Avery is Eleven!

Avery just celebrated his eleventh revolution around the sun. Time is such a funny thing. It seems like he was just a baby, but at the same time, eleven seems about right. I am so proud of the big boy/young man Avery is becoming. He is smart, kind, and sensitive. One of the things I admire most about him is how fiercely he loves his little brothers and sister. Sure, he enjoys teasing them like any big brother, but he holds Silas’ hand at school and plays Legos with him for hours. He takes care of Layla, reads her stories, and looks out for her. And he loves being outside with Kieron. It’s easy to forget there are three years between those two.

At eleven, Avery loves Legos, chess, the outdoors, and Nerf. He takes pride in the fact that he is one of the fastest boys at school (and a good defender) but he does not want to play team sports or run track (breaking his arm playing soccer didn’t help any). Avery thinks girls are pretty boring, he doesn’t understand why some of the kids at school just walk around and talk at recess, and he is disappointed the middle school does not have a play ground.

This year has easily been the most difficult of Avery’s young life. Moving at the age of ten is hard on a kid (just ask me and Jonathan, we both went through it and swore we wouldn’t do it to our own). But then we did, and it has been just as tough on Avery as I remember it. And making it even harder, we moved from a neighborhood where he could walk to school and most of his friends’ houses to a home where we have to drive ten minutes to get anywhere. Are there advantages, sure, but I just really have to hand it to Avery, he’s been through a lot this year.

And through it all, Avery is excelling in school and has gradually made friends. He also had a really special teacher (who happens to have a son who is in class and friends with Silas). It has been reassuring to have an adult at school who is in Avery’s corner.

I think this next year is going to be really special for Avery. He is SO ready for middle school — even if there isn’t a playground. I’m excited to see what the future holds for him!

Per his request, a Nerf party

Battle face!

We started out with a little target practice

Our neighbor, Shaw

Shaw’s dog, Obie. It’s perfect that our neighbor has a pug who frequents our yard (and parties). Just feels right.

BFF Hayden came for the weekend

Luke & Kieron

Landon captured the flag

Braden & Avery

The gang

The house decked out for the party. Love the pretty sky (mind you, it’s March)!

Jonathan going over rules with the boys

Team A

Team B

Sniper?

Game on!

Jacqui & Layla, watching the action

Time to eat








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Aaargh! Silas Turns Six!

Our baby boy turned six this year! This has been such a big year for Silas, it’s hard to believe how much he’s grown. We moved, he started kindergarten and finally got to attend school with his brothers, he’s made new friends of his own and learned to swim. He’s also grown and stretched out a lot, and some of that baby fat is noticeably disappearing.

At six, Silas is pretty much the same sweet, happy-go-lucky guy he has always been. He gets along with pretty much everyone (with the exception of Kieron – sometimes they butt heads). This year Silas finally started expressing a little frustration and throwing some tantrums. On one memorable occasion he even gouged his nightstand with a pen because he was angry about being sent to his room! I think it’s partly age, and also due to the extra strain of having a younger sibling. Anyway, I felt like it was worth noting because until recently, nothing seemed to set this boy off! He is (still) pretty easy going!

Silas loves school and has a lot of friends. He was a bit frustrated when he didn’t learn to read overnight, but it is coming together! Silas is an eager student, and his favorite subjects are art and “free time”, which is basically more art mixed with engineering.

I’m having a hard time guessing what Silas will become when he’s grown up. Maybe a performer? I’d like to get him in theatre classes and see how he likes them. He talks a lot about building an elaborate tree fort with his friends and living in it with them when he’s older. Maybe he’ll be Peter Pan?

We celebrated Silas’ 6th birthday with a repeat pirate party. Fortunately, we still had all the old supplies from Avery’s party, so it was pretty easy to throw together! We learned that the basement gets pretty loud with a dozen young boys running amuck though!

Happy 6th Birthday, Silas Tristan. We love you!

A dream catcher to catch those persistent Zombie Nighmares!
   

 

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February

I’m playing catch up on the blog again. Here is a huge photo dump from February!

Pancake breakfast

Notice Kieron’s drink umbrella. Our little foodie is all about presentation these days.

At Boundary

Mallard

Our Leitz St. house was used in a commercial for Premera Blue Cross. We saw it on TV while watching the Winter Olympics. This is our dining room turned into a nursery.

Snow!

