Last weekend I noticed a flyer up in town regarding Project Backpack. We support the charity, which provides school supplies for families in need, through donations ($) but I thought they MUST be doing a lot of sorting right about now to get all those supplies handed out. It occurred to me it would be a great job for the Cream Soda Crew! A way to help other students and continue working together as a crew. I called Helpline House and left a message, something like…I have a crew of young boys who are experts at demolishing odd jobs. I explained the inception of the crew as a charitable endeavor in support of their school auction – they got their start doing spring yard cleanup. I hung up and wondered if I would hear back. I did!! While initially they were a little doubtful about 5-6 boys coming down and sorting/labeling supplies, they decided to give us a chance. (I understand – most of the jobs are outside, but I know they can handle inside work, too, thanks to Sara putting them to work at the courthouse!) Well, after we got the ok, more kids joined the crew. In the end we had 9 kids – 6 boys and 3 girls – grades 1 through 5! What a team! Take a look at what they did in just one hour! The teenagers volunteering today don’t need to do all the sorting – they just hand out supplies! Way to go, Cream Soda Crew! We had a good time at the after-party at our house.
Six boys and two robots = very exciting match up! Boys took turns driving and repairing. It was awesome. I had the good fortune of having a friend pop over just as I was unloading 42 bags of groceries from the truck. She helped me carry them then helped finish of a few drops of wine. Then neighbor and baby popped in to see what all the commotion was! Then more boys and another mom! Blackberry cobbler in the over from picking adventure this morning. Fun afternoon! This is summer 🙂
If you are interested in what my dressage training is all about, here are a couple videos (and if you go to the channel, you can see more). Emmy is the spirited Irish Cob I am “borrowing” from Steve and Theresa just down the road from Janet’s Whitethorn Farm where I train. Theresa filmed the clinic with guest instructor Bill Woods for me so I could watch it again. Today I finally summoned the noogies to watch – I truly hate my lower leg position but since we continue to work on canter departs I decided to ignore the leg and take in the instruction once again! I’m also including a video from November 18, 2013 so you can see the progression over 10 months. Much work remains, but I can see progress, and I am noting how patient my instructors are. Geez it takes a long time to retrain the body! I am very grateful to have an opportunity to work with Janet after 26 years out of the saddle. I’ve been riding twice a week for the last 7 months and have only missed two rides this summer thanks to a steady stream of great high schoolers who have been able to hang out with the boys and other neighborhood kids. I can’t recommend Janet Grunbok highly enough. As Steve says, the progress to date compared to where I started is night and day! If you want an excellent instructor on Bainbridge Island, look no further. Janet is the consummate professional, always reading, thinking, seeking additional training for herself, and furthering her students’ understanding of dressage with selected readings from the web and dressage publications. Her lessons are focused and build on the fundamentals. Each time I come away exhilarated and with a goal to work on between lessons. I sure wish I’d known Janet when I was 8 years old and starting to ride my first pony! First lesson with Janet! I was on the longe line until February while we worked on balance, among myriad other things. You learn a lot just hanging out with Janet in the barn!
In August we popped out to the Olympic Peninsula several times to check out adventures we hadn’t gotten to yet. We were very fortunate to grab a room both at Kalaloch Lodge on the coast and Lake Crescent one weekend. We also made it to Rainier for PEAK WILDFLOWER VIEWING! Can you believe it? That was an epic day – 7 hrs of driving and 3.5 hrs of hiking! We sure did have fun! Please check the album link above for August pictures.
I can’t believe July few by! There are so many great July pictures to share with you here. Here is a selection. July was spent with sports during the week (roller hockey and STEM camp for Sam and soccer/basketball for Ben) and adventuring on the weekends. It is a blur now, but fun every day. I hope you enjoy these shots. Click on the link above to explore the rest of the album.
This seemed like a decent way to offload a huge pile-up of eggs in our fridge (since I finally went to the market and needed some real estate back!). Turns out Ben is an amazing sales person! He helped pull in the customers, while Sam did the math checking (one person said how much are they and Ben said “Five cents!” – Sam jumped in and corrected that one!). A friend came down in his gear and helped out, too. They were awesome together. Ben was so enthusiastic that one customer turned around and came back. He said “I turned around because of YOU (Ben) and your enthusiasm.” He tipped Ben an extra $2. Isn’t that so nice? He is a science teacher in the district. Another lady bought two dozen but gave the kids $40 – essentially donating $30!!! I wish I could have thanked her but I was inside washing up another two dozen! I was watching Ben from the shadows to be sure his enthusiasm didn’t propel him into the road…we set up a hockey stick on the ground so he wouldn’t get too close. Needless to say…I did not get the office time today that I needed. Oh well. They raised $74!
