Carving pumpkins

This past weekend we carved our pumpkins.

We gathered with friends.

We had ideas.

We helped each other.

We smiled and laughed.

We carved.

We cleaned.

We drew.

We were proud.

We worked really, really hard.

We gave our hearts.

We saw stars,

and faces.

And helped each other.

We were silly.

We shared our evening.

And our seeds.

And our ideas.

We got messy.

We had pumpkins of all sizes and shapes.

We worked really, really hard.

We had a beautiful and fun evening.

Seattle : The ferry to Bainbridge

Photo by my mom.




After a long day seeing Seattle, on a beautiful sunny day, I thought it would be fun to ride the ferri across Puget Sound to Bainbridge, and see what we could see.




Photo by my mom.




Just a beautiful beautiful evening.

Siena and Lucas’s first time in a ferri.



I think it is their first time in a boat!


Photo by my mom.


The view amazing.

Photo by my mom.


And lots of wind half way in the sound.

Photo by my mom.

We got off at the Island, and walked around a little and had dinner.

And in Lucas’s eyes, the most amazing thing happened.  Do you see this car? A white bug turned baseball!

Lucas’s dream.


Photo by my mom.

And it was perfect timing. To come back in the dark.

What a sight!

The perfect way to finish our trip to Seattle.  Thanks for coming along with us.









Finding our rhythm

This (school) year, seems to be yet different than any before, for us.  Every year, every autumn, I know it is. Last fall we were in India, and we homeschooled, as we have done for 4 other years.  We did our thing there, were most of our days was exploring and taking everything in, or at least as much as we could that day.  It was, as you know, if you’ve been reading our blog, an amazing experience for us, and I am so glad we were able to go and do what we did.  Something we will never forget, for sure.

After we came back from India, winter and spring seemed to be a lot about catching up.  Catching up with things in our house, with friends. I felt like I had to do lots of catching my breath and taking it all in, as we returned from our trip.  My head was filled with feelings, with sights, with memories, with emotions.  I’ve traveled before, but never with kids for this long, and it was a very different experience.

I had new perspectives in life.  Had new insights as a family and in the personal side.  And we had each other, as always, but it was a new ‘us.’  We came back from five months in India, changed in so many ways, and I felt like we were all growing into who we were turning into.   Everything felt ‘big’ sort of speak.  I don’t know exactly what it was, but I felt like we were trying to find ourselves every day.  At least I was.

That previous year, in the fall, Lucas was 4 and 5, and he was in preschool for a couple of days a week.  Siena and I did our ‘harder homeschool work’ those days, in those hours we were by ourselves.  It worked for us.

The year before that, Lucas was 3 years old, so with a little one around, and Siena just 7, it was even different how we spent our days.

While my parents were visiting last month, almost the whole month of September, we did some traveling, and fun things, going here and there.  My aunt came to visit from the East Coast, after 10 years of not seeing her.  Just lots of fun things.  And now we are ready to settle into our lives, our daily rythm.

But this year.  This year seems different too. Lucas at 6 (7, next month), and Siena 10.  Lucas is old now for “formal homeschooling” (whatever that means) so we are trying something new.

I am excited to what is coming up, and at all the new things we are trying.  Not all easy, it has meant lots of changes for each one of us.  Siena has always liked a more structured routine, so we have one for her to try.

We get up and have breakfast, but still with plenty of time for snuggling before that, a great benefit of homeschool, I must admit.  We then gather and do our lesson, which we are focusing on Social Studies at the moment, for few weeks.  We’ll end our Social Studies block in a couple of weeks, with a Geography Fair I’m organizing for other homeschool families.

Then we head outside for a walk, a quick walk to the bluff to have a sight of the city and the wildlife refuge we live by, and through the park.  Lunch, and then a little bit of alone, quiet time, I think we all need by then.

In the afternoon, we are doing math, reading, art, science with friends, piano and swim lessons, alternating in the four days we are keeping this routine.  The other day they are all day at an ‘outdoor school’-type group, that I’ve written before.

It has been doable, and it is very different to anything we’ve done before and it’s exciting to try!

If you’d like you can share what your rhythm looks like for us to read.  I love how fall brings, at least for us, so many new things, new ideas, new opportunities… we are excited to be trying something new this year, and it seems to be working well so far, this first month.  Maybe we’ll change few things after the winter break we have when Mark stays at home, and we try something new, and new classes and Im sure new routines.  But so far, this is working and we are all enjoying our new rhythm of the days.

Have a good day and a beautiful start of the week.

The pumpkins

We went to the pumpkin patch the other weekend.

