1 Celebrating Hogmanay! I read about this being an authentic Scottish celebration (yes, it was Wikipedia) but since I'm game for anything related to fire, I gave it a go (authenticity or NOT!). It was fun! I put it down before it burned through the rope and flew off. Yes, Dave outlined for me all the things that thankfully did not go wrong.
2 We're off with the Paulsons for some snow fun. The bridge is closed for a few boats to go through. We are used to waiting in lines by now, though! (Remember our fun on Stevens Pass last month?) This is nothing! Just 30 minutes, and you KNOW what it is for!
3 Nice view of the snowy Olympics.
4 I put chains on, finally! Got to use 'em!
5 Such fun sledding!
8 Kim and I gave these a go on the logging road - wooohoo!
9 This was something I could NOT resist! Thanks, Joel! (Brother Doug - yes, I came back down on the tube behind the truck - used my heels and rump to slow down, making sure there were no rocks I'd hit - peering under the truck as we rolled along downhill). Funny story involving skin check at the Dermatologist the next week...he goes "Huh, what's THIS about?" If I'm talking to you live, I'll tell you the story. It's kinda classified.
10 Thank you, Dave, for Jetboil coffee!!!!
11 Mt. Constance is so beautiful from our snow park.
12 The kids just sledded and sledded and sledded...
13 Look at Joel's delicious tailgate fare!
14 We were among the first to arrive and among the last to leave.
15 Great day, guys.
16 A nice still life of the day.
17 From the fire road.
20 Paulson clan :)
22 Out on a run - from Manitou beach. Despite all the rain here, we DO get beautiful days.
23 I think this is open skate with the boys, AFTER stick and puck. Another day I spent many many hours at the rink, but had such a good time with my two boys.
24 Enjoy Sam trying to teach me some things :)
25 This is afterwards. We're all tired and punchy.
26 Nice, Sam!
27 Look where our number is - on Sam's head!
28 Boys shooting in the garage. Many hours spent doing this. Nana and PopPop - they LOVE the stickhandling toys you sent for Christmas!
29 Here is the radar gun that measures speed. This is a real hit! It says I walk around doing chores at 9mph!
30 Emmy greeting me - note ear position here.
31 And here. Ach, she's thinking, I guess it's for real. She's got the halter.
32 But this is afterwards. Happy, steamy horse :)
33 At the commissary with the boys. I love shopping with them! This is the card edit at the end. Really only have to deny about 10% of the crap they try to sneak out :)
34 They don't stack very neatly.
35 Here's our cereal haul. Unreal.
36 Sam is happy to try Hungry Man :)
37 The boy pantry is so full the door won't close ;)
38 Look at the stuff in there! Yes, there's some naughtiness (Cheezits). Ben loves Cheezits.
39 On our way to a hockey game. Nice frosty countryside.
41 Afterwards - half the team at IHOP!
43 Heading back home. This view never gets old.
44 Stick and Puck again :) Boys are actually playing together nicely!
46 Emmy eating fir tips! It makes her breath smell so great!
47 I'm giving Emmy a kiss here. Watch her lips and tongue. So funny! She almost gets me!
48 I lost this FULL punch card on a run, then FOUND it again the next day - in our DRIVEWAY!
49 Still making a lot of fires at home to heat the house, plus I just love splitting wood and lighting fires.
50 The goalies for knee hockey :)
51 The sun's rays finding their way all the way up to Day Rd, through the woods.
52 The tide is very very high.
53 The Mites (Ben's team) are playing for 5 minutes during the Warriors intermission.
55 Sam baking a pie to go with dinner at a friend's house!
56 This is fossil worm feces. Story posted sometime in Jan. We found this at a dig site in Seattle that we visited with a geologist friend. It was
57 So I'm trying to learn Russian, and I'm using Google to learn expressions. I speak them back IN RUSSIAN, and see how close I get to the intended ENGLISH. I was trying to say "Time to brush teeth, boys." Look what Google thought I said!
58 Oh my GOSH!
59 I guess the word "honor" is here somewhere!
62 Whew - finally!
63 Muddy ride!
64 I repaired a bridle as a gift for my awesome instructor, Janet.
65 I watched a group of Mallards for an inordinately long time while out on this run. They travel in groups, and they wait up for stragglers. How interesting.
66 My yeasts are finally back in business! This bread rose pretty well!
67 Chickens are roosting, and Wheat is getting more brave!
68 This was a crazy night. The Zamboni broke down so I organized a roller hockey meet-up. Turns out the soccer coach had the same idea. He finally allowed us to share the space when he left 15 min earlier than he planned, but the boys and I, plus Ethan our adorable goalie, spent 90 minutes waiting them out while skating in the rain! We just imagined it was ice...just not cold enough. Pond hockey of a different sort.
69 Here are a few movies of the time together. It all ended well, but I was a little frustrated while also impressed that the boys didn't let it get to them that they were relegated to 16 sq ft.
