Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

Our very, very good friends, Nathan and Isaac, came over this afternoon to trick-or-treat.  They got to watch a video while we made dinner. 

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Kyla and Isaac.  Probably forever. We ran into them at Costco today and they reached over the carts to give each other hugs. 

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So, kids, just how excited are you about trick-or-treating?  So excited you could dance?  Hmm, yep, you’re excited.

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Why do I love Susanne so much?  Because in the 11th hour, when Wesley suddenly came down with a fever, she and Tom cleaned up the kitchen and then took all four kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood while I stayed home with Wesley.  A good friend, indeed.

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The anticipation.

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The payoff.

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Just a Cute Shot of Piper

Last month was our last popsicle of the summer.  Piper enjoyed it.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011


My father’s birthday dinner always turns into “carve our pumpkins before it’s too late” day.

The biggest (41 pounds!) pumpkin belongs to Grandpa, with Dwayne’s bat the second step.  He carved Kyla’s “Wicked” pumpkin.  I carved Piper’s flower, and you can probably guess who claims the little one with the “W” and a bat on it.

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The four grandkids! 

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You can’t tell from this shot, but Wesley carried his little gourd around in the back of this trike.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

New Home Projects—My Favorite!

If you ever want to hear me rant—and believe me, you don’t—ask me about cedar shake roofs, bad roofers, and leaky, crumbling chimneys.  The extremely short version is that our roof has leaked…in new places…every winter for the last nine years. 
This week, we got a new roof.
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Because of all the leaks—and the unconfirmed, but very likely sightings of black widows in the attic—completely replacing the insulation in the attic and the cathedral ceiling seemed like a great idea.  Especially as we don’t plan on opening that roof up again in our lifetime (it’s a lifetime/40 year warranty).   It was also a one-shot chance to extend the roof a smidgeon by adding facia board and putting in all new gutters.  I chose to continue the green trim and I love how it turned out.  When we get our house repainted in the next few years, I’ll have them finish the green trim in the front and back of the house, but most of it is newly done and will last for years.  IMG_2756

I love this new work. I have to say that for the amount of $$ it cost, I could have had a newly remodeled kitchen of my dreams.  But, as a good friend pointed out, no point in having a brand new kitchen if the roof collapses on it.  As it is, I will spend this winter planning how to best tackle the water-stained popcorn ceiling in our bedroom.

In the next few days, I will be posting other projects I am much more proud of than this.  Other than making decisions and writing checks, I didn’t lift a finger to complete this.  I’ve had a few other projects since summer than I worked my cute little butt off and I have a huge amount satisfaction over them.  Prepare to make all the right nods and sighs as I wax poetic over rocks and weeds.

Almost An Orphanage

IMG_2768I don’t mean orphanage as in children who don’t have parents…I mean orphanage as in organizing and corralling more kids than one body can physically give birth to.  Got dinner finished by putting on a video for the 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 5-year olds. (To be fair, Aubrey’s mom was around and put her to bed.)  I wiped a lot of bottoms tonight, but the kids are the right ages—even Wesley—to play really well together and even clean up together.  It’s 10:30pm and 5 out of 6 of them are sound asleep, so I give myself a “B”.  I think one little guy is going to call his parents to say good-night so that I can make 100%.  But, all in all, it’s been a great evening.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Piper Extraordinaire


I believe I counted her carrying 8 stuffed animals plus the one on her back. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Summer II: Another Afternoon in the Park

IMG_2598I have found the secret to getting good weather late in October:  Get a new roof.  This was the second day on the job for our roofers and they could do virtually nothing with the constant drizzle we had today. Finally, around 1pm, they gave up and left.  And by 2pm, it had cleared up and the sun was out by 3pm.  


We’ll try this again tomorrow.  Our roof may never get put on, but if we can have sunny afternoons, I will be one grateful mom.


Isaac gets  a push both directions!



This is Wesley’s camera smile.  It’s pretty good, I’d say. 



Now he’s giving someone besides Mama his camera smile.  Humph.



