Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We have been busybusy and continue to be so with holiday crafting and parties and eating and sometimes cleaning up. I am still working on some projects, and will be for a while, since I adopted an attitude of "It can happen later" when I realized all of my crafty stuff was not going to get done. I mostly helped the kids do their crafty stuff for each other and relatives. They still have some things they would like to make for friends and each other, so I guess we'll just keep on going and try to keep the crafty mess to a dull roar. Bellybaby must think it's a lot of fun out here, because he/she is very active all of the time (and didn't sleep at all on Christmas Eve either, talk about stirring!)
Here are some photos of our adventures.... Robert has the ones from Christmas on his camera so I will have to get some from him:

Crafting for friends

The Tree! (A 'volunteer' growing in the wrong spot for our yard)

Gus: Tailor of fine clothes (for sisters' dollies)

Lucy with the pillow she needle felted and sewed for Grandma Donna

Eleanor making latkes, yummy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


So my pal Kat has been doing a sweet little happy list for a few days... and she inspired me!
Today I am happy about:

1. Getting home safely in the freezing rain after going out to get some more water because our pipes are busted (you have to say this if you live in the country).

2. I kept the fire going all day yesterday, even with a trip to town thrown in.

3. We have really rockin neighbors. They helped in every way possible with the busted pipe situation.

4. When my kids found out that a local family had lost their home and everything they have to a fire, they went around gathering up some loved items and adding them to a big pile for them.

5. I found "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" on YouTube. Stop action yumminess!

6. Baby Doggett likes music! He/she starts dancing around when there's music about. Yay!
(Uncle Tom teaching Eleanor how to do the folksy strum.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Changing and growing

There is nothing quite like the traditions of this season to remind me how my children are changing and growing. Our little Thanksgiving celebration was a fun, pretty simple, family gathering and this year the kids were really involved with almost every part of making the meal. It made me think back to when I was a kid, helping to tear bread for stuffing, learning to make the piecrust, watching the rum-pumpkin being made into a chiffon (obviously not closely enough) smelling the smells, setting the table and making it pretty.... and then, also to the Thanksgiving when I did all of that myself in the little house in the Santa Cruz mountains, the first time I met Robert in person, and did the whole nine-yards for three grateful guys. I think I called Mom about 10 times, but I got it all done. And one day, so will these three, take some of our traditions to their own families. Oh yah, it's four. I keep forgetting, but not really. My pumpkin of a belly is changing and growing too. Here is the soon to be big sister, looking up a recipe in the Joy of Cooking and showing off her new smile:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween '09

The Costume shoppe on Slow Lane, bedecked with spider webs (yes, they are for real, we don't mess around here.)

The Costume Shoppe, Boise branch....

Pumpkin time:

Tricks and Treats:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mist on the hill side....

Clouds gray and white,
Autumn good morning
Summer good night.

Tonight as we drove home, the clouds were settling into the beautiful fir covered mountains of our Coast Range. I wish I had a photo, but it's dangerous to take them and drive, and my camera was at home, so I don't. Instead, I have these. They're from our trip to the gorgeous gorge:

Evidence of our stay at McMenamin's Edgefield the night before the CSN show:
Lucy on the trail near Beacon Rock in the Gorge
Gus and Lucy playing in the falls:
Eleanor on the bridge:
Sibling love, or "Gus! PUT ME DOWN!"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where does the time go?

Sometimes you blink, and a month has gone by. It happened just now. Here we are in mid-October. The weather is chilly enough for sweaters and slippers, the winter squashes are here and turning everything orange, the leaves are just starting to turn and we are checking out where the rain gear is, just in case these lovely, sunny, crisp October days turn into wet October days. Today was one of those fabulous blue sky crunchy leaves days which always make me think about football (even if I didn't run head-on into a bunch of Beaver Believers) and soup and apple cider and bonfires and long rambles through the woods. Fall is power time for me, when all my creative crafty energy seems to bubble up and spill out. This year it's a bit subdued, because of the other creative project I'm working on (who happens to be the size of a plum just now--and who made his/her presence known to me by way of fluttery undulations this week). Nevertheless it is again luscious fall and here is some of what we have been up to:
Making bread

Making new friends

And more new friends.

