Monday, December 19, 2016

Fall and now wintertime fun

This fall has proved to be one for the ages.  Kids are growing and getting bigger and because I am working in a town that only serves hamburgers, I seem to be getting bigger as well.  For the first time at my annual physical it showed I had gained 10lbs.  For years I have been maintaining the same weight no matter what I ate or how much of it.  Gone are the days when I can eat a entire box of Oreo's, but I still manage to squeeze a few in.  I hate working out more than I love food.
Sierra was planning to be a chicken for Halloween
James is getting into making things himself and being very creative.  He found a styrofoam cooler in our garbage and thought it looked like a robot.  Sure enough, knock out one side of the box and you have a square robot head.  Add in some screws and golf tees and there he was sporting his new hat and leaving white balls all over the place.
Matthew and James really like little Sierra.  She is loved and always has someone who wants to give her a kiss.  She does not look like she is enjoying it all that much in this photo though.
Duck hunting this fall has proven to be very productive.  Lots of shells were shot and lots of birds were killed.
Sierra is always walking around the coffee table.  She has not yet decided to do any walking without holding on to something so that restricts her a little bit.  She finally decided to start doing the stairs as well and even though she goes up and down all of the time, she has yet to take a tumble.  A kid learning how to get around is kind of a mixed blessing.
Rub a dub dub, three DeJongs in a tub.  These goofs are so much fun to be around it is amazing.  I like a nice hot bath, but for some reason kids like the water to be barely lukewarm.  Yuck.
Matthew made a indian costume for thanksgiving and he put on a small skit with the help of mom and James.  They acted out the first thanksgiving and he played the part of Squanto.  They made up most of the lines on the fly, but after they had practiced it a few times, I was pretty impressed with the final stage version.
We ran down to grandma and grandpas for Thanksgiving.  I thought it would be a good idea to bring the motorcycle down so they could tear around the farm for one last time before the snow flies.  After a little bit of hesitation and a couple of time close to the house, James had gained enough confidence and rode all over the fields and back 40.
They boys had one last ride in the speedster before it was brought up to Spokane.  My in-laws have bought a house a mile away from ours and now have started the task of moving after 37 years in the same place.  We are very excited to have them move closer and are looking forward to seeing them a lot more.  Brenda grew up right by her grandparents while I was 2000 miles away from mine.  I think closer is better and we think that having them nearby is going to be a lot of fun. 
Once the older two boys are in bed, we can relax and hang out with Sierra.  She does not need anyone to talk to or interact with and is always busy just crawling around and looking in things.  So very cute.
Ninja Turtle knitted hats and hanging out outside.  These are the things that all childhoods should be filled with.  Come to think of it, all adult life should be filled with the same.
Wrestling time is no excuse for Sierra not to participate.  She is one tough girl and loves to wrestle and rough house around with the boys.
This past week Brenda and I had a chance to go to the annual Christmas party in Seattle.  We got to hang out with some of my co-workers I had not seen in a while and go for a night on the town as well.  The grandparents graciously agreed to watch the kiddos, so we were able to get out and have a great time by ourselves.
We also were able to watch The Pretenders and Stevie Nicks from the box suites with unlimited food and drinks for all.  That was a special treat and we are very thankful for the tickets.
The winter has finally come in full force.  Sub freezing temps had made for pretty good sledding conditions for as long as one can stand to be outside.  These boys love to go outside for a little bit anyway.  They wear me out rather fast and I have not problem keeping warm with them asking to to drag them around in the sled.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Event Filled Fall

The blog posts are getting intermittent at best.  I have been on Facebook more recently and it seems that I have used that as more of an outlet to let others know what is going on.  After the most recent election results I had to take a break from it.  It has been painful to hear the ridiculous if/then rhetoric and blanket statements and I have to take a break.  If I don't, I think I may unfriend so many people that I would be left with about 3 people to follow, and maybe that is a good thing.  Entitled liberal thinking and media is driving me crazy.
