Thursday, September 29, 2011

This day, 7 years ago

There's not a lot that escapes me when I think back to this day 7 years ago. I woke up with contractions around 7:20. I called the office in Seattle and made plans to board the ferry to deliver my baby. Our friend Ben accompanied D and I as I paced the aisles on the boat, and then later on the bright sunny sidewalks in Ballard. D kept a hawks eye on our stopwatch as we marked the intervals my body was readying itself for it's most exhaustive work; welcoming our E. When it finally came time to officially check in to the labor and delivery wing Jen was there to help me through those first eye-opening moments when my water broke. And my mom was there when she was born. We called everyone we knew and the nurses shook their heads at us for having so many welcomed visitors. I cried out to an exhausted husband to retrieve our baby from the nurses because I couldn't remember what she looked like: that 8 pound 15 ounce baby that was finally ours to hold.

 I love you so, my dear daughter.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Girl Fest 2011

We went down to Girl Fest 2011 this morning for a great time with loads of stuff that girls are interested in! She rolled pretzel dough, competed in an obstacle course (and won by the way), climbed around on a fire truck (a few of the guys knew our uncle Jason), learned the correct form for crunches, petted a horse, chatted with the people from School of Rock, was interviewed by a King 5 News anchor, and all sorts of stuff!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Appreciation - Day 1

Today was my first co-op class here at our house. It was completely exhausting but so rewarding! I decided to take it down to the real basic level of color for our first class. We spoke about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. I had the girls mix balls of red, yellow, and blue play dough and tell me what they got. We then made up color wheels, it was so much fun to see the light bulbs going off above their little heads. E and Kaela were so proud that they had mixed all 9 (secondary and tertiary) colors independently.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Detailed Sketch of a Plant

E's Science teacher instructed the children to draw a plant with as much detail as possible, and then label. Here is what she came up with:

I love this. When she was showing me this evening, she pointed out that she knows it's "not 'th' at the end of branch, (she) just made a 't' instead of a 'c' on accident." Makes my heart melt that not one word is spelled correctly, but she took her assignment seriously.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pie Snob

I can't just eat any pie.

But the thing is, that I love pie (specifically blackberry, followed by apple, and then cherry, there are a few chocolate creme pies that are good). My criteria for what makes a good pie lies in the crust. Pie of course is meant to be sweet; the filling and the crust. It could be the world's most beautifully browned and flaky crust, but if there's any trace of saltiness I leave it on my plate. Just cannot do it. When D and I were dating we'd drive all over the city looking for a slice of warm blackberry pie, but the right kind. I think it was Barringer Farms that did a decent job of a warmed mini pie in a paper bag for a while and sold them at the swanky UVillage QFC, but that was short lived.

My mom's mom had it completely and utterly right, I can't explain it, but there's nary a trace of salt (even though there's just a pinch). But it's not flavorless, either.

It's a really uncomforatable place to live though, being very skeptical about how pie should taste but not being brave enough to just break out and make my own. In the past I've put in orders from my mom...a present of apple pie makes the perfect birthday.

Well, today was the day. I had to take hold of this obsession. I picked 4 1/2 c. of blackberries with the kids on Tuesday and they needed to find their way under a pie crust. I called my mom and said I was ready to learn. Break out the flour, I was coming over!

The recipe is crazy easy, my mom patiently walked me though a few little secrets and it was done, I had made my first double crust pie!

It is delicious...all of it.

1st Tumbling Class

not really sure about what to think...

I was so excited to get N into a few classes this fall, here's a few shots from our morning class with cousin Inger. All class shots taken by E!

the 4 of us
obstacle course
the starting star

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Doesn't the world just seem perfect when you can give part of yourself and receive back an equal part from another? This last year we've become friendly with a really neat couple just down the road from us.

