Sunday, August 3, 2014

3 not 2

 We enjoyed a lovely visit from my mom for nearly a month.  She came after the baby was born.  She did so many helpful things like read a lot with Kyler, Tristan and Cambria, not to mention mending many books, and many articles of clothing that had been piling up in my mending basket for months and years.  

 Tristan is a creative boy and spends his days finding uses for googly eyes, among many other activities.  Cambria is an eager disciple.
 We celebrated the Little Miss turning the big 3 on June 14th.  She tells everyone she meets that she is "3, not 2 any moie" (she resists saying most "r's".  If you ask her what her name is she will now say "3", where as she used to say "2".  We even convinced her for a month or so that since she was 3, and not a baby any more, that she didn't need pacifiers any more.  She agreed for a bit, but can no longer resist helping herself to the baby's pacifiers when they are within reach...

Summer Splendor

 I cannot fathom how far behind I am in posting.  The best way for me to catch up is to just upload pictures and comment on them.  The summer has been great so far.  Kyler spent four days at cubscout day camp at Sehmel Park and had a great time. He requires much interaction with other people.
 Before Tristan turned 5, he lost his two front bottom teeth, one after the other, without any fuss or nonsense.  I asked him what he wanted to spend his money on that the tooth fairy left.  He said Gogurt, but I talked him into yogurt.  I took him to the grocery store just for this, where he promptly lost his dollar that he had carefully put in a baggie with a piece of paper (this is the sort of thing he spends his days doing).  I paid for his yogurt anyway, and when I offered it to him at home, he wouldn't eat much of it.  Apparently he prefers Gogurt.  
 He also spends his days crafting weapons and attaching them to his person.  There are some cardboard ones there on his waist band.
 We did celebrate his birthday here at the new house.  He was excited to get a present from his primary teachers, and wanted to save it until his birthday.  Kyler doesn't possess such self discipline and promptly opened it for him, which really distressed Tristan, but we were able to keep him from seeing it and saved it for his birthday.  We were thrilled that Uncle Dusty and Auntie Patti, along with Baby Ava were able to come for the weend of the July 4th to celebrate his birthday and Independence Day with us.  Grandma Dee and David also came.
 It is fun to tell Tristan that the fireworks on Independence Day are for his birthday, which is July 2.  
 Mr. Ronan Troy is a doll, but usually has concerns, as can be seen here.
 If you look closely in the picture above, you can see a bit of a brown circle in the "grass" (mostly weeds and dead moss).  On Tristan's birthday, with Grandma Dee and David here, Daddy-O had bought fireworks for the coming holiday and got into them just a bit.  A single smoke bomb thrown out in the grass started a fire that quickly got out of control.  Dean and the boys tried to put it out, but not having hoses set up yet to reach that far out into the yard, weren't having much success.  Our next door neighbors came running with their long hose and kept it from spreading to their property.  Dean said to call 911, and the Gig Harbor Fire Department arrived quickly and put the fire out almost instantly.  They were professional and friendly and didn't lecture us at all, which we appreciated.  It was a good thing that Dean had mowed down the tall weeds ahead of time, as the fire could have been much worse.  The house was a foreclosure, so a lot of basic maintenance (like mowing the lawn) weren't done.
 After moving in to our new digs on June 20 (two years to the day after we returned from Korea and moved into the rental house) Kyler and Tristan wasted no time in going to the beach and investigating the creatures there, and bringing some up to the house.  I had them take said creatures back to the water so they would live.  
 Tristan loves Baby Troy and holds him often.  Cambria and Tristan both love to pick flowers for me :)
 Here is part of our view - along with Tristan dressed in a sweater, hat and gloves in the summer.
 Troy loves to be swaddled, even if he looks mildly concerned.
Hunter and Kyler both put a lot of effort into resisting hair cuts, but I managed to give one to Kyler shortly after this picture was taken and with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. 
 It's so fun to watch the wee ones suckle the see-through pacis :)
Hunter got to spend a week at Camp I-Vy, for kids with hemophilia.  He had a lot of fun there near Monroe, WA. 
 We all went to pick him up at the end of the week.  While in Monroe, we stopped at a reptile museum.
 Hunter enjoyed the snakes, and Tristan was particularly fond of this alligator.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guess Who?

I was born on September 1st in Denver, CO.
My favorite book is Mark of Athena.
In my spare time I like to read,watch TV, and play video games.
My favorite food is Macaroni & Cheese with sausage.
My favorite pet is a blue and gold macaw named Pancho.
I like cheetahs and dislike camels.
I understand greek mythology but
don’t understand the difference between ancient Egypt and Kush.
I am Hunter R. Lavallee.

