Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Caught in the act - A Photo Album

We've been busy.
It's that time of year, after all.

And we weren't the only ones.
I caught Santa.
On film.

So since there is not much time left in the year, I am going to go hang with my peeps.
You will have to just catch up with our festivities
the old fashioned way...

Taken just five seconds before Jonah throws the glass ornament. 
It does not survive.

Trying to focus on Christmas Present.

Dancing girls

 and angels

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy...

 Silent night, holy night

 "Well, um, one million thousand dollars
is a tall order, Ellie.  I'll see what I can do."

 A whispered wish...

 And the bravest little elf at the whole North Pole.

 Christmas Eve snuggles


 and friends.

 New Christmas Eve jammies with matching pjs for dollies.

 Christmas morning and happy girls

 Oooooooo!  I don't know what it is, but I love it!

The rare sighting of teen-icus lego-tium.

 And His name shall be called Wonderful.

 A beautiful Christmas dinner, by Guy of course.

 And a lovely anniversary dinner a few days later.

 Our celebration dinner was watched over
by the Italian Patron Saint of Watermelon.

 Such a busy few weeks, we are all tuckered out.

Sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hot Snowman

What do you do 
when you find yourself with a houseful of kids, a promise of a treat, and nothing to offer?

You massacre a snowman.  At least, you pretend to.  My kids call our new concoction "Hot Snowman" or "Melted Snowman".  Here's how to kill him:

For each person you will need:

1 1/2 c milk
1/4- 1/3 c white chocolate chips
several drops of peppermint extract (a candy cane will work, too, and makes a fun stirring stick) 
1/8 tsp cinnamon
a dash of salt

Here are the very complex and intricate directions.  Be sure to follow them to the letter, like, precisely, or you will completely ruin it.  Focus, people...

1. Dump everything together.
2. Make it hot somehow.
3. Serve it. 

Yum-o.  Seriously.  
This stuff rocks around the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do Over

Last night we went to advent again at Kathy and Bishop's.  It made me long, yet again, for traditions.  For family.  For tender moments with my children.  For peace.  

There hasn't been much of that around here lately.  The squabbling has hit fever pitch.  The girls are shrill.  The boy, you know, that one, has been an obnox-i-teen on roids.  Even the baby has been "on one"; he has ricocheted into the hitting phase, bonking and head-butting phase and the "steal eggs from the fridge and run away" phase -all at once (well, that last one is kinda' adorable). And I am not doing much better.  My resolution to go a whole week without barking at Ethan lasted... count 'em... 18 hours.  Oh, and I hurt my hubby's feelings today.  I was in rare form.

Buy I really wanted to catch the Christmas spirit.  You know, sneak up on it, jump it from behind, stuff it into a body bag and force it to hang out with us.  So we made goodies.  We made wreaths.  We went elf-ing and looking at lights.  I wanted our night to be sweet and happy and cheerful, and sometimes there were ooo's and aaah's at the pretty lights, but mostly there were tears and complaints, teasing and whining.

My eyes filled with tears. Twice.

When we got home I went to run late night shopping errands.  I wandered the store with my list, apathetically looking at the decorations, not wanting to buy anything but coal.


Late last night after advent, I sat up online looking at the lovely wooden advent candle holders and nativities from Germany like the ones Kathy has.  It was like I might be able to capture the magic of that night by setting the scene just right.  I found a place to order the things I needed to make one, and placed my order.

By the time I woke up the next morning, I was having buyers regret.  What was the point of buying all of that the week of Christmas, when it wouldn't even arrive until after?  And I guess I knew that just having the pretty candles and wooden figures wouldn't change what was happening in my house.

I called the company.  I asked if there were any way I could postpone my order until later.  The sweet little lady on the phone said it was no problem.  She kindly put my order on hold.  I hung up the phone with relief. 

You know, this morning when that nice lady let me cancel my order, I felt like I had been given a do-over. 


While I was gone to the store tonight, an elf had come here.  
Someone was thinking of our family. 
It was a kindness that was both unexpected and so very generous.


