Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tate's sweat lodge

It really breaks my heart seeing my boys be sick. And they all are or have been sick the last two weeks. I tell them I wish I had a Magic Mommy Wand that will make everything better.

Seems like it's harder on Tate. When you start out HoH (Hard of Hearing), any congestion makes it dramatically worse. He's had, apparently, a really bad cold with a fever. He just coughs and coughs and coughs. And he sleeps so soundly (is this a deaf thing? or just a Tate thing?) that he will cough until he gags.

I thought moist air might help, but the boys' bedroom is so big, that the vaporizer doesn't have much effect. Sunday night I got him up twice and sat in the bathroom with him, running the shower hot for a few minutes. That would buy us about four hours of sleep. Then I was up with Gunnar (102F and throwing up).

Monday night - with a deep desire for sleep - I got more resourceful and we created Tate's 'sweat lodge'. Yep, the tent is IN the boys' bedroom. He's sleeping on a gym mat, with the vaporizer zipped up in the tent with him. Seemed to work pretty well, so we're trying it again tonight.

Pray for the boys to be well! They all really want to play soccer on Saturday AND we have tickets to Cirque D Soleil (sp?). It would be nice if we're all well enough to go.

Gunnar and Gizzy

This is Gunnar, at bedtime tonight... not nearly a well child. He's trying to smile, and cuddling a toy elephant he has named "Gizzy".

The bowl next to his head? Well, if you come to dinner at my house, you will never be served food out of that bowl. That bowl is reserved for things like mixing plaster-of-paris to make a volcano, or embalming "King Cluck", or for the purpose it's serving now.

Not that it always works as intended... Since all the boys have been sick, we've been doing a lot of reading aloud (now on book 5 of the Chronicles of Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader). Gunnar was resting on the couch this morning, with Gizzy and The Bowl, when he announced that he needed to pee. He decided to use the bathroom off the family room, (wouldn't you know it, one of the only carpeted rooms in the house.) And, of course, en route to the bathroom the agenda changed. He stood there, helpless as a deer in the headlights, and downloaded breakfast.... on the carpet.

Once I got him wiped off, loved up, and resettled on the couch, I had the mess to deal with. I'll spare you the details, except to say that - to make matters worse - I think Tate is allergic to my carpet cleaner. As if he wasn't sick enough already, when the fumes from the foamy 'Resolve' wafted from from the family room, through the kitchen and the dining room, and into the living room, his eyes filled with 'tears' and turned red, and he began sniffing and coughing and sneezing! Wyatt and I ran around opening doors and windows to air out the house. And it's not like it's a warm day either! We had fresh snow just above us in all the hills again, and more hail today!

Wyatt - the well child

That is the happy face of the child whom I think is finally feeling better. You know they're feeling better, not because their fever goes down, but because they start getting into mischief again.

King Ghidorah and Godzilla

Wyatt, not to be outdone by his younger brothers, prepared these wonderful play-doh sculptures.

He's in bed - I hope asleep - so unable to give commentary (which he may wish to add later). Since I have watched exactly NONE of the Godzilla movies (but have listened with great patience to many long explanations and descriptions) I can only tell you for certain that the green creature on the right is Godzilla. (I love the detail of the blue tongue!) I think the yellow creature on the left is Gedorah.

I'm sure the expert will want to comment in the morning.

Hi, my name is Wyatt. I'm here to comment this morning! My creation was of King Ghidorah, a three-headed dragon-like creature, and Godzilla. Godzilla is more of a lizard-like creature. Godzilla does not like King Ghidorah. Godzilla actually kills King Ghidorah, even though KG is bigger than him. In one of the movies, people in Tokyo also make a Mecha-King Ghidorah out of metal. Godzilla kills this too. KG can breathe three atomic rays, but Godzilla can only breathe one. And this about ends my descriptions.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tate, Godzilla, and Hedorah

The green guy is Godzilla! The black guy is Hedorah – the Smog Monster. Hedorah is shooting a ray, from the top corner of its eye, at Godzilla. But of course, since Godzilla has such armored skin, the ray has not much effect.

Now, for more information that is not happening, Godzilla can breathe an atomic ray. Hedorah can spray gas that can originally kill people, but can only make Godzilla dizzy. Also, Hedorah has two other modes: tadpole mode, and standing mode. When Hedorah is in standing mode, he can also shoot these glop-like bomb-like missiles that start to smoke on Godzilla, that must be hot. In tadpole-mode, Hedorah can swim around sinking ships. And Hedorah is made originally of garbage which makes it so invincible. Another reason Hedorah is so invincible, if Godzilla were to punch it or bite it or get it with his tail or his spikes, they would stick into Hedorah with no harm! If Godzilla sticks his hand in (into Hedorah) all that happens is that glop comes out. Another way to say "Hedorah" is to say "Head-ra".

Back to Godzilla, he has spikes, a big tail, two legs, and two arms and hands with four fingers. Godzilla also has a roar that doesn’t sound like a roar. It sounds like a screechy roar that I cannot describe. Godzilla is originally charcoal gray, but in some of his movies he is kind of green – very very dark green.

Hedorah looks like a piece of glop too. It has gloppy legs, but you can hardly tell that they’re not one piece! And long strands and pieces of him just hang off of him everywhere, which is why he looks like a piece of garbage. Hedorah will only stop rampaging to breathe smoke. Hedorah likes breathing smoke because it must give him power.

Gunnar, Minilla and Mothra

This is a picture of Mothra’s larva, webbing up (since they're silk worms) Minilla, the son of Godzilla! Mothra is a huge moth, that’s why she’s called Mothra. We know she’s a girl because there’s a movie called “Godzilla vs. Queen Mothra”. In the movie “Tokyo S.O.S.” on an island where there is two fairies they were singing a song, which I think was the Mothra song. There is an egg, above, as they singed, the egg started to hatch. Out of the egg, came two Mothra larva.

Minilla is Godzilla’s son. (Japanese people call Minilla “Minya” because they don’t like to say “L”. And they call Godzilla “Gojira”.)

This is why the larva are mad at Godzilla and Minilla: In “Tokyo S.O.S.”, Godzilla killed Mothra, so now, for the rest of their lives probably, the larva has been longing for revenge. That’s why the Mothra larva is webbing up Minilla.

That’s the end of my story.

U11 Wyatt

Wyatt amazes me. If you could harness that boy, you could light Seattle. Many games, he'll play the whole hour without being subbed out, and he hardly ever stops running full bore. His agility and speed are incredible, and he rarely seems intimidated, though he's often going up against boys who are bigger... sometimes a lot bigger. Wyatt just runs them into the ground.

