Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

... is my second favorite celebration of the year, after Thanksgiving. Today was Woodland walk and quiet rituals with our Woodland walking friends, candle dipping at Bianca's, making dinner, eating dinner and cleaning up after dinner by candlelight, white bean soup with winter vegetables, late bedtimes, sweet, sleepy kids, finishing our holiday cards after kids were asleep. What's not to love?

Here are a few unrelated pictures of the kids at our neighborhood nature spot that we call the secret garden, during the cold spell we had a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Season

As we are fast approaching the darkest day of the year, the kids are finding ways to liven things up for themselves, as you can see from pictures below. There is much to report, but I just don't have it in me to report it all. I have to go to bed and hopefully will have a few minutes to read my book - The Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder. It is also the season to cuddle up and get lost in a book, isn't it? Lucy's reading on her own the Fairy Realm series by Emily Rodda. I'm reading Tiger Rising to her. Lucy and I share a profound admiration for the work of this author, Kate Dicamillo. (We've only read one other of her books - Because of Winn Dixie - and it was so lovely and moving - definitely an appealing writer for emotional, sensitive types like me and Lucy...). Jasper's book pick of the moment is Zen Shorts (and I'm not kidding, he picks this one out from a big stack as "the" book to read for bedtime and at other times), along with a version of the Nutcracker Grandma Gloria and Pop Pop just got him - this one by Susan Jeffers is the one he chose and frequently is found carefully studying. Rob is loving Secret Life of Bees, and soon to get back to Botany of Desire by one of his favorite authors, Michael Pollan. I'm afraid Lucy is getting a lot more reading done these days than Rob or I are... Hmmm... But even a page or two here or there is nice.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Catching Up

I will indulge myself in writing a blog about Thanksgiving, but not yet, because we haven't downloaded pictures. We did have amazing moment last weekend though at Richmond Beach. We headed over to the beach thinking we would be there in the rain and wind, but lo and behold, as we were driving into the driveway, out came the sun and it was warm-ish and we got to see the Olympics across the water and the sun set slowly behind them. So beautiful - here are some pictures.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A moment

This morning I had a moment to type a bit, but then promptly accidentally deleted all I'd written. Ah, yes, a perfect way to start the week.... But I recovered by shutting off the computer and taking the kids for a walk in the rain. We spent a great deal of the "walk" standing in puddles or small streams of water and watching the water twirl around our rain boots.

Life has been full of the usual domestic scenes. One blessed day last week, Veteran's Day, Rob had off work and we stole a small walk in the woods at St. Edward Park with our friends. Here are a few pictures from the walk. I hope you enjoy your week, whatever it may bring...

Monday, November 2, 2009


We had a great Halloween, celebrated with another family over tacos. This is our annual gathering with a family we met in Penny Simpkin's childbirth class when we were each pregnant with our first children. Four children (between us)and many fun adventures later here we all are, drinking wine, eating pulled pork and watching our little ones get dressed up and super sugared up. Other scenes of the season are portrayed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kicking It In Mazama

We got to spend last weekend with a lovely family of four at their vacation place in Mazama. Kids and grown-ups were muy simpatico... It was super fun all the way around, from chatting in the kitchen while the children played to ambling up a nearby mountainside to stargazing through a mighty powerful telescope on a cold, clear night. Turns out you can live in a place for 10 or 40 years and still not have visited some of its most beautiful nooks and crannies...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

If you're cute and you know it...

I love both my nephews, Max and Teagan, who were just here for a visit from Colorado, with their mom, Em. (I love Em too, btw. I treasured every moment, most of them interrupted by many things - namely children, we had together. I felt a funny, empty, sad feeling when she left after a lovely but way too short visit.)

Max is 4 yrs old and quite a charming and talented fellow. Teagan is only one yr old. Other ages have their appeal, but for sheer cuteness, you can't beat a one year old. You can try, but you just can't.

A testament to the warmth and cooperation between the four-yr-old cousins is evidenced by Max playing with Jasper's special sparkly sword. No one ever gets to play with that sword except Jasper, but Jasper willingly let Max have a turn. No one even asked him too (I wouldn't usually make such an extreme request of him...)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In the Swing

I haven't had much to say for myself lately here. We're rockin' along in a decent rhythm. The boy has evened out a ton this week. I'm chalking it up to more protein at lunch, a priority given to sleep, and a bit more time outdoors. He has been solidly in the bottom bunk bed all night for at least a couple of weeks. And it is his cozy place that he loves now.

Some moments are hard, but lots of them are good. Jasper is still loving the Nutcracker music and acting out the scenes, made more dramatic by his $2.99 drugstore sword. Lucy is into making a huge mess in the art room downstairs; interesting creations do eventually emerge. She's also dancing in a flowing emotive way - quite different from Jasper's nutcracker march. I asked Lucy what she wanted to know more about the other day: answer - swimming, magic tricks, building things, and art. She is loving piano lessons and well, the rest of her life too as far as I can tell. She loves to be at home with just me. She loves lots of space and silence. So do I.

I'm in the van too much. I know I've said that before. It is the riddle I can't solve, it is the "Knock, knock" joke I just don't get, it is a blessing and a curse. I don't think I'm making much sense any more... I need to go to bed... Tomorrow, my sister, Em, and her babies Max and Teagan arrive. We can't wait...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Autumn Again

We've definitely had a little bit of everything this fall already... Lots of sweetness, also our share of strife. Jasper is in school three mornings a week which is a big transition for all of us in many ways. I miss him when he's gone. We're back in the mini-van first thing in the morning on those days which I am trying and failing to learn to love.

Jasper seems to be holding it together well at school, but then he unravels much more often at home. Lucy is so calm and steady-as-she-goes that Jasper's tempermental tantrums seem all the more bombastic and even absurd. He is a natural performer so he always has a bit of dramatic flair to add to the tantrum - loud grunting seems to be the favorite lately, along with full body back arches ( I thought those days were over, but apparently not) and body slams into various pieces of furniture. If I still smoked, I would definitely be lighting up and blowing smoke rings by the wide-open window when he starts one of his doozies... But he also can be as sweet as ever and I ache for him when he is gone, even while I cherish the one-on-one time with Lucy. Watching her take hold of more academic skills and musical skills and subtle understanding of herself in the world and dancing with her every morning as we get warmed up for the morning homeschooling program is just plain old fun. I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. Here are some random pics from the first week of Autumn.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Orcas Island

Amidst the craziness of our lives right now, we snuck in another sweet weekend away. This time to Orcas Island, where Rob and I hadn't been in at least 15 years. I hope it won't be so long before we return. One of the most gorgeous places I've ever been and on one of the most perfect weather weekends of the summer. We lucked out big time. Rob took this first shot from the ferry ride to Orcas. Any vacation that starts with vistas like this is gonna be good... and it was... Rob captured the beauty so well...