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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In my kitchen

Your looking at 28 pounds of canned gingered apple sauce and cinnamon apple pie filing. Yum!

Step right up! All you can eat buffet...All the apple peelings you can eat! Step right up!
I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon processing apples from Wintergreen organic farm, a local (yes!) farm in Florence. There is something magical about doing such simple, meaningful, work (yes I am a Montessorian). This kitchen tool the peeler, corer, and slicer with just a hand crank drew the kids into the kitchen very quickly I hardly had to any of that work. They waited in line and took turns to turn the handle and watch this simple gadget do all the work. The long peels that cam off the apple was the "all you can eat buffet" Ruben was advertising. There were some sore tummies by the time the 28 lbs of apples were processed. Yet lots of smiles when later we had our pie filling warmed of Nancy's plain yogurt. I am not sure if this stuff will even make it to Feb.

Loving the finished window

Flowers from my yard!
Some projects take this garden window in the kitchen. I fell in love with it as soon as Tres installed it. Then is sat there looking beautiful for months with tar paper and a wooden bottom that was not so pretty, but functional and no trim at all. Time went by and I started to come to a decision on how to finish this unique window. With the help of a friend, the window has come to completion and I just love it! What a treat to have such a fine piece in the middle of my kitchen above my sink (where I spend a lot of time). Oh the joy of visual beauty.

Hill Top trick or treating

Mummy Momma and boy, Sasquatch, and a scary guy all ready for a night in the neighborhood.

We found a bmx rider with a few wounds on the Hill Top circuit.

Trick or Treat?! ...Thank you!
Spencer's costume was not so accommodating for all the walking we did, but he was such a trooper. He trailed behind for most of the night, though when he made it to the door he was not disappointed with all the treats.