Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vegan Ginger Snaps

Vegan Ginger Snaps

(recipe adapted from here)

2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
1 T flax seed, ground
3 T water
4 T molasses
2 cups flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
1/3 cup coarsely granulated sugar, for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix ground flax seeds with water, and set aside.
3. Combine 1 cup of sugar, oil, and molasses, then add the flax mixture and stir until combined.
4. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
5. Add the flour to the wet mixture, about a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
6. Dip tops of rounded spoonfuls of dough in sugar and set on baking sheet, about two inches apart. Use the back of a fork to flatten slightly.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and let cookies cool slightly before removing from the pan.

Makes about 24 cookies.

I find that 8-9 minutes makes a chewier cookie, while 9-10 minutes makes a crispier cookie. I prefer mine crispy, but Brad and Ariana like them chewy.

If you're not vegan, you can find the original recipe here: Olive Oil Cookies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Small Kids, Big Color

I wasn't going to post about this here, because I just posted about the other contest, and this is hardly a home design blog--although that probably counts as homemaking too, right? And this blog is kind of about homemaking. Once in a while. But still, I wasn't going to post about the contest--except then Maxine's room made it into the finals! And I am too excited to not post about that.

Small Kids, Big Color is the annual color contest on Ohdeedoh--the kids' version of Apartment Therapy's Room for Color contest. This year, they put up 62 entries and the top nine made it into the finals. This really exciting for me, because I remember looking at, and voting on, contest entries three years ago (and every year since) and thinking how fabulous they were and wishing I had a fabulous room like that in my house. And I guess now I do. I should probably also mention that Ohdeedoh has been a huge inspiration for me. They feature so many great, and accessible, kids' rooms that there isn't enough time in the day to look at them all (at least, not for me). Even if I don't win, I feel so honored that my room got to be a part of it all, and doubly so that my room made it to the finals.

You can check out my original entry here: Maxine's Vintage Sunshine.  You may get a laugh, as I did, from all the comments saying how warm and sunny the room looks. And it is sunny, yes. But it is also an unheated sleeping porch, with three windowed walls. In Michigan. So it is definitely not warm--until June. Even so, I wouldn't exactly call it "warm" then, so much as "unbearably hot." But isn't it lovely?  We do enjoy spending lots of time in there during the winter, because of all the light.

If you'd like to vote, or just check out all of the other finalists, here is the link: Ohdeedoh Small Kids, Big Color Finalists. They're all beautiful rooms, and full of inspiration, but I've put pictures of a few of my favorites below.

Felix's Tintin Inspired Nursery
Grandmother Inspired Room
Chloe's Soiree Suite

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beeswax: A Retrospective

I know I have been very lax in school related posting lately, but rest assured, we have been doing school related activities! I think I have mentioned before that a big part of what drew me to the Waldorf teaching style is the art. One thing the girls look forward to very much is our Monday circle time when we do a little beeswax sculpture to go along with the story for that week.

I didn't plan it so each item we've made so far used a different color, but it worked out that way. Maybe because that's just how things happen sometimes, or maybe because that's just how things happen when it's always 9:45 Monday morning and you are standing in the craft room frantically trying to think of a simple clay sculpture to go with that week's story before the girls start fighting over who sits where and you lose the whole peaceful circle time vibe, and you are faced with a box of neat rectangles of clay or a plastic bag full of prior weeks' projects. At any rate, we've cycled through all the colors now, and I thought it would be fun to do a post about the things we've made before I reshape them all so they can be reused.

First were the balls moons, of course. These went along with the story "Harvest Moon Magic" by Suzanne Down.

Then, the week of the autumn equinox, we made pomegranates to go with the story of Demeter and Persephone.  

Then we read "Michaelmas Story of the Star Children" by Corinne Batzell. I printed it out from somewhere, but I can't seem to find it again. It's a great story though, and if you aren't as lazy as me, you could probably spend ten seconds Googling it. We made sprouts to go with the story. They're kind of springish, but the tube shape was a nice change from what we'd been doing.  

