Monday, April 29, 2013

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, April 29, 2013

Outside my window...  cold and cloudy, where did our sunny spring go?  It didn't quite freeze last night, but close.  Still, my dogwoods are getting close to blooming. :D

Hearing...  the furnace going... brrrr!

Pondering...  the urge to clean up, clear out, and eliminate more stuff.  I'll start with just picking up my office... time to put the sewing things away for awhile.

Praying...  for my four pregnant friends, one of whom could deliver any day, now!

Thankful...  for so many good and faithful friends from our little chapel.

Wearing...  (did I mention it's COLD?) Jeans, long-sleeve red t-shirt, navy sweater, socks and slippers.

Creating...  hmmm, I still have that creative urge to sew (!) but my desire for clean, open spaces is over-ruling it ;D

Going...  to pick up Wyatt from school, in a bit.  Too wet and cold to ride his bike today.

Reading...  about to start Song of Saigon, by Anh Vu Sawyer.

Learning...  about Proverbs, with my women's Bible study.  (Oh how I love that this group of women doesn't settle for the all-too-typical women's fluff that dominates the market.)

Looking forward to...  a wedding on Thursday!  We are joyfully celebrating these two young-ish church friends joining their lives together.

In the kitchen...  I want to make stroganoff (craving!) but may save that for tomorrow.  We'll have wedding guests staying with us for a few days, though I'm not sure we'll see much of them.  (Missionaries to Myanmar, and friends of the groom, from out of town.)

In the learning rooms...  Wyatt is pushing hard to get caught up after a very hectic (last) week, Tate just made a model of a lung and diaphragm as part of his study of anatomy, and has started (drum roll...) Jacob's Algebra (we'll be working through it all of next year, too), and has already finished today's math, science, and language work.  He's champing at the bit for Gunnar to finish his language work so we can do our history reading together... beginning a six-week tour of Africa.  Gunnar is dragging today (stayed up too late last night), but is also wrapping up this year's science (Biology - Land Animals), and is chugging away through next year's math (today's review of polygons, segments, and vertices was pronounced "boring", but then he's a bit grumpy...)

Around the house...  a bit of tidying to do before our guests arrive tomorrow, but no biggie.  These are not high-maintenance people :D

The Mother Load...  lots of plates spinning just now, but at the forefront of my mind -
* making potato salad for the wedding (about ten pounds of potato salad)
* keeping track of times and dates - wedding, Wyatt's job (only one day a week), an evening out with my mom and sister, planning Mother's Day here, how long until DISNEY, etc.
* doing a TON of paperwork with Wyatt and Tate in regard to their summer activities with CAP (which involves the steps to get Wyatt a student pilot's license - LOTS of paper/computer work and a special medical exam)
* making sure Wyatt keeps up with his (public) school work and makes a contract with his teachers for the days he'll miss
* getting my office back in order and CLEAN (sewing makes so much dust!  or fiber-fluff? whatever...)

Noticing that...  a math teacher I've talked with claims that you shouldn't bother trying to teach Algebra to kids until they start growing hair under their arms.  Uh, yah, Tate is qualified ;D

Something to remember for later...  although it can drive me nuts, I love that the boys (still!  at 16, 14, and 11!) come home from events like this weekend's markmanship campout bubbling over with stories to tell.  (Yes, I believe there were 25 or more cadets camping out at a gun club, shooting real rifles with live ammunition, and real bows with pointy arrows.  It was AWESOME.)

A favorite quote for today... 

There is nothing better than a friend,
unless it is a friend with chocolate.

One of my favorite things...  fresh tulips.

A Bible verse...  Deuteronomy 2:3
You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  homeschool, CAP, cleaning, mowing, Bible study, WEDDING!, guests, paperwork-paperwork-paperwork...

