Thursday, December 22, 2011

Evening walk on the lake

I love seeing the pink sunset clouds on the water and the mirror image from the sky on the water. Magical!

Happy Solstice!

I thought lighting a few luminaries would be the perfect way to welcome the Solstice. I look forward to having more light, even if it is just minutes per day, eventually it will be hours.

A special get-a-way for my birthday

For my birthday this year, Tres took me for an overnight stay at the Overleaf Lodge in Yachats. We had a wonderful and relaxing evening together. A delicious dinner and birthday treat. Blessed with clear weather, perfect for viewing the ocean, sunrise, and sunset. The next morning we went for a short hike and a walk on the beach.

This is also Jake's birthday. Since I was going to be gone for the evening, we had a little morning family birthday. With dutch babies for breakfast and presents, oh yes, even a  17 year old wants presents. A very special day for Jake and I, to share a birthdate is unique and special. Happy Birthday Jake and thank you to all of our family for making this even more special for us. Aunt Melisa held down the fort and took great care of our kids while we were away, they just love their Aunt Melisa.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

First day of Winter Break

Santa's cutest elf.

Ruben at South Jetty

Our first day of the Christmas vacation, sunny, clear, and cold spent at the beach. A much needed break for all of us to be together...and I mean all of us. Jake came home too! So good to get him home. He is doing great at his new school. I thought we started the break off right...beach in the morning, lunch at home, followed by making peppermint bark, stringing cranberries and popcorn, and ended the day with an evening of the kids' favorite family Saturday cream cones and a nature movie. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Decorating the tree, a pumpkin, and the house.

I wasn't ready to let the pumpkin that I grew go to the I decorated it for Christmas and put it next to the tree. Who knows I may be decorating it with hearts for Valentine's Day.
I remember this one! Snowboarding Santa...awesome!

The holidays and changing of the season always inspires crafting at our house. We make all sorts of things, some the same as the previous years and a few new projects. There are many opportunities to create, glue, glitter, draw, string and more. We have had some cold weather lately(cold for us), so this Saturday morning I brought out a few supplies and we sat down right in front of the hot wood stove and made lots of snowflakes, santa faces, glittered and glued, and made a great big mess with wonderful results! Bringing the tree in is always a delight too. I find that seeing all those ornaments come out of the boxes each year, is just like taking a walk down memory lane. The ornaments I have had for 10 years(or more), ornaments from my own childhood, baby's first Christmas ornaments, birthday ornaments, and many other special decorations I just love the memories that come flooding back not just to me but to all of us.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Early morning cuddling, essential in starting the day.

Morning routines are important, a strong cup of coffee is certainly at the top of the list, and so is our loves and snuggles we give each other, before we part ways and take on our day. Pancho is no exception, in fact I think he may get the majority of the cuddles. Ruben gives himself at least a good five minutes with Pancho every morning. Pancho never misses an opportunity for some lap time and he is happy to share it with his less furry brothers. Notice the smile on Tres, even at 6:30 am this little morning moment can make him smile...okay ready to start the day!

December sun

Three times last week I got to the beach for a long walk, alone. My solo time is just so precious to me and I had to pat myself on the back for taking the time to do it. It is so easy to skip that opportunity for myself, to do other shopping, house chores, errand running, etc. I realize that if I don't take these few moments a few times a week for some exercise, sun on my face, being in nature, and being alone I may not be as good at the rest of my responsibilities as I could be. It is a balance and I do my best to keep it all on even. Beach time is such a great place to let all of the naturally generated energy just seep into your being, and let you walk away recharged. I love my beach time.

In Spencer's classroom

Spencer wearing his clip on tie, he loves to look handsome, and he sure does!
I have had the opportunity to help in Spencer's classroom on Fridays for stations. It has been a lot of fun to get to know all of his classmates and to see him with his peers. Stations are activities set up in the classroom and the kids get to go from one station to the next. I have been working at the table with crafts and for the last two Fridays we have been decorating a gingerbread/candy house for the holiday. It has been quite comical to hear from students all of the reasons why we are not eating this candy. They have all done really well just using it for decorating and not just popping the gum drops in their little mouths. For the exception of Spencer of course, and I know he wouldn't have done that if there was a different mom working at the craft table, but it was me, and so he tasted the candy, and then so did Alexis, since she was in his group and he did, so why not? Just so darn cute every one of them. I do have to say, that I just love being with the kids and being in the classroom watching them learn and interact with each other, but I am just so relieved not to be in charge...I miss the kids at FMS but I don't miss being in charge, what a treat to just be a volunteer. Even more of a treat to know I am there just for Spencer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spencer's first sewing project

Busy with projects first thing in the morning!

