Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Foto

A single picture, no description.  enjoy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

nature table part 1

The making of our nature table...
First, we needed to gather some nature treasures.
The boys are always up for that, so we headed off to our favorite nature center not too far away 
from our home...
the Ellanor C. Lawrence park is beautiful and peaceful
Before we even got started on our walk, 
we wandered into the nature center where something is always happening...
Today, the boys got to feed some animals, starting with the painted turtles
getting super worms out with tweezers isn't easy

Turtles being fed super worms

Broad head Skink being fed super worm

Copperhead snake (the only poisonous snake in fairfax county)

A beautiful quiet walk among tall trees

This is where my heart opens up, or grows, like the grinches.  I feel I need to live in a place like this, with nothing but my family and these trees.
A tiny toad stool, no bigger than an acorn

creek with shimmering golden green light

the beginnings of a nature table.  Elias floating "boats" (nut shells).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frenchie toastie

Atticus makes french toast all by his little self.  The boys learned early on that this Mama is not a morning person, to put it kindly.  I am not mean in the morning, just slow.  I might get up at 6am, but breakfast would not be made until 10am.  So Papa made breakfast until one day, they started doing it themselves! (sorry about the sideways picture)

Atticus cracking eggs

everyone loves to crack eggs

Add milk and plenty of cinnamon

mix well

dip the bread in mix

dont forget to feed the poor doggie
(it is cooked at this point, i promise) 
sprinkle some "snow" (powdered sugar)

eat, then clean up your plate!
 Marvelous.  Breakfast hasn't been this easy since I was nursing!
I love to check the garden in the morning, and the beets are coming along nicely...
new beets coming in!
Tomorrow, maybe the lettuce will finally pop its little green head up

Monday, August 29, 2011

of fish cakes and bread.

Cheap eats; fish cakes...
sweet little potatoes waiting...hum dee dum dum

Boiling pot of carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, fish

toasted breadcrumbs from homemade sourdough bread

mash up the potatoes and fish

form the mashed mix into cakes and bread

cook in a little oil (coconut or what-not) until golden.

 AND, homemade sourdough bread! I am so happy about this!

the mama (starter) and the baby (bread dough)

waiting 8 hours 

second rise, 2 hours

golden brown, smells heavenly

add lots of butter, and eat immediately. 

Little hands helped through out, but mine were too covered in dough and mess to take pictures! alas, next time.

School memories

Some of my oldest boys classmates in school uniforms

Don't tell my kids this, but I hated school starting as much as they do.

When I was a kid, I loved the back-to-school shopping, getting new fall clothes in hopes the weather would soon be cool and not blazing hot.  I loved the brand new box of sharp crayons that smells like fresh wax. ( sometimes, my children even get a special box of BEESwax crayons at the open of the school year.  THAT smell is even better than the smell I got as a kid with a new box...)anyway, I loved all that excitement of the new year, the new teacher, the new classroom, the new friends in their new clothes, and a teacher that doesn't know you and there for likes you.

school supplies ready to go 

BUT, after a few days, after the crayons are rubbed down, I was ready for summer again, or at least ready for another break from school.  Even when I LIKED school, I wanted to be back at home.

The only year I remember liking was Kindergarden.  This was a real kindergarden classroom, with a big playhouse with a play kitchen in it, and baby dolls to be dressed and undressed and fed play food.  I remember playing "family" and being the sister, or mother, or even the brother when needed to help round out the family.  There were huge wooden blocks to build with, and we built tall walls and houses which would collapse in a great exciting heap onto the floor.  There was a fish tank that bubbled and made relaxing noises when the lights were turned out and we all rested on the floor.  There was a green rug that we would come sit on for story time. There was show and tell.  There was graham crackers and milk for snack. It was half day.
Me (left) and my sister, 1981ish . She is ready for school.

Oh, and there was a wood-working table, with real nails and real hammers and real blocks of wood.  I would build something everyday.  Hammer, hammer, hammer; pound, pound, pound, until I had some nails keeping some blocks of wood together.  I can only imagine how loud that hammering was in the classroom with 25 other little kids.  Yet, I never remember my teacher telling me not to hammer or hearing another child hammer and being bothered by it.

Getting ready to get on the bus (I'm on the left).

I remember one day, when we were lining up for recess, a little boy had pushed in front of me and gotten between me and the child I wanted to stand by.  I was upset, and wanted my place, so I stuck my tongue out at him.  He knew he had me there.  He went and tattled to the teacher, and she scolded me.  She probably was very kind, and said something like "we don't stick out our tongues.", but I remember feeling my face get hot and I felt very angry at the little boy and at her for not understanding me.  Then, she also told the little boy not to be a tattle. Ha.

my mom, sister and I  early 80's.

All the moms voluenteered.  I remember the week it was my moms turn.  She loved to do this kind of thing.  She is a lover of books, and she helped come up with a great project; She would read my favorite book; Pale Green Pants by Dr. Seuss.  This is a story about a little person (or animal, it is hard to tell) who goes out at night and sees something very scary; Pale green pants walking all by themselves with no one inside them.  The person gets so scared he screams and ends up scaring the pants, which begin to "cry".  Poor green pants with nobody inside them! So they become friends.  I can't read this book to my 4 year old because he gets scared.  It is kind of a strange story. All the more reason why I fell in love with the book...

So my mom worked hard to make sugar cookies and died them green with food coloring.  She shaped them like a pair of pants and baked them.  She unfortunately baked one batch a little long, and they looked more like brownish-green pants.  However, hungry kindergarteners are forgiving, and ate them with their milk anyway.

my brother and sister and I around 1983 (I'm on the right)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A moment of zen

Atticus has great enthusiasm for yoga.  He helps motivate me to 
He is a zen master after all.

Then we have tea.

He insists on using the fine china tea cups and saucers that were
my grandmothers.
I love using them too.
And why shouldn't we?
As we sipped, I looked at "Apples for Jam"
a beautiful cookbook, to get ideas for dinner.  We discuss fish cakes. 
And black widow spiders (he learned about them from a book we just read).
As we were having tea, the yoga mat was quietly 
 taken and used for another moment of zen;