Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Lego EV3

You've been taking the requisite amount of time to eat, sleep, and play outside, but all other moments have been dedicated to your new Lego EV3, capable of being transformed into a dog, a claw, and crane, and soon to be much more. Your imagination is on fire and your eyes are full of passion. This is your favorite thing right now.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekending | Spring Break and Catch-Up

Get ready for some bullets. And not the kind my kids learned about at the airplane museum [now I hear "let's play world war two!" SHUDDER]. We've had a serious chat about this. So yeah, the try-to-tell-a-lot-of-things-in-a-short-amount-of-space kind of bullets. :)

  • We went out in search of fun times last week, being that it was our state's designated week of freedom from imposed learning. We still did our fair share of learning [examples: OMSI, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum]. And also How Not to Behave on Public Transportation and What to Order for Breakfast at McDonalds and Yes, Your Shoes Will Have Sand In Them After You Play at the Beach. I'm learning that our trips are the most fun when looked back upon a few months later. Not always in the exact moments. Although there were some pretty seriously exhilarating moments going down the waterslides together, me and Buzz in a double tube. And seeing Peter's LIT UP face after going down the body slide by himself, finally tall enough and totally brave. #roadtripsareawesome
  • The week before Spring Break was nutso with training for a new job {more on that later, maybe} and speaking at a nearby MOPS meeting. Super crazy. Who am I? 
  • Just before we left, Peter's Lego EV3 arrived in the mail. Poor timing! Now, he doesn't want to go anywhere that his EV3 can't go!. He pined for it most of the trip. Reunited on Friday, he has spent almost every waking hour building and programming and now has a fully functional robotic dog that barks and sleeps and chews its Lego bone and kicks and growls when it's mad. Totally our kind of pet. We can turn it off when we're done with it! Today I heard him across the house telling his dog that it "needs some manners". "He's being bad, mommy, he's not cooperating!" #whostheparentnow
  • Our bucket of caterpillars and praying mantis egg all hatched while we were gone [I debated taking them with us, but seriously? who takes praying mantis eggs on a road trip?]. Thankfully they were still alive and hadn't eaten each other. We released the butterflies and most of the mantises. Well, maybe all. I was hoping to keep one or two to observe, but I think they'll fare better in the outdoors. #wearenotpetpeople
  • I need to get a prescription for malaria meds this week and finalize my packing list. I better not be tired of traveling, for off to Haiti I go! I'll be photographing and collecting stories for NRI, my volunteer gig. I just LOVE their heart and what they're doing for the people of Haiti. #apriliscrazy
[more bullets!!]

weekend sharing ||

And finally, this poem:

Make the Ordinary Come Alive
by William Martin
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

And please tell me you've listened to this song and at least tapped your feet. ;)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Real Life | Mud Puddling and the Manly Mommy

I'm sitting here early in the morning darkness, listening to Buzz sleep-breathing in the next room and just feeling so thankful for our happinesses and our accomplishments. My family is wonderful. My life is wonderful. It's okay to say that every once in awhile.

The little one is writing three letter words that rhyme all by himself. The big one is grasping the concept of lists and ordering things in such a way that they all get done efficiently. They are loving each other and making each other laugh. And I see Buzz's four year molars coming in and he hasn't complained about that yet.

Pete's Legos arrived last night. He's over-the-moon excited and waiting in his room until the clock says 6:00 so he can come out and examine them. He's been working on a Scratch project with daddy and the other day while trying to quiet his brother and friends said, "less noise, more programming!!" #sonerdyofhim

Instead of collapse, he says "disexpand."

And the other day, I came out all dressed up and hair done and Pete said "Mommy, you look so handsome!" Buzz agrees, adding "Yeah, you look real manly!" #boyhouse

It's real fun around here. ;)

It's officially spring. We went mud puddle jumping.

So here's my spring playlist. Featuring The Paper Kites {new love} and Happy from Despicable Me {dare you not to dance}. This is my favorite playlist EVER. :) Click here to see it if the embedded feature isn't working.

Spring Tunes by Pete and Buzz on Grooveshark

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Bit of Today | Video Edition

Being a parent means you have to make a thousand and one decisions for your children every. single. day. Today there were decisions about whether or not to let them play with neighbor kids, how stubborn to be about them finishing the food they didn't like, and how much time they should spend on the computer.

I worry about it all, because that's pretty much what I do. I'd like to stop, but I have this inner voice pressing me toward better and best. I really want the best for my kids. I hope I don't miss it by worrying too much.

