Summer Wears On

July 19th, 2016

Lots of summer happenings. VBS programs for the kids, projects around the yard, and summer league baseball has all been happening.

We cleared some of the dead or dying trees (and a couple that were just in the way) this last week. Feels good to have a little more sun and space and a friend of ours can use quite a bit of the wood this winter for heating his house.

cutting down trees

Behind our property, the developer finally began clearing out all the trees to make way for a new community. A little sad to see all those beautiful old trees come down, but it looks like the lots will be really nice and it does add some light to the very dark/swampy part of our property.

clearing

And the¬†chickens are finally producing! A little slow to start, but the eggs are coming. ūüôā We had one more late-bloomer rooster that started crowing (and we had to get rid of), and are now at a final count of 14 hens.

eggss

Fourth of July was celebrated over at our friends place with a bunch of their neighbors. Lots of fireworks and excitement and great food.

Sam missed it because he was sick, but we got to go to a Rainier’s game last weekend and they did fireworks after the game!

fireworks

Summer League baseball continues to move forward. Andrew’s¬†team is doing well and learning and growing. Sarah’s been busy with working through some pre-requisites for her education plans in the fall and also doing a LOT of running.

Lots of changes — some hard as Sarah and Andrew go through¬†some difficult and stressful parts of their relationship. God is good and we are trusting in him.

Summer is finally here

June 25th, 2016

A late post — should have been on Monday.

Last Saturday we had our end-of-year party for the Dodgers (AAA Little League) team. A good time was had by all despite some spotty rain. We had some burgers and hotdogs, played a wiffle-ball game, and recognized all the kids’ accomplishments. Here are some of the Dodgers (and Ethan!)

dodgers

This last week, summer is really kicking into gear. The plants are all looking great and things are growing. The chickens and bunnies are doing well and the house is looking good as things fill out.

vine on house

Last Thursday, I was able to go with Patrick to a field-day at Owen Beach with his class from school. We picked up trash on the beach, did a scavenger hunt and enjoyed some good food.

owen beach

Last night, we tried out a concert as part of the Highland Festival here in Puyallup. A little sparsely attended, but it was neat to get out.

highland festival

More next week!

Mariner’s Game and Around the House

June 13th, 2016

On Friday, we all went up to Seattle to go to our first Mariner’s game! It was a lot of fun… The Mariner’s beat the Rangers in a fun game and afterwards there was a firework show. Here’s a shot before the game kicked off — we didn’t take enough pictures.

safeco

Andrew spent a little bit of time working (slowly) on the tree house for the boys. It’s a small treehouse, but the plan is to get this setup and then get a zipline in place down about 100 feet towards the back of the property. It should be fun, but for now, we’re taking it slow.

tree fort

The kids finished up their soccer games for the season and Patrick has finished up band (with a performance last Monday night). The boys still have another week and a couple days left before they wrap up with school, but things are starting to wind down.

soccer

Emma has continued to be a faithful dog around the property. She does a good job keeping an eye on things and keeping the larger wildlife at check. She loves walking through the woods and exploring.

emma

We’re getting into summer now… This week is busy. Field day for Liam on Thursday and a school outing to Owen Beach the same day for Patrick (which Andrew will be helping with). Saturday we have our end-of-year party for baseball. Andrew’s been busy with the new project at work that he’s been assigned to. The work is different, but so far it’s keeping him busy. Sarah has been blasting through her biology pre-req and doing well.

That’s all for now!

A Farewell to Roosters

June 7th, 2016

We said goodbye to our three roosters over the weekend. Mean Chicken was continually getting more aggressive with everyone. The two silkie roosters, Napoleon and Kenny (no, we did not name him after my dad. A friend named him!), were having a hard time exerting dominance when all the hens were so much bigger. And most importantly, all three were loud and bothering the neighbors. So now we’re down to 15 hens, and looking forward to start seeing eggs within the month hopefully. We will miss you, roosters!

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Welcome to June!

June 1st, 2016

The weather has been great this spring in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve been having fun at our new place. Our current challenge is chickens. We got 18 and a couple turned out to be roosters.

For exhibit one, we have Mean Chicken (named by Sarah — although I ¬†think he’s now her favorite).¬†He’s a good rooster but has been a little noisy in the mornings. Our next-door neighbors who are close to us are not happy when he wakes them up at 4:30am. We’ve tried locking them in (which doesn’t keep him from crowing) and more recently have had some success with a “chicken collar” which restricts his airflow a little bit (without impeding his ability to eat). It seems to be working. I hope we can keep him (without disturbing the neighbors) since he’s pretty friendly and seems to do a good job protecting his hens. Here he is, front and center with his hens.

rooster

Number two is Napoleon. He’s a silkie — a mutated, black-boned hybrid chicken who looks ridiculous. He’s a little guy, but definitely a male. The chicken collar was less successful with him. He seems to not be able to handle it. Our plan is to give him away to someone who might be interested in a weird-looking bird.

ridiculous

We also got some bunnies from our neighbors (who we are blessed to have). Very cute, very fuzzy, very useless, but they sure are fun. One almost got away when Liam (who now goes by the moniker “Chicken Boy” dropped when he was taking out. Here’s a picture of Chicken Boy:

chicken boy

For the bunnies, we don’t have names yet, but “Dr. Fuzzball” is a request for one of them from the boys — the name of our previous, almost rabid-acting hamster.

bunnies

Andrew has been busy with the yard, trying to remove rocks, get grass growing on the north lawn, and trimming back a couple years worth of blackberries and other overgrown brush at the front of the property. There are several trees that we’ve marked for removal and hope to get those down (giving away most of the wood to a friend who burns it for heat in the winter) later in June. We don’t want to take down too¬†many trees, but some are dead, dying, or simply in the way. There’s also a plan for a Koi/duck pond to be added that will also hopefully help address some of the surface water and drainage issues that we experienced this last [very wet] winter. More pictures of that as it develops. For now, some exploratory digging…

digging

Boys have been busy with school, Lizzie just wrapped up preschool (and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall).

lizzie

Overall, things are going well. Still not sure about where Sam will be next year. He’ll either be at Pope Elementary (if there’s room) or we’re going to pull him back into the regular class at Hunt Elementary. Sunrise Elementary was not a good fit and it’s a pain to have yet¬†another¬†school to drive to. Sam, Ethan, Liam, and Lizzie have all been playing soccer and having a fun time with that.

soccer

Patrick has been playing Little League (and doing well — highest batting average on the team) and Andrew has been coaching the South Hill Little League AAA Dodgers. It’s been fun. Not a lot of wins this season, but the boys on the team have been learning and growing a lot. Andrew’s planning to coach in the Summer League so July will be busy with another 8 games in a less-competitive, but hopefully still fun environment.

dodgers

Sarah’s been keeping busy, taking prerequisites for her teaching program that she’s planning to get into, driving kids to soccer and other activities, clipping chicken wings, keeping the house together, and of¬†course¬†making cake pops.

cake pops

When she’s not doing those things, she’s been running a lot — several 5Ks this spring.

5k

… as well as taking Patrick on field trips.

field trip

It’s been a good spring so far… lots going on!

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