Next, we made leaves to go with the story "The Elder Brother" from here.  

I guess we lost a stem from one of our leaves.  I can't find the other picture I took before I threw these in a plastic bag and jumbled them around the craft bin though, so this one will have to do.
For Martinmas, we made flames. They look a lot like the sprouts, actually, except yellow. This was the Monday I forgot to get out the wax, and after the girls sat down, Max kept saying "day, day, day, no day" with a sullen look on her face. I had no idea what she was talking about until Lissie said "Oh, I know, you forgot the clay!" I find it interesting how quickly Maxine adapted to the weekly rhythm.  

Our story that week was "Saint Martin's Light" by Reg Down, who has kindly made a number of his stories available for download on his site. It's a wonderful resource and a great way to sample his work if your local library doesn't carry his books (as ours doesn't) and you are on a budget (like we are). This was actually my first introduction to his stories, but I loved everything I read, so I "liked" Tiptoes Lightly on Facebook and then won a copy of The Cricket and The Shepherd Boy in a giveaway that he did. How cool is that? Reg Down seems like a really nice guy too, which makes me want to buy all of the rest of his books immediately, but alas, that budget! We are building our collection slowly though.  

And for our last project, I thought we'd branch (hah!) out a bit from the tube shape. Lissie and I made trees (Maxine made a tree stump), which went along nicely with the story "Autumn Bear" by Suzanne Down.  

In Feingold related news, I recently learned about a product called Gloves in a Bottle which prevents things from being absorbed into the skin. I can't wait to try it out with Lissie. I am hoping it will allow her to use markers, beeswax crayons and paint again (although she has been doing well with her Artemis watercolors). I haven't decided yet if we'll try the Stockmar modeling beeswax, or stick with Artemis if the "gloves" work. Maybe we'll use a combination of both.  I do like the muted colors and variations in the kind we've been using, but I have a feeling the girls would enjoy the brighter Stockmar colors too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Donsey of Gnomes

Did you know that a group of gnomes is called a donsey?

Here is a donsey of gnomes that I made for a stocking stuffer exchange over at Homespun Waldorf.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh Christmas Gratitude Tree

Earlier this month, I had an idea. I often have these grand ideas, but rarely follow through. I think this one worked out really well though. My idea was to do a Christmas tree, but instead of decorating it with ornaments, we would decorate it with all the things we are grateful for. A gratitude tree, if you will.  

It was one of those ideas that I really wasn't sure how to implement. We had a tall narrow tree already, but I didn't think we could fit our gratitude on there with all of our other ornaments.   also didn't think Brad would be keen on giving up his Star Wars* ornaments in exchange for one of my crazy ideas (he wasn't), and I wasn't even sure how we would hang our gratitude on a tree. Fortunately, things have a way of working out sometimes.  

We have plenty of space for two trees and Brad's aunt Shirley and uncle Mike are downsizing their Christmas decorations, so a few weeks ago, they drove all the way out here and brought us this huge (really, we had to leave off the entire bottom section for it to fit), lovely tree for our dining room (and somewhere on our tree, there is a little tag with their names on it, saying how thankful we are for their generosity). This was perfect, because we used to use real trees, until 2003, when I dragged our tree out, in February, leaving a trail carpet of pine needles through the entire house, and I was so mad that in a fit of hyperbole I swore we would never, ever, ever, have a real tree again, not even if someone paid us a million dollars. So we're all about the artificial kind now, and last night, after assembling them, I found a package of old school, non-adhesive, cardstock gift tags in the bottom of a box of decorations. I gathered a little basket, some pens, a hole punch, and then I got to work.

After dinner tonight, we all stayed at the table and wrote down some of the things we are grateful for. We filled out names, where applicable, and wrote our messages on the backs of the cards. Then Ariana cut approximately one thousand tiny pieces of string (for which I am very thankful), and we hung them up, like this:

We did add some ornaments, because we were afraid the tree would look bare without any. I'm not usually one for themey trees, but we decided to use all white on this tree, so they wouldn't compete with our little gratitude cards. Thanks to Jan, we had plenty to spare, because between our own ornaments and the ones we got from Jan, our other tree was full even without the white ones.

