Saturday, September 22, 2012

isla dances like crazy

two different little dances in one movie.  just to give you a sense of how funny this little girl is!  she needs to get on the stage...

deception pass

we recently camped at deception pass state park with j, j, k and j.s.  we've driven over the pass lots of times but never checked out the park.  apparently, it's the most-visited state park in washington.  who knew?

it was really fun camping with the cousins.  the kids enjoyed playing on the beach, biking around the campground and an evening star gaze.  but the best part by far was our last-minute groupon tickets on a deception pass boat tour.  it was a one-hour speedboat ride under the passes and out into the sound.  we learned some crazy local history, saw a huge eagle's nest and some porpoises!  it was sunny and warm and really nice to be out on the water.  and it was ezra's first boat ride! 

speedboat baby

on the beach at bowman bay

camping baby in the tent

camping baby in the cosmonaut hat

i think the highlight for the kids was meeting the folks who own this crazy bus!  they were a very friendly couple who were delivering this bus to their son, and happened to be camping a few sights down from us.  they were happy to give the kids a tour.
crazy isla

in the crazy bus
on the second day, aaron and the kids and i went a little further west to check out fort casey state park.  aaron loved the elderly and very enthusiastic tour guide.  noah liked biking around the hills and fields.  ezra liked sleeping in the sling.

noah is saying, "ten miles per hour?  i can go way faster than that!"

at the lighthouse

windy day!

lopez island, take four

in august we had our fourth annual bike/camp trip to lopez island, the second time with our good friends c, d, c and k.  it was beautiful weather and very relaxing.  lots of time building with driftwood on the beach, another crazy raft contraption, good food, bird sightings, wild bunnies, a calm bike ride across the island, lots of stone skipping, lopez creamery ice cream, tire rolling in the field, beach frisbee, and a cute camping baby.  we love this island!


what have we been up to lately?  well, since you asked...

  • listening to this cd over and over and over again in the car.  it's a wonderful cd of woody guthrie covers that we all really love.  even aaron!  and we are going to see elizabeth mitchell play in seattle in november!  i'm so excited.
  • reading catherine newman's blog and various articles.  she is so wry and smart and funny.  i really appreciate her take on motherhood.  and her recipes!  i recently read this article in an old issue of brain, child magazine and it made me cry.  i couldn't find it online anywhere so i scanned it so you can read it too.  

  • getting excited about reading the new colin meloy book, under wildwood.  i loved the first one and i'm on the waiting list for this new one at the library.
  • still thinking about beginners, a really beautiful movie aaron and i watched recently (in installments, lest you think we can watch a whole movie in one night).  it really was so nice.
  • i haven't had much time for sewing lately, but i did make a few more sandwich and snack bags for the kids' school lunches.  these are so easy and fun, and i enjoy using the really pretty laminated cotton fabric i got on sale recently at the quilt shop.  here is a good tutorial for a velcro one that is adjustable.  i've also used zippers, or velcro across the top.  you can do anything!  (the tutorial is from the new issue of rhythm of the home, which i'm slowly perusing.  so many nice ideas.)
  • both kids are enjoying their new schools.  noah LOVES first grade.  his teacher is fantastic, and we are really happy with his school.  he rides the bus!  he is so excited about all the things he's learning!  he is totally reading now--it happened magically right as school began.  he reads to isla now!  he reads signs and labels and things that are hard to explain.  i think he is so happy and empowered to have access to information without relying on us.  but it makes me realize that a certain era of innocence is gone now.  i can't lie to him anymore.  and i have to answer a lot of questions about what things mean.
  • isla is loving her preschool.  it was a last minute decision to send her to this co-op school right down the street instead of to the montessori school noah went to, but i just didn't want to drive across town for another year.  but she was totally find with the change in plans and is really thriving at her new school.  she said to me, "i want to go to a school that is just my school, not noah's old school."  oh, the lot of the middle child.  her teacher plays guitar and sings a lot with the kids, which isla loves.  and the have a mail center in the classroom, complete with a big wooden mailbox!!  she was in awe when she saw that the first day.  suffice it to say she writes many letters a day at school.
  • aaron has been really enjoying listening to the johnny horton station on pandora.  he loves this kind of historical folk ballad, as does noah.  i think they're pretty dorky, but i enjoy the country that is played on the station as well.
  • aaron's also enjoying this book, about an english quaker traveling amongst the canadian fur traders in the early 1800s.
  • noah is poring over the lego books we've gotten from the library lately and planning his next lego purchase.  he loves the "cool" series by sean kenney, a lego designer in new york.  he also loves these lego technic books.  and we ordered this through his school book order, which will come next week.  should i be worried that it involves rubber bands for propulsion?
  • last weekend we put ezra in his carseat in the bike trailer, and we went for our first family bike ride since he's been with us.  we did a big loop on the trails near us, hunting for blackberries along the way.  noah rode his own bike and did great!  i'm excited for more family biking in the coming months.  i can't wait till ezra's big enough to go in the green seat.
  • isla is taking ballet and tap now, and is planning on participating in the christmas ballet her school performs at the big old theatre downtown.  she seems so little to be on stage!  but she really wants to do it, and it seems right to let her try.  i think she will be a townsperson in their retelling of the nativity story.
  • i'm perusing this cookbook, which has great recipes and lovely art by nikki mcclure.  the kale salad is really yummy.  and i'm getting excited about preparing ezra's first foods!
  • i have so many organizational plans for fall: menu plans, daily schedules, chore charts...  any ideas on resources for these things?  i am also slowly reorganizing the newly remodeled craft/work area and being very selective about what we keep, what we rotate down from the attic and what i get rid of.  the kids love the new window seat and i love all my new drawers.  i'll post pictures soon.
  • we are enjoying the slow transition to fall.  september in bellingham is often the nicest time of year.  it's been sunny and dry and warm, but with that lovely fall smell in the air and the crunch of leaves underfoot.  we've already made a few batches of applesauce and some plum, apple and blackberry crisps.  i just brought all the autumn books down from the attic, and the kids have been enjoying reacquainting themselves with those.  last night in one book we read there was a pumpkin pie, and noah said, "oh, that looks good!  when can we make a pumpkin pie?"  i think the time is now!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

isla's ballerina birthday party

for isla's fourth birthday party she requested that daddy make her a "barre" all around the living room and turn it into a dance studio.  of course, aaron is never one to say no to a reasonable request from his little girl.  so we moved all the living room furniture into our room for the day and he installed a barre along the far wall.  we left one couch for resting on, and the rest of the room was bare for dancing.  the little girls loved it!

i made ribbon wands for the girls, using fishing swivels to make them really swivelly.  there was lots of disengaging people's ribbons from one another, but i think they all had fun twirling and swirling.  and aaron made the amazing ballerina cake.  i broke down and bought a barbie-type princess doll, around which he built a gigantic skirt.  isla wanted it to be pink, but the food coloring options were pretty lame and the stripes ended up kind of seventies-looking.  oh well.  it was carrot cake, yet again, with cream cheese frosting, so who cares what color it was?

i can't believe this sweet and feisty little girl has been here four years.  she's so smart!  she's so funny!  she's a really good dancer!  she says the craziest things!  she smothers ezra with kisses and plays legos with noah.  she says yes every time aaron asks if she wants to do something with him, no matter what it is.  she loves mail even more than her mama.  she goes to school now, and loves it!  she wants to grow her hair down to her feet, and only wear pink.  she uses my old typewriter all the time.  she loves to cook and sew and paint.

isla lou, we are so blessed to have you!