This looks bad, but he did these “swing somersaults” over and over.



I’m including this shot because it wasn’t until I downloaded this picture to the computer did I notice that the camera had captured Wes walking exactly like Piper does!



Down at the lake, the girls fished with long sticks. They caught some sort of hairball roots that they could stab with their stick. It made them deliriously happy. 




The ducks were bemused.  Or terrified.  It’s difficult to tell with ducks.



Piper caught one! 



After two hours, I finally herded the kids back to the car.  One large leaf pile tackled us before we could get to the parking lot. 





Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Definitely Not Winter

I love these unexpectedly sunny days in October.  We’ve gotten in a lot of outdoor play, and even stopped at the “Tire Swing” park this morning between errands and preschool.

10-19 Day at Park 007Wesley put on Kyla’s pink/brown reversible vest this morning.  Like his shiner?  He collided with a manned rocket (okay, our rocket swing) yesterday that sent him flying.  It got worse later today when Piper accidently kicked him in that exact spot.  It was traumatic.







The problem with tire swings is that one can never get a good picture of all three.  But Wesley can go almost as high and twirly as his sisters, though thus far he shows no inclination to do the same tricks they do. Tricks like standing up.  Standing up backwards.  Holding on with one hand.  You know, things you don’t want your kids to learn at the playground.

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The kids have often been pretending to be ducklings lately.  Kyla keeps her little ones in line.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Slumber Party

Our friend, Anya, is spending the night tonight as an extended play date.  She’s turning 3 in fortnight so is a bit younger than Piper and enough older than Wesley, but she plays great with all three of my kids.  She got the top bunk in Piper’s room and I thought this was a cute picture of the girls sharing books  in (coincidently) matching pajamas. They could be sisters with those similar bright smiles!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sleepy Sunday Afternoons

Just today, we’ve been able to return to a Sunday morning service (instead of evening).  This is what we do on lazy Sunday afternoons that are too cold to do landscaping projects:


(Kyla’s not very good at it.)

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This is a well-rested Wesley being Wesley.

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And to put in a plug:

Molbaks has their free children’s play on Saturdays and Sundays through October at 11am, 2pm and 4m.  It’s a 45 minutes version of Rapunzel with three actors and it’s fun for kids and adults.

I will say that my kids are just slightly media sheltered…by a neurotic, controlling, anti-commercialization, anti-Disney, killjoy mother.  Me.  When I let them watch a Leapfrog (think Sesame Street genre) video about numbers, they came running, screaming AND crying to me when a cartoon pirate dog appeared.  And we switched the video back to Diego

I tell you all that so that you don’t take seriously the fact that my girls went from sitting on the floor near the stage with the other kids to quickly coming back to find us when the witch appeared.  Piper cuddled close to Daddy the rest of the show and Kyla alternated between cowering behind my chair, sitting in laps, covering her ears, hiding behind a wall, and then creeping forward again to the stage when she felt a little braver and running back again when she did not.  It was a full house and no other kids left their seats or displayed more emotion that clapping and laughing. 


And one more note…the witch was played by a Todd.  Probably the best way to get an ugly witch is to have a man play her.  It was hilarious.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Pumpkin-ing We Go!

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On a crisp autumn day, hours before the sun came out [out, not up], Dwayne and I took the kids to the nearby farm to do autumn-ish things. 


Like climbing on hay bales,

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…feeding kibble to the goats and alpacas (have I mentioned that Dwayne and I are considering getting goats someday?),

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Kyla is our most timid child when it comes to animals

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Piper wouldn’t be afraid of a rabid wolf

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And Wesley alternated between fearless and wanting a little assistance from Daddy

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… and choosing just the right Daddy-, Mama-, Kyla-, Piper-, and Wesley-sized pumpkins.  It actually took about 5 minutes and that was only because Dwayne walked more than 15 feet to find his gourd.

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Thanks to the miracle of Velcro, Wesley was my lil’ pumpkin all morning!

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I call this Meditation in Yellow.

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Let’s just pretend this is a really cute shot, okay?  Because it was supposed to be.

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