Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Skip Day---To the Zoo

We skipped preschool today so that we could spend all day at the zoo with Papa Jim. 

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Just hatching flamingo eggs on our lunch break.

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Piper is pointing out the freshest of the plastic peppers.

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Gotta plow the fields, even in your favorite white tulle dress.

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Piper telling me it will cost two cents to help plant invisible seeds.

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Piper has an excessive amount of pictures today, but she is the kid most likely to be looking at the camera.

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He can’t quite say “carousel” yet, but he can plead “Horse, ‘round, ‘round, go on horse.  NOW, MOMMY!” 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Building Blocks

Today was about building castles.  Kyla and Piper got into the pavers again and gave each other directions about how to build this castle to best capture Snow White for the Wicked Queen. Bloody thirsty little girls. 

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Then we bought a mixed box of Duplos (big Legos) from a friend’s garage sale.  We got our $15 worth right away. 

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And this is what Kyla looks like when she’s talking to you, Gramma and Papa!

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“Mom, I saw ants. ANTS, mom!  There is an actual ANT here!” 

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Yeah, our lives are exciting.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


[NOTE: Rochelle’s blog has more pics and stories of this trip.]

The inaugural camping trip of the summer was at Saltwater State Park, about 45 minutes from home, with our good friends, Keith and Rochelle.  They took out their tent trailer for the first time—how great to have a step up from a regular tent.  Okay, five steps up….

We were a little silly….

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played ball in our PJs…

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took breaks when we needed them…

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did an all-girl hike…

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climbed over logs…

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Swung on the monkey bars…

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and kept being silly.

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One of the best things was taking Wesley’s bike up the 7 minute hike up the road and riding down in 1 1/2 minutes. 

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All the grown ups did it and were cheered on by the kids (and laughed at by fellow campers!).  So darn fun.


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Clearly. (This was after a flawless ride but, um, hard stop.)

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Good time?

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Good time!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


After the gorgeous day of sprinklers, pools, and sunscreen, the weather changed drastically and a small hurricane (a Northwest-type) blue through our zip code.  We filled up our yard waste with all the debris that came down yesterday evening, but our woodshed can’t handle this “branch” that came down in the lower 40.

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We’ll be cleaning this up for a while.  My job is to haul the logs up the hill in the wheel barrow.  We may be cleaning this up for a long, long, long time.  (That is one steep hill!)

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All’s calm after last night’s storm.  It’s a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Girl in Green

The sun came out for playgroup, so Sus turned on the sprinkler.  Kyla was naked before we finished asking, “Is it warm enough to….?” so she doesn’t get any publishable photos. We got Piper to wear one of the boys’ old swimsuits, and I think she looks better in this than any frilly girl suit.  And I’m going to be one the lookout for more blue and green clothes when we go back-to-school shopping!

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Wesley hit the snack bar when our attention was diverted by the sprinkler.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Uncle Dan! Uncle Dan!

Dwayne’s oldest brother, a resident of CA, occasionally comes up our way for business, as his company (and boss) reside in the Issaquah area.  Not exactly close to our little town, but significantly closer than the 15 hour car trip from his house to ours!

He had the evening free before he flies back home tomorrow afternoon, so we got to have him over for dinner.  We haven’t seen his family, except a few times on Skype, since last July in Sun River.  Kyla remembers him best and met him at the door for a big hug before he could get fully inside. 

It took the others a few more minutes to warm up, but by the end of dinner and through story time, Wesley was firmly ensconced in Dan’s arms. Kyla spent a lot of time there, too! 

Dan properly admired the caterpillars, the tadpoles, the indecipherable stories about preschool.  He is a kid magnet.


Luckily for the children, I was really craving chocolate, so I cut up fruit and melted chocolate chips for dessert. I put a bib on all the kids, but Kyla worked her away around that obstacle!



Dwayne and I always like it when someone else reads to the kids.



Next time, I hope he brings Deborah.  And the cousins, but we’ll see them all this July.

Come back soon!

Newest Pest, I mean, Pets

I’m just kidding about the pest part, as I really like these life science projects. 

We are raising  painted butterflies again, with the arrival of five healthy (and rapidly growing!) caterpillars.  We did this last summer and three survived to become full-fledged adults. 