Maybe tomorrow can be a do-over.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tradition II

For many years now, I have been creating our family Christmas card.  It always includes an original drawing or painting, the blah-blah-boring family update (you know, little Johnny got a tooth, Stevie committed arson...), and of course, several over-the-top, braggy pix of my gorgeous brats.  I got it done early this year, as in "not the day before Christmas".  I have not printed them yet (what's the hurry, right?), so you get a preview, and if you're on my mailing list, this may even save me a stamp! 
It's a tradition.

I have been thinking a lot about traditions.  Kathy (you remember, buff Kathy, workout partner extraordinaire?) has invited our family to a couple of her family's advent celebrations.  She and Hubby Wayne gather their little chickens around them on the four Sundays before Christmas to sing, read stories and eat goodies by fire and candlelight.  Each time we leave, I am recommitted to trying harder to focus on that whole reason-for-the-season thing.  But by Monday, those old demons creep back in, the ones that whisper to me to be stressed out, to stop trying, and to give up on getting my family to get along, treat each other with kindness and start thinking about the needs of others. 

I guess I have made a tradition out of being overwhelmed at Christmas.

I did do things this year to leave that history behind me.  I worked on Christmas projects all year.  I began listening to carols after Thanksgiving.  I even got excited to decorate this time around.  But old habits die hard.  I may have over-reached a little, thinking I could fix my whole broken tannenbaum all in one year. 

But it is a little better, at least.  Baby steps. 
And hey, you already got my Christmas card, so we're good.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


For our December wedding
one of our friends gave us a small box of Christmas ornaments to start us on our wedded way.  In that box there were a dozen or so different lovely ornaments... and one rather odd one.  It was a porcelain doll, about 6 inches tall, and pretty heavy for a tree decoration.  It was also a little, um, froofy, if you know what I mean.

  I don't know how it all started, but that first Christmas she began showing up in peculiar places; a pocket, the fridge, the shower.  Whoever found her was next to hide her.  As the years have tumbled by she has appeared in cereal boxes, rolled in underwear, visiting baby Jesus in the nativity, terrorizing the citizens in my little Christmas village, and even hung on a noose (yeah, that would be my dear husband.  It must be a guy thing).  It has become a quest to be first to find her in the Christmas wrappings when they emerge from the garage, and a bit of a competition to come up with new and better places to hide her.  

I found her first this year. 

I actually gave a sinister mua-ha-ha! when I saw her there amongst the baubles.  I slipped her behind my back and headed for Guy's coat pocket.  It wasn't even a full day before she showed up on me, though.  She was kickin' it with the mamas in the studio, but her empty arms gave her away.  As always, I stopped in my tracks and began giggling.  But I left her there, for now.  I have a plan.

I'll wait till Sunday to get my payback. 
I think she is feeling religious.
Wish her luck.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wicked Fun

Addy's belated cake.

It is 1:29 AM.

There are seven 12 year old boys in my living room. 
 Some are asleep.  The rest are in a heated discussion about MMA and football.
I hope to do some sleeping tonight, too,
but I am thinking that might not happen.

Tessa is curled around my foot because she is scared. 
It's her new nightly routine. 
She also happens to be awake. 
Must be in the DNA.

Adam wanted to have a Nightmare Before Christmas theme for his birthday party, a party that had to be scheduled 2 weeks after the fact.  That's what happens when you pop out of a uterus the same week as Thanksgiving (no, Thanksgiving did not pop out of my uterus, too.  Work with me here.  I'm tired!).  We got as far as the invitations (his own design and artwork) and the cake.  
I say "Good enough!". 
Sometimes frozen taquitos and way too much soda have to be 
reasonable substitutes for party favors and carefully planned party games. 

I wish I could be the kind of mom that had goodie bags all made up
with the kid's names on them.  The mom that made the goodie bags
to coordinate with the rest of the party decor. 
Goodie bags make everything better, you know,
even if the party kinda sucks.

