Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our New Wolf!

He looks good in his uniform!

Our new Boy Scout had the chance to attend his first meeting this past week, and he was very excited!  Summer birthdays are fun, but for Jake it has been a bit of a wait to start Scouts with meetings on a slow summer time beat right now.  Jake is very excited for the return of weekly meetings this fall.  He is going to be an awesome little scout!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Alaska Flag Day

Alaska Flag Day is July 9th. The AK Child and Family organization, a joint service mission of the Baptist, Lutheran, and Methodist churches, annually hosts a big party to celebrate. Why? Because in 1927 a young boy in their orphanage won the contest to design the Alaskan flag. This year was an especially big party because it is AK Child and Family's 125th anniversary. 

Why does our family attend this event? Because the organization's main facility is located just two blocks from our home and every summer they put signs up advertising their flag day celebration. We drive by those signs over and over and over. I looked back in the blog to find out how many years we've been attending, but even though I know I've posted on attending the party, I couldn’t find my posts. Whatever! I will rely on my memory--I've been at least three times and Matt took the children one year, so the children have attended for at least four years. 

We have attended often enough that we have a routine. Because the event is well attended we go early. We could walk but the children love to ride the shuttle bus (a cushy tour bus). It's an unusual experience for them to ride a bus. (When Kara asked E what he liked best about the evening he said "The bus!" with great enthusiasm.)

The event is a fund raiser, so we pay the entrance fee ($20 for a family). We head straight to the balloon man to get balloon creations before the lines get long. Usually it's swords, but this year only B got a sword. J & L both went for teddy bears and V & E both chose a dog on a leash. (V's plan was that if either E or L popped their balloons she or J could share their balloons. (V remembered a prior traumatic year when she was little and some of the balloons popped!)

The kids play the different carnival style games set up--croquet hoops, football throw, bean bag toss, ring on pegs, basketball hoops, etc. There were a few new games this year. After demonstrating your skills (or lack of skills), you choose a prize. The children love choosing prizes even though they aren't anything great. Viva gets her face painted if the lines aren't too long, but the boys usually opt out.

We check out the food. There is always lots of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, some salads, small bags of chips, and pop. The kids eat what they want. We head back to the games for a second round. We return to the food area for ice cream. (This year the governor was serving!) Finally we catch the bus back to the parking lot and head home.

Here's our photos to commemorate the event. (Will they end up in a black hole like the photos from previous years?!)


As I reviewed this post it occurred to me that a flag day celebration should include a small commemorative flag, shouldn't it?!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Volcano Fun

A year or more ago I purchase a volcano making kit. It was marketed as a fun science kit. I'm not sure what I thought was going to erupt out of the top of the volcano, but I thought something would explode. Erupt and explode are synonyms, right? If I had thought about it a little more, I would have realized that the science kit company would not be selling explosives on the kid aisle. 

I was very disappointed when I opened up the kit and read the directions and discovered that the volano making kit was more art than science. Jake and Viva snapped together a volcano mold and then poured in quick setting plaster of Paris. The plaster firmed up in a half hour, but they had to wait 24 hours before painting the volcano. (It took us more than a week to get back to the project.)

After painting the volcano it sat on the kitchen counter for another week or more (Scout camp was the priority) until we finally gathered the supplies listed in the kit and took them outside to make the volcano "explode". We used red food coloring, dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda.

Jake and Viva enjoyed the volcano making kit. Bentley opted out of the entire project. He was too busy collecting rocks and reading about them. If it had been a real volcano, he would have been interested since it would spew out lava that would form into igneous rocks!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Karate Coach

Viva has been practicing for her first belt test at karate.  Luckily, she has some staff at home that can put her through her paces.  Bentley is particularly good with his coaching!  Critiquing with a critical eye:

Helping her with her blocks.... !

As the proof is "in the pudding" I guess we will soon see if the private lessons paid off!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lincoln and the Uke

Our (second) littlest ukulele player has been very dedicated lately.  He spent a good hour practicing with Opa the other night then came downstairs to show me the strumming he's perfecting!  I particularly like when he sings and plays at the same time.  He is very enthusiastic!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Biking w/Daddy

Now that Lincoln is "officially" a big boy biker he wanted to go out on a bigger biking adventure. Evan, of course, wanted to be included... he is awfully fast, even with his training wheels. Matt humored them, and even included a water break. Bikes AND water? Of course it was a win with this crowd!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Best Buds

Genevieve is the best type of big sister to have. She's fun, sweet (normally), imaginative, nurturing, and eager to play. She always has time for her little brothers. She comes up with games just for them! She reads to them! She's always willing to help them out when asked, and is very patient. Lincoln and Evan are lucky to have her.  :)

Mutual adoration:

Picking wild strawberries - a new favorite activity.  For some reason we have quite the crop of them this year: