Wednesday, April 29, 2009

oh how we love visits!

Carrie and her girls came to visit for their spring break. They were here for just a few days, during the week, so...don't tell, but I let the kids miss one day of school so they could play. Amazingly, one of the things they really wanted to do is play on the 'island' on the river. The 'island' is just a sandbar that is visible when the tide goes down. Kaleb ferried the girls across, and then wisely stayed in the boat and floated around. Since turning 14 we have allowed Kaleb to go out on the river, so I think he was enjoying this new freedom. The girls made a huge mess of themselves. They started out innocently enough, but after about 20 minutes they were all covered in clayish mud. They got into a bit of a brawl, and had it smeared everywhere. I think they had fun, until it went down the suits!

They learned quickly the family rule...if you get muddy you have to get it all sprayed off with the hose before you come into the house to take a warm shower. It always amazes me how dirty kids get out here

We also took a trip to the beach. It was nice and sunny but still cold.

Don't you love the look of flip flops in the sand? I do!
The girls wanted to wear their swim suits...but it is still technically winter here! the water is FrEeZiNg! so, they could only get their feet wet!

They enjoyed rock hopping.....

wave chasing......

log rolling......
It was fun! Do you notice though, how the kids are in the least amount of clothes they can be in, and the mom's all bundled up! figures!

On a side note, for those who know Damen Point....this is the bathrooms being removed. The whole entryway got hammered in the last storm. The road leading up to the turnaround and bathrooms area is totally gone, except for the first little bit. They decided to take the restrooms out for good, because of all the damage. CrAzY!

Anyways, we had a great time! Thanks for coming Carrie, Maddy and Ellie!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

we built a shed

Grandma and Grandpa Simpson needed a shed. They are retiring in a few weeks, therefore moving and need a place to store their stuff, while they travel and build their house (hopefully). So, we went up and built them a big shed. 12x16 to be exact. They wanted a barn roof, which we have never done...( I was intending to try to talk them out of it...seemed like too much work)...
We brought the motorhome, for the convenience, and hauled the tool trailer. quite a heavy load. Dad and Mom had the lumber package delivered the day before.the roofing.While we were getting ready to set up, Kas and Tanner found some bricks, (later on we learned they were fireplace bricks) and thought they'd found a secret treasure! We told them there was probably a body buried there!
Here we are setting up the floor. As you can see, the land was not level. We think the dirt guy misunderstood where the shed was supposed to go, and gave us a nice level work spot instead of shed spot!
Here is the completed floor. I promise it is level, even though this looks otherwise.Our first wall is up! Can you tell Dad is thrilled.The boys building a wall.
Kaleb being....well, Kaleb!

Hmmm, do they look related? Kayden giving me a pose!

second wall

All the walls are up!
While I was figuring out how to talk dad out of a barn roof, J figured out a jig for the trusses. It actually went together much faster and easier than I expected. Dad helped me situate the boards on the jig, I stapled the connecting pieces....

and Elijah routered out the excess.

While we were working on that, Shayne ran to the store (I am guessing) and came back with ice cream! Yeah! I do not know who got this shot and I really can't believe I am posting it...but, as PW says....I'm just keeping it real!.....Could I get a BIGGER bite! augh!
It was good though.

Placing the beam!
putting up the trusses.

Do you see them all inside waiting to go up! It went well I thought.
Sheeting the roof and finishing up with the siding.

You can see how big it is with Elijah as a comparison. And how much the one end is off the ground! That would have been a lot of dirt moving! I think that was to be the original door side, but was changed when they noticed the steps it would take to get through!
Using the router to clean the edges.

now the roofing. They found some with a rusty colored speckle. It was very nice.
We finished right at 9 pm, with just a short lunch break...and started at around 9 am. It was a long day but very fun, and fulfilling to see it all done. We did have a few little extras to do the next morning...finishing the door (but no hinges, so not in yet) caulking, etc....and then it was pretty much done.
They think they will paint it Barn red with white trim. Won't it be cute.

