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!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Shaffers in the woods

The annual family dinner night at Boy Scout camp let us see how Marcus and Cale were doing and let us see Andy, since he had also been at Cub Scout camp the last half of the week before.  It was nice time and I didn't have to cook.  I did bring lots of candy that the kids had gotten at the 4th of July parade the day before.  Gotta share the candy.

Kinley and her friend.  Both these kids have several older sibs that are in scouts and are bound to see each other lots over the coming years.  And, I think they are almost exactly the same age.

Look-it's the scouts giving a wood chopping demo to a captive audience.

Yes!  a picture with most of my kids!

So pretty in the woods.  I don't think any camera could capture this.

Dinner selfie!

Someone brought a toy.  He had to find a cool spot for a pic.  Mission accomplished.  Stuffed animals accompany us everywhere, all the time.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Happy birthday to Marcus! (in July)

Our Marcus turned 14 way back on July 7th.  He got to enjoy his actual birthday at Boy Scout camp and then celebrate at home on Sunday.  Then, the next morning, we sent him off the soccer camp with the high school soccer team.  No rest for the teenager.  

Things that I appreciate about Marcus include how patient he is with his younger siblings.  He is definitely the most patient of the kids.  This makes him be a good teacher/demonstrator to the littles, too.  I see this in karate classes when he gets to help the children in there learn their katas.  I also like watching his sense of humor develop.  He really enjoys some of the same shows that Andy and I have always liked to watch.  Marcus is steady and responsible and I know I can trust him to watch his younger sibs if I need to run some errands.  He enjoys playing his trombone.  He is working toward promotions in karate (to earn his purple belt promotion book) and scouts (Life Scout).  This fall, as a freshman!, he will be taking an AP World History class-the only AP class at school freshman can take.

Here's our boy!  Yes, we wrapped his presents in brown bags and paper.  

The one thing he wanted-a smart watch.

Also, cool shades.

Ice cream cake!  Seriously, this was the easiest, most low-key birthday ever.  Dinner was at a youth group get together at a park.  We picked up the cake on the way home.  So easy. 

The yearly "baby" picture with Dad.  

And the "let's see how much taller I am than mom" picture.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

So, June, a collection of photos

The first month of summer break is in the books.  By now, we are half-way through our time off from school.  No one is complaining about the lack of bedtimes.  Want to watch a movie at 10pm?  I'll make the popcorn.  

We did lots of stuff.  Here's some pics of what we did so you all can keep up.

Soccer finally ended for Ewan and Cale with a league tourney.  Both their teams made it to the final game and both teams lost and were the runner-up.  What a great season for both.  I love that Ewan's team was coached by an excited 20 year old who had a little brother or cousin on the team.  I also loved that the assistant coach who sometimes ran practice did not speak English and a couple of the kids on the team had to interpret for him.  

Cale's team played hard and lost their final game in double sudden death overtime.  Too exciting to watch.

Where are we going?  I don't know, but the girls are dressed, hair done, looking good with their little animal side-kicks.

There was a week where I took the 3 smalls to a different park each afternoon while the big boys had basketball.  They needed to get out of the house.

Also, some failed geocaching happened.

We came back to karate like the prodigal son.  

Kella did a basketball camp, too.

Full dress rehearsals for dance.

Behind the dancing scene.

This boy still cuddled with me.

More dress rehearsal fun.

Kinley and her backstage mom.

Another park day, this time with friends.

Got to watch some DCI groups with these two, before the storms rolled in and we all made for the shelter of our cars.

Painted some kindness rocks.

Rock by Marcus, plate by Kella.

Sent these boys off to Cub Scout camp.

Spend some time at the pool.

Sent Marcus off to the first of 3 camps he would be attending within 2 weeks.  First basketball, then Boy Scouts and finally soccer.

And, that's that.