1 Learning to rollerblade so we can all play hockey!
2 A new way to get comfortable on skates - basketball skating!
6 Ben is really getting into building Lego sets now! He loves it!
7 Artist with his pieces (bottom left) :)
8 I think you can read the titles? On left: "My property, Big Maple and Dad." On right: " Playing hoops while Dad makes dinner."
9 This final game of the basketball season was CLOSE! Wow! Sam's team did a great job.
11 Wilkes Auction - this was a favorite item to bid on. Thankfully a friend won it so we are going to be happily rounding up a work team in April :)
12 Out for a nice walk with Daddy at Fort Ward. They love to look at stones and collect them.
15 A nice tradition :)
16 How many of these selfies do you think we have, Dave, from hikes? I think we do this just about every time?
20 "Minecraft Walk"
22 "Robot Walk" (or something - honestly can't remember I was laughing so hard at the time!)
23 Steering them off trail through the woods.
25 On our way to the Third Grade Concert!
26 VERY hard to get a picture!
27 Still trying, though, because he looks so nice!
30 Trying to get a picture for you!
33 Then, the next night, on our way to the Talent Show!
34 Again very hard to snap a picture!
35 Abbey Road!
36 Catching up with friends on our way in :)
38 Look on left page toward bottom.
39 On our way to the Cubing Competition. This is a game of Gogoz - you try to flick and knock them down.
41 Kai is with us to cheer Sam on. So nice to have a great friend who is also a neighbor! Funny picture, guys!
43 Take a look at the crowd...
44 This is a briefcase full of cubes.
46 Not feeling so hot, so just chilling out.
47 The line-up.
50 Representative from the Word Cubing Association going over regulations.
51 This is where they scramble them and then return them to the cubers. You get 5 tries; they throw out the highest and lowest, then average the remaining three times.
53 Here's the 2x2x2 time card. See Sam's initials on each one? Pretty "official."
55 Signing off on another time card for the 3x3x3.
56 This part was the most fun for Sam, I think, just hanging out with other cubers and trying different puzzles.
59 Out on a run - nice to see the sun.
60 Love this bush every spring. So pretty.
61 This rooster head fell from the sky (from an eagle's clutches?) at the playground. I thought it was artistically pretty cool. Could actually be a Rhode Island Red hen - some of them have very large combs. Hard to know.
62 I got 4 new hens today! I now have 2 roosters and 12 hens. The new four are getting acclimated in the run on the right while the others check them out. I gave all corn to distract them. Really the integration went AMAZINGLY smoothly. It is so nice to integrate grown hens, vs. smaller pullets with a flock of mature birds. I won't bore you with the details, but after trying to get the new girls in the coop tonight I finally gave up and decided they needed to figure things out. I went back out after dusk and guess what I found - 4 new girls tucked in nicely next to Merlin. How awesome to have that work out! Now I just need to get the coop open before feathers fly in the morning.
63 Setting up "camp" for rock cracking on our walk.
64 Rolling Bay Romp - started with 8 boys then were joined by 2 more at Bay Hay, and another 2 more later on the beach. This was a long walk broken up by snack stops, rock hunting and cracking, and ice cream. We had a great time! Notice I have "patrols" with flags to help with street walking, and that Ben is spending a lot of time with the whistle in his mouth :)
65 Ben cracking rocks - I turned my hammer over to him because Ben needed some help. It was so funny to hear the boys - I told them to back up a bit more when I was cracking and they go "Yeah, Miss Alli is pretty scary with a hammer in her hand!" It was so much fun to share in their excitement over cracking open the rocks to see what minerals lay inside.
68 They are exclaiming over their finds in a little huddle so I tried to grab a quick picture :)
70 Here's what they had...
71 Nice work, Ben!
72 On our way down we ambushed a house with two boys whose mom was THINKING about coming...turns out they weren't home. We hope this was their house :)
73 Nice finds, Chris!
74 Sam was really pleased with his agate and blue sea glass.
75 A final water break before walking uphill to Jiffy Mart for ice cream. At this point they've already done about 3.5 miles, and now they're carrying rocks home...whew!