Of course, he has had wonderful coaching and plays with a great bunch of boys.

For some reason, I think my boys are all genetically programmed to play defense... or maybe they're following Wyatt's example. They all gravitate to it, and Wyatt has set the bar pretty high. I tell him I want to get him a soccer shirt that says "NONE SHALL PASS", but he gets kind of embarrassed. He's got the strategy and the speed to keep most of the other team's players away from the goal, and can often run them down if they try for a break-away.

Wyatt's branching out these days, and getting in on a bit of offensive action too. Where he got the coordination from, I have no idea, but it's a thing of beauty.

U9 Tate

Tate has been playing soccer, indoor and outdoor, non-stop since August and it really shows! He's always loved playing 'last man back', with two of his buddies, but now he's branching out, and asking to play mid- and even forward. He gained a lot of confidence and his ball handling has improved too.

Tate has also gotten better at changing direction. Used to be that once he took off running for the ball, he was kind of like a cannon ball that had been launched, and woe to anyone or anything in his path. (Anyone meeting Tate head-on is still likely to end up on the ground, as you can see in the first picture.) He's not a rough (mean) player at all, the boy just has a lot of momentum!

Tate's playing a smarter game, as well as showing more ability to maneuver around players. Mostly, the key word for Tate is determination. I've seen him surrounded by three players from the other team, and he'll come out with the ball, moving toward the goal. I don't have a picture of it, but in his last game he scored the only goal! Way to go Tater-bug!

Monday, April 21, 2008

U7 Gunnar

Gunnar is really enjoying soccer this spring, in spite of getting bumped up from the U6 to the U7 league. He seems tiny next to some of the other players (!) and he's not particularly competitive. Still, he's gaining confidence and going after the ball more. He even managed to score in one or two of the games! More importantly - to Gunnar - he's been to three team-mates' birthday parties, and one boy is coming home from practice with us this week to play.

The team is developing more skills too, and that is fun to watch. The 1st grade and Kinder teams actually split in half and play on two fields, just 3 on 3, or 4 on 4. It makes sense really, because why would you want more than 8 kids mobbing the ball at a time? They don't exactly play positions yet! But they're getting the idea, more and more. Last season, what looked like passing was really just poor ball control. This season there is actually some strategy developing. It's fun to watch. :0)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Homes Cool Lunch Program

Home + Schooling = Flexibility

Our week has been interrupted by some usual things (like our Sign Language class today) and some unusual things (Wyatt had one of his two testing days on Wednesday, and I went out to lunch to hear a holocaust survivor speak on Tuesday).

For the boys this has meant more free time! With the slightly warmer weather, they've been able to be outside more and longer, and decided to build a tree-house. They started yesterday, and by lunch-time today had finished a platform big enough that they all could sit together and eat! Gunnar informed me that it has a wonderful view of the lake. (In case I hadn't noticed it from the house!)

Now they're working on enclosing the bottom part into a "Clubhouse", with a window. While Wyatt and Tate were at soccer practice, Gunnar and a neighbor managed to nail "siding" around the window and talked me out of an old dishtowel for a curtain.

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra will have to wait.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Muffins or ?

Just in case you’ve been losing sleep, wondering how really cool families like ours come by their own unique family “vocabulary”, here’s how it happens:

I was in the kitchen one day, trying out a new recipe for something I thought my boys might like – Brown Sugar Muffins. You have to understand that there are kids out there who are just wonderful about eating all kinds of things. Then there are kids who are deeply suspicious of any unfamiliar food… those would be my kids.

So the boys were playing happily upstairs and the warm, sweet smell of something good baking in the oven filled the air. But this brief moment of domestic tranquility was interrupted. Tate stomped into the kitchen, obviously upset about something, took one quick look at the nice, little, round brown muffins I was taking out of the tins to cool, and said, “You aren’t makin’ me eat those Poo Poo Balls!” and stomped back out.

Well, ironically, turns out all the boys love the muffins… Tate, most of all. But now, whenever we’re going to bring them anywhere to share with friends, we have to go through this little vocabulary exercise:

“If anyone asks you, these are MUFFINS! BROWN SUGAR MUFFINS! I am not raising DUNG BEETLES!”

Because, of course, Tate’s name stuck.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


I have to brag about my Dad. He takes great pictures. Cool, yeah?!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pockolate Chocolates

Actually, the picture below is from last week. The kids played until there were three inches of snow on the field, and still falling heavily. The games later in the day had to be canceled... The ball just doesn’t roll very well with wet snow sticking to it, and it gets a bit hard to see the sidelines.

Today was much better; still cold (38F when we drove out to our first game at 9AM) but, thankfully, dry. And Aunty Tami came to cheer too! I’m sure the boys are glad to see her because they love her so much, but – for all you other soccer fans – pockolate chocolates are a big hit too.

Spring Soccer

Spring soccer... NW style.
No sissies here!

L-L-L Elk

I am really proud of Gunnar. Not so very long ago he couldn’t say L. He said W. As in, “Mama, I wuv you.” Not that I minded so much in that context (!) but things did get confusing sometimes. Especially since his R is also problematic. If you told Gunnar to say “right, light, white”, you would hear, “white, white, white”.

Or sometimes the L turned into an O. Like “cereal”, or “cere-oh”. “Spell” became “speh-oh”.

So he’s been working really hard and can say wonderful L’s. Lollipop, lily, log and lodge. But sometimes there’s still a little W in there… like “spell” is now “speh-oh-L”, which can make him sound a bit like an immigrant, with an accent you can’t quite place.

We visited the school this week to participate in the Pacific Science Center’s program. Gunnar loved the “Creature Feature” class he got to attend. The kids got to listen to heartbeats of different animals, hold teeth from other animals, and feel skin samples from still other animals.

Trying to identify the animals from the skin samples was harder than it sounds. All the kinders recognized the snake skin. Nobody could guess that two of the samples were from an elephant and a seal.

But when it came to the last sample, Gunnar piped up, “It lives in a cold climate because it has longer hair.” The presenter showed a picture of the animal and all the kids said, “Deer.” Nope. A couple said, “Moose”. Nope. Only Gunnar identified it: “ELK!” With a perfect L to boot.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dark Vader

So Tate's new HA is working just great. He loves it. So much so that he has convinced me I was wrong to encourage him to wear the old one to soccer. (He will consent to wear the old one to soccer if it's really raining.)

