June 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
I have been gone for a whole week this time, but again I assure you, we have been busy. Or at least I have. First of all, our scientific experiment has taken on Gargantuan proportions. The ear grew and grew until we finally pulled it out of water. It is shrinking ever so slowly. I managed to put together the Rubik’s cube. It turned out that one of the little cubes was turned the wrong way, so it wasn’t really my fault that I couldn’t do it. Here it is:
Now I just need to learn to do it without the book.
Speaking of books, O’s birthday book is coming along nicely. I have four more pages to go, but here is what it looks like so far:
(Ok, not the best pictures, but it’s late and I have to work in the morning. By the way, my favorite part of the book is the flamingo.)
Her birthday came and went, we spent it at the beach. I made her rhubarb muffins because our kids don’t eat sugar during the first few years of their lives (but J. has made up for it tenfold), so this is what the birthday celebration looked like:
Rhubarb muffins: healthy, delicious. They would have been even better had I had buttermilk in the house as the recipe suggests. But I managed, as I always do. Somehow it always works out, usually not perfectly. Okay, never perfectly.
I took some pictures at the beach. Note that I don’t do nature photography well, and instead look for quirky human-made things. Like these:
And finally, we picked up the ceramic pieces we painted a few weeks ago. Everyone was pleased:
I will try to post more often, considering that I am still keeping up with the projects.
June 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
Things are busy in our little workshop. It’s O’s birthday on Friday, and we started making her gift a little too late. For his first birthday, J. got an altered book from me, and a collage story from dad. Of course we are doing the same for O. Dad will probably be done by Friday, but I procrastinated. I have lots of good ideas though, so whenever it’s done, it will be good. Here are snapshots of what I have so far:
It will be a book about being strong and powerful, and it will feature all the goddesses that bring blessings and abundance.
J. is also making his sister a gift, a cloth doll. He also just started. This is what he has so far:
And while this is going on, we are also conducting a science experiment, with one of those things that grow in water. We have an ear that looks too real and disgusting! and we are seeing how much it will grow. In the process, J. is getting a lesson about area and counting unit squares.
It’s still growing!
January 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
Ah, children! Once in a while they do something so fantastic that you know for sure that it’s all been worthwhile (only kidding — I always think it’s worthwhile, though sometime I don’t think I am doing such a fabulous job). Case in point: J. discovered that we have a typewriter upstairs, and insisted on bringing it down so he could type on it. Now, this is not just any typewriter. It’s the typewriter I had in high school and college, and which I used to write a lot of the stories and poems I published in my youth. We actually brought it back from Belgrade a few years ago, just so I could have it around. I thought that maybe I’d write more if I had my old typewriter, but it only ended up on top of a shelf now populated by Lego sets that can’t fit in J’s room. But that’s where the hero of this story comes in. On his request, we brought the typewriter down, put a new ribbon in it, and together we wrote J’s first typewritten book:
It was a “find” book, meaning that you had to find things in it: one clock, two hats, three snakes, and four clouds:
The proud mom then typed her own stuff for a while, but it may take a while before I can find something meaningful to write. I am not disciplined about writing, and instead have always relied on that elusive inspiration. But I may try to type a little every night, just to get into that frame of mind of the teenage me who adored Jack Kerouac and thought that his writing method was the best thing ever.
On a different note, J. brought this art piece from school today:
To me, this is public education at its best. I love it!
October 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
We traveled to Portland to a conference on teaching for social justice, but we found enough time to do two of our favorite things: visit Powells, and go to the Grotto.
Powells was the creative outlet for yesterday. Not just buying books,
but also actively participating in reading them, like looking for Waldo,
or dressing a female sticker version of the Mad Hatter in outrageous clothes. Sticker books: another calming activity for wild kids and their tired moms.
To bring about more creative adventures for myself, I bought a book titled Freeing the Creative Spirit: Drawing on the Power of Art to Tap the Magic & Wisdom Within by Adriana Diaz. I have always been a sucker for creativity books, and this one looks promising. Here is an excerpt with some good advice I ought to take: “I highly recommend cleaning the work space as little as possible. Learn to think of clutter and dust in a new way. Try to realize that the first in your house is simply displaced from outside. You can choose just what you’d like to do with it. You can collect it, throw it out, or use it as an art medium!”
Today we went to the Grotto, a Catholic sanctuary in Northeast Portland, a peaceful place with beautiful gardens and lovely statues of saints. I have a hard time photographing nature, as I always feel it’s wrong to trap it in a still shot, but I got a few shots of the statues and the labyrinth before it started pouring.