Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm Baaaack....

We all survived - though I questioned whether Uma and Upa would make it through the week! Actually, they had a great week - played hard and took the boys everywhere. They read, counted, hiked, explored, worked, baked, and had a blast. The boys really had fun. I did too. I saw lots and lots of my most favorite people - had a blast. I didn't realize that it had been 4 years since I went anywhere without kids.... I lived it up!
The conference was great - lots and lots of concepts and ideas to use in my classroom - but the 11 hour days were nuts. I don't sit still very well, so I was pushed to my "good student" limit, for sure! I made up for it though - going out all over downtown Boise and stuffing my face. I'm hoping the scale will forgive me tomorrow. It sure didn't today...
We are trying to get done 1 billion projects so as to be ready for the month ahead.
I actually have a math conference in Seattle on Monday and Tuesday - so my parents better rest up! I'm off to go doctor the 6 mosquito bites I have on my ankles. That last night out I got eaten alive!
Thanks again Uma and Upa!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


How does one say goodbye to this monkey for 5 days? I'm headed out to a conference in ID for my new position this week and I'm not sure how to do this! I've been away from Ethan for a few nights, once... when he and Brian flew to Colorado. I've never been away from Lucas... But I know they'll be well taken care of, and spoiled rotten if they're lucky! And I have to focus on the conference and on the gift it is of a relaxing week without much responsibility. See there? Better already...
Before I could go, we had a busy busy Saturday.
First stop was my certification test.... boring, but necessary. Luckily my 5th graders were super smart this year, so the reviewing I did with them at the end of the year served as my review too...
While I tested for 3 HOURS, Brian took the boys to some parks - lots of parks. And Ethan uttered the words "You gots to be kid me!" approximately 100 times. They played baseball, watched softball, and played on playgrounds. Lucas' pants reached a whole new level of khaki. They also played tennis, as Ethan told me:
" I told daddy there were tennis courfs. He said there were no tennis courfs. But then I said Daddy over there are tennis courfs. And he said - yep, there's tennis courfs. And I said - told you daddy, there's tennis courfs. So we played tennis."
Next stop was the Rainforest Cafe. We love that place - meaning Brian and I. We thought the boys were old enough now to enjoy it too. Guess not. Ethan spent most of the meal like this.
Lucas like this - one ear buried, the other ear covered by Brian, and Brian's head covering his eyes. His own little cave.
Yes mother, I could hear your "I told you so" the whole meal... but it was funny. Who would have known that giant robotic gorillas would be scary?! And of course, after being completely freaked out by the sounds, we go down to the playplace and what do they play with? The jungle sounds buttons.
They couldn't be much cuter. Well, maybe if Ethan let me help him pick out his clothes. Nah, I like the mix of patterns - creative!
Take care of 'em Uma, Upa, and Daddy!!! I'll be sleeping in past 5:45 and eating my meals without having to share ANY bites! But save me some hugs - I'm going to want lots when I get back!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Week in Pictures...

Monday and Tuesday... I honestly can't even remember....
Wednesday was Ethan's last swimming class for Preschool Level 1. They spent most of the lesson like this... "Safety Day". I think the message was kind of lost on the preschoolers - they just saw their teachers drowning each other in some role play... I saw the point, but am thinking there was a better way.... They passed though - I'm sure it's pretty tough to pass Preschool Level 1....

Thursday we spent with our old friends (as in friends from growing up, not that we're old... because we're not... though we may feel like it....). We took over the local Starbucks (we took up half the store and were more than a little lively).
Watched a dog playing in a fountain (great free entertainment)...

Admired old ships ... (these ones were actually old, unlike us...)
Spotted imaginary ducks (Ethan likes spotting imaginary animals...)
And ended the day helping our friend babysit her 3 week old twin nephews.... All six kids were asleep at one point - we're good!
Today we played with new friends. Pizza, Science Center, the park....
Good times! Settling in... Trying to adjust... We all need more sleep and to get organized... And if lucas doesn't stop screaming, he might just get sprayed by the dog's water sprayer... But we're good...

