Friday, February 26, 2010

then and now.

G, 2007.

You think they look so different, time flies, oh my they are getting so big. And then there is a moment, a glance, a look, and you realize...

G, 2010.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

corner view:: street photography

This weeks corner view is street photography. While we do live in the city, at this time of year we are a bit done with the dirty slush, huge mounds of gray gritty snow, rutted pothole streets, and colorless views of winter in town (February in Wisconsin). So we take the back roads out of town, and choose where we go to re-supply carefully. We much prefer blue skies, white snowy fields, steam coming off of thickly furred horses, chipped red barns, and hawks circling above.

Even when we must drive in town for things, my view is usually out the other window, watching the lake and the fishing shacks scattered all over the ice.

We love getting out of Madison to stop in our favorite small town cafes for some cocoa and a chess game - no crowds, nice view, and easy in and out.

Not to mention friendly gazes as we head back home.

For corner views from around the globe visit Jane at Spain Daily.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

things i love pt. II

Following our passions.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

things i love.

Sunny winter days,

big brown eyes on my happy boys,

fresh air and crisp white snow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

wood craft.

Some of my favorite projects with the boys are those that start off with one idea and morph into something completely different and creative. We talked about making different things with scraps of wood we've been saving, but nothing really was taking shape until we pulled out the saw, miter and heavy duty wood glue over the weekend. We came up with some cool designs - a land-water boat, a race car, and a pickup truck.

We used bits and pieces of wood, parts from those wood craft 'kits', little tiny craft spools, wheels, dowels, and other scraps from the bottom of my 'wood' craft box. The boys sawed and carefully laid out the pieces (spending a lot of time putting pieces together so they looked like vehicles) and once we had each vehicle ready, they glued! We waited a day for that to dry, and then they sanded rough edges and put a base coat of white acrylic on and waited another day for that to dry (they actually looked really cool all white too).

Finally, we were ready to paint some color. I had put out a bunch of different colors of acrylic on the palettes, but once the boys saw the new metallic blue color I had found at our last craft store visit They wanted some bling.

So now we have some funky bright home crafted wooden vehicles that have been raced down ramps, ridden by finger puppets and bionicles, and which have been used to haul things around the house like LEGO people, marbles and pirate gold.

Of course making them was the best part. I saw the boys digging in the wood pieces box today to see what we have left. I have a feeling we have some new designs coming on.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

higher and higher.

Freedom lies in being bold.
~Robert Frost

Thursday, February 11, 2010

here comes the sun

My sweet boys are feeling much better, and after 10+ days of it all, I am thankful to see it coming to an end. After a snowstorm early in the week, we have had some wonderful blue skies and intense sunshine to follow. Sun on fresh white snow brightens everything. Perfect for lifting our spirits and giving us a boost.

That sun draws us to it - to play, bask, and sit in its rays. Tea parties in the front window. Puppet shows in the bright spotlight.

Lots of tea parties and puppet shows in the sunshine :).

Recuperation with snuggles, books, puzzles, board games, cards, and yummy blueberry smoothies. Thank you, sun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

corner view:: repurposed

This weeks corner view is "repurposed".

For more corner views from around the world, visit Jane at Spain Daily.

Monday, February 08, 2010

February, February.

Oh, February, February - how you try so hard every year to knock us down. While February inevitably ends up with, in its few short weeks, no less than THREE homeschool conferences we would like to attend, the annual Garden Expo *and* the Model Train Show, the Madison Youth Grow Local Conference, {yes, all in Feb!} as well as things like a Valentines skating party, several local events, and an upcoming birthday, we always end up down for the count this month and miss much of it. We have been so careful all winter and have not had any viruses for asthma boy in a long time, but the minute February arrives... I know better by now, so try not to plan much, not sign up for anything, and go with the flow, but it is still hard knowing that it will be another year before these events return!

