Wow – what a weekend! I’m totally wiped, but had a lot of fun getting to that point. Here’s a roundup, using pictures, because they will hopefully do the job!
The Zamboni was down today and practice was cancelled. Bummer! What to do? Roller hockey, of course! We invited hardy souls who didn’t mind the cold and rain to come join us at the school where there is a nice covered area with cement flooring. Down side? The soccer club had already arrived and was not interested in cooperating on a sharing arrangement. He eventually allowed us to use some of the space while the team warmed up, but then we had to move on to a covered walkway, and a spot outside the cafeteria – walled with glass and surveilled by a video camera. Not ideal conditions for passing a hockey puck! But, we persisted – the kids had a lot of fun anyway, and the conditions were so ridiculous it was funny. I recorded a few video greetings for the hockey director and coach – they’re not having much fun with a sick Zamboni and kids bummed to miss practice. The soccer coach finally relented and left 15 min early, so after 90 min of waiting, we got a chance to play hockey for about 45 min. We ended up coming home about the same time we would have come home from Bremerton, which is normally about 4 hours out of the house. I was tucking the kids in bed and couldn’t figure out why Ben smelled sour. So I thought. I’d just done sheets, and he’d just showered. I had Dave sniff him all over and he didn’t smell anything. I kept sniffing around and finally figured out it was MY HANDS! What the crap? Was it my wild yeast starter? I did bake bread today. (Yes – the yeasts are alive again! Check out the picture of the bread – they are now revived after months of neglect. I had to build the colony back up slowly with many many feedings. I’m so excited to see they’re working again!) OK – want to know what the smell was? Can you guess? Hockey-related. I was playing with the boys, which means I had…GLOVES on. The hockey stink persisted despite washing my hands AND cleaning up after dinner. Unreal! Enjoy these clips!
I’m trying to learn Russian, and now that I have a very good (FREE) app to help with Cyrillic, I’m making headway. I was able to say a few phrases in Russian, but without knowing the letters I just couldn’t get much further than repeating conversational phrases. (It WAS fun to find a pair of Russian parents in Winthrop over break and speak to them, though! Dave was like: “Leave it to you to find the only Russians in the valley.”) So tonight I was practicing writing the letters I’ve learned on Google translate. If you use the drawing pad, you can test your accuracy. From there I moved on to speaking Russian. It was time for the boys to brush their teeth, so why not learn something practical? Here’s what it looks like:
Friday Ben’s Mites team played during the Warriors’ intermission. It was fun for him, but 3 hours of transit to play 5 minutes on the ice? He REALLY wanted more skating time, but managed to score a goal from all the way at the other side of the ice.
And because I like to keep up on customs and traditions…I checked out Scottish Hogmanay traditions on Wikipedia. That infallible source of the people. The entry had me at chicken wire and flammable materials. Dave and I went for a bike ride down to a brewery on the island (this is a sort of broken tradition dating back to before kids, when we had time to go on a 30 mile bike ride then stop for a sampler). Now that it’s relatively safe to bike here (Hawaii – not so much), I decided to reinstate the tradition for our anniversary. Needless to say, I was pretty buzzed biking back uphill after a few samplers! We took it slow and got home in time for me to undertake this adventure. See bottom of post for the video.