A peek into my world...  Kerry snapped a cel-pic last week, of animal control coming after the mad raccoon - yikes!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In Which the Boys are Thrilled to be Victims

Nope, we're not raising them to be professional whiners.  They were over-the-moon excited to volunteer to pose as victims for a local CERT class' (Community Emergency Response Team) final exam.  Given our location on the Pacific Rim, the scenario is often an earthquake.  The students have a time frame in which they are supposed to locate all the victims, triage them, and treat as many as possible.

Wyatt and Tate have been on the other side of this, with their Search and Rescue training, so it was a lot of fun for them.  And Gunnar was thrilled to be allowed to participate, too.  In fact, they had several kids acting as victims.

So -  warning!  - avert your eyes if you're squeamish!

Don't these guys look kind of happy to be sporting injuries like those?

The students are supposed to triage the victims into four classes.
Green victims have non-life threatening injuries and can wait.  Gunnar was a green victim - scrapes, minor cuts, and bruises.  He got a blanket and a pat on the head (comfort).

Yellow victims have injuries that could become life-threatening if not attended to soon.
Red victims have immediately life-threatening injuries and will die soon, if you don't do something.
I think Wyatt and Tate were both in the red category.  Tate was given a head injury and a concussion and was told to act dazed and disoriented.

Wyatt had a large nail embedded in his chest.

Black victims are either already dead or mortally wounded, and don't get treated.  That sounds cold-hearted, but in an emergency situation with multiple victims, you treat the ones you can help.

The volunteers/students are in green, and are assembling the victims in a safe area outside the disaster zone.  I can see that Tate's head has been bandaged, but I don't see the other boys.  Gunnar was way in the back of the building and one of the last victims found, and Wyatt may be covered up at the far end.

(Gunnar corrected me - Wyatt is on the ground in front of Tate, with a gray blanket, and Gunnar is near the back, sitting up in a chair, with a white blanket.  So now you know.)

Two moulage artists came and applied the (make-up) injuries to the victims.  The boys were a bit surprised by one of them - this girl couldn't have been more than nine or ten, and did an awesome job!  She matter-of-factly presented Wyatt with a large nail and a screwdriver and said, "Which would you prefer to be impaled by?" and proceeded to do him up.  She also used a chicken bone to effectively simulate a compound fracture.  And here she is applying Gunnar's scrapes and bruises.

But what made the whole afternoon and evening  even more fun  (because what could be more fun than looking like you're about to die, right?) was that the boys went straight from the CERT class to...    youthgroup!

Good thing the couple hosting them are calm responders.  (He's an ex-firefighter and she works at the hospital.)

The boys haven't had this much fun for ages ;D

Monday, April 22, 2013

This Day Just Gets Weirder and Weirder

Things come in threes, right?

1.  Not really that weird... at least for where we live.

Temps below freezing this morning, yet at least one of mine finished the day in a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals.  (The sandals came after the mowing.  It's important to me that you know that.)

Yes, that is snow on the hill in the distance.

2.  Gunnar lost a tooth at lunch.

While losing teeth may be normal, Gunnar rarely loses his in a normal fashion.  He claims he's like an oak tree.  Other trees lose their leaves in the fall, in a blaze of glory.  But the oak tree clings to its leaves until new growth in the spring pushes the old leaves off.

Gunnar lets his teeth hang on FOR-EH-VAH.  Leading to episodes like this.

This time he thought there was something in his lunch that shouldn't be there.  There was.  A molar.  His molar.  Which he promptly spit out onto the plate.

Alrighty, then.

3.  We caught a raccoon.

A really weird raccoon.

We see them around the neighborhood occasionally, and the boys know to keep their distance.  For all their cute appearance, they can be pretty mean-tempered.  (The raccoons, not the boybarians ;D )

So yesterday we were getting ready for church and noticed a raccoon in the yard across the street.  He seemed to be chasing his tail, like a puppy.  A very slow puppy.  Maybe he was young and playful, but whatever, we needed to get out the door.

Well today he showed up in our driveway.  Normal raccoons will run away and go up a tree, but this one... not so much.  He just stayed in the driveway with all of us watching him twirl in slow circles.

