Saturday, April 19, 2014

Karate - Video!

I just realized that I never posted the video we tracked down from Bentley and Jake's first demo team performance.  So here it is!  They also did a demo at the end of March at UAA as part of Asian Cultural Awareness week.  It was fun, and they're enjoying the team!

Friday, April 18, 2014

And... the bikes are back!

Spring in Alaska.  :)  The bike trails aren't quite clear yet, but they're good enough for these Alaskan kids.

The boys (and the big one, their Dad) are excited and looking forward to a season of biking fun together!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Red Moon PARTY time!

On Monday evening we stayed up late (but not much later than normal... ha!) to check out the red moon.  We had some clouds but they weren't bad, so we had a nice view of the moon gradually becoming eclipsed and then turning red!  Opa managed to grab a nice picture from the back porch:

This past weekend we watched some Ted-Ed videos about lunar eclipses, so the kids were ready/excited to check it out.  Viva decided to draw the eclipse:

Bentley avidly watched it, and Jake... well, Jake participated.  His formal opinion is that watching the moon for an hour is not terribly exciting.  I believe there was a comment about it being as exciting as watching grass grow.  I objected, as I don't normally see significant grass growth in the space of just one hour!  :)

If you want to learn more about the lunar eclipse tetrad, of which this was the first event, you can check out a short video here.  Fun stuff!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Party at Aunt Karla's!

My sister Karla invited the older three children to spend a couple of days at her home. Karla's spouse and son were going out of town so she needed some entertainment. The children and I had stayed there a couple of years ago when we went out to the state fair and they have wanted to go back since that time. Although Wasilla is less than hour's drive from Anchorage, everyone's busy lifestyles makes it hard to coordinate a visit, but finally it happened!

Karla picked them up late Thursday afternoon and returned them Saturday early afternoon (in time for weapon's class at karate). It was harder than it should have been to pull the event off. Viva had to skip a dance class which is very much frowned on since it's only a month until the big show. Jake came down with croup Wednesday night and Kara had to take him to the doctor's for some medication. We could have kept him home, but he would have so irate that we would have all had to spend the weekend in hiding--maybe the rest of the month. This trip was a big deal for the kidlets!

They reported back to us that they had a great time. They got to explore Karla's house (Viva loves exploring new places), they visited a really nice playground, they played games, they watched "Night at the Museum 2" which they had never seen, and they didn't have to do any schoolwork! Aunt Karla reports that she had a good time, too, so maybe they will be invited back.

What did Lincoln and Evan do without their older siblings? Lincoln did comment on their absence, but he had a great time playing with Evan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Ukuleles

After the boys faithfully attended ukulele night with him for months, Opa decided they needed better sounding ukuleles. When we bought the children ukuleles last fall they were nice sounding ones...for the price point. I asked Opa if the new ukuleles were truly a reward for the boys or if he really purchased them because he was tired of listening to lower quality instruments being strummed next to him on ukulele night? He just laughed at my question without responding.

Whatever the reason, Opa and Bentley and Jake researched new ukuleles for weeks. They listened to sound files on the Internet. They looked at different wood grains. Opa read reviews. After much agonizing they picked out their favorites and the order was placed. 

Here the boys are with their new ukuleles:

I know that Bentley is making funny faces. It's not easy being a photographer. Sometimes you have to work with difficult subjects.

PS I now have nine ukuleles in my bedroom. Opa bought himself a smaller ukulele to travel with...because he travels so often? (NOT true.) I told him he has to get rid of one or two of the children's old ukuleles. I am tired of ukuleles cluttering my bedroom floor. We have to leave them out (and not stored away) so the children are enticed to play with them. (I'm not enticed...why is that?)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Cat

Rameses is a very good cat. He puts up with a lot from Evan and before Evan there was Lincoln. I'm not sure how long we have had the cat--three years? Four years? Shall we say three and half years? In any case the twins were at least two when we got the cat, so they were nicer to him than Lincoln and Evan as babies have been.

Sometimes the cat hides out in the mudroom. He sleeps there on his scratching post even though I put a nice cat bed in the mudroom for him. He's never been much into cat beds. The door to the mudroom is kept closed so that Evan cannot gain access to the garage. The mudroom is a nice place to hide out because his food is in there and cats love to snack all day rather eat large meals. 

Our house is large enough for him to find a hundred good hiding spots. Sometimes Rameses invades the larger bedroom closets. He sleeps on Mark's clothes piles or under Matt's hanging clothes. He definitely prefers the men's half of the closets. Why is that?

Rameses does not always hide out. Sometimes he insists on being in the middle of the action. He sits on the back of the couch in the main family room and naps with one eye open. Being in the main family room leaves him available for all of us to pet, hug, and poke. He knows this so he much want our attention!

Another favorite hang out is the library. Most mornings Kara works with one or two of the older children in the library on English topics: grammar, handwriting, spelling, rhetoric. Rameses will compete with her for a nice spot on the recliner. In the afternoons great-grandma hangs out in the library exercising or using her computer. Rameses really likes hanging out with her because the library is a No Evan Zone.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kara's Birthday

Kara is officially another year older. I think she'd agree with me that it feels like three years since her last birthday. It's been a busy year. 

I looked to the children for some help with this post. I asked them to tell me about their mom:

B: Mommy helps with schoolwork.
    Mommy signs us up for karate and fun stuff.
    She makes us the type of birthday cake we like on our birthdays.

V: She bakes yummy stuff.
    She drives us to our activities.
    She lets us do almost whatever we want. (Really?)

J: She makes sure I got a baby brother named Evan.
    She is the best mom in the world.
    She lets us go on vacations even when we are supposed to be doing school, plus she doesn't send us to school.

We had cake and ice cream in the afternoon and then pizza in the evening followed by a kid movie. This is why she is such a good mommy--she puts the children first even on her birthday!