Friday, August 23, 2013

BIG and unexpected Project!

This is our Game Room. Smells like dog, has always smelled like dog. Nasty carpet, we never liked the cheep carpet. Ugly Walls and ugly wall paper boarder. Here you see that we are removing ugly carpet.

See ugly carpet. Littles are pretty interested. Oh how they want to help! Dog pee is why we rushed head-long into this project. After we dog-sat some leaky dogs, a friend offered us his used Pergo. Matt started ripping almost immediately.

"Baby Raccoon is the best Mom in the whole world and she lets all her kids use sharp tools and walk where there are tacks." How will I ever live up to Baby Raccoon?

This honeycomb pattern was much nastier than the picture shows.

Books, books, books everywhere. Fun to read in unusual spots.

Toys everywhere that there are no books.

Fresh paint.

What a big helper!
Curtain experimentation in the background there. Free is the name of the game but peach? No, I think a bottle of Rit is in our future.

Well, at least he's in the picture. Now you know where my kids get their modeling skills from, at least the oldest 2.

NEW FLOOR! Stay tuned.

End of Summer

Summer is ending this week as children go back to school. For us, it's feeling like time to take a break. For our entire schooling career I've called our schooling method the tidal method. I let the wind and the weather dictate our schedule. I just can't see us taking a break when is wicked hot outside while we stay indoors during the gorgeous Fall, Winter and Spring(except for the 6 weeks of cold). BUT summer here is full of friends doing fun things and I need to figure out a way to balance it all. Sigh, I have a whole year to think about it. In the meantime here are some glimpses into daily life here in the Stecherbush.
Eli got his first Scientific Calculator and everyone wanted a turn to try it out. He's finishing up Algebra I Saxon and I feel like that's a great accomplishment.
Sam's black-eye care of a carelessly flung water gun. Oh brothers.

Eli's always bummed when he doesn't have an activity on Wednesday nights. Baking cookies is his favorite consolation.

This wild woman loves babies and her kitchen stuff. She's getting a little better about sitting and paying attention to things and talking so so cutely.

We recently gave up on our 2 CD players that were hanging on by a thread. One didn't work at all and the other barely worked if you knew the right things to do. Sen finished it off recently so I let Samuel and Luke take them apart. Others joined in but Sam and Luke love that sort of thing. As soon as Brigham can properly manipulate screws with his screwdriver I'm afraid he'll take the whole house apart!

FHE Stecher-Style

Oh how I love this little. She gets so excited just to hear the work swimming. She immediately jumps up from whatever she's doing and exults "Wimming! Wimming! Biper?" and runs off to collect all her "wimmies"(swim diaper, suit and puddle jumper). So for FHE on Monday we made tin-foil dinners to cook in the fire-pit and swam. Family fun was feeling necessary.

Matt said "I thought you were being kind of ridiculous wanting this fire-pit built right now with all the other needs but it is so much fun. I'm so glad you bought it and had us build it." My family would eat this goodness every night if they could.

Yummo S'mores.

Oh this boy, how I love this boy. How could anyone not love this boy? Good thing because man he's hard.

A Visit From the Hastings

Our August visitors included this new arrival! This is probably the best picture I took since I took almost none-Boooo! But, we do have some good memories including swimming, meeting up with old friends, a trip to the Art Museum with Jim as our fun tour guide, a night of "Baseball"(card game), lots of Legos, Matt's famous pancake breakfast with homemade Dewberry syrup, and some fun conversation. Next time we get together we'll probably try not to be dog-sitting or have sick kiddos!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mercer Arboretum

We took a rather warmish(100+degree) trip to the Mercer Arboretum today. Eli's in uniform because he had a meeting with the director of the Arboretum about building bluebird houses for his Eagle Project and donating them to the arboretum.

I thought the grounds, landscaping, hardscaping etc were beautiful. Unfortunately we had rather unpleasant encounter with the director. The fish pond above is right outside the Visitor's Center where the kids used the restroom and Eli and Luke and I took turns watching the little ones. While I was inside with Eli (within 20ft of my kids and in plain view) the director came through as Brigham was standing where you see him sitting. I got chewed out like I don't think any stranger has ever chewed me out. Needless to say I sincerely wish we'd chosen another venue for this Eagle Service Project. He was rather apologetic after he found out I was Eli's Mom but I was so shocked at his lack of tact and diplomacy. One would've thought I'd stripped Brig down and let him jump in with the fish while pulling out their plants. 

Party at the House

Lakewood Men

Using our new firepit.

Pool antics.

My Little Mama

Alena and Brigham were putting animals in their shirts and Sennia thought it was a great idea. She put her "babies" in her shirt and happily toted them around for a LONG time. I tried to take them out when she wanted to go outside but that was much too traumatic.

She continually patted her belly like a happy pregnant mama!