So many "s's"

I know I play it a little fast a loose with grammar here on the blog. I make up words on occasion; I use too many ellipses...

The truth is, I love correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. I read Grammar Girl for fun. I peruse the "AP Style Book" and the "Chicago Manuel of Style." That's not to say you won't find lots of mistakes in this forum, but I try.

When I was a senior in high school I once got a paper back from my high school English teacher with one comment: "nice use of a semicolon." I couldn't have been prouder. And I still remember that so many years later, bit don't remember any other teachers' comments. I recently read an article in which a college English professor wrote that he always checks for plagiarism when a student uses a semicolon correctly. Really? That's the clue that someone else wrote the paper? I would have had all my work inspected--I LOVE semicolons. Yeah, I'm a nerd.

So, you can imagine my distress when I realized that I have been making Anders's name possessive incorrectly for almost 4.5 years. Personally, I prefer "Anders'" to "Anders's". It's less clunky and easier to pronounce.

From now on you'll see Anders's name like that--not like this: Anders'. I'm not happy about it, but that's what we get for choosing a name that ends in "s."

I don't even want to get into the correct Swedish pronunciation of his name. Suffice to say, it's nothing close to the way we say it.

Permalink 07/02/11 12:58:54 am, by Mel Email , 259 words, Categories: Anders ,

{this moment} buddies

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via soulemama

Permalink 07/01/11 12:44:00 am, by Mel Email , 32 words, Categories: {this moment} ,

River study

Since it's been all about the river lately, the boys and I decided to do a little river study.

We started out by photographing the magnificent beast. We picked a spot we could remember (the corner of a bench) so we can take more photos in the future and compare them.

Anders's photo.

Finn's photo.

Since we were watching branches and trees float downstream, we decided to time them. Using a very unscientific method, we eyeballed when a branch passed a riverside tree, and then counted until the branch got to a specific bush. We recorded six times, just to be sciency. Despite the lack of rigor, we can use this data later to see if the river is slowing down or speeding up.

Our next task was to draw the Yellowstone. We talked about what we saw in front of us and what we wanted to have on our paper. Interestingly, both of them chose blue to draw the river until I asked them what color it was.

Observing.

Drawing the river.

After we finished recording and coloring, we pulled out a map and looked at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. We traced the blue line from high in Yellowstone National Park's mountains to the Paradise Valley. Since the map stopped there, we imagined it rushing through the valley to Livingston. If I had thought to bring an atlas, we could have traced it all the way to confluence with the Missouri River at the North Dakota border.

Checking out the map.

I could see doing this sort of observation and recording activity in anyone's neighborhood. You might not have a big river, but you could observe your backyard, a tree, a place in the park or anywhere nearby.

Permalink 06/30/11 12:06:39 am, by Mel Email , 291 words, Categories: Montana, Anders, Finn ,

Consolidation

For the last three years I have been writing at two blogs--this one and YourWildChild. The idea was to have personal stuff here (and lots of photos of the kids) for friends and family.

YourWildChild was meant to be activities and inspiration for connecting kids and nature. As you can imagine, there was a lot of crossover. I found myself debating whether a particular post went on this blog or that one. I sometimes posted about the same thing on both blogs, even though there are some readers who follow both.

As of today, I am shutting down YourWildChild. It's been fun and I have made a lot of friends through it, but I'm having a hard time keeping a regular posting schedule. And so much of our personal life is about connecting with nature.

As TravelingMel readers, you'll still see the ridiculous number of kid, wildflower, dog and river pictures. But, now you'll also see gear reviews and environmental education activities.

If you look up at the top, I've added a tab for reviews and another for activities. I imagine, however, that most of our activities will end up on the main page. Slowly, I'll be moving the 300+ YourWildChild posts over here. That should be a blast.

My three year anniversary at YourWildChild would be July 7. I'm kind of sad to see it go, but just as we are getting rid of things we don't use or want in our house, it's time to clean up my Internet stuff. It feels good to have a tidy online presence.

Permalink 06/29/11 10:48:11 am, by Mel Email , 259 words, Categories: Announcements [A] ,

Father's Day

On Father's Day, Henry and Big Henry went on a photography excursion in Yellowstone. I'm sure H will be posting photos of that soon ;)

We went to the Wilsall parade and rodeo.

But first, the boys made this.

Don't worry, I had it laminated so Henry can keep it forever. I got the idea here.

Permalink 06/28/11 12:21:01 am, by Mel Email , 55 words, Categories: Anders, Family, Finn ,

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