It's a Wonderful Life…

with the Mace family.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you….

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to interview the members of our family.  I am inviting you to send in any questions you would like me to ask any one of us.  My first interview will be with Gavin and I will start next week.  I will be asking things like “What is your favorite food, color, number, and toy?”  and “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.  Plus, I plan to throw in a few curve balls such as “If you had to eat  a  rotten peach or a slug, which would you choose?” to make it more fun.  I urge you to take some time and think of things you would like to ask.  These can be silly or serious, random or well thought out.  Join me as we get to know the Mace Family.

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Our week, in short.

Winter is on our heels over here.  There is a nip in the air and the mountain caps are beginning to become covered with snow.  I think the boys are anxious for snow, though we’ve heard that not a lot falls here.  It’s been rainy or cloudy for the most part as we enter the rainy season.  To be honest, it’s not really rain like we are used to, but more like a sprinkle or drizzle.  I personally don’t mind as it makes everything around here so green.

Monday we should hear something about the situation at school.  Bjorn’s teacher, Mrs.Zatine,  wasn’t at school Monday, but I did talk to her on Tuesday morning.  She said she would surely take care of it, and assured me that she had planned to.  Bjorn and this girl had to each write their version of what happened.  It is being taken in front of the principal, but she was out the last half of the week.  I let the teacher know that my only concern was that Bjorn feel safe.  Mrs. Zatine told me she knew the girl and that her behavior is very uncharacteristic.  And as I figured, Bjorn still wants to stay in school.  He says he will give it a year.  I really think he was a bit apprehensive about going to school on Monday, and since it went fine, he felt better.

We didn’t get to view a Tae Kwondo class this week.  I wasn’t feeling well, so Nate took the boys and it was delayed half an hour.  We are going this Tuesday instead.  We don’t plan on B starting until the Nov. session starts anyway.

Not much went on this week, I have been a bit congested and now Gavin is.  Hopefully we will get to feeling better soon.  I did pick up a new hobby though.  I taught myself to knit by watching videos.  Being sick is really boring, so I had to find something to do while resting.  I plan to post some pictures next time and hopefully will have more to write about.

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Highlights from the last week.

Last Saturday, the 13th, Nate and I took the boys to see Hotel Transylvania.  They loved it.  Nate and I thought it was cute, but could do without some things.  All week long Gavin has been saying,”Bleh, bleh bleh”.

The other day we were walking home from school, when we saw this little kid on a bike.  We have seen him a few times and I believe he is younger than Gavin.  This little boys says hi to us and drives off, and Gavin turns to me and says,”That’s my bro.”  I started laughing and asked him if he knew what a bro is.  Of course he didn’t, but kept insisting that this kid is his bro.  I wasn’t sure if he would understand the slang, so I tried a more literal approach and said bro is short for brother. I went on to say that Bjorn is his brother and therefore his bro.  Gavin just looked at me with this look and responded that Bjorn was not his bro.  I do believe my four year old is far smarter than I realized.  He clearly understood the term as slang and had a grasp of its meaning.  Clearly, I had been schooled.  To add to that, a few days later (Saturday the 20th) he used to work sick to describe something that he thought was awesome or cool.  Uh, yeah.  I have no idea where that came from since neither Nate or I use that word.  I couldn’t help but chuckle.  This time I knew better than to even ask if understood the word.  It’s quite clear he does.

This Thursday we go to view a Tae Kwondo class.  Bjorn is wanting to do martial arts and this is offered at the Y here.  If not, I am going to put him in swimming.  Gavin will start gymnastics in January and we will probably do swimming too, depending on times.

Bjorn has three weeks of school under his belt.  He seems to be doing o.k.  Not much homework comes home as he is able to complete it in school.  He has  been having problems with a few kids calling him a name.  Someone gave him the nickname Bjornicorn.  He hates it and it bothers him when the kids call him this.  I gave him the age old advice of ignoring them.  We’ll see if he follows it and how well it works.  It’s only a few kids.  Nate and I tried to reassure him that every kid gets made fun of at one time or another and that ignoring is the best way to handle it.  On Friday, some girl clawed Bjorn on the neck real good.  The momma bear in me wants to rip him out and take him away from all of this.  But I am just going to have a talk with the principal instead tomorrow morning.  I think he is a bit scared to go back tomorrow.  The incident on Friday just sounds like some play got out of hand and the girl got too serious in her role.  They were pretending to be Warrior Cats, which is a book series that Bjorn and the other kids have read.  He shared with me tonight that he wants to be homeschooled again.  I told him to give it a little more time.  I think Friday has something to do with that.  We will see.

 

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Our Arrival!

As we drove through Washington that Wednesday morning, you could feel the excitement building.  It was as beautiful as I remembered and I watched the passing scenery with awe.  This is a beautiful state, and in my opinion, the most beautiful.  Now that may change if I ever visit Hawaii or Maine, two states I definitely want to see.  But for now, it is this state that captured my heart six years ago, and still continues to capture it.

