Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School

I can't believe it!  The boys just finished their first week of school.  They went back last Monday, Aug. 25.  Where did the summer go?  I'm happy to say that they were so excited about going back.  I think there were a few nerves about having a new teacher and starting a new grade, but they seem to have adjusted well this week.  They even said they were thankful for school in our morning worship as a thank you to Jesus!  How precious.  I'm so glad they love school.  Daniel is in 3rd grade this year.  His class has been divided in half for that past 2 years, so now they are all together.  Sam is in 1st grade this year, and unfortunately for him, his class is divided up for the next 2 years.  He will quickly make new friends, I am sure.  For now, Simon is staying home with me.  I am still undecided about what to do with him.  Should I do preschool for him this year?  Next year?  Should he start Kindergarten next year?  He is very smart, I'm just worried about him being the youngest in his class.  Yesterday when we were taking our very heavy load of books back to the library, he tried to help me carry them.  He grunted and said, "These must weigh about 50 pounds!".  And I too agreed they were very heavy.  After we had unloaded the bag, he picked it up again and said, "Now it weighs just 1 pound and I can carry it, see?"  Yes, I commented, but then thought to myself, how does he now what 50 pounds is versus 1 pound?  I just thought that was so clever for him to say.

First Morning of School

Display of New Backpack and Lunch Box

Silly Pic

Daniel at his desk
All 3 boys and Daniel's seatmate and friend, Abiola
Sam at his desk
Simon & Sam

Sam's class getting their first instructions

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mt. Adams Camping

A few weeks ago we went camping near Mt. Adams with our friends, Donald and Ruth and their kids.  We drove up on Friday afternoon.  It's about 3 hours from home.  We set up camp, and soon heard thunder.  We weren't sure if it was going to rain or not, and I didn't know if I should put things back in the car.  We set things up with the option of throwing things in the car if need be.  But at least a couple of hours passed, and no rain.  But finally the rain did come.  We ran to our tent and hung out there till it passed.  After that, we came out and walked around.  It was too early to go to bed.  And yet our seats had gotten a little wet, so we couldn't sit around.  Also, our wood for a fire got wet, so we couldn't start a fire very easily.  Soon we figured it was time for bed, so we just went to bed.

Saturday morning we got up.  It was warm there, so I didn't feel the need to sit by the morning fire and warm up.  We sat around, enjoying the nice morning, drinking coffee, then soon made breakfast.  After breakfast and clean up, we took the canoe out on the lake.  Donald and Ruth brought their canoe, and the kids just love going out on rides.  The water was also warm enough to do some swimming, so we did that too.  Soon it was time for lunch.  We made lunch, cleaned up, then Donald and Jeff took the older kids to do some huckleberry picking.  They got back and it was time for dinner.  The kids wanted to go back down to the lake again, so we did that again before it was time for bed.   That night, we made a nice fire, sat around, and made smores.  It was a fun evening.

Sunday morning we got up and made breakfast and started putting things away.  We packed up all the gear, and then the kids wanted to do one more ride on the canoe.  We did that one more time before heading out.  We stopped in White Salmon and had lunch, and then went our separate ways.  It was a fun weekend! 

Hayley and Simon Bike Riding

Daniel, (Sam) and Natalie Swimming

Natalie, Sam and Daniel Canoeing

Daniel, Simon and Sam Dinner Time

Hayley and Sam Hammacking

Jeff, Sam, Daniel and Natalie Making Smores

Simon and I Enjoying the Morning

The Andersons

The Youkers

The Kids: Simon, Sam, Daniel, Natalie, Hayley, Tyler (Ethan not pictured)

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Hiawatha

Back when we were in Coeur d'Alene, we rode the Hiawatha Trail on our bikes.  It's an old train route up near the Idaho/Montana border.  It's about 15 miles.  It's all down hill.  You can ride down and take a shuttle back to the top, or you can ride down and ride back up.  We chose to ride down and take the shuttle back to the top.  It was a hot day, and we were tired when we were done! 

It's a beautiful trail, running through the forest.  It goes through tunnels and over trestles.   In fact, one tunnel is so long (about 1 3/4 miles) that you need a head light to ride through it.  You can't see the end from the beginning. 

The area has a lot of history.  We learned of small mining towns that were started around it during the early 1900's.  And we learned of fires and people having to hide out in the tunnels to survive. 

It's a fun bike ride, and I recommend it if you are in the CDA area.

Daniel, up at the top

Family Pic on the trail

Sam, after the tunnel

Family Pic, on a trestle

Simon, taking up the rear

Heading down the trail

Jeff and Sam on the shuttle

Friday, August 8, 2014

Swim Lessons 2014

For two weeks this summer, for one half hour, five days a week, the boys took swim lessons.  They go to the East Portland Parks and Rec.  We've been going there ever since we moved here four years ago.  Although we live on the west side of town, we go over to the east side for the lessons.  It's familiar to the boys.  In fact, Simon's teacher this year had previously taught Daniel and Sam in prior years.  Also, it's close to Grandma's house, and she can join us each day and help me keep the boys on task.

The boys enjoy the lessons.  This year Daniel did really well learning the crawl stroke, back stroke and side breathing.  He is a confident swimmer now.  It's neat to see him progress and get the skill down.  Sam learned the back float and the front glide.  Unfortunately, this year we learned (too late) that he had gotten placed in a lower class than I thought I had signed him up for.  So he repeated what he learned last year.  We kept wondering why the teacher wasn't teaching him more skills.  But he said he was okay with it, and next year we will get him in the right class.  Simon did really well learning to get his face wet, blowing bubbles and floating on his back.  They all did really well, and it's nice to see them enjoy swimming!

Simon, with his class

Simon, getting his face wet and blowing bubbles

Simon, doing the back float

Simon, some ball fun

Sam, learning the front glide

Sam, doing the back float

Sam, enjoying his lesson

Sam, getting ready to go on the Shark Slide

Daniel, doing the crawl stroke

Daniel, learning the back stroke

Daniel, going down the water slide

Daniel, having fun