Sunday, April 29, 2012

A perfect Noah day

Noah had very specific ideas about how to celebrate his birthday, and I waited with baited breath to hear about what he desired, secretly wondering and worrying if I would be able to pull off his dream celebration... My worries quickly disappeared as he laid out his plan:
Breakfast, waffle sandwich with Nutella; bike to MYO for yogurt, hang out and play Lego the rest of the day; dinner, lasagna, steamed broccoli, and chocolate-chocolate-Nutella-strawberry cake.
Don't you want to have a party? No
How about inviting a few friends over to share our dinner? No
Do a special outing with a good friend? No
Meet friends at MYO? No

Noah was very clear about what would constitute a perfect day, and we were happy to acquiesce. 

Typically, the boys do not get out of bed until closer to 8, although the shimmer of light under the door means they are often not sleeping late but rather laying in bed reading. Gentle proddings are needed to get the boys to the breakfast table. Not on his birthday, where for the first time Noah experienced the sense that time stood still. "Mamma, I have been up for soooo long.. and I waited and waited for the appropriate time to come out of my room... but it took sooooo long." His patience exercise was not over quite yet, as it was still too early to expect Dad to wake up on a non school day...  Noah paced the hall way, climbed the door posts, and finally at the stroke of 8 burst through the door and jumped on the bed to wake up his favorite adult, Dad.

Since it was his day and nobody had any where they had to be, we lingered on the couch in pjs while Noah opened gifts, squealing with joy as he opened one perfect present after the other. Lukas being a kind big brother happily assisted in pulling things out of tight packaging, installing new games on the computer and even offered to do a test run with the new RC car.

When all the boxes were empty, the boys crawled up on the couch to research the value of the Greek Drachmas that Uncle Joel so kindly included in the birthday card.. 250 of anything got to be worth something was the hope, only to find the value to be purely artistic - won't buy a thing.

Noah had a large MYO for lunch, the rest of us fortified with a light lunch prior to biking down town. The rest of the day was dedicated to playing with the new toys, knowing that there were no limits on video game time, no need to do chores nor clean up - daily routine completely suspended for the perfect Noah celebration.

Happy Birthday, Noah!

Nine years ago our world changed with the birth of our precious son, Noah. His timing was not our timing, he was way too early, he had no name, all our planning and preparing for naught,  but he quickly captured our hearts. Life with Noah is never dull, never boring and never plain. Noah makes sure life is filled with beauty, art, meticulous details and impressive Lego constructions, he cuddles, he wrestles, he hugs, he shoots, he is rarely still, and always quick with a kind word. We love you, Noah!


Once a month we participate in an outreach to homeless men on the Peninsula. We come together and assembly line style make PB &J and Ham and Cheese sandwiches. The sandwiches along with fruit, cookies and water are stuffed into a hand decorated bag and then delivered.

Lukas is getting quite good at spreading peanut butter and although it looked difficult, the boys quickly mastered the separating cold cut slices perfectly...

Can do guy

Lukas is my go to guy for anything electronic and computer related - there is nary a situation that he cannot get me out of when it comes to the plugged in stuff in our home. 

A mistake

Dear friends at church were accidentally shipped two of the same Lego set, intended for a grand child. Rather than returning the second set, it was gifted to Lukas and Noah. We had some funny looks as we walked in to church on Sunday morning with a large Lego set under the arm - yes, it is good to be prepared in case the sermon goes on an on and on... Legos can distract and entertain :-).
Fortunately, we are blessed with a great pastor who preaches meaningful sermons. Noah and Lukas did not waste a second once back home, and had in 'no time' completed this fun Lego vehicle.
What gracious friends we have.

Roller Coasters here we come!

To celebrate the boys' dedication to pursuing Memory Master, and recognizing their hard work and diligence, we headed out for a day of celebration. The boys were so excited as it has been several years since they were in an amusement park, and Bob and I were secretly hoping we could get Lukas and Noah to ride roller coasters with us this time.
We aimed to be at the park as it opened, which meant an early morning get away, but the incentive of a full day of rides made sleepy heads rise and shine without whine. It turned out to be a perfect day to be at the park, barely anyone else there which meant no lines, we even left rides that had just begun as we walked up, not wanting to stand and wait 'that long' for it to come to a stop and us to join in. The weather was great, warm and sunny but not too hot, although expired sun screen does no good in protecting pale skins - this we found out the hard or should I say the burnt way later on. When the sun got the better of our used to cool weather bodies, we hopped on a water ride and got really wet which cooled us down quickly.
Although we started off the day with two boys not too sure of their desires to ride roller coasters, our last ride as the park closed was one more turn on the large wooden roller coaster - we are now officially a family of roller coaster aficionados!!! Some of us are already plotting the next park visit....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The boys completed the hard work of Memory Master and wanted to celebrate the accomplishment with hot cocoa, roasted peanuts and a fire in our back yard.

Hard work, part 1

Last fall, the boys alongside Bob tore down the metal shed in our backyard. This weekend, the work began to transform this area into a nice patio with a fire pit and homemade benches. The benches are already done, so 'all' that is left to do is the patio part.
Pick ax, shovels, and sheer determination was required to pull out the six concrete pillars set deep into the ground.  A few trips to our closest home repair store, and the careful stacking of large numbers of pavers and the completion is one step closer!

Now, when one of the men in the house seems absent minded, I am fairly certain what is on distracting - how to design an effective pocket gopher trap... there are many great ideas swirling around in three incredible bright brains... are we one step closer to completing this task too? An effective method to prevent pocket gopher would be a sure ticket to 'fame and fortune' as this rascal is a true nemesis of many around here. 

Can you hear me now?

It is Friday which means Science. Once again, we gathered with some of our friends to explore the world of science together. The topic for the day was sound and sound waves.
It was fun to explore and better understand the value of two rather than one ear - with one ear closed off it was nary impossible to determine where the quick sound originated. The boys were all impressed and empowered by the notion that in their brains the do complicated math calculations each and every time they hear something - what an amazing design.
Teaming up in pair, the kids devised 'telephones' and passed funny and silly messages back and forth. For a generation that grew up on cell phones the notions of a line based phone was in some way a true novelty in a way that was not anticipated. Science is all about learning and new discoveries - exposing the brain and expanding the mind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blog reading

The highlight of the day is the arrival of the mail, and the best kind of the day is when we find an envelope from Grammy and Pappy or Mormor and Morfar. When the USPS Priority Mail package from MO arrives, the boys rip it open searching for the blog that Pappy kindly prints out each month.

Noah's favorite animal at the Aquarium

Noah really likes amphibious animals... frogs, turtles and tortoises....  If we can only see one animal at the Aquarium, it has to be the turtle....


The Monterey Bay Aquarium is world renowned for its exhibits and we are so fortunate to live right here, able to head over and check it out on a moments notice.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Aquarium puts on several temporary exhibits, and the newest one is all about jellies.
After completing the 'must do' school one morning in an unusually expeditiously manner, we headed over for some jelly gazing - enjoy these drifters :-)

Which are the real and which are fake????

Noah's favorite thing to do

Noah loves to play Lego, to build Lego, to design Lego models, to set up Lego villages, Lego scenes and Lego battles. A perfect day in Noah world would involve Lego, Lego and Lego.

It is easy to see his innovative ideas, and artistic eye in the things he build, and there is no denying his joy and delight in sitting on the floor undisturbed building for hours. The only thing that makes a fabulous Lego day any better is having Dad, Lukas or friend there to engage in the building.
Noah and his friend Davis designed and built this football field complete with bleachers, vendors, and tackle on the field.