|December 31, 2012|
This week we decorated the house. I put up our small Christmas tree and let the children put on all the ornaments. They had a lot of fun, and I had fun watching them. The next day we painted some wooden circles and dumped glitter on them to make ornaments for our outside tree. That evening, when they were dry, I hung them on the tree while the children watched from inside the house. My own decorating project this year was making a stain-glassed picture for our window. I cut colored paper and stuck it all together using laminating paper. It took me three days to make, and I am happy with the result, which means I think it looks very pretty.
Galahad's school had a Christmas musical, Galahad was a toy soldier. There were several characters, all which stood together and said their lines all together, like a choir. Galahad was in the front row, so I was able to take his picture easily.
I like making gingerbread houses, but this year we made mostly pumpkin houses because I ran out of ginger while I was making the cookie dough so I added pumpkin pie spice instead. They came out really good! The children decorated some cookies before the adults made the houses. Talia loves to paint and pour sprinkles on cookies. She would have decorated all day if she had unlimited supply of cookies.
The first snow fall is always exciting, especially if you are a child, you want to run outside and play in the snow. To a child, even shoveling snow from the path is a fun game. Th children pushed snow around for a while, and then came inside to warm up with some hot cocoa. Talia looked cute wearing the strawberry shortcake hat she got as an early Christmas present from her grandmother-nona.
Our house has a fireplace which we never use because it doesn't really warm the house or do anything except look pretty. My father said a wood stove would really warm the house and make the fireplace more efficient and useful, but wood stoves are very expensive and hard to install so we didn't think we'd get one soon. Amazingly, my father found a perfect wood stove, exactly the right dimensions for our fireplace at the dump--free! The wood stove is so heavy, he needed extra help to load it an drive it to our house. We then asked several neighbors to help carry it into the house to the fireplace. Then my father started installing the stove. First he had to to chip out the damper that blocked the chimney, then he had to install the pipes by pushing then up the chimney and putting insulation around them. The hardest pipe was the last because of the angle he had to attach it with one hand while laying down and holding up the other pipes in the chimney with the other. Once that was finally done, he put the stove in and tested it. It works and fits perfectly! After some practice, we've had the stove so hot that the room was 80 F!
For Christmas, Talia's favorite things were a chipmunk doll with matching outfit, a "raspberry" dress, and her lint chocolate bear. Galahad's favorite prsent was a k'nex mario kart track with cars. He played and played with the car until the batteries ran out, and then wanted new batteries. I got a new laptop since my old one had a broken keyboard and some other problems,so it was very nice to have a new one.
|November 30, 2012|
For thanksgiving, my mother and father in law visited our house. I cooked a turkey breast, which was smaller than an entire turkey but still plenty for us. I also made some little pies, blueberry and pumpkin. I made little circles and pushed them into the cupcake pan and then poured filling into each one. I really liked the small pies better than big pies for two main reasons, one because I could eat them with my hands, and secondly because i was able to eat them before thanksgiving without anyone knowing.
The weather is getting cold, so most days we stay inside and paint pictures. Talia painted an interesting design, and Galahad painted a volcano because we watched alvin and the chipmunks three. When the days aren't so cold, sometimes we drive to a playground so Galahad and Talia can climb and play.
|October 31, 2012|
For Halloween, we carved some pumpkins. Galahad drew his face and Jeremy helped carve it a little. Talia just said what she wanted and someone carved it for her. I made a "doodle" pumpkin this year, which is less impressive than the self portrait I did last year, but still fun and interesting to see. To collect candy, the children dressed up in cute costumes. Galahad was Alvin the chipmunk and Talia is some sort of butterfly fairy.
All month Galahad has been drawing orange pumpkins on paper or on the windows. As usual, the children also enjoyed playing in leaves this fall. Talia made an orange tile for me that was originally suppose to be a pumpkin, but she didn't want ot stop painting, so it came out with another design which I really like. Galahad draw a very cute black cat, but told me that it was NOT a Halloween cat.
Oddly, a giant mushroom started growing from our tree. I told the children not to touch it and it grew until it was the size of a tea saucer. We all looked at it many times before I finally took a picture.
Galahad has started taking piano lessons. He is learning very fast and practices everyday. Some days he doesn't want to practice, but most days he comes home from school and goes straight to the piano to play "pepperoni pizza" one of his favorite songs.
A few days ago there was a tropical storm that knocked down two trees behind our house. Fortunately none of them hit any houses. The trees did land mostly in our yard and will need to be cut. Some friends nearby have a chainsaw and are coming over on a Saturday to help cut up and remove the trees.
|September 30, 2012|
I found a fun origami book called "Origami to Astonish and Amuse", the author also has a youtube channel on how to make most of his designs. The book is what you might call "action" origami, meaning that you fold paper and the result moves in a fun way. The most traditional "action" origami is of course the crane with flapping wings. I wanted to try something new, so I tried a design where you use some very simple box pleating of sorts, which I have never made before. It was slightly similar to the kusudama rose in a way. Here is a picture of my first attempt of an expanding model called the "flasher". A bundle of paper that fits in your hand. step two: release the paper and watch as it springs opens. note: The paper at least 12 inches wide once completely open, and has an interesting geometric pattern.