It's hard to be the calm, rational parent I think I am with that neon warning sign flashing huge letters right before my eyes:


While Kerry found the whole thing amusing, I grabbed a laundry basket.  The boys and I distracted the raccoon while my dad came around behind him, dropped the laundry basket over him, and held it down with his foot while Tate grabbed a cinder block to weigh it down.

Sorry, I was too distracted to get pictures.

Then things got even weirder.  You'd think Animal Control would be on this in a flash.  I mean, that's their job, right?  You'd think so, but you'd be wrong.

When they returned our call I had to spend several minutes on the phone convincing the officer to come deal with this raccoon, and that I had no intention of contacting a rehab facility. The thing about those rehab places is

they will not come and get anything 

as we've already learned, and - NEWSFLASH - I'm not willing to transport this addled little animal in my vehicle, thank-you-very-much.

They finally relented and came to get it.  And - golly gee - realized we'd made an accurate assessment that something was definitely wrong with this one.

Probably not rabies, much to my relief.  Apparently they're very susceptible to distemper.  They get sick.  And behave strangely.  And they go in circles.

Ding! Ding! Ding!  We have a winner! 

Bad news for the raccoon - it's fatal.  They'll euthanize it.

Good news for us - humans don't get it.  Not that any of us got close enough to get bit or scratched, but still... ewwww.

Gee, I can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today...  Monday, April 22, 2013

Outside my window...  snow in the hills and frost on the ground - (snow! and frost! and it's nearly the end of April!) - and a beautiful, sunny day dawning.  Hmmm, probably a good day to mow ;D

Hearing...  a quiet house.  Wyatt already left on his bike for the high school, Kerry is in his office, Gunnar is sitting in a patch of sunlight reading about Laura and Almanzo, and Tate is no doubt already a third of the way through his school work.

Pondering...  lots to do this week, and how to make it all happen!

Praying...  for the friends I mentioned yesterday who lost their son.

Thankful...  for the unshakeable promise of eternal life, for the boys' hard-working mindset (most of the time), for the freedom to homeschool, and for the brightness of the day.

Wearing...  sweater, t-shirt, jeans... but WAIT!  They're not just jeans, they're capris.  Wow!  It's a dramatic foray into a new style!  

Or maybe not.  They're just short jeans ;D

Creating...  I've been happily sewing for the new babies coming this summer, and now that all my sewing stuff is out I'm motivated to keep going... for me.

Going...  to gather the boys and "open" our school day together (though Tate is already doing his independent work), to take advantage of the sunshine to dry laundry on the line (especially my sheets, I love sheets dried on the line!), and to do a bit of tidying of my sewing things so I have space to launch a new project.

Reading...  very much enjoying Seven Daughters and Seven Sons with the boys!

Learning...  it's a bit ironic, given the recent terrorist attacks, that we happen to be studying the Middle East and the Muslim world just now.  *sigh*

Looking forward to...  the boys - Gunnar especially - would have you know that it is TWENTY-TWO DAYS until Disneyland :D

In the kitchen...  barley and vegetable soup, made of leftovers from the last couple of days, simmering in the crockpot.  Maybe I'll make some home-made bread, and - WA-WAH - dinner.

in the learning rooms...  hard to keep myself from counting down (three weeks of school before Disney, and four after) because that makes it sound like we're just enduring something, and the year is going quite well, really!  We enjoy what we're doing!  Tate is about to finish his math book and start Algebra.  Gunnar is (finally!) wrapping up a science unit on worms, with an unpleasant focus on parasites... I mean, it's a great science course, but we've both felt the "ew factor" of this last section!

Around the house...  I'm so tired of people leaving clutter laying around!  I've started a box.  It's in the mudroom.  If you're missing something and you just may have left it lying around then you can go check the box.

The Mother Load...  oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  Laundry piling up, papers on my desk piling up, and lawn mowing jobs piling up!  All good things that need to be managed.

Noticing that...  All the boys need shoes again... all of them.

Something fun to share...  ooo, almost!  Can't share quilt pics yet, but I like how they came out.

