
By bed time 8 had music.
In his free time my brilliant, hard working husband had found a Linux based audio player, Runeaudio, and installed it on the Raspberry Pi. Now from his phone, mine is not compatible sadly, and any of our computers we can choose music from what’s available on the NAS (network attached storage, a project from last winter). Now, run from the little box on his dresser beautiful music (classical and Big Smith an eclectic assortment) plays from the speakers.
It was pretty darn cool. By the next night we had one too! Music, different music, now streams from every room of our house. Now he thinks he’s found an alarm clock program for it. What more new and exciting things can he possibly find to top the wonders he has already worked?
We were recently given two little cars for the kids. To be exact, a pink and purple fourwheeler and an airplane. The kids loved them. They sat on them for hours, in kid time, in adult time that means whole minutes at a time. They pushed the buttons to make them honk and lights flash and propellers whirl. The only problem was that they didn’t go. Not a problem for the kids, they didn’t know they were supposed to do anything more. It was only us older folk who thought there was anything at all amiss.
My always brilliant husband looked at them and discovered that one needed a battery, the other a charger. That’s not what makes him brilliant we all mostly knew that much. What makes him so darned cool is that upon discovering the ridiculous prices of accoutrements for kids toys he figured out a much better alternative.
With a little further research he found fixes better than the originals. The fourwheeler got a new bigger battery that charges on the tiny car battery charger that works for the plane. Perfect, and less than half the cost to replace the original equipment. He’s so awesome.
The kids are loving them just as much now that they go and are adorable trucking slowly across the yard.
When we ask what she’s done in school she shrugs and says ” I don’t know”. We have received a few papers and evidence that they have worked on a couple of letters, A and F. Not sure why F followed A instead of B but hey, what ever. She already knows her alphabet and all her letters though so it doesn’t really count as learning something new.
The other day we had some friends over for supper. Both our friends and hers. During conversation she broke into song, loudly and with lots of hand movements to accompany. She sang it over and over again. After the first few times our joy that she had learned a new song at school and even remembered it! began to be overcome by a wish that she please sing it later maybe? She finished and refused to sing it again afterwards when we asked to hear it.
I was able to get her to sing it for me one more time and caught it on video. I know, and am glad that, she enjoys music class, the teacher is excellent, and it’s the only class she’s learned anything in apparently.
She keeps telling me that she doesn’t like horses, I’m the one who likes horses. But when 8 headed off with his father in a tractor this morning she thought maybe we could go for another ride. I jumped at the chance.
We got going bright and early, stopped for Starbucks, then ran back for forgotten things. Shortly before noon we were going for real. West through Illinois, I would move there. I couldn’t handle any closer to Chicago but north western Illinois and most of Wisconsin I’d take in a heart beat, humidity mosquitoes and all.
In high school my brother had a friend, farmer Bob, who’s family had farm ground out that way, they spent a few wild weekends four wheeling the old Toyota, climbing grain bins and filming cows at night with the night vision. Much funnier than it sounds. We spent time out there with the horses. My old boy Nate went over backwards with me at an endurance ride with a very large audience. Before the ride of course, it made for a long ride. My family still hauls out to Lake Le-Aqua-Na to camp and ride. Galena, of course, is a stunning little town. It rained off and on and mist was rising from the hills. Beautiful drive.
Iowa is far prettier than it’s reputation would have one believe. Of course so is Nebraska. All these supposedly flat ugly states, glad people think that hope it keeps them out. Other than lots of rain the drive was uneventful. Except for grouchy children who refused to sleep. Then got woke up shortly after they finally cried themselves to sleep. I might have been a little grouchy.
We stayed overnight in Sioux City And finished the trip the next day. There were lots of bikers everywhere heading home from Sturgis. I may have spent some time laughing at the big, bad, dirty, scruffy looking bikers checking facebook on their phones and discussing their businesses back home. It was the living version of Wild Hogs.
We were all very glad to get home the kids missed their Lala, I may have missed him a little too. My parents wussed out on sleeping in their pickup and got a room in Chadron for the night. The Goblin Child went with them for her last night with her beloved Grammy and Different Papa. We went home and slept.
They came back the next day and we rode, the girls, and worked on a lawn mower, the boys. We also took a fourwheeler for a spin around the block. It was very exciting. The kids fell asleep. We were sad to see them go that evening but they had big plans and lots of miles ahead so it was with some excitement for the trip that we said good bye.
It was a great trip, so glad we got to go. We came back exhausted and happy to have seen everyone. Now it’s their turn to come see us!
My brother and sister-in-law spent every day we were there taking us out to show us all the fun things to do. We couldn’t have asked for better tour guides, they were great. The Goblin Child had been wanting to go to a water park the whole trip. We stopped in Nebraska for gas next to one and she had a melt down when we wouldn’t take her. Finally we got to go, there was the one in Missouri of course but you can never have too many. We loaded into two cars, with car seats there is never enough room. The girls and smallest children in their big clunky old suburban and my brother with his adoring fan club in the car. We let him go first, said we’d follow, then left him to get Starbucks.
When we got to the pool it was still closed, fall hours, all the life guards were back to school. So we went and got food, came back later. The let you have life vests in exchange for some sort of collateral. I watched my brother give up his license and was worried. All my stuff was in the car. When it was our turn they happily accepted a dollar. It was my brothers turn to be horrified.
The kids loved the pool. The Goblin Child did at least but she was happy to be anywhere my brother was. 8 cried most of the time I think. The pool was surrounded by grass and across the grass were sand pits. One for volley ball and one with toys for kids to play on and a shower to rinse off before going back to the big pool. The kids liked that part best I think. It was fenced with one gate so I was able to sit for a bit and let 8 roam by himself. They could have stayed there all day but, I heard someone say something about bees. Looking around to see what they were talking about I saw one of the bouncy toys covered in a swarm of bees, wasps, it didn’t matter what someone was going to get stung. They would go back inside and then the next kid would come along and jiggle it. Out they would come again in swarms. We took our kids and went back to the other pool.
We stayed until 8 wouldn’t stop crying anymore. The Goblin Child was sad that she couldn’t go down the big water slides. Nobody had cared that she was a smidge too short but they wouldn’t let her wear a life vest and no one was allowed to catch her at the bottom. It’s difficult being little.
I don’t remember the afternoon. Naps probably and I have pictures of the kids playing so apparently some of that. That night dad wanted curtains sewn for the topper on his shiny new pickup. They were off on their own adventure after dropping us off. We stayed up late visiting and hating to say good bye.
While putting the curtains in the back of the pickup we stood and watched bats flying over head