I was worried about the ball hitting him on the head and breaking the HA. Yeah, it can be fixed, but then he would be 'down-graded' to the old one for weeks, not just the duration of the game. (Oh, of course I care about his head! But it's a lot tougher than the HA!)

So he seems to be hearing much better. But over the years he has had his own unique vocabulary, related to his hearing loss. Some things he has self-corrected because now that he reads so well he knows what they are. He doesn't say "reNember" any more, or "hebby equibment". But he still has a few quirks we just let go.

Like "Dark Vader" (which seems reasonably appropriate), or "the Debt Star" (sounds like a place that most Americans should be banished!) Then there's his latest interest - "Gobzilla", and one of his enemies "The Smoog Monster".

Sometimes he's just so close, but not quite right. Like asking me to give him an "interview" of a story. Hmmmm, that would be an overview.

I love my Tater-bug.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

March 2008

It’s April 1, and – yes – this is our March update. And it is ours… no excuses, I got the boys involved this time, so lets hear from them first. I asked them to tell about:

A book they’ve read lately (or one I’ve read to them)
Favorite food, song, movie, and hobbies.


Book? Swiss Family Robinson. It’s a very exciting book, although some of the things in the book could probably never happen… like apple trees growing on the same island as coconut trees, and flamingos and penguins living together. I like it because it’s very realistic and something that probably could have happened. The family is pretty much always getting along, and if they have a problem they sort it out pretty quickly without much arguing. (Mom says, this bit about Swiss Family Robinson being realistic is a bit confusing… what Wyatt means is that it’s not a book with magic, or talking animals, etc. Not that every detail is realistic!)

Soccer? I’m playing outdoor soccer again, with the same U-11 team. It’s fun! I like to be defender, run around, get tired, and get muddy! Last Saturday we played our game in three inches of snow! We couldn’t really see the side-lines, so we didn’t really know what was out of bounds, but we had fun anyway. In spite of the fact that after the game my feet nearly froze to death.

Homeschool? (I forgot to ask Wyatt about homeschool!)

Song? No.
Movie? No.
Food? My favorite food is still probably chocolate chip cookies.
Hobby? Playing with legos, making comics, and playing outside.


Book? Ramona books… many. (You know, “Ramona the Pest”, etc.) Ramona is very naughty sometimes, and very funny sometimes. Like, once, she got mixed up with a library book and mistaken that it was hers, and she wrote her name (which is really only scribbles) all over it and inside it, with purple crayon! I like Ramona books, because Ramona is very, very funny. Even though it’s about a girl, I still like it because it’s funny. It’s about a funny girl, but not about girly girl stuff.

Soccer? Outdoor soccer just started and I am playing again… I like playing with the team (U-9) I’ve been playing with for so many years. I like to play all positions. My favorite positions are defender and mid-field. I used to always play defender, but now I’m beginning to think that I like mid- too, because I can go all over the field!

Homeschool? We are learning lots of history. We just spent two weeks studying India, and two weeks studying China, and now we are back to Rome. This week we’re learning about Julius Caesar. He wanted to be King (or dictator) of Rome, but his own friends killed him.

Food? Macaroni and cheese, and cheesy-pleasy (that is toasted cheese sandwich.)
Movie? Star Wars and Godzilla
Hobbies? Play with Legos, play outside, digging and making an artificial lake in the yard.
Song? No.


Book? Swiss Family Robinson, which Wyatt already talked about, and Wind in the Willows. This is a story about a nice mole and a nice and smart-at-piloting-ships water rat. They became friends when mole was on one side of the river and rat was on the other. And the story was also about a nice but stealing-and-breaking-laws toad, and a nice but hibernating-and-welcoming badger. He’s a nice badger, but he just kind of doesn’t like company every day. I don’t really know why. Well, also, when Toad gets sent to jail, the weasels, as you might know if you heard this story, decide to take Toad Hall over, since Toad is in prison. But they actually steal it! Then Toad (who escaped from prison), badger, mole and rat decide to practically have a boarding party to take it back. And they take it back by going through a secret tunnel that goes under a squeaky board in Toad Hall, and they come out! And that’s all I have to say about the Wind in the Willows.

Soccer? Well, for soccer I have one thing to tell you. Our name is Purple Lightning! I’m on a new team this year. (My old team was the Eastside EagleSharks). I like my new team. It’s good. My coach is named Coach Sheila and I have a lot of good team-mates. And I’m afraid that’s all I have to say about soccer.

Homeschool? HS is fun, but a little bit boring, to sit there and work and work. I’m not trying to say I hate it, but I don’t always want to sit there and work. (Mom says, isn’t that pitiful! You’d think I kept him at a desk for hours! Think again… :0) ) I am learning to read… it’s really fun to learn to read! I read “Red Hen”, and “Gum”, and I read “Pig in the Mud” and “Tin Can” and “Pugs” and “Wags”! And in history, I learned about Julius Caesar. He was actually a very famous man in Rome, but he was not the only famous one we’ve heard about. We’ve also heard about Alexander the Great, and Shi Huangdi, and no-good-for-nothing Buddha. (Mom says, when we read about Buddha we learned that he abandoned his wife and children to go seek enlightenment. That’s where the good-for-nothing comment came from.) Oh, plus we learned about Confucius. Confused Confucius… that’s a joke!

Food? Breakfast Bars, that’s my only favorite food.
Song? You are my Sunshine, and Surfin’ Safari
Movie? Star Wars, Godzilla, and superheroes
Hobby? Play games like superhero games, go outside, look at a book, or other fun stuff like that.

Well, as the boys mentioned, soccer is off to an interesting start. I love the way the league works here in Bellingham. The kids are on teams by neighborhood, so they practice close to home. ALL the games are on Saturday, and all at the same place. So Saturday can be kind of an epic, but at least we can all be together! Had their first games a week ago, and they were back-to-back. It may be the only time this whole season that it works out that nicely (!) and it was a good thing, because it was really cold! (More about that later.) This last Saturday I was out of town and missed game day. Kerry managed to get all three boys suited up, bundled up, and out to the fields at the proper time, but – due to 3 inches of snow on the field and more falling rapidly – the games were cancelled. Wyatt’s team ended up playing an unofficial game anyway, since everyone had shown up, but the ball doesn’t really roll well in wet sticky snow!

Tate has really improved at soccer. Until quite recently he ONLY ever played defense… and he’s good at it! We call him The Wall. Actually, all the boys like defense best – must be genetic or something! I tease them that someday I’ll get them sweatshirts that say, “None shall pass.” But Tate is branching out and asking to play mid or forward. He gained a lot of confidence, playing indoor soccer all winter, but is finding the much bigger outdoor field a bit of a challenge!