At the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island in September

Hunter had to write up a short biography on himself for a class at school.  The only thing he got wrong was his birthday.  It's close, but not quite right, ha ha.  He appears to be thriving in middle school, which is a great relief.  I was determined to homeschool him, as I couldn't imagine him being successful with many classes throughout the day and the required organization, nor could I imagine him not being bullied.  But, we've been pleasantly surprised that he is doing okay.  The sixth grade teachers seem to give them a bit of a break since this is their first year out of elementary school.  One punk in PE has been giving him a bit of trouble.  I advised him to learn the punk's name, and look him in the eye every day and greet him.  He's been doing that, and then goes somewhere else in the gym to avoid the punk.  I guess it is more or less working. 

At the Pacific Science Center in Seattle during the summer

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dress the Bear

Dean loves having a little girl.  He gets to dress dolls and bears at her beck and call.
At the end of fifth grade, the students were to act out a person from history or now whom they admire.  Hunter chose Rick Riordan, his favorite author.  They were to dress in costume.  For some reason, instead of using his own dress clothes, he let his teacher bring some from home. 
I sure love being able to buy dresses now for our little girl.  She loves dresses and skirts and shoes and jewelry as well.
We survived another Pinewood Derby, and with a professional woodworker to help Hunter make the car, he did alright. 
I've been a den leader since December.

Summer Sojourn

 We finally visited Yellowstone this summer.  It was amazing!  I didn't know what to expect, but we were all delighted.  Of all the glorious sights to see, Old Faithful was the least impressive, at least for me.  Tristan spent his time gathering weapons and searching for dragons.
 I may have told him that the steam from the boiling lakes and the many holes in the ground were from dragons.  That kept his interest for the four days we were there.
 We saw many bison and elk.
 The weather was warm some days, and cold on others.
 Cambria did pretty well, considering.
 Shoes are always an issue.
 There are many more wonders than just geysers, such as waterfalls, a grand canyon, and the bacteria that color many of the hot water features.
 There was some real excitement when a bear came close enough to see (with a zoom lens).  A ranger posted himself nearby, since so many people are lacking in common sense and plenty of such people have died in the park over the years.  There are books on the subject.
 Afterward we drove through Grand Tetons National Park, though didn't have time to stop.  It was at the end of the day anyway, and we had a bit of a schedule to keep. 
 While passing through Paris, ID we happened upon an LDS tabernacle and stopped for a lovely tour.
 The kids sometimes all had to share a bed, and did surprisingly well with that.  I can't see doing that much longer, but it worked this summer.  I don't know how people with large families travel much.  We also met my cousin Cindy in Logan, who invited us to come visit as we were traveling that direction on our way to Salt Lake City .  She treated us to an ice creamery near the Utah State University, as well as swimming, dinner, and accommodations for the night.  We also got to tour the fire station where her husband is the captain, and meet two of her sons. 
 Sadly, we had to part ways with Dean in Salt Lake City, as he had to get back to work.  So the children and I continued our long journey on our own.  I went to the temple while in SLC, which is always amazing.  I got to go again with Jessica S. in Albuquerque, which was a treat.  Dean kept himself plenty occupied while at home alone.
 We spent several days in Sierra Vista, AZ visiting ol' Curtis and his family.  He took us to the border of Mexico here.  Tristan and Cambria like having cousins their same ages and genders.
 We celebrated Tristan's birthday (again) while at Curtis'. 
 Dramatics and emotions abound with our little lady, and I love it!
 We stayed through Independence Day and got to see the fabulous fireworks.
 A few people got sick and passed it around a bit, including poor Trist-man and Kyler.  That helped him to keep quiet except for some moaning when we made the long drive to Ramah.
 Fortunately, my kids generally sleep more when they are ill.
 We finally got to Ramah and spent time with the Hernandez cousins and the Grandparents Merrill
 and of course Ronelle :)
 She went hiking with us on El Morro.  Tristan was reluctant,
 but we pointed out a dragon and he was game.
 We also stopped in St. George, UT and visited more cousins.
 My kids got along well with Kandra's.
 I got to peruse my mom's photo albums and ran across these of myself.

 Yup, that's me.  It's no wonder I was mistaken for a boy when I was drowning in the ocean off California.
 That's still me on the left.

These are all the reasons I have kept my hair long for most of my adult life.
I finally decided to let it go and cut it while in Ramah.  It's grown out an inch or so here from what it was.  I love it, and really enjoy the convenience of having shorter hair.  
We drove back home from Albuquerque in two days - about 1500 miles. We stopped in Pocatello, ID to visit my friend Lori.  I drove over 900 miles the second day, arriving home around 3:30am.  Ugh.  I don't recommend it, and definitely had to rely on Dr. Pepper and a book on CD to do it.  It was nice to get home!  We were gone for a  month.