Thursday, May 27, 2010


These last couple days have been teaching the kids how to hand sew. They did some really cute work, I'm very proud of them!
All the kids first started with a square of felt and a simple applique (a circle, heart, star, etc.)

After everyone figured out simple appliques, the older kids starting making some pretty cute projects - these girls are making doll sleeping bags and pillows:
Clay stitched around a pouch and then decided to hot glue the skull on haha!
The projects from the older group of kids. The left row is Reed's work, the second to left (minus the heart) is Clay's work. They did mostly pouches with velcro closures. The others were done by 4 and 5 year olds. The center one on the second to right row is my fave of the daycare kids'. She made a hanging picture of an owl, who's wings even flap. She made it for her mama :)
And even the littlest ones loved playing in all the embroidery thread and felt, as well as playing with my finished products (tucking in the little mermaid and her construction worker friend :)

Our tadpoles are quickly becoming frogs!
We transferred them to a bigger container, they were looking too cramped
Peonies are filling up the kitchen with their lovely scent!
I just thought the moon was too beautiful shining through the clouds
Clay and his friend Lincoln had fun making skateboarding videos. Here's Lincoln filming Clay doing an acid drop and a power slide:

Looks like it's going to be another beautiful day - we're busy planning out Summer beach trips, birthday parties, festivals and lots of little adventures in between, and of course spending the day outdoors to soak up some sunshine...
Love to all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Say Hey!

Aw, Michael Franti is definitely one of my favorite celebs! He played a last-minute free acoustic show before his concert tonite in Asheville. I didn't have tix to his show anyhow (am probably going to see him in Charlotte or Atlanta later this Summer), so I took the kids downtown to see him. Not nearly as mellow as other acoustic sets I've seen him do, it was pretty rockin!!

There's Reed front and center patiently awaiting Michael's attention (unfortunately he had to go inside and do a sound check) - I think he was pretty excited to stand right next to Michael though :)
And just throwing in one from last week... this is my sweet little nephew Corrin who lives in Wisconsin and was down in Greenville, SC to visit - what a cutie!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tadpoles & Strawberries & other Springtime Goodness

Our town is getting so many beautiful days! Nice and sunny with rain every couple days to keep the temps cool ~ love love love it! We're able to eat fresh salads from our garden every day:
Today we took a little group of kiddos down to the neighborhood park. A community garden is right next to the playground. Clay made a make-shift net from bamboo, a colander and duct tape, to catch tadpoles with:
It worked pretty good, we caught about 6 frog-babies
The younger kids quickly lost interest in the many attempts at catching tadpoles, and wandered among the strawberries finding a morning snack:
warm, organic, fresh-picked strawberries, and juice stained faces are all so lovely!
We wandered over to the playground where Reed finally figured out how to pump!
And this little guy also was kidnapped from his pond home today. Anyone know what he is? One visitor guessed a dragonfly larvae... I have no idea. I also sent the picture to the non-profit local river conservation folks, so hopefully I'll have some knowledge soon! Also, anyone know what to feed tadpoles? The gal at the pet store had me buy juvenille aquatic turtle pellets, but even tho the tadpoles are large, they can't quite seem to grab the pellets. Okay, here's a pic of our funky new mystery house guest:
Hope everyone's gettin outside and getting to soak up some of this lovely weather!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


sheesh - talk about a long phase. a neighbor gave my kids their first big stash of legos about 5 years ago and the obsession has never stopped. In fact, some of the worst moments for Clay have been when we move and he has to dismantle and pack up these huge creations he's made. Currently, they have a huge storage bin, each boy has a work area (base), and they each have 2 shelves for display. It's madness - but at least it's (mostly) contained to their room :)

This was not the entirety of our day, but I thought I'd provide a glimpse to the activity that consumes a huge portion of their time :)

Boys with their friend Blake:
Reed's newly cleaned/decluttered workspace (and the reason I decided to take photos :)
I just put in some wall shelves for Clay since his work was getting cramped on the regular shelves (on the top shelf is the castle and catapult he made at homeschool co-op toymaking class):
Clay's Base:
project for today was boys were making all-terrain cars:
We have lots more adventures to post, I'm just slacking on remembering to take my camera with me around town!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Homeschoolin Goodness

Asheville is such a great place to homeschool - the opportunities are endless, the laws are easy to follow, and the community is STRONG!

