Oct 30, 2009

Friday's Nature Table

With a little beeswax you can turn any plain ol' candle (purchased for less than a dollar last year after the season) into your very own personal creation!   Just cut, or tear, then press.  Simple, fun, affordable. Magical!

Here's to all of us finding the simple ways to bring art and magic into our lives!

A special thank you to The Magic Onions for bringing our nature tables together!

Oct 29, 2009

The big reveal

With Halloween being two days away, and with the festivities of the holiday starting tonight in our home, I declare its time for The Big Reveal....  I took some time to photo shoot with each child individually this year.  In years past I learned the lesson that if I want the pictures I want of my babies in their costume finery, then I need to create the time to dress them up and take their picture on my terms, and with lighting that I like.

Without further ado I give you-  "baseball man"  and "pretty purple sparkle witch"

Happy Halloween to Everyone! 
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Oct 28, 2009

In the spirit

Two weeks ago The Little Travelers reminded me of the Gratitude Dance.  I had seen and played the video for my babies in the past, but over time I just plain forgot about it.  Its a very silly (and rather aerobic) dance with the message that we all ought to remember to be grateful.  Everyday.   Imagine the wonderful results if we all took some time to be silly, and grateful, joyful, and happy for life everyday?

In the spirit of gratitude I made an inpromptu interview for my babies.  I started with Cyrus.  While on the phone with my sister we came up with a list of random questions.  We didn't honestly expect that my 2 year old would have answers to half of the questions....  Really, when will I ever learn to Not Underestimate Children?

Cyrus, age 2.5

What do you love?
Make daddy happy
What makes you happy?
Daddy makes me happy
What do you want for christmas?
What are you grateful for?
great carol?
(we need to use this word more often around the house...)

What's your favorite color?
What's your favorite song?
heart song
 (heart, in Cyrus language, usually means 'words' or 'letters', so this answer is anyones guess)
What's your favorite food?
Whats your favorite candy?
What's your favorite drink?
Ice water.  Cookies.  Big Cookies
What's your favorite animal?
(we so need a dog!)
Who loves you?
What's your favorite TV show?
What's your favorite book?
What's your favorite baseball team?
Do you have a favorite christmas present?
christmas present! yep!
What's your favorite color nail polish?
Anything else?
favorite sock
Thank you Cyrus!

Next up was Ava.  Same absurd questions, and some equally surprising answers.
Ava, age 5

What do you love?
what makes you happy?
get married and have a kitten
What do you want for christmas?
new toys for Fiona
(her kitten)
What are you grateful for?
wonderful family
What is your favorite color?
purple, white, blue
What's your favorite song?
Mama Mia
(she means the whole soundtrack)
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite candy?
tootsie rolls
What is your favorite drink?
Root beer! Root beer!  Root beer! I love Root beer!
(singing and dancing)
What is your favorite animal?
Who loves you?
What is your favorite TV show?
Little Bear
What is your favorite book?
Charlotte's Web
What's your favorite baseball team?
the ones at the baseball game
Do you have a favorite christmas present?
a plant
What's your favorite nail polish color?
purple sparkles
Anything else?
christmas lights
Thank you Ava!

I had such a great time asking them these questions.  Its so much fun to get a glimpse of how their minds work, I am going to have to think of more reasons to interview them!

Oct 27, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Comes....

In our house Halloween seems to become something larger every year.  Decorating for the season, and the   costumes built from, or to add to our treasure chest of dress up.  We aren't ready for anything too spooky.  We do have Sage, the kind gargoyle who chases away nightmares, or "Bee Monsters" (a particularly wild invention of Ava's, I should have her draw them for you someday) that we got so Ava could sleep peacefully in her own room.  You will also find our friendly ghosts made from white sheets, added last year to haunt our front yard.  That is what Halloween looks like to me.  Memories built upon the years before, or passed on from friends and family. 

The purple jack-o-lanterns from my mother, the candle made by Ava, the toilet paper bats we made when Ava was three, hand painted porcelain pumpkins from the 1970's gifted to our family from an old friend, the garlands over every surface; some paper, some fabric, needle felted pumpkins, fresh pumpkins for painting, gluing, carving or baking, pumpkin pie spice for our play-dough, wax paper leaves, glue ghosts necklaces, and we mustn't forget the bonus of the season... big overflowing bowls of apples, squash and pomegranates!

Halloween is fast approaching.  The excitement is building everyday.  My babies may be too young to care much about trick or treating, but they know its coming.  Around here when something is coming, anything is coming, and when that something involves costumes and candy to add to their dish....  Well that is just pretty awesome.

Crafting, costumes, and candy. Memories.  Folks, that is my kind of holiday!

Oct 26, 2009

Gratitude Mondays

I love....

A Trip to the Library......

It is serious business I tell you, or it can be, for me.  For me its lists of beautiful children's picture books to find, all seasonally appropriate.  All sure to enrich their lives.
For them, its something completely different, and oh so perfect.  After they have found their prize book for the day, they....

 ~explore the walls of games

~go for a walk with the ducks 

 ~Find a brave sense of peace at being five.  You may not be able to climb the tree, but its not so scary once you're there 

~or you may start to wonder if you were more comfortable on the ground after all

~exploring all the teeny tiny treasures to be found on the nice safe flat ground

My experience may not be the same as theirs, if I didn't have them to show me how to see a trip to the library.  I am so grateful for them.  They make life so sweet, I wonder if anyone else's life work is so rewarding? 

Here's to all of us finding the peace that comes so sweet with life! 

