Weekend

A few shots from the weekend. Our Saturday morning snuggle time turned into a stuffed animal fest.

Post-Saturday morning snuggle time

Later, the boys took the Magna-Tiles out to the front porch to build an airport for their paper airplanes (one of Ezra’s many obsessions).

Airport making on the porch

Then came Water War.

Then the birds made an encore performance.

Angry Birds!

On Sunday we couldn’t take it any longer and because the cabinet guys were done with the kitchen we disassembled Camp Moision and put most of our stuff away in the new kitchen. Finn helped by cleaning all the shelves.

Helper Finn

Rokenbok and Lego City

Ezra built Rokenbok Lego City this morning. He was very secretive while he was working on it, but once he was done he made a sign to make sure everyone would come see it.

Ezra's latest sign

Translation: Please enter. See Rokenbok and Lego City. It’s awesome!!! From Ezra. And remember see Rokenbok and Lego City!!! P.S. Lose your teeth!

Here’s his creation.

Rokenbok Lego City

Projects, Week 7

Lots of progress on the kitchen this week. We’re getting so close that it’s hard to be patient. This week, we got electricity and lights, as well as final cabinet fixes, knobs and drawer pulls.

Lights, knobs, drawer pulls, and glass

Then on Thursday I oiled the soapstone to bring it to a lovely black with green highlights.

Oiled soapstone

Oiled soapstone

Oiled soapstone

The painters came today and while they didn’t finish, they did get the ceiling done and they worked on the outside.

Outside gets some paint

The walls look finished, but the window definitely needs another coat. Next up: appliances and plumbing fixtures should be installed on Monday.

In the yards, there wasn’t a ton of progress. We got mulch in the front yard which really gives it a nice, finished look.

Mulched

Mulched

We’re only waiting for the palo verde tree now; everything else is done in the front yard. The back yard is close too — Laramee brought plants this week and once he and Bruce confer they will be planted and we’ll get our lawn.

Bruce’s Morning at Cottage

While Ezra and I were at Aveson, Bruce and Finn were at Cottage for one of our scheduled parent-teacher days. I knew it was going to be a good day because the kids love having Bruce in the classroom. Jerri concurred via text after dropping off Charlie: “Dads are so much more fun.”

Apparently, there was lots of fun with string — a spider web, a zip line for the toy animals. And there was face painting; Finn got painted like Han Solo in warrier paint and Finn painted Bruce as Chewbacca. (He’s on quite the Star Wars kick right now.)

Face painting at Cottage

My friend Jen also sent me this very sweet picture of her son Kai with Bruce and Finn at music time.

Music time with Finn and Kai

Dads really are more fun.

My Morning at Aveson

I finally stopped slacking yesterday and went in to do some volunteer hours in Ezra’s classroom. And I’m so glad I did.

We started off the day in Ms. Thea’s advisory (like homeroom) with the “feelings ball.” The children rolled the ball to each other and took turns saying how they were feeling and why. Ezra was feeling happy because he had a loose tooth and tired because he stayed up late wiggling it.

After that the class split into the yellow and green groups and joined with the second graders. Ezra’s in the green group so he stayed in Thea’s class and it was time for Friday yoga.

Yoga

Yoga at Aveson

Yoga

During a break in between poses, Ezra’s tooth fell out! Thea brought him the special baggie they use for this occasion. He was pretty excited.

Ezra lost a tooth at school today

Then it was time for partner yoga, so he paired up with his friend Roman to do some more poses.

Partners yoga -- Ezra and Roman

Once the yoga was done, the kids split up — some got a small group math lesson and some made dragons in honor of Chinese New Year. Jerri (also volunteering in the classroom) and I made gridlines on watercolor paper for next week’s lesson.

Helping Out

After two rained-out days, Finn was thrilled that the landscapers were back today. He’s been outside every second they’ve been here, except for the half-hour I forced him to come inside so they could have their lunch break.

They’re putting down mulch in the front yard and for a while he was just following them around, chatting away. But then he decided to get out his Batman bucket and help. They moved a small pile of mulch onto the end of the truck where he can reach it and he makes trips back and forth. He should be done in no time.

Giant truck o' mulch

Batman bucket

Mulching

Mulching

Projects, Week 6

Big change in the kitchen this week! Three days of tile installation yielded this:

Finished tile

Finished tile

Finished tile

We went back and forth about whether to tile all the way up the wall on the window side. I’m so happy we decided to go for it.

Finished tile

Today, the floors got the first of many coats in the refinishing process.

Floor refinishing

In the front yard, we got plants! First, Laramee laid them out so we could see where they would go and make any changes we wanted.

Plant placement

Today, the guys put them all in the ground.

Front yard planting

Front yard planting

Front yard planting

Front yard planting

We’re choosing not to over-plant so it looks a little sparse right now. But all of the plants are either native or drought tolerant and many are fast growing, so it should be a lovely, water wise garden in no time.

Laramee planted these guys in the shape of the Big Dipper. I wonder if anyone will notice. (I didn’t, but I love that he did it!)

The big dipper

We also have lights which right now look a little too shiny for our liking. But they will soon oxidize and have plants growing around them, so they’ll be less prominent. There are also two lights up-lighting the oaks and another that will up-light the yet-to-be-planted Palo Verde tree. The effect is lovely.