This week we went down to Pisgah Forest in Brevard to these awesome free classes they have once a month. They have classes for older kids and the younger set, too. They are such enthusiastic instructors, siblings are welcome and I am so grateful this is around! This week's class for the older kids was on archery where they spent hours target shooting and had a great time :)
Reed got in on the action, too:
On Wednesday, we went to The Health Adventure's 'Homeschool Happenings' where the kids learned about robots. I arrived with a nice little crew of 6 kids. 5 of them were in the younger kids class, so unfortunately I couldn't go peek at Clay's class. The kids got to build their own crazy robot creations and zoom them all over the room. These classes are also once a month, and again the teachers are excellent! We are so blessed to have these great resources :)
Reed & friends working away:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring LEAF 2010

Another LEAF has come and gone. This one was definitely my least productive yet :) This is the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain, NC. We filled our days blowing bubbles, drinking homebrew, catching up with friends and enjoying the scenery...
My lovely friend Deb and I bought new earrings from Sonja's booth:
Got good and sunburned hanging with the youngins while they sold their handmade crafties in the Kids Village "Kids Market" area:
The bazaar style Kids Market:
Kids Village this year was moved to a different spot of the festival grounds, which was a longer walk, but did provide for the tennis courts, which is where Clay (here showing pogo sticks tricks with a new friend) preferred to spend most of his LEAF time:
We camp right above this jam tent, which is wonderful to stroll down the hill from camp and hang out at:
Reed and I did the zip-line one day, which was a first for both of us, but SO fun! You have to jump off the side of a mountain, sail over a main walking path, and land in the lake :)
LEAF parade on Saturday:

Rock-climbing wall has been opened up this year - it's Sweet! Reed is on the left:
Clay getting geared up:
Probably my favorite thing about LEAF is that there is so much to see and do, this is just on the side of the path:
and the Zumba class we could see from our camp site (which I really had wanted to go to, but at this point had too much food and drink in me to be motivated)
Our friend Leah with Reed running by some vendors to get to a fire show:
LED hula hoops - I *need* one!!
Fire spinners, shot with the "fireworks" setting on my camera:
You can volunteer, as I do every year and get in for free (I usually do set-up, but this year did clean-up for a day, you can also do shifts during the festival). There will be another LEAF in October - hope to see you there!

Monday, May 3, 2010


There's always some sort of project going on here! The weekend was pretty darn productive ... yard saling, plant swapping, beer bottling, beer brewing and of course beer drinking to round all that out :)

The mead is still bubbling during fermentation, it will be ready to rack pretty soon (transfer to smaller fermenter before bottling). I did make a Belgian Tripel this weekend, tweaking the recipe a little bit to use local honey - should be delicious! Except it is supposed to sit in bottles for 6-12 months to be at it's tastiest (we'll just see how long I can wait :) No pics of any of that, so sharing some pics from our Monday.
It was muggy and overcast today, nice for being in the garden to love on the plants. Salad greens are making their way
Peanuts I'm finding are pretty fun to grow, they sure sprout up quick!
The Playmobil castle from a yard sale this weekend - we've got to put this together so I can get it up on ebay. It's just about a zillion teensy pieces, though, so not exactly motivating! I did have it about 1/2 way built, but the kids came and reaked havoc (hence the police helicopter and ambulance arriving on the scene):
Reed and his friend deconstructed a toy cell phone and are now making some pretty funky art projects with it
My sweet friend Shonna came over and was convinced (twisted her arm only slightly) to stay for ginger-pear upside-down cake!

It was super delish! If anyone wants to make this special treat, here's my version of the recipe from Jeanne Lemlin's "Simple Vegetarian Pleasures" book (one of my FAVE cookbooks):
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3-4 Tablespoons finely diced candied (crystallized) ginger
3 firm but ripe Boc pears, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
The cake:
4 Tbs. unsalted buter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups flour (I mix whole wheat flour with a little white)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

1. Heat oven to 350. Put 4 Tbs butter in a round 9-in cake pan and put it in the heating oven to melt (but watch so it doesn't brown). Once melted, swirl it around, so it can get up on the sides of the pan. Stir in the brown sugar and spread around bottom of cake pan.
2. Sprinkly candied ginger evenly in pan, and arrange the pear slices on top of those to fill the bottom of the pan.
3. Mix all cake ingredients one by one in your mixer until very smooth.
4. Scrape batter over pears and smooth the top out.
5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until knife comes out clean from cake part. This may overflow with juices, so best to have a baking sheet on the next oven rack below the baking cake.
6. When good and deep golden brown, remove from oven and loosen edges with a knife. Place serving plate over cake, and carefully invert (tapping the bottom of the cake pan helps it come out nicely). Serve with whipped cream if you like!

I have no pics of Clay today, he did the last day of homeschool co-op this morning. He's been on the computer alot this afternoon, listening to AC/DC as well as not so classic music like this (i have no idea if this is from a tv show or something, but all the kids around here freakin love it!):

haha! that link's not really for the grown-ups, more for your kids to enjoy and for you to have stuck in your head the rest of the day (you're welcome.)

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