Wednesday, June 11, 2008

All About Claire

It seems as if my recent blogs have been all about Levi. So being the good mom that I am, I will now brag about my second child.

Today Claire learned some new words. This morning was the first time that she said "Thank You". After breakfast but before snack (or second breakfast if you're a hobbit) Levi and Claire were sitting on the couch eating pretzels and watching Bob (Bob the Builder, duh). Claire had eaten all of her pretzels and was mooching off of Levi. He gave in and handed her a couple. He promptly came into the kitchen to brag on himself for being such a good sharer. So I said to Claire, "Wow, what a nice brother! Did you say thank you?" And then she looked at Levi and said it! I made a big deal out of it too.

Perhaps she learned this phrase first because she knew later in the day the new word she would introduce us to. You see, she wanted to soften the blow before she uttered the most cursed word in a toddler vocabulary. The three-letter-word that all parents hate. Yes, you guess it. Claire said "why". And the worst part? She is using it correctly. I blame Levi.

Here is a Claire funny. At work tonight I got out the legos for her to play with. She took three legos to the table with her. Two yellow ones and one green. She then played with those same three legos for about 20 minutes, putting them in every combination possible, and then some. The funny thing is that after each rearrangement of the legos, she would look at me and yell (she is definitely a Labrecque) MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! I then had to look at her new creation and tell her how wonderful it was. She would rearrange again, and the whole process started over again. Literally, she would yell for me about every 30 seconds.

Claire is a funny girl. She has so much personality and spunk, I cannot imagine life with her as a teenager! She copies everything Levi does so right now her favorite things are trains, trucks, dinosaurs (she has one mean growl), and Bob the Builder. If you ask Claire "can we fix it?" She will yell "YEAH!!" She is also fearless. She climbs up anything. And I mean anything. Even the seven foot tall ladder at our playground. She loves slides and swings and food. Her vocabulary is expanding at such an enormous amount it is incredible.

After her bath tonight as she was lying in my arms getting warm by her towel, she looked up at me and said "I love mama!" Only it sounded more like "iwuvmama!" She is darling.

Mother's Day Planting

This year for Mother's day, I wanted to do some planting. I dream of a large yard where I can garden. But for now, I will settle for boxes. I did learn of a new planting devise called the topsey turvy. Instead of planting vegetables in the ground, you can plant them in these fancy planters that hang up and the plant grows upside down.

Well, I am cheap and I made mine for about $3. So we all went to Lowe's and bought plants. Levi wanted blueberries and strawberries. I wanted yellow pepper and zucchini. Josh wanted tomatoes.

Levi and Josh cut holes into the top and bottom of three two-gallon buckets. With the bucket upside down we placed the plant through the hole in the bottom. Then, very carefully, Josh held the bucket right-side up while I filled it with dirt. Here are the finished products.

These plants have been growing great! I have tomato, strawberry and zucchini buds! Blueberries, well, we will have to wait and see about those! At least there are plenty of u-pick farms in the area!



Art Projects

Since Levi started preschool, I have kept a LARGE box full of all the art work that he has made throughout the year. Okay, so that is a little ridiculous. I guess I cannot keep a box full of art for each child for each grade! Although I have not been brave enough to toss the box (maybe next year), I did go through and pull out my favorite pieces.

I then bought six unfinished wooden picture frames that would eventually display Levi's artwork. I took the glass out and set out lots of paint and brushes and let him go for it. Once the frames were dry, I took his artwork and displayed them nicely in the frames. We then hung the frames in the hall going upstairs.

Here he is painting (in this picture he is actually painting a birdhouse for one of his teachers)

Here is the finished product:

Last Day of Preschool

Today was Levi's last day of school. We had a picnic with all the moms and siblings at the preschool and just let them all play. We will miss all Levi's friends over the summer break!

