Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kayaking (and canoeing) for the First Time

Matthew was offered a slightly damaged kayak last year which he accepted and repaired.  
Today was his maiden voyage.

Coming along for the ride was Andrew with a family friend in his canoe.

Matthew took the lead and headed out.

Meanwhile back on shore, the rest of the guys had a different type of boating experience.

James posed for a cute picture.

After about an hour's trip, they are almost back.

All are back safely and no wet people returned.

They all pronounced it a fun time!

Tough Guys with (water) Guns

Okay, it wasn't actually hot enough today, but I relented.

Do you detect a hint of dampness?

Sogginess, perhaps?

A tougher trio of guys you'd never want to meet. 
 (unless you were really hot and had a change of clothes)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Differences in Children

First, you have to understand that we love our children regardless of their level of creativity.  Also, that one of the things that makes James's lack thereof amusing is that he gets that lack from me. are James and Helena having fun with modeling clay together.

As they worked they made sure we saw their various creations.  Helena made numerous intricate animals and other things.  This is her white horse.  She was very happy with it.  

James then brought us his creation to admire.

He said it was a rock and was sooo excited about it.  (Helena added the feather.)
We had quite a laugh about it later.  He did squash it admirably you'll have to admit.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Roofing Finale

And the last piece goes up...

and up...

and up...

almost there...

a little more...


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fun in Mackinaw City

Last night I took Jonathan and Matthew to Mackinaw City to play in the Straits Area Concert Band.

Jonathan's head is visible right in front of the American flag,
 and Matthew's forehead is in the back row.
Isn't that a fantastic picture!

It was a really fun time for them.  I also took the rest of the quintet, (Andrew, Christopher, and Benjamin), and Kristin along to listen.  This group rehearses for an hour--just the trouble spots--then performs after a half-hour break.  Sooo...they are all basically sight-reading.  It's great practice and sounds amazingly good!

Photos That Make a Mama Nervous

While this is very exciting that Jonathan is now putting sheathing on the roof, it surely does make me right nervous seeing him way up there! 

Okay, now I'm doubly nervous!


I'll relax as soon as they both come down.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Beautiful Path Through the Trees

I decided there had to be a use for all of those downed tree limbs and dead wood we had lying on the ground.  If you add all of those together with a lot of boy power it equals a nice walking path through the trees.

Doesn't it make you want to go explore?

I had thought it would be the perfect place for some childhood imagination to go wild.  Now if we could only get over there to try it....

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Sad Tale of a Bridge

This is the story of the beautiful bridge our family and a family friend worked together to build.  We were so happy when it was done.  We were able to access our property on the other side of the creek, and it was so wonderful.  We made a path through the trees and made it a really fun place to take a walk.  One fateful day we decided to have our family picture taken on our beautiful bridge.

It sounded like a great idea until we heard a frightening sound.   A different configuration of the family had all of us stretched across the bridge in age order and then we heard it!  SNAP!!!  Apparently one of the support logs was not sound (although this wasn't visible from the outside) and it cracked.  As you can see we didn't stay in that pose and this was the result.

This summer we were able to see what we heard...

You'll notice a very sad sag, and a sad dad disassembling our bridge.

This log was the culprit.  Now we have to decide how to rebuild:(
Hopefully we will be able to get this done this year.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jonathan's Senior Project Progress...


It looked so great to see the garden shed come to life....

... then there were two...

... then three...

...and finally all four!!

Jonathan passed Dad's inspection.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Recovery Weekend

Kristin and I have spent the past two weeks teaching string camps.  Just to give you an idea what that was like and so you'll understand the lack of posts, try to imagine the following:

1)  17 rental instruments (which I was completely responsible for)
2)  27 campers with only a vague idea of what it means to respect other people or property (this being demonstrated vividly with one camper being caught in the act of hitting another camper over the head with his rented violin)
3)  the din of out-of-tune stringed instruments playing
4)  the shrieks of excited campers as they make new friends and as they finish the "quiet game"
5)  my now non-existent voice which I trust will return by Monday (caused by having to yell over said             campers' excitement for ten days)

Need I say more?  Many posts to follow...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Visitor and a Surprise

We had a cute little visitor to our home.  This little furry creature stayed around for quite a while and even tolerated a photo shoot.   Thankfully it has not been digging around in our garden, otherwise it would not have been as welcome.

Our garden has been difficult this year and frankly quite a disappointment.  Until....

...we started getting big bowls of berries like these.  They are so sweet and yummy!  Last year most of them were about pea sized and had large seed clumps that were not exactly good-tasting.  What a surprise this year!  We have not had good success with anything else so to have strawberries like this is wonderful.  Yea!!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!


Hope everyone had a happy 4th.  We got our work 
done before dinner 
and then had fun the rest of the day.  
First our small-town parade.  Then...

a fun family frisbee game.

Finally, some beautiful fireworks which Matthew captured on his iPad.
It's quite a nifty gadget.

Apparently some people were a little tired on the way home.

Happy 4th!

The Trusses are Finished

Jonathan finished all six custom-made trusses this week for our garden shed.  
  Here he is checking over his plans with Dad before final assembly.

Cutting those special joining factory made brackets here

Actual assembly happening

A little moral support provided by Helena


Ah, the first finished truss...five more to go.

The next five are all done.  Stay tuned for the next very exciting part.  Walls!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Free Ranging Turkeys

Our little turkeys were a week old this past Monday, so it was time to change to their bedding.  Hmm...what should we do with them while everything is being cleaned?

I know, we'll let them run around the yard!!

This sounds like a great idea until you've seen how fast they can run! 
 It took quite a few of us to keep them contained.

An escapee is caught.

They like clover, but fight over it in a ridiculous manner unless you break it up into little pieces.

Everyone laughed at the feel of their beaks.

Especially James.  I don't think it will feel too funny in few weeks.