Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Knight-Hoefferle-Christensens

Friday with the Hoefferles was tide pool day.  We drove up to Deception Pass State Park.  We got ready on the drive with tide pool vocabulary worksheets.  
 B's favorite tide pool word is anemones.
 Eloise also perused our field guide to find rocky sgore dwellers to search for.
 It was a 90 degree day in Kirkland, so I thought that surely it wouldn't be freezing on Fidalgo Island.  False.  It was frigid.  Shorts and single jackets were inadequate.
 B could have spent all day watching crabs and poking anemones.  Jared was all over the rocks making discoveries.  Here is a dead barnacle.
 Landon fell on slippery algae and discovered firsthand the sharp defenses of the barnacles.
Everyone had a great time skipping rocks at the beach as the tide came in.  We climbed up off the beach for a picnic.  The sun came out, and we were away from the chilly water, so everyone was at least comfortably warm.
 These boys came up with a solution to the sunny heat: sit in the crabapple hedge.
 We went from the tide pools down through Whidbey Island to Fort Casey, where the Christensens met us.  There was a cold wind blowing there, too.  Somehow Todd ended up with Eloise's sweatshirt on his head.  What a hottie.
 Jared really wanted to go on a tour of the fort led by a volunteer.  He probably would have lasted for the entire 45 minute tour, learning about the geography of the area, and the history of marine warfare, but none of the other children made it to ten minutes on the tour, and Jared reluctantly opted to play with his friends.
 These stairs are tall for little legs.
 Lots and lots of little legs.
From left: Price, Jared, Grant, Landon, B, Eloise, Max, and Cade.
 I have a theory that Dan likes to hang out with Todd because it makes Dan look more cool. . . maybe.
 Four year old smiles are goofy.

 We took the ferry home from the island.  We felt the heat as we got on the ferry.

Saturday was the Hoefferles' last day in Washington, so we had to spend it at the beach, of course.
 Sammy took a brief nap in the stroller, but was awake for most of the time on the beach; a first for him.  He also let me put his toes in the lake for a few minutes.
 B also went out in the water more than he has all summer.  He even let me tow him out to deep water in an inner tube.

 Cade and Landon, like Annie, are rock and shell collectors. Their collective influence got Eloise started collecting rocks and shells.

Five years ago, Rebecca, Katie, and I took this picture with our boys.
We wanted to recreate it with these enormous babies.  
 And with all of the kids, although some of them did not want to participate.  You can't even see us behind all of the kids.
 I'm so glad that these boys didn't ever outgrow their friendship.  I wish we saw more of the Hoefferles.
 Come again soon, guys.

Knights and Hoefferles together again

At the end of July we had a visit from our very good friends from forever, the Hoefferles.  They had never been to Seattle, so they were anxious to start sightseeing right away.  We met them at the Seattle Center right after they got off of their plane.  While we were waiting for them to arrive, I had my first of many awkward experiences of the week reciting children's books to B in public bathrooms to help him relax enough to use a strange toilet.  Whatever it takes, right?  How fortunate that I have memorized the full text of "In the Night Kitchen," as well as several Boynton books to use when necessary.
 We had a picnic next to International Fountain with our friends.  The kids skirted around each other for a little while.  I guess seeing each other once or twice a year is not enough for them to remember each other well.
 The Knight children's favorite thing about the Seattle Center is the monorail train.  A four minute train ride is much more exciting than museums, monuments, fountains, gardens, and art exhibits to these children.
 On the train!
 We were delighted to discover a new playground next to the Experience Music Project.  B climbed up to the little slide a dozen times.
 Jared, Eloise, Landon, and Cade were all over the huge spider web.  Jared bravely climbed way above his comfort level and took the huge slide down.
 The Hoefferles were tired after their early morning plane ride, so we went home after playing on the playground.  Our backyard with its soft grass, trampoline, tree swing, and sub-one hundred degree temperatures was a wonderland to our Arizona friends.

The next morning we headed to Pike Place Market to see some iconic Seattle.  It was mobbed on a hot summer day.
We got some Hom Bow, Korean barbecue sticks, and hot dogs for lunch.  How do kids keep up so much energy while eating so little?  Jared ate as much as all of the other kids put together.
We finally found the gum wall in Post Alley. . . and then Cade lost his balance and actually touched it.  Yuck!
 Believe me, it is more disgusting in person, if possible.
 I was not feeling very well by the time we left the market.  Sammy was in a bad sleep cycle, so I had not slept well in about five days.  We went from the market to the locks, but I was feeling terrible by the time we got there, and the kids were all tired, so we didn't stay there for very long.  When we got home I fell asleep for two hours and woke up feeling worse than before.  I think I was severely dehydrated.

