Monday, September 29, 2008


After 3 days of virtually non-stop rain, we had some cranky, stir-crazy kids here. By 10 am on Saturday morning, I had them in raincoats and boots and outside playing in the rain.

Doesn't Philip look like he's in a Land's End raincoat or rainboot ad?

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bread with Jam

Homemade bread + homemade blackberry jam =

even with a fever

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Special Night

After a particularly challenging week, the kids really needed a special night on Friday. They seemed recharged and in great moods Saturday morning, so I'm guessing it worked. A few highlights:

Pizza (from The Loop, mmmm), plums, and lemonade for dinner

Boo-nilla shakes - a seasonal family favorite dessert of milkshakes served in glasses with ghost faces painted out of melted chocolate chips

    Escape to Witch Mountain - (Walt Disney, 1975 --rent it)

    And sleeping in a blanket nest in the living room

    Pantry Thief

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Dad by day...student by night

    Paul has been studying by light of the moon (or kitchen lamp, what's the difference) quite frequently lately. The bioinformatics grant he's been taking classes under for the last year is rapidly coming to a close so in an effort to finish as many free classes as possible before the end of the year, he's taking 3 classes right now. Which means, full-time job demanding his days, 4 demanding kiddos absorbing his evenings and studying by the light of the moon.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008


    Ever since Finn was old enough to notice cars driving down the street, he has been completely fascinated with all moving vehicles. Cars was his first word in regular use; discovering his brothers' discarded Hot Wheels cars was tantamount to Christmas (which is saying ALOT considering that's also his birthday); going out to see the cars from the driveway is standard operating procedure for calming Finn down during distressing times; and turning Finn's carseat around was a momentous occasion simply for the amazing view of passing cars it afforded. Finn loves cars. His love of cars was recently catapulted into full-blown obsession by two new activities, the addition of a simple racetrack to the toy collection, and learning the words "Ready, Set, Go" accompanied by flinging the cars across the kitchen floor, hopefully in a rolling fashion. I'm eager to see how long the car obsession grips Finn, whether it's a passing toddler joy or whether indefinite subscriptions to Motor Trend, greasy fingerprints on the wall, and random motor parts littering the garage are in our future. Either way, it's CARS for now.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Pantry Moths?

    Did you know there were moths who prefer flour to wool sweaters? Me neither...until we ended up with an infestation in our pantry. *sigh* It all started innocently enough with a single moth that I thought had slipped in when the backdoor was open one night. I didn't know how it had become trapped in the pantry, but I shooed it out with the broom and didn't think much else about it. Until it was back the next day. Strange, so I shooed it out again and noticed later that day, there were two. Again, not thinking much about it, until about 4 days later when I opened the pantry and there were probably 30 in there! What?! Like every good internet junkie, I googled "pantry" and "moth" and found out there are, indeed, pantry moths. So out with EVERYTHING in the pantry, which ended up being a fantastic excuse to throw out countless small amounts of things we would never eat, and in with the pheromone traps. The next time I find a random moth loitering near the pantry, instead of shooing it out, I will be beating it senseless lest it decide to procreate (is that what they do?) near my foodstuffs again. Lesson learned.


    After a few weeks hiatus spent purchasing, learning how to operate and setting up the computer to download pictures from a new camera, I was pleased to practice on the kids running around in the backyard on the first day of autumn. True to form, the day was gorgeous and neither warm nor cool. I hope there are many more autumn days like this one before the we'd rather sit by the warm fireplace than frolic in the yard.

    Playing Follow the Leader

    Monkeying around on the rings

    Eyeing the tickle monster

    Caught by the tickle monster

    Rolling down the hill

    Smiling at mommy

    Tuckered out from hard play

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    Ba Ba?!

    Finn fell in love with the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann when he was around a year old. He would light up and sway back and forth whenever it came on. After a few weeks of accomodating him, we kind of forgot about his new song-love and months went by without us playing it again. On the way back from the beach, Finn rediscovered his song, only now that he's somewhat verbal, he can insistently demand "Ba Ba!" every time we pull out the ipod in the car. He also enjoys listening to it in the house where he can really groove. (Car dancing is SO confining.) I wonder what kind of glimpse this is into his future musical taste?

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Broken Cameras and Back to School

    So, tell me how you're supposed to send all your kids off to school, including one to kindergarten, with no working camera to document the occasion? Our camera is taking pictures like this:

    After much research online, we discovered it will be about the same price to buy a new camera body of a slightly newer style as it would cost to repair our old digital SLR so a new Canon Rebel is now in the mail to us.

    In the meantime, I'm having to use motion pictures and our video camera's very grainy stills to capture life events. Elizabeth started school the day after our return from the beach. She bubbled with excitement over beginning second grade and seeing her old first grade friends. Typically, Finn stole the show by trying on his big brother's hat and sunglasses and popping into every picture.

    On the boys' first day of school, Philip was less than enthused at the prospect of becoming a burgeoning kindergartener. He seems to be settling in quite nicely though. Paul bounded in to third grade without missing a beat and will become class clown again quickly, I have no doubt. And so another school year begins.

    USS North Carolina

    Our first morning at the beach dawned overcast with a bit of thunder. Not wanting to take the chance that we'd spend an hour getting 4 kids ready for the beach only to get poured on, we visited the USS North Carolina, a trip we had planned for later in the week. The older kids were a little bummed to miss their first morning on the beach, but their long faces quickly lit up when we approached the huge battleship. They had a blast exploring every nook and cranny of the ship and climbing on every gun, seat, and ladder around. Even Finn tried out the big guns. :)

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Finn in the Sand

    Finn's love-hate relationship with sand, and the beach in general, began on our first trip out to the water. He didn't like the sun in his eyes, the sand that stuck to his skin, or the waves that threatened to knock him down even at knee height. He moderately enjoyed riding on daddy's shoulders or mommy dipping his legs after a wave went by, but that was the extent of his beach participation for the first couple of days.

    Eventually, his big sister showed him how to dig in the sand and pour water from the watering can on his sand mounds. He discovered the waves weren't so scary when you just sit on the very edge of the water line, and waving at every person that walks by brings lots of smiles. By the week's end, I think Finn actually did enjoy the beach a tad.