My birthday present to myself is to do something unusual, learn a new skill, or just do something that makes me nervous. In Hawaii I enjoyed trail riding (horse) with a few girlfriends, a Hawaiian canoe paddle, a long run, etc. Here I have done a couple things, like paddle boarding, and last summer I rode my bike down stairs at the school because I’d seen the 10 yr old boys do it. Looked fun, but I didn’t want to when a ton of kids were watching, so I waited for summer then rode down them. A bit nerve-wracking. You want to go somewhat fast, and not turn your front wheel. Then I had this image of myself biking UP the stairs. I got halfway up and toppled. This year I knew it had to be the climbing gym. Lots of little kids go there for their birthdays, and the grownups watch. I have always wondered if I could do it – strength, agility and fear of heights were concerns. Well…today was the big day! Dad is in town, so I took the two boys and Dad for the adventure. It was SUPER fun!!!!
The boys and I had a pretty productive Sunday. Ben and I sold 9 dozen eggs – took some work. People were really not in a buying mood. We had to work our sign spinning pretty hard. They must not realize eggs are in demand in the East Coast area due to avian influenza killing off 46 million birds. Oh well. I didn’t price-gouge 😉 Then we fixed a broken sprinkler timer, and finally cleared the trails of massive spring overgrowth. Sam had the machete, Ben his favorite clippers and me a weird golf-club like machete thing.
Just as we drove home from picking Dave up at the ferry (he’s been in Connecticut), Dave goes “There’s a raccoon in the coop!” I could not believe it. Truly. We drove up JUST as the marauder was in attacking our birds. A few feathers were lost, but all the birds were ok. Seriously a miracle. I went back out with the staple gun and repaired the fence. Mommy was already a little tired and cranky from end-of-school insanity, but this did me in! Thankful I still have a flock, what with the bird flu and all!!!! I was not pleased that my friends the coyotes were back, literally howling as I stapled. JERKS! No licking your lips over chicken dinner!!! I will howl back at you. I have before. You just wait…
Oh – the lucky coin bit. We hide things for kids to find on Halloween. It’s always fun to find them later…I actually found two coins and a dead opossum. Is that lucky?
These guys just popped out over the past week! It’s getting pretty warm here, a sure sign that summer is around the corner. Just a few more days of school left, and it feels like we’re going out with a bang. May and June are always frenetic, but we’re finding time to just be together between the spurts of frenzy. I finally got a good night’s sleep last night so I’m ready for this week 🙂 I’m also looking ahead to the summer – lots of unscripted time, as well as time to focus on neat projects we don’t have as much time for as we’d like during the year. The boys are very lucky to have teen mentors who will be working with them (and a few friends) on hockey and skating, maybe learning how to skateboard (Ben and me), programming and robotics and indulging in the card/board games they love. The teens benefit from being paid to do things they love to do anyway, while mentoring the younger guys. And they get paid about twice minimum wage. Good for everyone! This is my second summer coordinating this informal co-op of neighborhood boys. Wish me luck! 🙂
Hope you’re all having a good weekend!
The game started out with a 0-0 first period – tight game! In the second period we came back from being behind by 2 and just rallied with 8 goals scored in all! I think the game ended 8:3. Lots of great passing, defense and teamwork.
I had a wonderful day with my boys – only missing Dave due to work (inspection week). We went on a long hike with some friends up near the coast in Hansville. Since my friend was sick and had opted for an easier hike than originally planned, I thought we were doing a 2-3 mile jaunt. Poor Sam was sick with a sore throat this morning, so I figured that would work well. Turned out to be an 11K tour of the Hansville Greenway! But thankfully I brought snacks, water, and bought even more at the tiny grocery. Turned out the white powder donuts (who doesn’t want that sugar kick on a hike?!) were MOLDY! I proudly handed them out and Adam took a nice bit then Ben said “Hey Mom, what’s this hair stuff?” I thought it was ok at first (those things don’t look natural anyway), then we saw green hairy stuff further into the package! Ewww! Everyone had a nice laugh about that. The expiration date did not include a year, so who knows how long they’d hung out on the shelf next to the lonely looking bear claws?
The greenway is a place I’d visited with Sam when he was 9 months old. Kim had hiked there with baby Adam as well. It was fun to go back with our big “babies”.
Anyway – came home to clean the chicken coop and bury a chicken who unfortunately passed through the night. Sam now has 102.7 fever, poor guy! So – got to experience it all in just one day 😉 But who am I to bemoan a bit of work? The frontier ladies probably didn’t even have a Mother’s Day!
It’s been a busy couple weeks even though hockey season is over! Gramma and Richard came up for Easter and stayed for two weeks, although it feels like much longer given how much work got accomplished in that short time!
On Friday, 4 boys and 4 parents crammed into a minivan to attend a math competition in Seattle. Here’s a link to the story, and a photo below.
