Sunday, October 25, 2009

My world just expanded one-hundredfold!

Saturday the Little Sweetie discovered that she could pull to stand on our windowsills. Instantly her world became a whole lot bigger! Now she can stand up and Phil can see her head peeking up over the windowsill from his office. That's another fun thing we'll miss when he moves across town! You'll note in the video that the boys were very obviously trying to get me to pay attention to THEM instead of giving their sister a tiny 1 minute 40 seconds of my time. !!

Paper mache 101

Some of the homeschooling families in our town (and many from our church) are getting together this year to do an art class once a week in the trailer next to our house. We were invited to join but alas, it is right in the middle of my kids' nap times. We made an attempt to go for a few sessions but I quickly realized that it fell into the all too common "mom's overly ambitious goals for us" category. The first day we straggled in 15 minutes late (me having nursed the LS too quickly and dragged the boys up from their naps too hurriedly) and walked into the instruction on how to make AMAZING paper mache creations. Tanesa, the wonderful artist/teacher, was in the middle of describing how to tape foam pieces to your balloon to make incredible shapes and animals. I was thinking we'd slap a few strips of newspaper on a balloon and head home. Wow, was I wrong. So I took my 3 charges (much younger than most of the other budding artists) in hand and started getting us all covered in paper mache. Mr. T really got into the process for a little while but unfortunately 1) he had chosen to do a cow for which I made horns 2) our flour/water mix was more water than flour and 3) I learned that small balloons are actually harder to cover with paper mache strips than big balloons. So whether or not the boys were learning anything (other than how mom looks when she is stressed beyond the breaking point), mom was getting an incredible lesson in how not to do paper mache in this art class. O Boy was (in character) very meticulous about his tearing and covering and actually did a very fine job. But the Little Sweetie and her wanderings around a very dirty trailer, as well as the boys' waning attention spans, finally drove us home. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening finishing the animals. It was actually extremely relaxing and I told Phil I thought I'd take up paper mache as my new hobby. Someday. Animals covered, we then went back a few weeks later to paint them. This time I decided to abandon all attempts to get there on time and we rolled in at 3:45; 15 minutes before they wrapped up. O Boy really enjoyed slowly covering his bear in paint but Mr. T was not in a painting mood so I (with the LS in a backpack this time) quickly helped them finish painting their animals as the other moms were cleaning up around me. Phew. Project completed. These animals have rolled around on our kitchen counter for a few weeks now and I finally decided the time had come to toss these priceless works of art. So the obligatory pictures were taken and another exhausting chapter in our lives was brought to a very messy close.

I am Berry Sweet

Thanks, Auntie Vicki for the berry sweet shoes! They got rave reviews at church!

Our Jack-o-lantern has nose hair!

The sad fate of all pumpkins who linger too long in Southeast Alaska...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Day

Last week the boys tie dyed t-shirts in their preschool class in preparation for "Pumpkin Day." They were then supposed to add a Jack-o-lantern face which made each child's shirt very different and fun. The day was full of all sorts of different pumpkin activities and they had a great time. As you can see, O Boy still is not a huge fan (major understatement) of the formal class picture setting. I hope he will thank me when he's older for recording such a precious moment.

World's best babysitters

The other night "Grandma" Carol and "Grandpa" Brian Kandoll came over to watch the 3 kids while we went out to dinner. Not only did they survive (and calm) a crying Little Sweetie by racing her around the house in a stroller but Grandpa Brian was thoroughly soaked with sweat by the time we got home from the hall races he participated in while we were gone. As you can see, goggles were required gear for these races. The boys can't wait for our next date night!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


For those of you who don't know the AWANA theme song it ends, "YOUTH ON THE MARCH!" Mr T loves to sing this song at top volume but the final phrase gets shouted at maximum volume. So now that the LS is officially crawling we say, "Little Sweetie, ON THE MARCH!" Yesterday was the first time that she truly crawled to Phil when he came home. She saw him come around the corner, got very excited and started babbling and crawling straight toward him. There's nothing that makes a daddy happier than his little baby heading across the room to him!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Roller

O Boy's most recent construction project was building a "Roller" in our living room. This was an incredibly intricate and, in keeping with all his projects, well planned machine. Each chair on the sides holds different and specific things, the tools are carefully laid out on the stool in front of him, and the blanket is held on by tape "latches". The actual "roller" part you can't see because it is behind the stool. It is a roll of paper towels held onto the chairs by a string and lots of tape. He now has a spot in a certain drawer in the house which contains his own roll of tape that he is allowed to get whenever he needs it. And string. Lots of string. Below you'll find a very complete video tour of this amazing machine.

Mr. T's on-air debut

A few weeks ago Mr. T's preschool headed over to our local radio station, which was in the midst of its fall fund drive. When I talked with his teacher at school she expressed concern that none of the kids would talk on-air. I said, "I don't think Mr. T will have any trouble..." Well, you'll just have to listen and hear what happens.

First annual pumpkin carving

Our wonderful "Grandma" Alice gave us a huge pumpkin a few weeks ago and so, of course, we had to carve it! This is the first time we've done a pumpkin with the boys since they've always been too little and we don't have any trick or treaters at our house to see one. But it was a fun and messy event and our pumpkin is sitting happily right outside our dining room window where we, at least, can enjoy him every night during dinner.

"I'd rather just eat and unroll the paper towels, thanks!"
"Don't make me touch it, Mom!"

The finished product!

The iceberg

A huge iceberg beached itself a few weeks ago. Of course the word went out among all our playgroup friends and a group was formed to go down and touch it, lick it, hit it and generally just be amazed by it. Fun!

Oregon Trip, Part 2: Tenmile

This is a post from 3 months ago that I never got the chance to finish until now!

Finally, after a break of a few years (to let the kids grow up), we got back to our Tenmile beach cabin. It was about as cold as it had been in Petersburg, which was disappointing (but not surprising)...until the last day. Hooray!
Learning how to make goofy faces from Papa
O Boy's trademark scrunchy face
Finally Papa has some help hauling logs

Papa finally got a sandcastle made before the boys could destroy it!
the Oregon Coast is still pretty chilly to my Asian in-laws

You'd think the fun of this would have worn off by now!
digging the moat
Grandma Smith keeps walking to stay warm

5 months old

Tenmile chores with Mimi. The plants will never need to be watered again after the deluge these boys gave them!

Little Sweetie's first bouquet: picked by her brother O Boy for her
"Now where should I dump this shovelful of sand??"

Sandcastle crew on the march

Learning to skip rocks

Looking for just the right rock to throw with Papa

So happy together
First Tenmile bath
One of Papa's trademark sand racetracks
"We're shipping out to sea, Mom!"