It turns out that, instead,
I am the kind of mom that lets 8 boys destroy my living room and watch movies all night. 
 I am also the kind of mom that will give 'em cold cereal instead of homemade pancakes in the mornin'.  I am the chika that hopes I can get the kitchen cleaned up before the parents come to pick up their yawning, crabby-tired boys tomorrow, but I know I am the girl who would rather just shut the kitchen door and sleep in.

Wish me luck. 
No, wish me a nap for tomorrow.

(While you're wishing, can you order up someone
to come clean up my kitchen, please?  Thanks.  I'll leave the door unlocked)

Now you get to play "Where's Waldo" with Jonah.

Art by Adam

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On three, exhale....

Photo of my kiddie sweat shop,  Make 'em earn their keep, that's what I say!


And with that, the sale ended. 
On day two, the people came, and I broke even. 
On day three, more people came, and I saw a profit. 
It was exciting to see people fall in love with a painting or a little piece of pottery.  I felt all warm-fuzzy inside when someone would find a little pot that just had to go home with them, and they carried it around like a long-lost treasure,
and smiled when they brought it to me like it had found them
They went to good homes, my little paint and clay children,
 and that is always a comfort to a mother's heart.

 I learned a lot of things this first time around. 


Thanksgiving weekend:  good for Walmart, bad for boutique.

They who eat the most samples do not necessarily buy the fudge.

8 hours on the hard stairs = sore cheekies.

It's never too late to meet your neighbors.

I really stink at math.

Netflix is a fabulous babysitter,
but 8 hours of it gives 5 year-olds nightmares.

What takes 2 days to set up comes down in about 20 minutes.

I may have learned more, but I'm too tired now to remember what it was.
Thank you to all of you who came and supported my little effort at bringing art into peoples lives.  What we earned will help with Christmas (since our Christmas stash went to a big car repair last week!).  I am also glad I could provide a place for my friends to sell their lovelies.  I walk among giants.

My favorite moments of the day:

Jonah sneaking fudge samples
 (in case you were wondering, 15 month-olds can and do sneak. 
It's the cutest dang thing you ever saw).

A 90 year old woman who fell in love with Jonah.

Him running to hug her when she left.

The woman who came back to buy a painting
because she dreamed about it all night.

The woman who was so sad that a necklace she had fallen in love with (but talked herself out of) yesterday had sold, and being able to say, "That's ok, I will just make you another one just like it."

Ruth doing all of her Christmas shopping while I held gorgeous baby Autumn
 (it was rough, but I toughed it out!).

Telling Ethan he sold both his paintings.

Having several solid hours to visit with friends while we tested the fudge samples
 to make sure they were still good.

Hearing people tell me how lucky I am to be married to a man who can cook (yes, I know I am.  And cooking is just the start of all the good things he does).


We'll have to do this again sometime.  How about next year?

Thanks, again friends! 
And thank you Guy for all your hard work and support. 
My mother always said I was a kite,
and I needed someone who could hold my string,
but I think you are more like my hot air balloon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Strings Attached

It was meant to be
breakfast in bed.
It ended up as breakfast after the shower.
No strings attached, just my girls bein' sweet to me.

On Sunday I lost my voice.
On Monday I could whisper.
On Tuesday I could croak.
And though I was feeling much better by Wednesday,
the girls decided to take pity on me, all out of the kindness of their sweet,
and in no way cunning or manipulative little hearts.

You feel it coming, don't you?
Smell that little wiff of  rat?

Come with me now to 15 minutes after I swallow my last chunk of apple.
Ellie tenderly asks, "Mama, do I get a kindness bead for making you breakfast?"

Just when you thought you were doing something right as a parent.
Yes, this week we re-instituted the bead jars.  Beads = kid currency.  Earn one by doing your jobs.  2 kindness beads = 1 bead.  Earn kindness beads by being caught doing a good deed.

I hear Tessa is planning to make me a get well lunch tomorrow.
'Can't wait.