The boys expressed an interest in working for ACTUAL money, and Richard had a job in mind – sprucing up the living space on the property (not the woods – the area bounded by the fences and woods). He thought they could pick up pine cones and rake up piles of debris, then take them over to a dumping area off the side of the driveway. So – Richard spec-ed the job with the boys and offered $20 EACH! Ben listened to the job description and said “$20 for each piece?” That would be a good deal! Funny negotiator. They worked consistently for about 2 1/4 hours. I asked Richard to rate them on a scale of 1-10 for work ethic, attention to detail, and attitude – he gave them 8 out 10! I asked them to rate themselves as well and they tended to agree (although Ben gave himself a 10 initially, then regraded to a 9). They also earned a tip for going above and beyond. Lessons well learned. Thank you, Richard, very much for giving them a chance to work hard and earn a big reward! Sam is earning his way toward the fourth grade outdoor education field trip to IslandWood – $188. I think he’s nearly there after egg sales yesterday and work today!
I just spent an hour going through 480 pictures and annotating the best ones for the album, which is now updated. Just click on “album” above and you can go see Feb and March!
My friend Ann is a great mom, runner, PTO treasurer, organizer of the charity fun run the Turkey Trot, and so much more. Well, we hatched a plan to do some fun runs with our kids over the summer. When we realized we’d both be around over break, we decided to hatch a plan to test it out sooner. I got my old jogging stroller fixed up (5,000 miles and lots of salt water had done it in – no brakes, flat tires, rust everywhere) to be our sag wagon for hoodies, Gatorade, phones, sunglasses, loot (rewards for after the jog), etc. We also thought it would be fun to allow the younger or slower ones to hitch a ride in the “stagecoach” now and again. The hare can push the tortoise 🙂 When we did rider swaps, we did it fast – like on John Butterfield’s first overland mail stagecoach run – go go go! Only time to change out horses every 15 miles…no rest for the driver! Sometimes two kids were stacked up. It was hilarious. As we loped around the 1.5 mile trail through the park on our first lap, we collected Ben’s friend Cole and his mom, Lisa. Into our second lap we collected a barefooted Finn and his mom, Brie! It was really a crazy parade then as Cole had a notepad and a pen (to document the silliness?), and Lisa was carrying an “official dodge ball”! Afterwards we enjoyed some ice cream drumsticks and a romp in the playground while the sun held. Enjoy the shots – it was a good time!
I just noticed it’s been 6 weeks since I last posted! Since then we’ve had a very exciting conclusion to hockey season with making it through our division’s 3-game playoffs and winning the final game! Here is a link to our highlights reel created by one of our parents who works for Adobe. Ellen has a great eye and stitches these reels together right on her iPhone using an Adobe app called PremierClip.
The semi-final was just about as miracle-on-ice as a parent could wish for – tied at the end so the kids went to a 5-round shootout (best of 5 would win). Sam was #3 in the shoot-out roster. The other team scored the first shot, then we went – no dice. Then they did, no dice. Then we went – Sam scored, tying us up again! The next two rounds no one scored, so it then went to sudden death and we proceeded through the rest of the roster – all 10 kids got a shot in! The home team scored in sudden death, and one of our guys scored his FIRST season goal to tie us up again (go Hap!)!!! A few more rounds – no scores, still tied. Finally our second shooter (Adam) went up again and scored the final goal to win the game! It was just unbelievable!
Ben’s basketball team wrapped up their season, too – UNDEFEATED! They had a couple really close games where they had to come from behind and won by 1 or 2 points. Nail biters! We have been so fortunate to have coaches for both boys who were just unparalleled in their dedication, professionalism, and commitment to helping each child grow no matter where they started in skills. Thank you Coach Pike, Coach Wilson (both hockey) and Coach Tomine (basketball). We are grateful! Enjoy your off time!
So – life after hockey? We just ended Sunday. It’s taking a couple days to adjust. We’re all in a bit of withdrawal because we enjoyed the routine, the practices, the people and all the action. The kids are off school Wed-Fri this week for parent-teacher conferences so I served up breakfast outside this morning, just to mix it up a bit. The sun was magical coming through the woods. When I got back from riding, we hatched a plan to buy a card game which has taken the school by storm (Magic players, anyone?). We played at the same picnic table this evening. I got UNO for myself because I can’t stand learning tricky games. I have no patience for the learning process! Bad mommy. So UNO is for me!
I spent hours shoveling the heaviest, wettest, smelliest muck you can imagine this morning. A winter of muck. Heavy, wet chicken manure. I cleaned about 2″ of muck – a whole layer of ick – and wheeled unwieldy wheelbarrows full to a dump spot. I nearly landed in the muck after heaving the wheelbarrow to dump it. Then I shoveled five wheelbarrows of wood chips (from trees felled over the summer) into the run. The chickens spread it all out for me. They look SO much happier, and it doesn’t stink anymore. AND – this is HUGE – I was able to walk into the run in my sneakers, not my knee-high muck boots, to deliver food.
Does your family love photo-taking as much as mine? 😉 We wear our Skene family tartans and try to get ONE, just ONE picture, where everyone is looking decent. However, Sam enjoys photo-bombing tremendously. Enjoy!