Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tea Time

Katie has decided that we should have tea every day at 4pm. I've had to moved that to 3:30pm so everyone will still be hungry for dinner at 6:30.

So, every day that we can, we sit down as a family and have tea or hot milk (Zack doesn't like tea), some tea biscuits, maybe some fruit and cheese and spend a nice half hour eating, sipping and chatting. Katie heads up the effort, keeping track of the time and reminding Pete or me to put the water on to boil.

We especially like Marie biscuits, that absorb the liquid and then suddenly puff up. You have to time it just right to wait for the puff but retrieve it before it breaks up and sinks.

That time of day is a real challenge for me and to give myself permission to relax and refresh for a few minutes has made a big difference in my mental attitude. We also get to enjoy having Pete working from home. Often, he is downstairs in his office and we're upstairs or out and about without him but he's made an effort to make the time to join us for tea.

I can easily discount how important these family rituals are. Tea time has reminded me how much better we all do when we take time out to gather around the table all together.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Been making stuff

Well, no time for a proper post--again--I have seen the acupuncturist and am already feeling better and hopefully my mood will improve too! Here are some projects the kids have been working on:

Plates we made at our Friday group. Actually made these in December, but it took a while to get them back.

Katie has learned to weave lanyard, or boondoggle, so get ready for lots of keychains!

We got a lot of snow last week, which didn't last long but was the deepest snow the kids have seen in a very long time. A neighbor friend helped build the tunnel and adaptation on a design originally meant to be an igloo.

Zack BS troop is making things out of different materials to earn an Arrow Point, here's his Stegosaurus and vintage car models.

And, it's Pinewood Derby time! Actually it was supposed to be last week, but was delayed by the snow. Here's what it looked like before and after adding the tiger stripes. Dad helped a little ;-)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Post

I've been neglecting this blog for a while and have to say I don't much feel like writing now but feel like I have to before it goes completely dark.

I've been suffering from almost daily headaches for the past month or so and they have been wiping me out and making it very difficult to organize our days. Things are going fine with the kids, but I'm wiped by the end of the day, often with a pounding head. Pete has had to step in to make dinner several times while I lay down. This is becoming very depressing and so at last I've decided to do something about it. I have the names of a few acupuncturists and will be making an appointment soon. I got about two year's relief the last time I saw one, so it is definitely time to try it out again.

Some quick updates--

Had a playdate with the aptly named Goodharts. Sadly, our schedules don't mesh very well, so it was fairly short but very nice. Both Zack and Nick like to play alone, so they say hi and then play next to each other for a while. Katie and Becca play very nicely together and include the boys when they feel like being part of the group. Christopher is still little and so just enjoys the hubbub of everone running around. I'm getting to know Angela better and it's relaxing to sit and chat over tea and cookies while the kids play. I've also been spoiled since she's been nice enough to have us to their house and I don't have to prep anything.

Spent Super Bowl Sunday at the Marts' and enjoyed cheap fun at the bowling alley's $1 shoes and game day. Good thing it was only a dollar if I was going to play that badly! Nanci put us all to shame, although none of us were up to LI levels. Nathan is great too, but we didn't get to see his true form with no bumpers. There's definitely Island blood in that kid though.

Zack and Kate are now at the Red Cross level 3 swimming class and doing nicely in the deep end. Wish I had a picture of Zack's proud face when he finished doing laps in the 12' end. Katie has never had any fear in the water but now she has the skills to back up the confidence.

I got a new math curriculum called Math U See and so far I'm loving it. It's the first curriculum I could actually understand. (Most times curricula make me feel like I've walked into the middle of a conversation and have missed the crucial information on what everyone's talking about.) The kids like the manipulatives (blocks) and I like the way the lessons are organized.

We got to see the baby Panda again on Tuesday and he was in great form. Very visible and doing tons of cute baby-animal things. As a matter of fact, we got lucky all over the zoo. A huge orangutan came right up to the window to snack and the kids got to explore the reptile discovery room, which we have never seen open. It was a terrific day made all the better because our friends the McKinleys were able to join us.

Went on a nice field trip to the DC Aquarium where a class had been arranged for the kids. It's a tiny aquarium but nice and we were able to walk over to the Nat. History museum to see the new mammal exhibit again and take more time this time. Thanks go to Laurel for setting up the trip and for sharing some of her shark teeth with the kids.

Katie made a neat invention call The Drinker, which serves up water and cups to the thirsty masses. The tricky part was the lock, but she came up with a kind of buttonhole idea and I contributed an arrow-shaped tab to slip through.

It's hard to see it, but the tab is in Zack's hand and the hole for it is in the left side of the box. There are cups attached at the other side to grab and fill and extra cups and H2O inside.

That's all I can think of. Let us know what you're up to too. xoxoxoxo