Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Let's hear from 11 year old Ewan!

Here we go.  Our yearly questionnaire for our birthday boy.  The older the boys get, they act like I'm torturing them by filling this out.  Too bad.  It's my right as the mother to get what I want.  And, I want to know what Ewan likes as a new 11 year old.

Ewan.  What is your favorite....

stuffed animal?...Buddy (a stuffed husky dog)
thing to sleep with?...stuffed animals
thing to eat for breakfast?...food
thing to eat for lunch?...food (ha, ha. so funny)
dessert?...ice cream
drink?...Dr. Pepper
birthday dinner?...pizza (I know Ewan likes Little Caesar's best)
book?...Captain Underpants
song?...My House (as in,  "Welcome to my House")
game?...Star Wars Battlefront
TV show?...Teen Titans Go
movie?...Lego Batman
thing to do outside?...jump on the trampoline
Who is your best friend?...Owen Hunt
What do you want to be when you grow up?...a NBA star

Here are Ewan's answers as a 10 year old, as a 9 year old, and as an 8 year old.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Ewan turned 11!

Right after Labor Day, our Ewan turned 11 years old.  No lies, he had been looking forward to his birthday for a long time.  I paid attention and had a nice list of present ideas to go from.  I think the only downer for his birthday was that he had to wait until after soccer practice to open presents.  
Pre-opening.  Andy hid his presents, of course, and gave Ewan a list of riddles to solve to find the presents.

Oh yes, 11 years old in this house gets you a phone.  Reality is, Ewan is really only going to use the phone to play games on and watch videos.  At least for now.  But, ever since Marcus got his at 11, the expectation is there for the other kids.

The phone was cool, of course, but, this was Ewan's favorite gift: a gigantic nerf gun.  I think the thing shoots out 5 darts at time which means lots more darts to find in the yard.

Our boy asked for the Reece's cake that I've made before.  Talk about a sugar rush.

Yearly baby pic with Dad.

Yearly pic with Mom.  He's catching up to me, but not yet.

Ewan loved his birthday and we love our Ewan!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Last year of preschool

This is it for Kinley-her last year of preschool.  She stared back at the end of August with much excitement.  She is in the "Pickles" class this year and loves it.  Preschool is 3 mornings a week, which keeps us busy.  If I drive Kinley up, I spend her class time going to the YMCA or running errands-or trying to squeeze in both.  If Andy drives Kinley, that's because I worked the night before and am getting a nap in before I have to come pick Kinley up.  It's a good arrangement, either way. You know, this is the 13th year we have sent a child to this preschool.  That's a lot of preschool.
Looking cute and ready to go!

Sporting her "pickles" shirt-the pre-Ks are the green class.

Here's to a great year for Kinley and her teachers!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Let's hear from 14 year old Marcus!

We may have just celebrated Ewan's birthday...but we need to know what things Marcus likes as a 14 year old.

Marcus, what is your...

favorite color?...purple
favorite toy?...phone
favorite stuffed animal?...don't have
favorite thing to sleep with?...nothing
favorite fruit?...apple
favorite cereal?...frosted flakes
favorite thing to eat for breakfast?...cereal
favorite thing to eat for lunch?...sandwiches
favorite dessert?...ice cream
favorite drink?...milk
favorite birthday dinner?...steak
favorite animal?...dog
favorite book?...Ender's Game
favorite song?...don't have one (but, I know he really likes the Hamilton soundtrack)
favorite game?...Assassin's Creed
favorite TV show?...Psych
favorite movie?...don't have one
favorite thing to do outside?...play soccer
Who is your best friend?...Brennan
What do you want to be when you grow up?...I don't know

Because it's fun, here are Marcus's answers

Thursday, August 24, 2017

what we do now that school has started...

Our school routine is almost in full swing.  Preschool starts next week and then all the gingers will have some sort of organized instruction.  The girls' dance classes have started.  The older 3 boys are all doing soccer.  My favorite part of the soccer schedule this fall is that only Marcus, Cale and Ewan are playing and Cale and Ewan are playing on the same team.  Two teams, two practice schedules, two game schedules.  What should we do with all our extra free time?
Here's Marcus, an official member of the high school JV team.  It's all-consuming right now.  


And, cool.  These things line the path to the high school soccer fields.

Liam has been working on his blue belt advancement.  Fingers crossed that he promotes next Thursday.

Some of what Kinley and I do-dress and re-dress the ladies.  Then we play school or house or whatever Kinley wants.  Who says the youngest gets the least attention?

We also play games.

So, the eclipse happened.  I did not have glasses, nor did I make a pinhole projector.  I thought it would get a lot darker by us.  Turns out, the eclipse in our area looked more like a cloudy day.  Or, those were the actual storm clouds moving in.  I couldn't tell. The kids in the primary and elementary got to go out and watch.  The older boys did not get to see anything outside.  Instead, they got to watch a live stream from the comfort of the indoors.  I got some nice pictures of fluffy clouds.  That's all.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to school 2017!

If you follow us on social media, you will know that the kids, except Kinley, started school on Tuesday.  So far, so good.  I would say the biggest challenge is getting ourselves back into the school bedtime schedule.  Summer was great.  We stayed up late. We slept in lots.  Now, school reality has set in.

Cale and Marcus left first.  Cale is in 7th grade and is taking honors English, honors math and honors band-French horn.  Marcus is a freshman and his classes include AP World History, Spanish, Biology and band-trombone.

The second round of schoolers included Kella (1st grade, Mrs. Sears), Ewan (5th grade, Mr. St. Amand) and Liam (3rd grade, Mrs. Lodge).  They were ready to go and had all met their teachers the night before.  Ewan actually had his teacher back in 3rd grade for some of his classes.  Kella's teacher is new to the district and somehow, Liam's teacher has never had a Shaffer in her class and Liam is the 4 kids to go through the elementary school.  How is that even possible?  

Good news, everyone had a great day.  They loved their teachers and were happy to go back to school the next day.  The trend is holding and routine is getting easier to slip back into.

Here's to a great year!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

a couple more things from July...

5 out of 6 kids are off to school.  My helpers-the dishwasher and clothes washer are both working.  Kinley has forgotten that she's asked me for something as soon as I sat down.  
That means I have about 5 minutes to post a blog.

Here we go.....

In July, we got a couple new windows installed in the bathrooms at the school house.  Love them.  Of course they had to be custom-as probably will most things we will do here.  That's what happens when you buy a 1930s school that needs lots of love.  We've made some more decisions and done some more things to the school since these few pics.  To be continued, of course.

And, the one bathroom is painted!  Pending the removal of the hot water heater to another part of the building, this room is ready for tile flooring to go in.

A view of one of the new windows from the outside.  Looks so great.  

Moving on.  We had a brief visit from "the cousins" in July, too.  Chris, Kim, Savannah, Marie and Cassie honored us with their presence and made a day on Saturday of helping Andy do more cleaning/demo at the school house.  On Sunday, they even got a driving tour of some of central Indiana as we went to pick up Cale from basketball camp.   

It's Liam-the selfie-master.

Another college campus walkabout for Liam.  This time, it was Indiana Wesleyan, where Cale had he basketball camp.  

It's the cousins!  It's the official couch photo!  (I think we may have gotten too big for this couch.)

Also in July, 

a stuffed animal castle by Kella

And, some monster drawings by Kella.  She loves to draw and create and it's fun to see what her little self is thinking about.

Also, a birthday present for Kinley from the Gram Cece collection...

She likes it!