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Budding Chef

Budding Chef

One fun feature of this summer was the advent of Nathan’s cooking career!  Since he got a cookbook as a birthday present, he was excited to plan and cook dinner for us a few times each month over the summer.


Nathan and I have enjoyed spending extra time together.  It has also been a good way for me to share a useful skill that I enjoy, and an excellent challenge to develop patience in this mom and life skills in this boy!


Here are some of the yummy things Nathan has made: Tabbouleh, Carrot-Raisin Salad, Oven Fries, Chicken Burgers, Oat Bars, and Knickerbocker Glories (the fancy ice cream sundaes pictured below.)


Come on over for a meal sometime!

End of Summer

End of Summer

If school has started, then that also means that summer break has ended.  (Aren’t you glad I pointed that out?!!)  Since I was busy enjoying summer, I didn’t get all of our fun summer pictures posted, so I’ll use these next few posts to get you caught up.  Besides, if I took pictures of what is going on right now you’d just see me working for hours on the computer in between teaching music lessons, cleaning up messes, and making meals.  Not so exciting.

Anyway, here’s how we celebrated the last night of summer break–dinner out on the patio finished off with S’mores cooked over the grill.  Not nearly as good as a campfire, but it worked in a pinch.


Don’t they look tasty?


Goodbye, slow-paced mornings, late nights and too-much-screen-time afternoons.  Hello, uniforms and learning and friends at recess.  Thanks, God, for rhythms and seasons both in the year and in life.

Lost Tooth

Lost Tooth

Oops!  I just found this photo and realized I forgot to share the momentous news that Nathan lost his first tooth near Thanksgiving!  He had been working at it for over a week and it finally fell out, only to be swiftly lost in the grass.  Uh-oh.  We decided that the Mommy Tooth Fairy only looks for holes in mouths, not real teeth, so there was a surprise under the pillow anyway.  (Nathan lost two teeth last July, but those didn’t come out on their own so this is the first real one!)

(Silly sidenote–Nathan asked me to take this photo because he was an apple tree!  He had tan pants and apple stickers all over his red shirt).

2011 in Review

2011 in Review

Here’s a brief look at 2011.  I couldn’t quite narrow it down to only 12 pictures, and I really didn’t want to rewrite a bunch of posts you’ve already read, so if you’re interested in what any of these photos are about I am sure it is on the blog somewhere else!  When will my kids stop growing up so fast?!!

(Oh, and in case you are offended because you didn’t get a Christmas card from me, don’t be.  I didn’t send any out–something had to go, and that was it.  Consider this your Christmas card instead, and thanks for the one you sent me.)

The Garden Season

The Garden Season

“Growing time” is over now, so here’s a look back at our garden this year.  I promise, no more garden posts now until spring, honest!!







First Day of School

First Day of School

Well, here he is, the proud first grader.

I don’t know why first grade was so much easier than kindergarten for me, but it was!  He knew what to do, I knew what to expect, and we’re off on another school year.  The first morning of school he was so excited that he woke up shortly after six so before seven he had eaten, dressed, and practiced the piano.  We killed a little time taking photos in the backyard (here is his contribution).

Even so, we were at the school before the doors opened.  He wanted to go in all by himself, but I convinced him that I could come in at least for the first day to help him get all his supplies scheduled.  In we went, joining the mass mayhem, and before you know it he was hard at work and Katya and I were out the door.  He has grown up so much and I look forward to what will develop in this new year.



On the way home from the bookstore, proudly reading the dog book she got as a prize (after visiting the Barnes and Noble bathroom 4 times…)


Following that day, continued success so I guess we’re officially a no-diaper family now!

Me Too!

Me Too!

Katya decided the other day that she wanted to go to school too.  She has asked several times if she is old enough to stay with Nathan, but finally took matters into her own hands.  She got ready, trekked out the the backyard, and this is her version of being ready for school.


Has It Really Been a Week?

Has It Really Been a Week?


Nathan has been in school a whole week now!  He has made the transition VERY well and is enjoying his days greatly.  He comes home happy and full of stories about what happened in his day.  I haven’t had to wake him up once, and he gets ready quite well in the mornings.  He seems to be doing a good job, and his teacher is excellent at communicating well with him and with us.  He listens to her much more attentively than he listens to me!  He is making new friends and learning lots.  Just a smattering of his conversational topics this week… papyas and Vitamin C… filling up invisible buckets… coloring the world… choosing a friend who is “calm, full of joy, silly, but not too crazy with a nice smile”… being in the Red Group… Buddy Bear for Show and Tell… being careful not to owe recess… preferred snack foods… 22 new friends.


The biggest adjustment for him has been in dealing with home after being at school all day.  Fortunately I was well warned by several moms, so we are gradually working through helping him be ready to obey and interact nicely AFTER school, not just IN school.  He is tired after a busy day, but he still has to obey his parents, do some work as well as play, and be kind to his sister.  We’ll get there! 


I am very proud of him, very grateful for the structured but caring environment his school provides, and very slowly getting used to our new phase of life.

The First Day

The First Day


We did it!  It’s a good thing I didn’t write this post when I first thought about it, about 9:00 this morning, because it would have been much weepier!!  Nathan woke up at 6:45 this morning, and went right in to brush his teeth.  (He’s very motivated by finishing the chart I made to hang on the wall of his room.)  He was done with breakfast and ready to go by 7:15, backpack on and uniform shirt tucked in (reluctantly, but not so bad once he got used to it!).  He wanted to switch his white socks for the new black ones, quite stylish with shorts and tennis shoes.  Finally by 7:35 Katya and I were ready to go so we said goodbye to dad and were on our way. 

We slowly entered school along with the huge line of other moms and kids, made it to the classroom, and Nathan walked inside with the flow of people.  He turned right around and walked back out!  “Mom, I thought you were going to come in with me to hang up my backpack?”  (Fortunately the noise in the hall covered my somewhat shaky voice in reply!)

I walked in with him, helped him put away his lunch and backpack, and gave him a hug.  He went to his desk to put our family photo in his pencil box and that was that!  I managed not to cry until I made it to the car, although if I had stopped to talk to anyone on the way out that would have been the end of it!  Katya tried to keep me busy when we got home, and I felt a little better after I printed off his picture and schedule to hang on my bulletin board. 


A trip with Gran B to Build a Bear to get a school-time frined for Buddy, followed by lunch and naptime, filled our day until 3:05.  Daddy came home from work early and we all went to pick up Mr. Kindergartener.  We eagerly joined the line of anxious parents and the door opened to release the troops!  Nathan was tired but happy, and when Than asked him if he was ready to go home, he said “Not really, but yes.”  The longer we went, the more we heard about his first day adventures.  He likes his teachers, has 22 new friends (even though he can’t remember all their names yet) and didn’t learn lots of new things yet because today was just for meeting people and walking places.  He ate all his lunch, and especially liked the gummy bears in his treat bag.  He was very impressed that even though the girls all live in different houses, they just happened to wear the same dress.  (Guess the whole meaning of uniform hasn’t hit yet!)  He brought home three papers, and a red star sticker for being a good listener. 

I am so proud of him and am feeling a little better about tomorrow.  Not quite sure how to explain all the emotion on my part–I guess just so much change, the reality of him growing up, the end of so many good times together, the continuing of his movement towards independence, knowing that most of what happens during his day is no longer part of my knowledge, lots of time out of the safety of our influence (unless you count the missing two front teeth…!)–growing up is part of life, but suprisingly difficult for me to handle right at this moment.  At least he had a great day, which makes me feel ready to do it again.

(Me on my first day of school, September 1985)