It’s been a very busy weekend with Thanksgiving then a hockey tournament (replete with days’ long bake sale fundraiser). And just for fun, on Friday night Sam and I were horsing around (you know where this is going) with whipped cream and pumpkin pie. This is a family holiday tradition going back several generations. My mom’s dad apparently had a mischievous streak: “honey, I think the whipped cream has gone off a bit? Could you check?” My grandmother took a little sniff, then BAM! a swift bop and her nose was full of the fluff! This continued on with the children…each older child in turn would stifle a laugh as the next in line would be inducted into the whipped cream hall of fame. I didn’t really remember this when I went for it on Friday night…the moment just seemed to be there. Sam was swiping whipped cream with his fingers and stuffing it into his mouth, so I grabbed a handful and helped him stuff his mouth a bit – it got messy quick! He grabbed the can, tried to spray me, I escaped with a little in my hair. Then I asked Sam: “Hey, Sam! Can you still SMELL the pumpkin under all that whipped cream?” He bent over to smell…and yes, I plunged his nose right into the white fluff. (Buttercream frosting leaves better nostril marks.) He took off chasing me around the house with a handful in retribution and when I got cornered I turned around helplessly and saw him smiling in pursuit! That’s when I noticed…a THIRD OF HIS TOOTH WAS MISSING!!! He’d chipped a front tooth on the plate! OMG!!! OMG! This is reeeaaallly BAD! So, my hockey player had a badly chipped tooth, but not from hockey, or any LEGIT sport as the teenagers at the rink were quick to point out. It was from HIS MOTHER shoving his FACE into PIE! Freak accident, yes, funny now, yes, but I felt (and still do) horribly about it. We have the most incredible dentist, though, who was willing to come in yesterday to assess him and fix him up today. Here’s a shot of the progress. You can’t tell now. Today I got bucked off for the first time in two years of resuming riding. So – an epic day for me as well. I should have known better than to grit through a sense of Emmy not being in a cooperative mindset. Riders call it “behind the leg” – not accepting direction. It’s a decidedly unsettling feeling when a horse isn’t moving forward under you. The etiology of all bad things horse-related is riding a mount who is not in front of the leg. I should have jumped off and lunged to reassert my proper place in her horse hierarchy, but I’ve worked through such rides before. Today I was really relaxed – maybe because I have a lot on my mind (work, sick kids, school stuff, visiting family, etc.) and had survived hockey, so I wasn’t really ON mentally myself. You have to actually be a bit edgy to ride well – very much in tune to your environment and the beast. A bit wired. I wasn’t today. I was relaxed, which, oddly, enabled me to fall well. I saw it coming – a buck on the canter depart which threw me forward, then I couldn’t recover fast enough for the next one and saw myself sailing toward a wall. Hit my head (that’s what helmets are for) and landed on my back. Within a few minutes I was back on after my instructor, Janet, had a conversation with Emmy. In describing this to Dave tonight, he said that could be courageous or stupid. I replied that Roosevelt (my current historical interest) would have gotten right back on. Dave replied “Yes, because that was his mode of transportation and he still had 1,500 miles to cover.” 😉
Back to the post title. I was packing up kids into the truck yesterday after the tournament was over and the younger sister of our goalie was asking her mom this question. She’d just heard Sam call me that 🙂 I’m sorry for the influence of my crazy children! Oh – wait – I should apologize for MY influence on THEM I guess! Hope you had a sane holiday!!!!
All of the November pictures have now been annotated and uploaded to the ALBUM. Videos of hockey games, hockey practice, stick and puck, Emmy (the awesome Irish Sport Horse I borrow to ride), and…is there anything else? Soccer games…oh yeah, that. The wet, cold, soccer games! Oh, and me cooking a few actual meals that start with raw ingredients. That were edible. And people ate them. I think even liked them. A shopping trip to beat all…just days in the life. I got rear-ended for the second time in my life (I’ve never caused an accident or gotten a ticket but after starting the hockey commute last year, I’ve been rear-ended twice!). The bike rack on the back of the truck really puts in an extra layer of defense, but is not well liked by the Lexus which met it up close. Poor car. Enjoy the photos and drop me a line to let me know how you are. Tamara… 🙂 Liisa? How the heck are ya?
How long has it been since my last update? I think a couple weeks since we went up Mt. Zion…the boys and I… So, it’s time to post a few updates!
Here is the FIGURE SKATING VIDEO!
I am HORRENDOUSLY behind in sharing what has been going on here! Last week was the first full week of school and Dave happened to be away. The logistics of running two boys with three sports between them are complicated. The car pools are coming together for ice hockey, though. First colds have come through the house, but everyone is doing ok. I hope this week is a little more sane but I am not convinced it will be given my workload forecast…for which I’m grateful! I grabbed a few pictures which somewhat give you a sense of what we’ve been doing.
By far the most gratifying experiences to date have been weekend hikes with the hockey families – groups of 13-14 people, including 8-9 boys. The hikes have been big, with equally big views and the kids have really enjoyed themselves while we parents have gotten a good workout. They still have energy to horse around after dinner, ice cream cones in hand, while the sun dips below the ridge line. I’ll post more hike pictures as soon as I get them annotated. I’m also very happy that several programs are getting off the ground at the local schools – a Math Docent program at two schools and a Coder Dojo at one… stay tuned. Lots more details to take care of there, but I’m very encouraged. Speaking of school, Sam is LOVING it, which is a huge success – rating it 15 out of 10! Ben is very happy at school as well and only causing the expected amount of trouble. 🙂
Here are more pictures from Darrel: https://www.flickr.com/photos/austin-family/sets/72157658183827500
The plum tree really produced this year so we were determined to make good on the haul!
Plums drying in the dehydrator to make medieval plum pudding (which actually contained plums whereas modern plum pudding doesn’t seem to!).
