Thursday, August 28, 2008

Better than crayons!

Have any of you seen these?

While we were in Santa Barbara for the wedding John and Elizabeth were in, we celebrated Dave's birthday at the Four Seasons Sunday Brunch (ummmm!). Our waiter brought these to us to 'occupy' the children. They were amazing and J + E LOVED them. I kept the wrapper and looked the website up when we got home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hEY, follow that dOG!

While in Vancouver, we noticed so many dogs simply following their 'masters' everywhere WITHOUT leashes! The dogs trotted a few feet behind their 'human' where ever the owner went. Crossing busy streets, whatever.. the dog followed. Amazing.

Sure wish children did that :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Karate, new belts, and concerns

In the beginning of the Summer, we signed both children up for Karate as a very wonderful local instruction facility had a special going. It was a very good special IMO ($79.00 for 7 weeks and it included the uniform). You could go as many times as you wished during the week as the classes were offered 6 days/ week and several times during each day. Let me tell you we took full advantage of the special :) and both John and Elizabeth have now gotten the next belt. John got an Orange belt, and Elizabeth has gotten her Orange stripe on her white belt!

At first, Elizabeth would grace the Karate floor with ballet moves in her uniform, but quickly acclimated and is now is a force to be reckoned with in a dark alley :) ... In all seriousness, they are teaching the children self defense, and safety along with the usual Karate skills. If a child doesn't respond correctly during the class drill, that child will be drilled over and over during class until they 'understand' and get it correct.

John was also invited to join a leadership class in the Karate school, and this is where students not only learn physical skills, but also work on team effort, public speaking, respect for others, etc..

As this school year gets off to a full swing, I also look at what we have on our schedule. It is so full I'm almost embarrassed to list all the activities. In many ways I think it's good to keep our children busy, but I'm also learning the hard way about the stress it puts on daily life. We seem to always be rushing somewhere. Can we keep it up? I don't know. We'll see.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

There's a little park in the mountains...

and our wonderful friend Brittany took John and Elizabeth there recently. Brittany goes back a long way with our family. She helped me out so much when I lost my Dad and traveled to China to get Elizabeth all within about a 9 month period of time. When we returned from China she was amazing with our children and had a bond with Elizabeth that continues to this day. Brittany had taken a year off from College to travel with a family member that was adopting from China, but as we all know the wait suddenly escalated and she didn't get to travel. She has since completed a degree in Dental Hygiene and has graduated with top honors! She was voted by her professors as the top Dental Hyg. student of 2008! We aren't a bit surprised.

So, back to the day in the mountains, Brittany also happens to have an incredible photographic eye so I slipped my trusty little point and shoot in the backpack for the day and got these beautiful pictures upon their return! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I was just holding your hand

and now you are walking into 1st grade.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Almost gone

Summer of '08

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bed ROOM camp fires

What you'll need:
2 battery powered 'tap lights'
2 or more children with wild imaginations
1 comfy bed with covers to pull over your head
3 or more scary stories
A great cousin to share it all with

Mix this all together after dark.
Watch the kids enjoy.

In the morning eat fresh blueberry muffins Grandma sent over and get out the waterslide.
Marinate for a few hours in the scorching sun
then simmer in a good long warm bath after sunset and repeat.

Friday, August 8, 2008

our BERRY bowl

A number of years ago, I came across a small bowl at a quaint pottery co-op in Old Town Manassas Va. I wondered why it had little holes in the bottom.. silly me,, I thought that was the reason it was such a good When I inquired, the artist explained to me that it was called a 'berry bowl'. Oh. I had no idea what I would ever do with a berry bowl, but I liked the feeling when I held the piece. I think I paid about $3.00 for it and it came home with me. It sat in a drawer for years until one day about 6 months ago I found it again.

This little berry bowl is now used at least 4-5 times a day. It's wonderful for rinsing everything from yummy blackberries to herbs from our little herb garden. It's the perfect size to wash just what 2 little anxious tummies are waiting for and it also looks so warm and inviting just sitting out on the counter. Baby carrots, blueberries, strawberries, basil, sage, cherry tomatoes, you name it, all the little goodies that are now plentiful and in season. There is a little tray that catches the leftover drippings of water and cleanup is a breeze~! :)

It's been a fab. little tool to have on hand for VERY quick, healthy meals and snacks.

Whenever the berry bowl comes out, Elizabeth and John aren't far behind...

Friday, August 1, 2008