Thursday, August 26, 2010

Violet's Catching Up

Say it isn't so!

My baby is starting to write her letters! (This causes my heart great pain, because it means my youngest isn't a baby anymore). The top line was obviously done hand-over-hand, but the rest of the page looks like a two-year-old's attempt at writing her first letter.
I guess that's what I get for sending her to daycare/preschool two mornings a week. Hmph.

Here she is showing off her pink pig with a pained face because she just realized that T. Dubs (a.k.a Tony Winston) ate part of the pigs ear off:

And "P" week would not be complete without a purple painting!
Violet is enjoying her new daycare/preschool and Mommy and the big girls are enjoying getting school done without any interruptions a few mornings a week.

Something's Squirrely Here

Annabelle made a new friend, a baby squirrel.

Our animal lover was so smitten by this baby squirrel that she decided that she wasn't going inside until he left first. (He blends in well with the tree, doesn't he?)

Just Call Me the Bag Lady, Again

I love reusable bags. Every time I take a trip to Trader Joes, I have to get a new one to commemorate my trip. (Luckily there is not a Trader Joes within 200 miles of me, or maybe that's not such a good thing).

This is my bag from my Chicago trip last fall:
This is what I found at the Seattle Trader Joes: a six-beverage tote! I am super excited to tote my six-beverages around all in one bag.
Our Klean Kanteens fit quite nicely in the bag.
Somehow, I am thinking these are not the 5 or 6 beverages they had in mind when they designed the bag. :)-

Learning Online

One way to keep home schooling fun is using online tools for learning. Two of our favorite and most frequented sites are Starfall.com and Spelling City.com.

Starfall.com is an education site that encourages children to learn to read with phonics. Here is a page Annabelle was using different sounds at the beginning of words (in educational-speak, onset-rhyme).

Aliah has really enjoyed using Spelling City for her weekly spelling words. Every week, I enter her spelling list. The site automatically uses her word list in games which allow her to learn the words in a fun environment. Here she is playing "HangMouse," which is their version of hangman with her spelling words.

At the the end of the week, she usually takes her spelling tests online. So far she has score 100% on 7 weeks of spelling tests.
(One week she started out by taking the spelling test and told me she had completed spelling for the week. I had to remind her that she still needs to do her weekly spelling workbook activities, no shortcuts here!)

At the Farm

This week we took a field trip to our CSA Farm. Farmer Stephanie invited the girls out to help harvest some of the delicious food we enjoy each week.

They have the most beautiful and fragrant herb garden. Here the girls are helping harvest basil.
Stephanie, Annabelle, and I munched on some weeds. Nothing goes to waste on an environmentally-friendly organic farm!
The lemony taste of the Oxalis brought back many memories for me. I used to munch on it as a kid when I hung out at the airport with my parents.

The highlight of the morning was collecting eggs.Then Stephanie let the girls hold her pet chickens. There were about eight of them in the mobile coop, and they each had a name. (They all looked the same to me.)
We are so grateful to have local fresh produce. It's pretty great to know where our food comes from and who works so hard to grow it for us!

Tomatoes!

Aliah came back from the neighbors about to give birth- to a bunch of tomatoes.
This year our neighbor graciously allowed the girls to plant a tomato plant in her sun-drenched yard. (Our yard has wonderful trees and endless shade). Before planting the tiny Roma tomato plant, Daddy worked his magic by blessing the land with many scoops from his compost pile. The result has been a very bountiful harvest. This is the third time the girls have come home with this many tomatoes- from one plant alone!

Here's Annabelle doing her best not to smile for my picture:

A Girl and Her Doll

Note: This is one of the rare times I have seen this babydoll fully clothed. I guess it was her lucky day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meet Sebastian

Sebastian was a local Dungeness Crab who ended up on our plate while we were in Seattle. My sister Caylyn was not so impressed. (That is until she tasted him).

"It's looking at me!"

We also prepared our own wonderful feasts. Upon arrival, Melissa presented us with warm peach cobbler made from white peaches from her fiance's family's orchard. One evening we shopped at Trader Joes and then ate on the dock at Melissa's apartment complex.

Here we are enjoying brunch at a local restaurant near the University of Washington. They had the most wonderful fruit buffet of toppings for your breakfast.
Seattle was delicious!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Relaxing in Seattle

My sister and I had a great time relaxing in Seattle with our friend Melissa. Melissa's fiance Jake also helped show us around. This pictures were taking off the balcony of the building where he works. He enjoys an incredible view from his office window.
Melissa lucked out finding such a unique apartment complex on the water. Here are some pictures from the courtyard of the complex:
The above path leads to the complex's huge private dock with this view of Lake Washington. Such a relaxing atmosphere.One day we took the water taxi to Bainbridge Island.
There we spent time walking on the beach and enjoying fish 'n chips.We also spend a day at Pike' Market. It was so huge and impressive. A ton of local produce and of course fresh seafood (more on eating the seafood later).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daddy Time!

This weekend Christie is taking a much needed vacation to Seattle. Meanwhile Daddy is taking care of things:) I have been trying to fit school in with all we have going on. Thursday morning when I was walking around the yard, I found a big limb down on top of the shop. We spent most of the morning and afternoon out in the yard getting the limb down. The yard is still a mess, but its too hot to worry about now.

It looks like the tree has had some prior damage that led to the limb falling down. We will take any extra sunshine down in the yard we can get.School started about 4pm. Aliah kept asking to do art, so eventually I gave her a shading worksheet, which she promptly completed without any problem.
I thought lets do this again, since she liked it so well. I took the sheet over to the window and flipped it to the back side and began tracing the shapes. I was being lazy and did not want to run downstairs to make a copy. Aliah saw me do this and she was fascinated! She spent the better part of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning tracing all of the text. Here is the result of her fascination.
One of our dinner time favorites is baked ravoili. Annabelle helped coat the ravioli in bread crumbs. For some reason the girls all like getting their fingers covered in gooey egg mixture and bread crumbs. I thought it would be fun to make silly faces with the food. It is much funner to eat eye brow's, noses, chubby cheeks and other facial parts.
Violet sat on the couch reading to herself during most of the dinner prep time, since there was nothing for her to get into while we were making dinner.
I sure hope that Mommy is having a great time on vacation, we all miss her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Off to Seattle


I am off for my mini-vacation with my sister to Seattle. Can't wait to see our dear friend Melissa and her shiny new diamond ring! H & M, here we come!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wildcat Cast

Today we took Annabelle up to Children's Mercy Downtown for her cast. Daddy accompanied her in the clinic while I kept the other girls busy in the waiting room.
Since Daddy was with her when she made her color selection, I can't say that I was surprised when she walked out with a purple Wildcat cast.
We enjoyed lunch in the park after the girls played on the sidewalk piano.
All tuckered out after a big day: