Sunday, June 27, 2010

Operation Relocation/Extermination

Got snakes? We've got a lot less now than we did a few days ago.  Caleb's not afraid of much but snakes would make his top 3 list if he had to make one.  North Idaho snakes are harmless yet still creepy.  Every time we head onto shore we hear or see snakes in the grass.  Caleb decided it was time for the boys to relocate a few of them.  He made this decision while he was out of town however.  So I put the boys on the task.  Elias became self proclaimed "spotter" and Isaac was the snake wrangler.  After an hour or so they had caught 6.  Ewwww!  We put them in a bucket and took them over to the State Park in our boat and released them.  Later that same day they went after it again and caught 10 more!!! I'm not talking about a large square footage hunting area either.  This load we hauled out in the boat and let go "near" shore and watched them swim.  They went all directions.  Several chased after the boat, some went for the bridge and a few headed toward shore.  With the water temperature barely above 60 degrees we're not sure how many made it.  Survival of the fittest I suppose.  We've taken out 3 more now for a total of 19 snakes! Nasty!

The boys are completely in their element here.  Thursday they decided to become "swamp loggers".  There were a lot of large logs floating in our bay so they waded, swam and kayaked working very well together I might add to get them to shore.  I wasn't sure what Caleb would think about them bringing in all those logs and cluttering up our beach but once he came in on Friday he was pretty pleased with their work.  The wood will actually make great firewood so he helped the boys beach the rest of the logs and then cut them with a chainsaw.  Now he'll need to split it and have the boys stack it in our wood shed.  Sounds like a lot of work for "vacation" but that's the kind of stuff Caleb LOVES doing.

We've successfully accomplished 3 weeks of living on the lake.  After this week Caleb will be taking a week's vacation.  We're all excited for that!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

It's cold people!  Everyone up here keeps saying that this is not the normal June temps for Idaho but I'm thinking we skip June next summer and concentrate on July and a week or so of August.  We're adjusting well to the way of life up here.  I have no idea of the day, date or time most of the time.  I can now drive the boat without feeling so nervous and anxious.  I think we've got the cabin stocked and organized well enough and the boys are quite the fishermen.  We still have no legal way to get the grey water tank pumped (the septic company who were going to accommodate us went belly up so that's in limbo right now for all the float homes) so we've been conserving our waste water and using biodegradable camp soap.  We let very little water actually go down the drain.  Don't think having a shower put in was a waste though.  I just line the entire bottom of the shower with buckets and catch as much h2o as I can and then empty the buckets on shore (using only camp soap of course).

Jude: Loves to "fish" which means he takes his fishing pole and smacks it in the water and scares all the real fish away.  Jon took time to rig his pole with a hook and bobber.  After about 3 minutes we decided a bobber would be plenty special.  He and Silas bathe in a large bucket and think it's awesome because with the two of them the water goes up to their necks.  Jude is confused about where he actually lives.  He keeps asking "Is this Maggie's lake cabin? Is this my lake cabin?"  He loves riding in the boat, fishing and having fires.  He's already burned 3 holes in his nice new speedo life jacket that I make him wear every minute of the day.

Silas: Is so ticked that he's not old enough to be in the boat when just Elias and Isaac go out.  He too loves fishing but gets his line tangled ALL the time.  I'm thinking of only allowing him to fish for 1 hr. a day until he can fix his own pole.  He still hasn't caught anything so we'll see how long his patience lasts.  He is really good at kayaking and feels like hot stuff when he's out on the water alone.  He attempted to learn to ski but the water is way too cold for him to be patient with his efforts.

Isaac:  Is a good fisherman. He's up to 4 crappie (horrible name for a fish even though it's pronounced croppy).  Jarom taught him how to clean and cook the fish so he pretty much eats everything he catches.  He is however going to have to be better about where he disposes  the leftover parts!  Frank brought down a little 8hp fishing boat that he and E have learned to drive and they put around the bay, throw out their anchor and fish.  I say "put" with some reservation.  I told the two boys to go out and practice driving in the bay but to stay within 100 yards of the house so I could help them if they needed it.  Isaac drove first.  He went straight out and started spinning doughnuts like he was on a jet ski or something.  I, of course, was calmly jumping up and down waving my arms to get him back in for a lesson on keeping the throttle at a very low setting.  The kid has no fear.  He's been extremely helpful with all things boat though so that has been nice.