Monday, July 19, 2010


This week's day trip "aventure" started out at a dog agility competition in Port Gamble. We made friends with lots of the dogs there. It was fascinating to watch the dogs do the courses. Freezing cold.... but fun!

Lucas even sat for awhile, but then he entertained the crowds with his photography practice.
He's getting better every day. Next we headed into the old town for lunch at the General Store. While we were waiting for our food, they had the Tabletopics game for us to play. It's basically a set of cards with questions to ask each other. After a few questions, Ethan decided he'd like to take turns reading the questions. Now his reading ability is limited to sounding out a few words in the _at family, so I was really curious to see what questions he made up. My favorite?
"Mom, what's your favorite superhero?"
"No, it can't be Batman, silly. Batman is a BOY."
"oh.... Superwoman."
"OK, Superwoman!"
The food was absolutely "Allicious!" Mac and Cheese to die for as well as the best grilled cheese I've ever eaten! (Sorry mom, yours is great too :) )
We meandered through town - Brian loves old fashioned towns and stores - especially book stores. I loved seeing all the dogs in town. So many different shapes and sizes! We were cracking up.
Next stop was Sequim - the Lavender Festival. Because of the traffic it took us quite awhile to get there. The highlights for us were the dog that had been dyed purple, the kettle corn, and the ICE CREAM.
Of course, that's kind of a long ways to go for that.
It was fun to see all the lavender, but there wasn't too much to do there with the boys, so we headed back home and enjoyed the evening with Uma and Upa. Brian and I did make it out for a fabulous dessert - and pretty much could not even walk after that!
Sunday was low-key - seeing some great friends at church, shopping at Costco, playing games outside. But we closed it out with s'mores around a campfire- once again "ALLICIOUS!"
And now we're back to the real world - I like having a bit of magic in our weekends!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


You know you live in podunk when you see this as you drive home every day for a week... Yep, it's a dead raccoon - been picked clean by various animals I'm sure. It's missing limbs, its tail, and all the edible parts of it. Poor guy. The neighbors just leave it there. Correction - when they mowed, they moved it out of the way, and then moved it back. Ethan's fascinated by "the animal" and so am I. But, I'm ready to not have him waving me home every day. I might start a pool to see how long he stays...
So we've been keeping busy. I don't know why I always want to go, go, go.... But I do... So we do...
Swim lessons - much improvement...
Sports camp finished - great fun - not sure what he loved the best- he says "All of it!"
Mom and I took them on a beach expedition. They were a little freaked out when I found crabs - though I'm the only one that screamed. It may have only been about an inch long but it was coming for me!
Ethan was for sure not going to get lost with his crazy concoction of an outfit!
Lucas clung to his Uma with those vice grip legs - did not want to touch ANYTHING. Especially not the jellyfish sitting on the rocks.... *shudder*
He did hike all the way up the big hill again though - that was impressive. The boys loved exploring - as long as nothing moved...
They've been very "helpful" with the yardwork... As Ethan puts it - "I have job to do. I have to help Upa with the WORK." And of course, when one helps, so does the other - just the way it goes...
Uma has started a great project with the boys- but I'll save that for another post all it's own- it's going to need it!
Yesterday we woke up and Ethan found the tennis rackets- begging to get to go play "WITH UPA". He decided the rest of us could go too - so kind of him.
He's improved much since last year! And takes it VERY seriously. "I did really good at tennis. I was very good today."
Lucas spent most of his time picking up balls, putting them in the canisters, throwing them at Ethan, picking them back up, throwing them at Upa, you get the picture.
Upa tried to work with him too - but he was just in it for fun - and fun he had!
We were off and running - and ready for a playdate!
We met Ethan's friend from swimming class and her mom at storytime at the library - which was a blast! Lucas even made it through the nursery rhymes, finger games, and books - until the last 5 minutes. At which time he went on a rampage- squealing and grabbing books. Next time we won't get there early and sit beforehand... We headed with our friends to the park and played played played. We really had a great time- and the boys were exhausted and ready for naps!
After naps we headed to the Science Center. We were hoping they had a new baby octopus - but not yet.
They did have an amazing volunteer that spent about 30 minutes with Ethan - naming and pointing out everything in this tank. And also answering all 6,475 questions he had. Lucas was in vice grip mode once he saw the HUGE lion's mane jellyfish. I admit it was intense.
Dinner was pizza with Uma and Upa where Ethan announced "I had an AMAZING day."
You did kiddo - so did I!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sports Camp!

