1 This is the right side of the list. As you go to the right, your sugar:protein ratio gets closer to 1:1, although none come any closer than about 2:1. So from Special K to the right, the boys know they can grab any of these at any time. In the previous picture, those are "holiday" cereals - once in a blue moon. My aim was to keep a picture of these cereals on my phone so I could consult it when in the market. But really it's just as easy to look at that sugar:protein ratio and whether "whole grain" leads the ingredient list. We had SO much fun doing this. We missed our hair appointment because we were in the cereal aisle at least 20 min. We met a really funny, nice lady who was trying to grab a "naughty" cereal until she saw what we were doing. She still wanted her Crunchberries but we had a good laugh over what was in my basket - a huge tray of COOKIES! At the end, you know what Sam did with these boxes...yup - dominoes! Then we put them back.
2 This was a fun little project (see this picture and next). We lined up cereal boxes from left to right, naughtiest to best choice. We got all the boxes down that we usually eat, and then added the ones the boys beg for. We then compared grams of sugar, protein and ingredients - where was whole grain in the list, what about sugar? #1 on list? #3? We ordered the cereals by their sugar:protein ratio. This involved some fractions - is 11:2 better or worse than 8:4?
3 Clearing trails! You have to give Ben a VERY wide berth with tools. He swings this thing like a golf club. I was in fear for my nose or neck! Sam, on the other hand, can be trusted even with a machete now.
4 A little chillin' time on the night before school starts.
5 "Hey Mom! Watch this!"
6 Just horsin' around :) Isn't this a nice look? Maybe for the meet and greet at school?
7 A visit to the Strawberry Park "spider web" where we all enjoyed sitting up in this eyrie.
9 We're pretty high!
11 Made me a little nervous until I was able to watch them get used to this for a bit. Aren't they cute?
12 Taking a nap :) We prayed together for their school year while up there at the top of the spider web.
13 Nice nap! :)
14 Then to yogurt in Lynwood Center (south end of island). We were so hungry that Ben and I even got seconds!!! I was cold to the CORE afterwards. Thought maybe that was a good way to herald the coming of winter. Get cold to your core inside to get used to it.
15 Candles made from our seaglass collection.
16 This is Ben's brown glass collection with crystals from the Rock Ranch in Spokane, and some petrified wood, too. Very pretty.
17 This is Sam's green glass collection, with some peridotite from his mine in there, too. He also included crystals and peacock ore from the Rock Ranch. Very cool!
18 All three on the table to keep their memories of summer warm and close.
19 Collecting sea glass for HOURS! We were literally on our bellies finding glass and whooping each time we found one, then trading who got it. Sam was interested in green, Ben wanted brown and I got clear.
20 I also got a huge claw!
21 The animals were putting on a speech from the top bunk. An assembly of sorts, at school. Eagle and Pythie started, then "Potty Beak" went - he is a penguin with a naughty penchant for bathroom talk.
22 Daddy trying to relax a bit :)
23 The finished beds with nice shelves installed by Daddy on the walls. They are spice racks and do a good job of holding books and reading lights.
24 We love love these bunk beds built by a craftsman in Port Ludlow who is retired from the marine industry.
25 First day of school for Sam! Looking so handsome and so tall! We love you, Sam!
26 Another shot. I wonder if we'll be able to keep taking pictures by this magnolia each year :)
27 Ben LOVES his new blue shoes. He runs SO fast in them that he is a blur! Can you find him?
28 Wow - I see one FOOT!
29 Where's Ben?
30 Here's a good look at those shoes.
31 I asked him to go slow-mo this time.
32 Going in for his assessment before the first day of school. Doesn't he look cute? And see all those great sunflowers?
33 Off to school! Now it is Ben's first day.
34 Look at those faces!
35 Aww - come on, guys! :0
36 Daddy is going in late so he can walk to school with us.
37 Now we're at school and waiting to line up with the teacher. Ben is already entertaining others, although I am pretty sure I saw him nearly tear up when we first got there.
39 What a ham!
40 Not turning around just yet.
41 Now finally turned around and ready to go in. Lining up in line is one thing kids in preschool learn.
42 Awww now a smile!
43 Friday fire, pizza and s'mores! A great way to end the week :)
44 Playing chase!
45 It is always very LOUD over here with very vigorous games of soccer, hoops and tag!
46 Roasting marshmallows.
47 I love our little "campsite."
48 Out on a beach walk - look what washed up :)
50 On our way to Fort Worden in Port Townsend, we stopped in Port Gamble for coffee and a look at the dahlia garden.
51 This rock came all the way from Maine!
53 Taking a tour of the CO's quarters in Fort Worden, an Army base, part of the coastal defense network. The boys and I liked this house - three stories! 5,000 square feet I think!
54 Ben sneaked outside while we were looking at the office. We saw his little head peering in the window, then Sam appeared :)
56 Hooves on the stool!
57 This field might be big enough for us. We are still very loud, though! Every game is LOUD! Parents, too. You should hear the soccer and basketball games in the driveway!
58 Cool idea - very Port Townsend.
59 A Marine Science Center right in Fort Worden. Pretty cool!
60 A really great demonstration of soil horizons. In each labeled box is a sample from the 3D display on the wall.
61 Sam knows these pretty well by now, as do we all :)
62 Out collecting beach glass.
64 Huge huge cement bunkers to explore.
70 Here's the scoop on the fort.
72 This is also VERY Port Townsend!
73 This is what is going on in the kitchen every day. We go through twice as much milk now that the boys are getting older. Up to 6 half-gallon containers a week!
