Tuesday, December 15, 2009

He's got the 'stache.

Gabe bought himself a mustache at the quarter vending machine at the start of our busy Tuesday shopping, ballet, and library day. He enjoyed the chuckles and comments, and concluded at the end of the day that the general public thought he was pretty cool.


Lydia had the opportunity to dance to Tchaikovsky's music in the Nutcracker this year as a porcelain doll with her Ballet 2 class.

Gingerbread House

Grandma and Grandpa came to visit and help out for a few days. Gabe and Lydia fulfilled their gingerbread candy house fantasy with the Costco kit and Grandma. They refrained from the general temptation to eat the candies until Mom was absent, attending her "Nutritional Therapy" class the next day, and found a noticeably undressed house upon her return. The house went on the highest shelf for the rest of its exhibition. You can see Gabe was tempted with the idea of demolition and ingestion right away.

Monday, December 7, 2009


While Mom was busy with other things, Gabe developed his idea of a little tree business. This idea grew from his earlier venture to bring in a Christmas tree. As he had started to cut down the little seedling, he came up with the idea of digging it up and repotting it. I was pleased when he brought the live tree idea onto the front porch. I got out a planter for him to replace the initial pot. He then proceeded to decorate and redecorate that little tree in lights and chains, and ornaments of different sorts about five times. Then today he brought another tree for the porch. My enthusiasm waned for digging up baby trees, and I thought I communicated that sentiment to Gabe, but evidently not. As I was taking apart, cleaning, and reassembling a gas fireplace, Gabe had potted four more trees and was making his for sale sign which he posted at the bottom of the drive.

Chimes and Lights

Small Town Tradition that we have enjoyed three years in a row.

We joined the community crowd on the chilly night for the chimes, band, sing-a-long and lighting of the Christmas tree at city hall and lights everywhere including the festive boats in the marina as pictured with bonfire in the foreground. The crowd followed jolly Santa through town as he waved and smiled from the top of a vintage yellow fire engine, before he and Mrs. Claus disembarked to the waiting sleigh and the children lining up.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Three Year Home

This next year holds lots of unknowns, but we know we must say goodbye to this house. I have been involved in every painstaking detail of this house, and it proved a wonderful home, in warmth, light, attractiveness, and ability to embrace family, even the four footed kind, big family, and more families graciously. I don't expect to have a house quite like this again. I'm just glad that "home is where the heart is" and that hearts are mobile.
So this house is in need of a New Homeowner! Anyone desiring a home with an extravagant view on the Kitsap Peninsula, please refer them to us!

Thanks Giving!

This Thanksgiving we celebrated plenty with thankful hearts. May I remember to give thanks in every thing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lydia is Six

Now that Lydia is six, she and Mom were just marveling over the milestones or new achievements.

Left to Their Own Amusement

I have over 10,000 plus digital photos in my IPhoto that I have not done anything with, and it stresses me out in those not so rare moments that out of control life confronts me. So even though I had twelve other things more important to be doing, I spent an afternoon, making my first ever photo book online to be mailed to me in hard copy this next week. In this digital age, I have fears that one day all those digital images are going to be gone, "poof" with no back up. My kids won't even have the unsorted shoe boxes of photos to delve into let alone albums. Maybe my kids will always be able to delve into the digital folders, especially if I faithfully burn discs or back up with external hard drive, etc. But 10,000 plus photos is already out of control! Anyway, meanwhile, Gabe and Lydia asked me take a few minutes and teach them how to make paper boats as seen in The Dangerous Book for Boys, and I was taken back into my childhood days of paper folding. Gabe and Lydia learned successfully by the evidence of a plethora of boats. They asked if they could paint, and I said, "Yeah, watercolors." They folded and painted to their hearts' content. They sailed their boats. I heard there was a horrendous mess in the bathroom with colors and soggy paper fragments that they couldn't deal with. I refused to look. Ends up they had used numerous tablets of Crayola bathtub water dye that we had had for many years. They wanted a deep blue ocean and ended up with a deep blue tub and a mass of wet paper pulp that they were afraid to touch because it looked like vomit. Marshal rescued them with assistance and Arm and Hammer (baking soda). I fortunately only got the pretty sight of water color boats on the stair as well as their drying dough art on the table.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Wonder of Heelys

Yesterday Gabe mastered skating on Heelys and tying his shoes! He and Dad bought these out of a close out bin over a year ago at Big 5. It took a little girl, Bella, at Lydia's ballet studio to inspire Gabe to dig them out of the closet. It was time to skate! This was also a great motivator in tying shoes. Mom only stooped to teach him how to tie them himself. It is a phenomena of our present culture that kids don't have to learn to tie shoes. The only mandatory occasion to tie has been soccer shoe laces, and those occasions did not give way to teachable moments! Anytime we are going out the door, we are in 5 minutes late, adrenaline pumping mode in our household. So we finally had the occasion and the motivator for shoe tying. Learning to tie was as slick as learning to glide! Lydia learned to tie too, because big brother turns impossibilities into possibilities in a heartbeat. I knew she would tie her shoes if Gabe could, and I was right.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Late October Birthday

Lydia had a very "Happy Birthday." Daddy came home early on a Friday afternoon to join Grandpa and Grammy for present opening and carving pumpkins.

