Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer 2014: Week 9

I cannot remember what in the world we did this week!  I had sinus pressure headaches nearly every day, so maybe that's why the details are a bit fuzzy.  Ha ha.  At least I can rely on the photos that I took to do this week's post.  :)  

The rain came for a day and these two don't like to miss an opportunity to run around in it.

In history, we are studying the ancient Egyptians, and spent some time making our own hieroglyphs.

Megan decided to dye some paper and stamp a secret message on it, then roll it up like an ancient scroll.

We have confused weather here on the coast!  Another day was very warm and Jax needed to cool off in the sprinker.

Jeff made this rabbet thingy.  I'm very happy for him to finally have the time to work on the projects he wants to do.  Just don't ask me what the rabbet thingy does.  (Because I have no idea whatsoever.)

Oh yes, now I remember!  This picture reminds me that my kitchen table was COVERED with crafting items for days!  Jordan spent several days doing different projects, including making Barbie shoes like these.  She and Jackson also built on to their popsicle stick community and Megan made some shadow-shape designs that I didn't get a picture of.

Friday we grabbed a few of the Nichols' crew and went to Fort Dick for another herb class.  This month we learned about red clover and calendula.  The class was wonderful--the kids made calendula infused lip balm and we all picked and tasted the sweet red clover blooms!  They really do taste like sugar at the bottom!  They would be very pretty in a salad, I think.  I'd like to try that soon.  I forgot my camera so no photo of the kids, but here are a few pics of the herbs and links, in case you want to know how you can use them yourself!  

Sunday after fellowship, we hiked at House Rock.  It's one of my favorite hikes, and as you can see, Jordy was pretty pumped about it, too!

Posting this with the kids' permission.  They wanted their grandparents to see their amazing crazy faces!

Megan found a good spot to check out the scenery.

And from her vantage point, she did a quick sketch of the shoreline.

This is what she was sketching.  This picture looks foggier than it actually was.

Happy hiker.  I love her enthusiasm!

Jordan snapped this picture.

While we were taking pictures of the scenery and drawing and climbing things, different visitors stopped by.  We visited with families from Utah and Nevada.  It's neat to see how people take in our ocean.  We tend to take it for granted, sort of like, "Yep, that's a beach alright."  I don't want to make too much of it, but sitting there I noticed that people who don't see the ocean often are quieted by how awesome it is.  They just stand there and stare, taking it in--even the kids.  
At one point, the father of the family from Nevada came up the stairs, clearly excited, and said to his wife, "You have got to see this trail we just found!  It's like a library of trees--I can't think of any other way to describe it."  He was talking about the trail that our family had just finished hiking.  We really are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Just for your amusement.  Or maybe just for my own.  Ha ha.  
I asked Jax to do his best "Captain America" face.

It's been fun and quite fine, but now we're done with week 9!
Only one more week until we start our new school year!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer 2014: Week 8

So this week we started our history back up, which has been really fun.  The kids don't want to talk about starting math in a few weeks, but I figure we'll just ease our way back into things and maybe, perhaps, possibly, they won't notice that their summer is over???  Any chance of that working?

This week Jackson got a multi-tool.  He now wakes up early and immediately puts on a pair of jeans and a belt to carry it around with him.  It's really cute how excited he is to be considered mature enough to have this.  Last night at dinner he asked me, "Mom, do you think I've matured a little more this week?" :)

Jordan did a lot of sewing this week.  She is much more patient than her Mama, so she makes teeny-tiny clothes for Barbie-sized dolls.  Here, Merida is very happy to have a new summer dress.

One evening, Jackson said, "Mom, I am going to make you breakfast in bed tomorrow."  I said, "Oh, that's okay bud.  You don't have to make me breakfast in bed, but thank you!"

He said, "Okay, well, could you bring me breakfast in bed, then?"  Ha!  The next day I made him an egg and cheese and brought it to him bright and early!  He said, "This is SO GREAT, Mom!"

On Thursday, Meg got fitted for her new glasses.  She picked a fun, playful frame this year.  We all like them!

Later that evening, the Perreault's came over.  I took too many pictures of sweet Jorja peach!  She is the funniest little thing!

She is a little parrot and repeats everything you say!

Abby girl!

