the party

She asked her friends not to bring presents for her party, but instead help her with a donations to WWF to help the Giant Pandas. And so she sent over $100 for the pandas. And this is the second time she’s done this for her birthday.  I love her love for nature and all animals.  I never thought of doing this at nine years of age.

We made a piñata.  We were going to do a bamboo but we couldn’t find a balloon big enough to put the goodies inside.  So we decided to make a panda, which made a great topic of conversation beforehand, and during and after the party… a panda piñata, which everyone will want to whack as hard as they can to break? It doesn’t have to make sense, right?

We made a panda cake.

We had a party.  It rained like it was winter. But it was the middle of June in the north hemisphere. Supposedly summer.

It was an animal dress up party.

We had our fruit monster, like every year.

We had games.

We made masks.

We had a scavenger hunt.

With waterproof clues, of course.

And we had a piñata.  And yes. I know. It doesn’t make any sense.  We have a panda-loving girl who requested to her friends to skip her gift and instead help her raise money for the pandas in the wild.   And here we have them, ‘whacking’ a (piñata) panda.

We won’t be sending this picture with her donation!

We had a beautiful and fun celebration with friends.   Our ‘little girl’ turned nine.  Love you so much.

nine times around the sun

This weekend we celebrated Siena turning 9.  What a beautiful girl she is.  Beautiful and special.  She’s snuggly in her own way.  She’s quiet and loud.  She’s funny and serious. She’s big and small.  She’s creative and thoughtful and always beautiful.  Oh how love this little (big) girl of mine.

She lit up nine candles.

Had a special breakfast at home, all together.

Opened presents.

Got a new bell and kick stand.

Made homemade vanilla ice cream.

And had papá-made pecan pie, a birthday girl request.

 A picnic at the park.

A beautiful day spent together full of nine year old requests that can make anybody happy!

Love you so much.  Happy Birthday. Feliz Cumpleaños.                –Mamá

a good bye

So we finished our last year of preschool.  I guess we only had two years and really spread out, it didn’t seem like much.  Siena loved her preschool year so much when she went four years ago, that she really wanted Lucas to try it.   Since we’ve been homeschooling since then, Lucas didn’t know any different, and he wasn’t so sure about ‘going to school’.  He’s a home body and didn’t feel the need to go anywhere.

But last fall he was going to check it out for a month and see what he thought.  He did, and he loved it so much, he stayed and enjoyed every single day.  He loved his teachers, his friends,  and playing, and music, and snack days, and playing outside, and playing in the gym, and drawing, and reading.  Everything.  He loved every single day he went.

He had a beautiful year we will all remember forever.

First Day - Fall 2010

There were so many fun things and so many new things. He had so much fun.

On snack days we loved helping and sharing with everyone.  It was our chance to see a little more of this fun place and all of his friends.

And of course, music.  We were so very lucky to have Daniel and his amazing talent.  Music was such a big part of their days.  I loved hearing about it.

Molly and Daniel.  Thank you so much for everything you did to make each day, a whole year, as special as it was.   Thank you for the teaches and persons you were.   Lucas will always remember you.

Lucas loved all the music they shared and the songs they sang and learned throughout the year.  And I think together with that, one of his favorite things was Daniel’s slide whistle. So to celebrate the end of the year we gave Lucas his own slide whistle.

And I think having your own slide whistle is the next best thing to seeing Daniel every other day.  I love our little musician we have at home.  Congratulations on your beautiful preschool year.  You are growing so big, so fast.   Thank you for your music.

this moment

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule
If you’d like to share ‘your moment‘ leave a comment and a link to your post here.  Thanks for sharing!  Have a beautiful weekend.

right now

Right now, I am:

  • enjoying the full moon outside.  From inside, because it’s still wet out there.
  • waiting to spend more time out of doors.
  • still enjoying wearing sweaters in the middle of June.  I know we’ll have heat in the months to come.
  • enjoying having warm tea during the day, because of the cold weather.
  • having fun cleaning up – inside and outside.
  • enjoying the little more space we are getting from our cleaning.
  • loving the creativity and playing that is going on upstairs where they have set a whole city in the floor of the two bedrooms.  With a mayor’s house, a science lab, a zoo, a fire station, a farm, a school, a homeschool family, and a queen.  Two little humans have created and keep this little city.  They have their jobs, managing certain families and their jobs and places, and once in a while they both come down with problems understanding each other.  Like ‘real cities’ and ‘real families’ do.