At Old Town for breakfast

A few pics of Layla

Painting the living room

I drove all around town before discovering I’d been sporting this on the side of the van all day:

Caroline, Ethan & Clare came to visit for  a weekend

Another day on the trail

Layla loved Justin Timberlake’s half-time performance at the Superbowl

Silas in class

“Sometimes I get the feeling something is under my bed…”

Making Valentines — this pic pretty much sums up the experience. Avery & Silas got right to work, but it was torture for poor Kieron!

Our sweet neighbors put this swing down by the bus stop. The kids really appreciate it.

More painting. Jonathan left this on the wall one day between coats. He was using up the last of the paint on the brush and made some art

On a walk

Layla’s first time raiding my makeup drawer

Bubble bath for Avery & Layla. He’s so modest he even wears a swim shirt!

Don’t eat the bubbles!

Valentine’s lunch at Chuckanut brewery

Playing in the toy house

The big boys at some restaurant

I took the big boys to Snoqualmie for a weekend to visit with friends. While we were there, Avery and his friend, Hayden, competed in the Dynasty Fitness Ninja Obstacle Challenge. Here is Hayden:

And here are few pics of Avery on the course


 

Completion!

At Hayden’s

Kieron stayed with his friend, Louis, and celebrated his birthday

Another outfit put together by Layla

Avery widdling

Crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts! So proud of Avery!

Layla’s 2nd makeup drawer raid. This time it was the lipstick.

Ambulance, by Silas

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January

We had a beautiful clear, crisp day, so we headed to the beach with the kiddos. I think Avery was in California with Nana on this particular day.

The kids were loving having their pictures taken, so we went with it

 

Our family was featured in the January edition of Lake Views, our local publication! Here is our cover:

A walk at Boulevard Park

At Boundary

Nana came for a visit when she brought Avery home from their big trip to California where they visited Aunt Ashleigh & Uncle Mark, Alcatraz, and other fun sights.

At Bloedel-Donovan Park

Jonathan was traveling for work, so it was up to Avery, Nana, and me to finish the Pinewood Derby cars in time for the big race

I marched in the Women’s March with friends on the 20th. It was very uplifting to be surrounded by so many others who are as concerned about the current political climate and threats to our institutions as I am. It also felt right to carry on my grandmother’s tradition of marching for women’s rights. “M”, as she often referred to herself, was very active in the feminist movement and other progressive causes.


With my friend, Jamie, also the Lake Views publisher (and yes, I borrowed Layla’s hat)!

Our group

I headed straight from the March to Avery’s Pinewood Derby to watch him and his brothers race. Avery made it all the way to the finals, and almost placed!

This one was Silas’ car

Morning breakfast order (kids only)

Avery & Kieron on a walk

More bathing suit modeling

Mellowing the kids out before bed

Kieron is a doting big brother

Best toy ever. Thank you Amazon.

At the comic book shop downtown

Playing dress-up in the coat closet

Silas graduated to a bigger bed. He was thrilled!

Here he is hugging his new bed

Popcorn!

More popcorn!

Another day, more popcorn!

Kieron sprouted his apple seeds

I took a picture at the bus stop on this morning because it was the first time it was actually a little light outside since fall.

This is how we roll when it’s time for haircuts!

Silas and Ellie in kindergarten

Making burritos out of eachother

Science!

Chess is extra challenging when there is a two-year-old lurking around trying to steal pieces

She’s now allowed in the Lego area supervised

I mustache you a question…

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End of 2017

We celebrated Andrew & Nicole’s January birthdays together before they headed back over the mountains.  Andrew turned ten, and Nicole is Fourteen now!
         

We remembered to get a picture!

Layla loves Uncle Scott (that Santa guy, not so much)!

This was the Alexa Christmas. I think just about every adult got one this year! Here is Silas using ours. He asked for a dog song and got a Snoop Dogg song! And one with a very explicit intro, at that. Jonathan and I panicked, snapped this quick pic and put on a more appropriate dog song!

Kieron, putting together his Lego set

Avery, working on his Rubik’s cube

Layla, playing a little ditty on Avery’s keyboard

Watching TV one evening

Here is Layla modeling bathing suits

And here she is modeling underwear — Silas’ dirty underwear!

Avery got a Piper computer for Christmas. He was SO excited to build and use it!


First computer built at age 10!


On New Year’s Eve we went to our neighbor’s house to celebrate Los Anos Viejos. (She started celebrating when she lived in Equador.) We brought effigies to burn in a bonfire, the kids hit a piñata, and we celebrated the old and new year with good food and company.




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