Friday, September 29, 2017

Apple Picking

Yesterday the grandchildren went over to John & Lisa's to pick apples. We've done this for a few years now and the kids always enjoy it. The apple tree was really loaded down this year--hundreds of apples. After they picked the tree clean, they got to try out John & Lisa's new hot tub. They had a great time. (Evan and Lincoln are in Idaho, so they missed out on this adventure, but they are having plenty of great adventures of their own.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Call Us Pickle & Carrot

It's the time of year when the store shelves are stocked with Halloween temporary colors!  The little guys have been bringing up "fun" hair, so I picked them up a few colors.  Lincoln says - call me pickle, and call Evan carrot!

I sent a picture to their Father, and he assumed it was permanent hair dye- his comment - cute, but right before our trip to Idaho.... ?!  I love that he assumes I would dye their hair some random bright color without even discussing it.  LOL

(And no, it was not permanent... spray on and wash out, same day!)

Zombie Camporee!

Bentley went on his first big Scouting campout this past weekend - it's a nice fall, a bit crisp but not super cold - so a good intro to colder-ish weather camping!  We had quite the time with all the required gear for packing, hopefully it will get easier/quicker with practice.  I didn't get a whole lot of words out of him but I am assuming he had a good time!  I asked him if he has any words to share, and he said:

"We won a bunch of our competitions, we did really well."
"I ate pancakes that I made in the morning." (I was wondering if he would eat anything.... LOL!)

Our zombie shirt.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Jake Plays the Blues

Jake has been playing trumpet with the Robert Arms Jazz Institute - it's a small group so it's been a great opportunity for jamming with a group and getting lots of solo opportunities too!  They've had a few different performances, and their latest was at a local restaurant/bar a few weeks ago! This summer was fun because Opa was able to join the group for the summer, they had a fun time going to practice together every week and they got to play together at the gig!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Letting Go

I have been trying to declutter my personal spaces. So today when I came across a plastic ring in my bedroom I decided to give it to Evan because he collects such rings. After giving him the ring, I suddenly remembered why I had had the ring. It was a memento--a game piece from the Pretty Pretty Princess game. 

When Kara was young (oh so long ago) she would play this game with her cousins. The goal of the game is to acquire a complete set of jewelry--ring, bracelet, necklace, earrings, and finally--to win--the crown. Kara's boy cousins found it hilarious to play the game. Bentley and Jake were similarly amused with the game when Viva pulled it out.

However those days are long gone. Viva is past her princess phase and the game was taking up too much space, space needed for new games, so I took out a ring and I threw the game away last year. (There were broken and missing pieces, so I didn't give it to good will.) It was hard to let go, but I did--except for the one pink ring.

After I realized what I have given away--a precious emblem of fond times in the past--I panicked and asked Evan if I could have the ring back. He gave it to me, but then changed his mind and wanted it back. I tried to explain to him why it was important to me--because we had had it since Kara was little. He just looked at me and said "Then you've had it too long." 

That pretty much sums up decluttering. I gave him the ring back.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Time with Thea

Everyone wants to spend time with Thea. Fortunately cats like to nap most of the day and our kitty likes to nap on the main floor where the kids are hanging out (she is VERY social), so it works out great for kitty bonding time. Meanwhile Ramses has taken to napping during the day on the spare top bunk bed in the older kids' room, so no cute photos with him.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fall Flu

It is that time of year when children generally return to public school, swap germs en masse, and end up sick. You would think one of the advantages to homeschooling would be that you'd miss out on this annual fall traditional, but it doesn’t work that way when you have five children engaged in different activities outside the home. The children have been mixing with their age mates at Scouts, church, karate, dance, little kid parkour, etc.

Bentley went down first and he went hard with a hacking cough, Jake soon followed him with the same ailment. Lincoln went next with a high fever and impressive listlessness; Viva followed soon after with the same symptoms. Evan held out until the end of the week and then joined his siblings with symptoms from both groups. Kara, Mark, and I had milder verions. Great-grandma has held steady against the germs! Matt was out of town last week and is gone again this week, so he stands a good chance of missing out, too.

I'm hoping since we've been attacked by the flu dragon early this season that we are done until next year! (Okay, I know it doesn't work that way, but a person can dream.)


