Pea Pickin’

I love our little vegetable garden. I do. I really, really do. It is becoming a treasured and beautiful space.

But what I love, love, love even more is when our little girl dons the sweet old timey apron Grannie Pie made her and goes to work in that garden.

Cheers,
D

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Seven

The boy is now seven.

He’s been seven for a little while and he has made it clear he isn’t very impressed.

I was informed on multiple occasions over the days following his birthday that seven just doesn’t feel any different than six did. He was clearly a little miffed.

He appears to be recovering.

This year’s birthday was extra special because Grannie Pie and PawPaw were here.

Grannie Pie spent time in the morning drawing with G . . .

R had to give G his present birthday morning because according to her, “. . .we always, always, ALWAYS open one present early!”

R created a custom calendar for G using pictures she selected from the past seven years of his life. He was really excited. Watching the two of them go through the pictures was sweet.

Later in the day we hosted what was the easiest, most low-key party we have ever put together. That is saying something, too, because we are certainly not known for big blow-out birthday bashes. (awk!)

We started by meeting several of G’s friends and their parents at the local theater to be instructed (indoctrinated?) by a certain little yellow peanut on the evils of capitalism, specifically to the environment, courtesy of a company using the little yellow peanut’s face to market products from seventy different companies, including SUVs. After the movie we gathered at the house to eat cake . . .

I always make the cake . . . and they love me for my effort if not for my results. This is one of the few traditions we’ve managed to hang onto for more than two years in a row. This is a wingless, reverse stripe, floppy attened, really happy bumblebee. With beady eyes.

There were, of course, also presents to be opened . . .

Thanks to G’s friends and their very generous parents we are also the most well armed family in the neighborhood. Our armory boasts weapons from a broad range of time periods. Here is just a tiny sample . . .

That boy is so ferocious!

Thanks to Grammie, grandson and grandfather had an opportunity to bond over Snap Circuits® after the party. This is now . . .

That was then . . .

Sure enough, father and son also had a chance to bond over Snap Circuits® . . .

Thanks to G’s parents his is now the proud owner of a VCR . . .

A clock radio . . .

And a cassette player (Dual! Only the best for our boy.) . . .

All from the second-hand store.

G is also the proud owner of a tool bag . . .

Full of shiny new tools . . .

Which he put to good use dismantling all the electronic devices we gave him specifically for that purpose.

Because I’m weird like that.

C says we really need to get him something he can take apart that can be put back together, like a carburetor. I told C that is fine with me as long as he (C) knows how to put it back together so the back together part actually happens.

This is the coolest picture of the day, taken by Grannie Pie, who is always taking very cool pictures . . .

Happy Birthday dear, sweet boy. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxoxo,
Mama

The Boy & His Trap

Leprechaun trap that is . . .

Design by G, future engineer. Or architect. Or stylist. Mamma and Daddy don’t do the kids’ projects for them in this house, by golly.

The leprechaun climbs up the gold coins and follows them until he falls in the can – the lid, of course, remains off until the leprechaun falls into the trap.

(Like the eyes? The child can make his giant eyeballs appear entirely white if he is so inclined. Creepy.)

Before building the trap G and I had this little exchange:

G:  “Does the trap have to be really fancy to catch a leprechaun?”

M: “Depends on how smart the leprechaun is.”

G: “I hope I get a dumb one.”

And just to be obnoxious to all of my friends and family living where winter involves snow, this is what we do after school these days . . .

Amen,
D

P.S. As I’m in the office writing this and G is volunteering to read books if it means he can play a game on Daddy’s new iPad and R is trying to figure out what she can do to earn game time it occurs to me that our children talk just as loud as I do. Poor C.

Still Reading

Last October I wrote a post about R and her love of the written word. Things haven’t changed much. Over the past three weeks she has read the last three books in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series plus a book about Leonardo da Vinci, some other book she received for Christmas and whatever else happened to appear in front of her at any particular moment. The extra surge of reading the past month means that our house has been exceptionally quiet and that the boy is really bored because his sister is more interested in books than in building forts and jumping on the trampoline.

One day last week I couldn’t figure out where R had gone – she wasn’t in the house or yard. I ultimately found her sitting on the curb across the street completely engrossed in her book of the moment. I so wish I had taken a picture – she looked so little sitting on the curb in front of the giant slab of cement that is our neighbor’s retaining wall – but I didn’t.

The second time I couldn’t find her that day I did take a picture. She was here . . .

under the desk on the front porch. Which is where she sat, engrossed in her book, until it was so dark she couldn’t possibly see the words on the page and I made her come in the house.

I love this. I really, really love this.

By the way, how cool is it that we live where we can have a desk on the front porch and use it all year!

Cheers,
D

Presidents Day 2012

A little recap of our very busy Presidents Day (note I wrote ‘day,’ not weekend) . . .

We did a little sewing . . .

The kids are making book covers. If they are ever finished I’ll share pictures of the finished products.