Growing up in Chile, we didn’t really have a fall tradition.  There was no Halloween there, and no Thanksgiving, of course.  And I never really saw pumpkin farms like I see here.  Pumpkins didn’t mean fall as a kid, to me.  I’ve seen the orange fields in magazines and photos, something very ‘American.’

But here, and now, pumpkins are fall for me, in a beautiful, orange kind of way.  I love it.

And I love having this tradition. (No, not this photo, but going to the pumpkin patch.)

And this photo, yes!  A tradition.  I was thinking as I was taking it, we have one of them from every year (except last year, when we were in India.) And now, they seem so big, I can’t really get them between the pumpkins.  You know what I mean?  I can get their faces, or their feet with the pumpkins, unless they were sitting on the ground (usually wet and muddy though.)  I noticed it was harder this time to get their photo surrounded by pumpkins, like they used to.

And two more things besides the pumpkins.  The apple cider, and the apple cider donuts.

Yes.  A beautiful fall this is.


:: this moment : now + then ::

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo (or two or three or more)– no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

A year ago… on Founder’s Day at Scindia School in Gwalior, India.

If you’d like to leave a comment and a link to your moment, we would love to see it. Have a beautiful day.  Thank you for coming to see us!

Another one

Yes, we were out there again.  Two weeks later, and we were at the Portland International Raceway for Lucas’s second cross race.

Though it was a little cold, we had a great morning.  .

Look at the clouds

When I was a kid, I used to watch car racing on TV, with my dad.  You know, one of those things we just did. This was the first time I’ve ever been in person in anything remotely close to car racing, and it was fun.

We liked this tiny white car.  And we saw it racing few times, before it was time for Lucas to get ready.

There’s something fun to hear the buzzing sound of racing cars. Never knew it!

Of course, even more fun it is when we have a friend to root for!

And mud?  Yes, David got to go around few rounds and as most, got pretty muddy. I’m glad (for us) it stopped raining before the races (I didn’t want to stand out there in the hard rain.)  But it was still muddy enough for Lucas to get a taste of a little dirt on him, while riding.

My little guy, happy warming up with the big kids.

By request from Lucas, I had to put more pictures of our friend Daivid.  Here he is finishing.

The fun thing about these races, is that the kids’ races are in between big people’s races.  So you see everyone getting ready, others finishing, some dirtier than others.  It goes all day.

All sizes, all colors.

Fun to see.  And the great part too, is that the kids’ races are free. Isn’t that cool?

And now, we were getting ready.  Well, Lucas was.

So many kids there that day.

Lucas’s race group is for  and half year olds and up.   And I’m thinking again, the other kids looked so big, they are sure going to run over Lucas.  Should he be racing in the younger group instead (really little ones, just a very short race.)  You know, I’m just thinking… just Mama’s thoughts about her ‘baby’.

Lucas, not too worried.  Can you see him?

He’s loving every minute of it.

I’m not sure what Mark was telling Lucas, but I wonder if it was on the line of my thoughts… Papa’s thoughts instead? I think it was the instructions on when to start I think.

Do you see my little guy there in between all those kids?

Yup! He’s all ready to go.

He looks so big.

Growing up right in front of my eyes.

Yes. So much bigger, and with so much love for what he chooses to do. He loved every minute of it, and again, wishes the race was much longer… I love you for all of that My Lucas.

:: right now ::

Right now I am:

:: loving wearing warmer clothes, and hats and gloves.

:: realizing that I forgot to wash said wool hats and gloves in the spring.  So I took advantage of our sunny day last week to do so.

:: enjoying my mom’s birthday present she made for me when they were here last month. From silverware that was her parents’ when they got married.


:: enjoying the bright moments.

:: I’m also realizing how big our kids are getting.  I remember as if it was yesterday when we would carry them in these buckets and wagon, them all stretched out…

:: breathing deep.

:: getting wet, and loving it.


:: happy to hear Lucas say, “I really like getting wet.”

:: loving to hear Siena say, up until next week “I miss the rain, when is it going to rain!” and anxiously waiting for it to come.  We are definitely from Portland.  Our perfect fit.

:: loving Siena and Lucas’s decorations for Halloween.

:: enjoying seeing pumpkins everywhere.  It makes everything look so pretty and bright, as the days get darker.

:: still enjoying our most recent trip to the Asian supermarket.

:: enjoying the little moments of sunshine we get here and there, and how beautiful it makes everything look.

:: noticing fall.

:: appreciating the work my family does around the yard to help get ready for winter.

:: also laughing at all the uses they’ve found to use our sled!