Jim and I once again participated in the annual speedster endurance run.  We did not win this year, but we got fifth out of 24 or so cars.  The car ran good and we had a blast cruising along the winding roads and navigation was much easier this year.  I think there was only about 70 turns to take as opposed to last years 200 turns in 200 miles.
James finally started Kindergarten.  I am not one of those weeping parents who cant believe their kid is growing up, and that is because I was not there to see him off on his first day of school.  Through this process of raising kids I have become much more empathetic to fellow parents and all of the milestones that kids reach.  Parenting little ones is hard, but it may be harder to see them grow up and reach milestones you never will be at again.
James in the front of the class....right where I was at first.  Then, once the teacher figured out how much I could talk, they put me in the back corner and a bi-folding door in front of me so I could not see anyone.  Maybe this is why I hate cubicles to this day
Sierra is growing so fast and she is very lovable.  Always laughing and happy, they is the quietest kid.  Smiles all of the time and doesn't show any sign of talking yet.
Sunday morning photo shoot with an attempt to get them out of mom's hair.
Just look at this toehead
James and Matt  went to the Spokane fair and participated in the tractor pull.  James did an amazing job and it is great they have such fun events for free at the fair.
The kids also stopped by for one night in St Maries where we watched a football game and then they next day I gave them a quick ride on a skidsteer.
Matthew will normally be seen around in his PJ's and changes about 4 or 5 times a day.  Any slight temperature change makes and change from pants to shorts or long sleeve to short sleeve (or tank top) a must.
Bath time with the three hooligans is always a good time.  There is precious little time when there is innocence in a kids life so we take advantage of it when we can.  As you can see there are lots of laughs.
James received the Barnabas award at school for his respectfulness in class.  He never did pre K and a lot of the other kids did so I think he is a little quiet.  I think since he is still getting used to the routine he was shocked to see that some of the other kids don't listen to the teacher and talk all of the time.  I am sure in due time he will be more like me, but I am grateful to see good notes coming home with him and not bad ones that I have to sign.
One of my co-workers likes to duck hunt and I really wanted to go with.  Wow is that a good time.  The first duck I shot at I hit.  I was thrilled to say the least.
Fall means a field trip with the class to the pumpkin patch.
Touch a truck day at the fire station with "free" food and kids enjoying all the aspects of fire fighting.  Matthew had to wear his fireman suit like he has for the past two years.  This is one of his favorite events.
Just look at those chompers.  She is up to 7 and working on number 8.
For some reason the boys love to go outside and work with tools.  I must be nature...or is it nurture?  Safety is always the most important this so Matt makes sure to wear his safety goggles.
Houston, we have a thumb sucker.
What a sweet and adorable child.
I got to go duck hunting a bunch more times and with a friend I work with who has a dog as well.  A hunting dog is a hug help.  This day we had four come in right off the bat and the tree of us each took one shot and each hit a different bird.  That was just of taste of things to come as we got 14 birds that day and had a lot of fun.
Manliness on display.
The boys and I went to indoor flat rack racing the other week.  If you want to see some crazy dangerous stuff and get your allotment of inhaled fuel fumes for a lifetime in 2hrs, this is the place to do it.  I may go again, but even I was wondering if it was really a healthy atmosphere. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Summer in Review.

This summer has completely deprived me of the motivation to keep this blog up to date.  We have had four weeks of visitors at the house with a week in between each, but that has consumed my time and lets all face it, the weather has been great and that makes me want to hang out outside instead of updating a blog.
As a consolation, I have prepped the longest blog post in the history of this blog and have included lots of photos of the fun and excitement this summer. 
The Froese family visited the inland NW and hung out at the house for a few days.  We had so much fun catching up with friends that we don't talk to all that much, but still feel like close friends.  The kids had a ball playing together and running all over the yard.  Of course we had to go to the beach, hit up downtown, and then kick back and enjoy the wonderful company.
