Saturday, January 31, 2009


Emma asked us today, what is round on both ends and really tall in the middle? stumped? it's OHIO, she screamed! I am not sure if that joke exists somewhere or if she made if up, but it was hysterical. The kids are sleepless for ohio, they have been helping me get us ready all week. We are headed to Ohio for the week for UWWG, that is the acronym for the unschoolers winter waterpark gathering in sandusky, ohio at the Kalahari, america's largest indoor waterpark, we are going with friends to see other friends and will also get a visit from our friends that moved to pennsylvania last summer, and the true blast, over 1000 unschoolers all at a waterpark for a week. we are so excited are SO packed and will leave in the night. it is hard not to bring everything when you are going to funshops and travelling 10 hours, and going to water and snow.....We will see snow and get sunburned all in the same week. Thank you to Grammie and Papa for your Christmas gift that is helping fund our winter adventure, we are going to love it, and thanks to others of you that gave us some christmas gift cards, they and we used them to enhance our journey with fun things for the trip or games or books the kids wanted, we have shopped with gift cards all week to be ready to go, and had a blast doing that shopping. we'll let you know if an indoor waterpark should be in your future! Here's to 10 hours of driving! We hope the stores survive, the computer already crashed, the drama already happened, the things already broke, what will happen while the cat is away????? Yahoo! p.s. note to self, don't plan winter vacation right when year end stuff and tax stuff and audit are happening, AGAIN! or maybe do plan vacation to RELAX and usher winter out properly!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Year of the OX

we went to esther's today to celebrate chinese new year, this year is the year of the ox! the wraps you made were delicious esther, with mint leave and rice paper and a delicious sauce, thank you for the fun day. the kids played games, got some outside time in the pasture and generally had one of those romping kid days......we all refreshed ourselves what year we are, we have a couple of rats (kurt & inde), a rabbit (alex), a horse (emma) and a tiger (kt) what animal are you and do you match your characteristics?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kite Flying Weather, Not!

The kids wanted to fly kites know it was windy in the low 20s, there were flurries at our house......but the sun was out, so why not! Before some errands, we went down to the soccer fields downtown and took the kites Grammie and Papa had made for them. Luckily Inde stayed asleep right nearby in the car and everyone got their kites going for a bit. Emma was the first to retire to the van, saying it was too cold. Owen and Alex lasted for quite a bit running in the field and laying in the grass with the kites swirling above them. They also retired quickly thereafter. It was nice to have some running even with the wind chill and some sun. These guys are ready for warmer weather...........I think it's on the way and only two months till spring is officially peeking at us!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Emma's Dragon Den

The dragon den was a success! Emma planned a dragon spend the night party to celebrate her birthday this year. The planning has been going on in her head for weeks and going on around the house for weeks as well. She made a red dragon for her cake with baking clay. Like Owen she wanted to bake her own cake and decorate it, chocolate cake, chocolate icing, red sprinkles, green writing icing. Emma wanted to have her friends all to herself for the night, so Alex and Owen went to spend the night with Gram and Gramps after we all shared cake. Thank you two for helping make Emma's spend the night special by giving her siblings a special night away, that was a wonderful gift! Earlier in the day we went hunting for icicles, Emma remarked that it was the best birthday ever to "go see such beautiful things on my birthday!" I am glad you enjoyed that, emma.....What night can go wrong when you start off with dessert? The five girls that spent the night seemed to enjoy the activities Emma had planned. I can take no credit as Emma pretty much planned the whole party! There were make your own nachos for dinner with chips, beans, meat, cheese, avocado, sour cream, olives and salsa to choose from. Then there was a scavenger hunt that started at the mailbox and ended in the dungeon(the basement). Along the scavenger hunt the girls found glowsticks for the night, nail polish in green blue purple and red to paint their dragon 'talons', hair color to color the "scales" on their heads, chocolate to go along with the movies they found on the hunt, and at the end the scrolls Emma made and the wands Emma and I made. Emma worked for days making each friend two scrolls with drawings they would like, some were traced and some drawn. Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift you gave, Emma! We made wands from sticks in the yard, whittled them, wrapped the 'handle' in different yarns. The girls had fun that night adding jewels and beads to their wands. Kurt had the best colored hair, I think. And we all thank him for serving as the party chef, the ice cream sundaes were delicious! Emma had made her bedroom into a dragon den for sleeping with two air matresses, but all the dragons ended up moving sleeping quarters to the den. I hear the last dragons went to bed at 3am...the elder dragons were already asleep...In the morning Kurt had made us some M&M pancakes before he left for a meeting and Emma had planned another scavenger hunt for ten stamps she had carved to stamp in little books the girls made that morning. Emma you are a fabulous party planner and a special person to all you know. She enjoyed her presents and the shopping we have done in the days since with some gift cards. Emma, you are our lucky 13, the world is a brighter place with you here! You seem so much older than last year and at the same time exactly as curious and independent as that one year old baby I remember wandering the house so many years ago. Happy Birthday to my "Star" Dragon! Love, Momma (pictures)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Loving the Library

I wouldn't have thought it a few months ago, but the library is one of the most peaceful relaxing outings with everyone right now. Alex and Emma are really getting into picking out books on things they are interested in on their own where before i used to do most of the picking based on their interests. Emma always leaves with a stack of books on CD. She and I recently finished Inkheart and we can't wait to see the movie. Some she likes to check out audio books multiple times and listen to the story over and over while she draws or creates other things in her room, around the house, in the car...... Weeks later she will repeat for me lines from the stories verbatim and laugh and laugh. We had a haiku book this week on animals and then Emma and I wrote this haiku after talking about what they were while she was in the bath with Inde and Emma had remarked how slippery Inde was like a salamander:

Bathing in Water,
Skin Slips Like Salamander.
Water is to Blame.

