Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I am THAT mom...

You know, the kind that makes conventional neighbors want to put up a fence so their kids can't see how much fun we're having at 9pm on a school night... doing shoulderstands with each other and looking like carny folk.

I'm that mom who cut my hair off and dyed my bangs green just like my daughters because we all thought it was fun.

I'm that mom who knows how to make delicious food from scratch and grow beautiful, nutritious food that everyone loves. I'm that mom who doesn't always have the energy to do that anymore but who finds the time to nourish one child's desire to learn to do it for herself.

I'm that mom who always takes my children seriously as the fully-formed people they are and encourages exploration of their own life paths even when they differ from my own. I'm that mom who always views my children with eyes of amazement and wonder at the people they are and the people they are becoming.

I'm that mom who no longer has small, dependent children and is grateful for this next phase of our lives that allows me more time and space to explore who I am and who I'm growing into.

I'm that mom who dances like a crazy fool to the Black Eyed Peas even though I don't like their music all that much.

I'm that mom who will go rock climbing, kayaking and surfing with her kids even though I'm old and not that great at it. And I'm that mom who will free climb half way up a rock when a child gets scared to talk them down and reassure them even though I'm afraid of heights.

I'm that mom who follows her passions fully and freely and invites her children along for the ride.

I'm that mom who's learning to play a musical instrument for the first time in her life and loving the passion for music my kids are developing alongside me. I'm that mom who buys her kids a ukulele and a djembe and a keyboard so we can make crazy mishmosh music together without harping on them to practice.

I'm that mom who plays World of Warcraft and runs dungeons with her kids and enthusiastically shows them her new drake mount and lets them fly it all around. I'm that mom who will spend her morning helping a child level up a character while they sleep soundly in their beds.

I'm that mom who's cool and kinda crazy and will talk openly, honestly, and from the heart about anything and everything, admitting freely that I don't have all the answers but that I'll always have a whole lot of love and compassion.

I'm that mom who always lets her kids play in her closet and dress up in her clothes.

I'm that mom who no matter where we are or where we go will always give her children a sense of home and comfort in her hug.

I'm exactly that mom I always said I'd be even when my own mother told me it would never happen and I'd know better once I had my own children.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Soooo much to catch up on!

Gonna have to start doing a series of catch-up posts... kind of a photo documentary. I'll start with some great climbing photos from this fall:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friendly Neighborhood Farmer

The fella who hays the farm across the way invited us to come check out his machinery, an offer the kids gladly took him up on. He explained how the mower worked with the cutters and flails, why it works that way, and how the entire process of hay baling works from start to finish. I wish I'd gotten a picture of his square baler shooting the bales back into the wagon because that was pretty stinkin' cool. After he was done showing us, he offered to take two of the kids for a ride while he finished cutting the last couple of rows. Jules and Sam had a blast riding with him. What a great guy!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Brief Message: My apologies to all who've left comments recently. I think I have that all figured out now. Geesh.

We had our first campfire of the season the other evening, and it was so much fun that I thought I'd share some of the photos here. We had a delicious dinner of rotisserie chicken and homemade bread that made excellent sandwiches. Jim and I had fresh, roasted asparagus and homemade cheese on ours, but the kids skipped the asparagus. Man, they don't know what they're missing, but that's okay—more for us!

Fixin' sandwiches:

Roastin' marshmellows for s'mores:

Runnin' with a pointy, burning stick:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On the Joys of Anachronism

On our trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, Jules really wanted to get a ridiculously expensive Native American dress. They wanted $40 for this dress, and she had her own money. I talked her out of it, reasoning that we could make one for just a third of the money that would be even nicer. That if we did that, she could keep her money to spend on something else. She wasn't convinced.

Her father offered to take pictures so we would remember exactly what it looked like. That helped a bit. I promised we would make one, that we wouldn't forget or get too busy.

By the time we got to photos of the back of the dress and had a chance to talk about accessorizing the dress, she was a bit more on board with the idea, as you can see. Accessories always sweeten the deal, and it wasn't too hard to beat the lame fabric paint on this gift store dress. She settled, instead, on a Native American necklace for $9.99 that would go well with the dress we'd be making.

The first weekend we were home, true to my word, I took Julia to the local fabric store to see what we could find. We found a great faux suede fabric that was already fringed. Perfect! We brought it home and set about designing the dress, what we wanted it to look like, how we'd make the pattern, etc. I finally finished it yesterday, and it took maybe an afternoon, at most. Thinking through the different parts took longer than actually making it, and for the same price as the dress in the gift shop, we got enough fabric to make her dress, a dress for Em, and a pair of fringed pants for Sam. I, of course, happily picked up the tab on this one.

Here's the finished product, minus the cool shell beads that Jules will add herself:

She looks pretty darned pleased, doesn't she? She hasn't taken it off yet to add the shells, so I'm guessing that's a yes. Em braided Julia's hair for her and is looking forward to finishing both her Indian dress and the new Colonial dress we're working on that didn't get finished for our trip. Ah well, there's always Mt. Vernon.

Another cool aspect of this has been the kids' interest in learning to use the sewing machine. Here's Julia learning to sew, wearing her Indian dress. Not terribly period-appropriate, but way cool. ;)

She's been practicing all afternoon on different scraps of fabric and even made time to show her brother how to use the machine:

Monday, March 30, 2009

They finished Izzi!

Okay, I know I'm a total nerd, but we've been playing with this puzzle off and on for a while now (cleaning it up each time because it gets knocked out of whack), and we always get within one piece of finishing it.

I was messing around with it this weekend while Jim's folks were visiting because his dad really likes puzzles. We got within one piece, played around with the possibilities for a while, and then I got bored and started playing Bananagram solitaire.

Sam wandered in and got interested, and he and grampa finished it! Here's Sam feeling mighty proud of himself.

Editing: OMG, I just found the mistake! Shhhhhh, don't tell Sam. Can you find it?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge

We just got back from an awesome vacation to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. We had a total blast, and this time, Jim was able to come with us, which is always a special treat. Thanks Steph for farmsitting!

The water park is awesome, and we were lucky enough to get a really good deal on the room rates with a group discount. The slides and flow rider were the most fun for Jim and I, but the kids really loved the big water fort and the lillypad pond. They spent hours and hours just playing on the floating log rounds.

And here's a totally blurry picture of Jim doing tricks in the flow pool, mostly because it's pretty cool and because there's just no way I'm putting a photo of myself up here:

We also spent time in Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement, two of our favorite places to visit. Sam and Jim spent lots of time talking to the blacksmiths at both places, picking their brains about how to get started and getting tips on how to build a backyard forge. Guess what we have in our future?

The weather was gorgeous the day we went to Jamestown, though it cooled down considerably for our visit to Colonial Williamsburg. While several of the Williamsburg exhibits that we enjoy were closed for the winter season, most notably for me was Great Hopes Plantation, I was pleased to be able to check out their winter gardening techniques and to get time to talk to some food historians in one of the house kitchens.

Em got to try out her new piano skills on a beautiful handmade harpsichord at the cabinet maker. Of course, I had to ask the man who worked on it how much they sold for because it was such an incredible piece of art and craftsmanship: $30,000. Wow! Jim asked and found out that they use bird quills for the picks that pluck the strings, giving it the characteristic tinny sound. Cool! We just love learning, and we learn something new every time we go there.

We had a blast, but still, it's good to be home!