Thursday, September 24, 2009


The other day we were on our way home from school and we saw a dude picking up fruit from the sidewalk, just outside someone's yard. And I thought, what a fabulous idea! I have a car-full of day-laborers-- errr-- I mean, helpful [hungry] children, let's get us some free fruit! So I screech around the block, pull over in front of these huge plum trees and order the children to start gathering plums as I dump out Korah's lunch basket and throw it at her.

Then I got out to help. I'm trying to be a little more "hands-on" in the parenting these days.

Then, the owners of the house came out and they were like, "hey! Don't pick that fruit off the sidewalk!" And we all thought we were busted, you know? And I'm going over in my head the rules about fruit on the sidewalk and how it's like, public property, right? And aren't you glad we're cleaning up your sidewalk? But then the people were like, "give us your basket; we'll pick a bunch from the tree! This tree isn't stingy!" And we just stood there in disbelief and gratitude, thinking how this was so spirit of aloha (they reminded me of pacific islanders), and how we want to move to Hawai'i and grow our own plums...and mangoes...and taro root...

Okay, maybe that was just me. But it got me thinking that it would be awesome to have this big neighborhood farmers market trade thing, where a couple of times a year, you just bring boxes of the edibles that are growing in your yard, set it down with all your neighbor's boxes, and then everyone just goes shopping! There's no money exchanged, just a bunch of overflow fruit and veggies that would've otherwise ended up in the compost bin. Isn't that a great idea?

I have lots of great ideas.... I'm working on the man-power part of executing them.

This is what was left today, after only 24 hours. They were SO good...

I was so blown-away by this family running out and filling up our basket with the fruit from their tree (which really was bountiful, but they were doing all the work!) that I had to send them a thank-you card:

I made Korah run up and slip it into the mailbox, as Taylor was yelling "but it says NO TRESPASSING!" from the back seat. So when she got back in the car I peeled out before they ever knew we were there!

No, I didn't. But I do have a kooky, dramatic bunch of kids. I have no idea where they get it.

First Day of School: Part 3

And finally....
Micah gets his own First Day and becomes an official preschool Sunflower Kid! (He has the same teacher that Morgen had last year, and they are in the "Sunflower" room.) Micah didn't want to stand by the door for a dorky first-day-of-school picture; he preferred to pose on a favorite tree stump outside, thankyouverymuch! It's funny how much this kid enjoys posing for the camera! Like not just "cheeeeese!" but he's all striking poses and stuff. And then he tells me about them--his poses-- after the photo shoot. He's hilarious.

Micah also, loves school. I think he loves the second, more sugary breakfast he gets there. He loves all the toys and the stacks and stacks of BOOKS! Teacher Marge said he spent a whole 45 minutes in the kitchen area, practicing using a knife, because that's what they did that day. So yeah, we are all impressed with his interest in one particular genre of play and his ability to stay put for so long. However, I couldn't help but wonder if that was 45 solid minutes of "choosing" time (and what that would mean to me anyway) and...uhmmm....did you say "cutting" with "knives"? Yeah... that's what I thought you said (and what does that mean to me?!).

This kid kills me. What a punk. I want to say he reminds me of one of those nasty Mexican candies that are like Mango-Chili or something? Except not as nasty, and with a much better aftertaste. He's so sweet and giggly and ohmygosh he LOVES his baby brudder! But he's also so... * CRACK! * BAM! * POW! * ...spicy! Sweet and spicy. (*sigh*) What would I do without my little Mexican Candy? (ugh. I need to think of a better analogy for him.)

So now I have two--count them--TWO whole hours where it's just me and the babe (which is less than last year, but shut-up...I'm not talking about last year), and I have some rollerskating dreams that I'm just not going to talk about because as soon as I do, something will come up, or down--like RAIN--and then you all will be like, "Hey, we thought you were going to..." So nevermind that. If I do something besides rush home and take a nap, I'm sure it will be blog-worthy!

Which reminds me, I have to update y'all on the Art 365 daily thing, which--don't get yer hopes up--turned out to be a travesty. Or at least a little bit of a pie-in-the-sky.

Hmm. Pie sounds fun to paint...

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Day of School: Part 2

This time it's Morgen's turn!
I've actually been having a hard time embracing the first day of Kindergarten sentimentality thing with Morgen. Maybe it's because she's the third child; maybe it's because she went to school (and loved it!) last year, so starting up again has been anticipated, and we've been hanging around this school for a couple of years now, not to mention sporadically during the summer. Morgen's not concerned. Her teacher is beautiful and "sings everything she says" tells Korah, and her classroom is just lovely and pretty and fun. I know Morgen's in a good place, making friends, doing fun stuff. And although I forgot Morgen's snack (did I mention that I forgot to pack lunches for the older two on their first day? Maybe Obama should've said something about packing lunches in his back-to-school speech...), I--thank goodness--remembered my camera, and was able to snap a few photos of my big girl in her new classroom!