Gunnar had to be bumped up this season. The league is really cracking down on playing by age, rather than grade. I had to go through an appeal process to keep Wyatt on the team he has always played with, but decided to let them move Gunnar now, rather than have to face it later. He loved his previous team, and was sorry to have to move, but has “landed well”, with a neat group of boys, and a coach we’re happy with. He’s definitely the little guy on the team, and not at all aggressive, but he’s having fun. :0)

We’re still muddling along with homeschooling. We do most of our schoolwork together, in spite of the boys’ different ages. They all love Logic Puzzles, and we do a lot of reading together. We always have a fiction ‘chapter book’ going, and we have been reading through a Bible Story book too, as well as doing some memorization together.

Wyatt is working much more independently, and – mostly – with a good attitude. That is HUGE… very helpful! Sometimes he gets done quickly and can help Gunnar with some of his work. (Reading directions, etc.) If he gets done first, he LOVES to draw comics.

Tate has had a lot of frustration lately, due to the fact that Gunnar (a Kinder!) finishes his work first. Yeah (duh) I don’t expect him to do as much! So Tate tries to rush, to get done first, and gets frustrated. We’ve had a lot of talks about this, and it is getting better… his attitude is improving. I don’t think I’m expecting too much of Tate, but he’s at a point where he just can’t rush and ‘get it’! He’s been learning his times tables, so his math was really ‘information-dense’, if that makes any sense. Now that he’s getting more comfortable with multiplication, he is relaxing more about it. Tate also got a new hearing aid (HA), just a couple of weeks ago, and it is wonderful! I can tell he’s hearing a lot better with it and so can he. Thank God for technology! Tate is really excited about it because – now that he’s a bigger, more responsible boy – he has this HA with three “programs”. His new ear-mold is neon green, and the HA itself is blue and somewhat transparent, so he can see the ‘workings’ of it. Who knew HA’s could be so cool?!

Gunnar is adjusting to being expected to sit down and actually complete work at the table. He says it’s boring, but his face lights up when I have the others ‘launched’ into their math for the day, and can sit down to work with him. Gunnar is rightfully proud of his progress! I’m calling him a Kindergartener, but we’re working through some 1st grade math concepts, and – here’s the biggie – he’s really learning to read! I’m so proud of him!!! He loves history and has amazing recall of details.

What else is new…

As we mentioned, relating to soccer, we’ve had a bit of snow. This is so bizarre. All winter we had no snow, so we actually drove over to the other side of the mountains to go play in the snow! (Okay, and to see our friends!) But, starting the second day of spring, we have had snow, more snow, and still more snow! I think today is the first day it hasn’t snowed! Thankfully, it hasn’t been a problem on the roads (and hasn’t really accumulated on the ground… except for Saturday/soccer day), but snow has fallen nearly every day and is quite low in the hills all around us. Go figure!

I’ll try to attach a pic my friend took of the three boys and their “Fir Cone City”. They love to do stuff like this in the back corner of the yard. Though I’ll admit I’m not too excited about them getting the hose out and making a large lake, with the weather still this cold!

A friend and I got away to a Moms’ retreat called “Teach on the Beach” last weekend. Wow… kind of like drinking from a fire hydrant! I think I’ll be absorbing it for a while. I have to tell you though, that I gave the boys a few ‘pep talks’ before I left (and Kerry too!), and I was thrilled and amazed to come home to a fairly clean and tidy house! Although Tate did get a concerned look and confessed to me, “Uh, mom, I think we’re wearing the same underwear from before you left.” Small potatoes, sweetie!

Happy Spring to you… whenever it actually arrives!

February 2008

My children are obsessed. I mean completely obsessed. It’s Star Wars. And Legos. And put together, Star Wars Legos. Although they are only allowed to play their computer game for a limited time on the weekend, they will spend much of their free time during the week: light-saber-dueling (with the standard plastic light-saber toys) in the driveway, building all manner of Star Wars space ships out of Legos, drawing pictures of Star Wars battles, setting up elaborate scenes from Star Wars with their little plastic figures, and – constantly, endlessly, relentlessly – talking about Star Wars. I’ve actually had to make a Rule: No Star Wars conversation while we are eating. (It gets kinda quiet!) Then they try to refer to things without actually mentioning them. Yeah, you know how subtle little boys can be!

Wyatt makes these incredible space ships out of Legos, based on pictures from the movies. Then he describes the situation (from the movie) where they appeared, including all the technical names for the vehicles, and asks me if I remember them. Uh, gee, Wyatt. I’m pretty good about the first Star Wars movie, (which is not #1 but #4,) but the rest are a bit hazy.

Gunnar, not to be outdone, showed me a unique twisted box-like structure made of orange, yellow, and red Legos. There was a Star Wars Lego “mini-fig” (person) lying on his back, at the bottom of the box. He proceeded to explain to me that when Jedi warriors die, burning them is honoring them. Apparently he has constructed possibly (?) the first Lego crematorium. (Really – he’s not a disturbed or morbid child!)

Tate took it upon himself to write a rather lengthy letter (!) to Mr. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, of the Lego Company, describing in great detail a kit which he (Tate) would like the Lego company to produce, the pieces it should include, the scene from a particular Star Wars movie that he was inspired by, some pricing suggestions, and included a drawing of the battle scene from the movie. Now he’s asking me every day when I think he’ll be hearing from the Lego company…

And all I can think of is CAN WE PLEASE CHANGE THE SUBJECT?!?!

This winter has been characterized by (according to the boys’ point of view) a disturbing and unacceptable lack of “play-able” snow. Oh, there has been plenty of snow in Washington this year (ALL cross-state mountain passes closed at the same time, for the first time in 11 years, or some such thing?!), but not here… not exactly, precisely here. It has been tantalizingly close –right up in all the hills surrounding us, right there in view! – but not enough here to play in.

So we took last week ‘off’ and trekked over the recently-opened pass to visit friends at Stonewater Ranch, the new home of Reachout Expeditions (now “YD Adventures”). Fun on so many levels! For the boys, 140 acres of freedom and fun in the snow… lots of snow! For me, ‘fun’ (well, encouraging and inspiring) to see that a ministry that I really love is still going strong after all these years. And, for all of us, fun to be together with good friends. And – what a bonus! - we happened to be there at the right time to trek out to a snowy field one night and see not only the bright stars (far away from city lights) but also the lunar eclipse.

