Thursday, December 25, 2008


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Huge Weekend

See my little harpist behind all the big girls? Big ballet weekend and Christmas recitals, we survived the drama, and they did so wonderful!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feast of Saint Nicholas

OK~ it is a cookie stamp~super cute, and you could go crazy with all the designs.
Have a look.

What a great start to the season. This past weekend we got busy with our craft projects, and made some shortbread cookies to celebrate the special visitor to our house on December 6th~
St. Nicholas!! The girls received a Peter Rabbit book collection, and gold coins of course.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Advent Reading

I wanted to talk a bit about the wonderful Christmas books we have been reading each night since the beginning of advent. There are so many out there, I know you already know that, but a couple in particular this year have been quite memorable for me.

The first one is called The Donkey's Dream. "A donkey wakes from a dream of unusual burdens to find that he has carried Mary to the stable where Jesus was born". So Sweet!

The second one, more of a read aloud than a picture book, is called
Mary's Little Donkey and the Flight to Egypt. It is about a donkey that Joeseph buys for Mary. "The stubborn, dirty little donkey who is of no use to anyone in Nazareth becomes a quick and willing helper under Mary's care. The other animals in Mary's stable like him and together they wait for the birth of Mary's child".

And they third book that we have been loving is Take Joy~ The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book, by Tasha Tudor. What a treasure!! It is filled with stories poems, and carols, and of course her sweet illustrations. If you would like to venture into the world of Tasha Tudor, click here. It looks like it may be out of print, but the one I have is luckily from our library.
And don't forget all the gems from Tomie de Paola~
Happy and Cozy Reading

Friday, December 5, 2008

Take a gander

at these!!!
simply adorable~~

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Here are some favorite knitting resources~

The Yarn Harlot-super funny Stephanie McPhee,
author of many knittnig books

Ravelry-an online community for knitters, with millions of patterns

Stitch and Bitch-my first and favorite book

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can we talk about knitting?

I am not quite sure if it has been the change of seasons or what, but I am completely obsessed with knitting right now. I am all about starting projects, ripping them apart, doing them incorrectly, reading about knitting, looking at yarn, etc. anything related to knitting basically.
It amazes me, now that I have been knitting for a few years, there is still so much to learn in this wonderful world of yarn and needles.
Here is a hat I did for Lucy last month. It was made with a yummy baby alpaca blend.
Too cute~

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Weekend of Lovely Maddness~

Our house is upside down, in a nice way. On Thanksgiving, we got out all the Christmas decorations, including the tree and the kids got every single thing out. It was funny when we pulled out the "white tree" it had yellowed for some reason. It was ok, I wanted a real tree anyway this year. We have been having a great time decorating our house, and getting everything ready. I cant believe advent begins on Sunday! We have lots of beautiful reading, and crafts planned, and I am almost finished with the Jessie Tree.

Our long awaited park opened down the street last week, so that has been super exciting. Friends have been coming over and we all head down to ther together. It is so neat. Will post pictures on of these days.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving~

We had a blessed day~Hope you did too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We just spent a lovely weekend in Lake Tahoe, NV. It was great to have some family time. What a magical place! After a couple of days, Lucy said "do you have to keep saying view, view, view?" The girls collected lots of pine cones for us to decorate for Christmas, and had fun exploring the lake.

Right now I am attempting to put the house back together since the trip, and prepare for Thanksgiving. It is always so fun to go away, and so wonderful to be back home.
I can sense the Christmas madness around the corner, so much to plan and prepare.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Fall Garden

I guess it's time to say goodbye to summer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Picture Thought....

Botany Continued~

Year two and we are still
captivated with Botany.
There is so much to do!
We are using this amazing book for our journey and I wanted to share it~
Shanleya's Quest.
We read about a plant family, today we did the Mustard family, then she draws in her Botany notebook, (sort of a main lesson book)
about the plant.

here is a snipet from the book~

In a mythical world where time is a liquid that falls as rain upon the land, young Shanleya paddles her canoe out to the tree islands to learn the plant traditions of her people. Each island is home to a separate family of plants and an unforgettable Guardian with lessons to teach about the identification and uses of those plants. Shanleya's Quest is a truly unique educational book that presents botanical concepts and plant identification skills in an easy and fun metaphorical format for children as well as for adults who are young at heart. The book begins with a creation myth that parallels evolutionary concepts, where life begins as bubbles in a puddle of soup under the radiance of Father Sun and the gentle glow of Mother Moon. The evolutionary tree of life becomes a literal part of the story, buried up to its branch-tips (the "islands") in an ocean of Time that just keeps getting deeper and deeper. This is the world that Shanleya explores by canoe, learning the essential characteristics of closely related plants on each island she visits. Readers young and old can join Shanleya's Quest, learning the patterns to correctly identify more than 45,000 species of plants to their proper families.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home Tour

Here is a photo of Sophia's performance at the Eureka Historical Society's Home Tour. She did a magnificent job.

