1 Half mast for Memorial Day. You're supposed to do that until noon, then raise it again.
2 Sam has been busy into knot tying again.
3 Our pea pods are growing!
4 Here is a young pullet egg vs an older hen egg. This is HollyRamona's egg on the right. I didn't know it would be the last egg I collected from her, sweet girl. She started laying very infrequently (about once a month) and double-yokers, when she came out of fall molt.
5 Can you see in the middle of this dock, sitting up on the railing, an eagle couple talking in the early morning light?
6 This is up on Port Madison where I was running before taking Sam to school. Just after taking this picture I spotted a raccoon trundling across the road. It was Wild Kingdom time!
7 Can you see the dear right in the middle of the picture, heading into the woods from our driveway?
8 The gravel pile continues to be great fun!
9 This is a fence style I like. Snapped it while out on a run early one morning.
10 Sheep shearing on a farm field trip! That sure was interesting. They are pretty calm if they're upside down. Works for boys, and chickens, too.
11 The cows were a real treat to see up close. They were very friendly!
12 Look who surprised us with a visit! Gramma!
13 Ben at Bay Hay having an apple fritter. Just love his little feet, all crossed.
14 Now the top side :) Yes, he readily chomps this whole thing down!
15 French lessons! We enjoy trying to work on our pronunciation, then listen to it play back. I say it into Ben's neck and he laughs hysterically. Then we play it back and you can see his laughter spike on the little audiogram display.
16 Playing with Gramma while I work!
17 Mom is nuts! That is little Gordon up there! He nested quite happily. Don't worry he had just pooped (I forget where - somehow it must have gotten on me because I knew that he had).
18 Aren't they cute, looking at each other? Gordon is Ben's birthday arrival.
19 Beak to Beak, Ben says.
20 HollyRamona out for a little special recess time with us, getting snacks. This time apple snacks from McD's. Why is it so hard to get into the healthy stuff, yet there's no ripping into the fries? I literally could not get the apples open!
22 Those purple flowers on the peas turned into PODS! How cool! This strain is from peas cultivated in the 1500s by Capuchin monks. Isn't that cool? I couldn't resist.
23 I've been filling this vase with cuttings as we prune.
24 Mom enjoyed seeing all the colors :)
25 We found this huge rock and the boys loved digging it up then trying to hammer it apart. Yes, they had safety glasses on! This rock is 120 lbs! We brought the scale out and weighed it. In masonry language, this is called a one-man rock. Takes one man to move. Yup. I'd agree with that! It was HARD to move!
26 Getting ready to go to war - testing all the equipment for Friday's water gun war! There's Gramma, too!
27 What are they up to?
28 Ben just kept quietly filling, and filling, and filling. He is such a big boy.
29 Oh boy - an after-dinner war has ensued! I love having neighbor kids!
30 These two got SOAKED! But were so happy!
33 This is one of Sam's favorite songs. He LOVES to sing. I hope he doesn't kill me for posting this?
34 I made a welcome-home arrangement for Dave who was in DC.
35 Sweet HollyRamona on her last recess. Sweet sweet girl passed away that night, surprising us all with her quick departure. We lost you too soon, sweet girl, but you sure made an impact on all of us! Tribute note to her on the blog on 6/15/12 post. Her first mommy, Tijen, came by today to pick up eggs (fertile ones) for her broody hen, and to lay a flower on HollyRamona's resting place.
36 First day of summer - no school - and Sam made an ocean mat using his knot book. Thanks to our friend Blaik in Hawaii - there have been many good knots made from this found book!
37 Then off to a big build at the library - making marble runs! We ran into some friends from school there, too.
38 It was MADNESS! The kids are so intense!
39 Then to swim lessons, then to Wal-Mart to stock up on fun stuff like pool noodles for huge sword fights, flashlights for reading at night after I tuck Sam in, batteries for robots...etc. Oh and some WarHeads candy. You'll see evidence of that later, too. This is at Jack-in-the-Box for lunch. Late lunch. Then home to work for me.
42 Awww, mom.
44 Our Houdini approach to changing after swim lessons. The three family dressing rooms are always jammed. I drape the towel across several doors and Sam tucks his head into the locker to get some extra room. We're in and outta there much faster.