It's Tuesday now and things are not improving yet. The older boys are still not back to karate and it's been a week. Great-grandma has started to come down with it. Lincoln visited the emergency room this morning because he has croup...yet again. It's his bane when it comes to the flu. Sleep would be good for all of us!

Friday, September 08, 2017

Everyday Life: More August

Tumble Trax, Our Other Great Marble Run

Kool-aid Time
(When we have a barbecue, the kids can make Kool-aid.)

Karder spent the day with us.

And he spent another afternoon with us helping Bentley get in some service hours for scouts.

Jake on the computer again..and again I have no idea why I took this photo, but since photos of Jake are rare, I'm keeping it.

We went to the Japanese Summer Festival for the third (or fourth?) year in a row to watch the older boys do a karate demo and while there Lincoln made this excellent flower arrangement.

Andrew from church came over and the boys had a water balloon fight.

Kara bought this outdoor bench for the back deck, but it never made it there. The kids and Matt enjoyed it so much on the front porch that Kara bought another one for the back deck.

The younger boys have inherited the older boys Star Wars Jedi robes with Mickey Mouse ears, an obvious souvenir from Disney World. (They are so cute in them!)

Check out the scratches on Lincoln's arms. He is serious about bonding with Thea.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Everyday Life: August

Kara purchased a fire pit for the back deck. It was a big hit.

Check out the size of this marshmallow!

Opa and Jake heading out to their jazz gig.

Check out the folks just over Jake's left shoulder.

The Ever Popular Discovery Toys Marble Run

Our Phenomenal Orchids!

Viva wrapping gifts...must be for her dad since it's August?

Bentley made a pillowcase for our family friend Marjory's birthday.

Jake doing...chess? Minecraft? School work? 

Napping Buddies

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

State Fair 2017

Another year, another fair!  It was a bit on the windy and blustery side this year, but we had all the usual fun.  Plenty of rides, food, the lumberjack show, the animal exhibit (we liked the talking parrot!), the planes/big equipment/etc to climb on (military display), and more.  We like the turkey legs, cotton candy, funnel cakes, homemade pretzels, corn fritters, strawberry rhubarb pie.... we found something for everyone.  :)

 This is the first year we left Bob (the stroller) home.  Evan wanted to be carried, luckily for him he had a very accommodating older brother (Bentley!) who I think carried that kid for more than half the day!  Lincoln jumped on Jake for entertainment once in a while, but he's quite a bit larger than Evan so that didn't work out long term.... :)

We'll be back next year!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Labor Day Adventuring

The holiday weekend always fills Matt with wanderlust (really, most days of the week do.... !) and the weather cooperated for him this year!  Between the five kids there were enough volunteers to keep Daddy happy, active, and adventuring for most of the weekend.

On Monday they found a glacier and checked out the wildlife conservation center.  On Saturday there were biking trips (I think Evan & Jake opted in?) - Lincoln opted out, but he had a full day Seward train and boat excursion on Monday and he's a bit of a homebody (like his Mom!) so he was needing some more downtime!

The little guys did check out the playground on Monday to get some fresh hair, I like this picture Opa took:

Monday, September 04, 2017


When do skating and swimming go hand in glove together? When you join Dimond Athletic Club (in the basement of the Dimond Center Mall) to have access to their swimming pool and you get free ice time at the mall skating rink! So when we swim more, we skate more which means having to fit two more activities into the weekly schedule which is not easy. 

We haven't been members of DAC for two (?) or more years. I remember taking Lincoln and Evan to the pool there when they were quite little, but they never went skating. After karate became a necessity (Bentley and Jake wanted black belts), we didn't have time for other sports. However, it was past time for Lincoln and Evan to learn how to swim, so I insisted on going back to DAC and since we're swimming there, we are also skating there. That makes perfect sense, right?

We skate because the older children like to skate and free ice time makes skating irresistible...without the free admission from our DAC membership we would have to pay $25 (not including skate rental) every time we skate there. We still have to rent two pairs of skates, but $7 is a fantastic deal compared to $32.

Some days we skate and then swim!

How is the skating going? Everyone likes it. Lincoln wants to take lessons which I shall try and work out with Kara. The older ones would also like a few lessons (to relearn how to skate backwards and maybe pick up a few new skills), but I'm not sure we can fit those into their schedule between their school work, karate, dance, scouts, music lessons, music groups, and swimming. You just can't do it once.