Pinewood Derby 2013

It's easy to see how some dads can get a little "carried away" when it comes to the Pinewood Derby.  As an 8 year old, you do not possess the machinery skills or aerodynamic knowledge to produce a truly prize-worthy wooden toy... I mean, amazing race car.   I am very proud to say that Dylan exercised great power in letting Gage build his very own car.  Dad helped a little when it came to the band saw, but the great bulk of the work was done by Gage.  And it turned out awesome!

And, of course, there was no shortage of cheering for our Gager.



I'm a man.

Every year a group of men from my church gets together to shoot guns.

This year I brought my camera along to get some record cool video. We shot shotguns for a couple of hours. Everyone had a blast and even my eight year old son shot for the first time.

Music: Men Don't Cry by Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Way...)


Gage shoots his first gun


Dog Breath Dancing

Today was job shadow day so me and a 12 year old boy spent it making a video of him dancing with a dog head.

What a killer job!


Neighbor's house fire

Everyone is ok!

The culprit is a space heater in the garage.


Island Park 2102 Vacation

First Timelapse

Grandma Jean


Big Rock Candy Mountain

Yes!  Big Rock Candy Mountain really does exist.  And it exists only a few miles from where I grew up.  While we were hiking, Uncle Trevor actually found a chocolate rock candy.  He bit it in half and showed my kids the chocolatey center.  There was stunned silence for several seconds, followed by a mad scramble to pick up more rocks and attempt to eat them.  

Nash liked finding things like worms and moths and showing them to cousin Allie (aka the most beautiful girl in the world).  This scenario happened many times.

Granny G gives wheelbarrow rides til her arms fall off.

Dylan drives the quad like a mad man.  He laughs like a little kid almost the whole time.  He also spins some wicked donuts on the four wheeler and the boys view him as a super-human.

Gage could ride all day.  Nash, not so much.  He gets carsick like his momma. :(

But he's a magnet for water in any form.

Olivia is a mud magnet.

Da boys go shootin'.  Uncle Bert's a crack shot with a BB Gun, and Trevor is amazing with the bow and arrow he got from a one-armed man.  True story.

Cousins, please move closer to us.

Ninja Nash

The best thing about Nash's birthday is that it's the day after Pioneer Day.  What's so great about that, you wonder?  Two words:  legal fireworks. 

This year he asked for a ninja party.  Everyone dressed in black and we tied extra black t-shirts around their faces to make masks.  The boys practiced combat on red helium balloons, went through the "Laser" obstacle course, showed off their sweet ninja moves on the trampoline, and lit off some cool fireworks.   I have little to no photographic evidence of any of this, so you'll just have to take my word for it:  it was awesome.

 Nash maneuvers his way through the lasers.

In my efforts to be less control-freaky and more go-with-the-flowy, I let the kids decorate the cake 98% by themselves.  It turned out great!  The ninja in the black there is picking out his weapon from the weapon wall, and there are two other ninjas back there in the training grounds practicing their skills.  There is a chocolate bridge connecting the two with blue wrapping paper "water" underneath.  My job was making the sign, with characters I copied from a chop sticks wrapper.

Brothers, A Portrait

Nash was SO proud of the picture he drew of himself and Gage.  I stared, wide-eyed, with a smile frozen on my lips.  "Uhhhh.... what's that, there buddy?" I ask, nervousness and laughter wavering my voice as I try to hold it steady.  "Those are our tails.  We're squirrels*."  PHEW!

*Pronounced s-KWEE-yohs


I Forgot Halloween? Now that's scary.

I can't believe I forgot to post these Halloween pictures. It's my favorite! It's what I live for!

Even my baby gets the spirit of Halloween.
Nash is like the amazing shrinking Spiderman in his 3 sizes too big costume.
It just made the muscles that much bigger.
We cut holes out of this old karate outfit and sewed in blood splattered pieces of flesh colored fabric. Try saying that five times fast.
All in black with a creepy faceless mask, Liv was able to haunt the daylights out of Hallow's Eve.
My true colors start to come out as Two-Face.
And what kind of villain would I be without a hero?
Dylan's Batman was a big hit around the neighborhood.
And lookie who we found.


Up, Up, and Away

Gage became fascinated with hot air balloons while we were looking for science fair projects. We came across this little dandy, and we made hot air balloons for weeks. We watched videos of them, checked out books from the library, and tried making some of our own.

The dry cleaner bag/poster board/toaster model worked the best. It went up over 30 feet in the cold, still, outside air. Awesome!

Sometimes I get discouraged when homeschooling, but a lot of times my prayers are answered and some amazing events happen to enrich our homeschool experience. For example, on the way to the science fair, we saw a hot air balloon hovering just a few blocks away. Naturally, we went after it! The thing landed right in front of us. We jumped out of the car and watched them pull down the envelope (balloon) and empty it. The pilot hollered "Come help!" so we ran over and helped fold it up and put it in the gigantic bag. The pilot took about 20 minutes showing Gage the inside, telling him how it works, how much fuel he had to lift the 500 lb. balloon, and about the competitions he had been in. He learned more in that hands-on 20 minutes than in the 2 weeks of studying. And it was awesome.