So there! We weren’t on vacation, we were on a field trip! That was really educational. And geography too. And humor. I mean, come on, does anyone else see the incongruity of two towns as different as the oh-so-kitschy faux-Bavarian village of Leavenworth and the – well – very plain town of Plain existing so close together? Yep, Plain Washington, home of the Plain Hardware store, the Plain grocery, and the Plain Church. And some really great people =) lest you think I’m mocking!

We returned from our snow-fest on Thursday, and Tate and I had to turn right around Friday and go to Seattle, for appointments at Children’s Hospital. I had Tate’s hearing tested last week, and the testing revealed what they politely call a “shift” in his hearing levels. We’ll be back down to Children’s next month to pick up a new Hearing Aid, which has been ordered.

Even with homeschooling, and a quieter home environment, Tate has been more frustrated lately. I’ve been getting a lot of “Whaaat?” Of course, I’m hoping the new HA will be a big help, and praying (please join me!) that he won’t lose any more hearing and that he will not be so frustrated, but also just facing the fact that this IS his reality. (Hey, they can transplant hearts, lungs, and other things… when will somebody figure out an ear transplant?)

In other news, Spring Soccer is on the horizon and I’m trying to work up some enthusiasm. I have to confess that I like Fall Soccer a lot better. Spring Soccer is so often just a big, rainy, mud-fest… but then, that’s probably a large part of the appeal for the boys! All three will be playing again, so we are in for a few busy weeks.

I really intended for the boys to be writing these updates, but then, the only time I seem to be able to find to sit down at my computer and write is when they are sleeping. Oh well.

January 2008

January update…

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday. We decided years ago that we would not travel at Christmas, and every year I am thankful. Makes things much more relaxing and focused.

We’ve been having fairly cold weather and there has been snow in all the hills around the lake. The boys have learned how to check the local weather forecast on the internet, and get very excited every time there is a prediction for “possible snow flurries”, but have been sorely disappointed so far. We’re planning a trip to visit friends near Leavenworth next month, so they’ll get a chance to whoop it up in the snow over there!

The boys’ latest obsession is a late Christmas gift we got them… a computer game. I don’t know what it is with boys and shooting things, but I’m sure it’s in their blood somehow. I’m not too keen on the violent nature of many of the games I’ve seen (a bit of an understatement there!) but we have arrived at a happy compromise: Lego Star Wars. They can blast, shoot, and light-saber fight to their hearts’ content, because when they do hit their target, the “victim” (enemy!) just breaks into Lego pieces. I’m okay with this.

I love this time of year… no big holidays on the horizon to be preparing for, too cold and wet to do major yard projects, haven’t started the frenzy of spring soccer yet (!), and it’s still pretty dark outside, but warm and cozy inside. Things are pretty relaxed. Well, as relaxed as things get with boys around…

There is just never a dull moment here! Yes, they will spend many (relatively) quiet hours building with their Legos, and for that I am truly thankful. But, the boys are just generally a bundle of energy and enthusiasm.

The funny thing about boys, though, is the noise is different than girls’. Certainly the boys are not quiet… far from it. But we had some friends over for dinner with a 3-year-old girl, and my boys actually (politely, mind you) asked if the mother if she could get the little girl to be quieter! I think it’s the pitch – the shrieky noises. All the shooting, exploding, crashing sounds they make don’t seem to register, but one (happy) girl with a high-pitched giggle was more than they could take!

They do have a tender side, though – especially Gunnar, my little social butterfly. As I put him to bed the other night, he said to me: “Mom, there’s three kids I know I’m going to be friends with – Caleb (a 1-year-old), Ben (a friend’s newborn that he hasn’t even seen yet), and Stephanie’s baby (won’t be born until August!) But that’s Gunnar, ready to love them, and confident that they will want to be his friends. =0)

All for now….

Julie and the boys

PS My friend, Alicia, in Tennessee, sent me these three reasons people choose to homeschool:

1. The teacher is just sooooo cool!
2. The Principal is kinda cute.
3. My children preferred this lunch program.

November 2007

I can’t believe we are coming up on Thanksgiving so quickly… doesn’t help that it’s early this year, the time is just flying. We are enjoying homeschooling, for the most part, though I’ve certainly noticed the decrease in my “personal time” (what was that, anyway?!) Still, as busy as it feels, we are enjoying being able to set our own schedule. Today we took a break right in the middle of our “school day” to go to two grocery stores (when they weren’t busy) and take advantage of good turkey sales. I now have FOUR turkeys in my freezer! I love turkey any time of year.

Wrapping up outdoor soccer, although it is followed by indoor soccer, has freed up quite a bit of time, as indoor has no practices (they just don’t have enough field time.) The kids just show up for an hour once a week, play their little hearts out, connect with their buddies, and then we go back home. And we stay warm and dry! What’s not to love!

Did I mention in the last letter that our TV broke? I have had an urge to ‘go TV-less’ since our last TV broke (in 2003) but we were given another by my generous parents. Oddly, over the last couple of years that TV would occasionally quit working. The kids would look alarmed and start conspiring about how much a new one would cost and how they could buy one… which I would always veto. Every time this happened (probably 5 or 6 times at least) I told them to pray about it, and if God wanted us to have a TV then somehow He would take care of it. Wouldn’t you know, it would start working again, a few days later?!

Well… until now. Go figure. Now that we’re homeschooling, it REALLY broke, complete with odd noises. Kerry took it outside, put the boys up high on ladders, with safety goggles on, and let them drop big rocks on the TV until it imploded! Weird sound! You would probably be surprised how thick the glass is on a TV screen. They had a lot of fun bashing up the old TV. (I highly recommend a book called “The Plug-In Drug”!)

The boys had a lot of fun for Halloween. Our church put on a “Pumpkin Bash” for the first time… LOTS more fun (for the adults) than trudging around in the dark, and LOTS of ‘carnival’ games, activities, and candy for the kids. We have a family “policy” that we don’t buy costumes for Halloween (partly because I object to joining THAT retail feeding frenzy and partly because I want the kids to create their own) but I will let them buy “accessories” – a cowboy hat, a sword, or something they might play with again. Wyatt was a pirate, Gunnar was a cowboy, and Tate – the Civil War buff – was a Union Soldier (Infantry).

Homeschooling keeps me on my toes. The boys really love science, especially if it fizzes, bubbles, or explodes. We have been studying animals too – mostly ones we can catch and watch, but we did snakes last week and that was ONLY from books! Ever since the boys saw the photo of the cobra on our friends’ patio (they are missionaries in Zambia) they have been very diligent to pray for their safety!

