Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rainbow Laundry

My rainbow clothesline #8
I've been a little quiet on my laundry line this past Summer. We've been using it just as much as last year but I have tried to tame my obsessive posting about my laundry line love.

My rainbow clothesline #1

However, I thought this laundry collection was worth posting about. I had put up the laundry and then went to do some weeding and as I was looking at the clothes in the breeze I realized what a colorful collection I had out there.

My rainbow clothesline #6

I confess that I did not originally put the clothes up in ROY G BIV order. But when I saw that I had all the rainbow colors represented, I went over and did some re-arranging.

My rainbow clothesline #7

Pathetic right?

My rainbow clothesline #4

Or maybe we could just all use a little extra rainbow sightings in our life!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brainy Boy

Sweet smile with new hat

Okay, he is a smart boy, but the pattern of this hat is actually called Brain Waves. It's pretty cool and FREE if you're on Ravelry.

Wavy Hat design for Hot Rod

Another one of those patterns that is way easier than you think it's going to be. Liz McQueen is the designer of this super cool hat and she has a bunch more cool patterns on her web site and on Ravelry.

Brain waves for my crazy boy

I will DEFINITELY be making more of this hat and getting some of Liz's other patterns. Oh, and this was just made with some inexpensive Red Heart yarn due to Hot Rod's rough way of wearing clothes and the need for wash-ability for this boy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hello Fall

Turning leaf on cut log
Fall...Autumn...it is my favorite season of the year.

Turning leaf on alyssum

The colors are amazing.

Turning leaf on lava rock

The textures and designs of nature seem to just pop out at you from every direction.

Baby maple leaves on our tree

But I'm feeling a little bittersweet this year too. Not sure why, maybe because Winter is looming closer and as beautiful as that season can be, it is my least favorite. Maybe it's because ALL of my kids are in school for the first time (even if it's only 5 hours/week for Peelu). Maybe it's just the let-down from Summer and getting the family settled in the school time routine. But whatever the reason, I will be sure to take some moments for myself during the day to absorb the colors around me, smell the wood stoves firing up, let the sunshine warm my face and enjoy the crystal clear (but slightly colder) walks to and from school.

Hello Fall.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goodbye Summer

Hmmmm....looks like summer is ending

The petunias may still be blooming...but I think our summery days are ending.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Day of Pre-school

FIRST Day of Preschool

Sniff, sniff...all of the maniacs are in school now. Peelu started her first day at our beloved co-op preschool in town. Our favorite teachers are still there (phew!) and it felt like coming home. Different, but oh such a wonderfully loving and curious and fun environment.

These best buds are happy to be in preschool together

Becky and I were wondering how Lukey and Peelu would be with the other kids. Would they have their own little world? Would Peelu get mad if Lukey had other friends besides her? They started out drifting toward the train table (Luke's favorite), but then she warmed up and found the arts & crafts side of the preschool....

This will obviously be one of her favorite preschool stations
Pre-school play-doh is awesome!

..yep, that's my girl. Painting and freshly homemade play dough? This is gonna be a good year! She was still a bit apprehensive and glad that I got to stay with her that whole first afternoon but I know how special this little school is and how it will lovingly help form her first footsteps into school life. I do have to remember that she is 9 months younger than Lukey and 6 months younger than her brother and sister when they started (plus she's not attending with a twin sibling).

After their first day at preschool

But I know, it will be a magical year for her and for us, as our baby grows up and take some of her first steps towards independence. Sniff, sniff....

First day of school sweetness

Cool Dude

Too Cool #3

One afternoon, Hot Rod comes out in this amazing ensemble. Not sure where he found it all, but he's wearing a faux leather jacket (that was part of his Halloween costume when he was TWO YEARS OLD!), a tiny tie from his baptism outfit from when he was ONE YEAR OLD, and a pair of his sunglasses from when he was FIVE. But ya know what? He looks kinda cool. Like a punk rocker form the 80s, I think. Wow, that dates me, eh.

Too Cool #1
Too Cool #2
Cool Boy #4
Cool Boy #5
Cool Boy #6

He even has a groupie!
Two crazies

YIKES!

Breakfast Cookie Recipe

Our breakfast cookies

I have been meaning to make these for quite a while. I paged through many different recipes and added a bit here and there and this is what I came up with..... a pretty forgiving, very yummy, good-for-you recipe.