Hopefully this is just a prelude to their house. We had so much fun, and imagined everyone being here to help when the house goes up.
In other news, I cut Mom's hair.
J enjoying the sun with Delilah.
Tanner catching some air!

We had a great time. We are excited for Grandma and Grandpa to move out there. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place and I know they are going to have fun with the boys around.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bike Down

Last Saturday Jeremy biffed his bike....the Dakar! He was going around the loop on our property with the boys, and all of a sudden he is on the ground, facing the wrong way! He pulled his bike up and sees extensive damage. He can ride the bike home...comes in and tells me to come out so he can show me something. On the way out, I notice his rear end is soaked...and I ask if he wreaked! I was somewhat joking cause I was attempting to ride Kaleb's bike the day before and dropped it when I went through my first puddle...and mudd. Anyways, J just keeps walking...and we finally came up to his bike, and it was mangled a bit. We assessed the damage and then walked out to the crash site:
this is where he ended up. This strip of grass was wadded up right where he landed..
this is where it was taken out.

We think he leaned to avoid a branch hanging out into the middle of the road. On the street, his foot peddle would have scraped, but on the dirt, it dug in, and then his box probably hit the ground, ripped off the bike, and whipped J and the bike around. As you can see, he had a soft landing.

This is where the box was attached.

Here is the box. You can see where it was attached previously.

And look at the lean on that bike. You can also see where the box should have stayed! We were most worried about the lean.
Thankfully, J had his bike insured. He had it taken up to Southsound BMW as soon as they were opened, and it is in the works for being repaired.

J had a few minor injuries...a sore wrist, and scraped up leg. but mostly he went into a minor depression. He loves his bike, and drives it everywhere. I am grateful if he was going to go down, it was right here at home, on a soft landing. I am also grateful he is able to get it fixed. It was hard seeing him so down.
On other bike news.....A few weeks ago, J purchased the dvd set LONG WAY AROUND and LONG WAY DOWN....they are the documentaries by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman who rode a couple of BMW's around the world...from England, through the Soviet Union, Alaska, Canada, down to New York...and then flew back to England....and then a few years later the rode from Scotland down to the tip of South Africa. We have been having a LONG WAY fest...watching for hours on end, not being able to go to bed, cause we are caught up in it...etc. Reminded me a bit of the BBC Pride and Prejudice....only intend to watch one or two episodes and end up watching it all in one setting....well, one of these were 10 episodes with extras, so it was quite a bit longer. One day J and I played hookie all day and cuddled on the couch and watched. and only got part way through it was crazy, but also very interesting....we also did a bunch of dreaming, of trips we would take.
I joked with J that it was a good thing we didn't see this before we had kids, or I am sure their names would have been Ewan and Charley... and Tarmac or something like that!
I have to still amazes me that motorcyles have become such a big part of our lives. I never would have dreamed it....which reminds me...I am taking the motorcycle class the beginning of may! wish me luck...I am nervous!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Gramma Jello

Last weekend was Jeremy's moms birthday, the infamous Gramma Jello. We weren't there to celebrate with her, but hope she had a wonderful day anyway. We also hope she has a wonderful year....I won't say how old she is, but I did hear she can get the senior discount now... ;). just kidding!

We LOVE Gramma Jello. We love being related to her. I always brag that I have a great mother in law..which as we all know is a blessing!

I tried this post a few days ago, and had a hard time getting to my pictures of Gramma Jello, so this will be photoless...sorry to say...but anyone who knows her, knows she is very beautiful and classy. She always likes to look nice...and her house is beautiful. She has a great sense of style.

She is a very sweet lady. The kids know when they are at Gramma's house, they will be spoiled.

