Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A candle's light to see us through the winter

One of my favorite parts of the day during the winter season is to light up the candles on our table during dinner. It's gotten so dark at dinnertime now and there is something so warm and reassuring about the candle light coming from the 4 candles that adorn our table. These are not just any 4 candlesticks that adorn our table. Oh no! These four candlesticks were made by the boys these past 2 years in school.

Here is Boy Wonder holding his candlestick that he made at Mtn. School last year. The candle was tall at the begining of the season. It will be time for a new candle soon.

Here we are in Bubba's class lighting this year's new candles in the pretty holders the children have made. Isn't it beautiful? I just love this tradition.

If you were to ask the boys what their favorite part of the candle tradition was they would probably say..blowing them out. Even Emily has learned to blow out a candle thanks to our boys. And that's no small feat for a one year old.
May this winter bring light in your life.
Happy New Year's Eve to all!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Has Fall FINALLY arrived in CA?

We have very few deciduous trees on our property. But here is our lovely peach tree losing it's leaves. The boys are enjoying an hour outside while I unload the grocery bags from the car and make lunch. It looks like they have found some leaves to keep them busy. Raking up leaves. If that isn't a sign of fall then I don't know what is.

A boy and his chicken

At Bubba's school there are 3 chickens. They are free to roam the school grounds during the day. They are amazing chickens as they allow the children to chase them and carry them around. Bubba loves one of the chickens..the poppy chicken. Poppy chicken just happens to have the same name as his grandfather. Very sweet coincidence.

Here is my little boy and his chicken...

Now...I have to admit, in all my years at the school I have yet to be brave enough to reach out and pick up any of the chickens even though I have watched many children do so. Maybe this year I will be brave enough. I'm sure Bubba would help me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mother Nature's Boys...

I love being outside and could spend hours on walks lost in my own daydreams and filling my lungs with the scents of the outdoors. I grew up with the stories of my parents' childhoods filling my head. The ideas of playing in the creek, hunting for bugs, climbing a tall tree, picking a tomato from a vine and sitting down in the tall grasses to eat it. Running in packs with the neighborhood children, fishing, sneaking over the neighbor's fence to feed the cow, playing outside everyday and only returning home at dusk because you could no longer see and your tummy was a little hungry. This was not exactly the childhood I had but the dream of one I carried for my own children. And though we have had to tweak it quite a bit to get it to resemble something of my parents generations' childhoods, I hope my children will one day have fond fond memories of spending their childhoods outdoors. Of building mother earth houses, growing a garden, collecting leaves, studying bugs, playing in creeks, hiking, camping, climbing trees, spending summers at the ocean's edge, laying on your back and watching the clouds go by...just breathing and being still in mother nature's world. Life moves so fast with the constant bombardment of chores, meetings, deadlines, over extending one's self with so many committments that it can be hard to remember to make time to just be, to explore and discover what is in our own backyards.

Mother Earth houses created by Boy Wonder. I prefer the name Fairy House.. :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bubba's 1st day of school

Here's my baby boy ready to head off to his first day of school. He was so excited especially after watching his big brother go to school the day before. We had a lovely first day. The weather was in the 100's in town so it was a very nice low 80's in the mtns. What a treat! It's quite a hike from the parking area to the outdoor classroom. Bubba had to carry his own backpack and it was little touch and go. I wasn't sure if was going to make it up the .5 mile incline in one piece. But when he made it to the top and the redwood grove came into view and he could once again see the sandbox and the teepee, the trucks and rakes and the kids playing he was all smiles again. He quickly handed off his backpack and settled into the sand. We later made our way over to the creek. Bubba had fun following his cousin and teacher over tree logs and navigating the rocky waters. So much steadier on his feet than last spring! He found two banana slugs and had his teacher move them so they could be together and out of the way of little rainboot covered feet.

The rest of the morning included snack time, story time, going for a hike, playing in the sand box, singing songs, circle time and lunch box time and meeting new friends. It looks like it will be another fun class with lots of great people.

I'm so happy that we are carpooling again with my lovely nephew and my sister. Bubba had a great day and I'm sure he will do just fine on Auntie's day to drive. Good luck to her!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Boy Wonder's 1st day of Kindergarten!!

