Thursday, March 14, 2019

sledding during piano II

Just about this exact same time last year I took the littles sledding during the older's piano lesson. Only I didn't want to walk all the way to Canyon Lake like we did before so on March 5th, we decided to visit the hill on the Meadowbrook Golf Course. It is just across the street from Kathy's where we had gone for our first snow in 2016. 
This is the triple hill from 2016. 

I made the littles hike all the way to the top and slide from there.

At first the boys didn't want to even go there, but quickly changed their minds.

After a couple practice runs, Samuel finally hit a good line and rode it all the way down the three hills. He had such fun that he ran all the way back up and tried it again. Only this time it went horribly wrong! He followed that sled line right to the bridge. If only he had gone over the bridge... 

Sadly, he hit the side of the bridge and then dropped under it. He knocked all those bricks out with his speed. 

I was recording a Marco Polo to send to my family while this happened so I got the whole thing on video (sadly the quality is therefore poor). As you can see, Samuel was on his belly facing backwards so he couldn't see where he was going. Also he couldn't hear me yelling. We never ever thought such a thing could happen!

I was frightened that he was in serious peril. I didn't know what was under that bridge; whether it was ice, icy water, or how deep it went. He didn't get up right away so that made me even more afraid. But by the time I ran down there, he popped up, laughing while he did so. 

After that we instituted a new forward facing rule and Samuel never went as fast and recklessly again. 

There were some good drifts at the bottom of the hills.  

I don't think Samuel got a very good slide in after his debacle, but Ezra managed to get all the way to the bottom here. It's quite a long ride. 

Some pretty deeries later at sunset.

Samuel started a puzzle the next day in order to keep himself busy. 

I think I mentioned in my last post how well Samuel has been doing with his reading. He finished his phonics book! It ended with three or four syllable words that were at least third or forth grade reading level. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

school and family lately

January was a crazy month with the new flooring going down. I keep saying that. Here is a video to prove what work we did. 

Beyond that we pretty much lived our normal lives. School, weekend, repeat. One particular day, January 30th, Evie decided she'd recite her poem in an unorthodox way, while performing jumping jacks to the rhythm.

When the new year began Terry started a New Testament reading plan with the youth and Samuel had wanted to take part. He brought home one of the schedules and searched high and low for a little Gideon bible so he could start reading. 

He did it all on his own! It was so darn sweet and heart warming. I pray he will keep it up, but after the first chapter of Matthew, which is all "names," he got a little bored. We did get him his own Bible for his eighth birthday. 

Evie is often surrounded by the pets...and her brothers.

On February 8th, Samuel lost the one front tooth that was still hanging in there. 

Mandatory mommy and kitty snuggling for Ezra on February 10th.

Boring grammar with Noah on February 12th. I never learned anything more than the very basics. It's quite challenging for me but Noah picks it up quickly.

The day before Valentines Day Terry and I went out to Qdoba for an quick mini lunch date. While  out I got the kids Valentines Day balloons for the following day. Samuel had to hang onto his while doing his reading lesson. We were almost done with his entire book! Look at those big long words! 

Just a week later he completed the very last lesson, #231, of his phonics book! That felt like such an accomplishment. When he was two and three, he could barely talk. We called it caveman talk. Then he went to communication preschool which helped a bit. They discouraged me from homeschooling him, citing that he'd need more help. Kindergarten was a challenge after the lessons got a little more difficult, but we back off, and after that summer, he came back very strong in first grade. This year for second grade he's done just amazing! He apparently taught himself a great deal while "reading" and pondering over books during the summer. I'm so proud of him.

Here's his very last lesson.

Meanwhile, the cat was saying, "I am life."

Evie has always been a voracious reader and had the ambition to be an author. She took a big step in that direction with her first book. It has to do with magical unicorns. I think she was heavily influenced by her friend Jillian's unicorn birthday party and the show My Little Pony. Plus, the girl likes to read and write.

On February 20th we had Abigail and Julia over while Noah went to their house with Moses and then to the church with Terry to help set up for youth group. I made my very first meal with my replacement Instant Pot (the one I received at Christmas was faulty and I had just that day got the new one in the mail).

That night at Awana was "Dress Like a Mess" night. Evie had come home the previous week and set out her best-worst clothes for the occasion (notice the volleyball knee pads). She also painted everyone's face ridiculously with her Christmas watercolor pencils. Terry had the best idea though; for Ezra to simply drape his favorite baby blanket around his shoulders. Yeahhhhh, that thing is toast. My sister made it for him and because it was more knobbly than the others and he liked to roll the strings between his fingers as he sucked his thumb to sleep and he pretty much destroyed it. 

