Why I find this video so amusing:
1. Kelly: time out, time out, time out
2. Kelly: I'm gonna give you a shot
3. Ryan gives Kelly a 1-second turn
And on Kelly's face is chocolate, not a bruise, not that a bruise would really be surprising.
We're all looking forward to the new pace of summer, which begins next Wednesday, the first day school is out. Of course, the older boys' school work has waned considerably already.
(photo by Kelly)
The three older boys will attend british soccer camp, and Ryan will go to one week of Antioch school art and water play camp.
(photo by Kelly)
Yesterday, Ryan started digging a hole in the back yard. We'll see how large he can make it. If anyone can think of more "real" jobs for a strong and curious boy who doesn't seem to care about toys anymore, please comment.
He's dying to mow. Followed Daddy all over the yard.
Our strawberries are ready now - we all go out and raid the garden periodically. I think these strawberries are kind of weird and lame - they are mostly small and oddly shaped. Our patch at the old house must have had better/different plants. They taste fine though.
Planted dahlias from Bruce also - time will tell if I actually drag myself out there in the fall to dig up the tubers.
I got maximum enjoyment from the peonies - we went out to cut many of them before the big peony-crushing rain storm, and delivered some flowers to friends.
Jamie seems to have found a job - we'll see how it works out. He's very excited. Chen's is our local chinese place and he has a friend with a family tie to the owner, so this connection seems to be working for him. We need to have the talk about the money he earns and how much is saved/spent.
Jeremiah's about to play his final game - his team could come in 2nd if they tie or win - we'll see!
Kelly is the toileting rock star, dry night and day. He's also bicycle master, balancing well on his balance bike (and even riding a true two-wheeler alone, although his legs are too short to get on and off without help). He's been going to Laurie's with Ryan for about 3 weeks, and seems to have no real trouble with the separation. yay!
Since December 19, at least one person in the house has been sick in some way. We've had respiratory, intestinal, throat issues, etc. No one has been terribly sick, but we've all been sick enough to stay in most of the time. We've all done a lot of this (well, the youngest four of us have)...
The cat is not the only one who appreciates a good nap in the sunny living room.
The kitchen has been busy. I saw an idea on a blog (tried to link but I can't find it now for the life of me) to cut foam or heavy paper into shapes and design a robot - very simple cutouts... Instead of attaching them, we put magnets on the backs of each piece (cut up that magnetic calendar the realtor sent us) and built the robot on the fridge. The pieces can be mixed and moved to customize the new robot each time. A great excuse to get out the pipe cleaners and button jar. After the robot, it was decided that a snowman would be fun as well. This kept my crafty 4.5yo busy for over an hour.
We also got behind in consuming our precious local raw milk. So I decided to make butter, and (oh, dear internet, how I love you) found some great photos of the process. I'm sure some of you know - in the scheme of organic food buying, organic butter is so expensive. This homemade butter-making was a joyfuldiscovery.
Yes, KitchenAid, I love you too.
And some of the wackiest knitting I've ever done. These "pocketbook" maryjane slippers are so much fun to make, and very quick. I don't know where I found this hideous yarn, but it is actually so horrible I love it, on my feet, in the privacy of my house.
My camera cord is missing. I don't seem to be able to blog without photos. I've ordered a new one from ebay, so in a few days, get ready for a flood of updates. Briefly, though...
Evan - writing christmas story, watching a lot of football (winning his work pool, no money at stake), enjoying Risk and "that's what she said" jokes with older boys
Jamie - still sculpting, beginning to offer lessons in Photoshop, reading, schooling, PC gaming, playing piano
Jeremiah - suddenly turned on to music, his taste is a unique combination of 80s (eye of the tiger, seriously) and 60s, Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. Just completed several large school projects related to their study of Egypt, played in his first school band concert, the object of no small amount of female attention, but don't even think about bringing that up.
