Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Saturday Hike

Earlier this summer when my Dad's brother was visiting the kids went on a hike at Flat Top.  That hike created a bit of hike love in Bentley, who often clamors for a Saturday hike since that (fateful?!) day.  :)  I think this is a moment his Father has long been awaiting - a time of hiking buddies that can keep up and challenge him!  I'm not much of a hiker with my bad hip.  Correction: I'm not ANY type of hiker with my bad hip.  :)

Last Saturday Bentley and Matt went out AND took the new little people camera with them.   So here are some pictures from their 6 mile hike.  Not crazy, but not bad for an 8 year old!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Super Cutie...

(... who bears a slight resemblance to some of his siblings.)

Evan was hanging out with Opa last night.  Grandma's off at a quilt retreat, I was doing carpool duty with karate and gymnastics, and Matt was with Bentley and Lincoln at Scouts (what on earth do people with only two adults at their house do?!?!).

So, Evan scored!  He played outside with Opa and inspired Opa to pull out the camera (which has been resting lately, as ukulele has been the activity of choice!).   Love the pictures!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Our Lincoln The Crazy Singer

Lincoln really loves to sing - above is a clip from his "jam session" with Opa last night.  :)  He is awesome at ad lib, and shows great spirit and gusto!  I'm not completely sure I understand it all (something about playing his uke all night, his Daddy, and gummy bears) - but we I love it!  The do da dooooo(s) are my favorite part!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

*Time Warp* Pictures

Not much of a time warp, but if we were to rewind back to the middle of May....

we would discover these lovely shots that never made it to the blog!  :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sticker Project

The other day I was going through our supply of coloring books, activity books, and sticker books. The problem with such books is that after someone has used 20-80% of the pages, no one wants to finish the remaining pages. But since the book still has useable pages, it seems wrong to throw it away. It seems wrong until you run out of shelf space! 

I lugged the rather large stack of sticker, coloring, and activity books downstairs to go through while I watched TV. I sliced the pages out and threw away all the colored on or stickered on pages and made a stack of the unused pages. 

Now I have to find a storage area for a two inch pile of loose coloring pages. The storage spot must be easily accessible so as to encourage its total depletion in a minimum amount of time. Evan colored three of the pages the next morning, but three isn't going to make this pile disappear fast enough

The sticker books were harder to disassemble and sort, but I did it. We now have thirty plus pages of "extra" stickers because hundreds of "extra" stickers come with deluxe sticker activity books. I encouraged the children to use five pages of our stockpile to turn plain newsprint into one-of-a-kind Star Wars gift wrap. 

This project was a big hit with Lincoln and Evan. Viva, too, enjoyed it, but Bentley after asking to join us abandoned the project rather quickly. Evan stayed with it the longest. He only quit because after 20 minutes I was done with unpeeling stickers for him. (He couldn't get them off the sticker sheet, but he was quite good at putting them on the newsprint.)

Kara told me that the stickers will not stay stuck to the newsprint once I started wrapping it around a gift. Do I really care? We can add new stickers--we have twenty-five more pages to squander. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Playground Tally

This summer that is coming to an end wasn't hot like last summer. We only filled the kiddie pool once and used if over the Fourth of July. Our best weather came in May and it was incredible. The perennials went wild! June was Anchorage's second wettest June on record. July, August, and September had good days and drizzly, rainy days.

Last summer we stayed at home most days because Evan was a baby and Lincoln was only 2. It wasn't fun to go to the playground with them and the older children didn't seem to care if we went or not. This summer we hit a lot of playgrounds, taking advantage of almost every nice day we had. Evan and Lincoln love visiting playgrounds. On a good day they logged two playground visits--one with me and another with their father.

I made a list of the playgrounds I (and Kara occasionally) visited with the children. I included any playgrounds that Matt took the children to that I remembered them talking about.

The list included eight elementary school playgrounds. Five are near our home and familiar to us from past summers. Two were new to us (Sand Lake and Bowman) and both of them were fabulous, but further from home. 

The children visited at least eleven different playgrounds in city parks. Their father took them to an awesome one in Talkeetna during a camping weekend. We visited two of the city's newest playgrounds (Polar Bear Playground and the Cuddy Family Park) and both were great, but get crowded. 

I know my count is a little low because I didn't start this list until the end of the summer, so I had to think back through four months of summer fun. It's good to try out new playgrounds because they often have very different equipment. The older children like bars to swing on or climbing walls. All five children like swings and slides. They also like hills to run up and down. They like being active!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Always Crafting!

Viva loves to make things. For her birthday (?) she received several rolls of designer duct tape and a book. She has spent many happy hours creating useful and decorative items from duct tape. When she is not crafting with duct tape, she creates beaded items (bracelets, hairpins) or tissue paper artwork (flowers). 

One day she asked me for some fabric to make herself a shirt. I volunteered to take her to the fabric store to find an easy shirt pattern, but she said she preferred to make her own pattern. She got started right away. She cut out a shirt (with no help from me or Kara) and started sewing it by hand. It was slow going (it was her second or third hand sewing project), so she asked if she could use my sewing machine. She can, but I have to supervise her, so she hasn't gotten back to that project again.

Kara and I rearranged the arts and crafts supplies in the mudroom closet so Viva can have an entire shelf for storing her supplies and works in progress. We also gave her a small table to use for crafting in the mudroom. It is her favorite place to work because the mudroom is off limits to her younger brothers.