1 On our way to Sam's flag football party. I tied a drum to Ben with a bike inner tube. :)
4 Ben at robotics club, filming a 4th grader working on an experiment. He seems to fit right in. I volunteer to help out with the club, so Ben comes along as well.
5 The horse I rode on the trails, Sugar, is on the right. She is a good little girl, fun to ride.
6 We made crumb cake one afternoon last week, and ended up chomping massive bits of it outside with our friend Ingunn because it started snowing. So we had to celebrate!
7 There's Esther. That is how Norwegian babies nap - so snug!
8 Hi Ingunn! That was fun!
10 This was funny but I couldn't get a shot in time. I looked down the driveway and Ben was caged in the soccer net like an animal - he'd gotten stuck in there! It was so funny - he was laughing.
11 This was the to-do list before friends from church came over for dinner. We are part of a dinners for 10 group, and 15 came (including kids). So there was much to do and no one was helping me, so I put "M" next to everything I did as I completed the task. Look what happened to all my "M's." Hmmm.
12 The big dinner party!
13 Doesn't this look like a flying duck? How weird!
14 Ben loves blackberry smoothies. And I love his mustaches! This was in the market after church. We were having so much fun, and causing a bit of a scene. Oh well.
15 See? What's not to love!
17 Chopping wood. Such a great helper.
20 Putting the axe down before getting more wood.
21 Looking at his pile of "work product."
22 Ooops! This is why we always put the axe down when we move. Sometimes we are a little clutzy.
25 He is very careful.
26 Putting the pieces back together like a puzzle.
27 Friend and neighbor Kai over shooting hoops.
28 While these guys watch!
29 Three of them in the maple tree!
30 They would love chicken dinner but amazingly Merlin and Gordon haven't lost a hen to them yet.
36 Making Valentine's crafts together. We went to the hardware shop for inspiration and this is what we came up with. Chiseled initials then burnished.
38 Sam did a great job making 24 of these.
40 Even the coping saw. Imagine all the saw dust on the floor. ;)
41 Our friend, 5th grader Nate, caught this picture at the last basketball game. WHAT a riveting game that was! Like being at the Olympics! The kids played their hearts out and lost only by 2 points. It was a great, close game.
42 Building together in Minecraft - literally taking turns tiling that huge floor with quartz and gold. It was so cute, even if I don't like how much they love Minecraft. It is so all-consuming! But it is very cute when they share a world.
43 Sam did a great job rebounding at this game - something he is good at doing because he's so big. His coach's only suggestion - don't be such a nice guy. Get in there. So he did.
44 And here he goes dribbling up to make a play! Sam also debuted a move he's been working on - dribbling behind his back to the alternate hand. I must say we were pretty impressed when that tricked popped out in the heat of play. One of the other dads, also a coach, was like "Whoah!"
45 Getting a brief coaching minute during a time-out. The game is almost over and they are one shot from tying it up.
46 Ummm...this was a little funny. So Dave came home from Japan and in my opinion had been a touch cranky. I thought I was being a good wife, not being demanding as he recovered from jet lag. But as the days wore on I felt a more intense need to be acknowledged or THANKED for SOMETHING. Soooo...I jotted down on the white board what I wanted him to say. Something like "Thank you for taking the boys to church and for being such a model of faith and industry." You know, something not very self-gratuitous. I left a place for him to sign his name underneath. This is what appeared the next time I walked by!
47 And this appeared later!
48 Sam has built a domino tower with 1700 doms!
49 Then this neat field spelling his name. Not as easy to do as you might imagine.
50 The field being set off. First video with my new phone.
51 Now we are at Big 5. We are interested in trying roller hockey, so we watched the 1980 Men's Olympic hockey win over the USSR this morning (original footage) then set off to get us some blades (there is no ice rink nearby, so we are joining the local roller hockey team). Ben's skates will fit size 1-4 - they have a slide-out feature which is really cool. Sam's skates, we later learned upon checkout, were 70% off!!! He got them for $21.97!!!!
52 When I went to gather up all the gear, I realized I couldn't get out of the store, so I went to get a gear bag. Meanwhile Sam and Ben were learning to skate around on the carpet (the recommended way to get your bearings). The store wasn't crowded, thankfully, but can you imagine hearing a thud every now and then and wondering what might have gone down?
53 Ah yes. All stowed now. Nice.
54 At Wilkes to try it all out. I managed to get my own blades on, too. We had a blast!
55 Sent to Tito Pig, who we called for some advice on our way over. He said, "Start by going straight, then coast into a turn, then learn to stop, then go backwards. In that order." He learned to play ice hockey when he was in 9th grade. Legendary bravery!
56 Ben has wheelies on - he wanted some SO badly. These have pop-in wheels in the back. Turns out they are much harder to learn than blades. Poor guy. But he is very good at cradling that ball/puck.
57 Here's some video I caught as we were winding down. This is one hour into testing out our blades.