:: loving what Lucas and Siena bring back (to show and to tell) from their days at Trackers.

:: enjoying seeing them work throughout the day, in making these twist to create a string and rope.

:: sad to see our neighbors of 17 years move.  I wish them well into their next adventure and their new home, but they will certainly be missed by my whole family.

:: loving the sun when it peaks through.

What are your days like right now?

Tutorial : Making autumn

I found this project in my old style paper files, and thought it would be perfect to do this week. (I just found it online here.)

We’ve been taking walks in our mornings, and this day we collected a branch for each one of us, that we each picked what we wanted, and that it was flexible enough to bend into a circle.

You don’t need much.  The small branch (you might need clippers to get all pieces you don’t want, or you can leave some of them alone to add to the piece.) + scissors + yarn + fabric or felt or yarns to weave.

1- You first bend the branch to make it into a loop.  The directions showed to tape the ends together, but we tied it with our yarn.

2- We then tied yarn from the top, and let them hang, with a couple of inches extra, so you can then tie them all up in the bottom, and let them hang a little, like roots.  The directions showed to tie 7 pieces of yarn, so we did some with 7, and this one had 11 strings.  If you have younger kiddos working on this project, you might want to help them get these strings tight, so it’s easier to weave the pieces of fabric.

3- I then gathered all of our wool felt pieces, left over from other projects, and decided to use them to weave.

4- And then you start weaving the pieces you want to use, to about half or a little more of the length of the yarns, down to the bottom of the circle.

I found it easier to have more than the seven strings of yarn, so the strings were closer together and the shorter pieces were easier to stay put, and to weave more.

I love these photos… how Siena is working with her hands.

She amazes me at the things she gets done.  I don’t think I did half the things she’s created in her 10 years.

5- When you are done weaving (to whatever size you’d like your tree to be), you wrap the strings of yarn that are left without weaving, with yarn, to turn them into trunks.  You can do it with the same color yarn, or different. You wrap them around, making branches and a trunk.

You can tie/wrap them all together to make just one trunk. Or, you can split the strings into two to make two trunks.  Or as you can see in one of ours, we tied it together and then split them half way finished.  Whatever you’d like to make.

They turned out so cute, I think.

I loved everything about this project.  The time of year, that we were searching for the right stick to bring home of the project.  The materials we used were all on hand at home,  using left over pieces from recycled felted sweaters I had and yarns.  That Lucas and Siena (and I) all enjoyed making it. That they look so cute, and bring the perfect picture of nature back inside.

Share here if you’d like what fall projects you’ve made lately. Or if you have a link to other autumn craftyness we can check out, we would love to see them too.  Hope you can do a fun project today too.  Have a good one!

Here with a purpose

Last weekend we watched the movie Hugo.  We are not a big movie family, but we’ve started watching more movies lately, and now that the days are colder, and shorter, it seemed the perfect way to finish this week.  I thought it was a fun, and really entertaining movie.  I really enjoyed it.

There’s one part that stuck with me.  I’m not one to remember lines from a movie (I have a terrible memory) so I had to search online to find the exact words, because I don’t want to forget it.

Hugo Cabret: Everything has a purpose, clocks tell you the time, trains takes you to places. I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine… I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.

Isabelle: I wonder what my purpose is…

Hugo Cabret: Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do… Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose… it’s like you’re broken.

I think with my forty-something birthday coming up in few weeks, I am thinking.  I always get more thoughtful about these things as another year passes, I like to reflect on what I’ve done.

I’ve often wondered what my purpose is.  At different times in my life, I’ve searched, and looked out far away, and closer in. But have wondered, many times, what am I here to do.  And I like to think my purpose changes.  That it has changed from the moment I was born, throughout my life.  That my purpose when I was 5 years old, was different from when I was 16, 24 and 30.  And now at almost 42, I think it’s even different from ten years ago.

I am a mamá of two little people, one not too little anymore, I guess.  But I’m also a wife, a daughter, a sister, a niece, an aunt, a neighbor, a friend, a cousin, a partner.  And I’m also someone walking by in the streets of my neighborhood, and at the park.  I’m a member in my community, a person in the bigger community, and also a world citizen.

With every experience that I have (walking down the street, reading, watching, listening, visiting, traveling) I feel wiser, and feel more rooted.  And still, find myself thinking of my purpose.  I think I have a few.  Purposes.  And I like that.  It keeps me going in directions I like to go.  Some I feel more comfortable with.  Others I need to learn the ropes.  But it’s all good.  I like my jobs and I like learning.

I am so happy that I am here with a purpose.