74 Hoops after school with Coach Henry! This is the gym at the boys' school - it is brand new, only a year old.
75 Ben LOVES hoops.
76 I actually made grilled pork chops with a mint lemon butter compote and risotto. The boys helped me cook - measuring and talking all at once. It was madness but fun :)
77 The loud soccer games I mentioned :)
79 Mommy gets really into it, too!
80 I picked up a girlfriend's daughter after school on Friday because she missed a ferry and ended up across the water longer than expected. I sent this picture to my girlfriend so she'd know I had her daughter safe and sound :)
81 I had the odd idea that I really really wanted to know if I could jump these signs. So we went back after the lot cleared out for some jumping practice. It was very funny!
82 Sam got really good clearance!
83 Zoe can do a cartwheel! Do you think these signs will say "No Jumping!" next time I see them?
84 Friday fire! Yay!
85 Sam cleaning pine needles off the picnic table for pizza with our neighbors.
86 Out on a bike/run with my boys. Sam found some nuts and washers on the side of the road, so of course we ran home with those in hand. Ben is learning to brake - there are a LOT of hills here. Serious ones. He's on a bigger bike with a hand brake now.
87 A little stop to collect rocks and visit crabs.
88 Ben caught one! It took some doing - those little buggers are fast!
89 You know how dumb I am? I looked down and thought this "rock" was pretty cool. I reached out to grab it. It was soft. I was puzzled. I grabbed harder. It fell apart. It was...drumroll...seagull poop!!!!
90 Sam is sprinting toward us at the end of the ride.
91 Some nice festive fall treats mom sent, so Sam and I went out and collected flowers and things for the vase. Thank you, Mom!
92 The rest of the treats on the table!
93 A morning jog - fall colors starting to emerge.
94 Checking it out now!
95 We saw little hexagons and even things that looked like cells.
96 Trying to take a picture through the microscope. I think we need a thingie to attach to the computer so we can really see on a screen.
97 Racing ice cubes. One was melted on the bottom (really scooted) and the other wasn't.
98 Melting sugar - well, carmelizing it - to see what happens. It's edible chemistry! I hope we can clean the pan!!!
99 Making a "soup" - I surprised the boys with you-know-what :)
100 Hmmm...Mom...that looks GOOD!
101 Wow - the sugar melted, then it formed a hard crystal when it cooled! How cool! You know Sam is REALLY into crystals right now! I never anticipated how much this would thrill him. Tapping it made a cool sound.
102 This is the one we looked at under the microscope. It is for daddy, for later.
103 Tastes pretty good!
104 Looks like a dead bug in amber! If you leave it on the stove longer it gets darker.
105 This is Sam's which he is ready to eat.
106 And Ben has a hunk! A hunk for a hunk :)
107 Pretty good!
108 Trying to melt salt (halite) - not much happened. Sam wanted to give it 5 minutes. I was afraid I'd burn the house down. Need to Google that one!
109 Looking at the "amber" now...
110 Ben drew himself "on gravel" (see bottom under feet) and his name at the top: BEN KROOG. Very cute!
111 Umm - can you believe the name and occupation???
112 The school playground and some unauthorized "parkour" :)
113 Wow, Sam!
114 Mommy went horseback riding! An actual horse and a lesson! How fun! I forgot to wash my hands (actually, I didn't want to). See nice horse dirt?
115 These are the rocks coming out of the tumbler! So fun to see them get polished up. They are really really pretty even though they are just "average" rocks coming out of Sam's pit or the beaches. He cracks them open and then we tumble some of them. This reminded me of what editing is as I see it - bringing out the beauty of raw material.
116 The boys' favorites.
117 Thank you Gramma and Richard for the awesome tumbler!
118 Out hunting sea glass!
119 Sam loves to prospect for anything - stones, crystals, sea glass, and most recently edible mushrooms.
120 Comparing notes, with Seattle in the background. We're at a tiny beach at a road end.
121 My massive peas - or are they beans? I always get confused.
122 They are huge and hairy!
123 A massive cucumber - an "Orient Express" variety. And a spiny one. So cool!
124 The garden going wild. Squashes growing, too.
125 And potatoes. I am really stumped as to why one end is doing better than the other, with a linear relationship evident between the two ends.
126 Shelling beans with Ben!
127 They are so pink! So cool! And BIG!
128 You can see how they grow in their little sleeping bag. So interesting.
129 Boys are helping unzip them.
132 A neat fire pit designed and built by an Eagle Scout for his project.
133 A very windy and stormy day, but you can see sun peeking through the clouds to bring out the red of a madrona. I know I seriously need a better phone, mom :)
134 At the farm stand on a Thursday afternoon to get a pumpkin before the crowds. In the middle of the frame Betsey is emerging from rows of grapes with her horse, Red, pulling a plow.
135 Can you just barely make out Red?
136 So pretty. We knew a storm was coming so we lingered a while.
137 The lucky pumpkin which got to come home.
138 Someone is driving my truck!
139 Out on a jog. Dahlias do well here. These are for sale.
140 This rose was JUST about to bloom - but a deer ate it THAT NIGHT! Urgh!
141 This looks spooky, and it sorta was. Out hunting chantarelles with my neighbor and friend, Ingunn, who grew up in Norway and did this growing up.
142 Hi guys! You have to go off trail a bit and look around conifers. They are easy to spot. Little Esther is 6 months old. She was a trooper!
143 Ben found one!
144 Sam checking to see if it is ok. It's about 4:30pm now and getting dark in the woods. Time to wrap up!
145 Heading out with our loot, to dinner at JJs. Yum!
146 Dinner - chantarelle soup with salad and homemade dressing. Thanks, Dave! It smelled great all day. The boys watched the first part of The Lord of the Rings with our neighbor friends. Nice to have a movie adventure on such a nasty, stormy weekend. We haven't watched a movie in ages and ages.
147 A closeup of the soup. Recipe on the web from Ingunn. Dave modified it a bit and put in some bacon and potatoes.