Enjoy this video 🙂
Today I took two boys for a 4.5 mile jog. We had a wonderful time – it’s awesome here in the Northwest in the summer. And how lucky am I to be a work-from-home mom who can jog with boys? They talk about the oddest things while jogging. Sam thought it would be funny to set up a chicken liver lemonade stand. Hmmm…sounds a bit like what is on offer for dinner around here.
Anyone for soy wasabi almonds and marshmallows for dinner?
It was time for a commissary run. After a two hour hockey practice. Which was after a 3 hour soccer camp (while Sam and I were out running). A tasty high-salt Taco Bell dinner followed by an hour in the air conditioning made sense. So we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Sam got chatty with the guys at the fish counter. Ben asked “Are there any flying fish here?” (I guess he was thinking of Pike Market?) Sam got a taste of smoked salmon belly strips and pronounced them DELICIOUS and so he got some. $386 later we were out the door and loading the car. Which was full of stinking hot hockey gear.
Have you ever smelled the elbow pads of a hockey player? Dave enjoyed helping us unpack!
Here are a few pictures of my lovies from today. I can’t figure out if camps are helpful or a pain in the arse. My head is spinning from the logistics of planning out the moving parts (along with my neighbors and friends – we are all helping each other with the logistics but we need a flight control expert to train us in managing all this!). Today I cancelled a camp. It’s TOO MUCH! I just want my kids with me!!!
We had such a great time! It was too short, but we are glad we could get back for Sam’s hockey game and team photo. Grateful for every minute being unplugged and hanging out together as a family. Thanks, Dave, for an absolutely wonderful time. So glad, especially, that you could be with us this time. I hope you enjoy the pictures – they are nearly all annotated to capture the stories. Click on the photo below to go to the album. There are also some very funny movies that Sammy took!
Very foggy so had to switch which ferry we took. Truck likes having a kayak on top this time – Dave is able to come! Yay! Also first time using a roof rack. More evidence Dave is with us! Boys are having fun already 🙂 Ben is telling one of the animals with us which site we have “pythie we have site 17 which is really big and nice on the water! “
Today Merlin passed quietly. He was such a tremendous presence here adding drama and beauty to our lives. Whenever someone would come over we would show them Merlin and talk about how Gordon is his son, born on Ben’s 4th birthday. Sam noticed how odd it was that Merlin passed exactly 2 years after Gordon hatched – to the day! I guess he had decided that Gordon had apprenticed enough and was ready to step up as guardian.
The boys and I shed tears over the grand rooster as I scooped up his still-warm and limp body. It was the hug I had been wanting to give him for a long time. I could never turn my back on him or enter the run without my hoe. He never got used to the fact that I was friend, not foe!
I wish I could remember everything the boys said as we sadly buried him. They were very sweet, thinking about how Merlin was such a strong rooster. Sam noted that now “the girls might get some feathers back” and Ben said something about “If Merlin knows about God…” and I missed the rest. He is in his final dust bath under the maple tree. Rest in peace, big boy. We will sure miss you! Here are a couple of the things I already miss and it’s only been a few hours:
Hearing a big kerthunk as you hop off your roost at night to get a snack. I jump back every time!
Seeing you in your spot on the roost closest to the door so any predator has to cross by you first before getting to the girls. Your spot is open, like the missing man formation.
Hearing two crows and knowing if it was yours or Gordon’s.
Your chuckle as you point out a nice treat and never take a bite, saving it all for your girls. (OH – Sam put an earthworm in Merlin’s grave because he always gave them away – OMG I cried hard at that gesture it was so incredibly thoughtful.)
How you trained Gordon in the ways of roostering.
How I always called you “Mister Puffy” because I knew you didn’t like that nickname, referring to your soft rump feathers.
I’m sure I’ll add to this list, I’m just too sad right now to dwell on your passing.
Today was the first inline hockey practice AND Gramma and Richard’s first day here! How do we not have a picture of them yet??? Geez! Must be because they scampered off to ACE Hardware – surprise surprise, right?
Here are some shots from the day – enjoy!
We had hockey tonight (new player drop-in to skate around and get some time building skills, meeting the coaches and other players). Then with 12 min to choke down a PB&J for dinner we went to guitar/ukulele. Instead of being exhausted, they were totally on it, leading the lesson and asking for more challenge! I say “serendipitous” because of all days they might choose to have a mania, this was probably a good one. I wish mine had arrived on the same day…I’m wiped! It was really hot out, too – 82 degrees at 5pm. Ben is practicing his slap shot and scoop shot while Sam skates. The team also brought a ton of snacks and popsicles, water and cookies. Amazing group! So as further evidence of the mania, Sam came out of the shower, threw on jammies, and grabbed a cube, saying “I want to get REALLY fast at this, like REALLY fast. Ok if I look up some L2L algorithms?”