Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall at "The Falls"

This was predicted to be our last warm day at least
for a while, so we went to "The Falls" with a picnic
this afternoon.

We found a different look-out to try today.

This one had 116 steps...

...instead of 94.
(enter our photo bomber)


No, we didn't hike this trail.
We'll have to do that on a day we have more time--and energy :)

Hiking back to the parking lot

Beautiful colors!

You can't go wrong with a ride from a brother.

On the way home, I heard this from the seat behind me:
James:  "Kristin, what is the "belt of truth"?"
Helena:  (very nice of her to answer for Kristin)
"If you lie, your pants fall down."

Bob and I were able to enjoy the colors at home too.

Back in our "woods"
 I took some pictures of the little
birdhouses the younger ones made
a couple of years ago.

The only one which seems to have disappeared was the one James painted all black.  Somehow, we don't seem to be missing it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Two-Day Trip Downstate

We had a fun trip downstate yesterday and today.
Matthew got to weasel his way into a concert last night.

That's a sharp looking bass section.

It was such a beautiful concert and ended with an amazing, 
commissioned hymn arrangement for a long-time


...just before we left to come home, I got to meet this
sweet little blessing.
Happy Birthday, Meredith!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Parts Have Arrived

Yippee!  Jonathan's parts have arrived.

Saturday will be the day to put in a new
timing belt, pulley, water pump, lower radiator hose,
and whatever else came in the box.
After that, he will be getting a new control
module which should have him back on the road :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Garden 2014

We've had lots of questions about our garden this year.
Keeping in mind that we really only had a couple days
above 80 degrees....

....this really shouldn't be surprising.
That's quite a pepper, Kristin!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What's Next for Jonathan?

The interior painting is complete so what will Jonathan
do now?

First up is repairing his car :)

You'll probably be seeing a few posts like this in the
next week.

Tomorrow's job, test control modules and price them
if needed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our 5 Senses and Things We Don't Want

Five Things We Don't Want From Our Senses

1.  We don't want to see the neighbor's manure spreader
making its way into the adjacent field.

2.  We really don't want to smell what it will leave behind.

3.  We don't want to hear strange noises coming from
our washing machine.  We also don't want to hear
the beeps coming from the washing machine telling
us it is broken.

4.  We don't want to feel cold water coming from the 
hot water faucet.

5.  We really don't want to taste cold, dry cereal for

For those who might be tempted to think all is always 
wonderful for us:

 the neighboring farmer is, as we speak,
spreading manure which will almost definitely cause anyone
retrieving our mail today to decline dinner;

our washing machine and hot water heater both broke
over the weekend leading to rather costly repairs;

and we had a rather lengthy power outage last week
that resulted in dry, cold cereal for dinner since the whole
city was without power and that was all we had--yummy!  :)

A Nest for James

While James does his Suzuki listening, we let him
have some personal reading time as well.

Sometimes he requests that Kristin make him a 
"nest".  This means lots of pillows and a soft, fluffy
blanket from the basement.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It's fun to listen to Emily and Kristin practice together.

Sometimes their opinions differ on interpretation and
it's interesting to hear how that gets worked out :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meanwhile Back in the Kitchen....

Just in case you thought the painting was all done...

Jonathan has been doing some painting prep limbo.

Priming over some more, you guessed it, green.

Painting a nice soft white on the soffit...

...and a nice cream on the walls.
(This was the only time he got to paint in comfort.)

Most of the time he was up on a ladder or... the shadows.

For a little excitement today, I gave him a little light reading.
Yes, he did read the directions...

...and installed a new vent hood.
We won't talk about what he found when he 
took the old one down.  Ugh!

He discovered it's good to have brothers near by.

It will be so nice to have a working vent.  Wow!
I'm so thankful to have this done!

Beautiful job, Jonathan!

Thank you!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Matthew and James are buddies.

I thought this was a unique way to watch
the Tigers game together :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Daddy, I Lost a Tooth and...

...I didn't eat it!

James lost his fourth tooth last night.  So far he has
managed to save two and eat two.
Only James!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Matthew, Serious?

After seeing the many pictures of Matthew being
somewhat goofy, you might wonder if he is ever

He was really serious this morning while taking
his first online anatomy test :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Busy Beavers

We had lots of rain yesterday which caused our
creek to rise quite a bit.  No problem except that
the beavers have completely blocked the flow of
water under the bridge.

(Benjamin provided the background 
sound effects for this video.)  

So much for a nice dry path across to our "woods".

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cute Hair-do's

When Emily has extra time in the morning, 
she likes to have fun with Helena's hair.

Sometimes she takes requests like she did
for this
July 4th style.

Sometimes she tries something new if it's 
possible she might be able to act like a 
lady for more than 30 minutes.
(At this point, her six brothers don't help much.)

This style is really easy.

The hair headband

This one was fun this summer except
for the fuzzy ends.
Now that she can hold still, it's more
fun for her sisters to do this.  After all, 
it's always easier to do on someone else :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yesterday a Painter, Today a Mason

Just to make sure Jonathan isn't getting too bored with
painting, I changed things up a little today and had him
do some sidewalk patching.

Actually, this was the last day in the foreseeable future
that it would be neither raining nor cold.

The challenge for this particular project was that
the patching compound sets up fairly quickly so 
you have to mix up small batches frequently.
Very frequently--not fun.

Doesn't everyone vacuum their sidewalk?

The photo bomber appears.

This is the worst area by far.  I'm not sure where the
sidewalk went over the winter, but when the snow
melted,  it was gone.

One last place to patch.
Okay so it's huge and just a big nightmare, but
it's the last one :)

Okay, that looks good just like that.

In true Beckman style, the project must be finished 
with work lights in the dark.
What to do tomorrow?
Paint :)