Lights!

The backyard is moving along, too. They installed a broken concrete stepping stone path.

Backyard path

And a small pond for rain collection.

Small pond for rain collection

The border for the lawn is in place and the soil is amended and ready for sod. Hopefully they’ll do the planting and sodding next week.

We decided to put off the demolition of the wall for a couple of months until things settle down at work for Bruce. We want the fence to be built before demolition, and it’ll probably be March or April before he has time to build it.

Riding on the Path

The boys are in love with the pathways in the front yard. They ride and/or run around them every single day. Up until this week they would fight over the Skuut bike and neither really wanted to ride his regular two-wheeler. I think the one slightly tighter turn was intimidating for them and since the Skuut is lower to the ground they felt more comfortable. But this week, first Ezra and then Finn figured out how to negotiate the curve, so now the Skuut has been, once again, cast off. I think it had everything to do with the fact that it had a flat tire and they were forced to figure out how to make it work with their other bikes.

Ezra zooms

Finn figures out how to negotiate the turn on his regular bike

Saturday

Today was all about the projects. Bruce started making the new chalkboard for the kitchen.

Bruce builds a chalkboard

It’s coming together nicely and may even be done tomorrow.

The boys “helped out” in the yard …

All the working guys

All the working guys

… when they weren’t chatting with the guys. Here’s Finn with his bestie, Victor.

Finn and his bestie, Victor

I’m pretty sure Finn was telling him about Angry Birds.

And we met with Laramee to pick out plants for the front yard. He has a nursery at his house (and also a great garden) so there is lots to choose from there. I had to sneak this picture because Bruce and Laramee are nearly twins.

Bruce and Laramee picking out plants

Actually, they don’t really look that much alike, but their styles and mannerisms are so similar that the kids and I have all mistaken Laramee for Bruce when he’s been wandering around the yard.

Playing

The boys are already thoroughly enjoying the new yard as it comes together. (Although, truth be told, they’d be happy with just the dirt.) But, as each element goes in, they use it. Case in point, Ezra (“King of Star Wars”) called a meeting on the boulders on Thursday afternoon. Luke Skywalker and I (Princess Leia, of course) were in attendance.

Luke Skywalker (Finn) and the King of Star Wars (Ezra)

Discussion was short as neither of them has actually seen any of the Star Wars movies.

Once the DG pathways were in and compacted, the bike riding immediately started. Cari stopped by after school with Ruby and Chapin and they joined right in as well.

Finn and Ruby ride

Ezra tries out the bumps

Chapin rides

I took a couple of videos, too.

This second one shows our first crash. Finn took it like a champ — in fact, he was only upset because the rubber on his handlebar broke.

Projects, Week 5

This week saw the kitchen go from an empty room to this:

Soapstone is in; next up tile backsplash

Here are some shots of the process. The soapstone guy, Tom, cut and fabricated the stone in our driveway.

Soapstone, day 1 -- driveway fabricating

Soapstone, day 1

Next week Tom will be back to drill holes for the plumbing fixtures and oil the soapstone which will turn it black and bring out the green striations.

The yards are coming along nicely as well. They finished the last of the rock pathways.

Rocks and bridge in place

Then they put down landscape fabric.

Ready for DG

And finally the decomposed granite.

DG, day 1

The compaction took most of the day Friday.

Compacting the DG

They put bumps in two places just for added bike riding fun.

DG path with bump #1

And we are now ready for planting, which should happen this week since we walked through Laramee’s nursery and picked out plants this morning.

Right side

From the corner

In the backyard, they finished the trenching and laid down the new sprinkler system. Friday it looked like this.

Trench world in the backyard

But by the time they left on Saturday, it looked like this.

Trench world is gone!

Next up back here is a little grading, hardscape (boulders, stepping stones, etc.) and lawn.

Handprints

We’d been talking to the landscapers about having the boys put their handprints in concrete somewhere; this first came up when they were working on the front walkway. Yesterday Victor made it happen (he even stayed late so that Ezra could do his after school). The boys had a great time.

Victor gets Ezra's concrete circle

Hand prints

Examining his concrete hands

Ezra writes

The final product:

Ezra's circle

Finn's circle

After the first two, Victor made a third one so they could play around.

Play time

Play time

A third one for play

Seriously, we have the nicest landscapers ever.

Cabinets!

Big changes in the kitchen this week with the cabinet install Monday and Tuesday. Here are some pictures of the process. I am thrilled with how they came out!

Doors and shelves

Ready to go up

Josh installing

Josh installs the cabinets

The beam work-around

End of cabinet install, day 2

End of cabinet install, day 2

End of cabinet install, day 2

End of cabinet install, day 2

Up next: soapstone counters start today!

The Bridge that Bruce Built

Sunday was a busy day for the Moision boys. Finn practiced his Fruit Ninja moves.

Fruit ninja

Finn's fruit ninja moves

Ezra climbed a tree.

Ezra in a tree

Finn made projects with scraps, glue and clamps.

Finn's project

And Bruce built an awesome bridge for the front yard.

Finn helps with the bridge

Building a bridge

Cute worker

It wasn’t even properly installed and Finn was already enjoying it.

Finn likes the bridge