Ok, here is the Albondigas soup, and the link for the recipe.
Muy Sabroso~


Well today I finally mixed up the icing for our sugar skull project.
Big day in the kitchen, I also whipped up some Albondigas, a traditional Mexican meatball soup. The sugar skulls are decorations for our
Dia De Los Muertos altar.
It was great fun, it is one of my favorite times of the year.
Our family really enjoys decorating our altar, and making it beautiful with fall flowers and candles. Of course it is a wonderful way to remember loved ones lost with photos and remembrances of their favorite things.
If you would like info on ordering the sugar skull molds you can visit
Here are some photos, as well as the "official" definition from wikipedia.

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Observance of the holiday in Mexican-American communities in the United States has become more important and widespread as the community grows numerically and economically.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl (known in English as "The Lady of the Dead").
Similar holidays are celebrated in many parts of the world; for example, it is a public holiday in Brazil, where many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray to their loved ones who have died. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe and in the Philippines, and similarly-themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

Pumpkin Day

Friday we attended a wonderful field trip
to one of our local pumpkin patches.
It was a lovely day as always.
A beautiful Humboldt County fall day as you
can see in the background.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

First Day of "School"

Here are some photos of our first day of school. There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the day, (I was not really ready for summer to end), but it really turned out to be a wonderful day. It was almost magical the way the praying mantis egg sac choose to erupt on that particular day for us. Nature Study in action. There must have been over 100 of them! The girls were enchanted.
The photo of Lucy's arm, and the little specks......, that is them~

Plugged Back In

Well I finally got around to buying a uploader for my camera. Wow, that was not that hard. So here are a couple of photos from our beautiful trip to Southern CA. We stayed with my dad, and had lots of beach/swimming fun, and went to see my mom in the desert, where it was like 110 degrees. The kids did not mind the heat a bit!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall Ramblings

Well, I have been going crazy around here trying to find the plug to my camera and upload photos, looks like all that organization I did in the summer went a little too far. Will look into securing a new one.

Lots to report around here, The school year went off with an explosion. That is how it felt to me anyway. Thrown back into the world of activity & enrichment classes.

Sophia will be participating in her first harp "Home Tour" where she will play 30 minutes this weekend!! We are all looking forward to that.

We just got back from a trip to San Francisco to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit a the SF Museum of Modern Art. It was an amazing exhibit, felt great to be close to her work again. The only negative, or was it a positive, were the crowds of people. A little challenging when you are trying to show the work to a 7 year old.

We spent the rest of that day perusing the Mission District for Dia de Los Muertos Goodies.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


A surprise day with my husband home from firefighting led us to a impromptu visit to a dear friends house (Patti) just a bit south of here. She let us loose in her beautiful yard, complete with vegetable garden, and chickens, to pick berries. The girls picked just enough for us to make a berry pie. They just ate theirs for dinner.

Here are some highlights.

~I thought the crocked stem of this poppy was just lovely~

Where have we been?

Well the school year came to a halt, and we were blessed with the ever increasing days of summer. I am pleased with the way my first year of homeschooling went. I have to admit, I spent most of the year terrified, over-researching and analyzing everything, but I probably would have done that if she was in school (lol).
She is doing well according to our "homeschool teacher" and she is very pleased as well.

It is summertime and I am in the throws if my catalogs and books, doing planning for next year.
For the most part, things will stay the same (classical), but I am toying with the idea of ditching the First Language Lessons for Primary Language Lessons by Serl. The repetition in FLL was driving me crazy. I am also thinking of getting rid of Shiller for Singapore, and sticking to the Montessori manipulates that I already have.
I will be adding cursive, and am trying to figure out a way to work in the Children of the World program by Winterpromise that I think is so lovely, but never had the time to get to. Truthfully, I don't really know how I am going to work it in this year either. Oh yeah, and I am thinking of switching from living learning to R.E.A.L. or NOEO science. I guess that is a lot of change actually~ahhhhhhhh. But everything with Story of the World will stay the same.
I can see my beautiful friend in Massachusetts falling over as she reads this. We both started out with the same curricula at the beginning of 1st grade.
There really is a method to my madness, I just have not figured it out yet.

Here is a photo I am sharing of our backyard in summertime.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Country Woman~

Ok~ This Beatrix Potter~Peter Rabbit thing is starting to get a bit out of hand.

Look at this fabulous place!

