Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bits and Pieces

We stopped at a peach truck from Yakima and bought a box of peaches. This was his last trip for the year, and probably our last chance for fabulous peaches. When loading the peaches, I asked the boys if they were excited about having more peaches. Arthur responded - "No, I'm peach pooped".

Homeschooling is going so great that I keep worrying that I must be doing something wrong. We are all learning a ton and having it interest driven really affects how much the kids are absorbing. We are currently at the beach and have been following our lessons with hours of sandy play. Science for the week? Ocean life! Which has led to the Halloween Costume decisions. Jamey wants to be a penguin and Arthur wants to be a Parrot Fish. Jamey said he hopes I'm a good seamstress. Hmmm.... we all can hope.

Arthur is interested in how the tongue fits in your mouth. He explained by saying you can stick it out pretty far, but when it is back inside, it all fits smoothly with no folds. So, where does it all go? Jamey wants to know how air pumps work, and what different styles are available. He wants to take apart a bike pump to see exactly what is happening. These kind of questions really stretch me, and I am constantly grateful for the internet.

I am almost done with Arthur's bed quilt. Just have to add the outside border and it is complete. Arthur picked it out himself and what do you suppose he picked? Planet themed fabric with glow in the dark constellations that are all named. Yep, he's that kind of kid.

Jamey is currently creating his own comic strips called "Dopey Dad". He has repeatedly assured us that it has no reflection on James.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BunBun pays a visit

Arthur and BunBun paid James a visit while he was working on the computer. The three of them enjoyed themselves so much that a picture had to be taken.

After the visit, Arthur left for a bath, but BunBun decided to stay and help James with his work. It was a good thing too, as BunBun was able to give him some pointers. Here James is listening intently to the rabbits suggestions.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunflower Fort Progress

As some of you may know, I have tried to make my boys a sunflower fort every summer for the last three. The first summer, the plants didn't even come up. The second, I started 80 plants in my little greenhouse to get a head start and over night, all the sprouts got nipped by a creature. Same with my second batch, and my third that year.

This summer, I've had more success!!!! I got sunflowers to grow, in the ground. I still had trouble with critters eating the seed (especially the Mammoth Grey variety), but they weren't able to find all the seeds.

Here is the picture of their fort this year. It is very straggly, but I'm proud as punch that I actually got sunflowers growing!

Closeups of my favorites.

Next year, I plan on planting three times the seed and laying netting over the area until they sprout. If I keep trying, I might figure out the perfect sunflower fort just in time for the boys to go to college! But as Churchill said - never give up!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Morning Rummaging

Asian Pears and Yellow Plums fresh off the trees were found by Big Jamey in the morning as he traversed the field. Sometimes I get frustrated on our progress toward sustainable living, but when Jamey showed up with this handful of goodies, it reminds me that yes, we are starting to see accomplishments.

These fruit trees were planted one year before we started building the house. While feeling a bit ridiculous planting on a piece of vacant property, I remember wanting fruit trees as soon as possible so we could enjoy their harvest sooner than later. And today while biting into a juicy plum and trying to keep the liquid from dribbling down, I no longer feel silly.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Last night, I took a trip down nostalgia lane watching old clips of the boys. So, of course I had to share!! Here is Jamey, age 2. Isn't he the sweetest!?!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I wanted to share with you a self-portrait that my friend Lisa Sayles painted. This particular picture called "Return" is acrylic on canvas and has been accepted for a gallery showing of international women artists in 2010.

She is a fantastic painter and I'm so excited that this work among others are being shown so viewers can enjoy her unique style.

Besides being a great painter, Lisa is a great friend and has challenged me by the example she sets. I am continually inspired by her.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

In the Homestretch

I do believe I am almost done with my canning for the year. YIPPPEEE!!! Sure, there may be some straggler plums or apples to take care of, but I can see the finish line!!! The last hurdle to jump is salsa, and then I'm in the clear. Here is what has been keeping me busy lately in Canning World. And yes, the flavor of home canned goods definitely makes it worth the effort.

Friday, September 4, 2009


A spiderweb appeared overnight on the outside corner of my kitchen door. Maybe the spider was hopeful to catch some of the fruit flies that seem to have inundated my kitchen for the last week. Or maybe, he just liked the morning view on the East side of the house as much as me. Jamey admonished me to not destroy it citing the energy it takes for a spider to rebuild a web. In deference to his sensitive heart, the web is here to stay.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Buttermilk Brownies

Yesterday I was looking through my cookbooks trying to find a brownie recipe that sounded appealing and that all ingredients called for were ones that I had on hand. I found a most delicious recipe from Better Homes and Gardens which they have online here if you want to make it.

I like how the buttermilk gave the brownies an unusual zip. These would be great for all kinds of bake sales, parties, or like us, just plain munching with a glass of cold milk. Yum yum yummy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of (Home) School

That's right, we will be homeschooling the boys this year. This decision came about on the heels of me deciding to not work this year and spend the year studying to get certified in SQL 2008.
When Jamey heard that I would be home, he begged to be homeschooled. I was surprised, but as I always liked the idea of homeschooling, I agreed to commit to this for the year. And of course Arthur decided he wanted to stay home too. So, now the three of us are all snug as bugs at home studying our chosen curriculum for the year.

Every year I take first day of school pictures of the boys, and this year is no different. Here is Jamey who starts 4th grade today.

And here is Arthur who is starting 3rd grade.

We are excited for this challenge and I feel we will grow in many ways by taking advantage of this great opportunity.