We have been studying Egypt in history. The boys decided to do a skit showing how to make a mummy. Gunnar volunteered to be the mummy! Tate was the narrator and Wyatt was the priest. Tate first explained what the Egyptians believed about the afterlife (they believed their heart would be weighed against the feather of truth). Then they explained how it was done. Wyatt had made a big cardboard dagger and pretended to rip Gunnar’s side open (boys are SO gruesome!) and had prepared balloon “organs” to remove that were hidden under a sheet! It was pretty funny! Gunnar did a good job of holding still and not giggling - dead people NEVER giggle! Wyatt did a good job of acting each thing out with quite a bit of drama. And Tate did a good job of reading through a lot of information. After Thanksgiving we will be learning about Ancient Greece.

I’ve been trying to incorporate lots of field trips, which I think the boys covered pretty well. We’ve been to apple and pumpkin farms, to the Theater for a play (“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”, which we read first), to the newspaper, and the police and fire stations. Our next door neighbor, Bea, came over a couple days ago and asked if the boys would like to come over one morning early in December and make Gingerbread Men for homeschool. They’re funny boys – none of them care for eating gingerbread, but are excited about making and decorating them!

We’ve also been going up to the local school once a week for a sign language lesson. Tate is still entitled to receive services from the district, and this seemed like a great way to benefit all of us! Guess who is the quickest learner… Gunnar!

Last week was oriented around Tate’s birthday. His constant level of anticipation has been unbelievable. Of course, he wanted a Civil War birthday party, which was a bit of a challenge. As you might imagine, there is rather a lack of party-themed Civil War items! (Not a big seller at Target?!)

I have to tell a little Gunnar story. He has begun AWANA – a church club that emphasizes Scripture memory. It's probably loosely based on scouting - the kids earn and wear uniforms, and then earn patches and other awards to display on their uniforms, mostly through Scripture memory, but there are other activities as well. AWANA has been around for many many years. In my personal opinion the program works best with younger kids, who think the uniforms are cool and are motivated by plastic "crowns" (pins) and plastic "jewels". Wyatt and Tate did very well in the Kind - 2nd grade club, but "burned out" very quickly as they got older.

Well, now Gunnar is finally old enough to go to AWANA. He is SO VERY EXCITED!!!!! On Wednesday evening he was ready to go a good half hour early. We reviewed his memory verses and got his little Sparky vest on. As we were walking out to the van he said, "Mom! I have Bible Stories at home. I go to Sunday School. And now I go to AWANA. So I am TOTALLY going to learn about God!!!" (As if that were a body of knowledge that he could acquire in one year!) Still, I encouraged him that his attitude brings joy to God, and to his parents =0)

Here’s the update from the boys, and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us =0)

How’s things doing? Right here, it’s gone well. My soccer season was great, for us! One thing I liked, is when I won! There were two kids on my team that were some of my best friends – the boys were named Ivan and Lincoln. I like the practices and the games and everything about soccer. My team was called Eagle Sharks because some of us voted “eagles” and some of us voted “sharks”.

Home schooling is very fun! I get to do alphabet dot-to-dots and practicin’ reading. And I like math too! Lately we’ve been reading the Bible and we’ve gotten to the part where the Israelites were goin’ out of Egypt… I mean they’re OUT of Egypt! Up at school we do sign language class. (You do know that Tate is partly deaf.)

Our first field trip was the apple orchard. Then the pumpkin patch. Then we went to a place where they made newspapers. Then, lets see… we went to a play. After that we went to the police station and after that we went to the fire station! I believe my favorite was the fire station.

A PTO day is when school is off. In other words, there’s no school that day. (Personal Time Off, in mom-speak.) On a PTO day we play and do fun stuff and sometimes we go to my grandpa and grandma’s house.

I do AWANA! It’s very fun. We play games and memorize verses. I have friends at AWANA, like Levi and Juliann and a boy named Joey. He’s nice. Mostly we play games with balls.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Love Gunnar

My season of outdoor soccer is done. My team, the Extreme, has had a successful outdoor season and is starting indoor. Which, by the way, is just as fun as outdoor! In indoor soccer the field is a lot smaller and the goals are smaller too, but there’s no “out of bounds” so the game goes very FAST! My opinion is that you get more exercise doing indoor than outdoor because you have to run a lot more and it’s always warm and that means you don’t get cold and tired as quickly.

In homeschool I am doing some geometry in my math. We finished our chicken mummy and made him a decorated sarcophagus. We made a smelly purple die out of cabbage and tried to tie-dye some shirts with it, but it didn’t work very well. It must be hard to invent dye that does not fade in one wash! I like to read Calvin and Hobbes in my free time.

Once in awhile my mom lets us have a PTO day (PTO is a personal time off day, no school… just play, when it’s not a weekend.) On PTO days we mostly make lego creations and have lots of fun! Sometimes on PTO days we go to our grandpa and grandma’s house and we usually play (inside this time of year) and watch TV some of the time. We stay until about dinner time.

We’ve been doing quite a few field trips. So far my favorite field trip was to the pumpkin farm. We chose a pumpkin and went in a corn maze! Gunnar almost got lost. Well, he did, but we found him.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!
From, “me” (Wyatt)

I had a great birthday with two parties! One for kids and one for family. We had fun at my kid party playing lots of fun games, like “Battlefield Bombarders” and “Underground RailRoad Race”! Jonathan, Cameron, Tyler, Justin, Jacob, Josh, Ben, and Isaac all came. My family party was fun. Most of my relatives were there. The party was for me and grandma, because her birthday is right before mine. I got lots of cool stuff!

I just finished playing outdoor soccer and started playing indoor. It’s really fun! I have two big games tomorrow. Outdoor soccer is different because sometimes it rains or sometimes it’s sunny. But at indoor soccer it never rains. The game is faster because the ball can’t go out of bounds too easily. (It’s only out of bounds if it goes up really high and hits the top of the nets, or the lights.) It feels like I run more. Also, in outdoor I almost always play defense, but in indoor, I play all over!

We have fun field trips in homeschool. My favorite field trips were going to police and fire station. We got to learn a bunch of stuff, get trading cards, see inside a police car and a fire truck and an ambulance, and see what is in and on fire trucks and police cars! School is fun because of history. We have been studying the Israelites lately. They were God’s chosen people. We’ve gotten quite far into studying Egypt, up to when the Israelites came out of Egypt. We also studied the Phoenicians. They were famous for blowing glass and stinky purple dye they made from snails. We tried to make dye, but it all just washed out. It was stinky, though!