*Not that Brad even likes Star Wars anymore, because George Lucas totally ruined it with CGI.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Maxine Takes Over the Guest Room

I know I've been an infrequent blogger lately. We have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to do much on the computer. The upside is, despite having guests for almost two weeks solid, we have been very productive.

How our guest room originally looked
Speaking of guests, the project I am most excited about completing is the transformation of our guest room into Maxine's bedroom (though she still has to give it up when guests come!). Our bedroom is ridiculously large, so when we first moved in, and Maxine was 3 months old, it was natural to have her in there with us. Of course, that got old after, oh, about three minutes. But we stuck it out, because the plan has always been to move her into Ariana's room next fall when Ariana leaves for college.

But did I mention that the guest room, our upstairs sleeping porch, is my absolute favorite room in our house? The windows, the light, the fun painted floor.  The windows. It was the room I was standing in when I realized I needed this house. And it seemed a shame that our favorite room was the one we all spent the least amount of time in.

So, although we do have guests often enough to warrant having a guest room, it seemed that it might be better to use the room for Maxine, because we don't have guests that often. It was initially pretty barebones. Just a guest room with baby stuff in the drawers, but as time went on, I realized that it was Maxine's first room, and I wanted it to be for her.

How the guest room looked when Maxine first moved in.
Because it's temporary I'm cheap, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on redecorating, so everything in the room is something we already had.

The quilt at the foot of the bed and the little doll pillow on the chair were more treasures from my mother-in-law's basement. She made the quilt for Brad when he was a baby. I used the leftover Orangery paint from the dining room buffet to paint the headboards and the bookshelves. I've had the little bookshelves forever, and I think each girl has used them in her bedroom at one point. They are the perfect size for a little one.

The stool at the foot of the bed was made by my great-grandfather. The original cane top is badly damaged, so I covered it with a board and some foam, and I have lost track of how many different fabrics (the current one is Heather Ross's Dancing Rabbits). I found the quilt rack at the side of the road with a "free" sign taped to it. It's perfect for hanging Maxine's "dancing dresses" because the room doesn't have a closet. I think that side looks crowded, but it's just enough space for Maxine to slip in and out to get books and dresses, and she loves having pictures hung at her level.

I made the curtains from some vintage fabric I found when Ariana (who was then 10) and I went on our first, and only, road trip. We drove to Minnesota through the upper peninsula, and I found the fabric in this great little quilt/antique shop. I know, could there be a store more perfect for me? It's either too bad, or a really good thing, that it's so far away from where I live! So, I've had this fabric for eight years and I have been afraid to use it for anything. Which is silly, of course, but it was really hard to make the first cut. I didn't have a long enough piece to do two panels, so I added fabric to the top and bottom to lengthen it.

All of the artwork came from thrift stores, except for the princess and the pea one, which I made using bits of my favorite Heather Ross fabrics. Lissie has a matching one in her room made from the pink and orange princess fabric. I love that they both happened to go so well in the girls' rooms! We found the poodle picture separately from the other animals, and in a different sort of frame, so that's why it's in a different spot.

I made the owl and Lissie made the ladybug for her birthday last year. Ariana, Lissie and I made the clothespin dolls a few years ago. I never see anybody playing with them, but they tend to pop up in random spots around the house.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Feingold Style

This is our second Halloween on Feingold. Last Halloween was right after we started Feingold, and we really had no idea Lissie wouldn't be able to eat any of the candy she got. I look back at our inexperienced selves and kind of laugh at us checking the book to see if any of it was safe (it wasn't).

Lissie did collect for Unicef, which seemed like a good idea, but a lot of people didn't have change (we never do!) so she still ended up with a lot of candy. You tell could she was disappointed when she found out she couldn't have any of it, even if she did understand why. One of our sweet friends baked Halloween cupcakes and sent one over for Lissie so she could have a treat. Unfortunately, we didn't know that unsalted butter was an issue for Lissie (something to do with the mysterious "natural flavors") and we ended up with a meltdown/reaction anyway.