These days are a blur!!! Sunday night we had dinner with Nana- Lucas and Ethan looooved showing off for her. Delicious barbecue pork and bright sunshine! Monday was swimming and salsa (for me) - great fun! And then came Tuesday - Ethan started Preschool Sports Camp. What fun! It's just a few days this week - a couple hours each morning. He gets to play every sport imaginable with a group of kids as active as he is - the poor counselor!
Lucas and I dropped him off and went for our own adventure at a local park. I think he liked the quiet time together- not being rushed off to do this or that - just hanging out together. He listened so well! And I don't remember him screaming even once...
Ethan had a blast too. He even ran so fast that "my breath got stuck in my throat." He liked t-ball the best, I think. We showed up a little early to pick him up, so we got to spy from the car.
He told me he "missed his Wucas" when we picked him up - cute! Both boys took a long nap - me too!
After dinner we went for a "dinosaur walk" with Upa. Ethan is convinced there is a dinosaur colony in our neighborhood (all the woods I think). The best find was this "fossil". Ethan was determined it was a fossil - both boys studied it very carefully. We've located the dinosaur school and the dinosaur hospital - but haven't seen any T-Rex yet. Knowing Ethan, we somehow will!
I love imagination. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day Trip and a Half

We started our Saturday morning out at Northwest Trek Animal Park. The boys were so excited to ride the tram that they turned into monkeys! Lucas ran under the poles and tried to get on the tram during our orientation.
But on the tram they were fabulous! We saw caribou, bison, elk, sheep, and who knows what else. For an entire hour, Lucas sat still - a miracle!
After the open-range tour, we headed for some "hangaburgers" and hit the other side of the park - the meat eaters. The grizzly bears put on quite a show - swimming in their pond and scratching their bellies.
Lucas' favorite, though, was the centipede that was crawling on the ground. He also decided he really likes getting his picture taken - awesome! "Cheese!" Only drawback is that you can't just take one, he wants like 50.
The wolves were sleeping (though we did see one), but this stuffed guy was a hit. The boys kept talking to him. We really had fun there- nice and shady and lots and lots of happy animals to look at!
Next we hopped in the car and went the (long and slow) 30 miles down the road to Mt. Rainier. In the process, Lucas spouted the word "baby doll" and just lit up every time I gave him the Barbie. I don't know that I'd consider Barbie a "baby" but it was so darned cute!
The park at Mt. Rainier- especially the visitor center - was packed. No parking unless we were willing to hike a long way uphill with the boys (we were not). So - we mostly saw the mountain views through the window. But it was still cool!
Ethan was determined that we would "walk" (hike). And so we found a short hike through old-growth forest. It was very cool.
The boys (Brian included) were fascinated by the huge trees. Ethan was a super-hiker. He trekked the whole way by himself including up some pretty darn steep hills!
Lucas, on the otherhand, wanted to walk about 20 steps, then be carried another 20, then walk, repeat.... My arms were dead tired by the end.
After that, we took our last hike (.1 miles on a boardwalk really cannot be considered a "hike") to a pretty viewpoint and played with the camera.
Ethan took pictures of us. Lucas tried really hard, but only accomplished messing up the camera for a bit.
The drive back was somewhat painful - but considering all we did, they did great! We had to hurry home as Brian and I went to a dance/clinic last night on the Hustle. So much fun! We danced over 2 hours before our exhausted feet gave out. I wouldn't say we're experts but we learned enough to have a lot of fun!
This morning we headed out to church and Ethan went to Sunday School. He learned about Hannah in class, and how she was sad about not having any babies, so she prayed to God. Here was his "reflection" o the story (that he apparently shared with his class).
"I got a new blue plane that Jesus gave me when I was locked in the monster cage and the kid tried to steal my robot."
And now I'm feeling like a little dancing!