Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First day of school???

Since we have chosen to take complete responsibility for the boys education, we do not really have a 'first day of school.' Education takes place all the time, while in the car, grocery shopping, baking/cooking, moving in and out, and even while sitting at a desk and doing work sheets.
So not to be outdone as we watch all the proud first day of school pictures on Facebook, the boys posed as they choose a photo op. Notice that Lukas felt his grade indicator more important than his face, hence the out of focus face and sharpness of the fingers. He is mighty proud of needing to use two hands to indicate his 'supposed' grade.

It is also worth noting that they choose their very nicest first day of school clothes :-)  Mamma is pleased that she does not have to spend a ton of money on new clothes - we still have plenty of PJs that work well, the official school uniform of the SILL Academy.

One way to enjoy

Furnishing a new home is always a bit of a challenge, what fit well in the previous location, cannot even make it through the door much less up the stairs in the new one. It is a bit of a puzzle and a fun challenge to figure out how to make each new location feel like home. Rarely is the solution - buy new. However, since we sold or gave away most of our furniture before moving to MI, this was the one time when buying new seemed like a possible solution. A good sale, a comfortable neutral chair - each purchase must meet the criteria of 'is it chameleon like enough to fit into many different structures, rooms and purposes' - and large vehicle to transport home, and we have two new places to sit. Noah had to try out the comfort of the box, and seemed to enjoy his Happy Hour Sonic while resting on the cardboard box.  It makes me wonder if we should have just bought cardboard and fashioned chairs....

Bonding time

I caught the boys and Bob laughing and giggling - they were watching funny YouTube videos and laughing so hard I thought the might just fall off the couch. Good thing the couch is low to the ground.

Thou shall not compare...

We were truly blessed by amazing sunsets while living in Monterey. There is probably few things that compare in beauty to seeing the sun set into the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, sunsets almost anywhere can be spectacular and the other night, we marveled at the sight right here in our back yard.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Our church is hosting VBS this week. Noah is still able to attend and happily joined in the fun. Lukas, having 'aged out' of VBS was able to join us crew leader and has demonstrated his servant heart and willingness to help out in whatever way is needed. In addition to his crew leader job, he helped decorate the church.

Today was crazy hair day, so Lukas shaved part of his head, and left the rest of his hair intact. Noah enjoyed some styling gel action, and marveled at the stiffness of his too long hair.   This has been a fun way to serve and get to know a little bit more about our church family.

Funny Noah

One of the things that Lukas really did not like about the house was the large vent/grate that is located on the stairs going up to the bedrooms. The grate looks down on to the stairs to the basement. It makes for a funny picture and I think Lukas is getting use to it. Both boys have also found that it is a quick way to communicate with those hanging out in the basement.

Another bed

Lukas' design for his bedroom furniture is quite intricate and required several trips to Lowe's and one more trip to IKEA since IKEA of course was out of what we needed when we were first there. This past weekend, Lukas and Bob worked hard and long on getting the final parts of the bed completed. Noah assisted in the painting and now everyone is waiting for Mamma to make the curtains that encloses the bed... I am off to the fabric store to see what I can find.

Yard work

The boys were hoping for a large yard when we moved to Michigan, and assured us that they would happily move the lawn, and do it with diligence and joyful attitude.
Lukas handled the it the first week, and this week, Noah joined in the fun and moved the back part of the lawn. With the current heat wave, and the large amount of rain we have had, which means the grass grows really fast, I know they are both secretly happy that the moving job is pretty quick. Neither realized just how hard it would be and how often it has to get done - yet they do with a cheerful spirit.


Raspberries were on sale at the grocery store - and we could not resist stocking up a bit. Since we do not have a freezer to store up for the winter, we made jams of some of the berries. Most of them ended up in our mouth, in our breakfast bowl, in our salad, and even in our drinks - yummy!

