Amelie at 12 years, Mia at 10 years, Desmond at 7 years, Miles at 5 years
December 30, 2016


We haven't done an update in a while, and when we last left it, Miles was about to turn five. We put re-lighting candles on the cake and didn't tell him, it was surprisingly effective.



We had a pinata for Miles birthday, that was a lot of fun.



These dinosaurs are harder to handle than you'd expect.



We visited the Western Idaho Fair, and had a great time. We bought ride bracelets ahead of time, and took advantage of it to the fullest. The slide is a fun one to go on over and over.



The bumper cars are another one that is a lot of fun to go on multiple times.



This is the giant horse you have a pay a dollar to see. It is pretty big, but you know, it's still just a horse.



We stopped at a vendor selling fans, they proved oddly attractive to the kids. They still have them, too. Except for Mia, she has a llama.



This ride takes the kids really high in the air, but it seemed like I was more freaked out than they were. They kept going on it over and over, it was Desmond's favorite ride.



The gliders were more to my liking, they didn't go high at all, and Miles liked them the best.



Amelie and Miles on the merry go-round.



Miles on the merry go-round.



This is a video round-up of the fair.



Once again we enrolled Mia and Miles in school, and Mia made it a week and Miles made it almost a week. After Miles got home the first day we asked him what he did in school, and he said that all he did was stand in line. We asked him if he did anything fun, and he said no, just stood in line.

I love the tan on Mia, especially now that it's winter you can really see the difference.

I almost forgot, yes, Amelie brought a chicken to school when we dropped Miles off at his class the first day. That's the home-schooler touch!



Naomi took the kids to the Boise Green Belt, along the river. It's nice, they put aside more than 20 miles on either side of the river and in summer you can float down the Boise river and then take a shuttle back to your car.

The irony is, this past year Idaho passed a law making it harder for the city to use eminent domain to create green spaces. The green belt was set aside about fifty years ago, and I guess times have changed.



The kids found a really cool tee-pee on their walk.



We visited a farm that was having an open house, where they raised pigs (as rescues, mostly), and it was nice to see pigs that weren't about to be slaughtered. Turns out that pigs that aren't being raised for slaughter aren't all that fat. They actually look pretty fit, some of their pigs were huge and pure muscle. The only thing was, there were so many flies around, it was insane. They needed to put in like a hundred fly traps.



We went to the Hyde Park community fair, and it was okay. Mostly vendors selling you stuff, but they did have a nice marimba band. There's this gigantic steep hill you can climb, where you have to hang onto the hand-rail going up there or you slide back down, so we all climbed it to get a view from the top.



Desmond had a blast climbing the hill, he climbed it like three times. I love this picture, btw, he's king of the world.



I liked the fact that at the faire, the kids had the most fun climbing hills and trees.



We found a garter snake in our front yard, and I like it that the kids have no problem with snakes. I, on the other hand, am not a snake person.



And on the opposite spectrum of cuteness, our neighbor's dog had golden doodle puppies (they breed them, in fact), and we just loved going over to play with the ten puppies she had. Ten puppies in one spot is just amazing.



Amelie started fostering cats with Simply Cats, and she took on a big responsibility when she fostered three kittens that required bottle feeding every three hours, even in the middle of the night. She set her alarm and woke up and made sure she was home to feed them, it was incredible.

The video is of Mia bottle feeding the cats, she helped out as well.



We like going to Simply Cats to visit the kittens, there's always more kittens.



Miles got his hair cut really short, it changed his look completely.



For Halloween, Amelie was a crazy clown, Mia was an archer, and the two boys were ghouls, I guess. I'm not sure, but their eyes glowed red, anyway.

I have no idea why the girl's expressions are so sour in the picture. They were actually looking forward to Halloween a lot.



After the night is over and all the loot is divided, that's when the candy thief strikes!

We ended up bagging up a lot of this candy and keeping it in the car to hand out to homeless people. We used to hand out mini-carrots, but nobody appreciated that, so we switched to candy. Just yesterday a homeless guy got excited because Twix was his favorite (we also give them $5, though).



Hot on the heels of Halloween, we had a lot of fun with Thanksgiving. We bought these turkey gingerbread kits and the kids voted on whose was the best. We ended up creating "best of" categories for each of them. This one is Amelie's, voted best overall. Mia's had red all over it and ended up calling it a clown massacre.



Winter hit Boise with a foot of snow, and man, a white Christmas is a pain in the ass. We went shopping before the storm hit and didn't leave the house for a few days until the roads were clear.



The boys are getting dressed up to go outside and brave the cold.



The kids started building a snow fort in the front yard, and it's still there because it's still so freaking cold!



Fortunately, we have a really nice park behind our house that is easily within walking distance, even through snow, and the park was clearly designed with winter in mind. They have a great double-sided sledding hill.



The lake in the park froze over, which was weird to see. Desmond insisted on jumping up when I took the picture.



We went ice skating at the mall behind our house, it's cheap and a lot of fun.



Make Magazine did a 3D printer shoot-out and this printer from the Czech Republic (the Original Prusa i3 MK2) scored higher than any other printer they tested, and was only $700 (for the kit). The next 28 printers in the testing were more expensive, and all of them lower rated than this one. I've been waiting for 3D printers to mature and this seemed to be the one to get, so I ordered one but it took over a month to receive it because they're so back-ordered.

It took me about ten hours to put it together, but it printed beautifully right from the start. The quality of the prints is amazing, and it just prints everything so effortlessly.

The kids took to it immediately, and I showed them (where people upload their 3D models to share them), and how to use the slicer program to prepare the 3D models for printing and they've been using it non-stop. I still haven't been able to use it to print anything myself.

Amelie used her iPhone to record this time-lapse movie of an owl that she printed out. It took about 7.5 hours to print.



Amelie is breeding rabbits, and her bunny, a broken Rex, recently had six babies.



Amelie was crazy in love with the baby bunnies, she was so excited.



This is one of the baby bunnies after about a week, when the fur has started to come in. I just wanted to point out, the necklace Amelie is wearing was 3D printed by her.



Amelie and Mia both dyed their hair, and Amelie went to a hair-dresser, while Mia did it herself, and this is her result.



We had a great Christmas, the kids had a lot of fun, and we took our picture with Santa at the neighborhood club-house. No waiting, it was nice.



Mia wanted a cat-tree for Christmas, which I did not understand. She also wanted a giant dog bed, another wierd choice. The cat-tree turned out to be an inspired gift, though, the kids loved playing on it (as did the cats).

Amelie wanted a wheel chair (which we found for cheap at Goodwill), another weird choice that turned out to be a lot of fun. Mia would push her around in it while Amelie complained about the lousy food in this place and how she was going to sue us for not having a handicap accessible house. It was all pretty funny.



Santa brought both Miles and Desmond electric motorcycles, which is all that they wanted. They were very excited, but unfortunately there was too much snow outside to ride them.



Fortunately, we have no furniture in the living room, so we built this giant geodesic dome in the middle of it, which Desmond turned into a motorcycle track. He did knock over the tree at one point, and slid out, but overall a resounding success.

Mia is timing his laps, btw, and calling out timings from the top of the cat-tree. See, that thing is useful after all!



Until next time, don't go outside, you'll freeze to death!



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