Friday, October 31, 2014

One little, two little.... well, two little Indians

My backyard has been taken over by the natives.... trying to pretend they are Native Americans.

I was given a tour of some of their setup yesterday.

Here is their house:

They've planted a little garden, complete with wild onions, and they water it with a shell they dipped in a bucket of dirty water.  (They also drank this water apparently, which gave me nightmares afterward.)

This is the "knife-sharpening" station.  They make sharp rocks by rubbing them against this big rock.

They also have traps and snares and makeshift bows and arrows, and other various inventions.

I'm glad they're having fun, inventing new things every day -- usually with their "utility rope."  But I felt like maybe they crossed a line I wasn't fond of when they used their utility ropes to make "leaf belts" and I looked outside to find them like this:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Sports Wrap-Up

Colsen had his final soccer game on Team Brazil this past Saturday, and it was an intense one.  They were playing for the championship, and in the very last minute the Netherlands scored a goal to tie it all up.  So that is how the game ended -- a tie.

He had a great season, making new friends, and, in my opinion, turning into a true soccer player.  It was fun watching him hustle all over the field, scoring goals and making good plays with his teammates.

Strider also had his final game this past week, so his first football season is now in the books.  I was rather unsure how I felt about the whole thing.... reminding him before each and every game and practice to please NOT get a concussion was getting a little wearying for us all.

 But at the season-end picnic for the boys and their families, I was swayed to the pro-football-team side as I saw all the camaraderie and caring for one another among the boys.  As each one had his name called to go up front, the other boys would all cheer and holler for him, slap him on the back, etc.  Then during the highlight video, when Strider's big interception play of the season came on, the boys all started chanting, "Str-ider, Stri-der," and I could see why he loved the experience so much.  :)

Plus, it was fun watching them all play a spirited game of pick-up football before we ate.  They sure are passionate about the sport!

Nevertheless, it will be nice to have our evenings back again.

Meanwhile, Rayna is continuing on with her jazz dance class, and Miles, well, Miles is exercising all his muscles by just trying to boss us all around.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This boy

Colsen has just a couple weeks left as a 7-year-old, and what a great age it has been for him.  I have loved seeing his multi-faceted personality develop and his multiple interests grow.  Pretty much daily he still says things like, "I think I want to be a woodsmith when I grow up."  Or "Do you think I'd be a good naturalist someday?" Or "Maybe I'll be a poet or an book-writer."

Every day finds him in the yard making something new -- wigwams, skateboards, fire huts, etc.  A couple weeks ago I found a balled up bunch of leaves next to our couch and when I tried to throw them away, he said, "Wait -- those are my moccasins!"

For his birthday ALL he wants is a KNIFE.  It's very important.

But with all his strength and toughness and bravery, he has also been given a gentle and protective heart.  He looks out for his little brother, and even his big sister, with caring intensity, and never wants any creature to suffer.

Most nights after he goes to bed I find him like this:

He explained to me that he sleeps with both his teddy bear AND Miles' because Miles usually just leaves his on the floor and he doesn't want the bear to be left alone.

Ah, my heart.

So glad this family has been given this boy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Conversation about Jo-Jo

I've been hearing the younger two play the same game a lot lately... one in which a character named Jo-Jo is the central figure.  I finally asked them to sit down and explain to me once and for all who Jo-Jo was:

Me: Who is Jo-Jo?

Colsen: He's a weird boy.  It's a sad story.  I never have time to teach him, so he's just weird.

Miles: He's, like, weird.  He goes like this, "HI MAAA--MEE"

Me: Are you Jo-Jo, Miles?

Miles: Yeah.

Me: Why do you like to be Jo-Jo?

Miles: Because it's just funny.  I like to make Colsen laugh.

Colsen: Miles likes it, so I play it with him.

Me: Why don't you like it?

Colsen: Because Miles gets to make all the fun noises, but I'm the mom.

Me: What does the mom have to do?

Colsen: She just has to clean up after him.

Miles: Strider's the dad.  He says stuff like, "It's ok, Jo-Jo."

Me:  You guys sure sound like you're having fun when you play this game.

Miles:  Mom, if I act weird all the way until I'm like 10, will I grow up to be a weird man?

Me:  No -- why do you think that?

Miles:  Colsen told me that.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Their Island Adventure

Our guys have returned, stronger, manlier, dirtier and far sandier than when they left.

It's been a little hard to parse out the stories because several people have been talking at once all evening, but from what I can gather, they:

-- canoed awfully far
-- woke up at 4 a.m. this morning because the tents were infested with sand gnats
-- made pancakes at 4:30 am this morning
-- played in the ocean all day Saturday
-- saw "Uncle" Ben catch a shark and a giant fish
-- saw Jonathan wrestle a long time with a 7-foot shark that ultimately broke the fishing line
-- caught all kinds of sting rays
-- experienced many other kinds of wildlife, including crabs, shrimp, other fish, etc.  (no alligators, thankfully!)
-- played a couple rousing games of football
-- had a total blast with their cousins, cousins-of-cousins, and friends

Here are some of my favorite shots:

 Under the category of "Most Disturbing Drinks," we have these 2 entries:

And finally, after watching some of the crabs on the beach, Miles wanted to show his impression of one:

Off for a wilderness adventure

A chain of brothers-in-law (Pete, his brother-in-law Dan, Dan’s brother-in-law Ben, and Ben’s brother-in-law Evan), along with their 11 boys, all set out on a canoe trip today on the inter-coastal waterway.  The plan was to drive 4 hours to the coast, then canoe 12 miles out to an uninhabited island.  It took them 12 hours, but they’re finally at their destination.  This was some of the crew launching out Friday afternoon…

I haven't heard much from them since they hit the island, but we have gotten a couple of pics so we know they're still alive.

Our family has just finished reading "Sign of the Beaver," "The Cabin Faced West," and "Pocahontas and the Strangers," so I'm assuming Colsen and Miles are having a blast acting like Indians with their canoes and no civilization.  For the week before they left they mostly kept talking and giggling about how they were going to have to dig holes outside to go to the bathroom.  They could not wait to do that!

Rayna and I wisely stayed home (well, we weren't actually invited anyway), and we have been having fun on our own.  Last night she went to stay with her cousins while all of the wives/moms of the wilderness crew went out to eat -- nicely civilized.

Looking forward to hearing the stories when our menfolk return!

Monday, October 6, 2014

What an overly confident homeschooler does

The little 4th-born sometimes gets a little lost in the education shuffle, but he's not dismayed by this at all.  He takes care of both his learning and his grading.

Unless he has started snacking on snakes while I'm not looking, I'm afraid he was a little over-zealous and a little under-correct in the assessment of his own work.