And a little painting . . .

And attempted to make it a little more difficult for Chewy to jump the fence . . .

We planted strawberries . . .

And ollas in the herb garden (so very, very cool) . . .

Played foursquare . . .

Did a little stove repair . . .

Unearthed a potato bug . . .

We took out the remnants of the Ficus tree that fell victim to the December windstorm . . .

We made chicken pot pie . . . 1) how can something so ugly be so yummy, 2) yellow food should never be served in a yellow bowl . . .

And we buried a hamster . . . and placed a cross in memory of the one we left behind in Alaska who died two weeks ago . . . Hazel and Nibblet. We are now a hamster-less family.

Today we’re recovering.

D

Griffith Park & Things

We finally managed to make it to another of the places on our “Must Do While in L.A.” list this weekend.

Griffith Park . . .

We biked along the Los Angeles River . . . .

Water by G-d. Cement by man. Growing things by miracle. Chris’ comment was, “I don’t know if I should be appreciative or appalled. It is a place to bike . . . ”

Freeway on one side, cement river filled with litter on the other . . .

I have to say it never occurred to me that the giant culvert with water trickling through it that we had driven by a half dozen times was a “river.”

We (we being the three of us who don’t puke at the very sight of a merry go-round going around) rode the famous Griffith Park Merry Go-Round.

The Merry Go-Round was built in 1926 and has been in Griffith Park since 1937. The horses are beautiful . . . each one is hand carved.

They are also quite old . . . some of them more than 100 years old actually. Which means every horse has lost it’s tail. It is a little disturbing.

It is amazing to think of all the people through the years who have brought their children and grand-children here . . . all of the people from all over the world who have ridden this merry go-round.

The weather was incredible and the skies exceptionally clear so we also went up to the Griffith Observatory.

Which gave us a nice view of the Hollywood sign.

And downtown L.A.

We learned a few things and saw cool stuff from space.

And for good measure we drove down Sunset Boulevard on the way home.

Oh, and it wouldn’t have been a day in L.A. without driving past at least one movie shoot . . . which you can only see evidence of via the white trailers way in the back in the parking lot because I’m a little slow with the camera on a drive by.

Cheers,
D

A New Post

I haven’t posted anything in awhile. Why? Hmmm . . . . either because I’ve been lazy or because my children haven’t done anything outrageously funny or adorable lately.

I think I’ll go with the former.

Heaven knows I wouldn’t want to strain myself on this first post of 2012 so I’m going to keep this one simple . . . uncomplicated . . . sort of ease my way back into things . . . I thought I would share a few snapshots from the time we spent in Alaska over Christmas. This isn’t because there is a great story to tell but because this blog is really for my children because one day they might like to know how they spent the Christmas of 2011 . . . at least G will. R has a memory like a steel trap and will be able to tell me what the pattern was on the wrapping paper.

So here we go . . .

This is R with the roving Elf and Santa at the Seattle Airport . . .

This is a photo of my children playing in the backyard at our house the morning after we arrived. (The children are part of that giant dark blob in the middle of the photo that is actually a fort and slide.) I believe it was around 9:00 a.m. This is just to remind us about how happy we are to be spending the next two years where the sun comes up at a reasonable hour even in December.

This is G tromping around in his daddy’s snowshoes . . . at around noon after the sun came up.

One of the primary reasons we went to the snow and cold last month was so that we could visit friends and family . . . including R’s best friend A  . . . and A’s little brother. Cutie pies!

Speaking of missing . . . we also really miss Grammie B. A lot. We did get to see her several times and even managed an outing to see the gingerbread village at the Captain Cook Hotel.

And my life just isn’t the same without these two wonderful people living around the corner . . . H and her youngest boy, O.

We also managed a visit to Auntie K and Uncle C’s house . . . which had the most impressive Christmas tree I’ve seen in ages . . .

Auntie K introduced the kids to Shrinky Dinks . . .

And let the kids just hang out . . .

And be kids . . .

Speaking of hanging out . . . we got to visit Nibblet . . . who had to stay behind because hamsters have to fly in the belly of the plane when they travel by air and after much consideration and even some initial preparation we decided not to give the poor little creature a heart attack and left her in the care of our housesitter. She is, however, the world’s most laid-back hamster. How many hamsters do you know who will lay on their back and just hang out to get a tummy rub?

Of course we celebrated Christmas, too . . . we opened stockings . . . (Yes, we took the dogs with us . . . much less expensive that boarding them BION)

And cooked Christmas dinner . . .

This will be known as the year we all learned to tie knots and developed a special relationship with paracord . . .

And we still had time for the usual sibling business . . .

This of course wasn’t all we did . . . we had a most lovely Christmas Eve Morning Breakfast Block Party with the neighbors and had neighbors over to play and eat food and visit throughout the week and a half we were there. It was so nice to see so many of the Alaskans who bless our lives.

Whew!

Gettin’ back in the groove,
D

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