Fortunately, we had a better plan in place this year. We warned her ahead of time that she wouldn't be able to eat any candy and told her to make sure to say "thank you" and not "hey, I can't eat this!  It has artificials!" or something similar. She did really well with that, only telling a few neighbors we know pretty well that she wouldn't be eating her treats.

You might be wondering why we went out at all, if she can't eat the candy. We went because it's fun.  And because of the Halloween Fairy. Legend has it, if you leave your treat bag outside your bedroom door when you go to bed, the Halloween Fairy will come in the night and whisk away your candy, leaving treats in its place.

Even better, when we got home it was still early enough for trick-or-treating. Lissie had never handed out candy before and thought it sounded fun, so she dumped all of her candy into a bowl and she and Brad got rid of every single piece. Then she wrote a sweet note telling the Halloween Fairy why she didn't have any candy.

Maxine was a princess.  Lissie was Spider Girl for trick-or-treating. I am sure it won't surprise anybody to hear that she likes to wear a different costume for each event, so she was also a flower for the harvest party at the Children's Museum and a princess for the Halloween party she went to while she and Brad were in Atlanta.

Candy image credit: Flickr user Juushika Redgrave

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

I have some exciting news! Every year around this time, one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy, hosts their Room for Color contest. And every year, I think "I'm not ready, but I have plenty of time to get ready to enter next year." Of course next year comes around, and I am still not ready.

So this year, I decided that ready or not, I was entering. And I did! And our living room was chosen as one of the entries.

Even more exciting, we are first place in our division right now. I can hardly believe it, because there are so many amazing rooms in the contest, and mine was just done by me, on a shoestring budget, so it's kind of surreal seeing it on there.

Even if we don't win, it has been a great experience. For one thing, my living room is really clean and decluttered--you might have guessed that it doesn't always look like the pictures. For another, I took so many pictures that I finally figured out how to effectively adjust my aperture and shutter speed. How cool is that?  Now I won't feel so outclassed by my camera.

If you're interested in seeing more pictures and voting, you can do it here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fifteen True Facts About My Day

1.  As soon as Brad got home, I went to the store just to get out of the house and away from the kids.
2.  I stopped to get gas on the way, and almost started crying because I didn't have my wallet.
3.  Actually, I did have my wallet, but it was in the console between the seats instead of in my purse.
4.  I vaguely remembered putting it in there the other day, but not why I did it.
5.  When I got to the store, a woman smiled at me and held the door.
6.  Then I did start crying.
7.  Yes, I should probably be starting my period any moment now.
8.  While I was in the bathroom, I realized I was still wearing the ponytail holder Lissie "made" me. The one where she took a blonde colored ponytail holder, that totally doesn't match my hair, and tied little pieces of light blue fold over elastic all around it to make ruffles.
9.  I listened to the song Gloria by Laura Branigan the whole way to the store.
10.  And the whole way home.
11.  While driving home, I ate six Newman's caramel cups. That's six individual cups, not six packages.
12.  (although if I had six packages, I might have eaten them all)
13.  I still felt grumpy when I got home.
14.  Until I pulled into the driveway and saw our house all lit up, which gave me a nice cozy feeling.
15.  And when I saw the jack-o-lanterns the girls carved with Brad while I was out, sitting on the porch with candles in them, my heart melted.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ribbon Streamers

This week we're reading "How Witchamaroo Became the Pocket Witch" from Autumn Tales. I was planning to make pocket witches for our craft today, but I realized early on that it wasn't happening.

Instead, we made ribbon streamers. I may make pocket witches for the girls for their "Halloween Fairy" baskets. You might be wondering what is a pocket witch? Yes, so am I. That was part of the problem today; I probably could have planned a little better.

For our ribbon streamers, we used ribbon and these cool wooden circles I found at Michael's. I can't remember what they are called, but they had a strange name and were with the knitting supplies. I think they were cheap. Actually, who am I kidding?  I bought them, so they must have been cheap.