Today was my baby's 1st day of his elementary school career. It was hard work getting all of us out the door. Boy wonder was excited but a little apprehensive. We arrived a few minutes early outside the kindergarten class and waited with all the other kinders and their parents. Boy Wonder knew a few faces from playdates he had over the summer and from the great pre-kindergarten party his teacher had thrown the week prior. Finally the door opened and there was his new teacher waiting at the door to greet each child and help them put their backpacks and lunches in their cubby and then sit down on the carpet while she introduced the kids to their new classroom for the year. We stood around for a few minutes and watched and then blew kisses and out we (emily, bubba & I) went. It seemed too easy. But I think he was just ready to go. He had been talking about it for a few days and yesterday he kept asking me to take him to school . So it looks like it was time. And of course in true Boy Wonder fashion at breakfast this morning he told me how he was going to teach his teacher how to make rockets out of water bottles.

Bubba and Emily and I went to a park around the corner and met quite a few kids and moms from Bubba's new class. We had our first circle night meeting last night where we got to meet all the parents and teachers and talk about the new school year. Bubba starts back to his beloved Mtn School tomorrow. He is so excited to go back as well. He will get to carpool this year with his cousin and can't wait to ride up and be at school with his auntie on her driving day. Looks like I will have a busy night dusting off the old rainboots and packing up for the mtns and creek for Bubba's 1st day tomorrow.

After our fun park day it was time to pick up Boy Wonder. Poor Emily was beat and had already fallen asleep twice and Bubba was teetering on the edge of his sanity. And it was a hot, HOT day. But back to school we went. The classroom door opened and in we all shuffled. BW was excited to see us. He came over, took my hand and lead me around the room showing me his new pencil box filled with supplies his teacher gave each student and his special paper cubby to keep all his work. He told me how he went on a tour of the school, had a snack, played with play dough, learned some sign language and got to play outside. Sounds like a great first day! I noticed how red BW looked and asked if he had remembered to wear his hat outside. He told me he did not think it was that hot so he had not put it on. He then said, "It looks like this is an inside school, mom. We were inside a lot." And he is right. What a change that will be for him after going to a preschool all outside in the mountains. But his new school does have a lot of outdoor time and a garden to work in, which made it a good find for our family. It was then time to go get some ice cream. In honor of the 1st day, his school was throwing an ice cream party for all the kids and families. The boys loved this part. BW and Bubba also met up with some of BW's new friends and just ran and ran around until it was time to go.

I love this shot. I always said Boy Wonder was so fast he just flew around. Here he is running with a new friend. Look at how his feet don't touch the ground!

It was a good first day! I hope the fun continues...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Boy Wonder's New School

My little baby is starting kindergarten in less than a week. I can't believe it! How is this possible. It seems like just yesterday I brought him home from the hospital and now he's old enough to go to elem school. The werid thing is, I remember my first day of kindergarten and that seems like just yesterday too. The tricks that time plays on us.

Today his new kindergarten teacher had a party at school to invite all her new kinder friends to come and explore their new classroom. Boy wonder was a little shy at first but he came inside and we slowly made our rounds around the very cool room. There was a building corner full of legos, blocks and other manipulatives, a dress up/drama area with kitchen set up, dolls and puppet theatre. There were three tables set up with watercolor painting, building a bead necklace and a snack table. There were two classroom pets, a huge goldfish and an even larger salamander. There was a book nook, a circle carpet, an art supply area and lots of orig art hanging everywhere, the ceiling, walls, etc. What a fun and colorful room! I can't wait to go to kindergarten again!! Boy wonder sat down at the watercolor table and for the next 40 mins created picture after picture. Taking an occasional break to get up and pour himself a glass of juice and eat a strawberry. Juice is a special treat in our house so it was big motivator for him to move over to the snack table and get that dixie cup of juice. The teacher even had a lovely bouquet of sunflowers on the snack table. Boy wonder eventually moved to the lego area and sat down and began building a vehicle of some kind. We met a couple of boys in his class over the summer so he would recognize a familiar face. He was happy to see them both there and shyly said "hi". The teacher seems wonderful. Very caring and she told us about a few special projects they would be doing during the year. She saw Emily signing to me. Emily was in the sling and she loves to be a part of the conversation as well. So she does her best to throw out words and signs to get my attention when I'm engaged in coversation with others. The teacher also knows sign language and told us they would learning signs in class and recognized the signs Emily was doing. Small side..Emily has created 4 new signs to communicate to me "twinkle, twinkle little star", "patty cake, patty cake, the itsy bitsy spider, and row row your boat.

I'm so excited for Boy Wonder to begin school. He has such a great opportunity of exploring his whole self in this class. And even though I'm very sad to see my lazy and warm days of summer slip on by. I am looking forward to cooler weather, new school supplies, being back in the mtns with Bubba and working in Boy Wonder's new classroom. Oh and don't forget apple picking. I'm really looking foward to visiting some orchards with the kids and picking yummy, juicy apples. So I guess I'm ready for you Fall. Bring it on!!
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