Saturday, October 31, 2009

Great Pumpkin Chase

I'm going to talk to you about the Great Pumpkin Chase.It's really fun and awesome and just for the Jr. High, we get to go bowling and rollerskating, it's so much fun. We play games at the Church and have pizza and soda and a message from the youth group leaders! I wish you could have come to G.P.C. Goodbye.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Carving Pumpkins

We bought our pumpkins at Wal-Mart because the local pumpkins got rained on and were rotting in the field. We finally got around to carving them on the the 30th. Mom said it was dad's turn to help us this year.

Jonah is holding one of the paper patterns we used. We poked holes through the pattern to mark the pumpking then cut from hole to hole to follow the pattern.

Rush is carving out the face of Jonah's pumpkin with a battery-operated carver (mom bought it a few years ago to save her hand from hurting when we carved 1 pumpkin for each child).

My pumpin has star eyes and Jonah's is smiling.

Our pumpkins out in the yard.

Rush stayed home, Arin was an 80's rocker, Isaac a sleepwalker, Jonah an Army dude, and I was Snow White. Mom went as a homicidial maniac because you know they look like everyone else. We went trick or treating down Dieckman Rd in Adna, then came home and ate our candy.

We roasted our pumpkin seeds this year for the first time. Mom found a really good recipe.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Typical* School Week

*Typical as in this is how it is supposed to work on week's when there is nothing else going on...

School is different this year than in year's past (every year is different but this one seems really different). Rush started high school so he has a more structured curriculum but only 4-6 subjects per semester. Because he has more independent work I'm moving everyone to work independently. It really has made my job easier but it doesn't seem like as much fun. For the last 7 years we've used Sonlight Curriculum and I love the living book approach to history and language and science. This year Rush is doing composition, WA State History, math, general science, and PE. The history and science courses give us the opportunity for plenty of field trips. Everyone else is doing Pathways Reading, Math-U-See, Italics, Apples spelling, and Bible. For science I work with what they need to complete in their scout books and fill in with videos, books, and field trips. I'm missing the read aloud time but haven't figured out when or where to work it into our day.

The morning is supposed to start with them getting up, dressed, make their bed, eat breakfast, and do their chores without being reminded. That hardly ever happens. By 9 we usually are ready to start school. They work all morning, we eat lunch when everyone is done, sometimes lunch is very late. When Jonah and Tovah are done they go downstairs for music and art with Grandma. Jonah is learning to play the piano and Tovah is working on the piano, fiddle, and cello. Then she's ready to paint or embroider or just have a tea party. I've learned to stay close and available for help, if they have to look for me then they get distracted and find something else to do that seems better than their school work.

After lunch we have time for Boy Scout projects or cooking projects or everyone just scatters to do their own thing. We have lots of afternoon and evening activities this year: Monday is Cub Scouts and I go to knitting if Ryan doesn't work that night, Tuesday Tovah had soccer, Wednesday we head to town around 3 to go to the library and start dinner at church for AllStars, Thursday Rush and Arin had a writing class and we have Boy Scouts, Friday is CAST (ChristiAn Student Theatre) rehearsals. Saturdays we have to stay quiet so Ryan can sleep but this fall we had lots of Scout activities and we were gone most Saturdays. Sunday is church. Saturday night after Ryan leaves for work seems to be our down time.

Like I said, this year with Rush doing WA State History there are a lot of field trip opportunities. I don't mind going and doing something every other week or so, it keeps me from getting cabin fever. This winter we'll have a couple of weeks of swim lessons and 3 or 4 of the kids want to play baseball in the spring so we'll have to rework our schedule to accommodate practices and games. Isaac is also hoping to be in Chess Club again.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lattin's Cider Mill- October 27

Lattin's Cider Mill is just south of Olympia, and has some different activities.

You can buy food bags and feed all the different animals and on weekends and for groups they have free cider tastings.