I had visions of lovely reds and golds, and some vague idea of the girls dancing and pretending the ribbons were autumn leaves swirling around in the breeze. But then reality set in and I was at the dollar store with two kids, so we ended up with pink, lavender, mint, pink and lavender.

These were very easy to make. I got the idea from somewhere a while ago, but I can't remember where.  It seems like they might have used small grapevine wreaths, which would certainly work well too, if you can't find round wooden things in the knitting section of your Michael's. We measured a piece of ribbon from each girl's shoulders to the floor, and then doubled it--you can go a little longer, but you don't want them too long, or they'll be a tripping hazard. We did some a little shorter too, so the streamers would be different lengths.

Then, you knot the ribbon around the wood, somewhere near the middle of the piece of ribbon.


Repeat again:

We ended up with three ribbons on each one. I was thinking we'd do more, but three is a good amount.

And now for the action shots:

Wait, I don't have any action shots. The girls only danced with them for about ten seconds (to Willie Nelson's Rainbow Connection CD, if you were wondering) before declaring them "airplanes"and and throwing them at each other. I made them stop throwing, and that's when Lissie started using hers as a whip.

Maybe we'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paper Princesses

So, you know those weeks where one of the kids gets sick and it goes on for a few days and just when you are thinking maybe it's only going to be the one, the next one gets sick, then suddenly you're sick too and so is your husband, and the last child is right behind? Then everybody is sick and miserable and not getting any rest and what seems like it should have been a simple cold lasts for two weeks? And suddenly it's the weekend your husband is going out of town and taking only one child with him. And of course that's the weekend the boiler goes out.

Yeah, so do we.

But the good news is, our boiler is working again and aside from Max's runny nose, everybody is healthy. I admit, we've not done much schooling. Everybody got sick right around the time we read The Paper Princess Finds Her Way and I had planned to make our own paper princesses that Wednesday, but Lissie  spontaneously made her own on Tuesday, on Wednesday, and then again on Thursday.

So we ended up with quite a few of them. I had plans for something a little more elaborate, but I think these are sweet. I also think we may have started out with a few more, but they must be off having adventures.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Additives and Addiction

I know I haven't posted in a while. Last week was exhausting.

Apparently the classic Rice Dream is acceptable on the Feingold diet, but the enriched Rice Dream was not. Guess which kind I bought last time I was at the store? Two cartons of it.

She had it four days in a row, and we could not figure out what was going on. I didn't think to check, of course, because I thought the milk was okay. What's the difference between the two? I am not sure, except that the enriched contains Vitamin A palmitate and the classic version does not.

You might be wondering what's wrong with Vitamin A? Well, Vitamin A palmitate is sometimes preserved with BHA or BHT. BHA and BHT are preservatives which can cause problems for certain individuals. Like Lissie.

The thing that really gets me about it is, how much Vitamin A palmitate is even in a carton of Rice Dream? And how much preservative was added to it?  It's like nothing at that point, wouldn't you think?  And yet, it throws Lissie into a complete tailspin for five days. Five days! Because she had a few glasses of "enriched" Rice Dream.

Also, this:

No matter how long you put it off, and no matter how many times you do it, it does not get easier.

And to top it off, we've all had the sniffles for a few days and are feeling a little under the weather.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Elisa Kleven, Where Have You Been All My Life?

I admit to being a total book snob. In our house, we tend to think that children's books from days of yore are far superior to those of today. We're much more likely to read Goodnight Moon or Where the Wild Things Are than anything to do with llamas or pigeons.

I can't say why, exactly. There is nothing that says an older book is better than a new one, or that new books aren't good. I just think that the old ones have proven themselves. They've stood the test of time, and time has weeded out the bad ones.

Don't get me wrong, we do have plenty of recent books in our collection. I am just not as apt to buy one on a whim. That's why, when I found a copy of The Paper Princess Finds Her Way at the thrift store over the weekend, I picked it up and put it back no fewer than three times. My inner dialogue went something like "ooh, butterflies." "Glossy cover, ugh." "But I like the illustrations." "Not another princess book." "It's a paper princess." I flipped through it, and for ninety-nine cents, my curiosity got the better of me.

