Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

 look at the face on that lil pumpkinhead in the background :)

 garlicky roasted pumpkin seeds
When Camille was little, I was scared of the evils of sugar and how it affected her.  So, I limited her Halloween candy intake to just three or so pieces, and that felt like a lot.  A few years ago, I lifted restrictions and she made herself a bit ill with overindulgence that first year, but her and her sister are both pretty good at knowing their limits these days, and very generous about sharing their candy.  I bought Ayla some organic lollipops so she could have some treaty indulgence too (she is only 18 months old) .  While we were out trick or treating, both Camille and Sylvia were most excited about the junior police badges and glow necklaces that the police officers were handing out, and the package of pretzels that they got in their pumpkin baskets. Which isn't to say that we haven't all indulged in chocolate-y, chewy, sweet, and gummi goodness.  We have.  But we've also indulged in pumpkin seeds, pears, cheese, turkey, and blue corn tortilla chips.
 Happy Halloween!  May all of your children come down gently from their sugar high :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

random update

We've been watching LA Ink on Netflix lately.  In the show, rocker chick, Kat Von D opens a tattoo shop and you see the stories behind the tattoos and also the lives of the tattoo artists.  So, the girls of course wanted some tats.  Camille wanted a heart with horns, and Sylvia wanted herself as a ballerina, a flower, and a li'l fairy.  I think this says something about their personalities :)

 We love to go to Olbrich Botanical Gardens in all seasons.  We made a quick stop there to eat our lunch last time we were in the city.

 Garden Kaleidoscope

 Early Amethyst Purple Beautyberry
The girls got a chance to see some good friends, and then we got to have dinner with more good friends.  Yay!

And we had a weekend visit from the grandparents (I took photos on Grandma's camera, so don't have them to share).  My in-laws joined us for the first fire in our new stove which they kindly gave us as a house-warming present :)

cozy sister snuggles (or 'cubby' as Ayla says)
Yup.  I'd say autumn is coming along quite nicely.  Thank you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

photos galore

 We had fabulous fall weather this weekend.  Perfect for a hike at Buckhorn State Park.

 Perfect for roasting ghost-shaped marshmallows.

Perfect for trying to tame some of the tall weeds around the property.  The girls spent hours flitting between helping me with yard work, helping Papa organize and de-clutter the garage, and building a fort under the deck.

  They were, respectively, the fairy princess of the garden, and the fairy princess of light.

Today, Sylvia and Ayla hand-fed the last of the cherry tomatoes to the chickens.  The ladies were delighted

My girls love to "put on a show".  Sometimes it feels like they want my constant attention, and when I frame it that way in my mind, it feels like a burden.  But, when I lovingly give my attention, and they've had their fill of it, we all feel better.  More connected, more calm, more centered.  Not just the girls, but me, too.  So, even if it's late in the day, and the laundry needs to be hung on the line, and the dishes need doing, and the bathroom needs cleaning (wah wah wah wah), the only thing to do is sit and enjoy the show (after grabbing the camera, of course ;).

 This show was presented by a troupe of "rare acrobatic frogs".

After the show, the girls offered to help hang out the wet laundry, and prep the brussels sprouts for roasting.  Win-win, I say.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

International Crane Foundation

We visited and toured the International Crane Foundation with our homeschool group.
Upon arrival, Ayla and I were fascinated with these gates and the shadows that they cast on the wall behind them.  The metal gates are the thinner lines and the shadows are the thicker lines in these photos.
Grey Crowned Crane

The guide talked about the efforts to protect whooping cranes and other endangered species, and about the importance of wetlands.

Sylvia and I both agreed that our favorite part of the day was watching these playful whooping cranes up close.  No tall fences between us and them, just water too deep for them to wade in.

Whooping cranes are one of the rarest, most ancient birds in the world.  They mate for life, and are about 5 ft. tall.  It's easy to see why cranes are revered in so many different cultures as a symbol of love and peace.

We read The Crane:  Wildlife Habits and Habitat before our visit and are now reading Jane on a Crane. 

(From the book jacket:  Imagine being raised by an ancient, magical crane.  Feel the wind in your face as you swoop into an enchanted valley.  Meet the mysterious Outlaw Queen and a wise, young ruler of the Dragon Kingdom.  Explore natural wonders and learn about the last of the exotic Himalayan Mountain cultures on the brink of change.)  

The vocabulary may be a bit over Sylvia's head, but she is loving the story so far.  And of course, she is all-day pretending that she is a Mama Crane and Ayla is her Crane Chick :)  She has so much exuberance, that girl.

This post is shared on Friday's Nature Table and Creative Friday.