Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Don’t mean to brag but…

I took down my Christmas lights today.  Not the winter ones; just the red and green ones.  The last round comes down when I can take them off in shorts and a T-shirt.

Monday, January 28, 2019


We try to get a 3 day weekend in Leavenworth each winter, and this year, we had Monday off for end of semester, so we grabbed a condo right outside of town for the weekend and headed right into the snow.

Wes found a wheel-less skateboard and he and Piper found a way to play with the "snowboard."

We did my two favorite activities as soon as we got into town Saturday afternoon: walk through the park trails and order at the Ginger Bread Factory.  

The others went back to the house, while Piper and I took some time together to go shopping-meandering downtown.

[And here is how I found out that if I take off my glasses and put on a hat, I am suddenly my mother.] 

In fact, we basically did the same thing on Sunday and then on Monday, walking and eating.  

And by walking, I mean "penguin-ing".

I love these swings--you put your toddle in one and the baby in the other, and push just one swing while the two entertain each other as well.  Brilliant!  I've got two nieces I'm going to try them out with this summer. 


Hmmm, looks like we're back to eating again.


And when everyone else went inside, SnowBoy stayed outside and played in the hard-as-concrete frozen snow.

We'll be back again, Leavenworth!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Leavenworth-y: Ski Hill and a Win for Wes

For as many times we've visited our favorite Bavarian town, we've never "done" Ski Hill (though we walk the multi-mile loop whenever we can).  At the top of Ski Hill is...a hill to ski on.  Kinda.  

There are two rope tows, one for the Bunny, and one that can either be green or blue, depending upon when you let go of the rope (assuming it is a conscious decision and not an "AAAUUUGGGG!" moment). 

We had rented Piper a snowboard for a week, so Dwayne and Piper set out for the Bunny Hill while Wes, Kyla, and I tackled the tubing hill, which must have been constructed by drunken teens supervised by high college kids.  Who's to say why my pants were wet after I did 3 runs.  

I'll admit the pictures don't look overly terrifying, but you'll just have to trust me...and my soiled clothes.  Pay no attention to the fact we ran to do it again each time we found that we survived. 

After we did a few runs, we stopped for cocoa at the lovely lodge, and cheered up Piper who had a horrible experience on the one run.  Usually her determination works well in her favor, but this time she was determined not to do another run.  Wes volunteered to do take the snowboard.  Unhappily, Piper gave him her coat (with the lift ticket), and I have my coat to Piper, so she could have my last 3 sled runs.  Then I took the girls back to the condo, and returned with my own snowboard.  

Meanwhile, Wes had done the bunny hill a few times, and he cheerfully reported, "I'm horrible at this!"  But he pulled a Piper and kept trying and trying, and was finally coming down the hill faster than he could go up.  So the 3 of us tackled the other run.  (It's funny--because Wesley is wearing Piper's coat and helmet, I have to keep reminding which kid is in the picture.)


We boarded for a few hours, and then quit before we were too tired.  Then my magical Traveling Coat of Mom went on Dwayne so he could do the last sled run with Wes. (Remember this is the coat that Piper had worn before, so it fit a 10 year old girl, me, and a 200 pound man. I'm not saying it's a flattering jacket, but Mama definitely has to prioritize practicality over other considerations, especially on the mountains.)

Compliments to Wesley:
1) He didn't complain once about wearing his sister's coat.
2) The snowboard was measured for Piper, who is significantly taller than Wes.  He learned anyway.
3) He bound his own boots on the board.  His boots are decent snow boots, but in no way have the structure proper boarding boots have, which you need to have good control.  He learned anyway.
4) Only one of the bindings was designed to be tight enough to keep his boot in place.  The other boot was on, but not firmly.  This is NOT good snowboarding equipment.  He learned anyway.
5) He didn't complain about anything that afternoon--which is not a typical Wesley day.  He kept falling and getting right back up, ready to try again.  

It was a WIN for WESLEY!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Piper’s Win

There are few things that make me kick-in-the-gut proud than seeing something I love about myself blossoming in my children.  Since becoming a homeowner, I’ve prided myself on fixing/problem-solving/engineering what is not working.

Tonight, Piper was microwaving her frozen strawberries, but the platter wasn’t turning.  She allowed me to be her advisor and assistant, but she was going to fix it.  Within an hour, we had removed the bottom layers of the appliance, all to get to the little piece that connects the upper plastic dohickey to the thingabob underneath that rotates it.  Not only did we fix that, we cleaned out all the years of collected grease, and to understate the complexity of this, put it all back together.  I got to show Piper the time honored tradition of putting tricky pieces together only to realize you forgot a piece.…and redoing everything. 

In fact the only one in the room more proud of Piper than me, was her. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Three Day Weekend at the Cabin

We were so fortunate that the cabin was available for MLK weekend!  Kyla was going to be at Winter Camp all weekend, but I had already been asked to watch my niece and nephew for at least part of the weekend and also was going to take Piper's BFF to the cabin for the weekend.  So I had 2 of my own, and then 3 extra kids (plus the cabin neighbor girl I would adopt in a heartbeat, who is Wesley's age and is distinguished by being adored by all my children, even when they don't adore each other).

The boys shared a room the first night together before Cecily got there, and this is what it looked liked after about an hour of arriving.

Piper and Abs took it upon themselves to clean it up while also minding their 3 dolls.

I got talked into taking all the kids down to "our" beach (again, before Cecily arrived).

Yep, the older girls took off their shoes and rolled up their pants while playing with the beach clay...in January.  Go ahead, you can shiver while you read this.

I tried to read, blog, and prep Math Team that weekend, but that many kids in a small space doesn't give me many places to hide.  Next cabin project...

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Happy 9th Birthday, Wes!

My baby turns 9 tomorrow, but we had his party after school today.  When he was younger (and had less than the current 27 classmates), we’d invite his entire class.

This year, I let him invite 8 friends to walk home with him (and the 5th  grade sisters of half of those boys), shoot Nerf guns at each other and eat Oreo ice cream cake for 90 minutes.  No gifts, no fuss,  and the cleaner is coming tomorrow.  Maybe happy unbirthday to me!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Stupid Tall Tree

And by “stupid tree”, I mean “I don’t want to carry up the ladder from the garage again”.  Luckily, a folding stool atop a barstool—and no one else around to give sounder counsel—let me reach the star on top.  See, this is what happens when I have a chore and no one to supervise.  Or bring me a ladder.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Starting 2019 at a New Low!

He made his first major goal;  sub 200!!

1-1 New Weight Dwayne

Year’s End Audible Stats

It’s funny that *I*  get virtual credit for our audible awesomeness.  Since it’s digital, it’s very easy to keep track of how much we read.   All the kids and I use Audible to listen to many books, but Kyla uses it far and away the most often.  [And I have relied more and more on Libby, an app that downloads library books; it’s both easy and free, but you can’t always get the books you want right away.  Being part of the library system, there can be holds and waits.  Still, very worth it, especially for a books I want to explore, but not own forever.]

Books added this year:  64 (for a total of 164 books in our Audible library)

1278 Hours listened –that’s over 53 days! (mostly Kyla!)