Friday, February 28, 2014


Moira spent a long time at the park today collecting this grass. "Wild Canadian Grass!" She called it, and she had great plans for it when we got home.
Sadly, I was unable for awhile to stop picking at her. Wasn't that enough grass? We have grass like that at home. You are going to get tired of carrying that, and I can't help you.
Eventually I realized what I was doing, and apologized for trying to quash her joy. "Yes, Mom, I have a plan for it. Don't worry, you won't have to touch it. This is making me happy." And other than pointing out that the chocolate store we went to probably had ribbon she could use to tie her bundle up, and reminding her to hold it up straight so other people could use the sidewalk, I didn't.
Not even when we got to the restaurant, and she confidently placed her bundle on the steps outside before we went in. It was of course, gone when we came out (my friend and I both noticed and gave little gasps, but didn't say anything). Moira didn't remember until we were halfway back to the hotel.
I feel like I failed her. The one time I should have said something was the one time I didn't. She worked so hard on this and now it's gone. She asked if we could check for it tomorrow, but I told her there are people whose job it is to clean the steps so it would certainly be gone by then. We have agreed that if it doesn't rain one of the days this weekend we can go back to the park and she can collect more, or we can collect some similar grass in Seattle soon. The important thing to remember is that we can both try again.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week 8

Sick day take 2
We spent a weekend where we were all sick. Except the toddler. It was awesome.

At library story time
Because we had the week off school, we got to go to Library storytime. It seems that Davis doesn't like library storytime. I guess it's good we don't get to go very often.


We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

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Also linked up at Hobo Mama and NPN.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What we did last week

Sick bed
We started the week sick. There was a lot of sleeping and TV watching and video gaming.

We decided to watch the Olympic Ice Dancing finals, and Davis played trains.

Dress sketching
Moira played with Moon Sand and sketched the outfits she really liked. We actually worked through her initial frustrations that her drawings weren't perfect, and she kept saying "Just a quick sketch!" and then happily running off to play some more.

Snap Circuits
Because Walker had President's Day off from work, he got to do some stuff with the kids. Snap Circuits with Moira, and puzzles with Davis.

Garden art
Moira and I finished our garden art project and she put them all in the same spot.

She made this flower arrangement. The first in a long string for the year.

Balancing act
We went to the library and Davis had a lot of fun walking on the retaining walls while we waited for it to open. Surprisingly, he is not a fan of library storytime, despite loving both the library and stories.

At Cafe Vios
We also took advantage of the break and had a slow lunch at our neighborhood kid cafe, Cafe Vios, and then walked to Hello Robin for cookies. And the kids complained the whole time. When they weren't playing or eating delicious cookies.

Moira has developed this new coloring style where she does little strips of color all over the picture. I like it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week 7 (Bookworms)

Just one more!
This was my favorite thing that happened last week, not really a great picture. More and more often when I go upstairs to let the kids know quiet time is over they are so engrossed in what they are doing that they don't want to stop. This time it was reading.

One of my favorite things
Davis usually wants to eat his lunch as soon as we get to school, but this day, he had a whole list of things to do, reading at the library, playing in the playroom... It was lovely.


We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Click Get the code here below to add the blog hop to your blog and join the fun. (Also sign up to be added to a comment group!)

Also linked up at Hobo Mama and NPN.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Day!

I'm taking the Project Based Homsechooling Master Class, and it's helped me rethink a lot about how I'm interacting with the kids. Mostly, the ways that I'm getting in our way of having fun. In that vein, I let Moira make her own Pinterest board, because she is so interested in making everything fancy, I figured this would be a good start thinking about what kinds of clothes she wants to wear (more on that later, hopefully).

Then she saw the Valentine's Day stuff people were pinning. She's been talking about Valentine's Day for awhile, and she was very excited, and now there were ideas of things we should do! She found a lot of stuff she liked, and we talked and agreed on some parameters of what I could handle in terms of decoration and prep.

From your secret admirer...
She had a lot of people she wanted to make Valentines for, but limited time she wanted to devote to making them, so only the most important people ended up getting Valentines. The cutest thing was that she wanted to write long personalized messages on them all and sign them "Your secret admirer."

Who could my secret admirer be?
I thought I had not made the list, but then she told me that I should look under Davis' pillow the night before Valentine's Day, and I found this. She said that her friend Lucy found it on the floor at school, and since it was OBVIOUSLY addressed to me, gave it to Moira to bring home. The identity of my secret admirer is still a mystery.