Beatrix spent her early years studying the two things she loved most - art and nature. Her parents were both interested in art and their influential friends included authors, politicians and artists such as Sir John Everett Millais.
Her father, Rupert, was a talented amateur photographer, while her mother Helen enjoyed painting landscapes in watercolour. As Beatrix grew older, she went with her father to art galleries, museums and auction houses and this influenced her development as an artist.
Beatrix’s parents loved the countryside and often took their family on vacation out of London. Every year they would travel north, first to Scotland and later to the Lake District, for long summer vacations. Beatrix enjoyed the freedom of exploring the countryside with her brother, Bertram. The scenery, flowers and creatures she found inspired her drawing and painting.
Beatrix’s stories were written directly for children and many started life as picture letters to children of her family and friends. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was Beatrix Potter’s first published children’s book. It began life as a letter to Noel Moore, written in 1893.
“My dear Noel, I don’t know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits ….”
In 1900, Beatrix borrowed back the letter and worked up a plan to get the story published. When at least six companies rejected her proposal, she decided to publish it herself. The privately printed edition was a great success and soon Beatrix had a publishing offer from Frederick Warne & Co.
Warne’s first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902 and was immediately popular, selling around 46,000 copies in the first twelve months. Warne and Potter soon began to work on many more stories including, 'The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin', 'The Tailor of Gloucester', 'The Tale of Benjamin Bunny' and 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice'.
Beatrix had strong ideas about how her books should be presented, down to size, price and overall look. She also realised the wider market appeal of her characters and initiated the development of related merchandise, such as the Peter Rabbit doll manufactured by Steiff, Germany, in 1903. She always took an interest in all of the creative and commercial matters surrounding her characters and books.

Benjamin Bouncer was Beatrix's first pet rabbit.
She bought him secretly from a London bird shop and sneaked him into the nursery in a paper bag. 'Bounce' became the model for many of Beatrix's rabbit drawings. On the back of a photograph of him, Beatrix wrote "This is the original 'Benjamin Bunny'. Benjamin was extremely fond of hot buttered toast, he used to hurry into the drawing room when he heard the tea-bell!"
If you have not seen it already, I highly recommend Miss Potter
Photos and text courtesy of

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Backyard Nature

We found this adorable little Tree Frog and this amazing Tiger Moth this afternoon.
After the girls had ample time to study them, we let them go. The frog was so cute!


Well, we had an unfortunate event take place Thursday night. Some creature got one of our chickens, the girls favorite one of course, the Silkie Bantam. It was one of the those extremely hard parenting moments. The girls took it well, especially when I said we could maybe go to the pet store and look at aquariums or bunnies~
The bunny won over the fish~surprise! So meet Benjamin Bunny, so far he is a doll, very mellow.
The girls are in love!

Check out this precious site and get in touch with your inner Peter Rabbit.

Here is another, more educational site, with lots of amazing links.
Wow, look at this one~

"The Tale of Benjamin Bunny continues the story of The Tale of Peter Rabbit as Peter and Benjamin venture into Mr. McGregor’s garden to retrieve Peter’s jacket and shoes. However, the two young cousins end up trapped in a basket that Mr. McGregor’s cat decides to take a nap on. They are eventually rescued by Benjamin’s father who is very cross with them for straying into the garden without him.We see Benjamin again, this time as a father, in The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies and The Tale of Mr. Tod. Both stories see him having to rescue his children, The Flopsy Bunnies, from Mr. McGregor and Tommy Brock respectively".

Hey, this could turn into a summer unit study, combined with Botany~

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook~

Outside My Window... the flowers are gradually opening, my roses are simply amazing, and my peonies are finally blooming, I have been waiting three years!

I am thinking... about my family in a tender way, we have recently experienced a loss.

I am thankful for... my family, our home, friends.

From the kitchen... summer soups, just made carrot curry bisque tonight and it was wonderful!
and we had salad from the garden~

I am wearing... flannel pj's my husband bought me for Christmas.

I am creating... two needle felted sea fairies for my girls, and a knitted hat.

I am going... near future, nowhere hopefully. I am really wanting to stay put for a while and catching up with things.

I am reading... Living Crafts magazine, Waldorf & Montessori curriculum books .

I am hoping... to find an inner sense of calm with my house and homeschooling.

I am hearing... a documentary on FDR

Around the house... things are lying everywhere, books, and craft supplies-we have been spending way too much outside time to pick up.

One of my favorite things... seeing my little girls dance, exploring a city with my husband.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: a pool party, my dance class, Spanish co-op, an important meeting Thursday........

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Peace.

Please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman to read all the other inspiring entries ~

Vase Done~

Here are some of the photos from the Greek vase project.
We had a good time creating it, we listened to Greek myths while painting and doing the paper mache'. Then I found this great site that had little movies of the myths, and theses funny images that we put on at the end.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lucy, I Love you!

Happy Birthday~4 Years

First Recital

On April 13th my Sophia, the family musician had her first Harp recital. She was just amazing of course, and it was a very special day for all of us.

Here she is with my mom, husband and her harp.

More Zoo Fun~

recognize anyone?
these Polar Bears were incredibly active!
This is absolutely Sophia's favorite animal.