Monday, August 12, 2013


Before we moved from Monterey, we sold the boys' beds. Those beds had been with us through many moves, and had metamorphosed several times - most recently being no legs beds resting on book cases to create loft beds.
The boys have spent some time designing, dreaming, creating and revising their dream bed room set ups within the confines of this house, especially the low and slanted ceilings upstairs.
A trip to IKEA for some parts, which of course were not in stock, serious calculations and layout drawings and a trip to Lowe's that made me wonder if Bob had set up residence right there in the lumber aisle, and the projects were off to a great start.
Since Noah's bed was deemed a bit less complicated and we had all parts, his came first. Lukas and Noah are learning first hand how much planning and thinking work goes in to making almost anything, and that even a seemingly simple design takes a lot of work to execute. Their patience muscle was stretched and exercised well this weekend.  At times, the ratio of chiefs to Indians a bit skewed, as Bob labored hard while the boys observed or even enjoyed a captivating book in a new comfortable chair. Bob earned many a jewels for his Dad crown this weekend.

brushing of saw dust

Very proud and happy owner of his new bed

Come Sunday evening, Noah fell asleep in his new red bed, and Lukas decided to bed down underneath Noah's bed for a change in scenery. They are still getting used to their own rooms, and it is good to see them enjoying and welcoming each other in.
This week, Bob and the boys will continue to construct Lukas' master piece, a marvel of wood, pillars, shelves and casters, and lest not forget mattress :-) There was a lot of learning and education that took place this weekend, and none of it involved Mamma drilling, work sheets or computers.

Foster invention

Lukas had his first try at moving the lawn. Although the lawn is small, and the grass was pretty short, he quickly realized the difference between: cool fun running a machine and hard work. We are pretty sure a self propelled lawn mover invention is moving to the top of his list of things to create. In the meantime, he will have plenty of thinking time as he continues to push the mover over our small green square weekly or even more frequently as it rains seemingly all the time which means grass grows quickly.
As evident by his outfit, he at least headed his father's safety advice and dressed himself for labor, not for fun in the sun.

Robotics vs boxes

Our first week with all our household goods coincided with the boys Robotics Camp. Little did I know when I signed them up a few weeks back, that we would be in a house and have just received all our boxes. The choice for the boys was easy - all their toys were already unpacked, and had even had a once over play time - so off to Robot Camp.
The week long camp culminated in the camp showing off the Rube Goldberg machine that each group of the camp had contributed parts to,  it was an impressive endeavor to undertake and the risk paid off, although a few times the machine needed a bit of coaxing.
Watch the YouTube for the full effect. Lukas and Noah worked on the arms and the conveyer belt parts, and Lukas spent a lot of time on the Arduino controlled lights. Noah's face says it all. Clearly robotics won.

Moving in

Almost exactly two months after the door was bolted shut on the trailer back in Monterey, Bob and the boys opened up the latches and began the LARGE job of unloading all our possession. Bob noted that the unloading was much faster than the loading as it all had to come off and apart from making sure nothing tumbled, there was no need to carefully think about in what order to carry off the boxes. We were fortunate to have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, most whom had never met us and all who barely knew us to come and help us carry off the large pieces of furniture and unpack the many hundreds of boxes once inside our little house. All that help made the move in process smooth and a wonderful experience. Bob notion about how much easier it was to unload carried over into unpacking boxes, so much faster!

I only wish I had taken a few photos of the crew, and all the mayhem inside - now a scant week later it is a mere memory in our minds, and the only tangible evidence of the move in process are the many boxes still in our garage, waiting for freecycle friends to come by and haul away.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Great brother

Noah cooked up some delicious French Toast for his brother, sliced up some fresh fruit and brought the plate up to Lukas' room, for breakfast in bed.....
Please note the nice design arrangement of the fruit.

First project

Since the tools are not here yet, and there was not much for us to do in the house, we headed over to IKEA to scout out ideas for storage, beds and schooling area. Lukas and Noah enjoyed the 50 cents hot dogs and the buy 1 get 1 frozen yogurts, and we were all happy to find a piece of Vasterbotten cheese!
Back home, the boys had a chance to put a few things together, their first project in the new creative space - the basement. A short while later, we had two great and well functioning drying racks for our clothes.
This was the first of what promises to be many projects that the boys will tackle in their new space - Mamma hopes that most of them are this useful.

Maker Fair

Bob, Lukas and Noah spent Saturday at the Detroit Maker Fair, while Mamma spent some quiet time at Barnes & Nobles. It was three tired but excited guys that I picked up late in the afternoon, and the stories kept on coming and one could almost hear the boys thinking, plotting and scheming in their minds of what project to tackle first. If only we had all of our stuff... so that there were tools to use.

First night

Lukas got the honor of opening up the front door of our new home. He was all smiles as he put the key in the lock and pushed open the door. We finally have a place to call home again.

Our first meal in our new home look a whole lot like the last meal in our previous home... The decor may not be so great, but the food and the company was fantastic.