Saturday, August 30, 2014

Karate with the Colonel II

"The Colonel" was gracious enough to give the troops another karate lesson before he returns home.

Sometimes we're silly...

...and sometimes we're serious.

 It's very difficult for us to stay serious for long though we still manage to do what is asked.

James needs a little help--okay a lot of help.

Still not quite right, James.

Andrew steals the pink noodle instead of blocking it.
I don't think he quite has the idea yet.

James does a successful block.

In the end, Benjamin is collapsing and James is dancing :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sleeves...Sort of

Okay, so I decided to do the see one do one method
with Helena on sewing.
The next step was sewing on the sleeves.
I sewed on the first sleeve, showing her how to ease
the gathering so it wasn't bunchy, then turned her
loose on the machine to do the next one on her own.

So far, so good!

First step of sleeves complete!

For our next step, we're just going to have to finish
the whole project.  I'll admit time has really gotten away
from me and there is no way we'll be able to do this
once school starts so today will be a big sewing day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Final Straits Band Concert of 2014

We had a really fun family night down in Mackinaw City
tonight.  It was the last concert of the season which in some
ways is kind of a relief, and in other ways is kind of sad.

This was some pretty serious business.

We decided to celebrate with fudge which we seldom
do--but if you're in Mackinaw City...
well, you know--and if you don't know, 
you should probably find out.

Rehearsal pics are always great.
Paying attention Benjamin?

Not sure what Matthew was up to here.

Time for the concert and the problem is always
that we can only really get good pictures of 
Benjamin.  Tonight Matthew's solo gave us the
opportunity to get a couple good ones of him.

I managed to record most of the concert, but
for the record, we do not have a good video
camera and it was outside so please be kind :)

This video of Bugler's Holiday could also check
off one of the things on Matthew's music bucket
list--he's always wanted to play this, and he got
to play with two really fun gentlemen.

Bob managed a couple pictures of the others :

Emily is buried in there.

Jonathan is in here and so is Andrew's tuba bell
at the right edge of the American flag.

Obviously this was the last piece they played.
It's always so fun at the end when they stand up.
That's when we can actually see Christopher and Andrew
who are always hidden!

Monday, August 25, 2014

About Monday...

Our Mondays rarely start out slowly--
we just dive right into a new week.

Jonathan began a new painting project for me :)

Matthew was the "Sandman" spending most of the 
day sanding the interior window trim.

Helena was the little seamstress-in-training.
Today she did all the basting stitches on the sleeves,
front, and back for the gathering.

Emily and Kristin began assembly on a new two piano
work.  This is a new piano arrangement for them.
It's definitely not the norm, but thankfully they're flexible!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Her Yoke was not Easy

So I decided to scratch the directions 
and do it my way.  This meant we would
finish the yoke before we went on to the
next part.

Helena got to sew another seam and
do some topstitching.  
I very kindly decided to do the button 
holes for her since this is not really a 
first project job-- I didn't want her
to get discouraged.

She did sew on all of the buttons.
These weren't just any buttons...

...I thought her first project should have special buttons.

I ordered them from the site above and they matched

All done with the yoke.
Next comes gathering the sleeves and bodice.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bird Adventures

The past two days have seen two bird
casualties involving birds we have never
seen around here before.

Today, Benjamin rescued an ovenbird.
It has two stripes on its head and...

...a speckled breast.

Yesterday, Kristin was the rescuer, and
the patient was a Nashville warbler.

They always keep their beaks open like this when
they are addled though they make no noise.

Still too dizzy to perch

Perching but beak still open.

This one was particularly funny.  Once it was time to
fly, it flew right to Kristin and perched on her shirt.

It stayed with her while she walked around the 
yard for awhile and showed no signs of leaving.
Finally, Kristin gently removed it and put
it in a nearby tree.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Random Happenings

Wildlife continues to amuse us at the table since
we have a nice sized field outside our dining area.
This pair of cranes arrived the other day and stayed
around for some snacks.  (I'm guessing some savory bugs?)

Now that the outside window trim is all completed, 
Bob is teaching Matthew some finish carpentry.
Here he is learning to do some miters on the table saw.

When Jonathan isn't busy helping "The Colonel", 
I've been keeping him occupied with painting.

He is currently painting the younger boys' bedroom.
It required a considerable amount of prep-work in the
form of patching.  They are rather hard on the room.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sewing Machine 101 for Helena

Today was the day Helena got to use the sewing
machine for the first time.

Learning how to guide the fabric wasn't easy.

She successfully sewed both shoulder 
seams on the yoke, and found out it isn't
as easy as it looks to coordinate your 
foot and your hands when you have
a moving needle right by your fingers.
Nevertheless, no injuries!

Tomorrow we will work on the collar and facing.

Tuesday in the Straits

Last night we headed out for the Straits Band
concert which gave Christopher and Benjamin
a great opportunity for a nap.

Sweet Dreams :)

The weather was pretty lousy last night, but it
provided some interesting sights on the bridge.
Part of one of the towers seems to have vanished.

Once we were down in Mackinaw City, it was "bat day".
There were a number of bats slumbering away on the
buildings around the band shell.

Awwww...isn't it cute!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Different Trio

Matthew got to accompany Emily and Kristin to
an outdoor wedding this afternoon.

Actually, Matthew was playing the trumpet for the 
recessional and providing page turning for Emily.
Thank goodness for sunglasses--this was an outdoor
wedding down on the water front.
It was very bright, but went off without a hitch.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy 15th Birthday, Andrew!

For Andrew's 15th, his big sisters made him an 
apple gingerbread upside-down cake.
They decided to make it right sight up for ease of cutting.

This didn't quite work out how they had hoped, however.
The apple caused the cake to crumble so we each
had a pile of cake instead of a piece.
It still tasted good, though:)

Being a tuba player, Andrew had no problem at all
with blowing out the candles.
He also managed to blow wax all over the table.

It took him a bit, but his older brothers encouraged
Andrew to begin acting his new age.

 "Box-Man" arrived during Andrew's reading
 of a glowing greeting card message extolling
 his many wonderful qualities.

The Carhart sweatshirt was
probably the favorite gift.
At least he was warm.
After all, the high temperature
today was only the low 60's.

Happy Birthday, Andrew!!!!!