Don't forget to come by tomorrow (or Saturday.  It's OK, I know you're busy.  I'll wait up for ya').
The Studio is so fancy you could eat fudge off of it. 
I made you some really cute snowman earrings.
I'll save 'em for ya'.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Clay Pots and Cathedrals

We interrupt your regularly scheduled weekend to bring you this update:
The sale has begun.

But someone didn't get the memo.

Five great ladies (and one slightly frantic one) have slaved away for weeks, nay, months, to prepare this amazing conglomeration of artistic endeavors the likes of which this humble hamlet has ne'er before seen. 
 It took two days to set up. 
You sooooo should have been here...

with the 12 other people who came.

Yep.  Sad huh?  It's okay, I wear waterproof mascara.  But please tell me this isn't a commentary on the aesthetic sensitivities of Nor Cal at large.  I am hoping this was merely a situation where everyone has a synchronous thought, that thought being "I'll wait 'til next weekend".  Well, lucky for them there is still fudge left over.  Of course, next weekend is six days away, so I can't promise I won't eat it every day for lunch between now and then (Dark Chocolate Orange fudge.  Oh, yeah, baby).
Did I mention Guy's new Raspberry White Chocolate Ice Cream Topping?  I didn't?

I joke, but this is really more important to me than just breaking-even on the cost of my materials.  Like so many other things in our culture that are becoming "a thing of the past" (like music in the schools or basic respect in a Walmart checkout line), artisans are being replaced or out-moded.

By technology.
By cheap labor.
By TV culture.
By sheer laziness.
By crap.
Cheap, plastic and press-board CRAP.

I long for the days when someone thought it wasn't good enough to just make a chair, they wanted to make it strong and enduring and beautiful.  It is through art that early man first began to record his history and hopes on cave walls.  Yeah, sure, he always painted his dead mammoth a little bigger than the one his cave-mate killed, but he painted it.  And later, someone along the River Nile said "let's bury this old guy in something beautiful", and someone else said "let's paint on our walls and ceilings,
and build cathedrals that reach the stars."

And just as humankind's genius seemed as though it was truly touched by God himself,
some knucklehead said "I think we could make this way cheaper in China". 
And on the day the first man said "Let's build a mini-mall",
a deep sob welled up from the depths of history
 and Di Vinci turned over in his grave.  Twice.

Did you know some ancient Native American tribes forbade women from creating images of animals and people, so afraid were they that her life-giving power might cause her images to come alive?  Isn't that beautiful?  I mean sure, she was still being repressed, but if you ask me, they had good cause to fear.

Women are powerful creators!
Look what we can do...!

We can raise human beings - more than one at a time - and still find time in the day to tend to the mundane, nourish little bodies and big spirits and hungry minds, type left handed while nursing, pick up stray diaper-nuggets (I did that tonight, so fun) and still create something beautiful;

A home.
A dinner.
A dress.
A garden.
A little clay pot.

May you find time this week
to build your cathedral to the stars.

And if you finish by Friday, stop by my studio to sample the fudge.

My studio was heard to be singing the song "I'm too sexy". 

Pearls and paintings and pots, oh my!

Lovelies by Erin, Pat and Amanda.


Robin still wearing a smile, even after helping till 11pm last night and hanging with me for the day today.  Thank you, Robin!!!  You can tag and hang jewelry with me any time!

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's a darn good thing

It's a darn good thing
tha I left my camera in LA last weekend when we went down for a family wedding.  Because if I hadn't, I would have taken it with me Saturday to the Evil Pizza Place that shall remain Nameless.  The one that makes you pay $10 to get in the door for their very unimpressive buffet, even though you will only have 2 slices of doughy-in-the-middle pizza and a small salad.  I would have ended up taking pictures of my devil-spawn children NOT having any fun and complaining constantly. 
It would have been a waste of pixels. 
Trust me.

But because I know that you want the gory details, I shall tell you.  But you will have to imagine it all, for alas, there are no pictures.  And it's a darn good thing.