A favorite quote for today...  

If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it.
Erma Bombeck

One of my favorite things...  seeing color again, outside.  All winter is gray, brown, and a bit of green.  And now, color!  That's probably why I have so much color in the house.

A Bible verse...  

Job, have you ever in all your life
commanded a day to dawn?
Have you ordered the dawn to seize the earth
and shake the wicked from their hiding places?
Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out
like the folds of a garment,
clear as the imprint of a seal on clay.

from Job 38

(Photo from here)

A few plans for the rest of the week...  oh my word...

Monday - schooling, mowing
Tuesday - school, probably more mowing, CAP
Wednesday - school, then the older boys will be "victims" for a CERT class (emergency responders) and will be made up with moulage to look ghastly, much to their delight they'll go straight on from that to youthgroup, while I will be at Bible study
Thursday - school, weather-permitting Wyatt's first day on the job (gate at the motocross)
Friday - school, Wyatt and Tate go to two-day marksmanship course
Saturday - game night and potluck at church
and there's probably more I'm forgetting!

A peek into my world...  

The happy evidence of a sale at Joann's and a 50% off coupon :D

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scatterday and Sunday

I feel like I've been boggled in circles this week.  Kerry and I had to sit down after church today, and have a "calendar summit".  The equivalent of synchronizing our watches, yah?

It's been a quirky week.  We've had some ups and downs.

The Good

Best news?  Kerry is shaving off his beard, right now as I speak.  Or write.  Whatever.  Hallelujah and Amen.

Wyatt won a scholarship to Flight Encampment this summer - already mentioned that :D

The boys got a phone call from another person who wants to hire them to mow and do yardwork this summer - wa-hoo!

My meeting with one of Wyatt's teachers and the school counselor seemed to go well.  Everyone has to pull their own wagon, and Wyatt needs to be responsible for Wyatt.  However, there were a couple of things about the way the class was being run that were making it much more difficult for him (and perhaps others) that probably needed to be brought up.

And, our church had a wedding shower for a wonderful young couple who will be married in a couple of weeks.  Our family has had kind of a front-row seat, as this relationship developed, and that has been a very good thing for the boys.  We're all rejoicing for these two :D

I've finished Baby Quilt #4.  Brought it up to my parents' house (invited for turkey dinner on Friday night!) and finished the binding while we all watched Dr. No.

The Bad

Well, the terrorists in Boston, of course, as well as the tragedy in Texas.  I rarely comment on things like that.  At the risk of appearing shallow and unaware of things in the bigger world, I view this (blog) as a place to talk about our family, primarily, and prefer to leave the news to the reporters.  Still, our hearts are heavy.

Then, more personally, a family I've known since I was about Gunnar's age lost their 26-year-old son this week.  I don't know just what happened, but he's in the military and was training for swimming long distances underwater and drowned.  Heartbreaking.  Yes, the family are all believers, so pray for them, okay?

The Quirky

Wyatt is disappointed in the weather - an abundance of rain - which has delayed the start of his new job... his first "real" job.  And by real, I mean an hourly (minimum) wage, and a W-2 form.  He'll be working at the gate at the local motocross one afternoon a week, and through the summer.  When there's too much mud for motocross, there's just too much mud.

I'm coming down with a cold.  And I was tempted to list that in the Bad category, because Of Course.  But given the events of the week, it just didn't stack up.  Still, colds in the spring are just so wrong.  Have a cold in the winter, when you can curl up with hot tea and a good book.  But in the spring?  It seems unjust.

Even Quirkier

Kerry and I had breakfast out at the Sons of Norway Hall, yesterday morning.  This looks like it needs to be a once-a-month tradition.  The menu is always the same, no surprise there - coffee, OJ, scrambled eggs, ham, and Swedish pancakes with lingon berries (at the Sons of Norway Hall, I remind you.)