Today she got Inkspell the sequel to Inkheart and convinced Alex to get Inkheart for himself. He enjoyed it in the car on the way home and for several hours at home. Emma and I are reading another Funke (the author) book, Ingraine the Brave. Alex has mostly all books about RC flying and planes, he is really enjoying that passion along with his simulator on the computer. We found some kits that we didn't know the library had that I hope Owen and the other kids will enjoy this week. And we are glad they have upped the limits on dvds and videos! I am also glad that the library now uses the library elf service--thanks for telling me esther! they didn't when we first moved here, so now we won't have any late fees hopefully, that's a new years resolution of mine anyway! So here's a toast to the library! I marvel that it is a place I flock to with a smile with everyone, as we are usually so loud when it's everyone and me alone, the library seems like the least likely place to go.........but it's not---i'll take it everyday over grocery shopping with more than two children! Twice weekly library outings are on our list of things to do this winter to keep out the blues and barricading in the house of this cold weather.....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Magic Dog is Four

Owen had a fun few days celebrating his birthday. This year I think we got to see for the first time the challenges of having two birthdays in the family only days apart....since each member wanted to celebrate separately for the first time! On Owen's actual birthday he got to participate in a friend's build a bear party, what a treat! And what a treat for our family to all be together on the actual day and watch that joy. He made a panda and dressed in it tae kwon do gear, he calls it tae kwon do panda or kung fu panda. For his celebration, Owen wanted to play games with all of his family and have a robot cake. He made the Robot with Emma and I one night while Alex and Kurt were at Tae Kwon Do. We made it out of sculpey clay and other odds and ends like screws and metal. Owen also made his own cake with me one night when Emma was doing book night and Alex and Kurt were at TKD. Peg remarked that he was the only four year old she knew that baked his own birthday cake! He made a chocolate GF cake mix and a vanilla GF cake mix, mixed them together and then we baked it! He frosted it with vanilla and strawberry frosting and lots of sprinkles. We also had a special time this week going shopping in the rain just he and inde and i to get the ingredients, he pushed the cart all through kroger for me. He enjoyed the cards he got in the mail and the wishes he got on his birthday on the phone. After playing the Wii with all of us and having cake, which he set everyone's place with a plate and a napkin for, he said, "I want to have my cake with the more people that are gonna get here." He meant, I wanted to have cake and more singing with more folks and friends, hindsight 20/20.....So we set a day to go to sciquest and have cupcakes with friends. I made Owen a stuffed magic dog out of felt, daddy gave him a zoom-o catch game he has had his eyes on, gram&gramps gave him a mini rc car that he drives all over the house, emma made him a magic dog card, alex made him a stamp that is a moon, eye and sun, peg gave him one of those famous singing cards, he hasn't picked yet what to do with his gift card from grammie and papa although daddy took him shopping one day just the two of them, the adelfangs tye-died him a shirt, and the conklins made him a stuffed robot named "lighting"-as he calls their mom lighting right now......All this celebrating Owen weathered with quite a cold/sickness that is on the outs! I am glad he is feeling better. It was so fun to watch him enjoy this birthday and be such a part of celebrating his life here with us. I can't believe he is four, i remember the day he was born like it was yesterday, and yet at the same time, it seems as if he has always been here. We did get to see some amazing moons this month, One night as the moon "rose" owen insisted it was the sun--it was so large and bright! much like the moon Owen was born under....I love you MoonBeam, Happy Birthday, Love, Momma photos

Monday, January 5, 2009

Special Nights

Gram and Gramps have decided to have some "special nights" with the kids on their permanent schedule for the year. The kids are so excited and have been really enjoying their time. Each week twice a week one of the kids goes over to their house at night for a few hours to read, play games, explore something together, eat, etc. They are just alternating right now. I enjoy hearing what they did while they were away. And often just one of the kid is left at home with Inde and i, so we get some special time, too! Gram said she might blog about it and I hope so, as i always enjoy what they say and do when we are not around, they are different when i have each of them alone, that is special to see....I never lived close enough to any of my grandparents to visit them regularly, our visits were always on a trip or a vacation. And although I have many memories of them, I always pined for that relationship where I could go over to my grandparent's just to visit, just to have a cookie, just to go on a walk. I never had that familiarity of what it was like to be at my grandparents house just as a part of my everyday life. I think the kids are blessed to have these memories....i'm feeling a little jealous, can I come have a special night, too? :)
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to You! We all made a toast, watched a movie retired early to nurse our sick bodies. on new years, daddy made awesome new year nachos, and we also had black eyed peas, greens and marcy's yummy GF cornbread! Here's to another amazing year of life!
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