You need to be careful when you're feeding the goats, because they will eat your food bag if you don't keep it out of their reach. It took Arin a lot of years to learn this, this year they almost got mom's bag.

My favorite part about Lattin's is trying the different flavors of cider they have. My favorite flavor is raspberry. ~Rush

Note from mom: We go to get the cider and the apple cider donuts. Feeding the animals and buying pumpkins is just a bonus. On weekends they make apple fritters. They are located on Rich Rd. off of Hwy. 99.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fort Lewis Military Museum

Last Thursday we went to Fort Lewis to tour the Military Museum. The Fort Lewis Military Museum collects, preserves, displays and interprets artifacts relevant to the history of Fort Lewis and the units which have served there.

This is the label on the Howitzer, it is a BIG gun
Our favorite part of the museum were the tanks outside.

A model of the museum when it was the Red Shield Inn. It was built in 1918 by the Salvation Army as a hotel for the families of soldiers in WWI. It was a hotel until 1972. In 1979 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only US Army Museum on the west coast.

This is Saddam Hussein's head off a statue from Baghdad brought back by the Triple Nickel (Nate's unit)

The Joys of Swimming

"CANNON BALL!" I shouted as I jumped into the water. These are the joys of swimming. When I go swimming I go to ‘’THORBECKES’’ to swim. Without water this place would be a wasteland. Now here is what I see when I swim, now close your eyes and imagine you’re seeing through my eyes. I jump off the diving board, I hit the water, I see bubbles, lots and lots of bubbles, I swim under the divider, I come up for air I go back under the water I swim down to the bottom if I am lucky I find something interesting and keep it. Now I go back up for air and swim to the shallow end and play with my brothers, then we get out and go change our cloths and leave. THE END.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rosie and the Posers

Friday night Rosie and the Posers, a local band held an outdoor concert down the street at the new coffee stand (yes, we have espresso in Adna now). The stand is owned by friends of ours and we know most of the band so I thought it would be a lot of fun to go down. None of the boys wanted to go so Tovah and I went down. I called Rush and Isaac to bring me the camera and Rush ended up staying for the whole concert- I knew he would once he saw all his friends. Socialization is not an issue for our kids! We'd had thunder and lightening and torrential rain about 2 hours earlier but the weather cleared and it was actually quite warm (too warm for coats). They had bon fires going and the coffee stand was busy. All in all I'd say there were at least 100 people there, when I got home I had to list who I talked to and saw for my mom.

Friday, October 16, 2009


My name is Rush Daniel Engle. I’m 14 years old and in the 9th grade. I like to read books, sleep, play with legos, and play Xbox. I am planning on playing baseball in the spring. I’m trying to write a book about the time after WWV. My favorite subject in school is math. I like listening to Spirit 105.3. My favorite video games are ‘Halo’ and ‘Star Wars; Republic Commando.’

Monday, October 12, 2009

I finished my clown puke aka "Eye of Jupiter" socks last week. This is a colorway that Ryan choose for me after seeing the yarn on The Yarn Harlot blog. They are totally sci fi for those who pay attention to such things. The colors are the same as the Eye of Jupiter Apollo saw on Battlestar Galactica and the yarn is sold by Sereknity Yarns (etsy shop). Serenity is the name of the ship on Firefly. Luckily I like the red, blue, yellow primary colors. To keep with the theme I found Snicket Socks (and evidently magknits is no longer publishing and the pattern isn't avialable right now) that were designed after the blouse Violet Beaudelaire wore in A Series of Unfortunate Events.

This is my 7th pair of socks in the last 2 years. I love knitting socks for so many reasons: they are quick, they are interesting, they can be challenging without being overwhelming, they are portable, the end result is both useful and beautiful, self-striping yarn provides it's own entertainment, and even the most expensive sock yarn won't break the bank when you splurge. You can only use so many hats and scarfs (of course, I have 8-11 heads to knit for) but you need a pair of socks for every day and every outfit.