Peeling cucumbers
She helped me plan out both our contribution to the Valentine's Day party we were going to and what we should make for the fancy dinner we were planning at home, and then she helped me get the snack ready. We made heart shaped fruit salad, and heart shaped veggies. I also made heart shaped bacon for breakfast.

Heart fruit salad
The fruit salad was the most obviously heart shaped. Our friends were suitable impressed.

Monster valentine!
We had a lot of fun at the party. Moira asked every two minutes if it was time to distribute the Valentines. Davis mostly ate and crafted.

Moira's bag
She decorated one side of her bag and wrote her name on the other side, which she regretted when we lined the bags up.

Fancy dinner
After quiet time, she helped me set the table for dinner with her favorite tablecloth, our best plates, and candles. Then she was out of steam, and Davis was at the end of his rope having not napped, so they watched up while I cooked dinner.

Valentine's dinner
For dinner she picked Chicken Parmesan with heart shaped pepperoni on top, heart shaped cucumber salad, asparagus, and spaghetti. My Mom made cheese puffs and a salad, and our roommate made a lemonade cake with pink frosting. Moira offered sprinkle service at the table. We also had sparkly lemonades.

Moira declared it the best Valentine's Day ever.

Monday, February 17, 2014

What we did for the two last weeks.

Moira and the baby sitter continue to make forts. I'm looking forward to when this activity moves outside in the spring.

Lego house
They also made this amazing Lego house, which we kept up for almost a week with Moira making small changes, until it got knocked down.

Pattern tiles
There was plenty of puzzling, along with playing with the pattern tiles.

Valentine workshop
The kids made some Valentine's cards.

Playing Orchard
Davis taught his friend Audrey how to play Orchard.

Moira's creature
We opened up our new OGOBILD set and made some robots.

Making garden art
We also opened our Arterro garden art kit.

Playing a made up game
The kids made up a new game using these cards. They each had a hand of three cards, and took turns playing one and describing where that meant they were going. They played for a good ten minutes.

Playing pool
We visited my Aunt at her new house and the kids had a lot of fun playing with her pool table.

Assorted pottery
We brought home a bunch of the pottery we've made at school and it joined our collection on the dining table. The story stones Moira made for Readers and Writers Workshop are also shown here, having finally come home at the start of the new semester.

Brand new baby carrier
Moira invented a new way to carry her "babies" using a felt crown.

Glitter glue!
I'm trying to relax and let the glitter glue and paint be in a place Davis can reach on his own. I'm not quite there yet. It's what he wants to do 90% of the time we are at the art table, so I really should let him.

Making a tower
Who knows how tall this tower would have gotten if it hadn't been bedtime?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fun with circuits

Lauren and I decided to try and get together once a month for a big science experiment. On the theory that it's easier to do some things in bulk, or with lots of helping hands. We had our first one, playing with circuits.

Working the fan
We had four Snap Circuits sets, one we bought, one Mikko got for Christmas, one Lauren found at Goodwill, and one giant one I borrowed from the school library. I was expecting the large one to have a bigger board, but it turned out to have the same board, but more parts and a second book of instructions. We all had fun with these, Moira especially liked the jumping fan. I discovered why you should start at the front of the first book and work your way through, rather than trying random things from the back of the second book.

Water circuits
Lauren brought an experiment she got from Appleseed Lane, and we tried to lightbulbs light up with water. Unfortunately, it was a bright day and the lightbulbs were very dim. We think we got one of them going, but we couldn't figure out why the second set just wasn't working.

Trying to find the right screwdriver
Our last activity was to take apart this old dead Tivo. The first thing we discovered is that it needed a special screw head, so everyone was disappointed that the electric screw driver wasn't doing anything. I eventually found a set that had the right flower shaped head, and we got it apart.

Still trying
Not that they stopped trying while I was looking for the screw driver. I was impressed with their ingenuity.

I can describe what about half of the parts in here do. Then I started guessing. The main thing that impressed all the kids was how dusty it was inside. Some of them wanted to unscrew the motherboard, but it was in too tight.

Back up!
There were also plenty of dangerous antics on the roller coaster. To the best of my recollection, no one has ever gotten hurt on this thing (barring rolling over their own feet), which constantly surprises me given the things I find the kids trying on there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 6 (Pillow fight!)

Pillow fight!
The kids and their friends have been having lots of fun with the pillows in the living room lately. Pillow fights.

Couch fort
Giant piles for hiding on.

Plowing snow!
And snow for plowing with the roller coaster.

Feeling sick today
My favorite picture of me from last week was the one I took when I started to feel sick. Since I've been sick for something like 5 days now, maybe I'm just used to it, but I think I look good in this one.


