Sunday, September 11, 2016


On August 21, this guy turned SEVEN YEARS OLD!  Where did the time go?
For his birthday, Jared wanted to invite all of his friends, and all of their siblings to a park birthday party.  He is lucky to have a birthday during a time of year with reliably hot, sunny weather.  We had his birthday party on Monday, August 22, at O.O. Denny Park.  Have I mentioned that what was last year called "double-O Denny" is this year called "Ooooooooo Denny!"?
 Even though the weather wasn't at its hottest, the lake water has warmed up a lot, so it was comfortable to swim in.
 After an hour in the water, we assembled for chips, watermelon, cake, and ice cream.
Jared is working on exaggerating his gratitude when he thanks people for gifts.  The only problem is that he likes to point out how well he did at exaggerating his gratitude.  All of that exaggeration loses its impact when it is revealed.
Jared loves jokes and pranks.  He loves to play with friends, and especially with his siblings, but he also likes to be quiet and read.  He loves to ride his bike.  For his birthday he got a real mountain bike with five speeds.  We were riding around the neighborhood a few days later, and he struck up a conversation with some neighbors.  When we left them, he leaned over to me, and, in a conspiratorial whisper, asked, "Do you think they noticed I was riding in fourth gear?"
Shortly after Jared's birthday we started doing homeschool classes with Dorothy and Alice.  I'm teaching them history, and Jared and Eloise go to their house to do science.  After one lesson, where we learned about the introduction of Christianity in England, I took the children aside one at a time to dictate a story to me using some of the key words and information that they had learned in the lesson.  Eloise gave an explanation of what the dark ages were.  Dorothy and Alice each gave explanations of book making processes in medieval monasteries.  Jared based his narration on the aside in our lesson book that mentioned that the monks occasionally wrote personal messages into their illuminated texts.  He even dictated the punctuation.  Here it is in full:

Monks and Monasteries by Jared
     "Dear Person Reading This,
     I have to go to the bathroom.  Father Pigsty will hurt me if I whisper to you.
                                Brother Monk"
     That is a note a monk would write in his book. Books took a long time to make in medieval times.
    "What out! Brother Weed, there's a monster attacking! There's going to be a big disaster.  Father John won't let us talk about it.  How are your pupils doing?"

     Another monk wrote back:
     "The pupils are doing the worst I've ever seen them do.  I hope Father John doesn't see us passing this note.  That would be worse than a monster attacking!"
     THE END

I'm in love with his creativity. He comes up with things I would never have thought of.  He loves to have a head full of information, so he reads a lot of nonfiction.  Todd started a quiz about state capitols at dinner tonight, and Jared, not surprisingly, knew many more than we have ever taught him.
The weather warmed up again after Jared's birthday party.  We went to our annual Caspar Babypants concert at Juanita Beach.  The picture of Eloise below is the only picture I got from the concert.  This is really sad, since this was possibly his best concert we have attended.  A favorite part for all of the kids was when he talked to his guitar, and then made the guitar talk back.  B also liked it when he stood on his stool and yelled instead of using the microphone.  As usual, Caspar Babypants had a thousand kids captivated for the duration of the concert.  My kids were riveted, but they were also mobile, and I spent a lot of time/energy trying to keep eyes on all of them.
Sammy's favorite word is popsicle.  "Pop-a-coe."  He asks for one every time the refrigerator or freezer door opens.  If he can't have popsicles, he asks for cereal, "eer-ee-o," which means froot loops.  The weather is starting to cool off, so it is going to be time to break his popsicle habit soon.
Sweaty girl after a walk around the Redmond Town Center Open Space.
The Friday after Jared's birthday, Todd surprised him with a backpacking trip to Barclay Lake in the Cascade Mountains.  Jared has wanted to go backpacking with Daddy forever.  Todd didn't tell him until the morning of the day that they were leaving because Jared has trouble sleeping when something exciting is going to happen.
Jared carried the food.  He said that the 2.5 mile hike up to the campsite on a hot day was hard with the heavy backpack, but it was really fun.  Cambell and Grant went with them.
Here are the adventurers, off to see the world.
Since they went off with our car, and it was a hot day, we had some sprinkler fun in the back yard.  Of course we also had to eat some of our abundant carrots.  We have finally had some vegetable garden success this year.
The real produce eater in our family is Jared.  He loves fresh vegetables.  I'm not sure he has ever met a vegetable that he didn't like, or at least tolerate.  I can't believe that Jared is seven years old.  I love watching him become more capable and independent.  He has been my running buddy this summer, riding his bike along with me on any run shorter than six miles, and sometimes on short legs of longer runs. On his new bike he is waiting for me at the top of every hill.  Because he is getting older, he has finally graduated from his 7:00 bedtime to 7:30.  We use the half hour after the other kids go to sleep to play games or read Harry Potter books together.  Jared recently had his first paying job, watering our neighbors' garden while they were on vacation. He earned $1 per day, and he is saving his money so that he can have is own bank account.  
This seven year old kid is my best helper.  He is always looking for ways to engage and help Sammy.  Happy birthday, Jare-bip, Jardy, Jared!

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