See what I mean?

Saturday, February 23rd, was a very big day. Terry and Noah were on a mall mission trip trying to have spiritual conversations and share the gospel, while Evie and I were reading through the Dinner Theater script for this upcoming May (a fundraiser). The four of us are planning on going on Terry's Mexico/L.A. mission trip in June. After the read through we had to set up for the chili cook off the following day (another fundraiser). So I treated us to some cheap Burger King ice cream on the way home.

The following day, after the chili cook off, we were all pretty worn out. We let the kids eat their usual cereal and watch a movie while Terry and I went on a date at Longhorn and bummed around Target afterwards. 

The next night, February 25th, I caught Trouncer trying to eat a bit of pillow fluff. I pulled on it to take it away and this giant string of it came out out. I'm pointing at the part I could see when I started pulling. The rest was in his throat!

We had some good laughs on February 28th. Terry had been swinging Samuel around with his two legs stuck through one pajama pants leg. We were calling him a Mer-man, from Zoolander. Then Evie randomly told Terry to "bray like a donkey." 😂

For the last couple months or weeks I had been reading the Wingfeather Saga. They are amazing. Written by the Christian singer and songwriter Andrew Peterson, who I have a great regard and interest in now. This is what I wrote on facebook about them, "Oh, my heart. These books, people. These books are amazing. I’ve been wanting to share some kind of deep, poetic, beautiful words but I’m not a poet or a book reviewer. These books take me back to my first love, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. When I finished LOTR I was depressed for a week. I didn’t want the magic and beauty to be over. These books are the same but perhaps more poignant. Magical. Beautiful. Truthful. Deep. The Kingdom! Bible verses kept coming to mind. Relatable moments and characters. These books have and will continue to shape how I see the world and what Jesus did for us."

Last weekend was severly cold and terrible. We spent a good amount of time laying around, watching movies, and mandatory snuggling with mommy. Notice his hand flapping around indicating how he was trying to get away. He's not very compliant.

Eating peanuts with a very captive audience.

We were so bored so we decided to finally read Evie's book, which she had just finished laminating. It took 45 minutes!

She did not want her picture taken. 

Offering a critique of how daddy was reading it. 

A short sample of her book.

A hilarious note Evie wrote to herself in her completed Cursive writing book. "Thank you myself. See you always!"

winter climbing, bouldering, & adventuring

I saw a meme of facebook just as February was about to roll around, that offered congratulations for getting through the year of January. That is exactly what January felt like, especially in the midst of our wood floor and stair/landing project. So when we received an invitation to go out climbing with some friends on Saturday, February 2nd, I jumped on board. Terry was at a men's conference for the whole day and we were bored and stir crazy. Well, I was anyway. The kids like to stay home and never leave. I need to get under the sun and open air every once in a while to keep my head.

Don't look too excited there Jaz. 😜

It's a floating Evie head! I think she may own an invisibility cloak...

We got there just as Denise was going up to lead the route and lay out the rope. 

Once the route was tethered down Jazmin took her turn.

They kept offering me to climb but I didn't feel safe with my kids running around. We were actually on a hillside above the highway in unfamiliar and potentially dangerous territory so me and the kids just wandered around in search of adventure. We walked off to the right of where they were climbing. You can see Jazmin there on the left and Noah at the top right after he scrambled up.

Mid-scramble. He's only about as high as my head from the ground. And Jazmin in the background.

Zeah hung out with us a bit initially.

Evie and Noah bouldered their way up with me spotting them from below. Samuel went around from the side, which was safer.

We left Ezra down below and went exploring to see what was beyond the climbing wall. We came up high above the highway and further back than where they were climbing. 

Samuel and Ezra came with me the second time we went up.

The view included Harney Peak (Black Elk Peak), trees, snow, and the highway. 

Behind me the children waited patiently...or threw pine cones around.

We decided to go back a different way and discovered it was much easier than the way we had climbed up. That big rock wall is what we had been on top of. Evie is inching down on the left since the needles made it a bit slippery.

From behind the rock wall. 

At the end of the wall was a little rocky gully that we scrambled down. I totally slipped and fell on my butt the second time.

What it looked like form below.

After our two trips to the top we just hung out because we had to leave pretty quickly since we'd agreed to get Abby back to town.

The littles kept climbing around though. 

I did not plan well and had Ezra wear his galoshes since he had already got his shoes soaking wet at home. They worked pretty well since they were rubbery. But he got to this point and needed help down. Atta boy.