Friday, April 7, 2017


In February, the three older children started swim lessons.  They had one lesson all in the same class, but they were assigned to new classes right away.  Eloise and B are in the same level, and Jared is a class ahead of them.  Since we do classes during the day, they are the only ones in their classes right now.  
 Eloise graduated from her first piano book.  She is now sharing a book with Jared.
 I seem to always have two little monkeys on me.
 We held our midwinter beach party.  Our guest in this picture is a flat Stanley sent to us by our friend Landon in Tucson.  He has had some adventures with us.
 Sometimes, when the little monkeys can't climb on Mom, they climb on each other.
 Sammy has some new ideas about fashion.
 We had a snow day.  I guess we can get away with these semi-legal things like dragging sleds behind cars when our police officer neighbor is at the wheel of the car.  This was a big hit.
 B said, "I have a great idea! I'm going to ride my bike in the snow!"  Brilliant.
 Our new neighbor, Richita, helped us build this snowman.
 With Valentine's day approaching, we made Valentines.  Jared started to turn into the Hulk.
 Sammy LOVED painting.  I think this was the beginning of his coloring craze, which continues to this day.  We have to watch him closely, because every pen, crayon, pencil, marker, or paint that is not put away finds its way into Sammy's very destructive hands.
 Here are the finished products.  Bee my Valentine!
 You are my sunshine!
 You make my heart leap.
 You hold my heart in your hands.
 Jared went to the King County Library System's book group for young readers.  This is for kids aged 6-12.  The librarian happens to look exactly like a Quentin Blake illustration of Roald Dahl's Matilda.  The resemblance is uncanny.
 Sammy bosses Shadow around.  Shadow tolerates it.
 Jared introduced some new fashion ideas.  For the record, it is not warm enough to wear shorts in February.  Leg warmers to the rescue!
 Sometimes little monkeys get tired.
 Swim lessons continue.  B clung to his teacher like a leech for about six weeks after starting lessons.
 On Valentine's day we went in search of an apple tree to give to Todd.  We went to a nursery in Snohomish where we found chickens, goats, ducks, and sheep to look at.

 When we got our tree home, we started digging a hole for it.  Everyone participated, so we made little progress.
 Todd came home, got out his pick, and, in minutes, quadrupled the size of the hole we had been pecking away at for several hours, off and on.  We are hoping that this tree will give us lots of lovely apples in a couple of years.
 And then we caught our winter cold.  Everyone got it a little bit, but Sammy and B were wiped out for over a week.
 Jared finally lost a top front tooth that was sticking out of his mouth horizontally.
 Eloise started a book about animals in a lovely leather bound notebook that Aunt Cheyenne sent for Christmas.
 One time the sun came out.  We went to a park in Woodinville, but Sammy's fever came back, so we didn't stay for very long.
 One Friday afternoon, Sammy and B were still sick, and I didn't think I could handle them both needing me constantly all afternoon, so I strapped everyone in the car and drove two hours north to Deception Pass State Park.
 This was the one smile Sammy gave at the tidepools before the fever turned him into a sad mess.  During the four hours of driving, Sammy and B each took three small naps.  They would never have been able to settle down and sleep at home, so this was a more restful afternoon than we would have had.
 We stopped for pizza in Whidbey Island, and took the ferry home.  It was a restful adventure.
 B continues to be obsessed with transportation.  He builds airplanes and cars out of everything he can find.
 When everyone was feeling mostly better, we took a rainy hike down to Lake Washington, where we experienced a miracle: No one fell in!  The fact that it was 40 degrees and drizzling may have actually influenced the kids to stay safely away from the water, but that seems unlikely.
 We had another snow day.  The local school district has extended the school year by two days, and turned a couple of half days into whole days to avoid extending the school year into the following week.  We have gotten a lot of snow this year.
 Note B's extra flotation, and his hand that is on his teacher's hand.  This phase did not last long.  Now B errs on the side of over confidence in the water.

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