We went to a Chinese arts festival hosted at University of NH one night. They served some Chinese food, and some moon cakes. After the food, there was a show put on by the university's Chinese department. A Chinese language class sang a song, and someone else performed a traditional dance. The best part was of the show was the music. Three teachers played Asian instruments, one sortof like a violin, one a bit like a giant mandolin, and one like a strange string xylophone. (I cannot remember the names of the instruments, if you do, please put a note in my guestbook.) Each played a solo and then they all played together.
A final note, we are having a baby boy at the end of December, and my baby- belly is starting to show a little.
|August 31, 2012|
My younger sister got married this month, so there were a lot of relatives visiting. We had fun with my older sister's family and brother. The cousins enjoyed playing together. One place we visited was the Children's Museum of NH. Although the museum seems small compared to something like the Boston museum of arts, it has a lot of fun exhibits. There was a midi wall where you press shapes and make music, a "make a glider" room, a kitchen, a "make a race car" room (Galahad's favorite), a little kitchen that Talia liked, a concentration mind game and other exhibits I can't remember right now.
Picking flowers is always fun in the summer. Here are some flowers that we found and picked in the yard. Talia wanted to keep picking every flower she saw, even the neighbors. To stop this, I showed her how to make a bouquet, which she rearranged for a while.
At the end of the month school started. Here is a picture of the children on the first day of school. The teacher took pictures of each student and sent them home. Galahad looks almost like he is saying "get me out of here" because of the frame. A few days after school started I bought my camera to the bus stop and took a picture of Galahad getting off the bus.
|July 31, 2012|
This year was the first time Galahad watched fireworks. Before it was too
late and loud for him, so we hadn't gone to see them. But this year I had
some ear protectors from the hardware store, and Galahad really wanted to go
see them. He really liked the fireworks and frequently commented on how big
they were. We also let the children hold sparklers very carefully before
dark, which they both enjoyed.
The local beach always has a sand sculpting contest in July, and going to see them is a good excuse to go to the beach. The children looked a little at the sculptures, but really wanted to play in the sand and water themselves. It was a rainy day, so I hadn't brought their swimsuits, but that doesn't stop children from enjoying the beach.
One day I was cleaning out the basement and found some old "coke" bottles that I had found while digging in the back yard. They were full of dirt, but when I cleaned them they looked fun. I added some water and food coloring to make it look like there was real soda in the bottles. Next we hit the bottles with sticks and made music.
My sister May is getting married soon, so we visit her a lot. She really likes playing with Talia, and Talia likes playing with her costume jewelry. Talia especially likes playing with Aunt May's earrings. So, one day I bought some play earrings and necklaces from the dollar store, and Talia wore them all day, posing for me to take her picture.
As my sister's wedding approaches, I volunteered to help with some decorating. Specifically, to make origami balls (Kusudama) for some centerpieces. Each flower is made from 5 pieces of paper, and each ball needs 12 flowers. We needed 5 balls made, so for a while I did nothing but fold paper when I had any time to spare. The flower balls came out so pretty and everyone loved them.
|June 30, 2012|
This year Galahad wanted the solar system on his birthday cake, so my mother and sister carefully made all the planets out of chocolate cookies and placed them on the cake. It was very good. Two presents I'll post are a nice remote controlled car and a fun stomp rocket. The children played with the car in front of our house and the stomp rocket in the back yard.
For the last day of school, the Kindergarten had an end of the year "play". They sang several silly songs including one about a frog eating bugs with his tongue out, and a song listing various fast food restaurants. The children made a costumes (Galahad's was a board with a string to go around his neck.) Then each came forward and said something about a Kindergarten event. In the picture Galahad is on the top left corner.
I've found crab apples falling off the tree (they don't have pits so the must be apples, right?) and various summer flowers blooming in our yard. I noticed some pretty butterflies flying around flowers. The butterflies seem to like the orange flowers growing beside our driveway. After one especially rainy week, I found an interesting looking mushroom growing in a pile of pine-needles.
Being summer also means the children and I make various projects during the week. I bought a face mask for the kids ot paint, but then I changed my mind and painted if myself. Talia watched me paint for a long time and was very happy when I finally finished so she could play with the princess mask.
|May 31, 2012|
This year Mother's day and my birthday landed on the same Sunday. So For Mother's day I got some chocolate coated strawberries. They look pretty and taste good, and even are partially good for you since they are mostly fruit. Now the trouble is which one to eat first?
