Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Garage Addition

Poppie returned to stay with us and build an addition onto the mother in law for he and Nonnie to stay in while they visit. They feel bad about having all the kiddos stay in one room together while they sleep in the girls room even though the kids love it. 
Everyday he got so much done it was amazing! The day before Jasper's party we dug out/chopped down/transplanted all of the plants in Kivi's garden to make room for the addition. He got the posts cemented and other stuff I don't even know, like killing a wasp nest in the walls and putting in structural beams. It went up lightening fast! So this is about what it looked like at Jasper's party the day before: 
September 16th

September 18th - The second story goes up!

The kids wanted to dance and pretend to be rock stars on the "stage" everyday, but it was pretty unsafe with all those tools up there, so one night we cleared them all off and let them give us a rock band performance. All inspired from one of Jasper's presents: a paper air guitar.

September 24th The boys help Poppie and Dada by putting together the shelf units we bought at Ikea!

September 28th - The doors from a recycled materials place go up.

Yeah Poppie! After he left Peter kept working and got the whole railing up, the door and electricity finished for the upper deck, the doors painted and another door for the shed part put in. It's not finished yet, but it looks great! Now we have to move all the stuff over there from inside the garage!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jasper's Ninjago Birthday!

September 15, 2012

I said I'd never do commercial parties, but Jasper was so hooked on the idea of a Ninjago party, I couldn't say no. Plus, there were a lot of cute Japanese/Ninja ideas I wanted to do.  Poppie had come back after a week in California to build a storage addition on the mother-in-law so he and Nonnie could stay in a little apartment in half of the garage. He came up with a great idea to hang the pagoda cupcake holder from the old dead tree. 

I made up these cute little ninja party favors out of candy stuffed in a toilet paper tube, tissue paper and Q tips.

And we had to have candy sushi!

 The birthday ninja!

It was quite a balancing act to get all the mini cupcakes on the hanging pagoda, but it worked and none of them fell or got knocked off!

I was going to make stir fry for lunch, but my darling hubby suggested he just pick up some teriyaki and chow mien and they threw in the rice and stir fried veggies for free! So all I had to do for food was bake some egg rolls. Peter's a genius. Jasper the 

 We played a human Ninjago game where each kid stood on a spinner and held a foam "sword" noodle. When we said, "Ninja Go" they had to propel their bodies around without moving their feet and as soon as they made a full circle, wap the other person first.

Eben was the Ninja spinner champion! Of course, we'd had these spinners for a while, just waiting for this day.

We had a Shuriko (ninja star) making table, so everyone learned some origami and made one.

so they could participate in the Shuriko Shot competition! Maddox was the only one to get his star in the hole!

Except for Mr. Raykovitz in the adult competition. Way to go guys! Emma won for effort.

Jasper had such a fun time with all the people he loves!

We love this guy so much!

While everyone enjoyed some cupcakes and ice cream, Jasper opened his presents.

He even got two Ninjago spinners! He'd never actually played or had a Ninjago before, so Peter taught him after a game of ninja hide and seek.

Jasper, you are such a joy to have in our family! You are kind and sharing with everything you have. You've already given away over half your gifts to others! You are super friendly always including others and meeting new people. You are reading chapter books already and rock at math in your K2 year. You are great at helping with Berg and Pella. You love shorts, Legos, building anything, styling your hair (especially with your blue gel) and being tucked in at night in the most particular way (your blankets have to be perfect). You are still super sensitive, and get your feelings hurt if someone wrongs you. You are still rough when you cuddle and your knees and elbows have a way of finding their way into everyone. But you're one great kisser! You have amazing talents and gifts that I know you will use to glorify God. You often talk about sharing God's love with others and becoming a missionary when you grow up! Whatever you do with your life, know that we will love you always.
Happy 6th Birthday Jasper!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ape Cave Campout

August 28-29, 2012

While my Mamacita and Pops were still here after the houseboat trip, we decided to force encourage them to take a break from all the rental work they'd been doing and go camping with us! We had great memories of our Ape Caves camping trip by Mount St. Helen's from a couple years ago, so we headed south to do it again.

We actually found the same camping site and they put us in the same exact camping spot that we had the last time we went, weeeoorrd! The kids loved climbing on logs and finding cool sticks with Poppie and Nonnie.

