Tuesday, August 27, 2013

feeling reflective

Sometimes, when I think of the billions of lives being lived on this planet, I am awestruck and humbled that this simple existence is mine.  I have made my fair share of mistakes.  I've laughed and cried and been hurt and hurt others and forgave and been forgiven.  I've jumped in whole-heartedly and held back, been frightened and emboldened and ashamed and redeemed.  I've held joy and sorrow in the open palm of my hand and the tears on my cheek.  I have loved and am loved.  I have given birth and mourned losses.  I am grateful for it all.

 splashing and digging

 The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. 

 Thomas Merton

 sharing grapes

'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.
Alice Walker

looking through the garden kaleidoscope

Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens 

 exploring the botanical gardens


"May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh


playing with friends

 playing pinball
old-school arcade

It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J. K. Rowling

 celebrating with friends and cupcakes

 building faerie houses

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 
― Mary Oliver

 quill and ink and keyboard

 heavy egg basket, tasty apple

 friends visiting on a hot day

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Pablo Picasso

A simple, joyful life is not one without complications, messiness, or missteps.  It is one in which these things are embraced as part of the whole.  Discord and harmony are not in opposition.  One may slip almost imperceptibly into the other.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

colors, and numbers, and bones, oh my!

What have we been up to?  Let's see . . . .
dissecting owl pellets

vole skull

Camille wasn't about to actually touch the owl poo, but she poked around just long enough to find two mouse skulls and a couple of mandibles.
Ayla enjoyed finding bones, too, but Sylvia was the one most engaged by this.  She extracted every last bone out of both pellets including tiny vertebrae.  She learned to tell the femurs from the scapulas from the humerus bones.  She looked at skull structure and size and tooth placement to determine that the skulls were in fact one vole and three mice.
We soaked some of the bones in a bleach solution to whiten and disinfect them.

We've also been appreciating the colors around us.
calendula on a dehydrator tray

nothing quite like a brand new box of crayons

colors from the garden

We celebrated Papa's birthday.  The girls single-handedly cleaned the living room and baked gluten-free chocolate muffins while Papa and I took a nap. We also went to our favorite vegetarian restaurant, The Cheese Factory.
gluten-free pizza!

The place mats were transformed into sweet birthday cards for Papa.

And, we decided that the crayons weren't only for the kiddos.  Place mat art for everyone!

Camille and I have been playing around with algebra for the last few days, especially graphing.  I'm an unashamed math geek and it was really fun to see her so excited by it.  She kept wanting to do more!

She was even making algebra jokes.
me:  Do you understand my point?
Camille: Do you mean this point and this point and this point. (tapping pencil to points on the graph of course :)

graphing inequalities

What else?  Oh, swimming and gardening and the like.  Camille has been learning Spanish from Duolingo, an awesome free site for learning a variety of languages.  She is also growing lettuce hydroponically from a kit that she ordered from Home Science Tools. Since we were already ordering, we also picked up the owl pellets and some glycerin for making giant bubbles.  Sylvia is excited to be taking a ballet class starting next month.  She also loves to play online games like the Wild Kratts on PBS, when she's not climbing trees and running around outside.  Ayla is starting to show interest in tracing letters and loves to be a big helper with whatever her big sisters are doing (which is sweet, but not always well received).  In the meantime, lots of imaginary (and sometimes rowdy) play all around.

Life is fine and good around here.