Saturday, November 28, 2009


Thank you Cutzi for the hat you knit for me.
Mom and Dad think I look really cute in it.

It might even cause one to drool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

vacation, fall 2009

One of the really nice things about homeschooling is that we can take vacations whenever it suits us. Knowing that a baby would be joining our family in June we figured out a long time ago that September would be the ideal month for a family vacation.

Then we came up with the brilliant idea to vacation with our dear ol' friends; once we put it all together we had a terrific plan for fun, fun, fun.

And fun it was. We went to a place called Veranda Beach on the US side of Osoyoos lake.

It was a long drive deep into the middle of what felt like nowhere (in other words no Starbucks!) but the place was awesome and the cottages were perfect. The two most important things this place offered was 1) no limit on the number of people we could house in the cottage and 2) it was available when we finally got around to making reservations.

(Serving meals seem to be the only pictures we have of Stacy and Me and that makes sense because that is what we spend a lot of time doing, so I am posting a few).

The people: we had 4 adults and 10 kids ages 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4, 2, 19 months, 7 months, & 3 months. You would think that this would make for a crazy week but really it was not crazy at all.

Yes, there was a lot of energy, activity and people but there was also a clear rhythm to things. We had all our meals around the table together (two tables moved around to accommodate & a cooler served as a bench for three kids), we played hard but had a quiet time each day and at night all of the kids were in bed and quiet by 9. Once the kids were in bed the adults played games and ate/drank yummy things. What a treat!

What we did: the resort has guests park their cars away from the cottages leaving the little roads clear and safe for walks and bike riding. This was so fun for the kids. At both our homes, going out for a bike ride is not easy so it was so neat for the kids to just be able to go. And Mike was able to teach Ethan to ride a two-wheeler which they were both super excited about.

In addition to riding bikes we swam at the pool until it closed for the season half way through our week.

We walked on the beach, played at the play ground, had a big flag football game, played lots of games inside, did a few crafts, had a group read aloud (one of my favorite parts) and ate lots and lots of yummy food.

Pretty simple stuff but just perfect for this season in both families.

Our kids get along great. Each of our kids has known one another from the moment they joined the family making them super familiar friends.

The white shirts you see in the pictures are homemade t-shirts that Mike and I made on the computer. They feature the first letter of both of our last names reclining on a beach chair. Of course the printer-iron-on things washed mostly out of the shirts after a couple washes.

The drive was the only part to which we were not looking forward with joy. But the 5.5 hour drive turned out to not be that bad at all. Justus slept most of the way and the other kids were very satisfied with our audio book "Story of the World" and their individual books and music. We enjoyed our stop in Winthrop for some famous ice cream and made it the whole way there without even using the DVD player. On the way home we busted the thing right out and allowed the boys to watch all they wanted. It was indeed a treat for them.

Here we are taking a break half way over the pass to nurse Justus and stretch our legs.

One lesson we learned on this trip is that our gps has no idea where Oroville, WA, is! We followed Meridith (that is what we've named our gps) without even a thought because she has never let us down before (and Mike has used her in several cities to find tons of places on his work travels). This time however she led us deep into the heart of nowhere. After passing several longhorn steer (seriously the span of these horns was like 6 feet!) Meridith claimed that our destination was a few yards away. Out our windows all we see is open field. Yep, she was way off. But we figured it out and arrived safely albeit an hour later than we should have.

On the way home we stopped at an organic farm to pick up 30 pound boxes of honey crisp apples for $10! That score made the fact that our vacation had to come to an end easier to swallow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

rules of engagement

Any time two or more boys of somewhat similar ages gather, some form of wrestling will surely ensue. It's one of those universal truths.

At first, the wrestling takes place under the rule of might. The bigger, stronger, or quicker boy tends to experience the more enjoyable side of the physical exchange. As this goes on, however, in order to entice the younger wrestler into continuing such physical contests, a system of governance must be established.

Such systems arise out of consensual understanding of fairness. Allowances are made for the weaker wrestler to obtain some measure of advantage through a meaningful handicap of the stronger boy or by disallowing conduct considered to unfairly amplify an existing physical advantage.

At advanced levels, these rules become codified, I can only assume in order to allow for more consistent interpretation and a more exact understanding of the rules on behalf of all parties.

I recently discovered such a manual.


The authorship of this manual appears to be a joint effort. Keep in mind, no one ever told Aidan and Luke to "come up with some rules so that people stop getting hurt", much less to write anything down. This was a truly enlightening discovery.

Page 1-2.

I'm not certain, but I believe this is saying that if somebody tries to grab you, then you should duck. And if you weren't sure what direction you were supposed to duck, there is an arrow pointing to the floor.

Rules must be specific. Although this appears to more fall under the category of general combat tactics than rules.

Page 3-4.

The construction of this section leads me to believe that The Wrestling Book is a living document. I would surmise that bans on punching, kicking and pinching were established at the formation of the document. They may have even provided the impetus for its creation.

I believe that "No surprise attacks" has to be considered an amendment.

It may even be classified as a unilateral amendment.

Page 5-6

Perhaps as compensation for disallowing surprise attacks, "tabletops" have apparently been given permanent legal status in wrestling.

If you are unfamiliar with this tactic, I think the illustration makes it quite clear.

There are several blank pages left in this book. I do not know if this is simply the first volume of what will grow into an immense codex of legislation or if those governed by its principles will prefer a more laissez-faire approach to combat regulation.

Although for all the joy this book has brought me, I'm kinda hopping for the former.