Even more exciting, for me, this year, are the two tadpoles that came today for our Planet Frog project.  I've never actually witnessed tadpoles maturing into frogs, which goes to show you the deprivations of childhood I suffered.  I’m determined to give my own children a better childhood, full of summers growing things inside that would be better kept outside.  006

The two tadpoles were shipped through USPS in little pill bottles filled with an inch of water.  The literature said not to worry when our little pets swam drunkenly; just a side affect of long distance travel.  They should be as normal as any pond-raised tadpole by tomorrow.  One is significantly bigger than the other and should be growing feet soon.  Don’t worry, I’ll document everything.


Forgive me for this interlude, but I must share with you Piper’s hamartia, her fatal flaw, her greatest character deficit.  She is a terrible namer.  I’ve witnessed this every time she’s tried to name a stuffed animal or doll or a bug.  She usually just gives it its own name (“puppy”, “baby”) or it’s most obvious characteristic (“hoppy”), but today, when she got to name the smaller tadpole, she dubbed it Little Swimmer Tadpole.  When Mama Killjoy pointed out that it would not be little, a swimmer, or a tadpole for very long, she just philosophically replied that then his name would be Hopper Frogpole.  The caterpillars were so much worse that I didn’t even acknowledge her suggestions.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book List for 2012

I’ve been keeping track of the books I’ve read since January 1, 2012, and have only listed ones I’ve finished and actually read (somehow, books on CD haven’t “counted”.  I’ll update this list as I finish something new and you can access if, if you choose, but clicking on “2012 Books” under LABELS (to your left).

26. Dead end in Norvelt / / Gantos, Jack. 
25. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady / Springer, Nancy.
24. The case of the missing marquess / Springer, Nancy.
23.Half the sky : / Kristof, Nicholas D.,
22. The Reading Promise / Alice Ozam
21. A Gift of Ghosts / Sarah Wynde  This is a debut novel from my favorite writer of Fan Fiction (short stories about shows/characters written by talented--or not--fans).  Sarah is talented and this novel was the perfect four-hour summer fling. 
20. The Fault in Our Stars / John Green
19. The Hound of the Baskervilles / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
18. Girl Land / Caitlin Flanagan
17. Mighty be our powers : / Gbowee, Leymah
16. One small boat : the story of a little girl, lost then found / Kathy Harrison
15. I speak for this child : the true stories of a child advocate / Gay Courter
14. Radical : taking back your faith from the American Dream / David Platt
13. Another place at the table : a story of shattered childhoods redeemed by love / Kathy Harrison
12. Outlander / Gabaldon, Diana.
11. An abundance of Katherines / John Green
10. To hell with all that : loving and loathing our inner housewife / Caitlin Flanagan
9. A Matter of Class / Mary Balogh
8. Justice: What's the Right Thing To Do? / Michael J Sandel
7. Wench / Dolen Perkins-Valdez
6. Clockwork Angel / Clare, Cassandra
5. Think : straight talk for women to stay smart in a dumbed-down world / Lisa Bloom
4. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk / David Sedaris
3. Drive : the surprising truth about what motivates us / Daniel H. Pink
2. I'm Half Sick of Shadows/ Alan Bradley
1. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother/ Amy Chua

The Fault in Our Stars

Fantastic Book Alert!! 


My friend, and fellow book-clubber, Jen, brought me over a novel today that she had waited for four months on the library hold list.  I am still in the triple-digits on the list, and since she read it quickly, there is still plenty of time before it is due.  I started reading it sometime after 2pm and finished at 6:3opm.  (The kids had quiet time, sandbox time, a bag of Tings, and at least 2 hours of video time—the book was worth it.)  Laughed. Cried.  Fell in love with my own loved ones even more. 

From Nancy Pearl’s Twitter (and if you don’t know this very popular librarian and author of Book Lust, well, I don’t know you as well as I thought I did): 

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars: Awesome. That's it - no plot summary (no spoilers) from me, just my best advice - don't miss it.

I’ve read some John Green before and I like that he’s not afraid to take time to write smart dialogue.   If you are looking for a good read for this summer, put it on hold…last month. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


It’s time to bring out the summer hammock.  This means days of the kids falling off and hurting themselves before they remember how to use a hammock in a gravity-infused atmosphere.

But once they are all in and settled, they do like their cuddles.