On another, completely related note, Morgen needed an apron for school. So of course, since I'm on this "I can do that" sewing kick, I had to make her one. It's an apron, not a blouse with frilly sleeves and buttons, for crying out loud. So I did it. I actually just traced a mini-apron that Korah had gotten somewhere (her name was all over it, or it would've been a hand-me-down). The ties were the worst since (1) turning canvas tubes right-side-out is murder on the fingertips! and, (2) my iron decided to stop working completely in the middle of the process. I ended up going old-school and heating up the iron on the stove as Dave chopped wood and the chillin's gathered eggs from the henhouse. Next thing ya know, we'll be pumpin' water from a well Dave dug with his bare hands and well, I think we can all take turns milkin' the cow.

I love this's all from Ikea, of course. That there's a double pocket with some stripey detail...

I like the Converse-esque double stitching on the black canvas.

And since this is all about Morgen (okay, and a little about my new, mad sewing skillz), I thought I'd add this little snapshot...(yes, that's a teddy bear sweater on her head)...

She might seem shy if you meet her on the street, but she's really an imaginative, hilarious little goofball. She's an amazing and brilliant and uninhibited and snugly little girl... and yes, I can't believe she's almost six already.

Alright...I'm going to go look through photo albums and sniffle in the corner now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School: Part 1

Today Korah and Taylor started school. Fifth and third grades! Tomorrow Morgen starts Kindergarten, and at the end of the month, Micah starts preschool. Phew! I think about that (four kids in school, having a 5th grader, etc) and take a good, honest look at how I feel and..... I'm excited! I really love where we're at. I don't feel like time is flying by, or like I'm getting old. I am really enjoying walking through life with my kids, even though I often feel like I'm playing catch-up. To be really honest, I'm really looking forward to the end of the story: where we all meet Jesus at his house for a big bar-b-que, and Jesus has a huge trampoline. And a swimming hole. So I know that every year is one year closer to that, but that when I get there, I'm gonna want to thank Him for all the good times we had getting there! That's what keeps me in the moment, memorizing the heck out of everything in sight, not taking anything for granted... as much as I can, at least.

Tonight I'm going to read this to my children. I think it's wonderful advise, and lines up with how we encourage our kids to approach life. I think it's great to bring the President into our family conversation once in a while, and recognize that he is talking to the little people (literally!) that he is responsible for leading. Kids need to know that they are valuable citizens too! I'm usually not abreast of daily headlines, but I heard a rumor that there was a lot of hype about this speech. I don't get it. Since this here is my very own platform, I'll say it: extremists are nut-jobs. If you think Obama's the Anti-christ, or if you think he's should just chill out. Use your own noggin to think and act on issues as they come, but I think when all's said and done, we probably ought to find ourselves somewhere in the middle. If the government's supposed to be a balance of parties, 'somewhere in the middle' just makes sense.

Happy First Weeks of School everyone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sometimes I Just Start Sewing...

I scored some pretty big fabric scraps from Ikea the other day and decided I would make a simple bag for Korah to schlep her stuff to and from school. Reversible sounded like a good idea...then we could have both fabrics! Sometimes I forget that I don't know how to sew. I never use patterns; I just make it up as I go (kind of like how I cook). I almost had an aneurysm trying to figure it out...but I did it! I can't believe we actually ended up with a reversible, functional bag! I'm serious... I'm not saying I'm awesome here -- I'm saying this was a frickin' miracle!

Do you see that? POCKETS. Okay, now you can call me awesome.

I only had patience for a pocket on one side, though. So you'll either have a pocket on the outside or the inside, not both.

This is the reverse side! It's basically two separate straps that you tie and untie at the top when you want to switch it around.*

So with the fabric I didn't use to make a pocket for the other side, I decided to make a little tiny purse for the arsenal of lipgloss my daughter likes to keep in her desk at school. Another miracle happened and I actually had velcro lying around, brand-new! (Why do I have that? Where did that come from?!)
I had enough fabric to make two, so I made one for Morgen as well. I added an "M" so they could tell them apart. I love it!

And then... I couldn't help it. I just kept sewing!
The kids keep ogling the Ugly Dolls at New Seasons. I was like, "no way am I paying twenty-five bucks for that. I'm a novice sewer...I can make an ugly...doll!" (Ha!)

So I grabbed an old, worn sweatshirt, turned it inside-out and sketched out a monster. Taylor -- a handwork ninja -- helped with the features, and...

Meet Barnes. He's pretty ugly. And nubby. Very asymmetric.
Gosh, I think Barnes needs a belly button...

Oh but Barnes, you have beautiful eyes. Don't be sad.

We all (me and my peanut gallery) decided that Barnes was for Noble.
Barnes and Noble. Has a nice ring to it, don'tcha think?

I think he likes it.

**I got the idea for that bag at Imago Dei's DIY craft bizarre one year. I can't remember who was doing that booth...somebody legitimately awesome. Keep an ear out for it this year (usually a few months before Christmas) and check it out! So fun!