Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Weekend

This morning we carved our pumpkins and for the first time, the boys actually tried out the tools and made some of their own cuts. Ember didn't quite get the idea. We pulled all the seeds and gunk out of her pumpkin and then she kept scooping it back in. It's funny how much the boys have talked about Halloween. They carefully plan their costumes, change their minds and plan a new one. And they keep asking me when I'm going to break out the "decorations!" We have exactly one decoration: Mr. Bones. So Beck and Yogi got busy and made some paper towel ghosts and ghost stick puppets and stuck them around the house. Which is just perfect anyway.

I keep trying to get outside to take a walk today, but by the time I get it together, it's pouring again. After lunch during which the sun was shining, we packed everyone into the minivan for a walk around Magnusson Park. When we got there it was raining lightly so we started off. After about 10 minutes, it was nothing short of a deluge. The kids were soaked - especially Beck who rode his bike around the track two times before we headed back to the car. We got home, stripped off the wet clothes and sunk deep down into our mugs of hot cocoa instead.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All in a Day

I shot these little videos earlier this week. On Tuesday Ember has ballet and the boys both have swimming lessons. This is the third year the boys have taken lessons and finally they don't look so much like they're just thrashing around in the water. Progress! Here are the clips.
Beck's dive.

Beck swimming

Yogi swimming

Ember in ballet class

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nature Trail

These photos were taken at one of our newest favorite walking spots. It's a nature trail with some ponds in an area that was formerly a Naval Air Station. It officially opened late last winter and we've walked it several times each month since. Maybe the coolest part about it is a Pacific Tree Frog breeding ground where we've seen many little frogs. We've also spotted a coyote, a very active bee hive that the boys accidentally stumbled upon, a quail family that lives in a brush pile, cedar waxwings, hummingbirds, herons, bald eagles, woodpeckers, lots of ducks. Not bad for a being in the city.

In the Heart of the Canyon

I just finished this book which left me a little nostalgic for my own summer days spent in the parks. A great read.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Here we are again...

So long since I've sat down to write my blog. It feels a little strange and awkward and I'm sitting here thinking that I can't remember how to put the photos in. I think about the blog often, but I simply don't have time these days. We're working on that - this week Ember will start at a Montessori full-day preschool. For now she'll just do two days a week, but as soon as we can we'll up that to five.

Chris and I look at each other and wonder what were we thinking last spring when we settled on homeschooling both boys and having Ember at home too. The truth is we weren't thinking because too much happened during the first 6 months of 2010. The foot surgery and the long recovery period, the road trip to CA, and then after we returned my doctor found a "solid mass" on my right ovary. We lived through a couple of scary days considering the possibility of cancer, but I had the surgery, they removed my right ovary, and it turned out to be just a big tumor. A week post-op we cruised to Alaska and the day after we returned we had some very dear friends visit from Colorado for another week.

Summer slid by and then the official school year started. And that's when things started to get really rough on me. Ember is bored and frustrated. I'm pulling my hair out trying to keep her busy while I teach the boys and take them to all their classes (swimming, archery, art, Kumon reading...)I've been dropping her off at a "drop-in" preschool which is limited to 4 hours a day, but squeezing in a drop off and pick up time is just adding to the craziness. Add to that the laundry, the constant vacuuming, picking up, kitchen and bathroom cleaning -- well, you get the picture.

Ember. As it turns out, she has been the most challenging of our kiddos. She likes A LOT of attention all the time, she is extremely possessive and volatile and gets angry fast. Don't get me wrong - she's also funny and quick to learn new things, she loves people and is super friendly. It's just that this situation is not meeting her needs. Or mine, for that matter.

I'm hoping things start to open up a bit with her spending more hours at school. And I'm hoping to re-start Homecake. We'll see how it goes.

Photos. You can see me and Beck flying kites at the mass ascension event at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival.

Beck and Yogi standing proud on a fort they discovered on the beach.