Amy was nice enough to take a couple of photos of the family as a thank you gift for our hospitality.  They turned out very nice and we got to enjoy wonderful picture of the kids and the family that we will look back at in 20yrs and laugh at.
Those kids can be so adorable.  On of my pet peeves is when I post a photo like this on Facebook, the comment saying "what a perfect family" is typically thrown out there.  Well....that could not be farther from the truth.  All of us as parents know what it takes to look like this in a photo and usually threats are thrown out there and some not so proud parent moments as well.
 My Family came out for a week of fun during the heat of the summer.  I have been gathering bikes for a couple of weeks off of craigslist for $20 or $30 and that gave us enough where we could get just about everyone out on a bike and go along the centennial trail.  It appeared as if everyone had a good time.
We went out and hit the links for a day as well.  Liberty Lake is pretty reasonable and I was able to get clos to par once.  I think that is pretty good for a guy who has only golfed twice in the past 6 years.
Of course the summer heat allowed us to get the kiddos out in the yard and let them enjoy the "pool".  We had a blast with my family and it was nice to have my parents bring up their RV so we all could have some more space in the house.
Soon after guests left, we had our house broken into in the middle of the day.  The thief took Brenda jewelry and our sense of privacy.  We found some evidence that would likely lead to figuring out who stole the stuff, but the Sheriffs office is pretty busy and since they did not steal and guns, they seemed less than interested in solving this caper.  Next time I may have to let them know I am missing my collection of AR's and then they may be more interested in figuring it out.
We had a couple of days in between guests, so I thought we should go out camping.  I was going to just take the boys, but after the robbery, Brenda did not want to be home alone and who can blame her.  We headed north and explored a local state park cavern tour and samped at a great little lake.
James love to whittle with his jackknife whenever he is camping, and I just love watching him and seeing him "build things".
That next week we had Brenda's family over.  Once again it was time to load up the bikes and head for the trailhead so we could go on a ride.
Lots of people means lots of food and eating almost exclusively outside.  Lets face it, when there are a lot of people, you need to do anything you cant to reduce the cleaning you will need to do, so outside it is.  The weather was conducive to it and we even had breakfast outside sometimes.
The kids enjoyed each other.
And they loved to pick stuff from the garden.  They even picked beans and snapped them all because "it is fun".  They can come over anytime if they think that is fun.
Swimming in the summer is so much fun.  Sierra is such a cutie.  She like the water and is pretty fearless.
You also get naps in the summer.  Since I took quite a bit of time off, I was able to see how cute Sierra is on a daily basis during her nap time.  I wish I could be a fox and get to snuggle with her when she sleeps.
While family was over, we also invited 40 of our closest friends for the 3rd annual DeJong Square Dance.  Of course a lot of fun was had and the kids were able to join in and have a blast.  Matt Likes to wear his "Don't Mess with Texas" shirt given to him by Jim and Jan.
Look at all those square dancing experts.
Fun in the summer means fun on the motorcycle.  Matt can now ride on his own and is actually really good at it, but he has a had time stopping.  He cannot touch the ground so every time he stops, the bike tips over and he gets trapped under it.  Not a great system, but he ill grow bigger soon an that should take care of that problem.
I know she looks a little scarred here but she is really laughing the contagious laugh only a baby can do.
Every time I go into the garage the boys want to build something.  They nail scraps of wood together all day and try to build boats, or planes, or crosses.
Summer eggs and zucchini.  Summer time is the best for hanging outside and taking the shirt of and running around.
I recently brought a projector home and we were able to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang out on the deck.  The kids enjoyed it although we did fast forward through one of the "Child Catcher" scenes.  I did not want to give the nightmares like I had the first time I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Last week I took a few days off and did three sections of the IDBDR from Wallace down to Elk City.  It was fun to get out on the bike, but I did miss he kiddos and wife back at home.
Once I got home I was able to take the boys on a camping trip to Roman Nose Lakes.  The huckleberries were ripe and pickers were everywhere.  We had and blast and I cant wait to go up there again.