Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tea and History

Every morning we start our schoolwork with Bible, a subject we all do together.  We split up for independent work in Math, Language Arts and Thinking Skills.  Then, as Elora and Amarra are almost done, we come back to the group, have a cup of tea, and study our History lesson before Seleia and I continue schoolwork and the little two play a game!  (Currently the little ladies are drinking Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice, but they are regularly informing me that, since fall is here, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride and Candy Cane Lane, their favorite seasonal brews, will soon be available.)  Seleia is very into using her cup and saucer, "Like they do in The Secret Garden", but Elora won't have anything but her red polka dotted cup and Amarra is quite faithful to what she calls "my birdies". (And, YES, they do occasionally do their lessons in costume.  It's one of the many perks of home school!)

The Library Playground

It may be tiny, but the playground at the library is well loved by many children. ( Mine, of course, among them.)  We showed up early for story time and the girls got it to themselves for a bit before their friends arrived.  Very exciting!  Amarra (showing off her Cinderella socks by wearing her water shoes) slid down the pole unassisted for the first time! Seleia went down the "twirly pole" time and time again. Elora, after sitting on the swing to sing for a little while, pumped her legs and got as high as the swing was built to go!! (Yes, Elora picked her own clothes out. Quel surprise!)

Its a "Force"!

I went in to greet the girls a couple of mornings ago to find that they were all snuggled in a "force" constructed between Elora and Amarra's beds.  They were kind enough to scoot up to the "door" and let me take a picture.  The imagination of these three never ceases to amaze me. The fact that they love playing with their friends, not realizing that sisters could be anything but, makes me truly happy.  We are so blessed!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Field Trip!

We had the pleasure of visiting the Cedar Creek Grist Mill this past weekend!  Other than the cars in the parking lot and electric fans in the windows, it was a step back through time!  The mill was built in the 1800's and a restoration began in the 1980's (check it out and get great recipes here!!).  Pictures of it has even had a few puzzles made of it. (They had a "Little Big Ben" puzzle on display that I'm pretty sure I had as a kid!)  We walked across a beautiful covered bridge to get there, and learned from the friendly volunteers all about how the mill works, about mill stones, and about producing electricity with running water.  The girls got to see corn being ground into cornmeal, and each one of them spent a few minutes churning butter on an old crank style churner.  After that we ate Indian fry bread made with freshly milled flour, topped by the butter the girls had just churned. (We brought home some flour and some butter, too.  Mmmmmmm!!!)  Then before heading back to civilization we hiked around the beautiful property for a while.  We can't wait to go back next month and press our own apple cider!!

Monday, September 28, 2009


It's that time of year again!!  The air starts to chill ever so slightly and the evening comes earlier, bringing with it the promise of pumpkins, apple cider and caramel apples!  All around, things settle in for a "long winters nap" and the spaces in our home change along with the way we use them...During summer we are always on the go, or running through the house on our way to the pool. As autumn comes we really live here, and I find that "fall cleaning" is a ritual I can't avoid.  Gone are the ever present swimsuits hanging to dry in the laundry room and bathroom.  Gone is the perpetual stack of beach towels, the bag of sand toys.  The popsicle molds hibernate in the cabinet. Out come the blankets, in come the pumpkins, and lit are the candles as once again all things turn cozy and warm and we are reminded that home is truly so much more than where you hang your hat. Out have come the lesson planners, text books and project lists. There is a stack of readers almost everywhere I turn.  And I find myself thanking God yet again for my family, my home, and my freedom to live our lives as we choose; to do what we know is right.  My family is the thing I cherish most, and every time I see them I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that God is good.  Happy Autumn everyone!