I got it home and read it. And I loved it.

I know Waldorf is supposed to be storytelling, but I bungle them every time. So for school, I've been using printed stories and reading from my binder to avoid illustrations, because that way I can just sort of glance down and pretend I am telling a story. I decided to go ahead use a book this week though. The timing was perfect, because the end of the book has the monarch butterflies migrating south.

I am not sure whether the book would be considered Waldorf. It fits with our philosophy toward toys though; when she encounters a group of noisy, plasticy toys, they end up in awe of the little paper princess. I was impressed with her too, actually. She understood that it was better to face the unknown than to stick around in a familiar situation you're not happy with.

So we read it today, and Lissie loved it too. I am not sure she spoke once through the entire book, and that never happens. It turns out this author has written a bunch of other books, with great reviews on Amazon, and yet I have somehow never heard of her before.

I guess that's what I get for being a book snob.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meet the Elder Brothers

Yesterday we made "elder brothers" out of felt to go with our story, "The Elder Brother".

We gathered leaves on our walk earlier in the week, and used some of them as patterns.

I cut the leaves out ahead of time. I debated whether to have Lissie do some herself, but am glad I decided not to. She could have done it, but the felt was really fiddly to cut through and even with the leaves cut out, these took a long time to put together.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buffet: Before and After

I finally finished painting the dresser/buffet we got from my mother-in-law, and I am thrilled with it. I originally planned to switch the hardware, but the handles that are on there have two screws about an inch apart near the top of the handle and there was about zero chance of me having time to fill in and redrill holes for hardware anytime within the next decade. Chances are, by then I'll want to repaint anyway and I actually really like how the old ones look with the new paint, so I guess it all worked out.

Here, once again, in all its 1970's laminate glory, is the before:

And the after:  (I was SO CLOSE to getting the exact same angle for both pictures.  Dang!)

Not sure what happened to the wall color in the second picture, but it's more accurate in the top picture and I swear it does match. And that Farrow and Ball paint? A dream to work with. An absolute dream.  But don't worry, I won't be repainting the interior of my house anytime soon, because I am still madly in love with my full spectrum colors from Ellen Kennon (that's Honeysuckle on the walls, for those who care). I think I'll be using F&B eggshell on furniture from now on though.

Fall Fun

This week our story is "The Elder Brother" from the book For the Children's Hour by Carolyn S. Bailey, and we made these leaves of clay.

Monday, October 3, 2011


So many pictures, so little space.

The Feingold Diet: One Year Later, part 2

Part one can be read here: The Feingold Diet: One Year Later, part 1

After reading about the effects that artificial colors can have on some people, I still didn't get it. I told Brad we should write down everything Lissie ate and keep track to see if we noticed any trends. The next day, I took the girls to Taco Bell on the way home from school.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


We didn't get to do much ArtPrize sightseeing this year, but we did make it downtown for the Kids' Art Fest today.

First the girls dressed as ghosts

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Vanity Affair

Don't worry, I am not having an affair with my vanity. Nor with anybody else, for that matter. Definitely not with the gardener. Actually, Brad just came in and told me that we don't have a gardener. We have a homeless guy who comes to the door requesting money for pizza, and who occasionally offers to do yard work in exchange. Brad never gives him money, and doesn't believe he will do yard work because he never brings yard work tools with him. But if you think about it, that makes sense, because he's homeless, so where would he keep his tools? Even so, this explains a lot about the current state of our lawn.

The lawn of our 1920s house, with the original bathroom. The house may very well be our dream home, but for the bathroom. For one thing, it's tiny. The pedestal sink, though not original, is lovely and classic and offers exactly NO storage space (unless you count the gunk we are currently storing in the pipes).  The medicine cabinet is surely as old as the house. The three tiny shelves barely hold daily necessities.  And the mirror on the door? Total joke! It's so old it's cloudy--I kind of like that about it, actually, but it's not so good for applying makeup.

