Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two Great Lines That I Didn’t Write…

…But wish I would have.

(1) From my brother’s blog about a utility sink installation he was doing in their garage:

"How cheap can I make this project" turned into "how much do I have to spend in order to not call a plumber."

I’d have to change “plumber” to “Papa Jim” but the sentiment is fully understood.


(2) From a blog on ParentMap, by Stephanie Olson.

If I am staying at home and I am a feminist, I had damn well better raise two boys who are kind and respectful and gentle in this world.

Again, I’d have to personalize it a bit:

If I am staying at home and I am a feminist, I had damn well better raise 3 kids who are kind and useful and pick their nose in private…and do it better than anyone I could have paid. 

How would you other Stay-at-Homes finish this thought? If I am staying at home and I am a feminist, I had damn well better raise ____ kids/boys/girls who are ________________________.

New Camera!

I have not gotten the old camera to work since that last fateful picture of us at the beach.  I can start blogging again, since I bought this little dandy off craigslist.  It’s faster, better, and—being used—cheaper than my old one.  And I haven’t let any kids touch it.


My first shots—isn’t fast enough to catch Kyla smiling?  In a darkened car?  Pass and PASS! 

4-30 new camera!

4-30 new camera!2

4-30 new camera!3

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Last Shots of the Rope Swing

We went to the Island for 6 days over Spring Break.  We made it to the beach Friday and then not again until Monday.  Over the weekend, the rope swing had been cut, quite high up, so it simply couldn’t be used.  My friend, Jen, found these pictures of the kids using it in mid-March.

3-24 beach with drury's 1


Never fear, beach.  Dwayne and I have already bought a replacement rope and do0hickey.  I’m also looking to upgrade it with a disc swing—looking on craigslist right now!


Hey, Buddy, you smile a lot. Thanks.

3-24 beach with drury's 5


I just love how pretty the death-defying trip down to the beach is.

3-24 beach with drury's 8

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friends + Beach + Skivvies

I finally got Sus and her boys to join us for a weekend at the cabin—we were ecstatic! 

We went to the beach during the last hours of sun we would have for the weekend.

4-26 Cabin with Sus 1

4-26 Cabin with Sus 4

4-26 Cabin with Sus 12


Can you believe Sus got that many pictures before the kids started stripping?

4-26 Cabin with Sus 13


These two were the first to shuck and dip.  A group of teen girls had a good laugh at Wesley streaking down the beach and me yelling after him, “Put your underwear back on—keep the sand out!”

4-26 Cabin with Sus 144-26 Cabin with Sus 15

Installing an outdoor shower at the cabin is on the top 10 list….


You can’t read to just one of them.

4-26 Cabin with Sus 18


Thanks for the great pictures, Susanne, during my camera drought!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Play, Play, Play, That’s All We Ever Do

Six days at the cabin. Three friends and 4 kid friends.  Three sunny days.  It was one of the best times on Whidbey yet.


I always think I’m overpacking for the cabin, but at the end of almost every day, I have a full load of laundry to do (shake sand out first) and the kids all seem to be down to their last clean, intact pair of pants.  This is Piper’s second (of three) outfits and it’s only noon,

4-15 cabin beach with tyler mailee 2


And another thing to add to the list of Things That Make Me Wet My Pants:  Runny up the skate park and vaulting over the top.  (Laughing and sneezing generally top the list.)

4-15 denise park


There are so many things to do at a skate park when you don’t have wheels. 

1) Rip your pants.  (Kyla)

2) Rip your pants. (Piper)

3) Rip your pants. (Wesley)

4) Wet your pants. (Anonymous)

4-15 kyla park


This girl knows how to enjoy herself.  If only she had a cold root beer in that hand.

4-15 Kyla tire swing


Again, this child just needs a beach and some shells to keep her busy for a long, long time. Four hours, in fact, as long as I feed her occasionally.

4-16 clinton beach with friends 2


This is worth preserving, simply because Wes is still wearing his clothes.  While near water.  (Hint: it won’t last.)

4-16 clinton beach with friends 3


Tyler didn’t have to convince Wesley too much of the Greatness of Construction Trucks at the beach.

