Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This just in...

Well, I was missing some pics from another of Stanley's exciting experiences here in Oregon, and they just came today, so I'm doing a little post-Stanley posting. He might have arrived home in Ohio today! I know he was anxious to get there.

These pics are from Stanley's visit to see his friend Dr. Gary at his chiropractic office. Stanly got to have an x-ray while he was there - that's the big table he's laying on - where Dr. Gary determined that yes, one of Stanley's legs is definitely longer than the other, and then he did some work on him in the fancy blue chair to re-align his spine a bit. Dr. Gary uses the model of the spine that he has there and the large poster on the wall to teach his patients, including Stanley, about what's happening with their bodies.

Super duper thanks to Dr. Gary for taking Stanley on as a special patient, even without his insurance card.

Friday, February 13, 2009

We loved having you here, Stanley!

This photo is all about LOVE, since tomorrow's Valentine's Day, and we really did LOVE having Stanley here. We had so much fun showing him all around Oregon and doing fun, crazy stuff. It was a blast! Thanks, Rachel and Ms. Work's class for sharing your fun project with us. We hope you all learned some great new things from Stanley's trip to Oregon and from all the other Stanleys' travels around the country and the world.

Stanley's off in the mail today, and he's excited to get back to Ohio to celebrate Rachel's birthday on the 23rd. And, just to let you know, Stanley whispered in my ear that he heard there might be a vacation coming up this summer he'd like to go on, so keep that in mind!

Thanks again for letting us participate in the Stanley Homestay program. We hope to see Stanley again sometime, somewhere.

Hope you all have a great rest of your school year. WORK hard and learn lots!


Erin and Jeff

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stanley visits the Oregon Zoo and sees our baby elephant

Things got quite exciting at the Oregon Zoo this summer when a new baby elephant was born. Here is a press release from the zoo on August 23rd.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Rose-Tu, a 14-year-old Asian elephant and first-time mother, gave birth to a 286-pound, male calf at the Oregon Zoo at 3:56 p.m. on Aug 23. The first-time mother seemed confused during the birth and showed aggression to the calf. Veterinarians and keeper staff quickly intervened, but reintroduction efforts are now underway.

"The baby is calling to his mom and she's calling back," said Mike Keele, the zoo's deputy director and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' species survival plan coordinator for Asian elephants. "Our veterinarians have examined the calf to see if he sustained any injuries, however from the behavioral signs we've seen thus far, we're very hopeful."

Keele believes that because Rose-Tu had never seen a birth before, she became confused when the baby was born.

"After several failed but energetic attempts, the calf finally stood up and took his first few steps," said Keele. "He has a good suckle response and took water from a keeper's finger within the first hour after birth," he added.

The Oregon Zoo has a renowned breeding program for endangered Asian elephants. More than 25 elephants have been born at the zoo, beginning with Packy in 1962.

An endangered species, Asian elephants are represented by an estimated 38,000 to 51,000 individuals living in fragmented populations in the wild. Agriculture, deforestation and conflict with humans pose a constant threat to wild Asian elephants.

Since the baby elephant was born, he has gained over 500 pounds!!!! The baby elephant's name is Samudra, which is the Hindi for "Lord of the Ocean" because he really loves to take baths. He is quite a little cutie and he is learning how to use his trunk. Right now his trunk is very weak and he doesn't have much control over it. It's kind of like how you learned how to actually USE your arms and legs instead of just letting them flap around!

You can see how much smaller he is then his mother still, even though he's grown quite a lot.

Here is a fun video of Samudra playing with his blue ball.

After the elephants we went on to visit the Lorikeets. The Lorikeets are so beautiful and colorful. I just love them. Stanley thought it was very exciting how they landed right on Shannon's arm to sip nectar. He got a "bird's eye view" of them for sure!

The fruit bats were quite happy because they had fresh fruit to eat. They are not the most attractive creatures in the zoo, but they were busy!

Here Stanley got to meet a zookeeper and and a Western Screech Owl. The zookeeper is the one in red (ha!). Western screech owls are native to the western part of North America, so you probably don't have them in Ohio. Their wings stretch out to about 1 1/2 times their height! You can see his yellow eye - do you know what that means? It means he can hunt in the daytime or the nighttime. I thought that was interesting because it reminded me of my cat. He can see pretty well in the dark, but he can also see in the daytime, and his eyes are bright yellow like the owl. I wonder if that's a coincidence or an adaptation of both animals??

Just for fun Stanley rode the John Deere tractor that's at the zoo!

Here we all watched sea lions glide gracefully through the water. This exhibit is pretty net because you can go outside and see them from the top and then come in and see them underneath. I like the underneath better, and Stanley did, too. Last week at the beach Jeff and I saw a sea lion swimming in the ocean right near the shore.