Proud of his stocking!
We don't have stockings hanging, and we never really have. Spencer decided he wanted to sew his own, and wants all of us to sew our own. So we started last night cutting fabric and finding the right kind of needle and thread. He got started right away, until bedtime. This morning we woke up and wanted to finish right away. He was so proud of his work, and I was too! He is such a little artist. I love it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Annual Angel and Wreath Party

Ruben with his finished wreath

I love this Angel's bark blouse, she is hanging in the front of our house.

Just a few of the beautiful Angels people made.

Angel party brings men, women, boys, and girls together each year from daylight til dark to assemble and create these beautiful angels, garden fairies, mangels, or what ever you like to call them.
A yearly gathering our people come to, friends and family. Angels last all year long, some inside the house some outside. Each one unique and perfect just the way it is made. I was so proud to see how much Ruben participated the year, two angels a wreath and a few sculptures were made after the ok with hot glue gun use. This is one of those events when I realize oh yeah! Christmas is almost here!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Look who turned 8! Happy Birthday Ruben!

Happy Birthday to you! A very special cake made by his Super Great Aunt Mary just for him,
Ruben and Spencer with Friend Camp. We went bowling and played lots of air hockey, it was very fun! Ruben is holding a duct tape wallet made by Camp, he was so excited to recieve this handmade gift and have RT on the front of it.
One of Ruben's birthday requests was to have a new craft to work on that evening. I pulled this one together as a quick, simple and not to messy. I found several small juice glasses at St. Vinny's and a new set of glitter glue. We decorated each glass with glitter glue, they turned out pretty good. Now I don't know what will happen when they get washed, but it was worth it for the time sitting here together side by side.

Always a special day at our house when it is your birthday. I think we packed as much fun as possible into one day...bowling, park, friends. crafts, cake, dinner with friend and family, presents!, and an all around great day. I have a tradition of telling the kids their birth story the morning of their birthday, it lets me relive such a special day for me too. We also honor their request for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Such a simple thing to do to make the birthday boy feel extra special. Ruben does in fact look 8 and is certainly bigger than he was last week. Amazing how time flies.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


It was a great Thanksgiving. We hosted and had a wonderful meal with family and friends. Our new kitchen accommodated several cooks in the kitchen. Looking over the photos of the holiday I saw this one of my sisters and I. I had a rush of gratitude, a feeling of love and warm fuzzies. I am so grateful to have my two sisters in my life. The friendship, humor, honesty, sincerity, and  adoration of my boys fills my heart with gratitude. That is after all what this holiday means to me a time to give thanks for the things in life that make it all worth it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Surfrider's Siltcoos Beach Cleanup

It is becoming a tradition, the beach cleaning, river cleaning, estuary cleaning. A tradition that I am proud to be a part of and to instill in my children the importance of the stewardship of these sacred places...water, beach, river's edge. We were  blessed with beautiful weather and plenty of time to play too. The kids found a bunch of trash so after one full bag or I guess a bag to heavy to carry they were released to just play and explore. Leaving this special place with three very full bags of trash was a good feeling we did something and a little sad for how much more there was. I wish I could invent some sort of magnetic like picker upper but for shards of small plastics, because that is what is needed along the the water line, but for now we just sifted and got as much as we could. Good work these kids did and their Grandma helped too. In fact thanks to Grandma for showing up at our house waking us all up to go to the beach and pick up trash. You can see in the picture the people across the water picking up trash on the other side. A good show of concerned citizens with several bags of trash.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Side by side

I have found that the moments of bickering between brothers, pestering, teasing, and just being mean to each other all balances out with the other times of harmony, silliness, creating, exploring, or side by side silence. An evening at home usually will have all of the above. I have found that these two things, art and music will bring most fighting to a stop and return these two loving brothers, to a kind and respectful place side by side.

