Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Collage

Despite the St. Patrick's Day snow, spring unofficially arrived earlier this week with sandbox capers, dusting off the double stroller and lingering by a country roadside to gawk at charming lambs in the sunshine, and playing "beach" on the sidewalk.





The other day Auntie H entertained N and H all afternoon by fitting on a heap of maternity clothes from my closet. The girls immediately caught the dress-up bug. (N is sporting Auntie's clothes while H models a maternity dress--I mean shirt.)




Monday, March 18, 2013

First Duet

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Ballet


For some people, all it takes to become a ballerina is a couple of ballet books from the library, a hand-me-down tutu and sparkly pink shoes...or even just a pair of pink tights, too-tight church shoes, and a big sister to imitate.



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Friday, January 25, 2013

N will be age-eligible for kindergarten this coming fall, but already for much of the past year she's been taking her education into her own hands. Yesterday she maxed out our motley collection of magnetic letters and numbers by setting up addition equations, words, and the "number alphabet" (numbers in order). Lacking many essential characters, she improvised them, for example, creating 13 from J, F and K. ("Mommy, please don't count these two lines.") After this photo, she went all the way through 17 in the same inventive style.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

This week a friend invited me, N and H for an "Africa Activity Day"--part of a geography unit she and three of her children are studying at home. Another friend, who grew up in Kenya, joined us along with her two little ones.

We examined maps and read a Maasai storybook.



We passed around samples of major exports like cotton, dates, millet, and coffee.
We made play dough animals and ground peanuts with a mortar and pestle.
We tried, with scant success, to walk balancing baskets on our heads.



We tried on Maasai beads and clothing.

 After a few races up and down the frozen lane, lunch--the crowning activity--included peanut soup (Kenya), rice pilaf (Kenya) and dried mango, papaya, and pineapple.

Of course we made barely a scratch in the surface of all the richness of an enormous continent; still, the morning provided a fun freezing-weather diversion and a tangible connection with loved ones in that part of the world.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hay Ride

Summer so far has been a bumpy ride, sometimes downright scratchy, but sweetened by camaraderie and tranquil vistas along the way. 

Recently we enjoyed a gathering of my maternal extended family. Part of the festivities took place at the Farm--my mom's childhood home.




N participated in her first water balloon toss and played like mad with her newly acquainted second cousins.


We spent a day with the great-grandparents in their new retirement cottage. As N commented, "It's nice here."





Walking to Bible school at the little church up the road was a highlight for N.



We can't wait to move into the new kitchen! 


H sampled C's birthday cake batter with gusto.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little H turned a big numero uno last week.

Here she is, riding bike with big sister N, on the very spot where she was born:


Playing tea party on the front porch:

N's party clothes:

H in her favorite hand-me-down hat and standard summer outfit:

The girls have taken an interest in washing dishes, partly to cool off on hot days. In fact, N recently added breakfast dishes to her list of morning chores, and H always wants to be in on the action (especially now that she's climbing on and off chairs by herself):

H's first birthday was a bit of a bummer; feeling miserable from a double ear infection, she just wasn't as much into opening presents as everyone else was:



She was a good sport, though, and tried out her first cousin R's handmade blanket right away:


We never did get around to singing "Happy Birthday" or putting a candle in a zucchini cupcake. H just kept crying, nursing, and falling asleep at inopportune times. So the party went on without her. Her Auntie H and Uncle M joined the would-be festivities. Here, my visiting cousin R and her boys (H's and N's never-before-met second cousins) enthusiastically decorate the cupcakes:

Fortunately, after the doctor prescribed antibiotics the next day, H perked up quickly enough to go along on a five-hour family trip to visit Uncle Z, and returned to her usual charming, busybody self. We hung out a lot on the baby-proof deck overlooking the city, reading books, playing with an (empty of compost) stainless steel pail, and tossing orange peels over the railing to the garden below, not to mention munching homemade cookies:


By way of sightseeing, we spent a rainy morning climbing up and back down 36 stories of stairs at a very tall building at a very large university (flooding the echoey stairwell with harmonies as we descended). I'm proud to say that both girls made it the whole way--H on her dad's back and N on her own four-year-old feet: