1 Mom found this on someone else's blog - a hike with space-a friend Kristi and her kids (we had an unforgettable 12 hour flight on a C5 together). She is such a dear person - she has just published a book. You can get details at www.kristiwoods.net. See Ben on the harness? Mom says that's why he's still alive. Sam is only 4 here.
2 Benji on his sick day, enjoying the fire. This is the stomach bug that doesn't quit! I was doing some data analysis at the same time, moving between hurling and analyzing, more hurling and towel tossing, then writing. Unreal. Dave was in the office trying to sleep the bug off. I was tracking the washer part from Alabama hoping it'd arrive the next day. It did, thankfully.
3 Out on a hike on Thursday, several days after his stomach bug. Still recovering - pretty tired, but game for a nice hike and reporting in on more blow-down, like this. A friend of mine joined us on the trail for a hike meeting to talk about volunteer work she's doing at the school - enrichment program work. Really nice to have such interesting and dedicated friends. And a trail buddy who doesn't mind grown-up talk too too much!
4 Dave and many others in his office were honored with an award for service in Japan during Operation Tomodashi (following the earthquake and tsunami).
5 A nice Friday afternoon! That madrona is super hard to split. Sam and I worked and worked at one the day before. I worked on it literally for 45 min I think while Ben chased chickens. We marked the wedge with chalk to see if it went down at all with each 20 strikes. Nope. I think it actually bounced out a bit! So we finally had to go in because it got dark. We decided Krugs Don't Quit, and we'd be back, even if it took us 100 days, we'd get it. The next day we came out and in 20 swings it was done!
6 Helping my big man with this heavy axe. This is not my Halloween costume, although it certainly could be next year, do you tihink? Those are safety glasses, in case you were wondering.
7 Do you see me bending the axe? I'm a superhero!
9 Can you read this? It says a little about what he did.
10 We all went to the award ceremony at a restaurant in Bremerton. Dave was very nice to invite his family to come along. He does not like to be a spectacle and is very humble regarding awards.
11 Daddy and Ben at Dave's award ceremony - Kathy just sent the picture to me. Thank you Kathy!
12 Daddy serving up farm breakfast. We have a little routine - the boys and I go out and do the weekly chicken chores (clean water, refill feed, clean coop) while Dave prepares eggs and pancakes for breakfast!
13 Then we come in cold and hungry!
14 Sweet boys! We chomped down then headed out for a hike.
16 Sam practicing The Star Spangled Banner. He's been working on this for a month and has gradually mastered not only the notes, but the time signature for each note. He's really been working hard. Monday he's playing it for his class during their music time.
17 Dave and his peanut gallery :) Now this is how you chop wood. But I am not strong enough to use the sharp side. I have to use the wedge :( It takes me a long long time!
18 Naughty Merlin! What are you doing up there!?
19 On our way to the Veteran's Day Assembly. Sam will be playing the national anthem on his guitar.
20 This is the video of Sam playing! Please note the young man who had the presence of mind to stand and salute!!! Amazing.
21 Our principal introducing Sam. Ben watching with Grownup Eagle.
22 Matt doing a short presentation. More coverage on what he had to say on the Nov 9, 2011 post.
23 The kids doing a presentation.
24 Loading up 127 pounds of candy to ship to the troops!
25 Walking home. What a great parade.
26 Sam doing bike jumps!
27 Wow - great job. First day of jumps. They get more elaborate every day.
30 Ben was playing Star Spangled Banner on the electric guitar - pretending to be Jimi Hendrix.
31 Out to Grand Forest with Daddy for a hike/bike/jog!
32 My big guy biking while I jog!
33 Daddy pointing out something interesting :)
34 A cool bridge. Walking because it is slippery!
35 More bike jumps after getting back from Grand Forest. He can't get enough!
36 I try a few after Sam, so that hopefully I can learn with him.
37 Here I am!
38 Catching some serious air there, big guy!
39 Another variation. Sam's Tito Pig (Uncle Doug) provided some advice on staying alive over jumps...
41 Now really going fast!
42 And then from there on to our trails for a spin.
45 Preschool for Ben. He loves noise and action, so we pound letters and numbers. Hey - I do what I can with the guy. He is a hard one to educate! He plays dumb because it's funny. Then he comes out with stuff that tells you his brain is alive and well in there.
46 Working on focus, concentration, and deriving satisfaction from a job well done...not from an extrinsic reward. He did this puzzle ALL on his own. It's a tricky one. Took 15 minutes of concentration.
47 Mommy tried her hand at making calzones for dinner one night. Crowd-pleaser that was!
48 Sam (the blur) teaching Ben how to read. Sam is a very emphatic teacher, if you know what I mean. I hope he didn't get that from me, but the odds are, he did. Oops.
49 "Now, Ben! Blend it together - CCC AAAA RRRR!"
50 The finished product.
51 Talking to Gramma! Marching around the house with her held hostage.
52 Looking at turkeys!
53 This is Jim Trainer showing the boys all sorts of very intersting forest-related facts. This is a cougar paw. We are out at a tree planting.
54 This is a "treeture" - Jim is a colorful character. Such a nice guy.
55 There is a flying squirrel, and in the back of the truck in a big black box is a real eagle nest with an egg in it!
56 Bear-related items!
57 Eagle claw! They have velcro-like stuff on the skins on the bottom of their claws to help them grab fish.
58 The eagle egg!
59 You know Ben loves eagles. So he did his eagle call for everyone. It was a real hit. This is Ben's tree!
60 And Sam's tree - the bucket used to water the tree.
61 Now it's mulch-pile time. Man did they have fun! Like a snow pile, but warm mulch!
62 Up and down, face plants, dirty faces, log rolling, laughing and squealing with a crowd of kid and parent onlookers wondering what kind of rogue mother would allow such frolicking. Believe me, though, I made sure we weren't too much of a nuisance.
63 Funny boys!
64 Doing a "water slide"!
65 Finally luring them away with a granola bar, only to lose them to the pile again!
66 Then to the Farmer's Market where Sam was allowed to play our friend Larry's guitar.
67 He did Star Spangled Banner wonderfully despite sleeves in the way of his anchor arm :) Larry is a wonderful, warm-spirited person who encourages everyone. He is a joy to be around - aloha certainly alive and well!
68 Hauling lots of gifts to a gift exchange where you bring gently used items and get "giving bucks" in return which you can spend the following day. I had this idea to start and pitched it to a consignment store in Oct, but they didn't have time to act on it. So I was totally thrilled when another mom on the Island organized it in November! The boys donated their giving bucks to another family.
69 Getting ready to do weekend chicken chores.
70 What a spread for them for holiday breakfast!
71 My helpers!
72 Matt and Melodie, Tres and Jenni over for dinner during the Thanksgiving weekend. We always have so much fun with them. Missing from the usual gang are Neil Hoffman and Josh and Angela Taylor.
73 "Happy hour" ya yas being worked out with box jumps, running, chase, pushups, weights and all manner of nonsense which should not be documented for Daddy to see.
74 Here comes Sam! One-legged hopping over the stool jump.
75 Now cartwheels! Socks on to facilitate spinning like the Nutcracker ballet dancers.
76 A lot of thudding. And me watching carefully due to proximity to fire.
77 Why do we need to launch from the stool?
82 A collage of good times in the last month, plus a few oldies I just love too much (the one where we are wearing short sleeves should be a hint!).