1 At guitar/uke lesson with Randy! The boys are really making progress and it is a joy to see them with Randy. Monday evenings, this is where we are!
2 I often record Randy playing so Sam can refer to the riffs later.
3 Merry Christmas, Randy!
4 Ben playing some Christmas carols at home :)
5 That snow I mentioned from Thanksgiving? It's still on the ground when I get home and am able to head out for a Tuesday run!
6 This is on a set of trails nearby which I really love to explore. They are not marked, so you have to remember the terrain. One of the guys who lives on this section of the island loves to make trails, so he does!
7 Big alder fell down in the storm.
8 Emmy after a workout again - trying to get a decent selfie! Gloves and cold hands make it hard. Those ears of hers - they do not much like to point forward :)
9 But, from time to time they do when she hears something interesting!
10 Good girl, Emmy!
11 On our way to Tacoma with Dillon for a hockey game. His parents were away for the weekend so poor guy got sandwiched between the crazies :)
12 Ben at basketball practice. He's doing quite well and seems to be enjoying it!
13 Here's a movie of basketball practice :)
15 Sam getting to try out being goalie in practice. He has been - and truly, this is not a lie - dropping to his knees, feet out splayed to the sides, in an instant, all over the house, as if he's blocking a shot. He's fascinated by goalies. He'll do it in coffee shops, super markets...kinda surprising when it happens!
16 So he was loving this chance to try it out!
17 Waiting to be netminder :)
18 Ok here are a few goalie cam movies for Sam (and family) to enjoy...
19 And another one!
20 The PTO ladies clipping box tops to send in for $0.10 each to raise money for school. The lady standing up was in German Club with me last year. She's really a go-getter and has taken our rather dormant alternative fundraising effort to a new level. Thanks, Nicole!
21 Sketches under wayfor a present for Steve, Emmy's owner.
22 Then I had to darken it up so that it could be laser etched onto a glass.
23 Ben in our math pull-out enrichment group. He's showing how to create a table with headers and columns so you can more easily detect a pattern. Each of the four kids got a chance to "present" their work. Ben LOVES to wear a Christmas elf hat. He is the spirit of Christmas indeed!
24 YAY!!! Finally! Another long-time dream come true - Emmy and I out on the trails!!! I was so nervous about this because the road has big trucks and sometimes even a new splash of paint on the road can make her take great interest. She's a bit skittish one might say! But Janet and Denika went as well, and horses always do better with buddies around. We had a great time!
25 Thank you, Janet, for this great Christmas present!!! I went out again by myself on Thursday and did just fine, trotting up the spooky road. You keep the feet moving and they feel better about things. As if they are escaping I guess, or something. Anyway, I ran into another trainer on the trails from a nearby barn and enjoyed a nice ride with her and her mount. Such fun to be out there! I didn't remember that there'd be more downed trees and stuff from the storms, so we even did a little impromptu jump or two until Janet told me to make her walk over the obstacles to reinforce being in control first, before trying new things. Sage advice, as always!
26 The parents vs. kids game was Tues Dec 16. Dave and I both played. It was SO much fun! Exhilarating! I made some key plays doing a snow angel on the ice because I wiped out diving for the puck and then was slipping around so much on hard plastic shin guards that I couldn't get up, then I started laughing so hard it was hopeless! This little poem came to mind just as we were leaving to go down to the rink. Nice little card, ay?
27 At the rink the moms brought Christmas cookies, we brought eggnog, and had a nice time celebrating.
29 After Thursday's ride...just a need image caught my eye so decided to try to capture it. "Reflections on a great ride."
30 Sunday morning elving...such different boys! They are hilarious! Mom you will like what Ben is doing here...
31 We had to get plywood to protect the garage door just a few more days until Christmas arrived!
32 Those are targets taped up to the door.
33 Cinnamon bread with cream cheese and York peppermint patties. This is what Sam came up with for a sandwich he made for himself.
34 Ugh!! That is AWFUL!
35 Christmas carols with Randy, the boys' guitar/ukulele teacher!
36 Here's what the outdoor "sport court" looks like now!
37 It's busy!
38 EVERYONE has been sick. No kidding. This is my "hospital."
39 Richard and I enjoying "Boxing Day" - burning boxes!
40 That was fun!
41 Look at this one!
42 We have quite a supply to burn down!
43 We had to keep sliding this big box over the flames. I am sure Dave would have had a problem with this. But he was inside watching hockey ;)
44 Still going!
45 Almost done!
46 Sam is very opposed to filming him playing guitar, so we all had fun trying to trick him. He'd play these complicated pieces while looking around for a hidden camera, iPhone, iPad or something...I had my phone perched while I cleaned the kitchen so I could get this :)
47 Out on a brisk bike/run. Ben is annoyed his hands are cold. I did warn the kids to wear the mittens I brought and to consider more than short sleeves under a hoodie. Sometimes a lesson learned the hard way speaks louder than 1000 words...
48 Poor guy - winding his arms to warm his fingers, but he almost took off like a helicopter!
49 Sam imitating Ben...
50 Ok, ready to roll!
51 Back in the sun :)
52 On our way to lunch at JJs with Gramma and Richard, then stick and puck hockey in Bremerton.
53 Here's a gift we got Sam - a course on modding Minecraft. Sam is SO happy learning Java so that he can forge his own tools!
54 Watching ice hockey with a nice fire in the background. It's only 34 degrees out!
55 This is an obsidian sword Sam made and will "call" into a Minecraft game to use.
56 Doing "Christmas Fun" together - it's a picture hunt book that Ben really loves to do with his Dad every nigt. Dave is wonderful with him, and is an excellent spotter, as I know only too well ;) He finds every little thing that is out of place or odd when he gets home!