2 Learning how to do the double carrick bend sennet from a stone mason who also knows a lot about boating! We made it a special mission this day to get to the bottom of this knot so Sam could make a belt.
3 Snuggling with Daddy in front of the fire.
4 Popping out to scare Gramma!
5 Benji wanted to show us how he can bike with ONE HAND!
11 A trip to the Seattle Aquarium
12 Ferry breakfast!
14 First of what I hope will be an annual picture of my men so we can see how big the boys are getting compared to Daddy!
15 For my brother :)
16 A beautiful, sunny day in Seattle!
17 Pike Place Market still has its Christmas finery on.
20 Everyone was so beat on the way home!
21 What I look like after working all day outside on the "farm" :)
22 Dave thought this was an especially cute look. A Euro/Flashdance/Lumberjack look. I was chopping and stacking wood.
23 My dear friends in Saratoga New York called me on New Year's Day!
30 MOMMY managed to break a window with a rogue football kick!
31 So I'm learning to glaze with my assistants :)
33 Taking some family pictures in our Skene tartans :)
34 Nice shot of our photographer friend!
35 The marble runs are intricate. Sam builds them from pictures on the box. Sometimes he can detect when they're just slightly off and gets very upset. I told him that grown-ups have a very hard time stepping back from their work and being critical, so that is a very good skill. The key is to not get so upset that you can't discern what the problem is. He should be very proud that he can detect flaws, because that is the first step in mastery.
36 And some gear creations made just before bed.
37 Ben's castle is a huge hit. They are reading and listening to the story of David and Goliath right now, so battles are figuring prominently in Ben's play and imagination. Can you see anyone peeking out?
38 Gave myself a haircut!
39 I rather like it!
40 Dave took this one when he came home. He didn't know I'd done it myself. Now that he knows, he won't rave about it because he doesn't want to condone such behavior.
41 A box robot complete with mouth port for feeding.
42 Out on a bike/jog!
43 Determined to do hills on his own :)
44 I keep a list of what we need on a white board then take a picture of it to go to the market.
45 Out on a hike with another gal and her kids after school. Found a "hidden" pond not on maps.
47 Sam's tree that he planted two months ago.
48 And Ben's.
49 The mulch pile is always fun!
50 Showing Dad his first ever paper - topic was The Sun. It is 511 words. He dictated it to me.
51 Peering in at Dave preparing some hot chocolate for the boys on their first morning with snow flakes!
52 Can you see them coming down?
53 Reminds me of 6 years ago in Poulsbo, showing Sam his first flakes :)
54 There they are!
55 Chickens say - huh?
56 Now showing Ben, too :)
59 The next morning it'd gotten cold enough for it to stick. We were all so happy! When the first flakes came down on Sat morning (yesterday), Sam and I had been out playing football and we noticed them on our collars.
60 Sam and Ben peering out from their room on Sunday morning, noticing a BLANKET of snow!
62 This was a precious moment - he had already gotten his boots and gloves on first thing in the morning to help me with the chickens and see the snow. He beat me to getting outside. When I got on the porch, here he was, in a moment of quiet, enjoying the flakes.
63 First snow ball :)
65 Trying to see them coming down.
66 Merlin has been frisky lately. He hasn't liked it when Sam picks up Holly Ramona. He pecked Sam's leg and flapped his wings. I think Merlin sees Sam as another rooster and is protecting his hen. I told Sam that one day he, too, will go through a period of real friskiness when he is emerging into manhood. I think I see glimpses of that already.
67 Sam has a pretty good spiral already. Working on kicking and catching. It is such fun to play with him!
68 A wallk in the woods with the dramatic king. Ben is just too much. Here he is walking with his finger on his chin, pretending like he doesn't want to come in the woods with us, but actually he does. This guy...
69 Flakes caught on a leaf!
70 The leaves are crunchy - frozen under our feet. It was 28 last night.
71 The house dozing.
72 The big big maple where the raccoon liked to sleep in the summer.
73 Hi Ben!
74 Ben and Daddy on a walk in the woods before French toast breakfast.
75 Another moment caught unawares. Marching back with Daddy to the house.
76 The spirograph mom and Richard found for Christmas is such a great present. This one dates to 1967. They managed to find an original. I love it! There are drawings from a kid 40 years ago (or maybe only 3 yrs but I prefer to think the original drawings were made long ago and that child is now perhaps a parent). Sam and my drawings are in the foreground, the vintage ones on the original paper in the background. Here again, Sam gets very upset with imperfection. It presented another teaching moment - that we are all imperfect, and yet God loves us, and we love each other despite our flaws. The flaws actually remind me of the difficulty in striving for perfection - how pretty is a perfect creation really? A bit boring I think. When you see a pen go off course once it reminds you of the care that had to be taken to create every flawless orbit.
