Saturday, March 26, 2011

Breakfast or Breakfats?

Friday morning there was cake on the breakfast menu... please do not tell anyone, I am trying to keep up the appearance of a being a responsible, good Mamma. But, the cake took up so much room in the fridge, and it was after all carrot cake with orange slices in the frosting... that ought to count for something? The boys enjoyed digging in before the cake met its fate - the trash can.


It is spring, which means we are thinking of summer break, vacations, time to play... school to be over. Noah and Lukas reached one of the goals early, it is only March after all.. by finishing the Logic Link book that we have been working in off and on this school year. Each puzzle consists of 9 colored chips, and there are 4-5 clues provided to determined the pattern and location of each chip. Although it sounds fun, anything can feel like a chore after a while. It was a great sense of accomplishment for both boys to complete puzzle number 1o0 and close the book for the last time. It was an even greater relief to the both to realize that Mamma did not have the next Logic Link already in the closet ready to go.... now if mail delivery will only be very very slooow......

Ready, aim, shoot

A dear friend came over for dinner, her arms heavily weighted down by large bags of gifts. She had carefully and thoughtfully picked out gifts for me, things that reminded her of our friendship - one that is still evolving: distance, time, engagements and responsibilities get in the way. Not only did she regal me with these beautiful gifts, prettily wrapped in colorful paper and shiny boxes, she also brought gifts for the boys. The first gift, wrapped carefully and tied with ribbons was given to Bob who had to open it before any other gifts could even be handed out. The wrappings falling to the floor revealed a bag of mini marshmallows. The next three identical gifts, one for each of the men in our home, were opened in rapid fashion as if in a race to be the first to free this new great present - one that was quickly guessed before all the paper was cleared away - mini marshmallow shooters. There was no need to follow the included instructions, all three had their guns assembled in a flash, and the war began. Marshmallows flew in all directions and the line of fire extended in all directions, making clearing the table a hazardous task. I think my dear friend was a bit surprised at both the speed by how quickly they guessed the gifts, which the boys 'got' the idea of shooting and how wild three people can be. She mentioned that she had seen large size marshmallow shooters but thought them too dangerous for little boys... Lukas, Noah and Bob only stopped long enough to clear the pipe- blowing into the tube, mini marshmallows and a fierce fight equaled some pretty gummed up weapons for better aim and precision targeting. Although we tried hard to collect all the left over ammunition hoping to keep them out of Lucky's mouth, three days later we are still stumbling on the occasional stray bullet....

Monday, March 21, 2011


Noah and his Lego Destruction Team is building a Lego Robogator for the Spring Lego League Challenge. The team has to design, build and program an animal, and then design, create and build a zoo with appropriate surroundings and habitats for the animal chosen. Noah has worked on the mouth of the beast - and it is finally done, ready to cut off an innocent finger at a moment's notice.
Scott graciously helped coach the team this afternoon and provided helpful assistance and encouragement to six wiggly boys. We are three weeks into the challenge and I can already see how much everyone has learned and how the team is coming together - this is going to be a fun challenge!

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Singing and swinging in the rain

Lukas, Noah and a friend fashioned a swing in the front yard this afternoon. A long rope, an old harness, and a piece of wood and Noah was off swinging and singing - and the rain held off!
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Ready, aim, fire...

After church on Sunday the cousins set out to do some target practicing in our back yard. No update was given on the scoring... but it looked like they had fun.

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Black smithing

Noah and Lukas had hoped to share a beach fire experience with their friends, but all four parents vetoed the idea of rain, sand, wet, dark and cold - albeit probably fun beach time. They were however determined to play with fire and since the beach was out, the fire pit in the back yard was in. Despite a steady rain for a few days, their persistent efforts paid off under Scott's tutelage and watchful eye and there was fire.
The flames had barely taken when the fire pit turned in to a black smithing shop. Iron, hammers, metal bars, gloves, safety goggles and a large bucket of water and the shop was in business. Lukas fashioned himself a hook staff, is he thinking of shepherd duties? Ben worked on a flame akin to the Statue of Liberty and the rest of the group hammered, melted, hammered, heated, cooled and heated again to craft metal into desired objects.
Nobody seemed to mind the rain, the smoke and the fire kept the chill at bay. Had it not been for tired parents, they probably would have still been going strong out there - there was no shortage of enthusiasm or creativity.
It is not until one comes inside that the strong smoke smell that has permeated every piece of clothing along with every strand of hair on ones body becomes too much - fortunately there is plenty of soap, shampoo and hot water in the house to get everyone clean before bed.
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Not a new fashion....

So maybe there has been a famous star wanna be or two who has stepped out in two different color shoes, but the trend has certainly taken off among main stream America. So one may ask, why is a smart, witty and funny freshman at Stanford sporting two different colored shoes? And, he is not majoring in fashion merchandise....
He, who by the way is Scott, our nephew managed to get caught by the large waves just like his younger cousin Noah. The surf and waves caught almost all of us by surprise and only luck separated the dry from the wet feet crowd, yet we all had fun!
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After a slow and leisurely morning filled with laughter, games, smoothies, and Lego playing we are finally ready to get outside and breathe some fresh air. The rain that had threatened all day held off and we all headed to Lover's Point for some tide pool discovery. No sooner had we loaded everyone into the cars and the rain began. The Dads made the audible and we proceeded as planned - can you tell there were two Navy Dads involved in this decision?
The surf was really high, and the water was filled with thrill seeking surfers. The rocks were we typically find lots of star fish yielded none, but we did see some big anemones, probably because the water was coming so far up and it was pretty deep in places where we usually wade and even rock skip typically.
Noah and Ben opted for sand castle creations, only to be surprised by the waves that crashed up on the sandy beach, making them both more than a little wet. Shoes, jeans, jackets, and even faces dripping with cold, salty sea water signaled the end to the outing and we headed back home for some fun and dinner.
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Beach time..

This weekend, we had a house full of guests - what a treat! Although the weather was not the best, it was not bad enough to deter us from talking a walk on the beach. The children, who have not seen each other for a long time, immediately re-connected and quickly convinced chatting parents that digging is far more exciting than walking. Since the children outnumbered the parents, we stopped and the digging began, that we had not tools did not seem to stop anyone. It did not take long before an eagle eye spied a long, large piece of drift wood, perfect for the fort/sand castle/seating area that was under construction. After a brief conference, five sets of hand grabbed hold of the log and in no time it was part of the sand creation. It turned out to be a perfect back drop for a group photo before heading back to Monterey for some lunch and dry clothes.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011


A leisurely morning of building, designing, building, reading the paper, quietly lounging on the couch gave way to a afternoon bike ride. Lucky, not much for longer runs, rode happily in the trailer in anticipation of a beach run later. The weather forecast has been predicting gray and gloomy, rain and wind for the last 10 days, but so far the predictions have been wrong and we enjoyed a fun bike ride, and some happy digging, climbing and running on the beach. Even the seemingly steep hill on the return ride did not cloud the enjoyment of a fun, family afternoon enjoying the best that Monterey has to offer - the Pacific and the Bay.
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