Saturday, October 29, 2011

why yes, I would be happy to make a costume for you

I've thought and thought about how to sum up the week before Halloween for all of our enthralled readers (because you care).  Basically, if you just read this post and replace "birthday cake" with "Halloween costume" and "eat" with "wear," it's more or less our story. 

Jeremy just laughs, every year, as I haul out the sewing machine and the recycled textiles (=old Tshirts) I acquire at the charity resale stores (=Goodwill) and try to make an Inexpensive-And-Homemade-One-Of-A-Kind-Costume-That-Will-Hold-Together-For-At-Least-Two-Hours.  And then I sew, and sew and sew (for like 4 million years, forgoing meals and sleep), the result of which usually being a much uglier and less-well-made version of the same thing all the other kids at school are wearing.  Oh, and then they get sick of wearing it after about 10 minutes.

Anyway, it was totally worth it because now we can re-use these costumes on All Saints Day!  Because apparently, for some reason, some people do this

I'm going to need some help if I'm going to pull this off: we've got a parrot, a vampire and a superhero.  I'm thinking the bird will be one of St. Francis of Assisi's beloved creatures and she can sit up on her daddy's shoulder or something.  The superhero is an Incorruptible (obviously).  And now I'm wishing we had done "zombie" instead of "vampire" because at least we could have done prisoner-zombie-turned-Maximilian-Kolbe, as one commenter suggested (see above link--I'm not making that up). 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

artist br

Until he went to preschool, BR had no real interest in drawing.  But now, he's on a roll.  Two of his masterpieces:

this is "a robber carrying bags of coins"
BR's family portrait.  He said, "and that is the daddy.  the big fat guy.  and the half-medium is the mommy."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

weekend report

Fall is dry and warm here, at least in the daytime.  At night it drops below freezing but midday it can reach 75 degrees or more, so we are still trying to soak it all up and get outside.  We went sightseeing on Saturday and then played kickball with new friends in the evening.  There were about 20 kids and after dark we wrapped them in sleeping bags and they watched Mary Poppins on a projection screen in a friend's front yard. 

On Sunday, Jeremy had his first performance with the string ensemble he joined in August (he plays cello).  The kids were so proud to see him on stage and they sat quietly through three pieces!  And then we went home because, well, let's not push our luck, right?  We had dinner with a family we're getting to know and with whom it seems we have quite a bit in common.  They met at and graduated from the same college we met at and graduated from.  They both participated in the HNGR program, just like Jer did.  The wife grew up in a suburb of Seattle, but only after she moved back from living overseas as an MK.  They have two girls and a boy (in that order), and all were born within a year of each of ours.  He loves to mountain bike.  And the list goes on. 

We might have skipped out on the UFO film fest, but we still had another great weekend.  The best photos are from the sightseeing trip.  We went to a National Park and wandered around, not really knowing what to expect.  It was...indescribable.  My camera could not do it justice.  Let me just say it once again: you'll just have to come for a visit to see for yourselves (and in the meantime, click on photos to see a larger version).

petroglyphs (some dating as far back as the 13th century) and autographs (as far back as 17th century):

feeling dwarfed by the massive rock walls:

the most fall leaves we're likely to encounter this season.  L. enjoyed the three full minutes of leaf-throwing

a little top-of-the-mesa talking to.  (see how he is hanging his head in shame!)

"Mommy, I'm just going to sit in this hole"

700+ yr-old ruins at the top of the mesa

at some points, it got a little surreal.  like taking a walk on the surface of the moon...

It was just too cool.  I can't wait to go back sometime.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

clarification and classification

on Saturday morning, I woke up and came across these two lists, by L.

Friday, October 21, 2011

livin' for the weekend

last Friday: trip to the Zoo and the Aquarium with some Colorado friends

my littlest goddaughter who is ALWAYS smiling.  What a great kid, I am totally smitten.

This was the calmest Zoo visit of all time.  These six kids all stuck together and didn't wander off or get lost, they enjoyed themselves and the animals, and they didn't melt down.  They broke all the rules that day. 
It was downright pleasant, the whole time and not just the beginning part of it.

Saturday: a picnic out in a pinon forest with Daddy and his friend Marc (visiting from Seattle) and a kids' movie night with friends. (no photos of the day, sorry)

Sunday: I did a 4.5 mile trail run with some friends in the early morning and then L. and BR and I participated in a 6-mile hike up to the top of this rock:

There was a rattlesnake right around that next corner.  no photos because I was trying to keep curious kids away from it.  (btw: those things are LOUD; I thought the rattle sound was a filmmaker exaggeration, but no)

(having more than a hundred folks on the peak at the same time made me kind of nervous.  we climbed down as soon as we could)

BR loves to "slide" his way down.  goodbye knee-skin.

Last weekend was awesome.  Great weather, great time outdoors (and I had a nice little nap on Monday to try to recover from all the fun).  So the question is...can this weekend even come close?  I mean, we saw old friends and we made some new ones and it was sunny and--

...what's that? 


                                                            I can't hear you, speak up...

                         ...that's this weekend?  you're sure?


            's a --what?  and it's being held tomorrow, you say?

Aw, yeah.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

just when we were feeling nostalgic for the good ol' days in India...

a couple sick kids lead to this:

(laundry literally overflowing from the closet) (thankfully photography captures sights and not smells)
which leads to this:

(we ran out of clean linens and pjs and we don't have a washer or dryer)

which leads to this:

(this is the water in the tub flooding the basement)

what's in your freezer?

Oh kind and generous relatives and friends who recently contributed to L.'s school fundraiser: thank you.  You were very kind and L. is very proud to have done so well as an over-the-phone-salesperson. 

However.  It turns out that when they gave us the order form (with a space to input addresses and phone numbers) what that meant was: "the cookie dough will be dropped off at the school for you to pick up" rather than, "we will deliver orders to the addresses you provided."  (WHY?!?  Why even include addresses and phone numbers if it makes no difference to the company?!?)

So now I have something like 15 boxes of (outrageously expensive) dough in my freezer. You will all be getting a full refund and we will be donating this stuff to an upcoming holiday bazaar so that at least this nonsense can go to some use and benefit a second charitable cause or something.

Well, maybe we'll keep one or two boxes around to benefit our Thanksgiving guests and their tummies.  But the rest needs to get OUT of my refrigerator stat.

Monday, October 10, 2011


BR is only at preschool for a few hours in the morning so there is plenty of time left in the day to entertain himself while his sisters are still away.  For the first few days of the school year, he wasn't used to being alone and had never really learned to entertain himself.  Translation: he wandered aimlessly around the house and followed me from room to room. 

That was pretty fun and all, but we were both much happier when he took to building "trains" of toys or shoes or books (or anything at all).  This keeps him busy for a long, long time and the results are something he can be proud of.