Magnifying glass + sun + wood = A learning experience

The final result

The final result

With no friends around for the afternoon and me busy with weeds, I sent Bekah back in the house to grab a magnifying glass and try her hand at wood burning. When we were at the Mansfield’s last night we’d seen some of the work Matthew had done and it was quite impressive – he didn’t even hurt himself!

Well, I had to finish my weeding and come alongside her to do the ‘creating’ together, but we got pretty good results. I’d never actually done this before and had to figure it out a little by trial and error, i.e. we practiced on an ant to figure out if we were actually generating heat. We were! 😉 She asked for her name – I wrote “Bekah”, then she wanted the “Re” added. Then she started on the “M” for “Mom”. I think it turned out really cute. She then wanted to put it up somewhere and we decided that the aging play structure was a great place for it. So now, we’ve officially tagged the structure!

Getting the angle right was challenging.

Getting the angle right was challenging.

The structure with crazy Benny on the left and our board on the top cross beam.

The structure with crazy Benny on the left and our board on the top cross beam.

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1st Day of Spring 2009

Bekah and I spent a little time outside this afternoon between wind, sun, and rain storms. Here are some of the signs of spring popping out around our home.

Front bed - the daffodils are about ready to open

Front bed - the daffodils are about ready to open

Lilac bush

Lilac bush

Raspberries

Raspberries

Cherry tree

Cherry tree

Pear tree

Pear tree

Dogwood tree

Dogwood tree

Rose bush

Rose bush

Neighbor's flag and buds on his tree

Neighbor's flag and buds on his tree

And it wouldn't be clearly spring... without the return of weeds.

And it wouldn't be clearly spring... without the return of weeds.

Happy Spring!

Our weekend…

I don’t have pictures to put in with this post, but decided it didn’t matter. Here’s a peek into our ordinary lives…

Ashley is at Camas Meadows this weekend. (As we prayed last night for her, the younger two prayed for her at “Kansas Meadows” and “Canvas Meadows”.) That just leaves the younger two with Willie and I. When Bekah and I went to drop Ashley off yesterday, despite it being cold, everything was going just fine until it was actually time to say good-bye to Sissy. Bekah was on the ground and put her arms around Ashley’s midsection in a loving embrace. As Bekah backed up, she dropped her head so her hair covered her face. I got Ashley’s attention, who was still standing right there. A moment later, Bekah’s hands went up to her face and she began sobbing. For girls who have had their share of arguments, I was actually glad to see this amazing outpouring of affection. Ashley tried to reassure Bekah, I picked her up and she cried into my neck while Ashley rubbed her back. Next, Sissy got a big hug around the neck from Bekah and it was time to say a final good-bye. As we drove away, Bekah just wanted to know “Why does she HAVE to go?”

This morning, the kiddos and I headed to Kirkland’s Performance Center to help usher for the StoryBook Theater production of Goldilocks, and then we got to watch the show. It was neat to be able to serve for this event and then attend for free. Our job was to hand out programs as people came in. It was the job I’d requesting, figuring we’d all be able to do that. I gave Jordan a “post” right near the doors, while Bekah and I stood across the aisleway. Jordan was doing super (except for all those times her stuck his tongue out at the people, but he denies it…), until he went to look around the corner to see if anyone was coming and suddenly lost his balance – just as a mom and her 2 year old son walked through the door. Jordan collapsed right in front of them! Oh my goodness. Sometimes Jordan just loses his balance and goes down to his hands and feet, not this time. This time he ended up a crumbled heap on the floor. Poor people didn’t know what to do. Oh, Jordan. Always full of adventure.

Once home, we all changed our clothes and got to Saturday housework. The kids went outside and removed the stakes from the ground along the driveway which held the Christmas lights (yes, they finally came down this morning), and I headed to the back to finally clean up the mess from the gutter disaster. 

Cleaned up garbage in the backyard, first. Why is it that our yard never gets “winterized”? Why do summer things still end up strewn around the yard, to be discovered and identified as ugly only when the beautiful blanket of white snow melts? Balls were all over the place, plastic chairs were blown around, popsicle wrappers, bottle lids, an IKEA shopping bag from June (!), and the whole strip of gutter that had come off.

Bekah came out just as soon as I got those balls collected, waving the plastic bat in her hands and wondering where the tee was. Really? Then on to some basketball. Her arms have gotten strong enough from gymnastics that she can make shots on the 10 foot basket.

She helped me drag the gutter to the front, Willie found some metal cutters for me, and I went to town cutting up a 25ft section of gutter so it could finally go in the trash. Felt so good to finally get rid of that! Next, all the moss that fell out of those gutters when they fell had to be picked up. How does all that amazing soil get up there for that thick moss to grow in anyway?

Besides getting the Christmas lights down, Willie has been cooking up a storm today. Yesterday he made 4 different BBQ sauces, and today he is cooking two pork roasts for pulled pork sandwiches during the Super Bowl tomorrow. We are so excited to have our friends the Johnsons over again and to have the Smiths over for the first time! Should be a blast. And the house smells absolutely amazing.

Now, the ‘boys’ are out playing with Jordan’s remote control cars in the driveway. (Could it really be the first non-snowy, non-rainy Saturday we’ve had since Christmas???) 

Bekah took Benny on a walk up to her friend Donovan’s house at the top of the cul-de-sac to see if he could play, and now they are here having a good old time.

The snow is gone, the sun is out

Under the leg!Willie takes and makes a shot on the Daddy-size hoopBekah plays ballShe shoots... she scores!Jordan plays WiiAlthough there was more snow on the ground this morning, by the afternoon we warmed into the 50s and it all melted. Many trees in the area have minor to major injuries to them due to the snow being too much for their new growth. It’s sad to see all that fresh wood exposed and beautiful trees ripped apart.

When Willie got home, he and Bekah headed outside for some basketball in the driveway. Jordan stayed inside and played Tiger Woods Golf on Wii.

Bekah is happy to go out and experience April snow