Stanley liked this mountain goat statue that was near the zoo exit, so he climbed right on up with the baby mountain goat and went for a little ride. It snowed again in Portland today - you know Stanley still has no coat after all this time and he was getting pretty chilly - so we finally had to leave. All in all he thought the Oregon Zoo was a pretty special place. If you'd like to lean more, you can use this link.

Hope you have a great week at school. WORK hard and learn lots!

Stanley visits Max's class and goes to Silver Falls!

Remember I told you Stanley was going to meet Max's class? Well, he did that last week. It was quite exciting for everyone. Max's class looked at Stanley's blog and thought he got to do quite a few fun things. I'd have to agree. Here's a picture of Max at the entrance to the school.

Here he is with Max in the school's garden and near the bulletin board where he read all about their cool garden space. They do composting there, and they have birdhouses and other great stuff.

Then Elizabeth and Max took Stanley to Silver Falls State Park to go for a hike. Silver Falls is Oregon's largest State Park. It's really beautiful there. They have lots of hiking trails that go past many waterfalls and even behind some of them. Some of the paths are very steep, and Stanley was a little nervous, but everyone was careful and everyone stayed safe.

Stanley wanted to get a close up view of the top of this waterfall, so Uncle Bob helped him get a good look.

If you'd like to watch a short video about Silver Falls to see more of the beautiful falls, here's one for you to take a look at:

Hope you have a great week at school. WORK hard and learn lots!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stanley had a very busy weekend this weekend. The most exciting thing was meeting new friends Kellie and Dave who are from Bathhurst, Australia. They're visiting the USA for three weeks, and they were staying with Erin and Jeff this weekend, so we got to pal around all weekend. They are super fun people. The weather wasn't too nice Saturday, but we went down to the Willamette River that runs through Portland and walked down the path that goes along one side, across the bridges, and back up the other side. There's a super fun sign that says Made In Oregon that's right downtown, and Stanley had his photo taken in front of that.

Then we stopped at the the Skidmore Fountain, the oldest piece of public art in Portland. It was built in 1888 and was erected on the site that was Portland's center at that time. The upper part of the fountain was for people, and the bottom troughs were for dogs and people. Sometimes our policemen who ride horses downtown Portland let their horses drink out of the fountain still! Unfortunately, I can't get this photo to load up, so I'l have to try and repost later!

Stanley was also excited to try drinking from one of Portland's bubbler fountains, which run all the time, no pushing the button needed! Yummy water :)

Then today we went to the Oregon Coast to see the Pacific Ocean. We stopped at the Jewell Wildlife Refuge on the way where a herd of Roosevelt Elk spends their winters. They were really beautiful. Luckily, it wasn't raining when we got there. 

Next, it was on to Cannon Beach where we took a walk over to Haystack Rock, which is the third largest seaside monolith (that just means free-standing rock) in the whole WORLD. It's 235 feet tall, and it looks quite a lot like a haystack, don't you think? The weather at the beach was cold, rainy, and windy, but we still had a hand at trying to throw the boomerang our new friends brought us from Australia. It said right on the package that it was guaranteed to come back to you...apparently we weren't quite throwing it correctly. Still, it was really fun to try!

This week, Stanley is off for yet another fun adventure this week when he gets to meet Cousin Max's class at Mary Woodward Elementary School. They're starting their Flat Stanley unit this week! It's going to be a lot of fun for them to see where their Stanleys go, too!

Hope you have a great week at school. WORK hard and learn lots!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Stanley wants to be one of the first to wish all of you a Happy New Year. He spent New Year's Eve with great friends eating way too much

and playing lots of fun games, like Super High Impact football,
Partini (it's sort of like Cranium, with charades and humming and making things out of clay),

and the ultimate game ever, Rock Band which Erin got for her birthday.
He loves the guitar!

Here's to a great 2009 for everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More fun in the snow!

Wow - this is surely a record for Portland, Oregon. It has actually snowed for 8 days in a row! By now we have about 9 inches on the ground, and it has drifted up to 14" in some places. Stanley went out in the snow today, but since he still has no coat, he didn't stay out long. You can see he nearly got buried in a drift, but Stanley smiled through it all. That kid has quite the positive outlook on life!

He also really enjoyed Christmas caroling around the neighborhood tonight. We have a tradition at our house to go around the neighborhood each year and sing to the neighbors with a group of friends. Our group was small this year, but our singing was quite excellent! Hope you're enjoying a break from school. Stanley likes having time off. He's hoping to get a little something under the tree on the 25th, and he's been a pretty good boy, so maybe we can arrange that!

Happy holidays!