Here's a bit of one day in our little old life. A mix of the good and the bad, the frustrations and the loves. Mostly the good though. Because we want to remember.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Real Life | Making Relationships a Priority

As an introvert, my first inclination is to plan trips around places to see, not so much people to visit. In my mind, I'm out there with my camera, seeing the sights, camping on rugged bluffs overlooking the ocean. But even in writing that, I begin to feel lonely. Introverts get lonely too. But we want to share our lives and our passions with just a few people, the ones most special to us.

I want to explore the tide pools with my sons and my husband. I'd like to ride single-track with my cousin or kayak with a best friend. Camping out under the stars with my two cuddly boys was just about perfect.

But on our recent road trip to CA and AZ my perspective shifted, ever so slightly. We spent one night with cousins in Angwin and I wished we had planned for two. We stayed with friends in Riverside for almost 24 hours, but it wasn't enough. I felt myself leaning in to the relationships more than I thought I would...wishing for more time to enjoy the friendships.

It's hard for me -- the friend thing. I feel sometimes like my sweet spot is about two centimeters wide and I so easily become either lonely or overstimulated {yikes, it's really no fun!}. It's easier to just do things on my own, but I really believe investing in relationships is important.

It's simpler if we share things in common or have spent time together becoming used to each other's quirks. But is anything simpler when you're a mom? I think not.

I could rant and blubber about this all night, but what I really want to say is that good friends are good. And that I'm thankful for the ones I've got. And that good family is good. And I'm very thankful for them too.

And that this trip was made sooooooo much better by the overnights that had loving people attached to them. And next time we come to Phoenix, we will take more pictures with grandma and grandpa and not. get. sick. Mkay? 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekending | Spring Comes in March

I'm hoping this blog won't turn into a long string of weekending posts. Better than nothing, right? Well, it's just that life is full right now. We spent one night away this week and did the quarterly tire rotation at Costco where we buy toilet paper and vanilla and maple syrup and marinara sauce and fruit snacks and bagels and four big bags of pirate's booty. ack

Yesterday, we played soccer with our new playground ball and created our own frisbee version of monkey in the middle. We helped the neighbors build a kid-designed tree fort. Totally up to code, of course. We played Tenzi and ate homemade pizza with friends who build us Lego houses and runways.

The sun is fun. March has invigorated and charged up our batteries. I need to write that down. Spring does come after all. Often in March.

weekend sharing ||

As Sure as the Sun by Ellie Holcomb | inspiradosxCristo.com on Grooveshark

Monday, March 17, 2014

Food Inspiration | Spring 2014

 poppyseed lemon blueberry muffins by annapolis and company || banana cream pie by healthy green kitchen ||
 flax blueberry overnight oats by pinch of yum || lemon yogurt cake by the little red house 
 fettuccine with mushrooms and brussels sprouts by three many cooks

I'm back with some seasonal food for y'all! These have been collecting on my Pinterest board "Recipes to Try" and it's time to curate them here. I chose these recipes specifically because they have springy ingredients that are super natural and healthy. And they look delicious. Only five this time because I want to actually make them all in the next month or two. Reasonable goals, people. You want to try them with me? That would be fun. :)

I didn't include recipes with asparagus or strawberries, but those are great solo fresco right? We've gone through seven pounds of strawberries just in the last couple days. :-o

I can't really say that loud enough.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekending | We Still Homeschool

^^excuse the blur, he was running past me pretty fast!

a better week, since we're over "the coughs" as buzz calls them.

yesterday morning we went to visitor's day at a local school where a lot of our friends attend. it was overwhelming for us all. we're kinda homebodies and small number people and the crowds and bustle was just too much. it would become more familiar if we chose to let it, but there's something special about the lifestyle we've chosen and i'm just not ready to let that go. not yet, at least. so on the difficult days when i have job envy {any job besides mothering all day!} i'll try to remember how blessed i am to have them home for cuddles and sweet conversations and that i'm giving my children time to explore their interests in a slow, individualized way. #westillhomeschool

weekend sharing ||
  • we listened to 7th/8th graders recite digits of pi today. and we ate apple pie at pete's request. next time = this banana cream pie.
  • listening to ellie holcomb's station on pandora and it's so restful and inspiring
  • it's the middle of march and my gardening instincts have not kicked in yet. there was that one year when i started seedlings in february.
  • this might be controversial {or maybe you'll all agree with a resounding yes!!} but it's been something very much on my mind lately. i like how she says "mothers are people too". the comments are a worthwhile read too.
  • and to top off the brilliance, please take a moment to read this post by ally vesterfelt. because we need to share our giftings fervently, heroically. it's really the opposite of selfish to live within your calling.

Songbird by Josh Garrels on Grooveshark