Sunday, November 1, 2015

We bought our camera when Joseph was a baby and it was pretty fancy then.  Now it simply devours batteries.  2 brand new batters MAY get you 1 picture.  Suffice to say, we haven't taken too many pictures lately.  (I spoke with a guy in Best Buy yesterday about new cameras.  He was very nice and when learning that I was looking for something to replace my 7 megapixel camera with a 256MB SD card, he very politely said something to the effect of, "Whatever you get will be way better than that."  And also that our SD card is probably not compatible with the newer cameras.  It seems much has changed in 8 years.)

Charlie likes to sing.  Lately he's been singing as follows:  "Do you wanna build a snowman?  Do you wanna play outside?  I never see you anymore.  Because I am poor.  But I am only 5!"  I like it.

Mom fails from last week:
1.  Realized Joseph's towel was still neatly folded on Mon morning--exactly as I'd put it there from the laundry a week before.  So, that meant he hadn't bathed in over a week.  (They NEVER use anyone else's towel--except maybe to stand on.  Cooties, you know.)
2. (A) Got to church last Sunday and realized Elisabeth had no shoes. (B) Her socks had a hole in them large enough for her to poke out her big toe. (C) And her hair was still in braids from Friday.  Yes, Friday.  And for a bonus, she announced (rather loudly) that she'd had Peanut M&M's for breakfast.
3.  At Joseph's Open House on Thurs, I read his "Where I'm From" poem, which talks about how things around us shape us and make us who we are.  The line where the kids were to write about what they often hear.... Other kids had "Share and be kind"  "We are all in this together" "Work hard and try hard"  Lovely, uplifting, empowering.  Joseph's line, "Shut up and are you lost?"  Ouch.

Scouts hurts my head.  Too many ranks.  Too many badges.  Too many various options and assignments.  And the "Turkey Cheer"--are you serious?

We have a chipmunk.  He likes the cover for our propane tank. We lifted the cover to check the gas level and found the whole thing filled with sand.  We removed the sand, plugged the plunge hole and bought a cover for the tank lid.  More sand a few days later.  I bought super stinky dryer sheets (you should have seen us testing them in the grocery store!) and filled hole with them, lined the inside of the tank area, and layered them under the blocks around it.  (I bet the little bugger is using them for blankets right now!)  This weekend we covered the area, inside and out, with castor oil repellent.  He's still hanging out.

I blame the loss of our neighborhood cat.  I miss her.  Maybe we need a new one.  I'm sure we aren't the only ones with chipmunk problems.  It would be a community service.  :)

We've changed our phone service.  Saves $45/mo.  I guess that's worth the pain of notifying everyone of our new phone number.  Nathan did the happy dance last night when he hung up with the phone company after cancelling the service.  Email me for the new number.  :)

Lil'Nathan bought himself a phone in August.  No service, but it works as a tablet and he can call with Magic Jack if he's in WiFi.  He used his phone camera to take some pictures for us yesterday.  I wanted a shot of all the kids together, and all smiling.  (It could happen.)  I shamelessly promised each of them a Klondike bar if they cooperated.  Lookie this:

And, coming soon to a Christmas Card near you...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Random update

One more... although since the posts load newest first, this does look like the first.  But it's not.

Anyway...  Here are some pictures Nathan has taken of the kids with a camera he borrowed from work, the Bandit Action Cam.  Oh yeah.

Charlie has been riding for a few months now, but here is proof.  we can't find a bike small enough for Elisabeth, so she is still on the toddler trike we got from our Winthrop neighbor when Charlie was a baby.

A rare moment where the boys aren't trying to kill each other, though they do have big sticks.  It's a game they invented. Joseph calls it Muggle Quiddich, but I don't see much correlation.

Is it just me, or does she look like she's falling off? And in other news...

The kids start school in two weeks.  Lil'Nathan starts high school, Mary goes into 7th, and Joseph is skipping 3rd and going right to 4th.  Charlie may be starting kindergarten if I can work our a 1/2 day option with his teacher--we already have principal approval.  I have been scouring LISTEN for binders and paper and all the other "B2S" necessities.  And also WalMart, when LISTEN fails me.

Mind you, not that LISTEN often fails me.  Quite the contrary.  It's often too generous!

We have been blueberry picking twice this year and are awaiting this weekend when we go get peaches from our VT farmer friends. :)  Blueberry-peach cobbler anyone? With fresh cream?  YUM!