71 Greetings to their coaches - Brent is the hockey director who was pretty bummed to have a sick Zamboni for a week. Even the BACKUP (loaner) Zam broke!
72 Finally - we got some time in the dry covered area!
73 Ethan (in red) LOVED scoring!
74 He is SO cute!
76 Ben is a nut. They're making Batman hair.
78 Ben's teacher is doing a great job giving him meaningful work to do. Here's a sample. Ben is in 2nd grade.
79 Backup Zam stuck, while the kids watch in horror. It got freed and practice went on...whew!
80 Picture taken to chase a missing glove. This goes on pretty routinely. Somehow most of the gear doesn't end up lost. It's amazing what boys CAN keep track of (with a little help from mom).
81 I'm helping out in Ben's math class teaching how to interpret word problems. I'm working with kids on both ends of the learning continuum. It's kind of exhausting but gives me a better sense of just how hard it is for one teacher to do it all.
82 This is the advanced group. I had five of them.
83 Car parked out at Wilkes. Nice!
84 Janet working with Emmy, who doesn't like having an outside rein some days...
85 Ben playing some uke for us!
87 A big egg day! Wow!
88 I'm very frugal. This broke off months ago and it's a pain to use, but there's still floss in there. I haven't bought a new one. I betcha anything my mom will read this and ship me a new floss container saying "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR PRECIOUS SCARCE TIME MESSING WITH THAT?!" ;)
89 Out on a run down to Lynwood Center. This is about halfway, and very pretty.
90 I found this on the road, thought it would be bad for bike and car tires, meant to find a trash can, never found one, and ended up running with it like this. I quickly noticed cars really gave me a wide berth as I jogged along with that sticking out!
91 An exhibition game down in Tacoma - Coach Chris Wilson's son plays for the opposing team. Nice to see him (in the penalty box).
94 A shootout to end the game.
95 This man - Mike - was one of the actors in MIRACLE (movie about the 1980 Olympics). Mike played O'Callahan. Lisa was like "oooh my GOSH! It's O'Callahan!" I love Lisa - she is SO funny!
96 After the Tacoma game, we brought two boys home (cousins) for a sleepover, then we had another game the next day. These two boys have a LOT of energy! Check out the videos to see what I mean...
99 And soccer. This is 9:30 at night. It's wind down time, isn't it? but there's also basketball going on.
100 Breakfast the next morning. It only took an hour of cajoling to get them to stop jumping off bunkbeds and get some sleep...we're all a little worse for the wear but so thankful to have had them up for a night! They loved all Sam's Rubik's cubes, too.
101 Sam is tying Ben's skates - isn't that nice? Ben has practice on Sunday, so we stayed after Sam's game straight through stick and puck to Ben's practice. I spend a lot of time at the rink! Dave got us lunch then went home to study.
102 That evening we raced home (via Safeway for ingredients to make shortbread!) to have Burns Night with Ben McCafferty. He and his family are such a hoot! This is Ben helping dry out my fire so it will finally take off :) He's using a LEAF BLOWER! The guy doesn't mess around. ;)
103 Finally going - this is actually a really pretty fire. Thanks, Ben!
105 What a great surprise! WOW!
106 Hey, Wheat! You're doing well!
107 She's having some private garden time while Calvin paces longingly.
108 Peanut butter hanging from the wrong place. Yup. It was that kind of morning!
109 On the way to ride with Emmy.
110 Ben found a book on how to fold dollars. Look what he made!
111 Now it's time for sleepover #3 - Sam's birthday! We have 8 hockey boys over for pizza, fried chicken, cake and video games.
112 They are decorating Sam's cake. That will go well, I'm sure. Right?
113 Seems to be...so far.
115 You may want ear plugs for this.
116 Now it's getting messy.
117 Happy 11th birthday, Sam!
119 Some of the boys REALLY wanted to sleep in the tent. It's raining out, and I ACTUALLY did think to myself, "This is a bit crazy; I don't really need to do this." But the adventure of it won out (as I knew it would) and we set up the tent at 8pm in the DARK and the RAIN. The boys were excellent helpers. They quickly ran to the house to grab every towel they could find to mop up the floor of the tent (rain came in before I could get the rainfly up). Oh - what is this bucket? A urinal, of course!
120 Nearly set!
121 This is the next morning...we all slept well in the tent, no leaks, and I actually had to wake them up at 7:15 because one boy had teacher conferences to go to pretty early. Otherwise we'd have still been sleeping.
125 The rest of the morning was spent peacefully playing, drying clothes and sleeping bags, etc.
127 I cleaned up the house, too. Here they are playing NHL 16 or something on the PlayStation.
128 The tent will be moved out of the woods to dry out by some helpful boys (Sam and neighbor Kai). But this is the campsite in the little clearing.
129 More shooting...
130 Sam's cube collection.
131 Tent in its new drying position. I love this 10 man tent! Thank you, Mom and Richard!