Thursday, May 14, 2009

Maybe in the summer

Jake is our survivor ... he wants to live in the woods all alone, fishing and scavenging plants for food - and has often begged for the chance to do so. This spring, Steve finally decided to let him have a go. Being that he is at least a tiny bit responsible, Steve decided to go with him as an emergency buffer (and so we wouldn't get reported to the authorities by any curious onlookers who might see a grown man dropping a ten year old off in the national forest).

The deal was made that he wouldn't offer any help to Jake at all unless there was an emergency (for instance, cougars or drowning or hypothermia or...). Jake finally agreed to such stringent regulations after it was pointed out to him that Steve wouldn't even TALK to him. It still allowed him to be on his own with his own tent, own supplies, own survival skills.

He does know quite a bit about such things and has poured over his book of wilderness survival (we have definitely decided to sign him up for Scouts!) - but he didn't quite count on our May weather. Here they are, ready to embark in our fancy '92 Subaru.

The day was slushing ... not raining or snowing ... it was slushing. The snow was still deep at that elevation. If it had only been cold, they would have fared better. However, it was definitely in that terrible, miserable, sopping wet, hypothermia-inducing, feet sinking kind of slush.

Before they had even finished backpacking into a good site, Jake was soaked. Having expected nice, springlike conditions (with plenty of bugs to eat!) ... Jake wisely realized that this was not a good set up and teamed up with Steve.

Even our outdoor hero, Steve, couldn't start a fire. At that point, the prospect of spending the night and more didn't seem so great. They decided on a good plan.

They headed back down to Bend and a visit to Izzy's for the hungry survivors. Jake returned home after a trip to (close your ears, union supporters) WalMart to buy the b-b gun that we had decided he would be allowed to buy. Not what he had been hoping, but at least a good ending!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A new baby

You read that right ... the announcement is at the end of the post.

Dry, central Oregon winters may generate great ski powder, but they often don't provide good snowman snow. We finally had a decent dump of wet stuff not long ago, and Sammy was more than ready for a real snowman. It turned out he needed some mommy help. Together, we managed to scrape together enough snow to create a satisfactory snowperson ... albeit one with pine needles sticking out every few inches. We were working against the clock as this snow was not very deep and was melting quickly. Sammy does occasionally smile nicely for pictures. Maybe one of those ones will show up someday.
Then came Easter. While we've had snow cover on Easter before, this one merely dawned as cold. I love shots of little, candy-eating egg hunters.

A smattering of good weather brings out the mudmaker in any self-respecting boy. It's all extremely fun until mom won't let you in the house that dirty. By then you're cold and your only option for cleanliness is the wet water from the hose. The wet water you spent all afternoon playing in ... is now your enemy. Until this child, our boys thought it was hilarious to get chased down and cleaned off in cold water.

A recent indoor activity here has been card house building. Sammy wanted proof of his extraordinary abilities ... with a card house destroyer lurking right outside the guest room door. And, yes, that is a scab on someone's knee in the bottom left-hand corner. But it wasn't my child. And mine never argue either. (you did catch that I was joking, right? not everyone catches such things)

Sammy wanted credit for Jake's house, so he snuck into the picture while Jake decided to give his card house a pair of bunny ears.
Everything looks so fun and happy (as long as you skipped the crying-mud picture). It's not. I don't make snowmen every time someone wants one. Instead, I sometimes get frustrated with all the wet snow things that have no place to go in our small entry area. I don't always create a perfect Easter. (In fact, I even call it by that pagan name "Easter"!) I sometimes say "no" to playing in the mud. My boys argue and make messes and don't always do their chores correctly.
And right now, I'm not doing my chores correctly either. That's because I'm so exhausted with this fifth pregnancy. We have this fifth baby on the way! That means I'm too tired to prove our imperfect lives by taking a picture of the disaster that often currently qualifies as our home. At least that means I can blog. If I'm too tired to get up and clean, I guess I can perform seated activities. Not a terrible trade-off, until I look around and see the mess!