Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our turkey-filled home to yours...

The turkey we met at the pumpkin farm.
You can find the pumpkin farm here.

Finn's turkey friend reading Albuquerque Turkey along with him.
You can find your own turkey friend here.

Philip's turkey placemat from school.
Sorry, the placemat is an original and cannot be bought.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Surprise for Finn

There once was a boy.

The boy had a doll named Jonathan the Gnome Boy.

The boy liked to read turkey books to Jonathan.

The boy liked to put Jonathan to sleep.

The boy did not know that his mommy 
made Jonathan a surprise Thanksgiving sweater.

I hope the boy will be very excited 
about Jonathan's new accessory.

The end.

PS. Jonathan the Gnome Boy came from Little Elf's Toyshop on Etsy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankfulness, Day 5

Did you know...
that Elizabeth's security blanket (aka Kiki)
and Philip's security blanket (aka Blanken) 

have dinner together sometimes?

that tree blocks make a good parking garage

that an itty bit of spinach leaf is made up of "lots and lots of round green things"?

that Finn has the cutest feet ever? 
(ok, that has nothing to do with this post, but he does!)

Today, I am thankful that, as a family, we have everything we need, some of the things we want, and the imagination and creativity to enjoy all of our things in many different ways.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankfulness, Day 4

I'm not sure why it took me until day 4, but I am exceedingly thankful for my husband.  He is easily the most generous, helpful, patient (by far), willing-to-go-the-extra-mile person in our house.  He spent most of this past weekend emptying the dishwasher and refilling it after the many meals we hosted family, then writing books with Philip and Elizabeth, even running out to grab fresh bread after I spent too much time gabbing with the family instead of starting the bread in time.  In the hectic hour before school this morning, despite the fact he was up late finishing last minute school work for the graduate classes he's taking, Philip needed a listening ear for his latest book...Dad didn't disappoint.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankfulness, Day 3

Ok so I really skipped day 3, but with good brother and his family were in town and I spent the day enjoying their company, cooking warm fall foods, huddled in the living room chatting, breaking bread over the candlelit dinner table extended to accomodate our visiting family.  My favorite way to spend a weekend, which brings me to day 3, my family.  I am particularly thankful today for my kids, their health, imaginations, creativity, intelligence, energy (despite how it wears me out sometimes), and especially their love for each other.

Saturday morning, before my brother's family arrived, we spent at the park trying to take photos for our Christmas cards.  Have you ever tried to get 4 kids to look in the same direction with a mostly pleasant expression ALL AT THE SAME TIME?  Not an easy feat.

Playing music doesn't help kids to smile nicely
when they start singing at the top of their lungs...
then tackling one another.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Thankfulness - Day 2

A pile of family

Oh wait...there's a camera...
gotta ham it up now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Countdown to Thanksgiving

For the next week, I want to do a series identifying some of the things I'm thankful for right now.


brothers who enjoy reading together

because there is not much that warms my heart more, during the frantic before-school morning hour, than to see the kids enjoying each other's company over a book

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Last night's Sundiata play went off without a hitch.  My videotaping, on the other hand, developed a huge hitch whenever I realized there was no memory stick in the camera.  Fortunately, some wonderful parents of other students have offered to burn me a copy of their tapes.

The African drumming teacher at Elizabeth's school, Mr. Bill, trained under a direct descendent of King Sundiata.  Mr. Bill also directs a local drumming school, who so generously played for the performance.  A local African dance artist also offered a residency in African dance and taught the students some basics of African dance, choreographed the final celebration dance, and led the students during the performance.  What a fabulous job these second graders did learning and performing the various songs, dances and storylines!

I'm thankful that Elizabeth was blessed to learn about and embrace so many aspects of this amazing African culture. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vervet Monkey

The second grade at Elizabeth's school has been studying Africa this quarter.  She has learned about the geography, topography, animals, customs, celebrations, food, animals, dance and music.  In addition to a play on Sundiata (blogpost coming soon!), the main project in Elizabeth's Africa study at school was to create a 3d rendering of the African animal of her choice.  Her choice, as she is loving all things primate recently, was the vervet monkey.

After choosing Sculpey for a medium, Elizabeth twisted, shaped, rolled, squeezed and smushed her monkey into form, then painted it with acrylics.   She created a good likeness, if I say so myself.

Elizabeth's Vervet Monkey

You couldn't tell which was the photo and which was the rendering, could you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Little Gnome Boy

wearing his Irish sweater


This weekend, Paul had his first 5k race with his
after school running club.  

Almost ready to begin...

Coming in the home stretch...

