Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parfrey's Glen

Our midwinter days have started all blending together, but I think that putting two rope swings in the living room was our best idea ever.  They get used constantly.

Big highlight of the weekend, I scrubbed and organized the pantry.  It really needed it :)

 Our chickens haven't had much foraging with the snow cover, but they love the compost pile.
  I made a fresh batch of kimchi.

Sylvia asked to learn how to knit.  I think it's time to get her her own needles.

But today?  Today was inspired.  We went hiking at Parfrey's Glen.  There were birds calling (we saw a pileated woodpecker or two), and water bubbling over rocks, and the crunch of wet snow under our boots.

 Any semblance of a maintained trail ended before we reached the glen, and there was a partially-thawed, rocky creek bed to follow.  I'm so glad we were wearing water-proof boots.

 See Sylvia on the right?  She led the way almost the whole time.

  There is a waterfall just a little farther into the glen, but we stopped when the only ways through were either steep and icy or deep and watery.  Sylvia was happy to turn around, and she wanted to take lots of short breaks on the way back.  Ayla wanted to walk for about 5 steps, and then hopped back into the wrap to sleep the rest of the hike back.
It was declared when we were back to the parking lot, that Sylvia couldn't have taken one more step.  Whew!
 My soul is nourished by days like this.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A 4 year old with a camera

During our weekly library-and-farm market store-errand day, Sylvia took over the camera.  We stopped along the side of the road at some of the more scenic parts of the drive.  With the possible exception of the first photo, these were all by Sylvia (we think, we both took some pictures along the way).

Monday, January 23, 2012

all three girls

Camille had another day off of school, and I have to say it really made me miss the days when she was unschooling.  We tromped out together to care for the chickens, and noticed that every weed and tree limb was encased in ice.  It was beautiful.
 She broke some off to show to Ayla.

I read through a large stack of books with all three girls by the woodstove, plus some browsing of  the BackYard Berry Book for me.  Camille was inspired by Blockhead; The Life of Fibonacci to figure the Fibonacci sequence to the 24th place.  46,368.  That's how many rabbits there would be if you started with 2 baby rabbits, it took them a month to become adults, and then they had 2 baby rabbits in another month, and those rabbits each did the same thing . . . on and on for 2 years (24 months).  
 Then Camille and Sylvia headed out into the snow.
 Ayla and I joined them for a while and Ayla had fun squirting watered-down food coloring out of an old shampoo bottle onto the snow.
  While Camille and Sylvia sledded down the hill outside of my bedroom window, I lay down with Ayla for her nap.  It was so quiet :)

 Then all three girls colored, and drew, and did math games on the living room floor.  Each to their own ability and interest.
 And yet another living room dance party / conga line / zumba class (we took turns following each others' moves)...

Then Camille (the serving wench) made and served sandwiches to order, including home baked bread, and homemade mayonnaise.

Camille does enjoy school, (and now that we have started wrestling on the bed every day after she gets home, she doesn't have any problems with built up energy and irritation :)  So, I am still happy for her, but I really love being with all three of my girls, and seeing how they learn, and interact with each other, and how the day ebbs and flows organically.  School doesn't end that, but it does interrupt it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

fun at the farm store

Camille had a pool party to go to for her friend's birthday in a town about 30 miles away.  After dropping her off, we had a couple of hours to spare before picking her up.  We ended up spending most of that time in a farm supply store.  Sylvia found 1/2" x 10" steel carriage screws that weighed 1/2 a pound each.  Then she played around with how many you needed for certain weights.
She did the same for steel nuts at 1/4 pound each.  That's some good unschooling math there ;)

Ayla liked the large washers.

 Guess who ended up with a pedal tractor for an early birthday present?  It was extremely discounted.  She's been riding it around the living room.  Gotta love having wide open indoor spaces!

 I was admiring this rustic rocking chair, and Papa said he'd build one for me.  So, we took pictures from all angles.  It will probably be awhile...right now he's installing a shower, and sweating copper pipe, and other plumber-y stuff :)

I also got a beautiful (and discounted) cast iron pan with a lid that can double as a dutch oven if I want to experiment with more cooking on the woodstove.  I do love cast iron.  And we got Camille an egg-collecting basket.

I'm not a big shopper, and I'd previously only really liked craft and yarn stores, and the natural food co-op.  Who knew that I would be excited to hang out at a farm supply store?  

Here's Camille modeling her egg basket and a new dress that I made her.  I had cut the pattern about a year ago, and it's not quite the right season, but I finally finished it!  Sewing is so quick compared to knitting, but it's much harder to set up and put away, so it's been ages since I pulled my machine out.  I tend to have little girls crawling all over me.

I still have unfinished sewing projects hanging around since before I was married...um, 13 1/2 years ago.  So, I guess I can't entirely blame it on the kiddos.

Not sure how I feel about the dress with that shirt, but I think it will be adorable as a sundress :)

Time to go pretend that my daughters are statues and that I cannot fathom how they morph into so many different positions.   Adios.