Last winter I watched as a sprawling grassy field was converted into a glorious garden! The couple, Mike and Melissa bought the property when it went up for sale last fall and did what I always envisioned for that space. I was always so hopeful that someone would convert the pristine sunny exposed property and use it for its potential.  It happens to be on our every-day driving route and each time we passed there was something new, something exciting! We'd slow each day while passing and exclaim about the covered rows, or drip lines. And apparently we weren't the only ones; so became Rubberneck Farms.

One day I stopped and introduced myself (Which as many of you know is not typical behavior on my part. I am pretty firmly planted in my comfort zone and reaching out is difficult for me). I let them know we were eager fellow homesteaders up the road with a flock of chickens and a small but hopeful garden. After some sincere conversation it was arranged that for 1 dozen eggs we would take home some of the most flavorful produce you could ever find. Some weeks it's a bag of purple, green and yellow beans, a few zucchini and pound of salad greens. Other days we get to take home a bunch of carrots and tomato's. And I will say that my family eats it with abandon.

This is what drives me to become more self sufficient, this is what I believe it's all about and the thing I earnestly and purposely expose my children to, so that it goes on. We must come back to a place of knowing our neighbors and feeding one another. Not just with food, but with information and empathy. We of course send our texts and e-mails to sync up our trades, but when it comes down to it; when I offer that carton of eggs and they extend their harvest it's putting us out there. We have conversations about our lives, about how our passions have gotten us here. It's what changes my mind about the direction of where our world and country are going, it's what makes my cold and skeptical heart warm a bit; I have evidence: People can be good and can take care of one another.

Girl Scout Fall Nut Sale!

If you're so inclined, you can click here and follow the steps for ordering items to support E's Girls Scout troop. If she sells 25+ items, she'll earn her badge! These make lovely Christmas presents.... 

How can you say 'no' to that face?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So guys, I'm beat. This homeschooling Public School Alternative Learning Experience Program thing is really rewarding, but man, it's so much work! I've been uncharacteristically excited about the beginning of a new year with E, but with the recent State Legislation changes to our program I feel like I've learned and done more work that E ever will this year, and we haven't even started classes yet! Our first real day will be this Monday and we've got a lot of great stuff lined up and some really exciting changes too. For starters, the Hall family and ours have formed a co-op! I'll be handling Visual Art Appreciation and World Geography over here, and my good friend Jen will be working with the gals on Ocean Studies, and Life Skills and we'll trade World History back and forth each month. E and Kaela are such good friends and Jen and I get along famously.

E will also be logging a few hours at our Homeschool Resource Center each week with: Pottery, Spanish, Problem Solving (math), Plants and Earth, Exploring Cultures Through Literature, and her YMCA gym & swim! Whew! Add all that to the basics I'll also be covering with her individually: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic and we've got ourselves one heck of a schedule. Not to mention the 2 classes I singed N up for this all of this to say, I may be a bit absent for a while...until I can catch my breath. D's out on the road again, we're planning for E's 7th (can you believe it) birthday, and the garden is just now starting to slow down. I even had an anniversary a few days back, and couldn't stop to give a little shout out about our 12 years! Thanks for all the e-mail's and calls; "we are here, we are here, WE ARE HERE!" (Horton hears a Who)

I'll be back soon, can't stay away too long!


Here is a little something to chew on...Happy Anniversary D.

8/14/2011 *and apparently I'm a terrible speller and forget to use the built-in spell-check...bear with me everyone...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Puyallup Fair 2011

So we went to the big one today with Mabel, Stephen and Rochelle. Lots and lots of rides took up the bulk of time, but I think looking into the future, E will always remember when she lost her 3rd tooth eating cotton candy.

Twirling Gals

Mabel, and N just behind

C'mon, how cute is this?!


You'd think we'd be sick of 'em, but no, N looked at the chicks with their mama for a long time

Mabel's face became progressively frightened each time the roller coaster went around until she was shreaking...poor thing.


E rang the bell and took home a blow up dolphin

Immediately after her tooth fell out

Stephen was content to snack and watch the big kids



and Train