Happy Thanksgiving!
From, Tate

October 2007

October 2,2007

Welcome to October at our house. Unfortunately for all of the soccer fans here, we seem to be missing the beautiful “Indian Summer” we enjoyed last fall, and have plunged right into the wet and blustery weather. I had two boys begging me to let them skip soccer practice this evening (no such luck), as it was raining – really raining, not just sprinkling – and kind of cold. But, I’m glad to report, they both had a good time and good attitudes once they got there, and a hot bath/shower and warm jammies waiting at home.

We are continuing to work our way into homeschooling… figuring things out as we go about how we’re actually going to DO this. We are adding subject areas gradually and working through some bad attitudes about various things. For instance, Wyatt – who is (in my humble opinion!) very bright – has had a strong math aversion, in spite of scoring well on WASL testing. I am realizing how much the math was really being “taught to the test”, and was very cumbersome, yet lacking in what I consider basic skills. The fifth grade math program we are using is clearly WAY ahead of where he was in school, so we are having to slow down and fill in the gaps at a pace that allows him to ENJOY this and not feel overwhelmed. (I’m sure I remember learning my times tables in 3rd grade, but Wyatt hasn’t done that yet.) Tate, on the other hand, hasn’t been “WASL-ed” yet, and LOVES his math. He actually asks me each day, “Do I get to do a timed test today?” On the other hand, he hates writing things out by hand… well, they both do, as their minds go so much faster than their hands! Which is why sometimes (like for this letter) I let them dictate. Gunnar is just beginning with everything. He loves all the stories we read with our history studies.

We had an interruption to our quiet day last Wednesday. We were upstairs at about 9:30am when we heard 2 or 3 loud BOOMs. I first assumed it had to do with a building project our neighbor is doing, but then we noticed neighbors standing outside looking down the street at the MANY police cars. Turned out to be a big drug bust… just four houses down the street. (The guy they were after is someone I went through school with and has perpetually been in trouble. His mom lived down the street from us and her two sons were in and out all the time. When she died they each got a house from her, and both were raided simultaneously.)

Of course, the newspaper report put it so discretely… “search warrants were served…” I presume that referred to the BOOMs we heard, which were the concussion grenades the SWAT team was using! I’m told the federal marshals will seize the house (we all hope!) Too bad the guy wasn’t there, but at least the animal control managed to get hold of the wolf-dog they had.

Ancient China and math just couldn’t compete with the… civics? (yeah) sociology? (okay), occupational ed? (maybe! “jobs to avoid”???), or citizenship lesson (that’s it!) unfolding in the street.

So we turned our day around and talked a lot about what the police were doing, what the neighbors probably had been doing (watching, recording activity, calling it in), what the people in that house had most likely been doing, when the police are allowed to come in and search your house, what drugs lead to, what a plain-clothes officer on a stake-out is doing (in other words, "why is that man just sitting in his car across the street?"), why they did the raid around 9:30 rather than earlier (when the neighborhood was full of children walking to school), etc.

After all that excitement, we just couldn’t concentrate so we decided to do our “fall cleaning”… our fall “cleaning OUT”. My boys just seem to grow like dandelions over the summer. Then they go to put on their pants and long-sleeve shirts and nothing fits! I just start with the biggest, make them try on just about everything they own, and hand down what’s too small. Gunnar absolutely loves to get “handy-downs” from his brothers!

For being the littlest, he surprises me sometimes with his insight. We have been working on some homeschool memory verses, which we read aloud together each morning. When Tate got frustrated today with an art project we were working on (and wanted to crumple it up) Gunnar reminded him, “Tate! Whatever you do, work at it as working for the Lord!” We salvaged the project – Anansi the Spider - and it came out really cute.

So, here’s an update (in their own words) from each of the boys:


I am getting to be a much better skateboarder. I practice in our driveway, and sometimes Dad takes me to the skateboard park. I like to go down the half pipe and go up the other side going very fast! (Yes, I wear a helmet and pads.) I also like to go up and down ramps.

In homeschool I am learning about ancient Africa, and other ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, and the Chinese. In math I am reviewing multiplication.

Lately I’ve been reading Tin-Tin books, and a (fiction) book about Mt. St. Helens called “The Volcano Disaster”. It won a Sasquatch Award. That means it got picked by a vote of Washington school kids. I got a book from the library called “Flying Origami” which is about how to make things that fly out of paper, like airplanes, origami birds, etc.

My soccer team is doing great. We are increasing our passing skills and our strategy for the game. We practice three times a week for about 2 hours… except it’s getting dark earlier now.

In my free time I like to skateboard, write and draw, and many other things. Our friends Luke and Levi came over on Sunday the last day of September, and we had the biggest squirt gun fight ever! We were already wet from the rain.

I’m looking forward to winter because there might be lots of snow for sledding! And with homeschool we can practically play outside in the snow every day when it’s snowy and not miss any school! (Or not much, anyway.) I’m also looking forward to another sunny day to go the skateboard park again.

Just last week our TV quit working. But we don’t really care.

(Mom: Absolutely he came up with the bit about the TV on his own. And, to clarify the statement about the snow and not missing school: it’s not that he loves school THAT much, but that we don’t have transportation issues and miss days that have to be tacked onto the end of the school year! We can play in the snow AND ‘do school’ the same day.)


I’m waiting… waiting for my birthday and waiting for Halloween. Halloween comes first and I’m going to be a civil war guy – a union soldier. I will carry a double-barrel musket that I made with my dad. It is about 37 days until my birthday. I’m going to have a civil war party! I’m hoping to get some toy cannons and other things for making "battle arranges" (his own terminology!) with my civil war guys.

At school we have been learning a lot about history. Egypt was the only part of ancient Africa that had writing, so we know more about Egypt than the rest of ancient Africa. Did you know that the Sahara Desert was once green and fertile? Archaeologists found trees and seeds and bones underneath the desert sand. We’ve been reading some Anansi stories (from Africa). Anansi is a spider and he is a trickster! He tricks his friends. Wyatt is writing an Anansi story of his own, and Gunnar and I have made some Anansi art.

We just finished reading “Rifles for Watie”. It’s a story about a person named Jeff who is a union soldier and bravely goes and is a spy (on the south) and nearly gets caught! He tells a lot of good information that helps the north win the war.

I have a lot of fun playing soccer. We have had three games so far. We lost one, won one and tied one. I don’t care very much if we win, but I just like to play. I especially like to play defense. I play almost the whole game!

In my free time I like to play with my civil war toys, play with my brothers, build with legos, make lego civil war creations – like a cannon-train, and play outside.

A few weeks ago mom found a little green tree frog in our yard. We kept it in a frog cage for a few weeks and fed it crickets. We studied tree frogs for science. Then we let him go.