There had been no way around it.  Adam had his last soccer game, and with all last-soccer-games comes the poorly planned end-of-season party and the "You showed up so you get an overpriced plastic trophy that your parents paid for".  So while Guy went to a funeral, I wrestled 5 reluctant kids back into the van to first go buy an over-priced Gluten Free Pizza to smuggle into the Evil Pizza Place a half hour away (in case you were wondering, gluten-free in this context means "disgusting if not eaten immediately").  Upon our arrival to the second pizza joint, the perky staff at the EPP graciously accepted my $40, which included full price for the child who could not eat their glutinous glop.  As drinks cost extra, I announced that water wound be fine.  No, that was not a question, it was a demand.  No child dare argue. 

The party room that had been reserved was just the right size for a small group of pigmies, and so we managed to locate the only empty table in the nearby dining room.  Whilst playing the food relay game with each child from the buffet area and back to our table, a courtesy-challenged old lady plopped herself down in one of our chairs and refused to move.  "No English" she mumbled. 
Oh, yeah, I believe you, Grannie.

I move all our crap to a dinning room somwhere in Outter Mongolia. 
 It takes 4 trips.  I stomp the whole way.

Tessa's $5 "all you can eat" consisted of 4 cucumber slices, a pile of hard boiled egg crumbs, and two helpings of ice cream.  Oh, but don't forget her cold, hard, $10 toppings-congealed on a gluten-free frizbee.  She ate 1 and 1/2 slices.

I told Ethan he had to eat enough to last him for the entire day because I had to pay adult price for him.  He had 4 slices of pizza and 5 ice cream cones. 
Frankly, I think he could have done better.

Later, we packed into Party Room #3 to witness the awards ceremony.  Some words were said, which no one could hear on account of the 2 kinds of music that were playing and the carnival on the other side of the partition. 

Back out to the zoo-room.

No, make that the bathroom. 
Jonah stuck his hands in the toilet during the 1.7 seconds it took me to pull up my pants.  The girls enjoyed the automated everything in the bathroom. 
Yeah, because that's why we came here, to play with the hand-dryer. 
In a black out, may you never find yourself in the potty of the EPP.

Now back to the zoo-room.  Not just arcade games, but rides and a playland. 
Somebody kill me now.

Time for some math: Two girls + 10 tokens does not equal 5 games each when each game costs two tokens.  I lug 27 pound Jonah around the arcade for 30 minutes while they play the "change your stinkin' mind every 4 seconds game". 
Finally, no more tokens. 

But now for my favorite part: the TICKETS.  The meaningless, pretend the kid did something of value and reward him with tickets to trade for CHEAP PLASTIC CRAP THAT WILL BE BROKEN OR LOST IN THE CAR BEFORE WE GET HOME. 

Now it is time for more math:  16 tickets divided by 2 girls = 1 cheap toy dinosaur.

But wait, by some freakish miracle, the pimply-faced boy behind the counter gives EACH of the girls a cheap toy dinosaur!  One pink, one purple!  He even guessed their favorite colors right!

Wait for it...

Tessa begins to cry.  She didn't want THAT toy, she wanted a DIFFERENT toy. 

I stand in the middle of the chaos and yell
but my voice is swallowed by the dinging bells and wailing sirens
 of the games and rides.
I grab the pink dinosaur out of her hand and march to the nearest trash can.
A sudden awareness and simultaneous appreciation for pink dinosaurs
sweeps over Tessa.
"No, Mama!  I changed my mind!  I like my dinosaur!!!"
Lucky dinosaur, that's all I've got to say.

Tokenless, we fill the last half hour in the baby play area waiting for Adam to finish up.  I spend 67% of my time rescuing Jonah from the bottom of the slide and the impending bloody lip that I wish to avoid from some kid named Josh with freakishly large feet.
Jonah cries.  He wants to nurse.  No, wait, back to the bottom of the slide.  No, nurse, no,

Ellie whines that she is sooooo bored and she hates this place.
Amen, sister.

Finally, the boys cash in Adams tickets, everyone grabs a last cookie and the remains of the cold pizza-cracker, and 2 hours and 37 minutes after we first arrived, we straggle to the van.  Tessa cries the whole way because she couldn't have the cookie.  It has gluten.  A tiny vein bursts in my right eye.

