January 16th, 2013
My favorite hat, knitted by my friend Jen
Oh hai there. Yes, I’m still alive. Just out of the habit of telling you all what I’m doing.
So…what have I been doing? Well, taking lots of sunset photos, as usual.
Annalie has also been taking sunset photos. I’d show you the photos she took, but I haven’t downloaded photos off that camera in weeks. I love Instagram along with 100 million other people, but it’s made it way too easy for me to be lazy about taking pictures with my real camera.
Homeschooling is going really well lately. Annalie mostly does her daily lessons without complaint nowadays. It probably helps that she’s almost nine years old (!), and that she can do them in a blanket fort if she wants to. Also she’s not allowed to watch any TV or movies or play any computer games until she’s done with lessons and reading and her daily chores. (It’s all about knowing what exactly motivates your particular kid. If you’d told me I couldn’t watch TV till I’d done my chores and homework, I’d have shrugged and retreated to my room with a stack of books, content.)
A lot of art is going on lately, too. Annalie always loves to draw and paint and create, but she seems to go through occasional periods when she is creating more or less constantly. It’s like she wakes up in the morning with ideas, scenes, pictures she dreamed up and she can’t do anything else until she gets them down on paper or canvas.
And then sometimes, we’re eating dinner at a restaurant where the tables are covered with paper and Annalie picks up a couple of crayons and casually whips out a portrait of Lady Gaga before our food arrives.
Annalie’s Christmas-mermaid self-portrait. (What? “Christmas-mermaid” isn’t a thing?)
I love this beach scene. There are so many amazing things going on in it: the detailed sand castle, the far-away sailboat, the plumes of smoke billowing out of the cargo ship, the different colors of blue of the water and sky, and the huge crazy sun dominating everything else.
I thought the sun in the picture went rather well with the ceramic sun—purchased by Troy in some Mediterranean country while on a deployment years ago—that hangs in our front hallway. I’d tried several different paintings and photographs in that spot, but nothing looked quite right. I framed the drawing and hung it up, and it works perfectly.
My mom gave Annalie a stack of a dozen small canvases for Christmas, and I think it might have been Annalie’s favorite gift this year. She hasn’t been hoarding them, but—atypically for her, the kid who uses every sticker on the sheet in two minutes flat—she hasn’t blown through them, either. The first time she used them, Brenda and Bug were here visiting, and she generously and excitedly shared her gift. The two canvases on the left are Bug’s; the two on the right are Annalie’s. (Re: the canvas on the top right, Bug’s real name starts with H. Awwwww.)
I think this is my favorite thing Annalie has drawn recently. She made this awesome Narnia-themed birthday card for friends who had a Narnia-themed birthday party. Look at it! Aslan, Reepicheep, Susan’s bow and arrows! The Dawn Treader! The painting in the Scrubb family’s guest bedroom that drew them back into Narnia! What really impressed me about all of this is that it’s been probably a year or more since Annalie has seen any of the Narnia movies and even longer since we read the first book. (And can you tell that Annalie has recently discovered Cake Boss on Netflix?)
Why yes, I do have two children, now that you mention it. This one is just harder to get photos of these days, because she’s constantly in motion. She is something else, this kid. When we ask her how old she is, she tells us, “Six.” If we try to insist she’s two, she shakes her head and airily replies, “I’m not two. I six,” before wandering off to climb on something she shouldn’t be climbing on.
She flashes the ASL “I love you sign” two-handed, and tells us, “I love you too!” When someone is carrying her against her will, she demands, “PICK ME DOWN.” Troy has discovered that if he reminds her to use her manners when asking for something with the phrase, “Can I get a ‘please’ in there?” then Elliora will repeat her request for food or water or whatever and tack the phrase, “please in there?” onto the end. It makes us laugh every time. She makes us laugh a lot.
They both make us laugh a lot, these little geeklings of ours.
I think we’ll keep ‘em.
I’ve crocheted a few potholders recently. Some of them I’ve given away as gifts, but these two I’m keeping because the two crocheted potholders I’d been using for years both got burned on Thanksgiving.
Some star ornaments I crocheted for Brenda and Bekah, and a few crocheted balls. I’ve actually crocheted about 20 balls recently to give as gifts, but I haven’t take pictures of them all. Yes, I said “to give as gifts.” Only about three people got timely Christmas gifts from us this year, and that’s only because I ordered their gifts online and had them shipped directly. Everyone else probably thinks we suck and don’t love them anymore. And let’s just say I’m hoping to get our holiday cards mailed out before Valentine’s Day. I won’t even mention all the Christmas baking I didn’t do this year. Ironically, however, our Christmas tree is still up. (Was it just me, or was anyone else particularly unmotivated this past holiday season?)