Ryan - excited to be almost 5, excited about the holidays, coming out of a very long respiratory illness and seeming to respond well to daily allergy meds, which bums me out, but we had to do something. Protective of Kellen, affectionate with all smaller children, enjoying 2x/week play time at Laurie's, can count to a million... not really, but can count high - somewhere between 40 and 80 I think. Still very interested in writing and letters, hasn't expressed an interest in reading. Still extremely, seemingly-uncontrollably curious and "grabby" - so many broken objects. So. many.
We also went to a local holiday shindig - pancakes and santa and crafts - ryan loved that.
Kelly - in a "pretending to be a baby" stage, having little meltdowns daily - loud but not long - when I run out of milk (fairly quickly these days :-( he says "this one's not working." lol.
Amy - still busy with Threshold Choir, NVC group, trying to hang on to my connection with the dharma center but it's just not happening. knitting - I finished that red sweater and the finishing and resulting object was so dreadful I can't even post it, can't even try to correct it. I am knitting hats and toys all winter. And also socks, definitely. Enjoying old seasons of Six Feet Under.
K: nursing less (plugged duct/infection to show for that), talking more, daddy-love all the time, can spend long periods at the kitchen sink playing, never forgets his vitamin.
R: scared of the dark and shadows, enjoying the Baha'i children's class - he does so well in situations like this - so compliant and joiner-y, but in a cooperative, contributing way, very different from at home, where we still experience daily surprises. Learning letters, is remarkably quick to understand simple arithmetic, has had a cold for weeeeeks. Will not blow his nose ever. Planning to be Jedi for Halloween.
JJ: writing a 4-page story for school, starting a tumbling class at X YMCA with his friend E, spending a lot of other time with same seemingly-best friend, although he assures me his "group" at school consists of about 14 friends :-)
J: still struggling with sleep, working with AR weekly on amazing sculptures, worked last weekend at her studio for the studio tour, maintaining As and Bs.
J and JJ's team finished in 2nd place in rec league soccer this fall - it was SO close! They tied and went into penalty kicks. Great to see the brothers on the same team again - it's been years since they happened to be in the same age groupings for soccer.
E: traveling more than we'd all like, seems to be weathering the financial situation at work, enjoying participating at the Baha'i Center, listening to Marshall Rosenberg, watching the bizarre foods and fighting shows, cleared out our shed (yay!).
A: injured back, trying out a new meal routine - repetitive but much easier to maintain, enjoying the NVC group and Threshold Choir, absolutely cannot keep up with laundry, setting goals to hang curtains and art by J's birthday, planning to offer some community service in the form of computer help for seniors, considering whether to homeschool with R next year - kindergarten age.
Spinning/knitting: still working on red sweater, spinning about every other day for 20-30 min. Finished these bullseye mittens a couple weeks ago - yes, the color combo is just as horrid in person.
make meal plan to repeat weekly - this is going to be a long process but I am determined to find some meals that are healthier than pancakes and bacon or our version of tuna casserole (the two things that they'll all eat) and that at least 5 out of 6 of us like. Help with suggestions please.
I know it's time to change things up when the boys literally do not set foot in the play room for days on end. Things were messy, there were too many things, and we hadn't moved the furniture around since we moved in - 9 months and nearly a record for us! We are always moving things around...
The shelves had been coming out from the wall so toys could be reached from either side, and a cozy spot was behind. Now they're just up against the wall, which makes the room seem more spacious and prevents the blocks from falling through.
Love those squirrel pillows. Love you, new goodwill store.
Ikea bins, meant for CDs I think... much better for sets of toys with small pieces like barrels of monkeys and lacing cards.
Overall, a very successful reintroduction of the boys to their play things.
I've aways wanted a nice bed of lily of the valley on the side of my house like my Grandma had when I was young. The quiche was yummy (enough to be eaten cold by Ryan the next day), and the garden is still fine although the rabbits ate every single small green tomato about 5 minutes after we planted my one big plant with fruit already.