Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Keegan got a Lego

Grandma G sent Keegan a lego for his birthday.  When the legos arrive, it is time for us all to rally.  Keegan sets us to work on our familiar jobs.  Quinn and I sort all the pieces into piles of like pieces in groups of similar colors.  Dad spends some time handing K the pieces he needs.  K reads the instructions and puts the pieces in place. 

Soon, the family is legoed out, and K is on his own.  He will not stop until the the building is finished.  He thinks he might want to do what his dad does someday, and manage construction projects.  Although, he is torn between construction, and working at Legoland!

The building is complete.

He adds it to another building he got last Christmas.  He is hoping to finish the street with the green grocer he wants for his birthday.  We will soon see, he will be 9 years old next week!

A Morning I don't want to Forget

I helped her post on her blog.

She made her own smoothie.

She harvested lemon verbena and tried to make sun tea.  She also picked mustard greens, and we spent a long while noticing changes in the garden.

It was laundry day, so she helped with all steps of laundry, including hanging the clothes on our new clothes line!  

Then we did her favorite thing-wet paper painting.  She was feeling inspired by our time in the garden, so painted a fruit tree.  We have been wet paper painting together since she was 2 or 3.  Whenever I ask her what she wants to do, her idea is almost always, paint!
Last week Quinn and I woke up early, and one beautiful thing led to another, all before 9am.

Our Garden Is Growing

The pear tree we planted 2 years ago.

Kadota figs.

Yellow squash.


Grapes-the first year with grapes on the vine.

The garden is a challenge in this climate, and with our limited space.   We are trying and learning!  We harvested some mustard greens that were very tasty, a tomato, and about 2 strawberries so far.  

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Unplanned Adventure-The Last 2 Weeks

Q gets ready to dance the may pole at grandma T's May Day party.  The old biology teacher from my high school played the violin, and someone from the community gave a wonderful introduction to the may story and led the dance.  Grandpa then served his home made mead, and we had a wonderful day of seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
When we go home, we usually visit this farm.  They make delicious raw milk cheese, which they sell at market and we have been able to have many different experiences at their farm.  This time we came for the milking, and watched as he milked 15 cows with distinct personalities that he knew by name.  It was very peaceful, almost meditative.  Afterward, we tried some of the fresh warm milk, and some that had been chilled.  Q loved the warm milk, and drank a large tin cup of it!  
This lamb is from another farm that sells wool products and lamb sausage at market.  We arranged a lovely visit where we could see their 150 sheep, 70 of which were lambs.  This lamb, which Q named friendly, was particularly affectionate.  While walking out to pastures on their 35 acres, grandma found some morel mushrooms.  We just heard that they harvested the mushrooms and sold them at market last week!    
The weekend before grandpa N's surgery for prostate cancer, 13 of our family met in DC.  We went on a night tour of the momuments-here the kiddos are outside the Jefferson Memorial, then went on to see the Holocaust museum and the Air and Space the next day.  While at the Vietnam Memorial, even though it was dark, we found the kids' great uncle's name on the wall. Saturday night, we celebrated J's 40th birthday at grandma B's house.    
On Sunday, 3 went home, so 10 of us went on to Baltimore to the Aquarium.   We had a very fun weekend before grandpa's surgery on Monday.  We were on a plane to go home before we got the results...the surgery went very well.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Unplanned Adventure-THe First 3 Weeks

K discovers the fun of "quick mud" on Grandma's property, and returned to enjoy it many times.
Q gets to go horse back riding with Lucy at her farm.
A natural play structure!  Old grapevines in grandma's forest provide lots of fun and strength training.
Q helps grandpa build a swing.
We all stand for peace at the weekly peace vigil that grandpa started.  A new experience for the kids.  We got a lot of beeps for our "Beep For Peace", but also a "You should be ashamed of yourself".  It opened the door for some good conversations. 

Just a few days after we returned from Mexico, we left for PA to help my dad after he broke his femur.  K and Q spent a week and a half at Grandma B's house in MD, while I cared for my dad in PA. They had lots of fun adventures including a trip to the Zoo in DC, and doing sit down school with their grandparents!  They had some country living experiences, including yard work.  They happily discovered that Q is a "country girl" who enjoys hard work, as she learned to work a riding mower, picked dandelions for Grandpa's dandelion wine, and cleaned up Aunt D's yard(for a small fee).  K happily accepted his "city boy" title, and learned that country work is not for him.  They told me after that I can look forward to visiting Q on a farm someday, and K at his flat in the city.

Then I brought them to PA.  On our way to Grandma T's, we visited grandpa in the rehab hospital, then on to many adventures in PA and visits with grandparents.  We made it to Farmer's market every Saturday, explored the forest at Grandma's, experienced small town living, helped grandpa when he came home from the rehab hospital, visited with great grandma F, saw the spring musical at my old high school, went to a fun fair at the Friends School I attented in 5th grade, and prepared for the annual May Day party at Grandma T's.  Q helped do the baking, decorated windows, and made flower crowns.  We learned about some things that grandma T and grandpa N are involved with like adopt a highway, the peace vigil, a survival group, and postures.