Leader of the Pack

Jack’s Scout pack held the annual Raingutter Regatta this evening.  He worked hard to make a great boat and brought a strong set of lungs to the game – – and he won!!

He won the races for Bear Den.  Here he is racing against his best friend Dylan for 1st place in the den:

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Then he won the races against the whole pack!

Ben said that Jack couldn’t believe it, and even seemed confused about whether he won.  Then he showed his usual mix embarrassment and guilt about every situation he encounters.  This kid is so kind-hearted that he doesn’t know how to be proud of himself!  Later in the evening he excitedly told me all about the night, having come to terms with his success.  He explained his winning technique: Inhale deeply as soon as the ref starts to count, so your lungs are full and ready to blow when they say go.  Good advice!

He also got to be a member of the Color Guard for the first time ever, including all last year!

The winner!

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Flapjacks update

Jack has had three and Sam has had two. I’d say they like them. I think they turned out too hard, but pretty good.

 

Home life is the good life

This week we are all healthy (fingers crossed, knock on wood).  Illnesses over, birthday party over, back to regular school for what feels like the first time.  I’m getting tons done around the house.  Lots of deep cleaning, and more regular cleaning of floors and bathrooms.  I trekked across town for an additional skein of Knerd Yarn in Birthday Suit and completed a shawl that was waiting patiently all summer to be finished.

I bought a replacement microwave for our glitchy one.  It seems like every model I review has some bad lemons, and they all go bad after a year or two anyway.  Grr, nothing is made to last any more.  After much deliberation I decided to just use the exact same model as before.  Our original microwave was purchased from Ikea in December with all the new kitchen materials.  But it wasn’t installed until the end of February.  So even though it started breaking after less than a year of use, we were past warranty.  It’s one of the cheapest models available and when it worked I loved it.  So we bought the exact same one.  That made installation a snap.  We swapped the units without any measuring or hardware fitting.  That’s one giant To Do item marked off my list since early spring!

Now that the birthday cake and candy are almost gone I can bake!  Smitten Kitchen recently shared a recipe for British flapjacks.  What’s this??  British baking I haven’t heard of?  I found Mary Berry making them on an old program.  With her stamp of approval and my bottle of Lyle’s Golden syrup I whipped up a batch and now my kitchen smells heavenly.  I used this recipe from Bon Appetit because their measurements were much simpler than Smitten’s fussy weights.  Mary insists that these are a simple, frugal, easy, kid-approved tray bake for when they get home from school.

What’s next . . . meal planning and grocery shopping, lunch, work, then enjoy the quiet a little longer before the boys come home.  I like this all very much.

Spooky Birthday Party

This was Sam’s first real birthday party – with friends instead of just family.  He decided back in April that he was going to have a Halloween-themed party and never deviated.  Thank goodness the stores stock Halloween items as early as September 1st, it made shopping much easier.  He was very particular about some things, like a bat pinata and “orange and black triangles that you hang from the ceiling.”  I’m so happy that Ben decoded his description to mean flag bunting, I had no idea why we would hang triangles the way he described it!  Betty also came over to help out and make the party special.

The kiddos arrived and played with ghostie balloons until everyone arrived.  Next they decorated their goodie bags to look like jack-o-lanterns.  We had some outside games like Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin and a bat pinata, then cake and presents.  They also enjoyed just running around in the yard like Kindergarteners naturally do.

When asked about his party, Sam gives me a big thumbs up and says it was GREAT!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Sammy is 5 years old today!

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He had a great day at home and at school.  We ate all his favorite foods – including dragonfruit, of course!  Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs.  Lots of snacky treats too.  I brought some balloons to school at pick-up time.  At home, Amanda came over and he opened his presents in a whirl of excitement.  Then he played, played, played all evening and did lots of video chatting with family.  He is still looking forward to Grandma Betty visiting this weekend and his party with friends on Saturday.  Now he’s in bed with a smile, snuggled with his Godzilla and reading the Scholastic books that were delivered today – bonus presents!

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Custom armor

Spent an hour this morning cleaning out their toy room closet of costumes. The kids are grateful, yet later that night Sam makes his own set of armor:

I have to admit, it looks formidable.

Space cat

Beware of Amazon when you are sick. You’ll do strange things.

School starts and we all get sick

The boys had the sniffles and sore throats. I got it too, with a bonus fever for two days. I spent most of last week in bed. I thought we were all done with being sick, but Sam got a fever yesterday. It seems we actually had two illnesses being passed around.  He woke up fit as a fiddle, I heard him bouncing around at 6:30 AM playing Minecraft.  Then late this morning he started shivering and yawning, his temperature back up to 101.3.

So today had been quiet, just catching up on some cleaning and baking.

Jack has been working hard on a piano piece and doing some homework. This assignment was to draw the setting of a book you are reading.

He’s also been working on his Lego robotics kit.

A poem for August

This evening, after a fit of creative passion, Sam presented us with this tetraptych:

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Sam does not respect the seasons, as shown by his Halloween-themed birthday and this work of art.

You may not immediately recognize the subject matter, as he has re-ordered the poem. (Whether this was an accident, I am not sure)  Allow me to translate:

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Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (notice the upended trash can on his head)

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Robin Laid An Egg (with horror, it would seem)

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Batmobile Lost A Wheel

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And The Joker Got Away

Road trip day 4 and 5

Everyone was a little worn out by this point.  Ben had a few side-interest stops, but over and over the vote was to just keep moving.  We did stop for gas and ride a dino 🙂

And we made sure to visit some family.  The Martha and Ronnie welcomed us to their home for a rest.  They have a beautiful home right next to the mountain with a grand view of the Salt Lake (sadly mostly obscured by smoke with all these wildfires).  We had a delicious brunch spread and Jack and Sam got to meet all four of their cats.  It was great to see Josh and Jill too, who were headed to university in just a few days.

We blazed past SLC, the boys barely looking up from their tablets to see the temples whenever I pointed them out.  A final stop in American For for drinks, fries, and extra fry sauce, before buckling in for the long haul to Grand Junction.    We saw some actual fire in the mountains as we went through the canyon.  The worker’s at the Solider Summit gas stop said they were on stand by for evacuation.  Mom said that they ended up shutting down the high just 1 1/2 hours after we passed through.  Whew!  Glad we made it safely!

A quick stop for melons in Green River, then we rolled into Grand Junction about 8 pm.  Still time to let the kids jump in the pool!

Going through my phone, I didn’t seem to take any pictures the rest of the trip.  It was a short but normal visit.  Mom made crepes for breakfast.  Dad had the day off so he got to be abused with water guns all morning.  The kids swam until we dragged them out, then got to play even more with Grandma Betty.

We left in the afternoon for a relatively quick jaunt over the mountains.  Being a Monday we had little traffic.  We listened to Ramona and Beezus stories told by Stockard Channing and Sam napped off and on.  We stopped in Edwards to recover from some car sickness, adventuring down into the rocks.  We made in home to a clean and quiet house in time for their usual bedtime at 8pm.  What a trip!

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