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!
Happy 10th birthday! That is such a big number, Sam. You are growing in size and maturity at lightning speed. Here are some things that I have noticed this year about you. Some are big, some are small. You might just appreciate hearing about them some day down the road when 10 seems like a long way off. First – you are a trailblazer who picks up new interests and pursues them with intensity. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be the proud mother of an ice hockey player! You put a stick in your hands last year and immediately loved it. One of your great qualities is giving new things a try. Some stick, some don’t. That hockey stick DID stick, that’s for sure! Then you hone your skills with self-motivation, practicing and practicing, even after an hour of practice. You come home in your carpool with the guys (after a sushi stop at Central Market!) and practice some more, in the dark and rain, thumping against our garage door until we got a big goal to shoot on. We have to call you in to shower up and get ready for bed. Not too many people pursue their interests with such passion, but you demonstrate devotion to many interests, including learning how to mod Minecraft to make your own ores, biomes and armor sets. It is such an interesting thing to see you take a love of geology and figure out how to blend that with coding – you have made fluorite ore, malachite, amethyst, and 10 others that you really like.
Second, you are very generous. As noted in the picture above with the “Dorito Ore” you gave away your favorite snack on your birthday, to a friend who wanted to trade. Another friend remarked about your generosity when you allowed him to play with your new Minecraft mod (orespawn) for quite some time while you looked on. We had just figured out how to download and install it (no easy feat as we soon learned) and you were willing to let your friend have a go at it while you watched. You also let friends crack open geodes and keep their choice of the loot. Time and again I notice how generous you are.
Third, you are hilarious. Your class had so much fun asking questions about “what’s the most embarrassing thing Sam has done?” – the birthday tradition is to ask questions of the parent and birthday child and parent. We had fun telling the story about the sonic fart (fake but loud) at Battle Point which surprised some walkers! And then their eyes really went wide when you told about the spaghetti sauce on the head incident! We are all loud and have a good sense of humor, and we love to play around physically. Most days on the way home from school you try to sneak by me – you often give me the slip! I’ll notice that I have Ben, but I never got to see Sam! You’ve been doing that from day 1. Our crossing guard, Mrs. Sanford, told me recently that as young as first grade you would see her walking down toward the intersection and you’d hide between parked cars, then pop up behind her and sneak down right on her heels, all the way out into the road. She’d look behind and suddenly spy you, much to her great surprise! If you’re not quietly sneaking by me, you’re checking me, full on, into something or someone. We are always making a scene, the three of us, walking home from school. Loud laughing, body checking, swinging backpacks, grabbing clothes and hurling people. It’s a zoo, just the three of us, but hey – it’s funny. Yesterday we were having a drag the trash can war – me with the recycle bin and you with the trash can. We found that makes a lot of noise as we raced down the driveway!
Fourth, you are persistent and curious. I don’t know too many kids who relish a challenge like you. I see it in your problem-solving – taking on math problems and competitions with no practice and excelling at them, and working on math that is at least two years ahead (you’re doing an online prealgebra course now). You don’t like to do the same stuff over and over. You want to learn something new, wrestle with it, and move on. It sure has been a challenge for me to keep up with you, without burning you out on school or work. I have been trying very hard to find just the right mix of challenge and investment of time. While you have a great gift for math, that is not your big “love” in life. You are a well-rounded, funny and athletic person with a wide variety of interests. You are intent on learning challenging new songs on your guitar, too. How many times has Randy said “Geez, Sam! That’s a doozy! I mean, we can learn that, but it’s a challenge!” You picked Stairway to Heaven over the summer, then “Over the Hills and Far Away” and now you’re working on some Eagles tunes. We love listening to “The Final Resort” on the way to hockey, and you’ve picked up “Hotel California” with just one introduction from Randy. I honestly have no idea how you do these things. You’ll hear a tune, then remember it and execute it. Just unbelievable. Your dad is quite good, too, but he won’t admit it. You are so lucky to have music as a friend.
These things are easy to spot – I see them daily – but they are not the sum and substance of who you are. Your character traits of honesty, generosity, strength, and peace-making serve you well among your friends and will help you navigate life. Over dinner a week ago you were asking about working for others in an office vs. working for yourself. It was so interesting to look at you, at 10, and try to project who you would be as an adult. I can see that your calm demeanor, thoughtful approach to problem solving, and generous spirit would make you an excellent manager if you find yourself in that situation. Still, you would have no trouble speaking up at a tedious meeting to make a point if necessary (I’m thinking of your loud Calvin and Hobbes-style humor at home!) but the vast majority of the time you’d find a quiet way to make your point loud and clear, and probably lead the way by example. But maybe you’ll be a freelance coder, setting your own hours and working into the wee hours to fix a problem. I can easily see that, too.
Sam, your mom and dad admire you so much and pray that we are serving our Lord well as your parents. We try to see ourselves as coaches, helping you to make the best choices for yourself that you can. We want to be like the great coaches you have for hockey, and every day I pray for the grace to be that person. We love you very much and hope this little run-down of the YOU we see at 10 is fun to read some day. It has taken me days to tackle the sweet job of writing this letter because of how much I care about you, and how much time that crazy Forge install took yesterday 😉
PS did you want your vital stats? You’re 5 ft tall and 97 lbs.
Video of the stick and puck party:
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!
Guten rutsch ins neue jahr! (A good slide into the New Year.)
This is how you say Happy New Year in German. I like the “slide” part!
We went for a nice walk, each in our favorite hoodies…
The slideshow below is set to Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind.” Dave introduced me to it, and now it’s one of my favorite songs because it reminds me of all the times we’ve looked out for each other on the trail hiking or biking. Well, except for those times when Dave has tried to ditch me because I’m “INSANE!” or a “KOOOK-HEAD!” as the kids say!
Krug family holiday greetings – 2014 by Slidely Slideshow
New photos and video have been uploaded to the album!!! Check the folders for Nov and Dec to see a hockey tournament, Sam trying out being goalie, Ben in basketball, and the cutest the Christmas elf you’ve ever seen…