Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trip to Odessa, Visiting Mackenzie and Gunlis

Odessa is a tiny town in Eastern Washington, where Rob's brother and partner live - Mackenzie and Gunlis. Once a year, Odessa celebrates Deutchesfest - a festival, parade, yard sale lollapalooza where German sausage and sauerkraut abound. It is truly hard to describe, but the ambiance of the festival, the landscape around the town, the town and townspeople themselves are as different from Seattle as you can imagine. In only three hours of driving time, it is as if we'd landed on another planet - with the addition of two familiar and sweet faces. Mackenzie and Gunlis have adapted well to their new habitat.

We had a great time. Here are a few pictures.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last Days of Summer

We went last night to celebrate the Autumn Equinox, first gathering with our homeschool co-op folks for a potluck, then heading to Green Lake with our lanterns for a walk around the lake with other folks with lanterns lit. The lights on boats and all the multicolored, multi-shaped lanterns lit up the path and the lake. On our walk back to the car at around 9 pm, it started to downpour for real. An appropriate and cleansing beginning to Autumn on the Northwest coast...

But I don't have pictures from any of that yet, so here are some pictures of our last days of summertime weather in Seattle. Stay tuned for pictures from our trip to Odessa and Green Lake Equinox...

Rob made a fresh tomato sauce last week for Family Dinner Lasagna night. The tomotoes were from The Farm, Granny Brown and our own garden.

Happy Autumn to you all!

We joined some friends (The Sagers) for a last hurrah at Golden Gardens - seems to be becoming an annual tradition.

And below are raspberries and green beans from our garden and pictures from a family dinner night - Grandpa Ian and Jasper Ian, and Lucy showing her journal to Grandma Gloria.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Summertime Continues

The official last weeks of summer have been a decidedly mixed bag. On the one hand, the sun is shining and so much is going well. We have started a tradition we hope to continue of having Sunday family dinners. We've had three so far and they are really fun. It is crazy, but we found that more time would pass than we liked before seeing even our in-town family members. So now, as long as we're in town, we're having any of the available family members to dinner on Sundays.

The mixed bag part is that my sweet brother Robby's ankle got crushed a week ago and the recovery is going to be a long process. And sweet baby nephew Teagan had a burst eardrum on my sister's 35th birthday. And all I've really done about either thing is to send peace out whenever I think of it. And then carry on with the homeschooling/child-raising gig I've got going on around here. I'd really like to make it all better...

A few homeschooling tidbits: Lucy's a proud (and messy) needle knitter. Today we read Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters - an African Cinderella story. During circle today, I introduced an odd little verse that is meant to help Lucy learn to count by twos, threes, etc (all with movement 'cause you gotta feel it before you know - I think that's the idea). I thought for sure Lucy would balk at this one, but no, she loved it. This curriculum continues to delight and amaze me with how much it engages Lucy. Today was our co-op day; Lucy spent most of it very high up in a tree with an 8 yr old fellow Waldorf homeschooled little one. They came down from the tree and informed us that they want a sleep-over. OK, maybe someday...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

So far, so good

All I can say about homeschooling so far is that it is the sweetest life I have ever had. Not having to go anywhere in the car at least three days a week, letting the kids start and finish things when they want to (at least a good portion of the time), and just being together is so nice. All the planning I did in the summer with the curriculum ( has paid off big time. I would be overwhelmed if I were trying to plan as I go. But I just review what I'd planned for the day the night before, sometimes do a bit of prep work, but mostly it is all ready to go. Lucy digs the activities. Jasper digs playing around at home and having plenty of Lucy and Mommy time in the day too. Plus he is a very active and key participant in the circle activities we do each morning. I don't know how long the social scene will work for both kids, but it works right now. We are in some kinda heaven. Lucy summed up the general gestalt around here with these words (she used "her" spelling, but I'll make it a little easier on you...). She wrote "You're happy, I'm happy, we're all happy, I love being happy." I do hope to elaborate on choice particulars at some point, but not tonight...

Here are some pics from the first week. I wish Rob were around more during our days to do that thing he does with the camera...

And by the way, my mom thinks the unidentified scat in the last post was from a coyote. Seems likely now that I think of it as they do hear them around the farm.

We got these cherries from the farm and Rob made a mighty fine pie with them, with help from Lucy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Farm Again... Heaven

We visited "The Farm" last weekend as a prelude to formally beginning a homeschooling program. It was just what the doctor ordered for all of us. We had so much fun with our friends, Keith, Megan and Arlene. They are three amazing people and we are lucky indeed to be get to hang out with them! Our kids are quite at home with them too. Here are a few of the pictures from our trip. Rob took so many great ones - it was really hard to choose a few for the blog! Plus everywhere the place is overflowing with Kodak moments. I think all four of us (not so) secretly want to live on a farm, but can't quite figure out how to do it...

By the way, Keith looks good below with his guitar. He also sounds great - similar to Neil Young. And that is farmer Megan cuddled in blankets with dogs underneath warming her up.

Down a bit you'll see something that looks like animal poop. It is... only we couldn't identify the animal. Anyone else out there know what critter left us that little gift?