But where else can you
*  have breakfast with a large group, predominantly of senior citizens
*  watch the two or three families with little kids come to the front of the hall to do The Chicken Dance, to much applause from the little old ladies
*  get yelled at by the (angry? joking? developmentally delayed?) woman serving thimble-size cups of juice for daring to request a second cup
*  all to the accompaniment of an older and very stoic Scandinavian gentleman playing folk songs on his accordian, (with a little machine at his feet to provide the Boom-Chicka beat)?  I mean, that right there was worth the seven bucks!

And how was your weekend?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


There is good news at the Grasshopper house today.  Wyatt applied and has been awarded a CAP scholarship to this summer's Desert Eagle Flight Encampment.  Which means almost two weeks of...

... flying!

Yes, flying actual airplanes.  And possibly even soloing.

Okay, I guess it's not 100% yet, as he has to be accepted to the program, but we've got the ball rolling, and I would think being awarded the scholarship would be a good recommendation :D

Way to go, Wyatt!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Often, when Tate comes into a room to talk with me, he will announce himself.

It is I, the goat.

I have no idea.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, April 15, 2013

Outside my window...  squirrel after squirrel after squirrel. Ahhh, spring is in the air ;D

Hearing...  the washer, the dryer, the furnace... all mechanical sounds at the moment.  I try to imagine how quiet the house and the neighborhood would be without them, which is a lovely thought.  But washing my laundry by hand is not.  (A lovely thought.)

Pondering...  how to organize the rest of the week.

Praying...  for little Nolan's recovery, for summer jobs, for Wyatt's organizational skills (school related), and for general family goodness :D

Thankful...  the boys are so looking forward to their trip to Disney and I'm thankful their wonderful grandparents are providing something so fun for them (when we couldn't manage it, right now).

Wearing...  jeans!  blue t-shirt!  blue sweater!  My comfort zone ;D

Creating...  working on baby quilt #4, but can't show you yet.

Going...  to help Gunnar with his science and then go for a walk.

Reading...  Lynn Austin's While We're Far Apart.

Looking forward to...  we have eight weeks of school left - four before Disney, and four after.  Looking forward to having another year under our belts :D

In the kitchen...  lacking inspiration.  Maybe taco salad?  Always a crowd pleaser.

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar is winding down his Zoology course with an in-depth look at parasitical worms (ewww), while Tate has moved on to anatomy (digestion, at the moment).  Tate's about to finish his math book and start Algebra (we spread it over almost a year and a half.)  Gunnar is working with decimals.  Together, we're reading about the mideast, and just started reading some of the Arabian Nights tales, as well as Ali and the Golden Eagle and Seven Daughters and Seven Sons.  Somebody said they loved that book - was it you, Ann?  So far, the boys are intrigued.  They're very willing to read (and enjoy!) books about girls as long as they aren't too girly-girl :D

Around the house...  Gunnar's Geo-mags are in the living room, since he plays quietly with them while we read (and Tate draws).  Dishes are piled in the sink, since I ran to the grocery store at lunch time.  And my office always looks cluttery when I'm sewing, but it's really not too bad.

The Mother Load...  Gunnar and I are about to head out for a walk, and I really need to stay on top of our calendar - lots of activities coming up.

Noticing that...  spring weather is CHANGEABLE.  Sunny one moment and thunder the next.  Go figure!

Something fun to share...  I know, I posted this yesterday with the other Pinewood Derby pics, but I love it.  The boys saw it and immediately popped out with a Billy Crystal hellooooooo.

A favorite quote for today...  Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

One of my favorite things...  mid-morning tea and cocoa breaks - one of the bennies of homeschooling :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  homeschooling, orthodontist, meeting at the school, wedding shower, job orientation (Wyatt), CAP, and probably more I'm forgetting.

A peek into my world...  yes, it's spring, and yes, that's snow.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wiser Derby, Take Two

I'm sure you've been on pins and needles, waiting to hear about the awesomeness that was yesterday's Wiser Lake Chapel Second Annual Pinewood Derby.  (Doesn't that sound Official and Important? ;D) 

Good news.  The suspense is over.

