Monday, October 24, 2011

Faith in Action

For the last six weeks we as a church have read "The Hole in Our Gospel." On Sunday, we put our faith in action and headed out in the community to do volunteer and service work during our normal church hours. Bob and Lukas headed out to a charity farm to help put up deer fencing, otherwise this will be a deer charity farm.
Noah wanted to bake cookies, so he and Mamma stayed at church baking up dozens of cookies as part of the cookie patrol. Noah helped place cookie dough on cookie sheets, take them off once they were cooled, keeping track on the ones in the oven, and when every morsel of dough was baked, he helped deliver the cookies. We took four large platters to the local police and fire department as a sign of gratitude for all they do for the people in the area; others drove off with arm loads of cookies for convalescence homes and retirement homes. His most important job however was to sample the cookies and rescue into his mouth those that accidentally fell on the floor.. it was a tough job and everyone appreciated Noah's willingness to do it.
After everyone had completed the service part of the morning, we gathered back at church for a picnic - Lukas got a well deserved hamburger and cold water after spending the morning outside on one of the hottest days in Carmel this year.

Noah and Lukas were both tired but energized by the work they had done for someone else - a great learning experience for both of them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


We have usually trick and treated in our neighborhood, this year the boys will be doing trick and treat Ft Campbell style. A quick stop at Goodwill yielded laughter, squeals of delight, the difficulties of choosing just one, careful searching for matching pieces, and the giggles when we found THE ONE. Lukas and Noah could not wait to come home and model their new get ups - and pull downs in the case of Lukas. Two very cute court jesters are ready for trick and treat!

Field Trip

The boys participated in a community service project at Asilomar State Park this week. We gathered on the beach and learned about sand dunes, and what and how they are formed and restored. The State Park volunteers spend hours of time gathering seeds, germinating and nurturing these seeds in hot houses, shade houses and in smaller pots before the plants are ready for action on the sand dunes - a pretty harsh climate, salty air, strong winds, lots of moisture, and some heat. Lukas and Noah, along with their friends transplanted seedlings of Monterey Pine to the dunes and helped plant seeds for germination.

It was really interesting to walk the dunes, really observing the colors, vegetation and variety of species that make their homes in the sand dunes.

Our front yard is not too bad either

The sunsets over the Pacific are something else, but there are times the sunset we see from our front yard is pretty as well.. like this evening. Wonder if I should start a sunset blog...


I really really like sunsets - and the ones over the Pacific are hard to beat. We spent a lovely evening on the beach for the last of the season Carmel Presbyterian Church beach parties. I may have been perceived as rude as I had my back to the party the entire time, capturing the magnificence of the setting sun. It truly takes my breath away and no photo of mine does it justice. You simply have to come and visit and see for yourself!

Science on location

The summer comes late to Monterey! And the micro climates are really truly micro in area.  Last week, we decided to explore another beach for critters, crabs and crawling things. It was sunny, calm and wonderful here in Monterey, so we were a bit surprised to see some incredible huge waves coming crashing in, forcing us to go to plan B - a place where the surf was not quite as strong. Despite that, we witnessed a poor tourist who lulled by the beautiful, blue ocean waded in to her ankles, turned around to pose for a picture and almost got swept out to sea. She made it, but she was wet to her neck. The boys learned a valuable lesson - one we have emphasized, but there is nothing like seeing it in action: Never have your back to the ocean.

Lukas and Noah climbed the dry rocks, to keep away from powerful waves, and with their friends gathered up quite a bounty of living creatures, which we swiftly released after capturing on film. 

Writing or Righting Aid?

Noah found a new use for a long mailing tube, so the question is: A writing aid or righting aid? He did get 100% on his math problems he was doing.... if that is any help in drawing a conclusion for the answer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Piano Recital
Here is Lukas' performance at his most recent piano recital at the Park Lane, Monterey on Saturday October 15, 2011.

In addition to Lukas playing, Eun Ha, his teacher performed a masterful piece by Liszt, what a joy it was to hear her play, we are truly blessed to have her here in the area and for Lukas' opportunity to learn from someone so talented. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Boys, boys, boys

Lukas wanted to celebrate his birthday with a few good friends, but no party favors, no party games, no organized activities; just hanging out, building on the tree house, tinker in the garage, black smiting. It was not a hard request, no party planning but shopping for food and cake! The boys dined on steak, potatoes, carrot souffle and salad, washing it down with sherbet punch before heading out to play and run. The most hardest thing for Mamma was to gather all these boys at one point for birthday cake and singing - outside on the run back to the fire, tree house and whatever else was going on. Maybe it was the snacks, or the movies we chosen, but before midnight everyone was snuggled up in sleeping bags, munching, watching and chatting. The last voices overheard by sleepy parents were recorded at 3:30 am and the first chipper good morning was uttered a bit shy of 7 am, and waffle production was in full force by 7:30 am. It was a group of pretty tired boys that were heading home to hopefully catch up on sleep as we our boys set out to do Lego League and program robots for the upcoming challenge. Lukas and Noah spent the afternoon on the couch, napping and reading - and so did the parents - it has been a long time since either one of us pull an almost overnighter....

Lukas was very tired but also very content - he had a good celebration and that is all that matters. We are resting up in anticipation of next year's, as he is already planning and plotting. :-)

Happy Birthday Lukas!

It is hard to believe that it is already ten years since we were blessed by the birth of our first born son, Lukas Johann. He celebrated turning double digits with a fun filled weekend, starting with a Father-Son camping trip, followed by a Saturday filled with gifts and sweets before heading out to dear friends for birthday dinner celebration, and ending the extravagance with a sleep over party for a few of his good friends here in Monterey. Needless to say, he was a bit worn out come Monday afternoon, but the verdict was this was the best birthday ever! That despite having a really bad case of poison oak causing him to itch constantly and popping Benedryl like candy to keep the irritation tolerable. The reflection on how Lukas has changed our lives are many and note worthy but saved for another forum - suffice  to say:
We are so grateful for you and we wish you many more joyous birthdays, Happy Birthday Lukas!

Let us see the lettuce

Lego League Challenge this fall is Food Safety something very appropriate to this area as so much of the US food is produced right here. One of the largest salad producers invited us to a field trip, complete with a walk through on the actual production floor. None of us will ever look at lettuce the same way.
To keep us from reaching out and touching the overflowing bins of greenery, there were large bowls of vegetables for us to munch on while we talked and learned more about food safety and automation in the food industry.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Great pay!

Lukas and Noah helped out with the Annual Prayer Breakfast here in Monterey. They folded and stuffed the mailings, and helped decorate and set up the room for the event. In incredible generous gratitude, one of the board members, handed the boys a Lego catalog and told them to pick a Lego set!  A few short days later this is now grazing their room! Although it had over 1,000 pieces it only took the two a day to complete. Now they are on to making a space movie starring their very own space ship.

The boys are already asking when the work begins for the next breakfast.. and I had hoped to teach them about volunteering :-)