But wait.  Do you hear that? 
Is that air whistling out of the giant inflatable hammer that Adam chose for his prize? 
Oh, why yes.  Yes it is. 

"It's OK, Mom," Adam says quickly, as I rather animatedly throw the van into a sharp U-turn. 
"OH, NO it is NOT ok!  That is a $40 hammer, young man, and by darn, you are going to get one that works!"
I march into the EPP and announce to the room at large that my son WILL be going back in, hand stamp or not, to trade in his toy for one that works.

No one argues.

Back at home, we tumble out of the van into the driveway, a mass of shoes and diaper bags and pizza boxes. 
And then it happened. 
You were hoping it would, I can tell.
It began with a whiny cry.


"WHAT NOW?!?!?!"

"I lost my dinosaur!"


It was just under the seat.
But I have to tell you,

it's a darn good thing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Previews and Excuses

I have spent every fraction of a spare moment in the studio for the past two weeks getting ready for my art sale.  There is or has been, in the last few days, clay on my knees, dye under my nails, and glaze in my hair.  Hence, my house is destroyed, my laundry is piled and my blog is sorely neglected (a lone coyote howls in the distance, crickets chirp...). 
I am panicked that I won't have enough to offer. 
I am unsettled that no one will want what I do have. 
I am freaked that I won't be ready in time. 

And you know what?  I won't. 
That's OK.
I am the only one with expectations.  Ridiculously high expectations.

At least there will be Guy's dreamy fudge.
And if it doesn't sell, I can EAT IT.  And I won't sneak into the garage to do it, either.  No, I will plop my tired butt down in the middle of my unsold wares and gorge myself until my eyes turn
Dark Chocolate and Roasted Pecan brown.

And, heck, whatever doesn't sell can go into my Etsy shop.  And then YOU can buy it!!!  (Oh, I can hear you now, wishing from afar that my sale does poorly so that you can have a fabulous selection. 
Shame on you!  If nothing sells at the sale I shall blame you, personally).
  (Where are you, anyway?  I will need your address so that I can come and  shake my finger at you.)

If you are nearby, please come. 
 I hear there will be fudge samples.

I will also be offering prints of my four temple paintings; Salt Lake, San Diego, Sacramento and Oakland.  For those of you who don't understand the fascination that "Mormons" (or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) have with temples, I can explain it simply.  In the same way people of many faiths look to symbols to remind them of their commitment to God, we look to our temples as a reminder of our devotion to God and our commitment to the promises we have made to Him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's a First!

I am so excited 
to announce my first (hopefully annual) art sale!!! 
I have invited 6 lovely ladies to join me 
to sell their wares, and this is just a little of what will be available
for your holiday buying delight:

Paintings, pottery, hand-painted silk scarves, fudge (by Guy), jewelry, temple prints,
handmade cards, key fobs, baby items, hair bows and flowers, vinyl wall hangings, 
(even chair massages to melt away holiday stress)
and so much more!

Stay posted in the coming days for previews of some of the things I will be selling.  If you are in the Sacramento area, comment on this post to get location and other details!
Hope you can come!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Art House

We live in an art house.

Art is a huge part of our lives.
It is how we pass the time.
Sometimes it is how we communicate.
It is definitely how we express our emotions.

We eat off of hand made pottery.  We draw and paint for each other.  We sew, felt, paint, sculpt, carve, mosaic and "throw" (that's the term for making pottery on the wheel) our gifts and offerings to the world. 

You might say we eat, drink, and sleep art. 
And last night, we dressed it.
Or rather, Jonah did.  He dipped my socks into the clay water.
After he dropped all of my almonds into it.

There are a lot of things about our lives that I wish we did better.  I think people who have the courage to ditch their TV completely are super-crunchy and way cool.  We turn on the boob tube and sit all square-eyed way too often.  And then there is the sugar thang.  It is my bestest-best friend on woesome days.  I won't say that a good mother would trade her kids Halloween haul for granola bars and trail mix, but she might not let them eat 2 lbs of it in 6 days (did I say I did that?  No, I did not.)
(I did that).