Back row: Bo & Zoe

Front row: Maraki, Nicholas, & Levi

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ski to Sea Update


I just got an email from the Ski to Sea Administrators and it seems as if all the teams have been adjusted for the canoe leg. (if you don't know what I am talking about, read the previous post)

The Knight/Bruffy team actually came in 73rd place! How amazing is that!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ski to Sea

I cannot believe that I have not posted anything about Memorial Weekend! This year was the second annual Knight/Bruffy participation in the Ski to Sea race in Bellingham, Washington. The Ski to Sea is a relay race made up of seven relays and eight team members. The race begins at Mount Baker and ends in Fairhaven, Wa (just south of Bellingham). There were about 440 teams this year. Here are the legs and our 2008 team members:

X-Country Ski: 4 miles: Jule Gust (my neighbor) completed in 41 minutes: 196th place
Downhill Ski/Snowboard: 2.5 miles: Mike Kord (my brother-in-law's boss) completed in 28 minutes: 62nd place
Run: 8 miles: Dave Cram (my brother-in-law's brother-in-law) completed in 54 minutes: 197th place
Road Bike: 36 miles: Steve Rutz (my brother-in-law's brother-in-law) completed in 1 hr 40 minutes: 126th place
Canoe: 18 miles: Steve Bruffy and Joe the Intern (my brother-in-law's father-in-law and co-worker) default time of 2 hours: no place
Mountain Bike: 9 miles: Joshua Knight (my hubby) completed in 37 minutes: 125th place
Sea Kayak: 5 miles: Christian Knight (my brother-in-law) completed in 36 minutes: 38th place

This year the team did awesome. Each leg improved times from last year and we calculated that they placed about 120th out of 440 teams. I say WE calculated because there were some screwed up times this year. About one hour before the canoe leg was going to start the race officials cancelled the canoe leg. The Nooksack River was just too high for the large amount of recreational canoers about to boat. So, since there were going to be no canoers handing off the timing chip to the mountain bikers, the officials came up with the marvelous idea that all mountain bikers could start two hours after the road biker came in. Unfortunately, that plan did not work so well.

Instead of using the timing chips that were calibrated for each team to track when the road biker came in, the race officials decided that they would have somebody hand write the team numbers of the road bikers as they came in to the canoe start area. Of course, lots of team numbers were transposed, written down wrong, or flat not written down. That is what happened to our team.

So after these people wrote down what road bikers had finished, they called the race officials at the start of the mountain bike leg. They then told them over the phone the team numbers and when they could go. This person then told a completely new set of people who would then write the team members numbers on a huge board as to when the mountain bikers could leave.

Since Josh was doing the mountain bike leg, that is where I was. It was utter chaos at the start of the mountain bike leg! Anyway, to make a very long story short, our team numbers was one of the ones that got missed in that first writing down of numbers. Apparently the person did not see our road biker come in! So Josh started the mountain bike leg more than three hours after our road biker got in. He should have started two hours later.

At the Ski to Sea website our team is ranked in the low 400's, but after re-calculating with the correct time of 2 hours for the canoe leg, they are around 120th. As you can see from their times and rank, everyone was AWESOME!

Next year we are putting together two teams; a mens and womens teams!

Here are some pictures from this years festivities:

Josh, Jule, and I camped out on the lawn at my brothers house. This was the view at 5:30 in the morning. We had to get Jule up the mountain to start the race at 8:30.

This is part of the X-Country ski course. Jule and I drove up the day before the race and skied around.

Here are all the canoes lined up at the Nooksack river waiting for the road bikers to come in. Poor guys, after all the work of setting up gear, they did not get to paddle.

Some teams totally get into the race! Here is a picture of one team where all eight members dressed up as Chewbacca.

Here is Josh getting ready to cross his finish line and hand off to Christian. Josh is on the left. He totally kicked that other guys butt.

Here is Christian in line waiting for Josh. He is the one in blue, standing akimbo. (shout out to CK for the vocab lesson)
And finally, here is Christian paddling away. He kicked that yellow guys butt too.