Trying not to be sad and mad about Jimmer and the boys tonight (and please, let's not even mention the Jazz. At least there's RSL, right?), so I shall blog of happier times :).
John is working on his thesis right now, and he is in the thick of collecting aquatic insects (pteronarcella, which are stoneflies, to be exact) for his research. He has gone on a couple of collecting trips by himself (he is collecting from all over the western US), and has many more in the plans, but we are also trying to make some family trips out of them. BYU issues him a car and credit card for gas since his research is funded, so hey, why not take advantage of it and hit the road together, right? Yes, well, that is the plan anyway. John needed to collect at a few streams en route to Boise, ID, and my aunt and uncle's family lives right near there, so we decided to combine the two and make a weekend trip to visit my dearest family and collect a few bugs on the way. Best of both worlds, ya know?
One of the happiest things in my life right now is the feeling of peace I have that our family is headed in the right direction for us. There is still plenty of uncertainty (like, uh, where we will be moving to next year for John's PhD), but I feel so blessed to know that the career path that he is on is the right one for him, and the best thing for our family. I love so much that he is doing something that he is so passionate about, and something that he is so naturally gifted in. I am also so grateful that this is a career path that will ensure that our children grow up learning about, experiencing, and appreciating nature and the beautiful creations that surround them. I am so grateful that my kids will have childhood memories of going on collecting and research trips to the woods and streams with their dad, that they will have the opportunity to know and love nature from their infancy. With that said, here are some photos from one of the collecting stops on our way.
Pea and I looking all kinds of disheveled from being in the car for a few hours, and the boys with their collecting paraphernalia, getting ready to head down to the river.
It's really hard for me to get normal pictures of George these days.
George waiting patiently on the riverbank to see what his daddy rustles up.
Waiting patiently is easier when you have sticks to play with.
Or to throw into the water.
And here they are, my two little biologists, surveying their finds.
George seriously loved this. He maneuvered those forceps around the icky little creatures like a pro, and was actually a help to John in getting all the bugs collected quicker. I think they will make a good team for years to come.
Check out his forceps about to snatch up that bug.
When John went back down to the river to get some more creatures, George stayed back by himself to continue the collecting. He insisted on putting a few sticks ("for the bugs to crawl on and sleep on") and leaves ("for when the bugs want to eat") in the collecting jars. I didn't tell him that the alcohol he was dropping them into would pretty much kill them instantly.
Oh see, there he is, dropping a bug into certain death. It's for research, people. It must me done :).
Maybe my favorite picture of the bunch. I just love this little boy and all his boyish ways.
Wielding forceps makes him very happy.
And here are a few shots of the little bugs themselves. The little bugs that are currently living in vials above my computer desk. Lucky me.
If I am remembering correctly, this bug on the right is going to eventually turn into a dragonfly. Perhaps gomphidae? I would ask my biologist, but he's sleeping next to me right now and he has to get up in like 3 hours. I'll let him sleep and risk being totally off on my aquatic entomology terms.
Ah cuuute! They both have one!
This one makes me laugh. He's like, "Wow! Mom! Look at this one!" He was pretty excited about it. Looking at it now, in the photo, I'm pretty sure it's a piece of wood. Good trying though, Georgie :).
Baby Girl and I were there, too. I had my 50mm lens on, which makes self-portaits most tricky :).
We tried a few times. Blurry, runny nose, half of faces. Oh well :).
This was as close as we got to both of our faces being in the frame.
So happy that I have a little pal to keep me company. I'm sure she will be a bug-lovin', forcep-wieldin' little kid just like her brother one day, but for now I love getting to bring her back to the car to warm up while the boys stay out to collect "just a few more."