But in this one thing, I am tickled mauve. 
My children are artists.

I have not taught them much.  If they were fish, I would let them swim in clean water.  If they were rabbits I would set them free in a meadow.  But they are children, so I let them loose in the studio.

They are creators to their very cores. 

Last night as I sat at the potter's wheel singing along to the song Guy was playing on the piano, I felt a rush of joy that I have had the blessing of the arts in my life.  Soon the kids were all around me asking questions and poking fingers into wet clay.  And even though Jonah used my socks as mops, he also stood next to me for an entire hour while I worked.  I gave him a tool and a lump of clay and he dug away at it with glee. 

As part of the homeschool philosophy that we follow,
there are principles that I am learning to embrace.  Right now, my favorite is:

"Inspire not Require"

It is sort of the "If you build it, they will come" principle.  And it is all about mom and dad modeling a joy for learning and the habit of being anxiously engaged in life.  We can't force another person to learn anything, but if they are inspired, they will fall all over themselves to learn.

I don't know if any of my kids will grow up to make art for a living,
but I know they will all be artists. 

They already are.


"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

Pablo Picasso

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Candy Quote of the week

"That Baby Ruth was naaaasty!

I had to eat two Milky Ways
just to get the taste out o my mouth."


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Boo! A Halloween Album

Adam with a beard of wool and Karo syrup glue.
It is that time of year again.
  So busy.  So fun.  So stressful.  

I love Halloween.  My kids are thrilled by homemade costumes and the promise of all the candy their gullets will hold.  There is no disappointment.  I don't even make them ruin their costumes by wearing sweaters (not that they needed them in the balmy 74 degree evening).  They are sugar junkies and I, for one glorious night, am Mother of the Year.  I guess you could say that is my costume.  It will be shed in the coming days as the pumpkins rot and the good candy is all gone.  

Then I will just be mom again.  
Stressbucket-before-Christmas Mom.
If I were in charge if things (not that I really want that job), Thanksgiving would be at the end of the school year (now that is a time to be grateful for!) and Christmas would be in September, after a nice long summer of prep time.  

Alas, the winter cometh.  
Short days with long shadows. 
Heavy grey skies and soggy tennis shoes.
 I guess Halloween is my last hurrah 
before the world strips down to her skivies
and leaves me feeling as cold and drab as wet cement.

What a fright.

Can I book your vacation for you?

Hazel and Tink, from Watership Down and Peter Pan, the books we are currently reading.  I love it that the kids are finding new heros through our homeschool adventures.

Handsome soldier or burly super-hero... how is a girl to choose?

I made this awesome straight jacket (complete with leather straps on the back) and mask for Ethan.  It was good for a whole week of bribery.  And I quote, "I'm sorry son, but if you don't get your chores done,
I will not be able to finish your straight jacket for you."

It warms the cockles of a mother's heart to see her baby boy
decked out as a serial killer.  
* Sigh * weep *, that's my boy!  

I learned one thing this year... 
linoleum carving tools rock for pumpkin carving!

And now for something truly scary...

 That is the "you must hold me now!" cry.

I don't know what this is, but it cracks me up every time I see it.

Candy Corn Soup.  Yes, I put candy in the soup.  I rock, that's why.  
(it is not entirely made of candy corn, but of yams and bacon, but don't tell my kids!)

"So let me get this straight... we go up to the door, 
knock, and then we don't go in?  But I want to go in!  
And you expect me NOT to eat every piece of candy as soon as they hand it to me?  
What's the point here, people?"
~Mind reading quote from Jonah, the one legged lion.

OK kids... time to go Trick or... wait a minute... is that...???

my husband?!?!
Looks like more than one wild animal was on the lose Halloween night.  
Too bad you can't see the back of his shirt.  It reads:

"Grandma Lila's Childcare

Now that's scary.