"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, September 2, 2013

This might be the first Labor Day of my life that I am not ready for school to begin.  I can't even begin to explain how weird that is for me:  I'm one of those people who love the smell of the library, freshly sharpened pencils and clean notebooks full of possibilities.  I was barely five when I started school and since then, I've had roughly five years when I was neither student nor teacher.  Shoot, I used to spend my summers playing school.  Don't even analyze that one!

  Two junior high boys in the house this year!  I can barely keep up with their food intake, not to mention the outgrowth of blue jeans and shoes!  

Swimming in the Willamette - great way to beat an unconditioned house during the dog days of July!

We are still homeschooling but with a different spin - technically it is public school online.  We're giving it a try just for the heck of it but because I'm still me, I am supplementing with some of my own curriculum.  Little basics like Typing, Latin and Logic.  Piano.  LOTS of reading.

It's not that we've had such a fabulous summer.  It's been merely OK.  Nothing great.  Mostly one house project after another.

Like, building a Movie Screen for Outdoor Movies!

And finally getting my Dream Door!

 We found this solid wood, unused door at the Salem ReStore for $50.  I sanded it down and painted it.  Our brilliant friend, Doug, and his Dad, turn it into a gorgeous Dutch Door.  Most beautiful door in town!

But the best project of the whole summer is my Little Free Library (http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/index.html).  I've seen these in England in the iconic but sadly unused red phone booths.  My friend Melissa introduced me to the link and I was hooked.  Once again, friend Doug came through with the carpentry based on my badly drawn sketch.  But it turned out brilliantly and now our neighborhood has its own reading material.  Take a Book, Leave a Book!  I'm especially excited because loads of children walk by our house every day on their way to school; hopefully I can get books into the hands of families that may not be able to afford them otherwise!

At Sunriver
At the mall

I finished my third novel and have begun a fourth, typing wherever and whenever!  One of these days I'm going to focus on publishing.

I can see the finish line
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I ran a few races and am proud to say that I am faster now than I was twenty years ago.  Faster than five years ago.  I even won a 10K in my age group!

And, oh, yes.  I celebrated my 40th birthday.  Which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  We had a great party in the back yard with friends and an outdoor movie - Brave.  Nothing like a Fiery Redhead and cartoon kilted Scots to cap off a perfect party!

The party invite.
It was an English theme!

Flea Market furniture, spruced up.
I made some Union Jack tuffets.

Yep, recovered and quilted the footstool!

One of my favorite photos of the summer:  everyone watching Brave!

 This is my exhausted teenager in the middle of the afternoon after staying up with his buddy Adam until 4 am!
This is Adam's mom, my gorgeous friend Kellianna!  We spent five days doing exactly what you see here.  Hanging out, relaxing, talking, writing, drinking, laughing like fools and even crying a tad.  It was a great week!

Thomas and Ryan
Adam, new Student Body President!!  Woot Woot!

William had the unique opportunity to spend a couple of days under the tutelage of a Lego Master Builder (there are only 16 in the whole world) at a local mall.  Over three days about a gazillion kids and Lego workers built an 8 foot tall Incredible Hulk.

The best part was how great the Master Builder was.  He took time out to talk to William and me and gave some good advice on what William needs to do to become a Master Builder.  The first thing he said was, "You need to shoot me and then get in a really long line!"

The final day of the building extravaganza.  It was so cool to see William "in the Zone," as he calls it.  The rest of us were a little bored with watching hours of Lego building.  Thomas raced around the mall and took all the photos.

Not quite finished but you get the idea!

Deep in the Lava Tube

We had dear Navy friends come visit for a week and other friends from church offered the use of a house at the Sunriver Resort near Bend, Oregon.  The four boys have known each other ten years - since diapers and pacifiers and first days of kindergarten, camping trips and multiple holidays.
"I solemnly swear to eat whatever Miss Denise is about to hand us!"  Who's the kid with his fingers crossed???  And Nick looks a little doubtful while I sort out the Cricket Lickets!  This is outside the High Desert Museum.

  I offered $1 to the first boy to get to the cricket in their Cricket Lickets.  Thomas tore into it so fast I was afraid for his teeth!  

  Four men in a private hot tub!

Meet Jennifer, Navy wife and mother of two, husband currently deployed.  She's taking advantage of no boys in the hot tub!

 And that's the Twist family summer, done and dusted!  I'm off to enjoy my final hours of summer break with some barbecued chicken!

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