Thanks so much to Danielle who let me know this week that comments on my blog weren't being published. I haven't seen any in my email in months and I just assumed no one was reading. I found your comments (thank you!) and I'll work now on figuring out what happened with the email. My apologies for not answering for so long!


Howlers from Pip

I love the stage when my kids start saying funny things unwittingly. Here are some of Pip's latest. He's three and a half.


"Mom, Tiger Lily's touching my property!"

Pip saw a man smoking in a parking lot. He was very impressed. "That man is blowing FIRE bubbles!"

Pip: "See these things in my ears? They're eardrunks. My eardrunks help me hear."
Me: "Oh, you mean eardrums?"
Pip: "No. Drunks help you hear. Not drums. I don't have drums in my ears!"

"Mommy, can you observation a tree and find me a chopped down tree?"

Tiger Lily had a doughnut.
Red Chief: "Could I please have a little bit?"
Pip: "You're allergic to doughnuts. Give it to me!"

Pip: "Mommy, are you happy?"
Me: "Yes."
Pip: "Then why is your mouth straight?"

"I got an owie on the chin of my arm."

Pip: "Can you please get me a drink of water?"
Me: "Sure."
Pip: "This water is too wet for me."


Envelope hoarder

Hi. I guess it's been awhile. Lots has happened since I last checked in. Red Chief turned twelve. We've kept busy running around to swimming lessons, music lessons, and other fun summer classes (a woman in our neighborhood just started teaching art classes and Tiger Lily is a big fan). We've tried to make the effort to go to one or two fun places each week. Red Chief has finally learned how to keep his room clean.

But I'm checking in today to confess that I'm an envelope hoarder. Tiger Lily and I organized the school supplies yesterday to see if we needed to buy anything, and I found a few boxes of envelopes. This is on top of the several-inches-high stack I already have at my writing desk, and the industrial-sized box I just gave away a few months ago.

It's not just envelopes. We found several pounds of crayons, about ten boxes of markers, eight rolls of packing tape, and enough notebook paper to run a classroom.

If the apocalypse happens tomorrow, we may starve, but at least we'll have plenty of office supplies.


Red Chief plays Beethoven

Red Chief has turned into quite the connoisseur of classical music. I can tell when he's been on the computer last, because YouTube will be open to music from Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, or Mozart.

He decided last month that he wanted to learn a song by Beethoven. Most of the Beethoven I could find was still above his level, but after a little sleuthing we found an Ecossaise in E-flat that he could handle—with a lot of practice, and a little help from his teacher.

He practiced, and now he's got it! I'm so proud of him.


Things we can't get enough of lately

Not all family members go with each activity, of course.

  • Corn on the cob
  • Non-dairy ice cream
  • Sleeping in
  • Listening to Harry Potter audiobooks
  • Playing name the composer with the classical station on the radio
  • Legos
  • Baths
  • Playing in the sandbox
  • Playing Minecraft
  • Watching Nova and Antiques Roadshow


Summer outings

We've been trying to have plenty of summer fun together. We went cherry picking in a nearby orchard. The kids' favorite part was the ladders. We got about fourteen pounds that we will probably pie and freeze.

We visited a park that has hiking, water, and a shady playground. Tiger Lily's favorite is the rock climbing wall.

I aim for one outing a week (besides regular stuff, like the library and grocery store), but the kids have been talking me into more.



Every year Tiger Lily wants a birthday party with friends, and every year I balk. I'm not good at planning fun. This year I had an epiphany: I don't have to schedule out two hours of excitement and games. I made the cake (chiffon with strawberries), my husband bought the pizza, and Tiger Lily and her friends figured out the fun part on their own.

I wish I had figured this out ten years ago, but I'm glad I finally figured out how to say yes to parties.



Tiger Lily's on the left and mine on the right

A friend of mine starting an arts and crafts business recently held a paint night for mothers and daughters. Tiger Lily is a budding artist; art is not among my talents. But my friend gave such good instructions that I was still able to end up with a pretty creditable flower! (You can tell it's a flower, right?)

We had fun! I hope we can do it again.


Tiger Lily week

This week was all about Tiger Lily. She had a theater camp all week. She told me after she came home the first day that she wanted to be Annie. I tried to prepare her for disappointment and told her there was very little chance of that happening, since all the little girls wanted to be Annie—but she didn't seem to hear me. Tuesday she came home and told me she got the part of Annie. 

The girls at camp (and one boy!) practiced hard all week and presented a 15-minute abridged version of Annie for their families at the end. Red Chief acted as family videographer and went home and made a DVD of it the same day. Where did he learn how to do that? It is so rewarding to parent kids who are figuring out what they love to do in life, and who are getting old enough to do real things.

Also on the docket for Tiger Lily this week: a piano recital, a playdate, a mother-daughter paint night, and a birthday! More about some of those later, if I get to it.