45 Peas from our garden! The purple ones are from a seedline developed by Capuchin monks in the 1500s. I couldn't resist.
46 Mindstorms arrived on Tuesday!!! Sam got the little robot built up right away and is busy learning how to program it using Richard's old Vaio laptop. Glad we still have that to use! Thanks, Richard!
47 Gordon out for a little spin :)
48 He is so cute!
49 This is how our mail often arrives, perched, in the rain. We are not sure what to think about our sweet mail lady. Sometimes it's in the woods.
50 At Ben's first gymnastics class! He is the guy furthest to the right. The other two are little girls.
51 Log rolling.
52 He was pretty good at everything and really warmed up to it quickly.
53 Bear crawl!
54 Tutoring time. I tutor three times a week. With two boys home, it's more like the frontier school I have been dreaming of. It's been a very busy week. I also worked 19 hours on a project for an MD/MPH/PhD in Kazakhstan. Plus tutoring, and playing with boys, and swimming lessons, and chicken tending...and being sick.
55 Saturday - work out in the yard to finish some projects with the boys. All three of them. Ok - all four. If Gordon is really a boy.
56 Chicken preschool! Learning how to scratch in a safe environment, and get used to the cooler weather outside their heat lamp home.
58 So cute!
59 Shoveling 8 cubic yards of dirt around an area cleared by R&R Landscaping. They did a great job on the clearing and the rock wall you can barely see!
60 We shoveled the 8 cubic yards in only 2 hours. Amazing.
61 Then off to the pool for some swim practice for both boys. That was after Dave made the most fabulous grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch. I was in HEAVEN. It's my favorite thing to get starving out working in the yard, then have that for lunch.
62 I am on Mom's short list of calls if anything happens. So I took a picture of this and put it in my wallet.
63 More tide pool time...these are funny green creatures!
64 A habitat for a crab in Sam's hand. Actually I think there are 5 or 6 crabs in there!
65 The ferry is leaving for Seattle!
66 Big crab!
69 Sam is marching around with a crab family in his hands!
72 More yard work! All that you see here is new!
73 Ah yes, the Daddy garden and park bench :)
74 See the bench at the end of the walkway?
75 And grown-up fire pit :)
76 Ewww! A big fat tick!
77 Why not stop at the fire dept and see what the EMTs say about a white tick. I had not seen one of those before so I wasn't 100% sure it was even a tick. We finally got it out with some scissors and some leverage. That thing was really buried in. It pulled Ben's skin when we pulled it out. Look at his funny face!
78 They were so nice, and thought it was a good training exercise for everyone since they had not gotten a tick out yet this season. (Because who in their right mind would bother them at lunch for a tick?) Little Ben is pointing to where the tick is.
79 To the library for a session with Orion the owl. We stayed after the talk to see up close. Her beak is open because she's a little stressed with all the people.
80 Then to Wilkes - Sam's school - which is being demolished in order to build a new one (currently under construction). We might possibly have nabbed a few bricks to give to friends.
82 Out on a hike. This dock is pretty wobbly. Kinda interesting to walk on!
83 Found the geocache!
85 Good job, Ben!
87 Ben loves to dig in his garden area.
88 Sam is out journaling one morning in his jammies. Looking up at the sky. So cute.
89 I sneaked around via the woods to spy on him.
90 He didn't know I was here.
91 Until this second!
92 This is his view from the rock.
94 Ben likes these flowers.
95 This is a special rose plant from Wes and Denise, friends of friends, who are now friends. THANK YOU!
96 I love these flowers! Reminds me of Santa Fe every time.
97 Uh oh! Those noodles I bought at WalMart are coming after me! We had an all-out war!
99 I'll protect you, mom!
100 Funny moment caught on camera :)
104 I am having so much fun with them this summer.
105 All boy, all motion, all the time!
106 Ben is laughing really hard!
108 "Belly meat! Belly meat!"
109 Got it!
116 Try bopping the camera and see what kind of picture you end up getting...not bad!
117 This is a cute way to keep animals out of a garden.
121 Sam is programming AlphaRex!
122 See him moving around now? This was a lot of effort but very rewarding!