Fridays have been and will hopefully continue to be, fun days.  This week we learned about the first farmers and archaeology, so today we did this fossil craft.  Very challenging to work with this rock-like clay, but the kids did great!

Jordan's triceratops fossil

Megan wasn't interested in making a fossil (she never uses things for what they were intended for!), so she made a cute dog instead.

And speaking of cute dogs, Madison made a sweater for Lucy!  She is so pretty.

In the garden, things are going well.  We are harvesting lots of zucchini, romaine, kale, sugar snap peas, strawberries, and cherry tomatoes.  If I can get rid of these stinkin' cucumber beetles, I think we will have butternut squash in time for fall!

The spaghetti squash are very exciting for me!  I've never grown anything that gets so massive.  I have 3 or 4 large squash like this one and a handful of medium sized.  There are also a bunch of small ones, but we just have to wait and see what the weather does.  Never can tell when the sun is going to disappear here on the coast.

And with that, we say goodbye to week 8 of our summer vacation!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer 2014: Week 7

Week 7 already!  This week was fairly calm in the Cato house.  The first half of it consisted of another river trip, Monopoly Millionaire games, gardening, school planning (yay!) and puzzles.  Not too much worth taking pictures of.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, but just wait, because the last half of the week was full of fun and laughter and excitement and fires and A BEAR!  I know, right?  You're super excited to see it all now, aren't you?

So here is our week 7 in pictures.  Many, many pictures!

We spent a few beautiful days camping up river with the Powers' and Nichols'.

I think he said that he had hunted or something like that.  Holding a sharp stick makes little boys feel powerful.

We celebrated Tristan's 17th birthday with him!  Tristan is a stellar boy who watches out for the younger boys and teaches them lots of cool tricks.  I am thankful that Jackson has Tristan to be friends with.

The big boys took the kayaks down for a ride.

At some point after I left the river bank, Jeff ran into a rock and flipped over.  He came back to camp soaked but happy.

Watching the daddies.

I told you there was a bear!!!  And excitement!!!

Frisbee boys.

Campfire stories are the best.

Tay and Meg.

Julie was a great fire keeper while the men were playing horseshoes. 

Jordan and Trent, playing Skip-Bo.  This cracks me up because in this one T is being a silly...

and in this one J is being a silly...

and in this one they are both showing their true colors!  What a pair these two are.  Gone are the days when they smiled nicely for cameras.

Jackson always digs a hole.  Always.

The girls finally got to take their new boat out for a ride.

Favorite shot of the weekend!  This kid can melt a heart with that smile.

Maddie Grace is graceful indeed on the kayak.  Me, not so much.

This shot looks alive to me.  I love it.

My little chica.  What a happy girl she was this weekend!

So, I feel like I need to explain this picture series.  Matt was playing bumper kayaks with the kids, then I guess Jeff and Hank decided that he looked too dry.

So chaos very quickly ensued...

Matt retaliated...

They wrestled and Hank threw Matt into the river.

But out of the river he came to avenge himself!!!

So yeah.  Little boys.  All of them.

Meanwhile, the girls were gliding up and down the river in style.

And Jackson froze himself blue in the water and then bundled up and slept.

Mermaid Maddie came to visit Jordan.  This reminds me that I haven't gotten a picture of Maddie's mermaid tail yet!  Hopefully next week!

Sunday after fellowship we went hiking at Indian Sands.

The fog was rolling in and the whole thing was just peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful.  

Haven't ever seen one like this before.

My kids are so blessed to have this Daddy.  They were all watching some eagles here, too close to the cliff's edge for my comfort!

Wild huckleberries, still sour.  I said we should come back in a month and see if they've ripened.

Uncooperative photo subject #1,


and #3.  I don't know why I even bother to bring my camera sometimes!

The girls found this natural sawhorse.  Meg was telling us how the Indians made sawhorses and used them to rub leather.  She kind of reminds me of Klaus from A Series of Unfortunate Events with all her little tidbits of information that she has picked up reading.  Maybe she'll be a contestant on Jeopardy some day and win a million dollars and take me to Ireland.  Ha!

Well anyway, that was week 7 of our summer vacation!  
Only a few more weeks before we start easing our way back into school!