I can knit a basic sock in a long weekend, even a more complicated sock doesn't take me much more than a week (however, the second sock can sometimes take me a month or more to even start). Because they are small they fit in my basket or bag and can go everywhere with me; swim lessons, appointments, classes, church, running errands. Even 5 minutes of knitting time increases the socks by a row or two.

Socks are great to learn new stitches and techniques- if you have to frog (rip it, rip it) them it's not tragic. There are 5 basic parts to a sock- cuff, leg, heel, foot, and toe. Cuffs, heels, and toes only have so many variations but the leg and the foot are blank canvases for stitches and ideas. I can start with a basic pattern and then make changes (I hate the monotony of a plain foot so I usually take the pattern down the top of the foot). I look on ravelry and other knitting blogs and browse the patterns that are available and choose a pattern based on the yarn I have or if the name catches my fancy. If there is something I don't know how to do I google it and read instructions until I figure out how to do it (knitting socks from the toe up still intimidates me, though).

Sock yarn does not count as stash! I remind Ryan of this quite often. I like to have at least one skein in reserve to start when I finish my current pair of socks. 2 or 3 is even better... Sock yarn is relatively inexpensive, I've spent as little as $7 and as much as $40 (that's the Eye of Jupiter yarn Ryan bought so it doesn't really count). $10-12 is about average. I like a wool with some nylon blend. I've knit yarn with bamboo and sea shells in it as well. I saw some opossum yarn from New Zealand that I would like to try (it's about 7 times warmer than wool). Mostly I've used mixed colors or self-striping yarns, I'd like to knit some semi-solid jade green yarn.

As long as we live where its cold I'll wear wool socks so I guess I'll be knitting socks for a long time. Here's my next pair- it's Wisdom Yarns Poems sock yarn from Turkey. The pattern is a mystery, really! Each week I get the instructions for the next part of the sock. So far I've done the cuff and started the leg. Thursday I'll get the heel instructions. The really hard part is that there aren't any pictures with the pattern so I'm not sure what it's really supposed to look like.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's killing Tovah not to get to "Blob"

I'm tovah. I'm 6. I'm in 1st grade. I like to play and have tea parties and do art. I like to help grandma clean the house and work in the yard. I like to play chinese checkers and mancala.

I am learning how to play the cello. Grandpa bought me a real cello last month but I started on his viola last spring.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Hello, my name is Isaac Taylor Engle. I am 11 years old and in 6th grade. I am interested in art and aviation, my favorite subject is math, and I'm hoping to do Chess Club this year. My favorite food is chicken sandwiches. This is me ready to go on my first backpacking trip.

5 Boys and a Princess

A couple of weeks ago Ryan took The Boys and Cheyney to a Mariner's game at Safeco Field. They all came home reeking of Garlic Fries. Tovah and I stayed home for soccer because if we didn't go then they would all fit in the Pilot and make parking so much easier (also Ryan hates it when I read books at baseball games).
Nathan is our oldest. He and Cheyney got married in August and they now live in the Olympia area so she can go to school. He is in the Army and stationed here in Washington. The rest of the boys will introduce themselves in the next few posts. Besides being homeschooled the kids enjoy drama (on and off the stage), Scouts, music, Legos, XBox, spending time with friends, and just hanging out.

A More Successful Journal

Ever since Nathan was little I've tried off and on to keep a journal, I'd write about the cute things he did and how I felt about being a mom and wife and living on Guam or Oak Harbor. But it only lasted about 3 days and I'd be too tired to get to it. Once I discovered album making I've been better about keeping up by taking pictures but sometimes I look back and wonder why I took that picture. Arin & Rush have been taking a writing class and I want them to keep it up and Isaac is getting good at taking pictures of the little things in life. So this blog is for all of us. The kids will each be asked to write about something once a week and I'll try to fill in the blanks.