He did a fantastic job,
finishing in just over 34 minutes.  

Align Left

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mommy and Finn

Taking a walk

Friday, November 14, 2008

Autumn Reading

I didn't really know if Finn would be into the seasonal reading basket too much this year, and for the majority of October, he seemed oblivious to it's existance.  Suddenly November was here, we're spending more time indoors, and he's dragging the basket out every night wanting to read.  I can't say that I mind indulging him, but incessantly reading Ten Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston is getting more than a little tedious.  Books we'd rather be reading:

Pumpkins by Ken Robbins

Woody, Hazel and Little Pip by Elsa Beskow

Other books in our basket:
Apples by Ken Robbins
Autumn by Gerda Muller
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Apples by Matt Ringler
Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson
Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
The Pilgrims First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern

What's in your seasonal reading list?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have you seen her?

Escapee from Woodstock

Because what fun is life if you can't wear your favorite loud dress, tights, shawl and jacket all at the same time?  Or as my lovely husband so indelicately stated, "She looks like a crayon box threw up on her."  Indeed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Elizabeth's Reading

I bought Elizabeth this copy of Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker, from our local used bookstore thinking it would be a huge hit.  Unfortunately, Elizabeth seemed largely disinterested, and poor Clementine sat ignored on a shelf for several weeks.  Until...I noticed there was a copy of Clementine on cd at our local library.  Since I brought the cds home almost 2 weeks ago, Elizabeth has gone through the book 5 or 6 times.  She's begging me not to take it back to the library.  I can't remember if you can renew cds or not, but since my hidden book box (the one in my closet that holds new and used books for a rainy day) contains the The Talented Clementine, and I'm fairly certain I saw that cd set at the library as well, I'm positive Clementine will still be around for a while.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blank Canvas Day, Part 2

More shots from the blank canvas day, including building with Kapla blocks, playing dress-up, watching a horse eat the remainder of the harvest gourds, riding a horse, and horsing around outside.

A Blank Canvas Day

Paulie, Philip, Finn and I have a much appreciated do-nothing day.  The four of us are fortunate enough to have Veteran's Day off while Paul and Elizabeth have work and school respectively.  Elizabeth was not impressed, to say the least, that SHE still had school while most of us get to relax today.  I considered giving her a mental health day, but her class is practicing for their Sundiata play, which will be a coming blogpost, I am sure.

The boys painted ceramic animals this morning, Paulie and Philip with acrylics, Finn with finger paints.  Do finger paints stick to ceramic?  I have no idea, but I guess we'll find out!

Finn's monkey

Paul's frog

Philip's elephant

Hats off to our veterans!  You are much appreciated during this season of thanksgiving!

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Skirt, #2

Because every dog needs a new skirt 
to match it's owner!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Elizabeth's New Skirt

After reading a Soulemama blogpost a couple of months ago, I was inspired to make one of her "Before Dinner Skirts".  A quick and easy project, I completed the skirt in under an hour just after the kids went to bed Friday evening.  Elizabeth excitedly modeled for me and ran around in her new skirt all day yesterday.  Today, the skirt is washing so she can wear it to school tomorrow.  I'm thinking she might need a few more play skirts.

Skirt in action:

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I finally got around to painting Finn's newish train the other night.  Painting the train didn't require much time or talent since I was just giving it a Waldorf finish of watercolor paint and beeswax polish, I just seemed to have difficulty finding even a little bit of time to tackle the project.  Then, of course, there was the matter of Finn stealing the train parts as I was trying to paint them.

Finn and I were quite pleased with the result despite the fact he's labeled every piece "orange train".

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last Minute Game

There's something about wet-haired children squeezing in a last minute board game before bed.  The game of choice was Camp, an outdoors-oriented game in which you answer questions about nature to move down a path toward camp.

Of course, I could do without the random, high-pitched screeching at each other that accompanies such games.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Philip's Reading

We got Philip a pirate pop-up book, called The Castaway Pirates: A Pop-Up Tale of Bad Luck, Sharp Teeth, and Stinky Toes, for his birthday a couple of weeks ago.  I knew as soon as I saw it that Philip would be thrilled with the combination of pirates, 3D action, and stinky body parts.  And he was.  Since receiving it, this book has been his constant bedtime companion as he falls asleep each night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the Vote

In honor of our country,
(and my dear husband
who loves Shepard Fairey)


Poster by: Shepard Fairey

Love Jar

Elizabeth decided to take a large jar she found in the pantry (we'll find a use for it at some point, right?) and fill it with small packages to brighten someone's day.

Then, of course, it wasn't enough to simply fill it with packages, it needed to be decorated in a lovely way.