Sunday, June 30, 2019

The 5 Little Pinkies and the Big Bad Kitty

This is the cat who didn't catch the mama mouse that was living upstairs for weeks. 

 This is the insulation Mrs. Mouse used to make her nest IN THE MUFFIN TIN under the oven.
 And these are the 5 little babies she birthed in that muffin tin.

Denise: DWAYNE!  Something happened that's YOUR FAULT!

I actually took care of the problem while Dwayne pretended to scold the slacker cats.  And an exterminator was out the next week. I think we've trapped about a dozen of them now, mostly in the garage and Secret Hiding Place.   

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Zoo Day

 We celebrated the first official day of summer vacation by dropping Wesley off at camp, and taking Grandpa to the zoo.

I took and deleted a ton of pictures, because I really don't need more butterfly pictures or blurry lemurs.  But boy, was I smitten with this Bear's attitude!  Rock on, Grizzly.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Last Day of School!

Phew! Last day of school was a Monday this year, and Wesley spent it going to the first day of his Nerf Rivals camp, Kyla went to carnival/field day on her first last day of middle school, and Piper's elementary school career has come to an end as well.  

There's not much to say about the ceremony.  They had their field day on Wednesday, 5th Grade all-day picnic on Thursday, Moving-Up Ceremony on Friday (while I balanced work and completing Book Swap), and then Monday. Piper may h ave been almost as done with it as I was!

But we always like to celebrate afterwards.  On Friday, we invited all the 3rd graders over for Play & Popsicles, and Piper invited her special girlfriends over.  The 5th grade girls expanded to a few beloved neighbors and younger sisters and they had fun learning this rhyme together.

Summer Begins!!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Scoops Ahoy!

One should always celebrate a return to civilization with an ice cream parlor visit.  We drove back from the mountains via Uncle Del’s town, so he met us and caught us up on family news. 

Wes the Sailor Boy

Kyla the Sailor Girl

It was the cherry on top!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Happy Fathers Me!

Dwayne and I like to celebrate with  adventures—and with all the Hallmark holidays out there, we have lots of opportunities to play.  For Mother’s Day, I had a pedi & gossip with a girlfriend and later a family dinner, so I put myself in charge of Father’s Day to do something a little wilder.

I had originally looked at going to Paradise Inn on Mount Rainier, not terribly far from the lot my grandparents had in our childhood.  But when I googled, Alta Vista Crystal Resort came up first and distracted me.  (Squirrel!)

It was a minimum two-nighter, which meant we had to figure out how to leave after the craziest day in the work week for both  Dwayne and I, but it was nice to be forced to leave Friday evening.  With the late sunset, we had a beautiful drive out of Eatonville and still arrived with enough time to jump into the saline pool and hot tub before a late night movie and bedtime.

So worth waking up where you want to be on a Saturday morning!  This is a resort under new management working it’s Sasquatch off to appeal.  It’s certainly in the mountains, just a 15 minute drive to Chrystal Mountain base.   

To begin, they have a scavenger hunt, which guides through all sorts of trails I wouldn’t have noticed on my own.  And since we were “looking for clues” and not “hiking” it was totally fun for the kids.  

We loved the spring-fed, slightly above freezing creek through the area.  It was exactly the sort of scenery that comes to mind when I think “Washington Beautiful.”

Don't fall, Babe!! (He didn't.)

I had planned our trip up Chrystal’s gondola to give us plenty of time to get on the wait list for the restaurant with the “Best View of Mount Rainier”.  Unfortunately, arriving 90 minutes before the last seating doesn’t work when there is already a 2 hour wait list.  Well, it was a day with perfect summer weather, and we were not the only ones on the mountain.  It was actually a little bit like the Grand Canyon—English was a first language for only about half of us mountain gawkers. 

Going up...

...and up...
...and finally, we near the top....

Mt. St. Helens adds to the perfect panorama.

Part of adventuring is being adaptable.  Well, to be honest, the result of not planning is needing to be flexible.  I could have brought groceries to make dinner—we had a tiny kitchen in our suite, but the nearest grocery store was about the same distance as the nearest tavern, so outdoor seating and outside BBQ for us. 

And we were back in time for smores and yard games back a the resort. 

We won Father's Day!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Wes: Another Belt

Wesley enjoys Martial Arts and earned his orange-black belt today (not anywhere near a regular black belt!).  They get tested every 3 months, and the entire goal of 3 months of classes is to pass the next test, so it's not a major deal. But I take pictures, so hence the blog post. 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Piper Writes

Piper has gotten into writing more and more. First of all, she's an excellent typist (not just for an 11 year old) and she loves creating multichapter stories about animals.  She shares them with me right away and lets me go through and give her feedback, from basics on punctuation to overall story arc.  I love her enthusiasm!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

June Family Time

Brian's family came up for the weekend, and not only do I like getting together with my siblings, but I love the that the cousins spend time together.

My parents has seven grandchildren (period, full stop).  Wes and Parker are the only boys, so when Wes has to wait for his boy cousin to show up, measures are takent to work through his feelings.  In this instance, it meant standing on top of the wishing well my paternal grandfather built to aim invisible bolts over the hedge at all passing cars that do not contain Parker.  Funnier to me, is that Keith and Julie come from the other direction.

Piper thought she could call dibs on Taryn over her own mother.  We both love to hold the babies.

Kyla is such a fantastic babysitter.  Even though she would love to join the grown up conversations or read her own book, she plays with and reads her younger cousins.  


Can't wait to see them all again! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Canceling Home School today on account of Suckiness

Wednesdays can be tough anyway, as I volunteer during Pipe’s library time at school and then 30 minutes later, drag Wes along so I can coach Math Team for an hour and a half.  This Wednesday had a morning Coffee with the Superintendent that I attended, plus a one-on-one meeting with same superintendent later that day, right before my 2 hour dyslexia meeting at the district offices.  All those still happened, but when I got home at 9:30 from the coffee, Wes came running at me with “worms!” “cats!” “bedroom!” pouring out of him barely intelligibly.

I went into his bedroom and quickly realized home school was going to be canceled today.

In a new feline low, one of the cats brought in a dead mouse.  A very, very dead mouse.  So old that maggots were crawling out of it and making their way up Wesley’s book case and across the carpet. 

Wesley was not so calmly trying to drown the “white worms” by spraying water on anything that squirmed.  When that failed to work, he used his outdoor knife to cut  them in half.  

I was not amused.

However, I was motivated to do a thorough cleaning, and by bedtime,  I had thoroughly cleaned all surfaces in Wesley’s room, had wore him out scrubbing out goo from his carpet, and had deep cleaned his carpet and the entire hallway. 

While at it, I came across this:

Two more dehydrated mice well hidden under his captain’s bed.
Even Dwayne didn’t try to defend the cats this time. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

We’re Ax-Throwing Barbarians Now

Followers of Wes’s antics have possibly wondered what has happened with his penchant for throwing sharp implements.

Dwayne happened, that’s what.

Actually, I love that Dwayne organized a multigenerational building project that involved my dad, Wes, and himself as they designed and built a side yard ax-throwing target. 

Not bad, eh?  Dwayne had already ordered regulation axes from amazon, and we had shared non-negotiable rules with our children, so once he had gotten it stabilized, the axes began flying!

It’s already gone through one panel replacement (that is, 1st achievement if you like to make everything analogous to video games).  I’m pretty terrible at it, but Dwayne and Wes enjoy it.

Come throw axes with us soon!