We have had a definite February week - A is on day 8 of a wicked cold turned cough turned 2+ days of full body hives (!!!). G is just starting and we have already been doing the nebulizer and inhalers hoping to keep it mild and his lungs healthy - though after the past week with A I know we have a rough week ahead. We are sure to be inside for another week or so as this runs its course, and we are really looking forward to the snowstorm coming our way tonight/tomorrow. I think we all need some magical views, snow and wind, fresh whiteness and that cozy feeling of being snowbound, if even for only a day.

As for me, I have been enjoying all of the things in this house that keep me healthy and going while caring for sick boy (s). Fresh home grown sprouts, a bowl full of citrus, trays of microgreens and pea shoots, cold kombucha, herbal tea, freshly grated ginger, home made yogurt.

So while we are not even half way through February, I can see the end. I plant, I soak, I sprout, I grow. Each day closer to spring, to sun, to green grass and fresh air. I love the cold, but I love the anticipation of spring too. Each day one step closer!

Hoping you all are healthy and making it happily through February!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


We are a pretty crafty family. We bake, make, sew, knit, paint, craft. But lately the boys have really not been too interested in craftiness, only in science science science! We have had a very fun winter full of science kits, experiments, LEGO, Hexbots, science DVD's, books on topics like robotics/human body/geysers/Yellowstone/money/tangrams, and writing lots of lists and stories. But then - in the past week they both suddenly exploded in a crafty world of painting and making things again!

I recently picked up some more supplies for our craft stash. I got a lot of wood - some smaller figures, and also a lot of raw wood pieces for projects like pine cars, garden signs, and things they can drill, hammer, sand and finish. I also pulled out all of the flowers and herbs we pressed from our garden last summer. All of this sparked lots of new ideas.

There have been many color studies and colorful watercolor paintings.

Lots of paper cutting, embossing, gluing and stamping.

Wood painting and embellishing.

And my favorite thing of the week - peg people making. I got these forms because the boys wanted to make knights. But after another karate belt promotion last weekend, A had the idea to make a series of karate people with different belts/levels of gi. Plus a few ninjas. He has been painting these figures with me for days - a little bit at a time. I love them!

We have been home with a sick boy (A has a nasty cold) this week, so we have had plenty of time to tinker away on our projects, take our time, bake, read and cozy up together. Can't wait to see what we make today!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

corner view:: sweets

The Corner View this week is "Sweets".

My husband and 5 year old love sweet things - glazed brioche, cookies, cakes, gummies. My 5 year old currently plans to be a baker when he grows up and have his own 'famous bakery' where he makes pastries, breads, and other goodies. G always says it is time to bake so he can practice - so we make a lot at home. We try to have at least one 'baking day' each week where he gets in the kitchen. We bake bread or he makes something special with me - custard, bread pudding, iced cookies, drop cookies, dark cookies, butter cookies (get the theme, here? ;)), ice cream, bars - whatever we have on hand and/or is is fresh and seasonal. Right now he is into making iced cookies, as he has been expanding his collection of good quality icing colors and loves to experiment and mix.

My 6 year old and I don't really like things too sweet. Our favorite sweets usually include some sort of organic fair trade dark chocolate. I could nibble on oranges or nectarines all day. Or, at a bakery, we love things like this

What are your favorite 'sweets'?

Visit Jane at Spain Daily for more Corner Views from around the globe!

Monday, February 01, 2010

westward ho!

Getting out to the Domes for our annual train show exhibit is always fun - but when it is sunny and the sky is blue it is just perfect.

We went early, as always, to avoid crowds, and had the full bright morning sunshine along with the trains, scenery, and so many colorful flowers.

The theme this year was "Westward HO!" Not as amazing as the LEGO extravaganza of last year for the boys (how do you follow up that one??), but still very interesting scenery.

Of course, I ended up with more kid pix than train photos - they were so silly! We stayed in the floral dome watching the trains for a long while, and then wandered the arid and tropical domes too, to look at flowers, trees, birds, fish...and to breathe.

The best part of the whole thing, though? Watching these two (loving being together, as always) and soaking up some rays!

Hope you had a nice weekend!