77 Making the cover of his birthday invitation.
78 Later in the afternoon it snowed and snowed! The temperature dropped 8 degrees in as many minutes!
79 Snowing again!
80 The woods are so pretty in the snow.
81 This is our backyard - the fern glen.
82 Looking back toward the car port and house.
83 Dave trying to get me with a snow ball :)
84 I'm in with the chickens looking out at Ben :)
108 Buying some snow gear :)
109 Out at Battle Pt park for some saucering!
110 The monkey's fist knot. Great stopper knot for necklaces, bracelets, and a good weight for a heaving line. See next video.
111 Explaining how to heave a line!
112 Dave did a lot of organizing work over the holiday weekend. These cubes on top of our organizer were filled with select pictures from our 10 years together. Quite a project to sift through, choose, and print. Thank you, Dave!
113 Out on a hike with Ben on Tuesday as the snow keeps coming!
114 He would like this little picnic area to be where he has his 4th birthday party.
115 I agree - great idea!
116 Ben would like his cake to be about 12" in cube shape (1 cubic foot), blue, with purple B on top, white icing between layers of chocolate cake. Think I can remember that?
118 Looking out at a container ship. He built one out of Legos later in the evening.
121 It rains more than snows here, so we are in layer upon layer, topped with water-proof shell. I have gotten some grief for making him look like a rubber duck, but hey it's expensive to outfit in snow gear, even at consignment stores!
122 Cleaning Daddy's car off :)
123 Out on sleds going down to a neighborhood trail where there will be some hills.
124 Can you see the sheep? Center of frame there are two.
126 More trails!
128 Excellent for X country skiing later. I am in HEAVEN!
129 Checking the phone for work related info.
130 Ben takes a turn on the saucer in a natural amphitheater. Which means I am spotting so he doesn't run into a tree!
131 Dave's turn :)
132 Walking back home now so we can refuel and get my X country skis out.
133 Ooops! Boys are NOT used to having cold faces and hands.
134 But they are loving the snow. Sam especially. He is always gung ho for anything. Ben tends to be dramatic until he gets over whatever it was that took him by surprise.
135 Mommy is so so so happy to be out with snowflakes on her face and her boys with her. Wanting to move back to Upstate NY now so this is right outside our door all the time.
136 Apparently this is an epic storm. No snow at all last year. First freezing rain event layered over snow since 1996. First real accumulation since 2008. But I haven't read much on the stats - have been out all day playing!
137 This is a good workout - over a mile uphill!
138 Another snow day?! Wow!
139 Out on skis now! I have some funny mental images of me grabbing blackberry bushes for dear life before sailing into a tree. These are not X Country ski trails. They are ungroomed hilly single track trails with lots of opportunity for great fun if you happen to be coordinated and know how to steer your skis (I can't quite remember)! I haven't been on skis in 10 years, but it was SOOOO much fun! I was just laughing and laughing, even when I toppled into a ditch at the very end of my run. As I was untangling myself from blackberry and crossed skis, a car went by. I am sure they were wondering what the heck I was laughing about! I had been out all day hauling boys on the sled, fueling up with a bowl of soup and half a beer, then back out, just deliriously happy to be in the snow again. It is so peaceful and beautiful, the cool flakes on your warm face from working so hard. All our northeast hiking gear works really great here - totally warm and dry. You can go for hours with right gear. I just should have eaten more maybe and I wouldn't have toppled over :)
140 Snow man!
142 Neat mail box, don't you think?
145 The top of Lovgreen hill!
146 Off to go sledding!
147 This pickup truck shuttled kids from the bottom back up to the top!
148 Off we go! I am nervous!
149 We made it! A bunch of 360s all the way down at 20+ mph!
150 Another guy on his way down.
151 Out on a crazy jaunt with mom to measure just how big Lovgreen hill is - the one we sled down the day before.
152 We have GPS in hand and measured top to bottom - 219 feet change in elevation!
153 This shirt reminded me of a dear friend :) She loved it :)
154 Ben made this design and said it was a hand. I totally see it!
155 Eating school lunch after visiting Sam. He was SO thrilled about the apple, the applesauce, the potato, everything. He told Dad all about it.
156 A tea party with school district personnel to talk about the new STEM program. Mom, see the amaryllis?