Gramma Jello loves the water. Anytime she comes to visit us at the ocean, she has to get in and wade....sometimes she will get in up to her waist! It doesn't matter how cold or windy it is...she always has to get her feet wet....and then we can't hardly get her out! When we are at a warmer lake, she will sit in a floatie all afternoon if she can. She loves the water...

She also loves clam chowder. That is something else she insists on when she comes to visit. Once we weren't able to get some, and on their way out of town, she stopped at a local restaurant with a good reputation for chowder and took a bowl to go cold....because it wasn't ready yet!

Something that totally cracks me up about Gramma Jello, is that she loves loves loves the smell of diesel, gasoline...anything you might find in an auto shop! Maybe she was a mechanic in a previous life. I hate all of those strong odors and have had to put up with them a lot in my that skill amazes me!

Gramma Jello has a talent for making friends. She is loved by everyone who knows her. She knows how to put people at ease, and considers everyone a friend. She is funny, clever and loving. She loves to make people happy. She is fun to be around.

We feel very blessed to be in Gramma Jello's family. I am so grateful for her parenting skills and the guy she raised for me.
We love you Gramma Jello....and pray you have your best year yet! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


AREN'T THEY CUTE! brand new babies!

Egg Drop

Every year during science week, the kids do an egg drop, where they will figure out a way to protect their egg so it doesn't break from a fall. Tradition is that the Fire Dept brings their ladder truck and drops the eggs from the top. The last 2 years the ladder truck was out of service, so they used a puny extension...probably like what is used for power lines and such. It was still a fun experiment, but everyone was glad to see the ladder truck show up today. This was also our new truck with the longer ladder. Fortunately for us, J was on duty, so...he was able to come and participate.

There's my fireman! Isn't he cute?
So, the kids take turns bringing their eggs up to the basket....and then the guys raise the ladder 95 feet...and drop each egg package off, one by one.
Here's Kas'. notice the parachute help make a soft landing..(for some reason, it didn't seem to work too well this year)....

She had her egg in a box, with the afore mentioned parachute attached, and because it's Kas' cute decorations on the outside....

stuffed with wrapping paper....packing foam and the like.

She had her egg nestled in this little doll slipper. She definitely has a feminine flair to her package. As you can see, the slipper isn't her egg survived. I was a bit surprised, cause her box hit hard. but she did a good job of protecting it.

Here she is with some of her friends, watching the action. Notice some of them brought little blankets to keep warm while they were watching. I wondered if they came prepared, or if they always carry around baby blankets!??

Elijah on the other hand is a different story. It seems the older the boys get, the more they want their experiment to fail...and in a BIG way! He got a gatorade bottle, cut it open, filled it up with water, put the egg in, ducttaped it back together, and put the lid on. It was good to go. The funny thing, is by morning his egg was already cracked. He said he put the cold egg in warm water...that must of done the trick. Anyways, he wasn't too concerned about it...cause he wasn't hoping to save his egg. (notice the beautiful brown egg?)

Jeremy saved Elijah's egg until last. Held it up so I could video tape...which I failed miserably at...and threw it down towards the I mentioned earlier, from 95 feet above. I heard kids all around saying, 'Elijah, your dad threw your egg!' and Elijah excitedly said, 'I know!'. it was funny. His egg made the splash he was hoping for (which I somehow didn't get on film). So, both of the kids walked away feeling very satisfied about the whole ordeal.

It was great fun. I am glad J was able to attend and help out.
There were some interesting eggs that survived. a bowl full of Jello, also dyed the egg. the bowl didn't survive the fall, but the egg amazingly did....and there was jello splattered everywhere, which was a nice touch. Someone, just put an egg in a bag, with 2 parachutes...and the egg survived. I am not sure how they made their parachutes work better than Kas' but, it was amazing. Another kid put the egg in water in a quart ziplock. I think his splat was almost as good as Elijah's. He gave out a big cheer when his splatted, so I think he was in the same type of thinking as Elijah! One year Kas put her's in a stuffed animal. Anyway, it was fun!