Friday, February 24, 2017

Pillowcases with B & J

While Jake was in Hawaii, the kids at home had extra free time and Bentley asked if he could make another quilt for his bed. I'll post pictures about that when the quilt is finished. During the quilt making process I mentioned that he could make a couple of matching pillowcases if he wanted to. He immediately stopped working on the quilt to sew up two pillowcases--almost instant gratification!

He chose fabric to match his quilt from my Philip Jacobs fabric collection. Here's the finished products.

When Jake came home, he, too wanted a pillowcase. He insisted on orange as the main color and so we had to go to my batik fabric collection to find something predominantly orange.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dinosaur Memory

If you want to really challenge yourself, try playing Dinosaur Memory. Our set of dinosaur cards has 23 pairs and one T-rex. (No we did not lose the card, the deck came this way.) The first challenge comes in attempting to pronounce the names of the dinosaurs: archaeopteryx, euoplocephalus, compsognathus, and hypsilophodon are just a sampling of their names.

Evan likes to play with the full deck of cards which, quite frankly, is oftentimes beyond our ability. We cannot remember what the first card was by the time we turn over the sixteenth card if we haven't yet had a match. Some games are better than others. Some we get through without any rule breaking or rule changing. Other games, I encouraging peaking, helping each other, allowing two tries for each match. I'm not proud, I just want to get the game finished!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Welcome Home Bro!

Jake and Evan traveled to Hawaii with Matt this past week. It was really different not having Jake and Evan at home with us. We all noticed the change in our routine and missed them, but Lincoln definitely had the hardest time with it. He really missed his buddy Evan. They spend hours together playing, talking, running, wrestling, eating, celloing, reading, laughing, etc. They are best friends and they hang out together pretty much 24-7.

So today when Evan returned Lincoln hugged Evan and Evan hugged Lincoln and all was right once again! (Lincoln had to remind Evan to not grab him around the neck:  Notice Evan's hands gripping the shirt instead!)

10 Bricks & 2 Flowers

While sorting and putting away Legos I came across an unopened very small Lego set that someone gave me because they know my grandsons love Legos. I gave it to Lincoln and he had a grand time with it. There were just 10 Lego bricks in the set plus a white flower. At some point in the fun, we traded the white flower out for two yellow flowers, so then the set had 12 pieces.

Lincoln made all the designs suggested on the sheet and then he went on to create a lot of his own designs. He asked me take photos, he asked Kara to take photos, he took photos himself, and he asked opa to take photos! Here just a few of his original designs:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All about Evan

Some random thoughts and info about the 4 year old in the house!  Evan LOVES playing games, drawing, reading, etc.  He has a great memory which can make him a bit of a card shark.  He lures you in with the cute little face and then crushes you.  :)  Memory, go fish, checkers, chess, and SET are the current favorites.

Favorite expression is "Here's the deal."  At which point he offers two choices, one of which ends in "... if you do this we will be friends forever," and the other of which ends in "... I won't be your friend anymore."   Frankly, I find him hilarious.

He's a bit troublesome with the veggies.  As in he won't touch them...  Not a problem I've had with any of the other children.  But we'll keep him anyway.  :)

Evan wants to do everything the big kids do but he also (once in a while) wants to play the "little guy" card - it can be hard work keeping up with your older brothers but he keeps at it.

All in all?  Our Evan is very passionate, endearing, sweet, angry when he doesn't get his way, eager to keep up with his siblings, a quick learner, affectionate, and a delight to have in our home!  Lincoln and Evan are best buddies, and while Evan is on vacation this week we miss him tons - he always ends up in my bed and normally greets the day (and me) with a smile and a hug.  I'll be happy when our delightful, happy, passionate, feisty, and sweet little guy gets home.

Legos in the Shower

If you've ever lived with a Lego collector, you know how disgustingly dusty Legos sets become after sitting on a shelf or Lego table for a year or two or even longer. They do not look attractive. I have found the quickest way to clean them is to give them a shower. A dust cloth just doesn't get into all the corners like a stream of water does. And it's far quicker to shower a larger Lego set than it is to dust it.

I showered all of Jake and Bentley's Lego sets that were sitting out on shelves in their bedroom. Now they can choose a few to take apart to make room for the new sets they got for Christmas!