Oct 23, 2009

Friday's Nature Table

In our home there are two types of Nature Table.  One is mine, it changes at the start of each month, its seasonal and a place for me to reflect on the changing seasons through decorating.  The second is theirs.  Its flexible, sometimes changing frequently, sometimes staying the same.  They keep any holiday books that apply to the season, seasonal felt crowns, an antler from a deer, and a basket for small treasures found in nature.  Their table is completely their own, and I try to keep my hands off of it as much as possible.

Its on my table that you'll find our special specimen jar.  A jar reserved for our most tiny, and delicate finds. 

Right now we have two feathers that are so small we like to guess that they are cheek feathers, or maybe from a humming bird?


The other special find is the molted skin from a grasshopper.  Kinda creepy, and very cool. 

 The idea is too look at these delicate treasures, but not to touch...

 Easier said than done! 

Special thanks to The Magic Onions for bringing our nature tables together!
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Oct 22, 2009

Herb Garden

As part of our "edible work in progress"  We have planted an herb garden.  Parsley, Cilantro, Sweet Basil, Purple Basil, Chives, Sage, Oregano, and Thyme.  It is such a sweet little garden.  I am loving it so much.  That is one thing I adore about transplants.  Instant charming garden! 

We also got an artichoke, and some red beets in the ground, and my oh my... I. Am. So. Excited!  The next two weekends should be big for our little garden.  We will hopefully be adding quite a large addition, but more on that another day...

In other garden news our mint is in full flower and apparently that is the time to harvest, so that's just what we did.  I set out and "harvested" some mint.  I honestly have no idea how that works, but for us it was a glass bowl, and some craft scissors.  I sniped here there and everywhere until I felt I had a good haul.  We shook the ants off (there were a lot) and brought it inside for several series of baths to rinse off any other debris.  Then my sweet little bits of mint sat out on a towel to dry over night.  Yesterday I removed the flowers, and stems (can you use those?) saving only the leaves.  Next, Ava, Cyrus and I, made tea!!!!  It was so fun, and mostly good.  The taste was a little "planty", but they babies didn't seem to notice.  This was my first time using the mint, it was awesome. (edit to add a thank you to The Magic Onions for this post here)  I love using things we grow.   Every thing about the experience is wonderful.  I am looking forward to learning how to make tea that doesn't taste quite so green, then I want to make one of my all time favorite things in the whole world... Peppermint Ice cream.   mmmmmm

Here's to all of us getting our hands in the earth and feel'n the love!

Oct 21, 2009

The looooong weekend

A few weeks ago my family embarked on a long weekend.  We headed first to Tucson to visit my mother, and of course to enjoy her hot tub!

 We had dinner at Govinda's, one of my all time favorite places.  Every time we go here they serve the very best food.  Food that makes your soul feel good.  The atmosphere is so peaceful.  They have a tranquil meditation garden with peacocks, and a large koi and turtle pond.

 We cheered for the Tucson Pride Parade.  Next year they plan to be in it.  Imagine the fun of throwing out the candy...  My mother and children are very excited.  We wrapped up our stay in Tucson with the annual Tucson Meet Yourself festival, or as I will refer to it TMY.

  TMY is an awesome venue with several stages for cultural presentations of music and dance.  The food booths are my favorite draw.  They offer seemingly endless varieties of food. My babies usually share a Pad Thia with a chicken satay, then maybe a strawberry juice.  Want to have some fried bananas, or plantains?  How about some Lumpia?  I honestly could happily spend the weekend sampling different cultural treats, but we had one more trip to make so this year we kept TMY to just one day.  I settled on a Spanakopita dinner, if your curious.

Our final destination was to travel 181 miles north to our dear friend's home in Verde Valley.  They threw a huge shindig with a large family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, to celebrate their two boys birthday.

 A long weekend of experiencing culture, tradition, food, religion, pride, diversity, families, birthdays, and celebrations.

Here's to an abundance of celebration and a few (maybe just a few) looong weekends for all of us.

Oct 20, 2009

Ava's Birthay Weekend

We had Ava's fifth birthday party this weekend.

We decided not to have it at home for a number of reasons.  Two of them being that  1. Five is such an iconic year, and 2.  (possibly my biggest factor) our "work in progress" back yard is a MESS.  We chose The Farm for our location, mentioned previously here.  (that's my first time linking to an older post!  Remember the week before last?  Ahhh memories

Nestled in old pecan groves we decorated picnic tables and served cake and lemonade.  The cake was amazing, I was completely shocked by how beautiful it was.  Topped with large swirls of white and milk chocolate and overflowing with fruit.          

 Ava, and her cousin Sam (visiting from California) helped me roll five little birthday candles for her cake, they fit in so perfectly         

The kids ran and danced and rolled beeswax candles.

The gifts were lovely and thoughtful mix of hand made toys, dressup, and craft supplies.  Perfect for my growing girl.  Her friends each took home a cloth wrapped bundle filled with their candle, and honey sticks tied with ribbons.

Ava's dress was pinned with an antique broach from my grandmother. It is very special to me to share this with her.  On the ride home Ava declared in a sleepy voice that it was the "best birthday party ever".  A true success.

Sunday on her 'actual' birthday we enjoyed a large breakfast to send off our out of town house guests.  In the afternoon we had a lovely adventure in our neighborhood park while Matt fixed Ava's favorite lunch, Mac-n-Cheese.  For dinner Ava helped Matt make her most favorite meal, risotto, while Cyrus helped me make the cupcakes, and chocolate frosting.  We lit the candles on her birthday ring and officially adder her 5th charm.  A honey bee.  She finished her evening giving he brother a lesson in sewing using her new kit, and book.

Here's to all of us finding the magic of a five year old in our lives!

About Me

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East Bay, California, United States
I am a thirty something mother of three. Hoping to raise my little ones to love the the slower things in life.