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We've enrolled the boys in pool school this season. Toby's having a blast learning new things, and diving / jumping off the blocks, and we're hoping this is the time when Jake learns to swim. He's getting much more comfortable going under (without sucking water) and is having fun so we're hopeful. A few pix:


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The boys worked with Morfar to build their derby cars...and Toby and Josh participated a few weeks ago. While the car was not, well, overly fast, it did win the "Most Accessorized" category and they had a blast.

In progress:

The result! :)
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So, there is a science / Inventor fair in town in upcoming weeks. Toby has wanted to participate, and has been thinking about what he wants to invent and build.

His first new product was a new dog house with a special bell the dog could ring when it was hungry. I told him that was interesting, but encouraged him to brainstorm a bit more. Things we could feasibly build....we talked about inventors seldom going with their first idea.

In truth, it's that I have no idea how to build a doghouse and Morfar is out of town.

In any case, he told me he'd come up with a great list - a list of things that are actually do-able over the one weekend we have semi-available for the job. How cool is that? So, here it is:


Well, what a relief! We should be able to bang out a globe which transports you anywhere on earth at the touch of a finger before swim class on Saturday! Woo!

Truly, I'm not sure how to handle it. I love the imagination, I love the ideas....but what will we DO?

You will recall Jake thinking big with Morfar last year.
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Toby burst into the kitchen tonight saying "When are we going to watch the third Harry Potter? Because I'm going to DIE if we don't watch it soon. Mom, I mean not LITERALLY!"

He also knows not to put an apostrophe in plurals, and puts on a new roll of TP when it runs out....but now I'm just bragging. ;)
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You know the stereotype of the kid learning violin / clarinet who plays on with great enthusiasm, blissfully unaware that it sounds terrible; the squeaking and honking of a rookie on a new instrument.

Well? That is not our Tobias. "Mom, I can't play with a bow. I can't!"
I try to reassure him. "Toby, you're doing well, and the only way to get better is to keep practicing."
Toby: "But Mom, I can't *stand* the SOUND. It's screechy! It's awful! It's like nails on a blackboard, every single note!"

You know, being a very observant kid is sometimes not an asset.

In better news, I got his viola book in the violin version, so now we practice together (me on flute) and I don't have to translate the notes in my head. Aaah, that's better!
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Often when the kids bring home copies of their "weekend reports" from school (usually a bit of writing with a picture) we feel great: "Look at that! Jake remembered our walk in the woods!" or "Wow! That birthday party really made an impression!"

Jake brought home a batch today, and at first our reaction was the same:

"Ohh, look! He was happy to have seen the ball drop at midnight!"


Or, "Hey - that afternoon fuse-beads project was worth it!"


But this one? This one has us puzzled (and cracking up)


(Jake claims this "incident" happened at school, and the he was not the culprit. I just hope his teacher knows that!)
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At one point over the holidy break, Toby & Jake were talking about Hogwarts and what they will do when they get there. (they somehow think they will merge into the storyline as it happens...befriend Harry etc. and participate in the story. - an interesting interpretation...)

In any case, I thought maybe I should inject a little reminder about what is real & what isn't so I said "You do remember that Harry Potter is fiction, right guys?" (I know, what a downer I can be sometimes!)

You know what Toby said?

"Mom, that's what all the muggles think."



Jan. 5th, 2012 08:43 pm
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In third grade, kids in our town get to opt in to learn a string instrument. Tobias picked viola (yes, I know the viola joke...there appears to be only one).

Here, Toby and Josh practice together. Sometimes I join in with my flute - it's been fun to dust it off!


And, the recital in December was wonderful!!


In this case, we MUST have video. :)

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Jake managed to stay up to midnight (in his bed!) so came down to watch the ball drop.
We really tried to wake Toby up, to no avail.

Here's to an excellent 2012!
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When the kids ask me to make a particular meal, I have them add it to a list on a whiteboard in the kitchen. This way, when Josh & I are menu planning we can incorporate their wishes.

Seems like a nice snapshot of their current favoriate foods.

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Today, we're baking Swedish coffee rolls (cardamom rolls, bullar) for tomorrow.

I had the dough mixed, and went to fetch the boys to help with the kneading. I said to Jake "Jake, I need your help …know why? Because you add a special something when we cook together. Do you know what that is?" And he replied, very enthusiastically:


Germs! ha ha ha. Josh & I both cracked up, and he added..."well, only if you don't wash your hands.:

When asked, Toby clarified. "Love. When we cook together, we add LOVE."

That's right, sweet boys, you add love AND a whole lot of laughter. :)



Dec. 6th, 2011 08:13 pm
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I had a big birthday last month, and was so happy to celebrate at home with a fantastic dinner cooked by Josh (SO GOOD), around the table with family & friends. Best birthday! :)


Clickable Photos
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For my birthday, Jake drew me a picture of a gift, because he didn't have one for me and wanted to. I told him I loved it, and asked him what was inside the gift in the picture. You know what the sweetie said?

"Mommy, what is it that you like best?"

A perfect gift!
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In November, Jake tested (and passed) for his first stripe in Tae Kwon Do! Josh, Auntie, Toby and I were all there to watch and it was so great to see him finding his voice.

IMG_5875.jpg IMG_5885.jpg


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Our (not annual, but it would be good) interview:

And a great Hollis day as well!


Clickable Photos
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The annual pool party at our friends' house. We look forward to it every year - swimming in November, good food, good friends, a hot tub, and a room full of stuffed animals! What could be better?

Jessica Josh Toby Jake.jpg

Jessica Toby Jake + Animals.jpg
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Jake has started tae kwon do this year. Nice!

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So, who knew that Halloween could be postponed? Well, it turns out that it CAN be, if there is a Nor'easter in October which brings down 90% of the power (and power-lines - spooky!) in town for 5 or so days!

We trick-or-treated tonight and had a great time. Toby was Harry Potter, Jake was Albus Dumbledore, and I was Professor McGonagall. Fun!



Practicing spells:
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On the FOURTH day with no school this week, the kids went to ‘Camp Auntie.’ Since my sister also had no school (being a teacher in our town) she invited them on an adventure day with her. They started out with a bagel breakfast, then headed into the Children’s museum in town (on the T, no less) Since most schools were re-opened on Thursday it wasn’t overly crowded, and they had a BLAST!

Sarah was kind enough to pass along her favorite quote of the day. The kids had been playing some game, and she complimented Jake on his move.

Auntie: Jake, that was a great move!
Jake: I do what I can.

It's kept me smiling.
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to try to get a holiday card picture! Poor kids... they've been pretty patient with me, and I've gotten some funny ones.
That said, Toby doesn't want to cut his hair until after Halloween (Harry Potter has scruffy hair) so I may just have to wait.

Here's the fav so far:

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