"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tractors and Birthday Parties

It's a season of milestones....
Paxton is reading, Everett is crawling, and Spencer can make scrambled eggs, from start to finish, by himself. They're doing lots of other things too, but those are a few I've become aware of this past week.

Yesterday was Spencer's 8th birthday party, and it was such a fun time. We had it at a children's science museum (that we've never been to before, but that came highly recommended) It was fantastic. The kids - and the grownups - had a great time exploring and playing with all the exhibits, from legos and mini golf, to lights, electricity, momentum, and gravity. We had lunch on Spencer's carefully selected John Deere plates, as well as dyed-to-match green cupcakes. Maba and Pop, in keeping with the theme, got him a very cool John Deere tractor & baseball cap. He got a lot of other really neat gifts too... everything from hover crafts to paint-by-number kits to tinker toys to bug books. We got home, exhausted, around 5. We munched on all the leftover party food while Spencer went through all his new things, taking them out of the packages and planning what he'd play with when. The tractor was the first thing unwrapped, and we all had a little family gripe about those twist tie things that they tie toys to their packages with. Very hard to stay patient while they're all twisted off! He played with the tractor nearly non-stop, and was very excited when he realized that he could fit his other little tractor into the trailer of his new big one. We also blew up his hover disc, tested out his other hover craft (both very cool, both of which freaked the baby out a little bit) and played with a balloon helicopter he picked up at the gift shop. It was getting late when he remembered that he had archaeology and painting sets that he wanted to look at, so he left them on the table for first thing this morning. He was so excited and happy, which of course makes me excited and happy too. I can't believe he is EIGHT!! He went to bed around 9:00, his new tractor beside him on the floor, and his John Deere hat hanging on his bed post.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Playing hooky

Mike took the afternoon off from work today so that we could take the boys to see Racing Stripes. We were planning on going this weekend, but the theatre we wanted to see it in is ending its run tomorrow. What a cute movie! We had a great time, and ate way more than our fill of chicken sandwiches, burgers, nachos and coke. It felt rather decadent seeing a movie at 3:30 in the middle of the week, and we shared the theatre with just one other family. Other happenings this week.... the boys have been in a contruction-oriented mood, and took apart and rebuilt a wobbly end table, nailed and glued and created about four different things out of pinewood, and helped me hang two new curtain rods. They learned to safely iron this week too. My poor curtains that I sewed about 2 years ago have been sitting folded in the closet just waiting for me to get around to buying the rods. We went to church on Sunday, to a church we haven't been to in a couple of years. I always remember it as a very relaxed and comfortable place, and this time was no exception. Spencer and Paxton went to the children's services, and LOVED it. They loved it so much that they nearly begged us to go back again, which I believe is a first for them. So we talked it over - more than once - and decided that it definitely wouldn't hurt to go again. And maybe again after that. It is an hour away, which is admittedly a bit of a drive, but we know that churches shouldn't be chosen based on their proximity.

Friday, February 11, 2005

"And since there's no place to go..."

Well the snow has stopped falling, but the ground and the trees are completely blanketed with the same kind of bright, clingy snow that always reminded me of the frosting on Frosted Flakes when I was little. It is so beautiful. With the exception of Cub Scouts, we have been home all week, and really enjoying it. We have spent an unusual amount of time in the kitchen, making everything from homemade bread to deviled eggs. Our reading marathon also continues, as does Paxton's computer playing. Spencer spent his fair share of time on the computer too, as he searched for the perfect thing to spend his last $20 on. We finally found a great online store that sold nothing but die-cast tractors and farm equipment, and he ultimately chose a little John Deere tractor with a plow and manure spreader. Now he just has to wait for the Big Brown Truck to bring it to him. Everett has been very busy this week, and keeping me on my toes even more than usual. For someone who is not yet crawling, he sure can travel. He loves to watch the big boys, and really got a kick out of the game they made up this morning, involving walking like a bear, kangaroo, robot, etc. I don't think it will be long before he is joining them.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Books, birthday money & computer games

It was a tiring weekend, so this week has been all about re-charging so far. For Paxton it has meant marathon sessions on the computer; and for Spencer, some computer time, some reading, and some helping around the house. His Beverly Cleary books came yesterday, and we started both Ramona the Pest and Ramona Quimby Age 8. We all took some time out yesterday to make collages too. I had an old pill bottle filled with small bits of cut-up credit cards, and the boys were entranced by all the shiny colors. We sat on the carpet and cut and glued and colored for half the afternoon. Spencer got $50 from his grandparents for his birthday, so he's been working on spending it. He spent his first $6 at the grocery store, on a little matchbox McDonalds set, and then ordered a new playstation game (Harvest Moon - Save the the Homeland) when we got home. It is an adventure/role playing game like their amusement park and zoo games, and sounds really neat. He has $20 left and is carefully choosing how to spend it. Tonight is cub scouts, and we're kind of bummed because Mike has a dinner meeting and won't be able to go with us. Spencer told me a few days ago that he doesn't want to do cub scouts next year. He has enjoyed it, and wants to finish out the year, but thinks he wants to try something else in the fall. He was happy to hear that he could try anything he wants, and that no one will pressure him to do something he no longer wants to do. I'm grateful that I grew up in that kind of environment as well. I was free to try, and then discontinue if I needed to, all kinds of things growing up. My never used, brand new, basketball shoes in my parents' attic prove it - a testament to my happy childhood.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


All three boys are sick with colds right now, which always changes the dynamic in the house. I have to say though, that despite the obvious discomforts of the colds - and the messier house - the past couple of days have been nice. Spencer always gets very snuggly when he's sick, so we've had lots of time to read together. We read several more chapters of Pigs Might Fly, and finished Henry and the Clubhouse. He's been so into his books lately that we decided to get him some more for his birthday. He now has 16 used Beverly Cleary books coming from someone on Ebay, and he is tickled pink. Unlike Spencer, unless he is feeling really really lousy, Paxton just keeps plodding along with his normal day when he's sick. They were watching Zoom this afternoon, and it gave them lots of ideas for projects when it was over. They made their own chocolate popsicles in ice-cube trays, which always makes me smile, and then we all made homemade glue with skim milk, vinegar, and baking soda. I was pretty proud of the fact that between the three of us we remembered the recipe, since we hadn't saved it on tivo. It was fun, and the glue really works. There is a cubscout meeting tonight, but Spencer and Paxton both want to stay home and rest, which is always fine by us. We never turn down a chance to rest.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

On the go

Saturday we went to my parents house for the weekend. We visited for most of the day, and the boys played with Maba and Pop while Mike and I went out to a movie. On Sunday, we all went to a snowmobile radar run that was done as a fundraiser for a friend and co-worker. It was a good time. Spencer went with Maba and Pop first thing in the morning, while we stayed back at the house to wait for the younger ones to wake up. It's neat seeing him grow into this older, independent boy. We got there a few hours later with Paxton and Everett, to find Spencer on the back of a snowmobile! Pop was taking him on his first-ever ride. Paxton rode next, and it ended up being the highlight of the weekend for both of them. Spencer was so excited by it all that he didn't know where to look, and while Paxton was a little less enthusiastic about the snow and cold, he was fascinated by the snowmobiles, and especially by the dirtbikes also racing on the lake. Even Everett got caught up in the excitement, looking all around, and making car noises. Yesterday was a trip to Aunt Didi's house for a playdate, and we all agreed it had been too long since the last time we'd done it. As is usually the case with our conversations in the car, we came home with a list of things we needed to look up... this time including when they first starting building roads, how long ago the great flood was, and what year the first car was invented.


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