I got to go to my friend Juliann’s house yesterday. We played “cat club” and we played out in her yard on the big play structure. She has a swamp in the back of her yard but we didn’t go in it that day.

In homeschool we have been learning history and that’s mostly all. We study Egypt, China, India, Africa, the Euphrates River, the Yellow River, the Yangtze River, the Nile River, the Tigris River, the Indus River… people lived near rivers because they needed water for their crops and for themselves and for their animals.

We have been reading Anansi stories this week. My favorite is “Anansi and the Magic Stick”. It is kind of like the story of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia when he steals the wizard’s hat. Anansi steals a magic stick (well, he kind of borrows it). He tells the stick first to clean his yard, then make his house, then water the garden. But Anansi forgot how to tell the stick to stop and he made a big flood! I like that story!

My soccer team is doing good. My friends Ivan and Lincoln and Jason are on my team. Every Saturday we play four games. Or three. My coach’s name is Coach Jeremy.

I like to play in my room. I make things like “Necklace Island”, and play with Lincoln Logs, and I draw pictures. I made a geometric picture of Anansi. Anansi is a fun book character. He’s a spider that’s tricky. There’s “Anansi”, and “Anansi and the Magic Stick”, and “Anansi and the Talking Melon”. And there’s more that we don’t have like when he shares lunch with a turtle but he really doesn’t because he won’t share his food. Anansi ate all the food while he sent the turtle to the river to wash his flippers.

When Luke and Levi came over we fed our frog the last crickets, and we let him go. Today we found another frog! But we didn’t keep him. We just looked at him and let him go.

I’m looking forward to Halloween, because it’s close. I like to go trick-or-treating. I might dress up as a civil war guy.

(Mom: I have no idea what “Cat Club” is, except I would bet that it’s something the two of them invented! Yes, Gunnar really came up with all those names and rivers on his own. He is really listening!)

September Beginnings - 2007

So, it’s Friday, Sept 7, at 2:15, and my kids are all out in the yard trying to knock a caterpillar nest out of a tree. They are shooting rubber-suction-tip arrows at it. I don’t think they will succeed, but they are outside, playing, getting along with each other, and unlikely to damage anything. Our next-door neighbors are having a new roof put on their house (an endless source of fascination), and I’m just thrilled that the boys are staying out from underfoot!

We have begun our journey into homeschooling, but are starting slowly. I decided to make it easier on them AND myself by introducing a new subject each week. Of course, they don’t always notice the ‘overlap’… Is the chicken mummy they’re making history or science? Are the bug posters they made this morning art or biology? Was our trip to Mt St Helens a vacation or a geology lesson? Hmmm. Seems to be working out so far, and the boys get a lot more time outside.

Yesterday they collected: 11 beetles (5 common black ground beetles and 6 rove beetles), an unidentified green “bug”, a yellow fuzzy caterpillar (possibly a future “hovering moth”), and a small green tree frog. All are now (temporarily) living in little bug houses (separately, or the rove beetles will eat the others). The frog is in the special frog habitat – formerly the home of “Lucky”, who is not so lucky anymore. (Some person in this family, who wants to remain unnamed so all I’ll say is he’s married to me, left Lucky’s cage open after feeding, allowing Lucky to hop out. We found his dried-out body just this morning.) If the little green tree frog will eat crickets - which we have experience with - he can stay, otherwise he’ll have to be released to fend for himself.

All three boys have started their fall soccer season practices. We’ll be a little busy from now until November, as – between them – we have six practices a week and games every Saturday. Let me just say that I am glad it is only an 8-week season!

Of course the boys think I’m a real slave driver (!) and did not want to come in and actually do any more writing for this letter, so I let them off easy and did a little survey. Bear in mind that their interests can change daily, but this is what they had to say about their current favorites:


Color: Purple
Book: Hooway for Wodney Wat
Game: Battleship or Chess
Movie: Ice Age
Summer Activity: Waterslides
Sport: Soccer
Interested in: Homeschool
Toy: Superheroes
Food: Breakfast Bars
Drink: Clear Pop
Restaurant: McDonald’s
Dessert: Pockolate Chocolate (tiny chocolate candy bars)
Vacation: Disneyland!!!
Free time: Get his brothers to play a game with him


Color: Turquoise
Book: Rifles for Watie (Civil War novel)
Game: Monopoly
Movie: The Monitor and the Merrimac
Summer Activity: Play outside (not just outside!)
Sport: Soccer
Interested in: Civil War
Toy: Civil War toy soldiers and artillery
Food: Cheesy Pleasy (toasted cheese sandwich)
Drink: Water
Restaurant: Chuck-E-Cheese (he’s been ONCE!)
Dessert: That vanilla ice-cream with cookie dough in it
Vacation: Disneyland!!!
Free Time: Play with civil war toys


Color: Blue
Book: The Bone Series
Game: Chess
Movie: Star Wars, Episode 1
Summer Activity: Skateboard
Sport: Soccer
Interested in: Motocross Racing (a friend gave us free tickets)
Toy: Skateboard
Food: Chicken Noodle soup and a PBJ
Drink: Milk/Pop
Restaurant: McDonalds
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vacation: Disneyland!!!
Free Time: Draw

So there you have it. Actually, I would answer differently (for them), but that’s what THEY say.

Kerry just dashed off to somewhere, so I can’t ask him to contribute, but he is still working on a big project down in Anacortes as well as several smaller projects here in town. After a day at the waterslides he had some soreness in one leg and just found out he has a stress fracture. No jogging for awhile, so he has been on his bike a lot. He enjoys his Friday morning ‘breakfast club’ – with a bunch of guys from church.

I am trying to balance how to homeschool and how to keep all my other plates spinning. Right now I am successfully avoiding balancing the checkbook and paying the bills, which I need to do TODAY! (And wash the kitchen floor and fold the laundry and wrap a shower gift and figure out how to get everyone dinner between Tate’s 4:30 to 5:30 practice and Wyatt’s 6:30 to dark practice!) Actually, what I really need to do is figure out how much of that I can delegate to the boys. They are pretty good about pitching in with chores, but I have not come up with a regular enough schedule that they know what to do without being asked. Put that on my to-do list too!

One Big Step for the Technology-Impaired

Okay, all you tech-savvy friends, I am gathering my courage and attempting to join you in the 20th (oops, 21st) century. Since I don't seem to be keeping up with the scrapbooking, I'm hoping to leave some kind of a memory trail here. So, I'm going to put up our previously emailed "Homes Cool" notes from this year.