Georgia turns 12

Georgia turned 12 last Tuesday, which was also the day of their last swim meet, so she spent most of the day in the pool (and still had to do school, too!).  In lieu of birthday cupcakes, she had birthday blueberry muffins to share at swim practice in the morning.  Michael came home early so that we could celebrate with lunch at Cafe Reville and then, FINALLY, she could crack into that tower of gifts that had been taunting her for days.

This weekend, her birthday adventure was taking a ride up to visit a co-worker of Michael’s who happens to have a small herd of Shetland ponies and three lovely horses, not to mention lots of dogs.

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Georgia meeting the pony herd

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This is Bailey, the love bug pony

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Mixing with the herd. Georgia doesn’t know it yet, but the pony in front of her, Skittles, likes to chew. On pants, shoes, shirts…

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Snickers, however, just wants you to pet her.

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Owen has discovered Skittles’ proclivities

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That’s more like it!

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Owen got to attempt a pony ride before Bailey made it clear that he was not interested.

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See? Happy to have someone doting on her.

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This is Buzz, the newest horse on the property. He is beautiful. Eventually, he was saddled up and Georgia got to ride him.

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But, first, they rode Diamond, the old dame of the barn. She’s 20 and they’ve had her since she was a few months old. She was everything you want a horse carrying your children to be–sweet, gentle, docile, and not interested in going fast.

Atlanta stay-cation

For Memorial Day weekend, at the last minute we decided to go somewhere.  Except all the beach and mountain somewheres were mostly booked and very expensive.  In a case of backwards logic, I wondered what about going downtown?  Turns out, all the swank hotels had great rates and lots of vacancies.   We ended up at the Westin, just a couple of blocks from Centennial Plaza and all the good stuff that surrounds it.  We bought the City Pass and played tourists for the long weekend.

Our hotel had great views of the city and the beautiful weather made the park that much more fun to walk through.

We fed the kids well…

In between meals, we visited the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke, CNN headquarters, the Atlanta Zoo, and, our favorite, the College Football Hall of Fame.

Mock-umental

Our new neighborhood has an early summer swim team and the kids are on the reserve team.  That means they don’t have to swim in each of the weekly meets but they can.  Last week, the team head the season opening mock meet, where the team swam against themselves with families on the deck watching and concessions and sharpie marker art and lots of good stuff.  This week’s meet was postponed due to weather.  Owen’s already anxious to swim in next week’s meet.

Peachtree Starbase

Last week, Georgia attended Starbase, a Department of Defense sponsored science, math, and engineering camp for middle schoolers.  She loved it!  (and Owen can’t wait to go when he’s old enough).  She spent everyday at Dobbins Air Reserve Base with a great staff.  She was with homeschooled kids–our group got to sign up as a “school.”  Each participant had to choose a call sign; Georgia was “Gator Girl.”  Friday, they graduated–their graduation speaker was an Army Warrant Officer.

Saturday, we were back at Dobbins for Lockheed Martin’s Family Day.  No cameras allowed so we don’t have any pictures.  They did have planes on display–C5, C130, P3, and F22.  Georgia liked being able to see up close the jet she flew in the simulator this week.

Due west?

We traded Bay Area traffic for Metro Atlanta traffic with this move. Learning the new geography always yields some funny things. This picture is of my favorite t-shaped intersection.

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I have to turn right to STAY on Due West; that’s how we go to Marietta. If I go straight, I’m now on Kennesaw Due West which takes me to Kennesaw. Turning left would put me on Acworth Due West, which will take you to Acworth but it’s a bit of the long way to get there. Clear as mud, right?

WEBELOS

Tonight, Owen bridged (literally) to the next level of Scouting. He is now a Webelo.

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Backyard Battle

One of the kids’ favorite scenes in the movie Rio is the fight between “Birds versus monkeys!”

This week, we have been holding school out on the back deck to enjoy the beautiful weather.  Our avian neighbors upstaged the lessons when the crows and a pair of hawks went at it, beak and claw.  We could never figure out what set them off but their battle went on for a while and the noise of the hawks cries and the crows caws was loud!  They made a couple of low passes, en masse, through the yard before taking to the trees.  A lull would fall and we could watch some nosy mockingbirds and blue jays insert themselves into the fray before the noise would crank up and they would be off again.

Best guess: the hawks have a nest in the area and the crows are trying to keep the raptor population low.  We’ll be watching for hawk fledglings in the next fews weeks, to see who really won the other day.