2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 3/4 C White Flour
1 1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 1/2 C Rolled Oats
1/4 C Wheat Germ
1/4 C Flax seeds
1 T Baking Soda
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Salt
1 1/2 t Ground Cinnamon
1/4 C Canola Oil
1/2 C fruit puree (apple sauce, fruit baby food)
1/2 C greek yogurt
2 T Water
2 Whole eggs
3 egg whites
1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
3/4 Raisins
1/4 C Chopped Nuts
1/3 C Chopped Dried apricots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet or I just use my stoneware sheet and they work fine. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar,flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder,salt, cinnamon, flax seeds, wheat germ. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, fruit puree, yogurt, water, eggs, vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until well blended. Stir in the raisins, nuts, and apricots.

Scoop rounded spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and flatten a bit. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how chewy you want the cookies to be. They should be fairly moist. Enjoy!

It makes quite a few cookies, and like I said above, don't be afraid to use what you have on hand, substitutions work well as long as you keep the texture the same.

First Breakfast Cookie

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Day of Second Grade

First Day of School

Yep, we got us some second graders! And boy was I ready.....I mean, were they ready to head back to school. And as you can see, they were joined on their inaugural 2nd grade walk to school with their best buds (a happy first grader and crazy third grader were mixed in there too).

Even the new pre-schoolers cheered them on (they didn't start for another week).
First day for big kids

We started off with breakfast with our buds, a yummy first-day-of-school lunch and our dorky annual note & photo and then off we walked together. Hope the school was prepared...

The lunchbox note for first day of 2nd grade

Not sure if Lil' Mermaid was this goofy at school but...
My Big Second Grade Girl

Hot Rod looks like he's matured...we'll see what the teacher says.
My Big Second Grade Boy

Have a great school year, my little maniacs!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A fashionista's new pair of shoes

The shoes on

Lil' Mermaid has always had her own fashion sense. Right before school started, I gave her a cheap pair of canvas sneakers to design for her first day of school. She dove right in with her fearless fashion and artistic design sense.

Working on her shoe design

A rainbow of anything is fun to see. Ahhh....but a rainbow of Sharpies is divine....oh the possibilities...

Ahhhh....a rainbow of Sharpies...
Workign on the tongues first
Intensely working on her design

A rainbow - that's my girl!
One completed shoe

I think they turned out pretty amazing. She incorporated several designs of her favorite things and made them truly her own.

Side View: The finished shoes without laces
Top View: The finished shoes without laces
Other Side View: The finished shoes without laces
Back View: The finished shoes without laces

Whatta designer, eh? As you've probably noticed on the pages of this blog, Lil' Mermaid dresses for herself and herself alone. When she was younger I used to try and get her to "match" her clothes better and I'd shudder when she came out of her room in some of the outfits that she picked. But when she entered public school and still kept up her independent dressing style, I realized that I liked it. It was so quintessentially her. She's not the most outgoing kid and can in fact appear shy when you first meet her. But she is not afraid of who she is, and she exhibits her personality best in how she dresses. When you can already see so many little girls obsessed and consumed with how they look and trying to be like everybody else, I realized that I really needed to support this cool, individualistic streak of hers. And now when she walks to school with striped knee socks over patterned tights, a bright colored skirt and her hot pink jacket, I get parents who tell me they can't wait to drive by and see what Lil' Mermaid is wearing on the way to school because they think she's a funky and cool kid.

That makes me happy.

And for a $4.00 pair of shoes, that is undeniably worth it.

A coop with a view

More sunflower weaving

The sunflowers are just about done for the year, as the maniacs head back to school. We ate dinner out on the back porch and then did some gardening while the maniacs played on the grass. Between the bees and his chickens, Ross was very happy with the sunflower harvest this year. So he thought he'd use the last sunflower heads to spruce up "the girls' place".

Sometimes he's embarrassing
The chicks clucked their thanks
Sunflowers on the chicken coop
Spoiled chickens
Sunflower decor for the chicks

That's a lot of sunflowers weaved in there

Phew! That's a lot of sunflowers he weaved in there. Hope the chicks appreciated the view. After he finished I grabbed Ross to take some photos for the kids' first-day-of-school lunchbox. I don't know where this tradition started. We take goofy pics to slip in their lunch boxes for their birthdays and Valentine's Day. Maybe we just like taking photos of ourselves? :-)

Sorry, it's not the peace sign #2
Sorry, it's not the peace sign #3
Sorry, it's not the peace sign #1

That's the #2 sign we're making, not the peace sign. # 2 for second grade, get it?

Then again, I suppose we could all use a little more peace in our lives.