Saturday, September 29, 2012

Difference Between Work and Play

Harvesting sweet potatoes involves trucks and tractors.

What else would you do with all that dirt?

And you can't wash dishes...

...without bubble beards.

The lines between "work" and "play"...

...are very often blurred.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


We were doing math, you see. And Evan was "doing" math, too.  And hamming it up.

He put a pile of ten blocks in the box, put the sheet of plexi over it and, peering through, he said, "Mom!  Mom!  I-I-I..."  (in that cute little fakey-stutter that he does lately as he's learning to speak sentences) "I-I-I thhheeee...  BOKTH!"

"You see BLOCKS?  Wow!  Do you see math?"

"Maff!  Thhhee maff!"

"You see math!  Math-U-See!"

(What you don't see, is that dump of a kitchen.  Right?  Riiiiight?  Maff is more fun than kitchen-cleaning.)

If you're not having fun with math...'re doin' it wrong.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not Fall Yet

Some people call this fall, I call it "late summer". Late summer has a flavor all it's own and while it's obvious that fall is nearly here, this is just a last bit of summer.  Everything in it's own time, and I dislike getting ahead of where we really are.

I just love the light and air on days like these.  The sun is extra golden, nights and mornings are crisp, and the days warm so pleasantly.

These days, Andrew lives on my back in the Ergobaby carrier.  He seems to only want to be in constant contact with me, and the only way for me to accomplish anything at all is to strap him on.  This is a new thing for me, actually.  I usually wear the babies when they're tiny, but when they get big enough to protest, I don't put up with it.  They just always seem to want to be in my arms (not strapped in hands-free) or on the floor, so that's what I work with.  Andrew has been so clingy these days, though.  But he doesn't seem to mind the carrier, and will even happily co-operate while I get him in the carrier on my back by myself.  He just clings there and waits while I buckle and snap.

We're spending time outside in this perfect weather while we can.

There is certainly lots to do!

We picked all the storage onions yesterday and laid them on bread-racks to cure on the front porch.

I have to remind myself to slow down and go at the kids' pace.  Evan doesn't just put the onions in-- he puts them in and takes them out and moves them around and throws them in the yard and puts them in shovel to scoop into the racks.  It's just more fun that way, see.

And Jonah takes sooooo long to get the trays from the barn because he puts his feet in them and monster-walks all the way to the front yard.

I'm too quickly inclined to snap at them to stop playing and go faster, comeoneletsgetthisdonealready!  But what's the point, really?  I tend to miss the forest for the trees.  "Have some fun." I remind myself.  If the kids are happily working steadily, then the battle's already won!

This morning when we started school, Jonah asked for a break from regular school.  This is very unusual for him, Most Regimented Second-grader Ever.

Instead, he wanted to do this "science" experiment in which you measure a gummy bear and put it in a cup of water and then measure it again the next day.  "Hm." I said.  "I don't have any gummy bears."

So we made some sour gummies, which I had seen a recipe for only a few days before.

And we had some good math lessons along with it.

Then we cut them out (I don't have fancy silicone candy molds, but I do have tiny cookie cutters, though cutting this stuff is not easy, I should point out.)...

...ate all the scraps...

...and admired our work.  (And shared them with Daddy.)

THEN and only then, did we finally get to that science experiment and there is now a homemade sour gummy soaking in water on top of the fridge... and a whole jar-full for eating.

Great things happen when I have fun with them.  It's just hard for me to slow down, sometimes...

Word Search

Evan sits at the table with his breakfast in front of him.  "De-ah!"  he demands.


On and on and on...

"What, Evan, what do you want?  I don't understand!  Can you show me?


"You have eggs, you have bread, you have a drink, you have a fork... I don't know what's missing!"

"Deeeeee-ah!  Peeeeeeease!"

"Aurgh!  Um....  Do you want some JAM?"

"DE-AH!  Yeah!"

Sigh.  Add that to the translation catalog:  "de-ah" = jam.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oh, wait, just one more...

Terrific Two

I took some photos of Evan after church a couple weeks ago. I photographed Jonah at the same age in the same cowboy hat, but it's considerably more beaten up now.  (The photos of Jonah were on film, and if I scanned and posted them on this blog, I sure can't find them...)

I've spent the last hour playing with these photos in Lightroom.  (!!! Yes, indeed! An extravagant gift that I'm having fun with now that I have a computer that can run it!  And since it's Sunday afternoon, I figure I can let the house go to pot while I play.)

I think this is my favorite with a grainy, old-timey feel.

But then there's this, motion-blur and all, because two-year-olds are always in motion:

(Evan is Not My Favorite child... I don't pick favorites.  Really.  I just love two-year-olds.  A lot.)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Maybe they really have nine lives

Believe it or not....

...the cats actually do survive around here.

But sometimes I don't know how.

Bits and Bites

I was looking through my photos and doing some editing, organizing and all that (which, by the way, can I just say that while I love my new-old computer, and Windows 7 is not all that scary, the photo import is making me nuts.  Why can't I tell it NOT to put my photos into subfolders on import?  I don't want it to do that.  I want it to be reasonable and to what I say!  Huff.  End rant.  For now.).  I realized that there are so many cute things I have not shared here!  I guess I was writing blog posts in my head again-- they didn't make it to the intertubes.  I'm going to do my best to catch up.

For now, a teaser--

Andrew is walking (egads!) at a mere 10 months of age.  He no longer needs coaxing, he just practices on purpose and takes steps for fun.  He's pretty proud of his new skill.  He's really still a baby, but he's trying not to be.

And now I'm just going to bore you with the "recipe" for this yummy soup I just made.

This morning when Andrew refused to nap (oh, no, he can't be giving up his morning nap already, can he?) I strapped him onto my back and took the boys out to pick tomatoes.  We picked two 5-gallon buckets full (along with a few green ones since Evan doesn't quite get the difference).  Something had to be done with them, so I canned up a couple batches, froze several gallon bags for sauce later, and made soup.

This is my favorite summer-time soup.  Well, it's my favorite today, anyway.  I actually got the idea from a soup I once ate in the kitchen of my lovely midwife, who can come up with some amazing deliciously simple fresh meals. Since I was already dipping and peeling tomatoes, I peeled the soup tomatoes as well 'cause I like 'em better that way.  I have texture issues.  I put them in the pot and added zucchini, onions, garlic, salt, and some rich duck stock to temper the tomatoes' acidity.  I let the vegetables cook just until they're juicy.  I don't like to overcook this, and I don't saute anything to start it.  I just dump it in and warm it all up.

And then.  The dill.

My dill has already reseeded itself and started to grow anew, and I just love it when it's young and tender.   I like to put the dill in the soup after the vegetables are tender so that it stays very succulent and fresh.

The whole soup is very fresh and barely cooked.  It's like the ambrosial love-child of soup and salad.

Ah, I'll be so sad when the flavors of summer are gone again.  But I'll soak them up with fresh buttered bread while I can.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Baby Games

My Dad loves babies.

Especially when they're big enough to play silly games...

...but still little enough to snuggle.