Photo by Siena.


  •  laughing that is no surprise to anyone that “the city” would have a fire station and a big population of fire fighters.


Photo by Siena.


  • loving that my little people are starting to take piano lessons.
  • loving the cleaned up backyard with new paths and spruced up for the summer and waiting to spend more time out there.
  • wishing we could do more line drying of our clothes.
  • enjoying our new bees.
  • enjoying seeing my kids get up in the morning and before breakfast, go check our new bees.  And of course.  Come back with comments.
  • amazed at how these busy bees have made at least 6 combs already (from what we can see) in just 2 weeks. 
  • loving that we’ll learn lots more about these beautiful insects.
  • seeing little sunflowers peek out the dirt.
  • being able to have fresh salad from our garden.
  • enjoying the last blooms of ‘my Clematis plants’ that bloom so beautiful around Mother’s Day and few weeks after.   Plants that are finally growing and enjoying their space. 
  • dreaming and love the planning that is taking of our new adventure to come this fall. (More on this in another post.)
  • enjoying the planning and making for a party for a soon-to-be nine year old. I’ll share pictures of the celebration soon.
  • hoping you are enjoying your week too.  Thanks for coming to visit me.

bees and how we got them

After many years (20 to be exact) since our first thought of having honey bees, we have finally “jumped” in.  Yes, a little bit in slow motion, but we are there.   Here.  Our home with honey bees.   It all worked out, the stars were aligned and we found a great way to start our ‘backyard beekeeping’ love.

We watched how our neighbors were cleaning their hive so easily.  And getting such a delicious honey we got to try right there.

And to see how perfect those honeycombs are.

Look at all those bees!

Some still with larvae inside. Others being born.

Do you see in the bottom right of the picture a little head appearing?

Well, we got to see one bee be born.

Fully out of her cell, but still hasn’t opened its wings.

Walking around to get to know the new world.

Wings opening up.

Getting ready to fly for the first time.

So our neighbors’ bees had a swarm.  Actually they had three. But their second swarm was ‘rescued’ and taken to a new home.

This is Matt from Bee Thinking, a new bee store in Portland.  After-hours ‘rescue’ work.

We were so glad he knew what he was doing.

A happy camper! He got the queen and about 10,000 other bees.

And now to their new home. A top bar hive made by Matt.

We closed half of the hive. Now he pour them in.  Hope we have the queen and that she falls right in the hive.

Wait for the ‘other bees’ to follow the queen.

Close most of the bars.

Look at them flying in!

And do you see how they lift their bottom? They are sending a scent so the other bees can find their way to their new home.

Isn’t it just amazing? Amazing in so many ways.  We are all enjoying looking at these insects and the amazing work they do in their short lives.  And also amazing is that we finally have some honey bees of our own! Thank you Matt. We couldn’t have done it without you.

So here my friends, I introduce you the youngest 10,000 in our family.

Chile’s Nature

We’ve heard too many times in the last year or so, about nature’s work.  Many times so beautiful, but lately it seems it’s been too much.   My heart is sore still from photos from Japan, and the earthquake in Chile last year, and in Haiti, and another volcanic eruption in southern Chile before the one last weekend.

Have you’ve seen these pictures?

And I found these pictures on Flickr.  They did an amazing job.  Go check them out.  Incredible photos.  My heart is with the families who have had to leave their homes, and be separated from their families to be safe, but also keep their animals and place safe.

We are thinking of all those 1,000 people having to be evacuated.  Hoping this is the last of the natural disasters for a while.