Wednesday, August 28, 2013

60/40 day

the tables looking lovely
we recently had a celebration for aaron's mom's 60th birthday and his parents' 40th anniversary, which came a few weeks apart in july and august.  all the siblings and spouses attempted to arrange things in secret, but it was hard to keep all the details from the professional event-planning birthday girl!

globe postcard holders
we chose a travel theme, which worked really well.  we highlighted how aaron's mom came from a little town in wisconsin to a little town in iowa to meet his dad at a little college, and then (with a few more stops in between) they moved to a little town in northern BC.  since then, of course, they've travelled the globe!

aaron giving the welcome speech, and the big map
john made this cool big map, which we used to highlight all the many places aaron's parent's have traveled to.  aaron and his helper noah strung red yarn between nails at major points, and by the end the map was a tangled web of red!

uncle colin and the boys check out the big map
aaron and the kids made cool paper-mache map-covered globe picture holders, which held postcards grandma and grandpa had sent all of us over the years.  jess and kate made cute map-paper hearts that hung from the ceiling.  nicole made cool map-paper pinwheels for centerpieces.  we used maps as tablecloths.  everything looked great!

cousin love
i think everyone had a good time.  the kids snuck many treats, and i ate a few too many of nicole's cream puffs myself!

big boy in carhaarts 
funny times in the field
the boys
isla enjoying some treats
oma and ezzie hanging out

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the first day of school for two big kids

today was the first day of school for both of our big kids!  (lately i find myself referring to them as "the big kids" and ezzie as "the baby.")  this year begins second grade for noah and kindergarten for isla.  

isla has been looking forward to kindergarten at evergreen since we attended the open house in march.  she cried when we left that night, saying she wanted to go to school there the next day.  after a long spring and summer, finally, finally, her dream has come true!  she was very happy to settle in this morning, and said goodbye to me without even looking up from her play.  she is going to be just fine with this transition!

noah was a little hesitant as he went to bed last night, but i think that he was mostly sad at summer ending and our fun few weeks of vacation time being over.  i feel that way too.  (aaron says noah and i are similar in our struggles with transitions and the endings of things.  isla and aaron, however, are always raring to go!)  noah settled in this morning, though, and seemed excited about his new class and seeing his friends again.  

i am confident both kids are going to have a great year.  their school is such a great place!

two big kids ready to go
one big girl ready for kindergarten
showing off the new backpack
isla at her desk
playing legos with her good buddy sophia
playing in the kitchen corner with ezra
noah in his new second grade classroom
is someone else ready for school?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

the play structure

aaron spent the first bit of the summer building a beautiful play structure for the kids in the side yard.  first he moved the raised beds to the backyard, and then leveled the ground and covered the dirt with a weed-preventing fabric.  then he gathered materials (the main beams are from a local telephone pole manufacturer) and got to work!

there are two towers connected by curved monkey bars.  the east tower has a beautiful spiral staircase and a metal slide at the end.  the west tower houses isla's ice cream shop.  ezra's little swing hangs in the middle.  we've added a few pulleys, but there are also plans in the works for a boat steering wheel, a telescope and maybe some pirate flags.  

the gravel itself has been lots of fun, and the little excavator aaron made noah for his 4th birthday has found a great home deep in the gravel.  

here's a little photo montage of the project:

balancing the spiral staircase, with help from a neighbor

staircase in place

getting a feel for where to place the slide

isla trying out the new platform
works just fine for plies!

on the platform
ezzie watching through the window from his high chair
trying out the slide
ezzie, snap-peas, noah
staircase, slide and monkey bars in place!
ice cream shop tower in place!

spreading the pea gravel
fun with gravel!

baby swing added

baby added
sneaky baby

trying out the new pulley system

sending the bag of gravel on the pulley

receiving the bag of gravel on the pulley

enjoying some ice cream in isla's ice cream shop

selling some raspberries in the ice cream shop

beautiful sign, painted by troy

mysterious stones found on the staircase

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

fun at the fair!

on monday we had our annual trek to the northwest washington fair in lynden.  aunt nicole, uncle colin and grandpa came too.  the boys watched the demolition derby while nic, isla, ezzie and i wandered around and checked out the prize-winning flowers and veggies, the new baby calf, and the very strange products for sale in the vending area.  oh, and ezzie fell in love with the tractors.  we of course ate a giant cube of french fries, some elephant ears and a few moo-wiches.  i cannot say at all that my kids had a healthy dinner, but no one expects that at the fair, right?

hanging with aunt nicole
hay bale maze
ezra, cow planter, ivy

he LOVED the tractors!  would not get off.

little boy, big ferris wheel
isla learns how to milk a cow

a pink tractor!!
noah driving a bumper car!

isla did this ride about 5 times in a row
we ran into a friend from preschool, and they rode some rides together.  and held hands!
checking out the new baby calf, 3 days old!
ez and aunt nicole look at the calf.  he wanted to climb right in!
aaron and noah very focused on the demolition derby! 
eeek!  (after the derby)