Monday, June 28, 2010

New Garden

We're not buying any bread products these days except for the occassional box of $1.99 organic cereal from the scratch n dent store. The problem is my kids don't like my homemade sandwich bread, but fortunately they don't eat sandwiches very often. So most sandwiches are make-shift and served on things like homemade tortillas, or like today's lunch, on a leftover homemade waffle:
Reed and Leah decided they *needed* to collect unripe walnuts from the black walnut tree to make crafts out of. I have no objections, since I don't know anything else to do with the things besides make a garden not grow (any ideas for uses for these things are appreciated!)
Clay helping with the effort:
Put in a new garden today that is primarily for rhubarb and herbs and flowers, and will probably also be for brassicas, since I read they are good companion plants with rhubarb. Hopefully these are far enough away from the black walnut trees so they can actually grow. There will be a second garden just to the right of this one, leading up to a little fort the girls like to play in - it will probably have impatiens and hostas and other pretty things that like shade:
Now I am dirty with sweat from digging and horse manure and compost from finishing the garden and think it's time to call it a day :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Scenery

B's malamute/wolf/bear dog, Bear, was so handsome with his new haircut - all hair donated to the gulf oil disaster. Thought he'd enjoy a nice bath after that
Drive out to the commune:

and into Useful Plants Nursery to their amazing selection of purely edible & medicinal plants (came home with rhubarb, 3 different blueberries and a serviceberry)

I am so in love with where I live, it's just silly.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Skate Camp and Reed Time

If you haven't already seen my daily schedule - it's ridiculous! Really, I buy the large print, office size calendar, and each big square day is filled with notes, daycare kids' schedules, homeschool activities, playdates, classes, around-town happenings, etc. I make sure to get lots of just me-and-my-boys time, but a very rare time is when I get one-on-one time with one of my boys. It finally worked out that Clay had been in day camp all week, and I had a 2-hr slot before we picked him up on the last day, and there were no friends over or daycare kids. Inspired by my friend Bryce, we had a date :) Reed decided to go to Fun Depot - the mecca of weird lighting, noisy games, greasy food, screaming kids, over-valued prizes ... what kid wouldn't love it?!?
My guy beating me at mini golf ~
And totally stoked about his new slap bracelet he won (way cooler than this new silly bandz fad, in my opinion :)
At lunch time, the families of campers were invited to come hang out at the skate park, have pizza and see what their kids had been doing all week. Clay did camp at the skate park in downtown. It was just our style, with free skating the entire time, and adults present to give the kids tips and help them if the kids were ready to try something new. Clay did his first 6-foot drop-in this week!!

Camp buddies (good and sweaty from a long hot day of skateboarding) - and Clay with his new deck from his Birthday:
Clay riding the concrete waves on the 4 & 5 foot ramps:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Work and Play (not necessarily in that order)

I'm not a huge fan of Montessori philosophy of education, but I do like that they interchange the words "work" and "play", because really it's all the same thing. We've got to do things, things to keep us happy - and happy for us includes having income, having a clean house, being healthy and having exercise, exploring new places, running around in the woods, etc. So it kind of makes sense that work and play can be the same thing.

Our lovely little town just finished a huge park renovation in downtown that they've been working on for years! It includes all sorts of water features that we are so happy about, and will surely be enjoying a bunch as the Summer just gets hotter! This is how we celebrated Summer Solstice ~

Reed had a friend over and they decided they wanted to earn some money. Which of course is fine with me! I'm super tired at the end of the day, and the house is usually trashed after all the little ones go home, so I'm not opposed to some child labor around the house to get it clean :D

I know for alot of unschoolers, chores can be a sensitive subject. I simply made a chore chart with very low wages, so they can do chores if and when they feel like it. We keep track of what they do and they get paid on Fridays (no cash advances in this house!). It also solves most of the "I want's" in the toy department, since they've got to earn the money themselves! We've had this for a couple years now and it works great, they still enjoy doing the chores at least :)

Happy Summer Solstice everyone!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Parks

Found a new skate park right in town! A real hidden gem, as it is free (the main one in asheville has a fee), low-key (great for our not-so-pro boarders), has shaded parking, and has an adjacent playground with shade, so great for all the kids :)
Went with some good friends

How many kids can you fit in a plastic hippo?
The admiring girls on the side lines

Monday, June 14, 2010

oh yeah.