To make matters worse, the cabinet is off center above the sink. So if you were to stand centered in front of the sink (which means you've wedged your right hip between the sink and the radiator that is conveniently placed ten inches away), you'd still have to lean your head several inches to the right in order to see yourself in the blurry mirror.

So I decided I needed a vanity. And yes, I know what you must be thinking: "A vanity? Why does she need a vanity? For makeup? But she never wears any!" And it's true, I don't. But I've got a ton of it.

It's just too much work, standing in front of the mirror, leaning like the Tower of Pisa, putting it on, taking it off. Who has the time? I know where there's a will there's a way. But there's no will. I rarely leave the house these days, so who am I trying to impress?  The gardener?

But now I have this desk, another piece from my mother-in-law's basement that we could have had anyway. In fact, she'd offered it to me several times, but I wasn't interested. It's a nice piece of furniture, yes (made by Sligh, for those who like details). But it's a bit fancy for our house. Except I do think you can get a little fancy in the bedroom.

Now all I need is a mirror and a chair, and maybe next time I run into somebody I know at the store I won't look like a complete sloth. And maybe I'll remember to buy lightbulbs too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Dolls We Made

We were going to make Star Babies to go with our Michaelmas story this week, but I didn't make it to the store. Instead, I hunted around the house to see what I had on hand (noticing a theme here?). I came up with 4 playsilks, some stuffing, some wool batting, a few bits of string, and a short while later we had these simple, no sew dolls.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Because They're Funnier in Europe, That's Why


Brad:  Why can't they make TV shows like this in America?
Me:  I don't know. We should obviously move to England.
Brad:  Perhaps.
Me:  Really?
Brad:  What?
Me:  You always say you could never live there because they have accents and eat strange food.
Brad:  Well I didn't know it was like that over there.
Me:  Seriously?  Let's move!
Brad:  Maybe.
Me:  Come on, you can work in pest control and let your hair grow; I'll become a slag and drink too much. It'll be just like the shows.
Brad:  Uh, that's not exactly what I had in mind.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Aaaaand We're Back!

To normal. Just as if all the fighting, hitting, hair chewing and screaming fits in the middle of the night never happened. I'm glad it stopped before they were done rebuilding our neighbor's porch, because I know the guys doing the work must think I spend my mornings torturing small children. Maybe now that things have settled down, they'll see that my kids are not tortured. Unless they think I've locked them in the basement... or worse.

We talked a little bit about the Autumn Equinox during circle time this morning, and our story this week was the story of Persephone and Demeter, so we read that too. We had guests on Monday, so we took that day off and started school on Tuesday, but it worked out well because otherwise we would not have done our story during circle time on a Thursday. Tuesday, we made pomegranates with our modeling wax. They were a nice step up from the moons we did last week, but still very simple. I planned to serve pomegranate seeds for snack today, but couldn't find any.

We skipped coloring today and took a field trip instead. It was a beautiful first day of fall and just the right temperature for walking around outside. We headed to the Meijer Gardens to check out the gorgeous fall colors. The ArtPrize exhibit opened a few days ago, so we were able to see that as well, although they don't allow pictures in the gallery.

This is what you get when you ask Lissie to smile. We had to get a picture in front of the hydrangeas, because the first time she saw white ones she asked if they were wild cauliflower. Hah! Now I guess they look more like wild broccoflower, but Lissie doesn't even know what that is.

No idea what they were thinking with the hats, seriously. Too big, too small, we had it covered.

Max, despite not napping, was cheerful until the very end.

The very end when we were trying to leave and Lissie was all "mom, you know those giant pumpkins?  You should take a picture of us sitting in front of them before we go! You know, the really big ones by the door? Just ONE picture, it'll be really fast, I promise.  Pleeeaaaase?" You saw that picture and thought it was the only one, didn't you? Come on, you know me better than that. I took many. It was not the only one, but I am sorry to say it was the best one.