Saturday, August 22, 2009

[day 233 ... aug 21]

So last night at bedtime, Niall tells me, "Oh, I need to have 'Australia' and the flag drawn on my camp shirt for tomorrow." All righty then. Would have been nice to get a little more warning, but...that's not how it goes!

I ended up doing the shirt this morning just before we headed out the door. A speedy job with three colors of Sharpies, checking out an Australian flag in a book as I went. Good thing Niall knew right where to find international flags in our book collection!

It turns out that the Australian flag is strikingly similar to the New Zealand flag, which I never knew. A few fewer stars and red ones instead of white, but otherwise the spitting image. The things you learn when you have kids who need sports shirts decorated. :-)

[day 232 ... aug 20]

Day 2 and the gear from the Bellingham trip is still right where it got dropped when Tynor came in the door. Guess he's need a bit more training in the "putting things away" category. (Don't they all?!)

[day 231 ... aug 19]

Cory has learned a LOT about soccer and other sports this summer. He thinks since he's now an "expert," he doesn't "need" to go to camp anymore LOL. I've explained that even professional sports players need lots of practice to improve their skills, but he doesn't really buy it.

He does enjoy showing the other kids how to do things (no surprise there) and has fun playing, so apparently the "skills mastery" aspect hasn't been too onerous over all. :-)

[day 230 ... aug 18]

Niall has been making friends quickly and getting along well quite well with his fellow campers at Skyhawks. It's great to see - and a big change, even from just last year. He's hit it off with his coaches, too, for the most part, which also helps for a good camp experience. I'm thinking that maybe next year we can try the regular daycamp experience - preferably somewhere with lots of swimming and sports.

[day 229 ... aug 17]

This is Seth's cabin-in-progress on Waldron (I stole the photo from Kellen). It's octagon-shaped and is replacing the hexagon cabin that we built in the early 70's and lasted somehow for years.

The new cabin looks beautiful. I can't wait to go out there again and see it! I haven't been to the island since Niall was 2 and a half. :-( Way, way too long. I wish the logistics of going there with small kids weren't so daunting. I'd be out there in a heartbeat.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

[day 228 ... aug 16]

Our deck garden this year is so meager compared to last yaer. It's really striking. The squash and pumpkins are hardly growing and are dropping all their blossoms (fertilization issues...?), the tomato plant has 2-3 tomatoes on it (compared to dozens last year), the little sunflower plants have barely grown at all. The bush beans managed to produce a few beans for us, and the peas went to town all summer, oddly enough (especially with the intense heat we've had).

But I was really hoping to be overloaded with zucchini, considering we put in three plants! And nary a one. No pumpkins either, and I thought they'd be taking over the whole deck. Sigh.

I think the soil was depleted from last year; I should have replaced it completely. So next year I'l know better. Or maybe I'll even put in those raised beds I keep thinking about. :-)

[day 227 ... aug 15]

There's a "castle park" on the way to Costco in Kirkland, so I've driven by it for many years and thought it would be a fun place to stop and play - but never time to do it. (Less often now that there's a Costco in Woodinville, but still, once in awhile.)

So today the boys and I drove over there, after a quick stop at Michael's to get a few small crates to try as nestboxes for the hens. The funny thing is, they were there *just* last week with Candi and Chris! After all these years - what a coincidence.

It's a great park - lots of cool features that you can't see from the road, including these giant chess pieces.

Niall got tired of being there after awhile, and hid out in a "secret spot." After Cory and I were done playing, we spotted ripe blackberries outside the playing area and Niall perked up enough to enjoy picking and eating berries.

There's a nice boardwalk through some wetlands, which you walk through back to the side streets where there's a little bit of parking for cars. Mostly the park is set up for people in the neighborhood to walk to and use, it seems, since there isn't a parking lot.

It was fun to finally check it out after so many years of driving by!