I was glad to take the following day much more slowly.  We hung around the house in the morning, had lunch with the Christensens, and then went to play at the beach.
 Then we went home to play in our magical wonderland yard and roast hot dogs in the fire pit.  Ethan wanted to hold Sammy.
 It is so good to be able to hang out again!
After the kids were in bed, we stayed up and played board games.  We all got beat by Dan at Phase 10, just like the good old days.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Never a wasted day

It's hard to believe that we fit all of this stuff into just one month.  We have had a little bit of unscheduled time.  Most of it is spent outside.  
 A boy and his dog getting dirty together.  I spend all winter wondering how kids can possibly get dirtier than they do running through mud puddles, and then they spend the summer actually rolling in dirt.
 We went raspberry picking at Todd's request.  I'm not sure that we will do raspberry picking every year.  The raspberries are so sweet that everyone had trouble not eating them.
 I don't know about the Christensens, but we had more than one stomach ache in the Knight house the next day.
 Jared wouldn't even eat blackberries for a couple of weeks after his raspberry recovery.  We picked raspberries at the farm where we picked strawberries in Carnation.  After picking we stopped for a picnic lunch before heading home.
 Eloise is a very conscientious babysitter, and a patient and loving sister.  She is very careful with Sammy, and puts him at his ease.  She can have a calming influence on him, which has been invaluable to me as I try to keep the household running during potty training.  Watching the two of them helps me understand the bond that always existed between Anni (child #3) and Seth (child #5) in my family.  I think that their special bond will continue as Sammy grows up.
 We have managed to go to the beach park more than once this month.  A couple of times I even managed to take a few pictures.

 After the fiasco with our "vessel," Todd decided that we needed some floating things that could not be mistaken for boats.  He settled on two of these tubes.  We have had lots of fun with them.

 Lots of potty training has been happening.  Jared and Eloise are enthusiastic potty training cheerleaders.  Every time B successfully uses the potty, everyone gets a jelly bean.  For a while, B would say that he needed to go potty by saying, "I need a jelly bean!"  Now he announces with the more standard, but still adorable, "I has to go pee!"  Potty training has seemed more painless so far than it seemed with the older two.  I'm sure it is a combination of my experience making me more relaxed about the learning period and B being six months older than the other two were when we commenced potty training with them.  Eloise is great about reminding B to go potty, and fetching books for him to read while he sits.
 Sammy learned how to grab things.  He can also roll, I think, but he has only done it a couple of times.  He is actually pretty good about rolling from his back onto his side to see things better, and can roll all of the way to his belly, but he doesn't really roll from his belly to his back, so he prefers to stay on his side or back.
 Kirkland has kids concerts in the park at Juanita Beach every Tuesday in the summer.  We went once, to see the band Recess Monkey, and brought Shadow.  Shadow was not too naughty for an energetic, people loving pup.  She did have a hard time controlling herself around children's snacks, but she mostly ignored people unless they gave her attention.
 We have had a lot of conflict between these three little Knights in the last month, as they get used to being home from vacation, having a constant stream of company, and finding their roles in our family after Sammy's birth.  B is getting really good at needling his big siblings to get their attention by making them crazy.  I took these pictures at the concert to prove that they occasionally get along and play very well together.  This just cannot occur when any one of them is tired, hungry, or feeling neglected.
Eloise and B both took nasty spills at this concert and skinned their knees, but they shake off little injuries in minutes.  Eloise downplays her little hurts because she is afraid I will want to poke and prod her, aggravating the injury.  B cries a little, proclaims, "I falled down! I got hurt! Kiss it!"  And the kiss fixes everything.
 Cute baby alert!
 B loves the zoo.  He asks to go every day.  I finally designated a day when we could go, only to have it be the coldest day of the summer, and pouring rain most of the time.  We were woefully underdressed.  I had tried to put off going, since I knew, with potty training, it would be the bathroom tour of the zoo, but it was still pretty fun, even if we didn't see very many animals.
 Sammy's protest against being tied down continues.  He spends a lot of our outing time in my arms so that he can move his arms and legs freely.  He does NOT like being confined to the stroller, he does NOT want to be clipped into the carseat, and he does NOT want to be in the baby carrier unless he is going to sleep.  It's a good thing that the other three children have me trained to do everything one handed.  We have yet to find a solution to the car complaining.
 It was July 24th, which is a holiday in my ancestral home state of Utah, so we had a little celebration with the Christensens and our neighbors, the Catons that afternoon.  Some of us even dressed up.
We pulled taffy, played pioneer games (hide and seek), told pioneer ancestor stories, and Eloise and B performed "To Be A Pioneer."  Jared pretended not to remember the words, but I know better.  Two days later, when his beloved primary music leader, Sister Bell, was teaching the same song, he knew every single word.  Owen and Evan are super sweet with Sammy.
 Summer means Friday pizza night can be held in the yard.  The backyard is our happy place.
 Look how grown up our baby is getting.  He can sit up by himself if he is leaning on a cushion and appropriately supervised.  It is hard to believe now that he was such a tiny guy only four months ago.
Our Sunday dinners have become sort of an event.  We have been inviting old and new friends over for Sunday dinner every week.  We got carried away inviting people one week and ended up with 19 people eating in our house.  The following week we scaled it back to 14.  You can probably imagine, with the logistics of feeding people in those numbers, why there aren't any pictures chronicling that fun, but it has been fun.  The kids are starting to look forward to our Sunday evenings, and to suggest guests.  I think they invite their beloved Sister Bell (who, coincidentally, happens to be Rebecca Christensen's old roommate) over every week.  With all of the visitors, there has been a lot of energy in our house.  Next up is a week long visit from our oldest friends, the Hoefferles.