76 Cracking Camp :)
77 See whistle still in mouth (Ben on right)?
78 At Jiffy Mart!
79 They are cracking up because someone lost a big blob of ice cream on the ground...
80 But guess who will get it?
84 Enjoying a nice walk home. I am so proud of these kids and their parents, for trusting me to embark on this outing. They all had a great time and really did a good job hauling rocks home, up hill!
85 They loved being with their friends, and I heard a bunch of nice comments like "This was the best hike since the last one we did at Fort Ward" or "This was really worth it - let's come out again." (Note for my family - Sam and Ben were sick so I am especially proud of them for being interested and game to go in the first place, and for being so stalwart on the walk when the going got tough.)
86 The other half of the group.
87 Notice Ben still with whistle in mouth :)
89 That was fun, see ya next time! And welcome to the island, new friends!
90 Ben built this ALL by himself - he loves it and is pretty proud of himself. I want to ride in it!
91 This poor chicken got picked on by another hen and her eye looked horrible! I took her out immediately and put her into my chicken infirmary. We took her out to the lawn for special grazing time, gave her yogurt and other treats, and nursed her back to health. Within three days the swelling had gone down and her eye re-emerged! She had not lost it after all! She looks totally normal now and we are so grateful for a small miracle.
92 This is funny only to me. I hope I remember why in 30 years when I see this...
93 This silly Australorp decided to go foraging in the woods to lay an egg. I finally found her under this cozy fern! How sweet! I found her egg later. Unfortunately, she loved her freedom so much that it ended up costing her life - she got snapped up by a coyote a few days later. We could not keep her contained in the garden. Poor girl. Sam said "Well, at least she died doing what she loved."
94 Out on a walk - these are pretty cool starfish! BIG, too!
95 Low tide walks are fun. That is Seattle across the water.
96 We're on a gem hunt. Someone said gems are washing up on shore so we decided we needed to go have a look.
97 I'm the sherpa. We have many rocks collected in that blue thing. Sam is hunting for agate.
98 Found this geode - Sam carried this huge rock all the way back to the truck - a mile across rocky, uneven ground.
99 Ben carrying his new camper - a very bad idea, really, to do across rocky ground. One wipe-out and can you imagine all those Lego pieces everywhere? And a sad guy? But I couldn't resist letting him bring it because he REALLY wanted to. So we did. Daddy would not have done that, perhaps he is more sane.
100 Messing with Daddy a bit - getting a haircut AND a funny style, a la Calvin and Hobbes :)
101 Oh yes! Of course we ran into teachers in the market afterwards as well!
102 Ben is a good "sneaker goalie"! This was such a funny time - Sam and Kai on skates and another friend on wheelies down at the other goal.
103 See poor hurt hen? Her eye is MUCH improved!!
104 Now she's roaming around just fine looking for us at the house!
105 "Hello?! Anyone there?"
106 Moss with dew on it. Looks like garland. This is in our woods.
108 On a field trip to the Marine Science Center in Poulsbo. Froze my butt off helping with experiments but it was really cool! This is a live view of water critters - they have a microscope hooked up to the computer screen so it is like watching a movie!
110 The facility with access to the water down the middle.
111 This was my task - help with taking water temperature readings at 6 different depths. I hauled that thing up 120 times!
112 Emmy! She is getting nicer and nicer to hang out with - not so spooky and uptight. She even recognizes the yellow truck when I arrive at her home to take her out for a ride or lesson. She actually comes most of the time when she sees me arrive. So fun!
113 Looking for agate under the Agate Pass Bridge. Sounds like a reasonable plan, right? Except for shoreline access issues and uptight barking dogs! See Ben in the background? He posed this way and made sure I got a picture of him doing this.
114 The guys loved this sign.
115 Spring Break fun! I'm cooking SPAM up on the fire while the boys shoot hoops and run around in the woods with their friends.
116 Ah yes - nothing better than SPAM with ketchup!
117 Funny boys! It was so great to have NO PLANS for break and just hang out whenever friends arrived!
118 Ben is upset that he dropped his marshmallow here, I think. I'm a bit behind on labeling pictures. This is now a hazy memory but I thought his face was so classic ;)
119 Ian dressed up his marshmallow with chocolate chips like a face.
121 This is forsythia, planted by Dad during a visit a year ago! It is doing really well!