Since my Birthday was on the same day, I also had cake and presents. For some reason people wanted a picture of me " pretend to blow the candles out". So that's the silly birthday picture I have this year. I got a fun cupcake puzzle that was supposed to be pink flower cupcakes, but when I put it together it was a nautical theme cupcake puzzle. I bought a bag of balloons for fun, and the children loved playing with them.
With the weather finally warming up, We can all relax on the porch or have a water fight between the hose, the kids and the pool. Not that fun pictures have anything to do with water or spring -- here is an interesting double reflection picture I took while waiting at a gas station. The mirror reflected off the window to make the reflection the right way.
Galahad's class is making a "bird museum" as a project. Each child has to make a bird and it's surroundings. Galahad and I made this nice "Blue-jay" nest from sticks in the yard. The eggs are just from clay. He is very proud of the nest and carries it form room to room with him.
|April 30, 2012|
With spring coming, I started raking and trying to clear the yard so grass can grow, and as usual, I keep finding toys and junk everywhere. I found a little cabbage patch kid with roots in her hair. I washer her with a tooth brush and cleaned her hair with some carpet spray, and she looks almost new. Our daughter like to play with it.
For Easter this year, along with some fun Easter baskets, we colored eggs. We used some new egg dye that looks like they put the dye into q-tips. You use them like markers so it is very easy to make some nice eggs. Talia colored hers happily, then promptly smashed and ate before I took pictures.
We went to the Manchester Christian Church, which has a special service at the Civic Arena. There were about 5000 people who attended. This was nice in a way because other holidays they end up having 6 service, which are all completely packed, so this way there was room for everyone.
Spring is finally here! I took pictures of the purple flowers I saw white one in our yard, our tree, some pretty flowers at my husband's work, and some others. Of course I also took pictures of the children playing.
Here is a one of the few surviving apple trees from an apple orchard that existed about 100 years ago at my parent's house in Chester, NH. Three generations of my family have played in this tree. Old apple trees are very good for climbing since they have low branches.
|March 31, 3012|
We have had a few warm days recently, and the snow has melted, revealing our pine needle covered yard. I think there isn't even grass under the needles at all, but hopefully some will grow when spring comes.
My sister is getting married in the late summer, and our daughter will be her flower girl. Last week our daughter's dress arrived and she tried it on. She liked it so much that she cried when it was time to take it off.
Sometimes I see odd structures around the house that someone built. I guess that the vent on the radiator looked like a good place to balance a few blocks.
We rearranged a few things in our house recently. It all started when my husband wanted a new desk, since his old computer desk was only a very small laptop desk, and he now had a regular desk top computer. Later that week our son got a new bed and so he moved to another room and our daughter moved into his old room, then we put the old desk into our son's room. See how confusing that can get?
|Febuary 29, 2012|
For crazy hat day at school, I tied some rainbow yarn on to Galahad's hat. He really liked it. For valentines day I made a postcard of the children online. I didn't get a copy myself, but I finally scanned a copy. I think postcards often make fun valentines cards.
Galahad's school had a valentines swap. He has 29 children in his class, so we made the valentines in stages. One day we cut construction paper hearts, another day he colored the hearts, the next day we wrote his friend's names on the back of the hearts while I taped a chocolate on the top. In the end I think he was the only one in his class who gave chocolate this year.
At home I made some tasty heart shaped cookies to eat. Talia really likes making cookies, and Galahad likes frosting them, so we had a lot of fun. I tried to make some doctor who valentines cards, but none of them came out very good. I made one bear holding the Tardis in a heart shape, and one white bear holding the tardis in a background. They look okay, but I didn't print them or try to sell them.
For some reason, (mainly because they had to many bubbled) one day I decided to take pictures of the kids in their bath. They were both playing with sponged and copying each other. I'm not sure who started the game, but it looked entertaining.
Galahad's school had it's 75th anniversary one week. They had a party, and asked the students to come dressed up as a character form a "Caldacott" book winner. Galahad picked "Make Way For Duckling", so I made him some wings. Talia liked the wings and wanted some of her own, so they both ended up dressing like ducks at the school party.
|January 31, 2012|
Snow is for winter, snow is for playing and snow is for shoveling. The funny thing is that kids think that playing and shoveling is the same thing. I don't mind at all. It is cute watching both children help shovel various parts of the yard.
One day we visited the Chester house when it was snowing. After the snow we all went outside and made snowmen. One snowman is suppose to be an old man, and the other an old woman. Galahad stood between them for the picture. I found three balloons in the back of a cupboard that were melter together. I didn't think it would work, but I blew them up anyway. (Unfortunately, the children popped one balloon before I could take a picture, so you see here only two stuck together)
Talia's hair is finally getting just long enough to put pig-tales and clips in. I tried to give her a braid once, but her hair was a little to short and the braid came out in less than an hour, but it was cute while it lasted.