Ready to go in the oven. ..
Plum torte based on a 1989 NYT recipe. Here’s hoping! With Dave cooking lentils it really smells good in here!
This video is a cross between Dick Proenneke and Blair Witch Project, but these were SERIOUSLY the biggest bucks I’ve seen in a while. Mostly the “big daddy” you hear me mention, but who is the first to leave the scene. You don’t get to see him much, but he was huge.
Now for some great pictures I haven’t posted yet – last weekend we hiked up Mt. Walker and enjoyed the day with Mom and Richard. They were able to enjoy some walks around other trails nearby before driving to meet us at the summit. Then we enjoyed an awesome dinner at The Timber House!
Here’s their awesome new coach! The chickens were in awe!
Gramma got caught on the chicken mesh around the planters while we were trying to get the naughty hen OUT of the planter box! Richard ran to get scissors to free her button but Ben managed to get her free first 🙂
Then off to Hammy’s for dinner. While we waited, Sam worked on lowering his 3×3 times – he’s approaching world class elite solving pace! He takes cubes with him everywhere. So cool to watch him focus and his fingers are a blur!
Hockey game this morning! The teams both played really well and it was a close game. Sam got his third hat trick of the season. I’m sitting now at an Arduino circuit board workshop checking It out. I was floating around learning and mentoring as best I could. Needed a quick break! Ben is reading Through the Looking Glass – finished Alice in Wonderland yesterday. He says the Queen of Hearts is kinda strict. :-X
The days are non-stop around here! I have arranged mini camps with responsible older teenagers, and Camp Caden this week is very popular! It was six boys and one fearless girl. They started out with skating at school across the street (which was a little problematic for one boy who brought his dad’s hockey bag instead of his own!) then did some shooting here, then some other activities. I also left out some dead devices (phones) for boys to take apart and put back together. They didn’t exactly do the learning exercise, but they did seem to relish taking them all apart. I have an amazing parts box now.As a reward for reading 30 min (I started small given the group) the boys got to cook up some Taquitos that Sam got from the commissary. They also enjoy mixing up Nestle Nesquik. As soon as I got home from riding, I had to grab Sam and Ben and head to the dentist. I didn’t quite get out the door as quickly as planned – lots of show and tell, messes that I’m a little OCD about, gear gathering, milk left on the counter, etc. I called and apologized then headed down after dropping one boy off so he didn’t have to drag gear. Dentist was very understanding – the receptionist has 7 kids! I really enjoy the house being full but I will admit being the master coordinator is tiring for me – you’d think it would come easier as I do it all the time, but I still don’t like being on my phone texting, coordinating, emailing, scheduling, devising, etc. etc. I want to just SIT sometime and hang out with the kids! It’s a bit busier this week due to a little ride and review I’m doing on Sunday, so I’m fitting in one extra ride. The boys are really enjoying hanging out with friends and were really helpful tidying up today. We did a quick 10 min broom and mop routine because it was a little messy and sticky. 🙂 The floors look really nice now!!! Just in time for Friday. 😉 And the Nerf bullets…I have picked up 20 just as I walk around. I swear they are procreating!!!! Honestly!
This is me being brave and trying to ride a dressage test up at the Saddle Club arena where I will be in a mini show (ride and review) on Sunday. Horror of horrors. It will be embarrassing. But – good experience! It was more like barrel racing today than dressage. We kicked a cone over, nearly jumped one, and careened around like ranch hands. Someone was a tad wound up about the cones being out there and a small kid’s wagon with supplies in it. Ah well…it was fun. I think I even neck reined once. 😉
I’ve spent much of the last week testing and uploading new skins for the photo album. I hope you find it easier to use on mobile devices. There should be a Facebook comment feature, and also ways to share photos via social media if you wish to. You would not believe how long it takes to upload 10 years of pictures… OMG. 😉
My Dad came out for a week in June and we concluded the visit with an awesome trip to San Juan Island! My Dad was quite a trooper dealing with all the activities which surround having boys – from eating messes, body noises, hockey in the house, roller hockey games, and going to watch me ride in a lesson. He really got into all the action, enjoyed all our routines, and we had so much fun catching up with him. I loved all the camping tips, like how to roll a tent and tie it up (so you don’t have to deal with the stuffing-fiasco that the tent bag always is), kitchen patrol (Dad was KP boss!), and how to properly embellish ice cream (sauer kraut or jalapeno jam, anyone?).
Here are a couple shots. Please visit the album for the full tour! (Images are uploading now!)