FYI, because I'm apparently a huge party pooper (who didn't want to take her good camera into a room full of hyped up kids), I snapped some pics of the boys "cars" before we left home, and the rest are from Kerry's cel.

Tate went for irony with the ubiquitous and ultra-slow Pacific Northwest gastropod, the slug, complete with slime trail.

Gunnar also crafted something unexpected, inspired perhaps by The Hunt for Red October.

And Wyatt, enamored by the British show Top Gear, built this Lancia.

Though he also brought along his bus (from last year) so he could see which one was faster.  Guesses?

Let's just say he proved my theory that in pinewood derby races, going for speed is a complete crapshoot, so you might as well aim for entertainment.

Tate's slug was, well... sluggish, and didn't win a single race.  Wyatt's sports car did slightly better, while Gunnar's submarine advanced further through the brackets than either of his brothers' vehicles, but still ultimately lost.

The Peanut Gallery kept creeping closer.  But I love this pic.  At least four of the women there have just come to be social.  They haven't built cars, and don't have kids in the races, either.  But they've come to be part of it, which is something I love about the chapel :D

What I didn't love, (and here I'll sound like the Grinch...) was the noise, noise, noise, noise!  See all those hard surfaces, for sound to bounce off?  And all those excited kids, cheering and shrieking?

But it was all good fun, if a bit of an ear-bashing.  Somehow we didn't get a photo of the little girl who took first place (good job, Adia!) or her older brother in third (way to go, Steele!), but Kerry snapped this pic of Jackson (2nd place) getting his trophy :D  I love that the littlest kids won all the speed trophies :D  And everyone was a good sport.

We didn't come home empty handed.  Wyatt's Lancia took the "Best In Show" trophy - he put a lot of work into the details.

Also like last year, there was a pretty good show going on outside as we all headed home.  The man-made camera can never capture what your God-made eyes can see...  although it was only a small arc of a rainbow, this was one of the brightest and most vivid I've ever seen.

It grew a little taller before dissipating.    *Happy Sigh*

Meanwhile, the boys are already scheming for next year...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tra-la-la-la-la, Spring Is In The Air...

,,, and I'm a flower, with nothing interesting to say.

(Oh, wait, that was the stick-bug, in A Bug's Life.)

But spring is in the air, right?

Well, something's in the air, anyway.  

It's a calm Saturday morning.  The boys are in the garage, putting the finishing touches on their assorted vehicles for the race tonight (all-church Pinewood Derby - pictures later.)  And I'm upstairs, happily cutting fabric into little pieces, so I can sew it back together (aka quilting), and I'm feeling so happy and cozy, maybe I'll make myself a cup of tea.

And, lo, movement out the window caught my eye.

Can you see it?


Yes, my friends, it is Day 25 of Spring, and that would be snow

Welcome to my world.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blustery Days

I woke up to the sound of the wind whooshing around the house and rain spattering on the windows.  Ahhh, spring in the northwest.

Rain on the schoolroom window.

Gunnar and I have been faithfully getting out walking most days, and boy-oh-boy it was good to get out of the house and clear my head today.  Even better - the sun peeked out for a bit.

The backyard, sans trampoline (yay!) and briefly sunny.

Don't be overly optimistic by the amount of blue sky you see there.
It lasted about ten minutes.

In the neighbor's yard - some kind of forget-me-not?

What is it about BOYS???  Just when I think they're on track they'll do something that makes me consider beating my head against the wall.

We've been having some blustery days inside the house, as well as out.

Japanese knotweed a neighbor is NOT controlling.  Ugh.
Spreads to our yard.  Double ugh.

Specifically, Wyatt, who is struggling with organization in one of his classes.  Frankly, I think the teacher has the same struggle, and his haphazard method of assigning and collecting work is exacerbating Wyatt's issues.  

Gunnar started calling this "caterpillar plant" when he was little.
I'm tempted to dig up a start - it's in the alley.