Friday, September 25, 2009

American Girls Club

Every month Seleia and I head to Barnes & Noble in Jantzen Beach for a meating of the American Girl's Club!  She brings Lucy, her doll, and we try to head over early for some dinner or Starbucks.  Then at the club they read excerpts from an American Girls book and do a very girly craft.  Afterwards the girls usually play with their dolls and beg the moms for new books!  Before we headed over this past Monday I surprised Seleia by sewing Lucy a new outfit with left over scraps from the dresses I sewed the girls for Janelle's wedding.  She was so excited!!  She wore her matching dress and toted Lucy proudly through Pier 1 and Starbucks before the meeting.  Sometimes the little things really do make all the difference!

The Garden Of Eden

This week in our history lessons we've studied all about Creation, The Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, and the Fall of Man.  (As soon as I finish this post we're on to Jubal and Tubal-Cain.)  It is fascinating to see how the minds of these girls work.  Elora truly wonders why anyone would eat from a tree of poison apples. (I can see her inwardly shaking her head and thinking, "Did they learn nothing from Snow White??".) We had the opportunity to draw books of the days of Creation (Who knew that God rested in bed on the 7th day with His "little toesies" sticking out from under the blankets while his mommy turned off the "switchlight?") and create Adam and Eve out of home-made play clay (dyed with turmeric!). Elora would like to share with you Adam, Eve, a polka-dotted tree, and Satan, sticking his tongue out.  Voila.

The House

As promised, here are some pictures of the house I have been helping Joel to paint! He sided it and installed those beautiful casement windows, as well as did a lot of interior work, landscaping, and things you can't see.  I wish the pictures did it justice!!  Tomorrow we attack more of the spindles on the deck railing that wraps around the back of the house and attempt to brave the third story. I tell ya, Joel does good work.

Meet Remington!!

Our friends Nathan And Sarah had a beautiful, sweet baby boy 3 weeks ago.  The girls and I are quite enamored with him! (Joel hasn't gotten to meet him yet!) Little Remy came over to play last week and the girls could not get enough of him.  (Neither could I, actually.  I swooned a little bit when he fell asleep on me.) What a blessing!  Welcome to the world, little man!

Happy Birthday Will Smith!

May we all look as good at 41.  I'm just sayin' is all.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mr. Newtie

One of the things that I love about living in Woodland is that we're not too far out of town, but we're just far enough that the kids can, well... go outside and play with a newt. After playing with him for awhile Amarra (the bravest of the bunch when it comes to all things creature) set him free by the water.  (We were tempted to keep the poor guy, but I think we've enough tanks for now!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Me:  Seleia, calm down!
Seleia:  I'm having a hard time!  I'm just too crazy!
Me:  What seems to be the problem?
Seleia:  I dunno, I guess I just have clowns in my head!!
Me:  Well, can you ignore them till we finish school?
Seleia:  Yeah, I guess I can just ignore them for a while.  But they'll still be there.

Elora:  I'm Elora !  I'm 5 and this is Seleia, she's 6 1/2 and this is Amarra she's 3 1/2!
Costco checker:  Wow!  You're all so pretty!  Are you all three sisters?
Elora:  Yeah.  We want a baby brother, but our Dad is at work.

*Costco checker and a few other members laughing so hard they almost pee their pants.*

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seleia has her first artwork up on the wall! (Not, playroom wall, bedroom wall, fridge, or schoolroom wall that is..)  She did this piece of a river at art class this summer, and it has been propped up on a shelf since, but when we moved the degus the other day we pinned it inside one of my empty frames.  The rest may be a work in progress but I think we'll let her piece stay a while!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Knitting Update!

Look at her go!!

Toothless Near Seattle

Here it is, folks!  The famous tooth #5!!

Happy Birthday Gryffin!

Big Man Gryffin turned SIX this week, and we had the pleasure of celebrating with him on Sunday!  The kids biked from Tigard to Tualatin on a treasure hunt.  How cool is that?  Then they got to hang out and play at Tualatin Community Park, enjoy their loot, and have some cake!  (I have to say that the wolverine masks were....and still are.... the favorite!)  Thanks, Gryffin!