Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Full Day

It's a great day when the book work goes smoothly and you have time for extra 
things like a 3-D puzzle and craft projects.

Helena's "sheep"

Emily had the time to figure out the fingering for...

...poor me who took on more than I bargained for with 
our Christmas programs.  Yikes!
Do you see a slight note of panic?

Bob had time to take Jonathan on the "18-year-old" trip.
You know, things like registering to vote, opening a checking account, 
(now he can pay his own bills--Yes!), and getting his learner's permit.
He even got a celebratory coffee!

I'm afraid all this simply wore James out.
Night night, James

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gearing Up for Reformation Sunday

This was a very full day, but we still found time before Bible study
at church to fit in a practice for an ensemble we're doing on Sunday.

We use our videos to critique our playing, but I picked out a part 
to post that no one was embarrassed about.  Thankfully we 
have more practice time before Sunday.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy 18th Birthday Jonathan!

Our oldest son, Jonathan, celebrated his 18th birthday today.
His sisters made him a pumpkin spice cake with caramel buttercream
frosting.  (all gluten free of course )  We had some little pumpkins in the
garden that finally ripened so we used fresh pumpkin.  Yum!  
They decorated it with a "shed"  (he was thrilled) and gingerbread
leaves and acorns.

We used sparkler candles which, for the record, do not photograph well
and make a big wax mess on the cake.  Oops

Jonathan, you are growing into a fine young man.
We love you!
Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Weren't Quite Prepared

Today's morning surprise was SNOW!
We didn't have a chance to pack away the bird bath...

...or the patio furniture.

It didn't snow just a little either.  
We even had enough to have the salt trucks out--amazing.

It was quite pretty while it lasted, though.
It just isn't cold enough yet to stick around for long.
I'm sure we will have some more soon enough :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Concert Preparations in Full Swing

With two upcoming events for our family in December, ensemble practices are in full swing.
This b minor Handel sonata presto movement sounded pretty good for 
the first run through, so I thought I would share :)

A Fun Sunday Afternoon Activity

Emily involved the three youngest in making our Sunday evening treat.

She found a great recipe for meringue cookies and let them help 
pipe them onto the baking sheets.  Helena was first.

James could hardly reach, but he managed.

Benjamin was patient and got to be the last to try.
I think they all found out that Emily makes it look easy.

They were delicious and yummy!
It was also a great way to use up some egg whites in the refrigerator :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

We're so, Smart?

First choice for our new family car.  
We're just not sure this would get us to orchestra.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reading to James

Christopher reading to James...

...looks very sweet until it degenerated into running around the table
with Christopher singing the "songs" from In the Rain with Baby Duck.
It's possible James objected to the less than lovely way he was singing.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Great Tomato Harvest

As I looked out the window toward the garden area
lo, this fair October morn
I thought I spied a ripe tomato just waiting to be picked.
I said, "James, you are finished with your lessons
so you may go harvest the little red tomatoes!"
He duly donned his little jacket, and
out to the garden he did go a dodging pond and stream.

He got to the garden and what did he behold?

One fully ripened fruit with a rotten spot on the end!
And so continues the sorry state of this year's garden.
The End

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Chris Team

We had a great visit tonight with "The Colonel" and his son before they head home.

 The "Chris Team" was able to meet, and we shared
some fun stories about this past summer.  We'll look
forward to next summer and more projects and fun!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Daddy's Little Helper & Five Little Peppers

Nonnie and Papa left super early this morning--before any of the children got up.
James was very sad; so, since Daddy took an extra day off, he got to go outside
with Daddy after his book work was finished.

He was much happier after spending some time with Daddy.

He even helped Daddy clean up and carry tools to the new shed to be put away.

Our harvest today netted five little peppers and...

...a bunch of grapes :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ladies' Tea with Nonnie

A Nonnie and Papa tradition when they come to visit is
a ladies' tea with Nonnie, and a guys' outing with Papa.  The guys'
outing consists of lunch out somewhere followed by some target practice.
I usually forget to send the camera so there are no pictures :(
Yesterday's fun activity was a ladies' tea with Nonnie.
On the menu were calla lily sandwiches, roasted Brussels sprouts,
raspberry tarts, and, of course, tea.  Lots of tea--and lots of laughter!

The girls with Nonnie

Nonnie with Helena before church today.
Helena is wearing a special birthday outfit from Nonnie.
She enjoyed being able to show it to Nonnie.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fun Day in Petoskey

Yesterday we headed to Petoskey with Nonnie and Papa.
The fog was quite thick, but as we went across the bridge
we suddenly drove out of the fog.
You can see the same thing happened to this freighter.
It was really unusual and was unlike anything we had ever
experienced on the Mackinac Bridge.

We had a great time picnicking at a park on Little Traverse Bay.

Andrew and Papa

Emily and Christopher

We managed to get a smile out of James.

Jonathan and Helena

Matthew being cool

Kristin and Nonnie

Benjamin and James

Little Traverse Bay is quite beautiful and it was a beautiful day!

We can't travel anywhere without a frisbee.
(after all they don't take up much room)

Interesting way to throw, James.

Christopher launches one to Helena


Interesting catch, Benjamin!

We even managed a group photo!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rehearsing at Church

We had an interesting time putting an organ/keyboard/brass piece together at church.

You can tell that everyone is not quite as attentive as they should be.

More tuba!

People frequently say they would like to hear us practice, but they
really have no idea what it sounds like.   Multiple stops and starts, miscounts,
errors in the music--you get the idea.

Helena got to listen

and so did Nonnie and Papa.
We were really glad they could at least hear a rehearsal since they
miss most performances.  

Jonathan's Senior Project--The Final Post

Today was the big day-- Jonathan completed his senior project!!!

The first step was to install the ramp.

Jonathan installs the ramp supports.

It was great to be able to salvage/repurpose some of our old bridge 
for a new use.

Attaching the ramp to the supports

Giving the ramp a little more support in the middle

You know it's sturdy if it doesn't sag under Jonathan :}
This would have been the end except that we realized the door stops had been
forgotten.  I guess he could have left them off if we didn't mind two feet
of snow in the shed, but we do so...

he measured

and cut

and screwed

and nailed.

The ceremonial last screw!

I'm not sure, but I don't think he wants to build another one any time soon.
It is a wonderful example of hard work and good craftmanship.
Congratulations, Jonathan!  We're proud of you!!