The boys were ready to not only see our new place, but to get out of the car as well.  The boys told me their first impression of our place is it’s tiny.  And it is, well compared to our house.  But we knew this and tried to prepare them for it.  The boys now think it’s awesome.  The following Monday we put Bjorn into school and things have been going well for him.  He is making some friends and doing well with his work.  His teacher, Mrs. Zatine, is wonderful.  When I met her, I was put at ease with him going into school.  She is friendly, goofy, a little geeky (she told me this herself) and has a passion for teaching her students history.  She prides herself in her ability to inspire her students to love history.  We are truly blessed to have her for Bjorn’s teacher.  Bjorn says he likes school and thinks it is awesome.  So far his favorite thing about school is science and his least favorite is math.  He says I make math much more fun.

We walk Bjorn to school, and on the way, we pick wild blackberries for Gavin to eat.  I do believe the trips to drop Bjorn off and pick him up are his favorite times of the day.  Blackberries grow wild around here everywhere.  Next fall, I will probably go out and pick them to make a pie!  I think it sounds yummy.

We seem to be getting settled in to the area and into our house.  The playroom is the only room not completely done.  Right now the boys can play in it, but half of their toys are still in boxes waiting for us to organize.  However, the boys don’t seem to mind yet since their legos are accessible to them.  I am not in any hurry until the boys are ready.

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Pt. 2 of the Journey

The boys making faces in front of the Indiana state map.

These tepee’s are dotted along the highway in South Dakota. The boys are in the middle.

So I am going to back track a little with some pictures here.  We were only able to get ones in Indiana and South Dakota.  We crossed the other states at night.

The boys in front of the South Dakota sign.

A buffalo we saw.

A panoramic view of where we stopped at the Badlands.

I left off the last post with the Badlands.  Once we made it through there, we headed straight to Mount Rushmore.  We actually went in the park and ate dinner before going up close to see Mt. Rushmore.  This was a wonderful experience, not only did we get to see this great national monument, but we met the last living man to have worked on Mt. Rushmore!  I of course bought his book about all the questions he has been asked over the years and the answers to them.  I read some of it to the boys in the car, but not sure how much of it stuck for them.  This was a first for all of us, and while the boys probably don’t realize how cool it is to see, Nate and I definitely did.  We just sat and stared at this amazing feat.  Truly incredible to learn how the carved the rock and how many people it took to do it.

After this, we left and headed toward Montana.  This is one of my favorite states, my very favorite being Washington.  No matter which route you choose, Montana’s landscape changes as you drive through and by the time you reach the western side, it doesn’t appear to be the same state at all.  Between entertaining Nate and the boys, and enjoying the scenery myself, I didn’t think to take any pictures.  If I can find them from past trips, I will add them later.  For now, enjoy the pictures.  I am still learning how to add them.  This might take me awhile, as I am easily frustrated with technology.

Mt. Rushmore

Bjorn in front of Mt. Rushmore.

Mace boys in front of Mt. Rushmore

 

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Our journey West pt. 1

The prairie dog colony we sat and watched. This was just a small area of the colony.

O.k. family, we are going to give the blogging world a try.  I am going to see if this is much easier to keep up on than the newsletters I was doing in 2010.  Last year, was…. not so great as far as keeping everyone up to date.  Besides, so much happens that I don’t remember to tell you and I am hoping I remember to post on here.  We’ll see how it goes, and if it’s a total flop, so be it.

Welcome to the blog about our family.  My goal here is to keep this accurate and updated as much as possible.  Now I know we are not all that exciting for me to be blogging daily, but perhaps twice a week or so.  I already have a few things to share, so let’s get started!

Where to start?  How about our trip out here?  This time we took what we have termed the “southern route” of the northern journey, which if you look at a map you can see what I mean.  The “northern” route is I-94 and goes through North Dakota (hence the northern route) and the” southern ” is I-90 and goes through, you guessed it South Dakota.  Now I-94 merges with I-90 in Montana, and from there it’s a straight shot.  We’ve taken the drive through North Dakota and to be honest, I wanted to go through South Dakota, especially when I found we wouldn’t be too far from Mt. Rushmore.  It wasn’t far off the path and I definitely wanted not only to see it, but to have the boys see it as well.  After giving Nate what I would consider a very convincing argument for going through S.D even though it would take us a bit longer, he said we could.  Though he told me afterward, he didn’t really need that much convincing, he just wanted to hear my argument.  He does this a lot, and finds it quite humorous.  Me, not so much.  Anyway, as we traveled through S.D. we saw on the map that we also weren’t going to be far from the Badlands.  Yep, another stop!

The Badlands were something completely unexpected, though I am not sure what exactly we did expect.  You have to drive through, with lookout points along the way for you to stop at and some trails to walk.  We stopped at the second or third lookout and walked out to it.  It was completely silent where we stood.  I mean, really silent like I have never heard before.  And yes, I do get that hearing silence doesn’t quite make sense, but you could hear the deathly silence.  It was the kind of silence that could drive you mad if you were there alone in this place.  Very eerie.  And we could see the cars driving by and see a couple talking 50 feet from us, yet could not hear a thing.  After we made a stop here, we hit the gift shop and then continued our tour.  It took us two hours to go through, and that included several stops, one that included waiting for traffic to clear because of a fire.  Sadly, someone’s VW Bus caught on fire and was charred so bad that there was not much left of it.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  We also watched prairie dogs at play for about 15 minutes.  Here are some photos.  I am going to extend this trip to several posts.

At the Badlands.

The boys and I at the Badlands.

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