Monday, March 30, 2015


I pulled out the cloth tunnels recently for Evan and Lincoln to play in. They had a great time! The tunnels came as part of two different play tent sets. The play tents have not survived because their poles were made of plastic. When the tent flipped on its side--play tents are not anchored into the ground--and then someone steps on a pole, the pole becomes permanently damaged. I tried duct tape and dowels to fix them, but it doesn't work well. The tunnels on the other hand have held up really well. The only problem with the tunnels is that sometimes the cat turns into a feral stalker when they are out and that is not a pleasant experience for anyone playing in the tunnels. (The cat has a great time…)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jake's Top 10 Hawaii List

(notes and pictures by JAKE!)

1) The blow hole

2) Boogie boarding w/Daddy

3)  Volcano National Park
4) Star gazing

5)  The canyon

6) The beach

7) Swimming pools - they were the best!

8) Huge pancakes

9) The lighthouse

10) The ukulele shop

The verdict: the trip was good.  He's ready to return next year!

(a few other pictures Jake took:)

Everyday Life: February

It has been a crazy month. Kara and I are not posting as often to the blog because we are distracted with other activities. Kara has been spending a lot of time at the dojo while the boys prepare for their upcoming competitions. I have been spending my free time quilting my back log of quilt tops. I have quilted eight quilt tops this month and now I am binding them. Be assured though that even when we don't post life goes forward at a crazy pace at our home!

Opa continues to play ukulele regularly, but the grandchildren play infrequently. Maybe opa needs to set up a regular time to play with his grandsons?

The boys were attending ukulele night in February, but this month it's nothing but karate in evenings. It will be nice to get back to more varied schedule after they return from their tournament.

Evan and Viva wearing a quilt I finished In February!

The Death Star is still taking up space in my bathroom and Lincoln plays with it every day. Evan only occasionally plays with it--he is all about the moving parts. Lincoln on the other hand enjoys adding new minifigures to the ship.

Last month (when this photo was taken) Lincoln was still big into Magformers, but I haven't seen them out for a couple of weeks. The train table is now covered with Lego houses. Lincoln cannot get enough Lego time!

The brothers engaging in a light saber fight downstairs.

The brothers engaging in a light saber fight on the main floor.

Viva checking out her Barbie dolls. She has inherited her mother's and her grandmother's Barbie dolls. She only plays with them two or three times a year.

Lincoln and Evan in an improv baseball game. Because they are little and cute we allowed this game in our family room. The older boys would get in big trouble if they tried batting balls around the family room. (Let's face it, the little boys aren't going to score many hits.)

Viva in her favorite craft area--the mud room. She is working on beaded hairpins. Lincoln joined Viva because he was lonely. (That's what she told me.)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Zentangle? Mandala? Doodle?

From my uneducated point of view Zentangles and mandalas are elaborate doodles, but to the informed they are much more than mere (or elaborate!) doodles. All I really know is that the children like coloring them. If you want to know more on the topic, you will have to do your own research. Bentley, Jake, and Viva enjoy filling the drawings with color while listening to educational talks or audio books. Activities like this can help you focus better on the talk than if you were just sitting in a chair listening. 

Some of their artwork is hanging on the schoolroom wall above the chalkboard. 

The owl is Bentley's. The flowers are Jake's. Viva has been crocheting lately instead of coloring.

Friday, March 27, 2015


For the past few weeks the children have been into fort building. They use couch cushions, blankets, cloth tunnels, gym mats, and whatever is close at hand to build a fort.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Demise of the Cookie Dough

(Genevieve was at gymnastics or I'm sure she'd have been in this picture too!)

On this particular day Lincoln had requested the chance to make cookies, and Bentley volunteered to help.  I agreed and gave myself a pat on the back for being responsive to their wishes!  I snapped this cute picture and chalked this up as a win.

Until at bedtime when Lincoln asked me:

L: "Did you save me some cookie dough?" 

Me: "Uhmmm... no... weren't you eating it earlier?" 

L: "No!  I didn't want to get my hands messy! I was waiting for you to get me a bowl!" 

Me: "But you didn't ask me for a bowl..."

L: "You didn't give me one!!"

*Sigh... !*

Needless to say, we made more cookie dough the next day.  :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Backyard

Who knew?!  About  50 feet back behind our property we have this!  Yesterday the kids wanted to go out hiking with their father and they decided to head back into the woods.  It's been a (very) weird winter.  Normally the ground is marshy back behind our property, but it's still somewhat frozen - so it was easy to go back farther into the woods than the kids normally would.  

With the kids starting to get a bit older maybe they'll start exploring more this summer... crazy!  :) (Grandma Julia: The problem in the summer is marshy wetlands are ideal for mosquito breeding. That is what has kept me from exploring more with the children.)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Funny Quotes

I never write down as many of the funny things the kids say as I ought to, but here are two from this week.

"I'm only a preview now of what I'm going to be when I grow up!"

Lincoln (when Jake was being a pest):
"Mommy, can you please take Jake to karate and leave him there all day?"