4-16 clinton beach with friends 4



4-16 clinton beach with friends 10

One of the many, many times Wes stripped down to his skivvies over the week we were on Whidbey.  I’m actually going to buy him boxers next week to be slightly more socially acceptable.  If 3-year olds can ever be socially acceptable.

4-16 clinton beach with friends 12


Piper: You know what would be a really, really good idea?  Using these old trucks as roller skates to go down this sand pile!

4-16 clinton beach with friends 23


Wesley:  I am so in!  I don’t have pants or shoes on, so I’m set.
Wesley: I’m down. 

Wesley: That was fun!

4-16 clinton beach with friends 24


Tyler:  What could go wrong?

4-16 clinton beach with friends 26


Piper decides to fall on her face this time instead of her bum again.  She really likes to mix stunts up!4-16 clinton beach with friends 19


The last picture possibly to ever be taken on my camera.  Piper snapped some shots of Wes falling asleep on me.  The camera hasn’t worked since. 

4-16 clinton beach with friends 33

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Another Cabin Improvement

My friend, Susanne, had a medicine cabinet leftover from a remodel a year or so ago.  She wanted it out of her garage so our cabin got an improvement.  Thanks, Friend!

4-13 cabin medicine cabinet 1



4-13 4 cabin medicine cabinet


I also worked on the front yard.  There’s a circle of “flowers” (okay, mostly weeds and overgrown grass) in the middle of the lawn.  It will look better and be easier to maintain when I can dump some dirt and grass seed over it.  But it will be slow progress, done only when it’s warm, dry, and we’re not at the beach.

4-14 cabin front yard 2


Two birds with one stone:  moving pretty purple flowers next to the deck where they won’t be mowed over and another opportunity to plant something where I want Dwayne to build.  There’s always a master plan, my friends.

4-14 cabin front yard 3


And this tree is significant in that it’s not dead.  It was supposed to be a weeping flowering cherry, but it has grown straight and tall and was overshooting the space in our own yard.  So I uprooted it, pruned it down to size, left it in the garage overnight  before it was tossed in the back of Jim’s truck and carted over to the cabin.  Jim will be the only one more shocked than myself to see how well it is blossoming.  Seriously, how did I not kill it?  Well done, tree.  Use well your second chance at life.

4-14 cabin front yard 4

It’s Bedtime. Where are the Kids?

There are four twin beds for three kids to choose from.

No one here.

4-13 cabin kids sleeping together 2


Or here.

4-13 cabin kids sleeping together 4


There was a kid here earlier.

4-13 cabin kids sleeping together 3


Ah.  Snuggly like a ferret.

4-13 cabin kids sleeping together 1


And the next night.

4-14 kids sleeping again

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Flitting with the Fairies at Meerkerk

I’ve written about Meerkerk Gardens before, a rhododendron plus garden with an additional 40 acres of nature trails.  The garden also specializes in fairies, and we happened to be in the neighborhood on “Make Your Own Fairy” day. 

4-13 Meerkerk faires 5


Volunteers had scoured the gardens for wings, bodies, and appropriate fauna accessories and then provided hot glue guns and some beads and ribbon scraps.

4-13 Meerkerk faires 7


Luckily, the kids didn’t know about the cupcakes and apple juice until after they had spend lots of time creating their dolls.  Wesley was happy to decorate a single fairy wing.4-13 Meerkerk faires 10


And the Woodland Fairy Queen was happy to pose for pictures with the interns.

4-13 Meerkerk faires 9


Piper just likes putting things on her head.

4-13 Meerkerk garden 14


We meandered through the gardens until the girls came across the 1 mile nature hoop and they badly wanted to explore it.  All three kids walked the whole thing quite happily!

4-13 Meerkerk garden 4

4-13 Meerkerk garden 7

4-13 Meerkerk garden 13

Kyla’s Talent

“Talent” is Kyla’s word not mine, but I will admit she is resourceful.  It’s a lot easier to climb up a log wall than a regular straight one.

4-12 Climing walls cabin 1


Monkey see….

4-12 Climing walls cabin 2

Friday, April 12, 2013

On Spring Break—Playing Harder Than Usual

Ten days off school and six of them to be spent at the cabin. 




4-13 cabin beach 1

4-13 cabin beach 3

4-13 cabin beach 4