Wheee at Not back to school day at Oaks Park

Getting a fencing lesson

There's more, but Blogger just told me it was a 'Bad Request' to upload the second batch of photos tonight. Hmmm.... Blogger must know I'm up past my bedtime. Good night.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Days of Homeschool

We too, have started a new school year. As homeschoolers, we don't really have a defined stop and start to learning time, and I like to think of us as learning all the time. However, with the mama a bit out of commission for the past couple months, we haven't been doing a whole lot of much, and even the basics like reading aloud sometimes fell by the wayside.
We always have our bedtime read of course, and have been enjoying Swallows and Amazons quite a bit
It came highly recommended from a woman in a caboose bookstore in Portland's Sellwood neighborhood where we spent much of our summer.
We have also started sort of a new bedtime thing, which is poem reading. We sort of fell into it because a few years ago my mom gave Eleanor some sweet little cards called Sweet Dreams Cards by Cooper Edens, who is the author and illustrator of one of our favorite bedtime books, The Caretakers of Wonder.
There are vintage illustrations on each of the cards, and a poem or saying on the other side. Eleanor either reads one to me (the new way) or I read one to her (the old way) each night before lights out. Well, somehow I started having poem time with Lucy and Gus, too, and it has turned into a nice little bedtime treat, and a good way to hear more poetry, which I think is a great thing, since I love poetry but was having a hard time figuring out where to put it into our busy days.
So, having read them their poems and put them to bed... and some to tent, since the girls packed their backpacks to go on a grand camping adventure in the yard (for 3 days, no less), I set out to planning our new 'school year' rhythms.
If they were in school, Gus would be in 4th grade, Eleanor in 3rd grade and Lucy in 1st. For the most part, I don't really worry or think to much about that, but it is good for them to be able to answer people when they are asked, which they are often, what grade they are in. It also helps when I am looking for age/ability appropriate stuff to sprinkle along their paths.
Here's what happened on Tuesday:
We woke up early. That's what happens when you sleep outdoors! I enlisted the help of Gus to make breakfast. Our new rhythm includes each of the kids helping with mealtime (and everyone helping with cleanup!) He helped pick out what tea we would drink, and the girls set the table.

After breakfast, we spread out our circle time blanket (one day soon it will be a circular braided rug, it will!) and we all said the same verse together, because we were talking about ONE. We talked about ONE for a while, about all things that there were ONE of, about things that are made up of many but are still ONE, and eventually they mentioned corn, which lead into our story. We also did some body awareness/beat awareness things, clapping or stomping on each syllable of a sentence. Then we all mixed up some cornbread together.
While our cornbread baked, one of the children did form drawings, while the other two smelled essential oils (the caps.) one by one (punctuated by smelling coffee, to give their noses a break) and then chose 3 to make into their own massage oil blend. I explained the concept of synergy, and they were very excited to be mixing the oils. Form drawing was less well received.
Our cornbread finished baking and we ate it with gusto and homemade strawberry jam. We finished our snack just as our neighbor arrived to go for our daily walk. We've been really enjoying walking with her for the past few weeks. She always brings her baby and the girls even like to push the stroller up the big hill.
It's a nice time to connect and even going by the road, it's a pretty walk. Eleanor found this poor friend dead, but in near perfect condition on the road:
After our lunch, we headed to a friends nearby farm to pick up custom (non-raw) homemade goat cheese for the pregnant mama (yay and YUM!) and to play with friends. My playing consisted of picking blackberries. The kids played inside with their friend (and on such a beautiful day!) However, the new chicks were a draw for at least one:
There's really nothing quite as cute as a kid and a chick.... except maybe the photos from today... which will have to wait for a different day.
Tuesday ended with a lovely meal of quiche made by me and Lucy, and foot massages for all, including Mama. Everyone I have told about this says, "I want to go to a school like that!" It was fun, school should be.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Try to remember that kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow....
When grass was green and grain was yellow...

How I love the beginnings of autumn, don't you? This weekend, we experienced that kind of September, beginning on Friday with a lovely outdoor soiree at a local winery called Tyee and a very excellent local band called Bon Ton Roulet. And roulet they did, Cajun music is pretty great live, I discovered. The kiddos danced and played. Gus gave many horsey rides to Lucy and her friend Ruby. Eleanor twirled. Wahoo. Then, on Saturday we went back and did a lovely nature walk and 'nature bingo' brought to us by the lovely folks at Muddy Creek Charter School, especially our friend Jenny. We found everything except animal tracks on the walk, here's some of what we did find:

White Oak


Mossy moss

Yet to be identified wild flower
Already brilliant Oregon Grape leaf

More mossy moss