And then there's the distraction factor, related to "classroom management" (ie making kids behave).  Wyatt has been complaining from the first week that other students are talking in class, texting, and gaming on their phones, under their desks, making it difficult for him to concentrate.  Then the kids are supposed to work together on classwork, and the ding-dongs pester the kids who were attentive, to help them with their work.  Sheesh.

Which kind of reminds me of this... 

... but I digress.

A tulip tree, at least that's what we call it.
It's a kind of magnolia.

So Wyatt needs to work on his part of the equation, but I'm hoping the teacher can make some adjustments as well.  (Meeting with him and the school counselor on Tuesday.)

We're watching a house go up.

And - NO - I'm not blaming the teacher for Wyatt's failings.  He needs to raise his game.  

Gunnar noticed the water dripping across the  window space,
and the light flickering on the wall inside -
sun reflecting off a puddle on the floor.

But when he's getting straight As in his other classes, and even getting As and Bs on his tests (in the class in question), you can see why I want to get to the bottom of why he's getting Ds (and even Fs) on assignments from this class.

A camellia peeking out.

But then today his math teacher (a different class) pulled him aside to encourage and challenge him.  He's doing so well in algebra that the teacher suggested that he double up on second year algebra and geometry next year.

Another neighbor's tulip tree.

Alrighty then.

I know European starlings are invasive and a nuisance,
but we like them anyway.

Meanwhile, on the homefront, he and Tate decided to torment Gunanr by poking holes in some of the pictures on his bulletin board that were very special to him.  Gunnar was in tears.  I fined them both five dollars (payable to Gunnar) for destroying his property.  And when they went upstairs to get the money (and I'm skipping over the ridiculous and agonizing several minutes of arguing with me about it) they decided to poke more holes.  And got fined again.

Gunnar's friend was waiting for a treat.

And on top of that, Wyatt has been getting behind on his homeschool work, and been deceptive about it, to me.  So he is on house arrest and is reduced to working from a hyper-detailed checklist.  Meaning, he comes home from school in the morning and goes straight to his room and starts working his way down the list.  Until I sign off each and every item he stays in his room working, except for meals, bathroom breaks, and a 15-20 minute ride-your-bike-around-the-neighborhood break, mid-afternoon.

Mm, mm, mmm... skunk cabbage.

Then, to put the icing on the cake, he neglected one of the items on the list yesterday, which was to leave the desk clean.  Tate uses it in the morning (while Wyatt is at school) and Wyatt uses it in the afternoon, and typically leaves his stuff cluttering it up.  Not fair to Tate.  So I put it on his list, to remind him to be considerate.

Licorice ferns, growing in the moss on a maple.
The rhizomes are edible and (kind of) sweet.

And when I found the entire surface of the desk covered with Wyatt's books and projects this morning,
I calmly picked it all up and put everything in a box.

We've been keeping our eyes on this "widow-maker",
hanging over the trail.

And when he came home, and realized it was gone...

Mmmmm, salmon berry blossoms!

... I sold it back to him.

Our enemy... stinging nettles, coming up in abundance.

Oh, I gave him grace.
I only charged him a buck.

More moss, more licorice fern.

But if it happens again, the price doubles...

I think I know who did this...
we saw a large, pileated woodpecker on our last walk.

He's pretty good with math.  I think he got the message.

Lacy hemlock branches in the sun.

So, you know...  fun times.

And look what Mr. Sharp-eyes spotted... another one!

So, I put this all out there, not to humiliate Wyatt.  We've all had our stupid moments.  I'm expecting he'll pull through this, and come out better.

No, I'm telling you all this because - news flash:

And that's why it's called a Western RED Cedar...

We don't have it all together.

Vinca minor, commonly known as periwinkle.

Because sometimes, with blogs, we only post the good things.  Or at least, the funny things.  Or we only post the hard things when we've come out on the other side, and wrenched a lesson out it.
And we look pretty darn special.

Gunnar loves this ornamental tree in someone's yard.
Looks like an octopus.
And really, we're pretty darn ordinary.