And we have made our monthly (and sometimes more) trips to IceCream-4-U.  Lovely place.  Lovely.  This year everyone has been more adventurous with flavor choices.  Charlie's new favorite is S'mores and I've rediscovered Pistachio--which is the flavor that hooked me on ice cream as a kid.  (My dad brought home a 3 gallon tub of it from an ice cream truck that had broken down.  So he said, anyway.  I used to go down to the freezer with a bowl and help myself after school, for months.  Well, once I'd gotten over my prejudice of its being green and therefore gross. So glad I came to my senses.)

Where was I?  Oh, summer, right.  So Charlie took swim lessons the last three weeks of July.  Mary and Joseph have them these first three weeks of August.  My car now drives itself to swim lessons--even when it should be going to piano, which is why we've been late to piano two weeks in a row now!  Mary also started piano this summer.  We'll see if she feels she has the time to devote to once school starts, b/c she is very serious about her practicing.

We've been camping a few times, too.  Once in early July for birthday celebrations.  We camped near Franconia and while there visited Keepsake Quilting (not a wise financial decision) and Franconia Notch which was sooo beautiful!  The kids liked the campsite, but I'm not sure we'll go back to that one.  1am karaoke parties, despite a 10pm curfew are not much to my taste.   We (Nathan and I) prefer our local, quiet Storr's Pond, where we went a few weeks ago.  The older boys and Dad went on a 20 mi hike with the Scouts this past week.  (Joseph got to go b/c Dad was a leader on this one.  The other leader let the boys--ahem, older brother Nathan--that all families were welcome and there was to be no harassing of the much younger Joseph.)  They had a good time, and despite losing Joseph on the hike out (rangers were dispatched, but Dad found him first), it was a good experience for all.  And no ticks.  :)  We have a ward campout coming up at the end of the month, at Camp Joseph.  More s'mores!  And we have one more coming up in September, at the Highland Games.

At the end of July I had all my hair cut off.  Mary lost hers last week.  ("I love it!  I love it!"  Why didn't I do this sooner?")  Now I'm eyeing the mass of tangles that is usually Elisabeth.  But I can't bring myself to really do it.  She is so cute--this tiny little person with the long, long hair.  Stay tuned.  Half of me hopes that in all the scissor cutting she and Charlie do--and they have free access to scissors and cut our pictures daily--part of me hopes she'll try herself and then the decision will be out of my hands.  I'll probably regret writing that.

We went camping as a family in July to celebrate Elisabeth's and Nathan's birthdays.  On the way home we stopped at Franconia Notch.  How have I missed this all my life?  The pictures cannot do justice to its amazing beauty.  Even Lil'Nathan, who had a massive headache (and it was his birthday!) eventually enjoyed himself and said it was beautiful.

zoom in to see Charlie-the-ham

it really drove him crazy that he couldn't go off the trail and climb the rocks

just too much excitement for this new 3 yr old

Let us begin with a quick review of the lovely trip to Acadia and Bar Harbor that Nathan and I took in June.

We began with a 5am run (ahem, in the car) to the top of Mt.Cadillac to be the first in the east to see the sunrise.  Cold and windy, but we had lots of company.  Very quiet.  Very pretty.

Then, it being Sunday, we went back "home" and slept for 2 hours before getting up and heading to church.  Afterwards, we went walking along the trails around the ocean in Acadia.

Day 2 was a walking tour of Bar Harbor and the surrounding beach areas.  And a little shopping.  And a little seafood.  (Not a fan of crab cakes, but Nathan's fish and chips were very yummy.)

our only encounter with a whale

(humidity hair!)
Day 3 was biking along the beautiful carriage trails throughout Acadia.  It was drizzly most of the day and then rained hard.  Needless to say, we pretty much had the trails to ourselves!

and then we went for dinner... where we warmed up with hot chocolate and dried out with the ceiling heaters!

Day 4 was more touring of the town and final shopping.  No whale watch was to be had, so what else was there to do but to buy yarn to commemorate our trip?

'My souvenirs from Maine.  :)' 

 Of course, we did more touring, too.  We walked to an island that is only accessible at low tide.  We drove around to the "other side" of Mt Desert Island.  We walked around a gorgeous flower garden.  We visited a lighthouse. 


The last day we kayaked.  And, since it was the MOST gorgeous of all our days in Acadia, we went back into the park and saw all our previous sights again... without the fog.  Some of the following pictures are of the same sights as above.

(this one was up on biking day, covered in fog)

did you find it's mate above?

And then, as we were walking back to our car to head back to our cabin for the last time, we saw this...

How poetical to begin with the sunrise and end with the sunset, ain't it?  And all that water you
 are looking at.  Yeah, that's what we walked across at low tide the day before (though the island we went to is to the right and not in the photo).

Such a great trip.

Who wants to go next year?