This is the life!

One of my favorite sayings of Spencer's is "this is the life!" not sure where it came from but I have concluded that it is one of those phrases that he uses when things just can't get any better at that moment. I was so pleased when the two of them used this very special phrase to express their joy while out to lunch for french fries, a burger, and a milk shake. I do have to agree I was kinda feeling the same way when my burger came to the table too, it was just so fun.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Before we go to school

He ran ahead and then I found him here. I think this may be his favorite place in his world.

Yes it is November and he is still in the lake, but look! Frog eggs instead of salamanders, what a fun surprise!

A little yoga in the morning sun.
What I love is visiting the same place all through the year and noticing the things that change and the things that stay the same. It is November now and we have had cold nights, rain, and storms. While the sun shows it's face nice and bright like this it is an invitation to come out to bask in its rays and enjoy the outdoors, especially when you have to spend the rest of the day in a classroom. Knowing Spencer I brought extra clothes for after our visit to the lake we could go right to school. He changed in the car and told me...actually Mom, it is too cold for me in the water now. Next time lets bring our wet suits so we can swim like it is summer and find more eggs. I thought that was a great idea!

Just stop and play

Ruben and Spencer at the Harbor Vista Park
We never know when things in life are just going shift and what we expect to happen doesn't and what we don't expect to happen does. This last week I was truly caught by surprise with my biggest boy having an appendectomy and five days in the hospital. Even though he is almost 17 years old and is larger than both Tres and I. I couldn't be any where else than right next to him as he recovered in ICU and fought an infection while laying in a bed not at home. He did well and is close to being just fine now. All the while this was going on I just let some of my responsibilities go. When I finally had a little time with Ruben and Spencer and a list of things to do in bills, return library books, post office,get groceries, return videos, drop off the give away box, and more and more. I decided to let those responsibilities go for just a few more hours so we could just stop and play. A much needed activity for me to accomplish with the two little brothers that have so patiently waited at home. So that is what we did and all of those responsibilities that were waiting all week, waited a few more hours while we enjoyed an afternoon of sun and no wind here at the park near the beach, just playing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

In Ruben's classroom

I have been getting time in each of the boy's classroom. This week I will start an art curriculum in Ruben's class called Meet the Masters. I am very excited to have this opportunity, I taught this to Jake's class when he was a first and second grader. We'll be meeting a famous artist and then creating a piece of our own art, inspired by that artist we learned about. I do love to come to the classrooms and get to know the students and see how my boys interact with their peers and teacher. I remember my dad coming to school a lot when I was a kid. He would eat lunch with us, I was so proud to have him there. Ruben let me take a picture of the contents of his desk and I was so delighted when I saw this corduroy and zip pencil keeper  in his desk. It was a gift from Abby at http://infusionfibers.wordpress I love to see handmade gifts being put to such good use and to have a little piece of Abby's energy tucked in Ruben's desk is enough to put a smile on my face.

Early morning treat for me

I had a chance to take a walk in the earlier morning this week...solo. I had my furry friend, Pancho with me. Solo time is a rare thing for me and I treasure it. Having a chance to just be quiet is a wonderful thing. I know my children would love to be here too, and they will. We are frequent flyer's to the outdoors. Yet this little stretch of time gives me just what I need to stay motivated, inspired, and centered. All essential in raising children and being part of this big world.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hatfield Marine Science Center

The please do touch tank, put a smile on Spencer's face for the rest of the day. Thank you sea stars and anemones,
chitons, and urchins.

Spencer getting a finger shake from an abalone.

Ruben named this rockfish Socket since it was missing an eye.

"Oh mom can I please please have an terrarium like this in my room, that is all I want for Christmas and nothing else, one just like this. I'll take good care of it every day, oh please Mom?!"

Friday, November 4, 2011

from the garden to the kitchen

I love the colors.
I'm so proud of my garden for producing well into our fall. It looks like the beets, rainbow chard, kale, brussel sprouts, and celery may stick around for a while. What a treat to walk to the back yard to pick a few veggies for dinner.

{this moment}

Today I will join Amanda Soule for "this moment"...A ritual. A single photo- no words, capturing a moment from this week. A simple special extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.