We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Click Get the code here below to add the blog hop to your blog and join the fun. (Also sign up to be added to a comment group!)

Also linked up at Hobo Mama and NPN.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Road trip!

Walker got his new car, and needed to break in the engine before he could take it autocrossing, so we decided to be crazy and take our kids on a long road trip. It actually worked out pretty well.

The first stop was Portland, so we could take Walker to Mac! which Moira, Davis, and I went to when we visited Amy last year. Moira made me promise we could take Walker when we went to Portland with him like, five times on our trip, but she'd forgotten which restaurant it was in the mean time. Everyone was surprised! Yay!

Driving the Baby Loaf Van
After lunch, we hopped back in the car and drove to the Tillamook cheese factory. The kids loved this little mini bus, and also the ice cream, but were unimpressed with the cheese sample bar.

A quilt!
Look! They had a quilt!

Ice cream
Davis is a super slow eater, so Moira and I looked at the gift shop while he was finishing and picked out a couple of magic pen books for the next leg of the trip. They worked semi well, but we had the tablets for our emergency back up entertainment. We headed back to Portland for a quick trip to Fabric Depot and then dinner with friends. Then we drove home while Davis tried to sleep but mostly just screamed, and Moira wanted to fall asleep but couldn't.

In the morning, I stayed home to get ready for our next trip while Walker and our roommate took the kids to the Lunar New Year parade. They all got very wet, and there are no pictures because I wasn't there. Then it was time for lunch and a drive to Leavenworth! At least I have one reason to be glad for our very dry winter, the roads were clear and open, so we could actually make it.

Screen time!
We let Moira pick out the hotel we stayed at, and her choice had a little stuffed bear in the room to buy if you wanted or just enjoy while you visited. We picked the visit option. We took a minute to stretch out and relax(and kill some zombies) before heading out to dinner.

Snow ball fight
It took about three seconds of being near the snow before a snowball fight started. Davis was very entranced by all the snow and could not stop talking about it.

German food!
We had dinner at one of the "authentic Bavarian restaurants" in town, Andreas Keller which had the kids menu online, so I could see that there was a GF kids option for Davis. We walked past Kind Ludwigs the next day, and I discovered that only was their kids menu not Gluten Free friendly, it didn't have any German foods on it. We obviously picked well. Davis was so excited about this booth, he insisted it was a train. And Moira liked all the murals and carvings, and the restaurant got her fancy stamp of approval. We even happened to be sitting right across from the live musician.

Carriage ride
The kids were a little overwhelmed at this point, but they perked up when we decided to do the carriage ride. Our driver spent most of the ride talking about how the town was getting less family friendly, and being taken over by wineries and breweries.

Davis made a tent
We went back to the hotel and took advantage of the in room DVD player to watch a movie. Then we tried (and failed) to find a happy sleeping configuration. Davis suggested sleeping on the floor, but we wouldn't let him.

By Walker!
The next day, Walker went off for a solo drive to get the bulk of the miles out of the way while the kids and I explored Leavenworth.

Snow fun
There was a lot more playing in the snow.

Fairy kiss
A shopkeeper gave the kids fairy kisses.

Waiting for lunch
Moira wanted to send postcards, so I bought Davis a sticker book and we filled them out at lunch while he worked on the stickers. I still haven't mailed them though. Ooops!

I want that car wash
We looked all over town while Moira tried to figure out what souvenir she wanted. I saw this car wash in the Christmas village display at one of them, and took this picture so I could tell Walker to try and make the kids hunt it down for me for Christmas.

Super Bowl Sunday
Around about two the kids were getting tired, and since the stores were starting to shut down for the big game, I tried to steer them towards a place they could have dessert. Moira and I had a semi disastrous experience in one of those old timey photo places, where we ended up with a good picture of the two of us in "traditional Bavarian costume," but Moira still hadn't picked a souvenir. After a couple of teary moments discussing which things would fit in the car, she finally got something, and Walker called to say he was headed to pick us up just as we were heading to the gelato place.

Help! A Monster!
We stopped on our way home to have dinner with friends who live in Fall City, and had the family friendly side of the restaurant all to ourselves, since the TVs were only in the bar. So we knew how well the Seahawks were doing, but we were still surprised by the fireworks less than 10 minutes after leaving the restaurant because we thought for sure the game was going to go on for at least another hour. We timed it well and missed both the immediate celebration after the game ended and the traffic of people heading home after the game ended.

All in all, it was a good trip, and I'm looking forward to planning more of these in the future.