An owly hot pad I crocheted for Brenda, at her request. It’s meant to look kind of like her book character, Little Hoo. I think it turned out pretty good, considering I was completely making it up as I went along.
I’ve painted some stuff, too. Have I taken pictures of most of it? Noooo. In fact, one person who had commissioned me to paint her a mug, oh, a couple of months ago sent me a very sweet note on FB, wondering if her mug had been fired. I have been very, very slow about shipping items to people lately. Lucky for me, people are mostly kind and understanding about this, but I hate the fact that I’ve been taking advantage of people’s good natures. If I have been slow about shipping something to you, please accept my humble, heartfelt apology and this reassurance: I’m so sorry I’m slow. It’s not just you. Everyone has been waiting forever for their pottery. I promise I will try to do better.
I hate to end a post on that slightly bummer note, so here! Please enjoy this photo of oranges wearing origami hats, folded by Annalie. She found a book and some paper that I had and has been folding all kinds of things entirely on her own. It’s kind of awesome to watch her figure something like that out without any help.
If you were here in my house, I would further brighten your day by feeding you a piece of rainbow cake, which I made on a random Tuesday because that’s how I roll. Here’s hoping you all had wonderful holiday seasons and that 2013 is full of random-Tuesday rainbow-cake goodness for everyone.
August 24th, 2012
Morning, sunshine. The view out my parents’ front door at 8am.
“Can I tuh-lor?” Elliora loves coloring. Also, Elliora is talking so much these days that the Elliora says… page is sadly outdated. She even sings! She knows some of the alphabet song, most of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” parts of Laurie Berkner’s “Moon Moon Moon,” and key lines in the “Wonder Pets” theme song.
Elliora’s writing grip is weird in exactly the same way as mine and Annalie’s. I didn’t teach it to either of them; it’s just how they naturally hold a pen. Genetics are amazing.
While my mom was getting her hair cut, we got treats from Starbucks and then hung out in the minivan. My kids always find it super fun to be in a vehicle but not buckled into a carseat.
I painted this shades-of-blue, Doctor-Who-quotes dottery mug for Yara the last time I was in Omaha. It wasn’t going to be fired till after I went home, so I asked my mom to pick it up for me in a week…and then we both promptly forgot about it. Luckily, that pottery studio keeps fired pieces forever, and it was there waiting for me to pick it up four months later.
Elliora blowing bubbles with Grampaw. This timing of this shot was total serendipity.
Aurora: “I want a colorful popsicle!” Elliora: “Mmmm, possickle!”
Poor kid. Her sister and cousin are eating popsicles, and she’s working hard. (This photo was totally staged. Bubble solution was spilled on the driveway, and she suggested that she could add water from the hose and use the push broom to scrub. She was having a blast.)
And we didn’t deny her a treat. Push-up pops are her favorite.
Washing off the sticky. They also got drinks from the hose, which was adorable but nearly impossible to photograph.
August 21st, 2012
As you may remember, we’re in Omaha for a long visit with family while Troy is back in Virginia, supervising packers and movers and wrapping up his turnover at work. We’ve been having a lot of fun, as you probably already know if you’ve seen the photos I’ve been posting everywhere (Instagram Flickr Facebook Twitter).
We’ve introduced Elliora to Pop Rocks. She loved them, of course.
Unsurprisingly, Elliora liked the mojito ice cream I got at Ted & Wally’s the other day. (That same day, they were also offering Negro Modelo-flavored ice cream. I sampled it; it was tasty.) A little more surprising was that she liked my iced latte. I let my mom have a sip of the same drink, and she said it was far too strong for her. Since then, Elliora has had a few sips of every cup of coffee I’ve had, smacking her lips and saying, “Mmmm, nice!” She also went crazy when we had roasted brussels sprouts for dinner the other night, shouting “SPROUTS!” when she saw them on her plate. I suspect her sophisticated palate might not survive her toddlerhood so I’m consciously enjoying it while it lasts.
Painting pottery with Katrina and Carly.
Annalie drew the steps of a dance she was teaching Aurora. She calls it Annalie’s Pas de Deux For Two. I especially love the facial expressions.
Annalie and I had a pedicure date.
We had brunch with friends.
Aurora and Elliora spiiiinnnnning in their new matching dresses.
We’ve had lovely visits with family.
Annalie likes the sweet potato chips at Cheeseburger in Paradise now! Troy and I have been trying to get her to eat them for years. Oh, and Elliora likes Runza sandwiches. No surprise there.
More fun with these goofballs (Zach told me about the water sculpture in the second photo, “We call this the Big Wet Ball!”)…and a bunch of other stuff that I haven’t Flickred photos of yet. Only a week left in Omaha, and then we’ll be off to San Diego!