The only titles I can think of for this post are things like "oh yeah" or "nuff said" or "that's right" haha! A completely necessary week-long break from work and all things kid-related left me with these:

Love to all!!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Some shots from Clay's 10th birthday party! Clay choose to have his party at one of his favorite parks. Part of the park sits in a small valley with steep slopes on either side. One side has a slide built into the hill. We brought big sheets of cardboard and our plastic sleds and the kids had a great time.

Got to hang out and relax with some of my favorite folks
I made Clay a cheesecake and a keylime pie. The cheesecake had an oreo crust and M&M and fresh-picked strawberries to spoon on each piece. I did end up making a second cheesecake (the one pictured) since the first was so ugly. Now it's taunting me from my refrigerator! So delicious!!
Legos, DS Games & Teck Decks (who woulda guessed? :)

Goes to show that you don't have to spend big bucks to have a fun party! Menu consisted of: homemade bread, cheese slices, carrots sticks, young peas from garden, sun chips (oh, i'm a sucker for supporting compostable bags... okay, they're yummy too :), and halved bananas (from the disounted produce bags). To drink was soda cans (this is something we only get for REALLY special occassions, got 2 12-packs, which of course what not enough for everyone to drink soda the whole time, which was okay with me!). Also had out home-made lemonade (lemon juic.e, sugar & water), and a water cooler. Both cake & pie were homemade. Paper cups from a yard sale. Favor bags were hand-painted brown paper lunch bags. They were filled with fireworks, some party straws from a yard sale, some happy meal toys from the thrift store, and some mini-size playdo from a thrift store. This party probably cost under $40, with a bunch of happy kids!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scenes from a Lovely Friday

A sweet way to end the week for us! We did some urban foraging. On our morning walk, a daycare child found 2 mulberry trees down a road we rarely walk! We ate a few, they were hard to reach. We then got our pail and headed up to the highway behind the house. There are about 6 serviceberries planted along it. Serviceberries (also called sarvisberries or juneberries) grow all over! I discovered them growing wild in SW Colorado, and here have found them all over town, being used in landscapes. Most people don't realize they are edible and delicious!! If you are local and want to know some easily accessible spots to get these, lemme know!

Great for eating straight off the tree, also good in baking or for freezing (remember to freeze your berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet, before you put them in a freezer bag!):
The new 20 sq ft garden plot:

I am busy this night getting ready for Clay's birthday party tomorrow. Bobby took the boys to ... drumroll ... WWE Raw Smackdown at the Asheville Civic Center (oh yeah!!!), so mama has some time to get all birthday crazy :) Making party favor bags (as you can see in the top right corner, i am just *that* mom that puts fireworks in party favor bags heehee)
Made cheesecake and key lime pie for party. This is only my second cheesecake, and my first to make in a spring form pan, and it cracked :( poo. hopefully it'll still taste yum tho :) It has an oreo crust and will have a choice (or combo?) of fresh strawberries or M&M's to put on it
Bread rising for party food (dang, i am still in love with the Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day book - buy it!!!)
Happy weekend to all!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Whole Decade Of Clay Goodness!!

Ten years ago today, a very smooth and fairly short labor ended at 7 pm to this lovely little baby Clay Elijah. He can be very quiet and reflective, and very out-going and fearless - a true joy of a person to get to know!

This morning bouncing on his new pogo stick (I think I got one that's too small, he grows too fast!):
Happy Birthday Love!

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