Snow clears and autumn appears

How many more seasons can we trick them into thinking yard work is fun? It’s a shame that they’ll probably figure out it’s a chore around the same time they actually become effective at raking leaves.

I experimented and discovered you can bake banana bread in Bundt pans. Why would you ever use a boring loaf pan again?

“ Something smells especially delicious in here, Mom!” -Jack

First snow

It came a little early this year. I continue my tradition of baking buttery rich liege waffles with the first snow of the season.

Halloween is coming . . .

Costumes are in the works:

Two hour scarf!! For certain projects my knitting machine rocks!

Cool pajamas make every night a costume night.


We started karate classes this fall and Jack is loving it. He is getting more confident physically and responds well to the discipline and ethics of martial arts.

Of course, he has a little shadow 🙂

“Stout-Hearted is a Forest Ranger, He’s a Scout”

Look at the cutest new cub scout in town!


Jack joined the pack fed by his elementary school, helping make the second-grader Wolf Den so large it split into two dens.  Look at me throwing around terms like “pack” and “den” like a boy scout mom.  😉

They meet only a few times a month.  So far they have played capture-the-flag (with real camo facepaint from the Army Surplus store), earned their “Running with the Pack” belt loop, and raced in the Raingutter Regatta.


So far scouting is a perfect fit for Jack.  Outdoors activity (but NOT sports), leveling up, gear/badge collecting, rule-following, and education.  He read his whole Wolf guidebook cover to cover the first night and knows all the answers in every meeting.  I can’t help by hum Little Mary Sunshine when I see him in meetings.


“…He’s cheerful, honest, thrifty, and obedient;To love the good and hate the bad is his plan!  So if there’s any danger you can be sure the Forest Ranger ever will march on man to man!”


(Catching up on some old news with pictures I never posted)

The Waterhouses and Masons came together to view the total eclipse.

The braver portion drove up to Wyoming to experience totality.   The less adventurous three stayed home, but we still got a great view of a near-total eclipse.



The crickets started chirping and the birds swooped around starting about 10:30AM.  It got dark enough that we turned on the lights inside the house.  Our trees gave us some excellent shadow play.

Wolf and Ninja 2000

Jack made a computer in his free time at school.

It has Netflix, Starfall, RazKids, and a search box.

When he saw me after school he said “Umm, Mom? What does it mean to have a crush on you? And how to I get rid of it?”

Apparently one friend has confessed she has a crush on him, and he thinks she’s had it since kindergarten. He also suspects another friend has a crush on him too. Second grade, man. I guess the wonders of relationship drama has begun.

Sam’s 4th Birthday!

Samwise Storm is FOUR years old today! He had a wonderful celebration and seems like a very happy kid, as he comes down for a second hug-and-kiss after bedtime.

Last weekend my family got together to see the Frozen musical previews.  I thought it made sense to do cake and presents at the same time.  Sam and Jack had a super fun time.

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I baked a Dragon birthday cake that pleased Sam.  He struck a superhero pose before blowing out the candles.

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My child, swathed in knitwear.



Today we did not have a party, but I made sure that Sam felt like a special little dude all day.  It began with a balloons and a big breakfast of bacon and waffles with whipped cream.

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At preschool they made him a crown and sang Happy Birthday. (It was also school picture day, hence the collared shirt and slacks.)


We went to Target for some errands hidden as gifts (You get to pick out a NEW laundry basket!!  And a new TOOTHBRUSH!!  Pick any one you want!!!).  He got a free frosted cookie and we explored the newly displayed Halloween section- a special delight for both of us.  Then I let him pick out a new book as a bonus birthday present.  For lunch he decided to have a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  He wore the crown all afternoon and everyone we saw wished him a Happy Birthday.  He was all grins.

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I let him play with his gamepad downstairs instead of quiet time.  We went to Jack’s school extra early so he could play on the playground, but he preferred sitting with me in the shade.

At home I made pudding parfaits for a special birthday snack.  Jack read the new book for Sam and they watched PJ Masks together.

When Ben got home it was time for Jack’s karate class.  Then we talked with grandparents and opened the final few presents.  The boys got to have a pizza picnic in the living room while watching shows “on the big TV” before quick baths and bedtime.

Sam is so sweet, so clever, and so fun.  He loves to cuddle with me and loves to play with his family.  He makes great facial expressions and is trying to be a comedian.  We love you so much, my little Friday-the-13th storm!

First day of school 2017

Hooray it’s the first day of school!

Jack returns to elementary school for second grade. He’s a lot less nervous than previous years, and has a lot of friends in his class. We think it will be a great year!

Sam is back at preschool for the second year, this time for 4 days a week, 8:30-11. He walked into class like a pro and knew exactly what to do. No tears today! Same teachers, a lot of returning classmates, and playdough on the table means he’s going to have a great time today.

I got the house more clean in the first 15 minutes after dropping them off than I’ve been able to accomplish all summer. I’m going to celebrate the rest of the morning by knitting in peace and baking oatmeal raisin cookies.

School is the best!

Ewok Jedi Comics

Jack wrote a comic book this summer.  Acting as his publisher, it’s in my best interest to advertise our joint venture:

So bring your cash the next time you visit.  He hopes his little authorship scheme will net him extra pocket money.  🙂

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