Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mother's Day "It's Not Really Tea Mom" Tea

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a special Mother's Day Tea at Betsy's preschool.  Although, as she kept reminding me, "It's not really going to be tea, Mom, because we're just kids."  I assured her that pretend tea was fine, too.

She greeted me at the door with a rainbow colored tissue paper flower and led me to my seat.  The teachers explained how the children had done all the work themselves, from cleaning the classroom to setting the table and arranging flowers in vases.  Betsy beamed as she poured me a cup of lemonade and served me a fruit kabob that she had assembled and a cup of "dirt" with a gummy worm in it.

Next to my plate and napkin was a sheet of Little Known Facts About My Mommy.  Here's me, according to my eldest:

Age: 41

Hair Color: Brownish black

Height: 1 1/2 feet

Weight: 100 (Apparently another student wrote 5 million pounds.  Oof.)

Hobbies: Read and play with me and Abigail

Favorite Food: Bok choy

Mommy's Job: To keep me and Abigail safe and play with me and Abigail

Why She Loves Me: Because she likes what I do and because I chase after Abigail

Thank you Betsy, and thank you teachers, for a most lovely morning.  I will treasure it always.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who Wood You Pick?

To celebrate a recent raise and bonus, Matthew bought himself a boat a Miata a scroll saw.  And then, "to learn how to use the new saw," he whipped up a few toys while Abigail was napping.

For me:

A sweet little bunny puzzle that fits in my palm.  See how the front paw also looks like a baby bunny?

And for himself:
A flying dragon.  The wings detach and fit together with the body like a puzzle piece.

But now the real question is, in bunny v dragon, who would you pick to win?  Because some of those rabbits are pretty fierce.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

These Days

These days we are waiting.  Waiting to hear about some potentially very good things, but waiting nonetheless, with spring and summer plans on hold for now.

We are also:

 Enjoying lots of time outdoors this spring, aka the time before too many stinkbugs and mosquitoes.

Appreciating anew the beauty of our neighborhood.

Taking a welcome break from packing.

Taking a welcome break from keeping the house in show condition.  Because these children are very special and extremely talented in keeping the house in a more, um, creative condition.  The scene pictured below happened in the two minutes it took me to put leftovers on their plates for dinner.  (Not pictured: the paper towels woven into the backs of the dining room chairs.)

I enjoy the placement of the cat scratching post right next to the couch, for the ultimate in cat relaxation and grooming.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter Eggs

 Easter is coming!  And dying eggs is a perfect distraction for a certain teething toddler I know.

I highly recommend outdoor egg dying, by the way.  Much less mess to clean up. 

We do have to work on teaching her the properties of eggs, however, such as "eggs are not bouncy balls," and "if your egg does not fit in the jar, try taking one out instead of cramming yours in."

Ah well, we had fun, and these can always be eaten sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moving On

So much has been going on these days, I've not had time to sit down and blog about it.  If you look carefully at the family photo from Valentine's Day, you'll see a big stack of cardboard boxes behind us.  The rumors are true: we are moving. 

As you can imagine, I'm getting all kinds of help with the packing.

I've been reading with interest about those doing the Forty Bags in Forty Days project for Lent, because we have easily gotten rid of that much, plus all the things we're storing (so they're gone for now).  It is amazing how little need to get by, and how much extra we are used to having.  We're the type of people who tend to save things "in case we need them later for some project," and it's a relief to be rid of the usual guilt that comes from getting rid of things.

It's also fun to rediscover some old treasures.  Check out my late Great Aunt Nora's Mad Men-era clip-on earrings that Betsy is modeling.

It's a surreal place to be, not knowing where we're going.  We have ideas, we're doing research, and in some says we're enjoying the freedom that comes with possibility.

But it does seem strange not to be starting our garden. 

Some of us have fingers that itch to dig in the dirt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day (A Day Late)

Valentine's Day dinner at our house, 2012. Pictured, left to right: Captain Pretty Man, Goofy-Goofy, Belle, and Big Blue.  Everyone was styled by the five-year-old except for Goofy-Goofy, who refused all dress-up clothing and only consented to be photographed with her beloved water in hand.

Things have been quiet on the blog lately because things have been decidedly not quiet at home.  More on that later, but first a few words from Betsy, shown here with the valentine that she made for herself and brought to school to put in her own bag:

"I made a valentine for myself because they have candy in them and I think I would be fussing if I didn't get my own.  And other kids would, too.  A lot of people would.  But I made one for myself because then I would be happy."

Of course she gave valentines and candy like this to the other kids, and was surprised and delighted to receive quite a few in return.

Love yourself and others, and be pleasantly surprised when you're loved back.  A formula for a pretty happy life.  Or she could expand that by about 200 pages and she's got a self-help book.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I think this was her first time.  Is it bad that I don't know?

Two minutes of painting, twenty minutes of washing out her brush, one happy toddler.  Of course as soon as I got her into dry clothes she was trying to open the paint again.  Because seventeen-month-olds do have opinions about what they want to do and when they want to do it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making Christmas, Part 2

Behold, more Christmas crafting fun!

Dolls that I made for the girls:

This was another of the projects I'd planned for years, and finally accomplished this Christmas.  I'm so happy with how they turned out, these little muslin dolls with embroidered faces.   They were actually pretty easy and only took a few after-bedtimes to make, patterning to finishing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Having Enough

A few weeks ago, while we were wandering around a local greenhouse, Matthew and I made an impulse purchase. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cooking Lessons

As you probably know by now, I do a lot of cooking with my girls.  And yet I find I have so much still to learn.  That's the thing about this parenting gig.  As soon as I think I have (part of) it figured out, they grow up a little bit more and learn to read enough to work the forbidden TV at a friend's house.  Why is it always my kid who does these things?

But back to the cooking.  Right.

What I learned from cooking with my sixteen-month-old this morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Christmas, Part I

We had a very crafty Christmas gifts this year, with much secret sewing in the dining room and routing on the porch.  There were some group efforts and some individual projects, all done with much care and love.  In fact, that I don't know who enjoyed these handmade gifts more, the givers or the receivers. 

Here is the finger labyrinth Matthew carved for me, modeled after the one that I've walked at Shrine Mont, which is based on the one at Chartres Cathedral:

A little bit of that Shrine Mont peace and quiet in my own home.  Perfect!

The mini-quilt I made for my mom, loosely based on a picture I took while backpacking in Shenandoah National Park:

Monday, January 9, 2012


Today we had some unexpected snow showers.  Here I am today with Betsy under a tree in our front yard:

And here we are under the same tree, nearly 5 years ago.

I'm not sure which of us has aged more.  But we both still do think the snow is a pretty wonderful thing to see.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

There is a Time for Everything

And a season for every activity under the heavens.  (Ecclesiastes 3)

A time for bringing home our tree,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Talk About Excited

Today was the first day back at school, and Betsy's class was out on the playground as usual when I arrived to pick her up.  These kids were having a great time, tearing around with the pent-up energy of two weeks off from school, two weeks of Christmas candy and presents, two weeks away from friends and teachers.  There were whoops of glee as kids leaped off playground equipment and spun in circles and boinged off the school windows.

And then it began to snow.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Last Day of Vacation

It has been a good vacation, and perhaps the most peaceful in years.  We didn't travel.  We didn't host out-of-town visitors.  Matthew has been home for nearly two weeks.  All wonderful things.

Tomorrow we Go Back to School and Work and Get Back Into a Routine.  But today.  Today we are visiting with friends and indulging in winter fun:


Kitty tummy!

Happy day.