Spiderman practices his guitar for Wednesday lessons. Costumes were on clearance this day, so Gabe talked Mom into the long wished for suit. Lydia also chose a purple ball gown with hoops for dress up play.

Six year old birthday girl! She designed and helped Mom meet the cake specs!

Lydia Smiles!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gabe and Sheba

Fall Colors

'Tis the season of color again. I just can't capture the full effect with the distant hills and sky.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blowing out the Birthday Candles

October Birthday Buddies

We celebrated the birth of our first borns, Gabe and Ezekiel, October birthdays this week!Our 8 year old!

Big 3 wearing the "Ikea" birthday hat!

Blowing out the candles!

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Big Brother Ezekiel" and Cousins

Ezekiel loves to wrestle with Gabe and keep up with cousins Gabe and Lydia together. We can't get enough time together, and the partings bring voice to the sad emotions, "I don't want them to go." "We don't want to go!"

Meeting Silas

Marshal took the family on a weekend overnight to meet our newest nephew, Silas Benjamin, two weeks old today. When I take time to hold a newborn, I can't help but marvel at his individuality, forever unique body and soul, in the image of God, with the breath of Him that gave him life. Silas is lean, muscular, and strong. He sleeps contentedly in long stretches. He snuggles into your shoulder and sucks his little fist when hungry. He stretches and pushes his little feet when cradled like he wants to hold himself erect, his neck, back, and legs straight and taut. He prefers to avoid eye contact, but then he'll grace you with gazing eyes in a peaceful study, as I caught him looking at Grammy from her lap below.

Winter Pansy

I yanked out the leggy petunias on the deck and planted winter pansies in the pots for Fall. I thought this pansy was such a golden representative of the season. The setting sun enhanced its colors that evening.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating Names and Birthday

Gabe and Lydia welcome and celebrate the birth of another cousin this week! Congratulations to Uncle Caleb, Aunt Katie, and cousin Ezekiel for the awesome birth of a son and little brother!

Crossing the Atlantic

Making wind and sailing three vessels across the Atlantic Ocean.

Thankfully, we weren't rewriting history, for the sinking of the NiƱa brought tears enough at the edge of the tub.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to School

We've had year round school, you could say, as our schedule was a bit lax last year; but we brought our 1st grade year to a close mid August so that we had a three week break. We are back into school full-swing since post Labor Day Tuesday. We are excited and enjoying the second grade "Adventures in My Father's World" with the theme of U.S. History and Geography. We have doubled our hours in the barrage of subjects: Bible, Spelling, History, Science, English, Reading, Math.... We finish each day with an art lesson, and the week with a Charlotte Mason inspired nature walk. Ballet for Lydia, Guitar for both, and Soccer for Gabe round out our week. Then I take myself to school this Saturday for a year long course in Nutritional Therapy offered at Seattle Central Community College. Whew! Learning is fun!An Art lesson in straight lines.
I delight to see the spontaneous creativity of my son as demonstrated in his boat. He put the boat together, on his own, in the "in between" times. He picked up the little wooden base at the Labor Day weekend rummage sale with a vision in his head. ...Just like his Grammy.

I inspire to be better about "Nature Walks" this year. We embarked on our first organized walk of the school year Friday afternoon. We didn't make progress on the journals, but boy did the kids successfully enlist Dad to create some smokin' sling shots!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer Spider

I took this photo through the side window panel that frames the front door. This spider spun her web here, and Gabe adopted her as a sort of pet. He trapped small live flies and ants in his bug vac and then released them into her web for days, watching her encase them in silk and appreciatively suck their nourishment. She is a sign that the summer days are closing quickly and we are moving into the fall flurry of webs and spiders everywhere.

Growing up!

Marshal commented on how his kids are growing up.

Liddy and Tirza
Lydia asked if Tirza could be her dog since the arrival of the new puppy. We are all one family, but it is nice that she has voluntarily taken more responsibility of Tirza's care.

A young hen, hand raised as a chick, allowed petting and holding at a neighboring small homestead of a friend. Lydia and Gabe had the chance to ride bareback on a chestnut mare that day. Lydia was so excited to ride and had dreamed many hours of owning her own pony. Alas, she found herself allergic to the horse! We had to hurry home for a dose of oral liquid benadryl to calm her chest pain after she'd washed and calmed the sneezing, snot and sore throat attack! Mercy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Puppy Parenting Update

Sheba is growing everyday like puppies do, heavier, stronger, more coordinated, more inexhaustible energy, curious and quick to learn. She potties outside 99% of the time, sits on command, gets away with jumping and nipping Lydia exclusively, and only goes after the magazines, baskets, chair legs, and rug corners for chew toys tentatively. You say her name and she runs back to her own blanket with its stash of toys that she keeps rounded up possessively.

Sheba's a good dog!