Monday, May 12, 2014

Boys will be boys

Although both boys can count their age in double digits, they are not too old for some playground fun. The park is right around the corner from our house and we had it all to ourselves one afternoon. The boys had fun climbing, sliding, shimming, dangling, and posing.

Mother's Day

We had a fun family day on Sunday, celebrating Mother's Day. Lukas and Noah presented me with cards, one beautiful and one funny. I was served breakfast in the living room and dinner at the dining table. The boys, with Bob's help, created a delicious dinner finished off with gluten free chocolate chip cookies - Noah's secret recipe, and so so good.
 We had to walk off some of these tasty calories and took a walk around the neighborhood - the boys on bikes, the adults on foot.
A perfect day spent with the best this world has to offer - Bob, Lukas and Noah.

Yard work

Although some rentals include a gardener, it is not so here in Michigan, so we headed out on Saturday morning to begin cleaning up the neglected yard. Bob and Noah took the hack saw and released Medusa from the small tree in our back yard; Lukas cut stumps from dead trees on the side of the house, and Mamma pulled weeds being careful not to chop the fat, plump worms that numbered in the hundreds. All the prep work was followed by planting. Lukas opted for lunch duty and created a delicious tray of nachos and cups of cold lemonade to his dirty, sweaty, messy sibling and parents.

Noah is eleven

No more professional photos, now the photo sessions are impromptu and conducted by Mamma. Noah and Lukas biked to the local park, a perfect backdrop for pictures of our joyous, active and funny no longer so little guy.

Sunday dinner

We celebrated the first warm day with dinner on the patio. Bob is not being rude, he is catching up with Barb, it was almost like she was there with us. King crab legs, shrimp, oven baked potatoes and salad - a feast worthy of the day. And since Bob was busy talking, the boys got busy eating, fortunately there was plenty.

Cruising the neighborhood

The weather is finally getting warmer, so Noah and Mamma headed outside. Mamma laced up her sneakers and set out to walk, while Noah cruised on his newly acquired scooter - the kind of things that only grandparents provide. He ran circles around his Mamma, whizzing by quickly so that the air would run through his hair; and then he slowed down to ride alongside his Mamma so he could talk a bit. These walks/rides are a treasure.

It must be Sunday morning

This is Sunday morning in our home - the boys on the couch reading the paper. If we only had a great paper to read :-)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pinewood Derby

Noah's first and only Pinewood Derby car qualified for the district level competition. Dad and Noah attended weigh in on Friday evening and Mamma was given the chance to attend the competition on Saturday morning. Noah watched proudly as his car rushed down the ramp in the various heats. At the end of the competition had advanced to the regional qualifier. He now has to ponder and possible solve the challenge of why his car gets progressively slower in each heat... I think he picked up one or two ideas from the less than discreet dads who boldly described the ways they had enhanced their sons' cars.

Noah's car is the red one, which he named #47

Science Friday is back

Since all the boxes were unpacked, the house in good shape, it was time to get back to school. Given that it was Friday, it seemed only right to resurrect Science Friday especially since we just received a free kit in the mail! We studied quantum physics and learned more about protons and how energy is captured and light refracted - all using water, drinking glasses and a few supplies. Who knew quantum physics was this simple?

Memory Masters

Part of the boys' education is done through Classical Conversation. This was Lukas' last year as participating in the Grammar stage classes, in the fall he will be part of the Challenge program. The Grammar stage program, Foundation, focuses on memorization of facts, dates, names and formulas in preparation for the dialectic discussions which further prepare the students for the rhetorical understanding and wisdom of the world we live in. Each year, the children have a chance to aim to master ALL 500+ pieces of information that has been introduced and if mastering this earn the right to wear the coveted navy blue Memory Master t-shirt. Lukas and Noah once again opted to take on this challenge and once again earned one more blue t-shirt to add to their collection. We have two Foundations Cycle 2 Memory Masters!

London Bridge and Eiffel Tower

Noah received a large box filled with great gifts from dear friends in California in honor of his birthday. Two of the gifts were three dimensional puzzles which Noah set out to build right away. These were like no other puzzle, and Lukas and Noah had a fun morning creating replicas of icons from places they have been. On Sunday, these two puzzles were assigned a special place on Noah's keep sake shelf that Bob put up. These puzzles are not being taken apart.


Noah happily volunteered for the job of sorting and stacking our photo albums. He did notice that there is one critical album missing, the one of his first year of life. In all the moves, it is truly amazing that we have only lost one, or did we ever have one? I have a feeling this needs to be remedied this summer, going back through photos and creating a 2003 book.

Boxes, boxes, boxes

Our new house is filled with boxes, most of them empty by now. The boys have been a tremendous help in getting us unpacked quickly. As usual, we can count on Noah to try to confine himself in any enclosed space, over the years he has climbed into a new fridge, hidden in kitchen cabinets and tucked himself into nooks under stairs. Boxes just beg his attention and this is how we found him :-) The message on the box brought an even bigger smile to my face, this one was recycled from our Monterey move and packed by precious friends.

Swedish mail

Lukas and Noah received a fun package from Mormor and Morfar, and the arrival coincided with Noah's birthday although that was not the original intent. The boys are being encouraged to practice their Swedish in time for their summer holiday at Larsboda, and there is no better way to entice reading than with a fun book.

Celebration continues part 2

The celebration of Noah's birthday continued, so there is no need to feel sorry for Noah's slightly abbreviate birthday. On Wednesday, after his music lesson, we went to the Lego store so that he could redeem his coupon for a Lego set. After much observation, and discussions, weighing the benefits of this one versus that one, consulting with his brother, making yet another round in the store to make sure he had found THE BEST one, Noah settled on a large Technic set. He pooled his birthday money from Grammy and Uncle Joel, and added in some of his own savings and out he walked with a HUMONGOUS bag. His joy was only slightly dampened by Mamma's aim for efficiency which meant making a few stops on our way home - he could not wait to rip open the box and set out to build.
Lukas generously assisted by sorting pieces and the large vehicle was operational before Dad made it home for dinner, despite all those pesky stops.

Celebration continues

The day after Noah's birthday, we invited a few friends over to help us finish the cake. Well, since the cake was so yummy and it had served as breakfast for said birthday boy, we made another one. Noah and his two friends from CC had fun hamming it up for the camera and playing with Noah's newest gift, an RC Monster Truck that these boys brought along.