Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Property Update

Our property is starting to take shape.  It has actually been a couple weeks since I was knocking trees down with the excavator (Bob knocked about one million tree's down and I did exactly two).  In addition to using a tractor and excavator Bob rented a skid steer and a dump truck.  The skid steer was a lot of fun for everyone to drive.  

Instead of trees and mud like we had, we now have a rock driveway and a clear mostly level area to start planning our house.  

We now also have one angry neighbor who is calling the county on us and even though they told her we are not doing anything wrong she felt it right to come yell, swear, and threaten us, because of our house location.  I guess it is right in her view.  Her house is hundreds of feet away but we do have the lot next to her and she knew we were going to build on it.  She even told me the one time that I met her that she didn't care what we did to the lot, if she did care she would have bought it herself.  I'm not sure what changed in her mind.  I don't understand what she is thinking because we cleared that land making that view she has.  Any other location we would have chosen on our property would have the same issue for her because we would have had to clear that spot.  

I get that it was nice for her to have an empty lot next door and that it isn't great for her that things are changing.  But I don't understand her coming over and yelling at us when we are just trying to build a place to live for our family.  I am upset about it because I don't want to have an unfriendly relationship with our neighbor, and what she said was really hurtful.

Anyway, maybe she will move.  I doubt it though, she has horses and it has got to be hard to find a new place for herself and her animals.  Hopefully she will just leave us alone.  

We only have two neighbors, one is mad at us and the other is an airbnb.  I was upset about an airbnb being next door (it wasn't when we bought the place), but I didn't go yell and threaten the owners.  The owners are very nice and so far we haven't had any issues.  Their house is not in our view so it shouldn't be a problem.

We keep calling it the property.  Like, "Dad's working at the property," or, "Do you want to go play at the property?" I want to come up with a new name like ranch or farm, but not those because it doesn't really fit.  Any ideas?  

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Driving the Excavator

I got to drive the excavator. It is not something I ever thought I would do in my life.  I honestly never gave thought to driving big machinery.  But once I saw it on our property and thought about knocking down trees with it I decided I wanted to give it a go.  

I made sure Bob saved a few trees for me to knock down.  It was harder than I thought to drive.  These things were not made for someone my size (strange because I am average size).  I could not reach the pedals and the back of the seat at all so I was bending forward the entire time.  There were also several different controls that I never really got the hang of, I just tried different things until what I wanted to move started moving.  Another difficult aspect is that not only do both tracks turn independently and go different directions you can turn the car around while keeping the tracks in the same spot.  Kind of cool, but it completely reverses the direction of the joystick and pedals that I still didn't' really have down. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Leon's 11

Leon just turned eleven!  He had to go to school on his birthday but we still tried to make the day special.  He asked for toaster strudels for breakfast.  I love that he choose something so easy.  Then after school we did presents and cake and ice cream.  
He wanted a chocolate cake and mint ice cream.  I think I've convinced most of my kids that chocolate cake is the way to go.  For dinner he requested orange chicken.  I didn't take any opening present pictures but the main thing he got was a clarinet.  He has been saying he wants to play it for years and next year he will be able to in school so we went ahead and got him one now.
Leon only wears two different outfits so it was easy to figure out which one he should wear for the pictures, the one that wasn't dirty.  We do laundry everyday and rotates between this black long sleeve t-shirt and a light green one.  He also has a second very similar pair of sweats he wears.  He had tons of clothes but he hates it when I make him wear anything else.  I think it is a comfort thing.  
Leon is a great kid.  This year he is home in the mornings with just me and his two younger siblings so he gets to be the oldest for about an hour and a half.  I think it has been really good for him.  I've seen him playing so well with both Calista and Beatrix.  It is so nice because he is usually the youngest of the older four.

In his spare time Leon likes playing with his remote control airplane, kicking/throwing/hitting balls around the house, and jumping on the trampoline.  
Happy Birthday Leon!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Big Tree Trail

I found the cutest little hike in Kitsap County.  It is called big tree trail.  Ok so it might be more of a trail than a hike as it is only about a mile long.  I didn't measure.  But it is in this beautiful old growth woods just a few minutes away from my house and the path leads to the biggest tree around.  I've been twice now.  Bob and I went at night once in the dark with flashlights and now one time during the day with the kids.  I could see going here more regularly when we just need to be outside for a little bit.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Snow Day

We've gotten a little bit of snow here and there this year.  The kids had a few two hour delay days and even one day where we got a couple inches and school was cancelled.
We had a good time playing in the snow.

I love how the trees look after it snows.

At our property the ice froze down into the dirt.  I love it when ice does this.  It looks so cool.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Family Time

I know the game is not new but our family has been really into playing the Settlers of Catan game.  We usually play it on Sundays.  There are usually tears and someone is mad, while whomever is winning is happy.  I never seem to win while Bob wins a lot.  We have the expansion pack and the kids even 3D printed me my own pink pieces and stand to keep them on. 
I took this picture of my oldest and youngest brushing teeth together.  They will live together the least amount of time and Beatrix will probably not remember any of it.
We have a zoo membership this year so I try to take advantage and go whenever we all have the day off.

Things are starting to happen on the property!!!!  We have the well in and are finally getting permission too clear the land.
The kids all help, but Scarlett always volunteers to help and she really likes it.  Bob said she wasn't really using the chain saw, but she does drive the tractor.
It is excited to finally start when we have been waiting for permits for over six months.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Jump Start

About a month ago Beatrix started a new school. She now goes to Jump start.  It is a full day program to get kids ready for kindergarten.  She rides the bus with Calista and Leon in the morning and then she goes from there onto another bus to her school.  She does the same thing in reverse to come home everyday.  We loved Beatrix going to the Learning Ladybugs school at my friends house, but her going all day like this is really a lot easier for the family.
The shirt that she wore on the first day is a shirt that I used to wear when I was younger.
At first she was nervous but we went to a practice day together and so after that she was just excited.  A friend from church was also in her class and when she realized that she was very happy.  I wonder if part of her was scared that they wouldn't speak English at the new school.  
The next picture is from the practice day.
I love that Beatrix and Calista both use the Japanese backpacks.  I walk with them most mornings to the bus.  The days that I don't I worry a little.  They have to cross our neighborhood road.  It isn't busy, but ever since Calista got hit by a car I've been very cautious.  This walk to the bus is still a million times safer than the one we had in Sasebo.  Here we have a sidewalk and it is only about a quarter of a mile.  Leon is pretty good at keeping an eye on the girls.  I'm trying to train them really well though because Leon will be at a different school next year so these two will need to walk by them selves occasionally.
So far things have been going great.  She hasn't been complaining about school and she told me she likes it.  I have noticed she gets upset extra easily after school and is more on the grumpy side but I think that is just her adjusting to being at new all day school.  It is a long day for someone her age.

I'm glad the school district has a program like this for kids.  I would have loved it when Tucker was little and I even looked for something similar.   Preschools in our area can be more than what many families can afford.  This program is funded by the district.  Beatrix did have to qualify to go so we applied and she took a test.  They want to help the kids who need it the most so the children with the lowest scores got in.  That being said, I think most of the kids who applied got in.  Not many people know about the program.

Anyway we are really happy with it and so far Beatrix has been loving it.