Elias: Has an ongoing competition with Isaac.  They are keeping a fish count and whenever one brother is ahead you can't stop the other from fishing.  Elias has completed all the dirty work required for the fishing merit badge.  Last night he caught a good sized large mouth bass.  The boys were so excited to eat it so I went to build a fire.  As they were cleaning it Isaac all the sudden began jumping up and down with glee.  He ran over to me at the fire pit and said, "It was pregnant and the baby survived!".  I gave a quick lesson on how fish don't have live birth... duh.  It apparently had just eaten a little baby fish that survived the cleaning process.  The boys put the baby back in the lake.  It only swam for a few minutes then keeled over.  I guess it was all too much for the little one.  Elias was quite proud of his accomplishment. It was the biggest fish caught so far.  He's a lot more cautious than Isaac so maybe if the two of them stick together they'll even each other out.

I'm heading to Houston on Friday since Caleb can't make it down this weekend.  The boys will be spending time with their grandparents up here in Idaho.  I'm sure they'll be ready to get back in the action as soon as I'm back!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 1 ~ Fun but overwhelming

We made it. We're here with everything.

The cabin is sweet.  The boys are in HEAVEN. 

They absolutely love it here. I'm overwhelmed but will adjust I'm sure.  I at least learned how to drive the boat a little before Caleb left. 

We're in Moscow for church and I'm going to be buying more food and supplies in the morning before I head out. 

I'm not used to this "boat needing to warm up" idea but I'm resourceful so hopefully we can make it go. 

 Elias and Isaac are watching The Three Stooges with my Dad. Jude and Silas digging in the sandbox. I'm enjoying potable water from the tap and Caleb is flying back to Houston. 

Can't wait for him to come back next weekend.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Isaac's Year End Ceremony

Today was the third grade Awards Ceremony and man was it ever BORING!  I had Jude and Silas with me and right at the beginning Jude snuck over to a garbage can to spit out his gum and a parent jumped right into his seat while he was up.  That ruined my chances of keeping the boys off of each other. ARGH, last time though because Silas will be in all day Kindergarten next fall!  Oh yeah, back to Isaac's day...The Principal announced the awards for every student in the third grade...wait it went more like, 1. Say Child's name.  2. Everyone clap.  3. Say awards earned. 4. Everyone clap 5. Place metals around child's neck. 6. Everyone clap....for EVERY SINGLE CHILD! With around 80 3rd graders it was over an hour long. Yippee!  Did I mention that the Principal, who is a very nice woman, has a voice that sounds like she's cooing at a baby?  Anyway, back to Isaac. He earned a lot of awards and without having him home from school yet I'm not sure I'll remember them all but I'll give it a shot 1. Completion of 3rd Grade (yes this was an award and the only one that some of the kids received). 2. Perfect Attendance All Year Long. 3.  All A's Honor Roll All Year Long. 4. Citizenship Award. 5. Principal's Award. 6. Science Award  &  7. Student Council (which he wrote and delivered a speech for and was elected by his classmates.)  To say that Isaac is thriving in his new school here in Texas is an understatement.  He's adjusted so well and we're extremely proud of him.  He's made a good group of friends which was a process for him that he took seriously.  The first probably SIX months we lived here I'd ask him everyday if he was making friends and who he was playing with and what he did at recess.  I was sad that he had to leave his good friends in CO and really hoping he was finding new ones.  We went through several boys that started out his friends and then he 1. Heard them swearing and dumped them. 2. Saw their conduct sheet with any color on it besides greens (given for good behaviour daily) and dumped them. 3.Thought the only thing they ever did at home was play video games and dumped them.  It's been fun to watch his screening process as he found his way to some good kids with the same values and morals as his.  At first, when all the "dumping" was going on I was a little worried there wouldn't be anyone left but that's not the case.  BTW, he didn't formerly tell these boys they didn't make the cut.  He would just come home from school and tell me the unfortunate things he found out about them and then he'd move on.  What a trooper.  I never had to move and make new friends my entire school career so my heart hurt for him in this process.  I have to say he came out on top.  YAY Isaac. Now, being the worrier that I am I was afraid his buddies might move on and forget about him while we spend the summer in ID.  Luckily, Miguel will be spending a month in El Paso with his Grandma and Austin leaves only a few days after us for Minnesota (his Dad plays for the Vikings and they'll return when the season is over).  Connor will be here all summer but I think their friendship will survive the distance (lol). I took a couple of pictures with my phone (my good camera is packed and ready to go to ID) so they're not great. Especially the one of  Isaac and Austin.  Though it's taken/taking a while we are beginning to feel more and more at home in Texas.