We cooked some hot dogs for dinner over the fire and had roasted marshmallows for desert. Pella was a horrible camp sleeper. I basically held her all night in the van so she wouldn't wake the whole campsite. It was a tents only place, so she seemed really loud screaming in the middle of the night. Finally, she fell asleep in her car seat and I tried to leave the van to go back to the tent and I set off the van's alarm! So much for trying not to wake everyone around.

The next day, Dada made us a huge breakfast of eggs, hash browns and bacon - mmmmm camp food! Then we took a walk to a little stream.

Berg was so pleased to cross the log bridge by himself. (I was holding onto his jacket, but he thought he was doing it alone.) I thought for sure we were going to end up in the water, but we stayed dry, until  the way back.

My super hot babe. We always play baseball with sticks and rocks when we're camping. Well, actually we just hit the rocks with a stick bat. That's baseball, right?

After our mini walk, and attempt by the kids to build a log bridge across the whole lake (they didn't make it, by the way), we went back to pack up camp. The kids played. This was the view of the lake from our campsite.

The big four built a house with a bowling alley in the woods that we all had to try out.

Then it was time for the Ape Caves! We are actually standing at the entrance to the cave.

This shot was taken inside the cave. Pretty good for being pitch black in there! Everyone is even looking at the camera, which we couldn't even see!

The kids (except for Pella) and Dada crawled on their knees all the way to the back of the lava tube until they couldn't go any further. Then we made our way back out, into the van and home again. So we did it! A great, quick, mini vacation which totally fulfilled my camping needs for the summer this year.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scuba Diving with Dada

August 27, 2012

Dada got tank of air to help his friend look for a lost prop (super necessary for wake boarding). Since he has all of his own scuba diving equipment from his days of boyhood bliss, before all of his responsibilities of husband and father, he decided to use it to also take Eben and Kivi for a lake dive. (They loved it in Mexico.)

While they dove, Jasper worked with Nonnie on his dock jumping skills and swam on top of Dada (kicking them in the head - on accident, Dada said).

They both loved searching the bottom of the lake for treasures, Eben found me a cool glass jar.

Kivi found Dada his long lost solar light! I love the way those masks make them look when they smile!

Down on the Farm!

August 25, 2012
Our friends, the VanderPols, invited us down to their family's dairy farm for a homeschool field trip. We got in the spirit and dressed up for the event. I can't miss a good costume opportunity.

First, we visited the stinky part of our tour, where the cattle are fed and sorted by herd, ready to be milked. They stand in sand and eat a nutritious granola/hay mixture. 

After the cows leave to go into the barn, the "river" comes to wash away all the cow wastes. This is even stinkier!

The sand and waste is taken away by the water and sorted and recycled! They reuse all the sand, water and waste in the corral, "river"and fields. The main reason we wanted to tour this farm is because they use all of the methane gas from the cows' waste to run a generator that produces electricity! Isn't that cool! 

Berg thought it was. And we all thought he looked so cool in his cowboy getup. I love that he leaves hats on!

Calf bottles are huge! But Pella was ready to try it! We didn't let her though, because the calves are fed the milk from the cows with colds or mastitis, because their milk is fine, but can't be sold to people.

Here's our whole herd waiting to go into the parlor to see the cows be milked. (I didn't know that's what a parlor was until that day.)

In the parlor, in between rows of cows being milked, we felt the suction power of the vacuum tubes that go on the cow's utters.

We took a picnic break for lunch on the lady above's most beautiful lawn and garden. Every detail of the garden was perfect! I could've stayed and admired it for a long time!

After lunch, we drove about a half mile down the road (it was a big farm) to the labor and delivery ward. We had missed a birth by about 20 minutes! If I didn't take so long looking at the garden, we would've made it! While everyone was watching the newly born calf and mama, Berg was in heaven with the hay.

And Eben found the joy of sticking it in your mouth, good thing they used really fresh hay.

My favorite part was feeding the baby calves! There were rows and rows of baby calves. They usually just stick the big bottle in that black square hole in the calf's white dome and they drink it on their own. If they had to hand feed them all, it would take all day. Berg helped take the empty bottles to the wagon. I don't think he could lift it if it was full.

Some of the new little babies had a harder time so we were able to help them out.

This little guy had a really hard time, so we got in the dome with him and fed him. I will always be a farm girl at heart! We will need to do more of these hands-on type field trips in the future to satisfy my worldly, want to be a country girl, whims. Oh ya, and teach the kids some stuff.