Monday, January 13, 2014

Who Knew [Our State] Was So Beautiful in November?

We found two new places, an enchanting urban garden and a coastal bird sanctuary, and took a couple fall trips last year. I was really, really taken by the light and textures and took way too many photos, though I've tried to trim them down for you.


Above, poison ivy and holly all dressed up for autumn; and below, a snag simply crawling with ladybugs.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holly Jolly Christmas

Holly the Christmas Cat came to stay with us today.  She's a very sweet girl--curious but not aggressive, and very, very friendly.  Let's just say that the kids were especially vocal in their thanks to Santa this year.

New pet aside, it was a wonderful day--maybe our best Christmas yet--full of thoughtful gifts, good family, and generous hearts.  I think we're getting the hang of this whole "Real Meaning of Christmas" thing.  All our love to all of you out there!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Lucy always lets us know what she wants. When she wants it.
She's been insistently demanding a gingerbread house for what feels like weeks now.

We finally got it pasted together and upright over the weekend -- with a few redos of cracked pieces -- and last night Family Home Evening consisted of decorating it.

The kids adorned each reindeer according to its name:

(Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, in case you couldn't tell.)

I should have gotten a picture of the other side, too -- Sage made amazing icicles, and Lucy had a cute little candycane sign that said Ho Ho Ho.

And then...Lucy wanted to eat it right away for refreshments. She's definitely not one for delayed gratification, that girl! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sage, All 'Growed' Up

  She turned 12, and measured a cool 5-foot-3 1/2 at her checkup. We can't believe the grace and good nature she is learning -- she is kind and compassionate, and gaining more and more confidence in herself. She's keeping her friends from Primary and elementary school, and happily making new ones in Young Women's and middle school.

Her birthday fell on a Saturday, and since it wasn't her year for a full-on party, we decided to take her to explore a nearby nature center (technically an 'environmental education center') that we had never yet been to. They had a few animals out that day for us to interact with -- a turtle or two, a snake, a frog, and a Flemish Giant rabbit that weighed 20 pounds and sat in a baby carriage -- so we thought it was a perfect fit for our outdoorsy-animal-rights girl.

After we wandered around in a glorious fall garden for a while, and then used some provided nets to muck around in the reclaimed marshland, we took her home to put on her tiara and make a wish.

I think whatever that wish was, it's bound to come true, don't you?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LucyLu, One Year Older

Our all-singing, all-dancing, queen-of-nonsense-words girl turned nine recently.

She wanted to watch a Harry Potter movie and make potions, so potions were provided...

It's certainly easy to please a gaggle of third-grade girls with a bunch of baking soda, vinegar, and red food coloring!

I also gave them some flour, cornstarch, and pepper, and they only stopped mixing when all the ingredients finally ran out. Even then, they had to take all the large bowls and pots I had provided and dump them into one. The final fizzy overflow of it all was delightfully dramatic.

(And yes, a hose was involved in the cleanup.)

Lucy, Nora, Ella, Jamie, Kylie, and Mischa

 What a great thing it is to share in the wonder and excitement of childhood through Lucy's eyes.