Thursday, September 30, 2010

learning to slow down

Recently Ella has shown a lot of interest in learning how to write so I took a trip with one very excited 3 year old to our local teacher supply store. Together we picked out a lined dry erase board and a rubber finger grip to teach her how to hold the marker. I think we both had visions of her writing novels by Thanksgiving!

Almost every day during Vi Baby's nap, we sit down and have "school". Very excited, Ella would get her board and tell me which letters she wanted to learn. I'd write one for her and then it was her turn to trace mine and every.single.time. she would throw her arms up and cry out "SEE, I CAN'T DO IT!"... and there was no convincing her otherwise. It didn't take long for me to realize this was not going to work for her.

So, I talked with a few friends and one idea really stood out..."try letting her draw the letters in sand with her fingers".

And so we did....

                    out homemade writing sand box!


this is one serious 'A'!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Violet's Friday Food Post

Since her allergy testing a month ago we've changed the way things are made in our kitchen. We are an egg, dairy/casein, oat, peanut and tree nut free home. Friday Food Posts will demonstrate that food can still be awesome with a few changes.

I set the bread machine last night so in the morning we woke up to this:
Rosemary Bread
Shamefully...the loaf made it about 12 hours in our home. It is even more decadently delicious with a bit of Earth Balance Spread.

Muffins I made earlier in the week:

vegan banana bran muffins with cranberries

I used a box of Hodgson Mill Bran Muffin Mix (using Ener-G egg replacer and soy milk) and added in a mashed banana and 1/2 cup of cranberries.

 Fresh Juice:


Today's organic juice was 4 beets, 1 Pink Lady Apple, one pear and a lime. The girls and I shared our drink and then brought the pulp out to the chickens who were very excited to see all the pink beet pulp. I use a Juiceman II that I bought back in 1997 when I was in college. I was up late one night, no cable and an infomercial came on...and for the first time in my life I was sold. I picked up the phone and called and 13 years later, I'm juicing with that same machine for my daughters.

Friday, September 24, 2010


life, our universe and everything...

I'll go ahead and apologize now if you've landed on this blog because you were looking for something on the GAAA. There have been so many custom orders through Funkaknits (a really great thing!) I haven't had time to pick my first square back up since my last post here. I've made so many Pumpkin Hats I suspect it's only a matter of time before they start growing out of my ears! I've also been working on a super secret birthday project for my sister that I'll post photos of after her birthday in a couple of weeks.

The girls and I have been baking loaf after loaf of amazing bread...vegan cinnamon rolls were even attempted the other day and they turned out really well (put some up in the freezer for later).

banana bread and a little helper

 E started a new session of dance classes which she adores. Parents are asked to wait in the hall during the 30 minute class and the entire time Violet is pleading for a glance at her big sister dancing.

I love the way she looks at E

I've been running the Couch to 5K program. Slowly but surely I'm becoming the runner I always wanted to be. There hasn't been much sleep happening in our home this month of September due to one very teething baby, but making the time to run every other day makes those days somehow doable. My runs are especially lovely since I discovered a private and shaded unpaved road right by the front of my neighborhood.

Lastly, we decided today I'll be making a trip with E and V to see our Arizona family. We arrive a few days before Halloween so the girls will get to experience trick-or-treating with their cousins. So far Ella's costume suggestions are:
1) the color pink
2) Strawberry Shortcake
3) Matilda

The very talented Sarakenobi is brainstorming with me on the SS costume aaaaand an Apple Dumpling costume for Vi Baby.
I'm excited for cooler weather...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Special thanks to Little Speckled Frog  for including one of my Pumpkin Hats in her etsy treasury, Baby's 1st Halloween. Oh, and a couple of chicken and baby photos just because.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We've been busy...

The afghan yarn arrived last week in all its glory and I finally decided on a first square, the one by Barbara McIntire (below in white).

My progress so far:

I've decided I really like cable knitting quite a bit. Don't get me wrong, nothing is more relaxing than an easy "knitting in the round" project but with cables it is so cool to see the cable pattern start to pop.

The Sugar Snap Peas are already about an inch tall!
In other news, we finished planting our fall garden and my eldest is insisting her name is now "Garden", correcting me every time! I've added a box to the right that lists what we are currently growing (beets, carrots, sugar snap peas, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts). I'm really excited to have fresh beets and carrots to use in our juicer through the winter! The rest of it pretty much gets picked over by the girls as they snack throughout the day and never actually makes it to our kitchen.

Meet Roxanne, Billie Jean and Penny Lane. They're about 4 months old and finally have a place to sleep at night that is NOT a box in our bathroom.

Our chickens now have a proper home.
Notice the wheels!
I am so grateful to have friends who can (and are willing to) design and build a chicken tractor!