Lincoln is very excited to have access to so many Lego sets. Usually the boys won't let him play with their sets, but since the sets are on Grandma's bathroom floor, he helped himself to a set or two…without permission from his brothers..who should give him permission. I let him have free access to my Death Star. It, too, got a bath this week and I put back on most of the parts that came off over the past year. Evan has been playing with the Death Star, too, and he's not as careful as Lincoln.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sledding: Cold & Bumpy

I took Bentley, Viva, and Lincoln seldding at our favorite sledding hill last Saturday. It was quite cold out: 4-8 degrees Fahrenheit. There was only one other group of sledders and two snowboarders there with us. The hill was incredibly bumpy. The kids tried out many different runs and they were all filled with moguls. Lincoln and Bentley's favorite run was the worst one. I don't think Viva ever went down that run.

The first time Lincoln went down it Viva was climbing up the hill and saw him coming down. She decided he was going too fast so she jumped on him to stop him. His boot came off. She could not get it back on because the sock was in the book and...this part I don't understand. Why not take the sock out? Maybe she couldn't with her gloves on and she was unwilling to take her gloves off. Instead she put Lincoln on the sled and pulled him up the hill--an arduous task. I met her half way through her journey and took over the job. Meanwhile Lincoln's foot was bare. We got him back in his boot and off he went to do the hill another five or six times. I finally got too cold and took the kids back home. It was fun, but way too cold. BRRR! (While we were sledding Jake and Evan were in Hawaii with Matt--at least 60 degrees warmer.)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Happy Birthday, Palindrome Boy!

Bentley turned 11 yesterday, and Great-Grandma turned 87!  A fun day at our house.

I can't believe it's already been 11 years of awesomeness with one of my favorite people - yikes, we're all getting old... !  Bentley opted for an adventure out to Get Air, so we took the crew off for some fun at the trampoline house.

We had his requested birthday meal on Sunday -  steak, baby peppers, and breadsticks.  A kid of simple tastes.  :)  On birthday day we (I!) opted for pizza and cake.  Chocolate cake was the order of the day!   After presents (Grandma Vicki and Marjory joined us!) in the evening we watched the movie of his choice - it was a somewhat dubious choice (in my opinion) - Jurassic World - but.... I suppose that the kids are getting older.  I did show a small amount of parental common sense and sent the little guys to bed BEFORE the movie.

Thursday, February 09, 2017


Last night at bedtime Evan was twirling Giraffey around and his front hooves which are sewn together, pulled apart. Evan was upset. He shoved Giraffrey into Kara's hands and demanded that she sew the hooves back together. Then a few minutes later he changed his mind and told his mom to throw Giraffey away. Kara and I look at Evan with amazement and puzzlement and a little bit of horror. What kid throws away his favorite comfort item, even if there are two of them? I took Giraffey and left. 

Lincoln was quite disturbed with Evan's callous disregard for Giraffey. Viva, too, was dismayed. She wanted to know where Giraffey was--we didn't really throw him away, did we? She wanted to fix him. In fact, she fixed him before she went to bed, so this morning Evan was once again dragging around two Giraffeys. (When you're the baby of the family, no one wants you to grow up!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Everday Life: January

I greatly regret the absence of Genevieve from this group of photos, but it's much too late to correct this oversight. She most likely spent the month of January holed up in her room reading or hiding out in the mudroom crafting. I must make an effort to search her out!

Reading Lesson 

Reading Lesson

Cooperative Play

Hiding Away

Another Day, Another Build

Playing Set 

B & L Working

Hanging with Great-Grandma

Selfie Time


Nap Time 

Exercise Time 

Lego Time

Monday, February 06, 2017

Death Star: Mixel Invasion

Lincoln had a couple of Lego Mixel characters that he has played with on with the Death Star over the past year, but then one day he spied Opa's bin of Mixels high on a closet shelf. He asked Opa if he could play with them. There were 25+ Mixels in the bin. Looking at Opa's Mixels reminded Lincoln that his dad had given him and his siblings quite a few Mixels. Where were they?! He asked his mom to help him search the overloaded Lego table in the their family room. They found a couple more Mixels, but not the big collection. So Lincoln asked for my help and I went down the hall to Lego Hell. It was not a pretty sight. I shuffled through the piled up Lego structures and--Eureka!--I located a gallon size Ziploc of Mixels. The Mixels are now being put to good use by Lincoln and Evan--much better than being stuck in a plastic bag!

half of the Mixels (Opa's are in another bin)