:: 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… in Goa, Southern India.  Then, Lucas was turning 6.













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!


Seven times

Yes.  Lucas is turned seven.

I do remember with great details the day Lucas was born.  It wasn’t an easy pregnancy, and I was monitored (by the doctors) very closely the last month for some complications, and my plan (you know, as pregnant mama’s go) was to have this little guy after Thanksgiving, so we can have meals when we were back home with him, etc, etc…  And yes it worked out as planned… Lucas was born on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  All was well… in my “nesting mama world.”

Seven years later, it’s full of memories, full of beautiful memories, with many stories and lots of funny ones.  Lucas is a funny little guy, and we all love him for that.  He comes up with jokes all the time, that he makes them even funnier, just because who he is.

He’s shy and so caring.  He remembers details that none of us can.  He knows what he wants and respects and loves all animals.

He loves each one of us in a way that we can feel it and hear it more often than many of us remember to share out loud.  Our sweet little guy is growing, and I am so happy I get to be his mamá.  I am so lucky.

Remember what we were doing last year?  And the year before? And when you were four and three?


You’ve grown so much… Happy Birthday!

Our thanksgiving : the making + the ending

We made these from some printouts I found online.  Except the front one, that Siena made herself.

We realized the arms in these paper roll tube people were hard to put comfortably. They seemed to be making some kind of hand signal, or asking for help… so Siena went ahead and made her own.  (They seemed to look much better when they were all in circle, like holding hands…)  But it doesn’t really matter.  It was just fun to sit down and make them and make up stories about them!

Then we got out our wooden peg people.  I do love these! We’ve made so many different people, that I love what we all come up with.

We were in Sisters this year, for Thanksgiving.  Last year, in Gwalior. The year before in Portland, as all the other years previous to that.  We are not Thanksgiving-travel people.  Mark usually working until Wednesday, makes it hard to travel that evening or even that Thursday, besides being ready to cook a huge meal on Thursday.  So we never go anywhere.  We just really like and enjoy our home, celebrating together.

But this year, thanks to the budget cuts in the school district, Mark had Wednesday off, and an amazing offer of a free-home in a beautiful place…. all fell into place.  And so we were off to a Thanksgiving outside our home.

I guess, Sisters is not as exotic as India some might say, nor it is as far away from Portland as Gwalior. But it was a beautiful weekend and one we’ll remember, as well.


Not the typical Thanksgiving one might think.  We each picked what we liked to eat, and put our meal together and it was delicious foods for sure!

:: this moment : now + then ::

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual, that was delayed this week for being internet-less.  Maybe I should call it this week, “that moment.” 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

This year… celebrating Thanksgiving not at home, but closer than last year.

A year ago… Thanksgiving in Gwalior, India, also not at home.

It seems as if it has been a lifetime since we were in India.  Fun to remember last year, when we had the best Thanksgiving meal ever with the best bacon ever!

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!


The other day the day was amazing.

I noticed the light outside.



I noticed tiny.

I noticed more the squirrel’s nest.

I noticed rough.  I noticed light.

I noticed movement.



I noticed busy-ness.

I noticed calmness.  I noticed light.

The day was quiet.  When I got up the rain had stopped for the day.  Not many clouds up there.  There were yellow leaves still hanging on tight.  Some leaves on the ground.  Everything seemed to be so bright and alive.

Have a beautiful day.









The Geography Fair

I planned our First Homeschool Geography Fair for last week.  It is so much easier now that Trackers lets us use their space for free, when we need it.  Thanks Molly and Tony!

Everybody picked a country and made a poster to share the information.  They could also bring food to share, make a diorama, dress up with typical clothing, anything they’d like to share was a go.

After much thinking, looking through books, talking about countries, looking through National Geographics, Siena decided to study Jamaica.

Siena liked Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.  The Jamaican runner she saw on TV for the Olympics, who won for the second time in a row, the Olympic 100 meters. And Siena liked, especially the interview she did on TV.  It really stuck with her.

I love Siena’s paper work.  She’s so artistic, and creative.  I love that about her.

She also made this dwelling.

And Lucas…decided to study Brazil because the next Summer Olympics are going to be there, and because the next World Cup will be there as well.

I think his favorite part was to learn about the Amazon.  “The lungs of the World…”

I love Lucas’s drawing.

It was fun to do this project, but it was hard at the same time.  We had lots of things happening last week, and all just came together no matter how much we planned.  Studying two different countries was hard to do at the same time together with homeschooling and studying all the other stuff, getting ready for a craft fair, being sick, celebrating birthdays, and organizing this fair, having three meals on the table a day, besides being a parent.  You know what I mean, right?

But all of it, everything was worth it.  Look at what we were able to see that evening.

I loved seeing this display of India.  The map, the food, the Lego Taj Mahal, the flag… it took me back to last year… and I loved that.  And one of the first things I hear from Lucas and Siena after they looked at some of the posters when everyone was setting up, “Mamá, look at what we found, close your eyes…”  as they give me to try a snack from India… just that look at their faces, that smile, that feeling that they had found a treasure… I love it!  I love that our experience in India comes up in our days, every single day, in so many different ways.

Look at this physical map he made … I was so amazed at the beautiful work the kids did.

Home, dwellings dioramas.



Original clothes from different countries.

We were all able to learn a little more, and witness the creativity thee kids have.

I really like that a lot of people wrote on the comments page I left at each of the kids table.  Something really fun to do at home later after the Fair.  Read the comments and remember what other people thought.

Fun to talk to the kids and learn what they liked about their project.  And to see them so proud of their work.  They should be!

Fifteen homeschool families participated in this First Geography Fair.  We had 27 kids participate with a poster.  I thought that was a great number to begin with this time.

It was really fun to see everyone sharing and so excited that evening.  I am so glad it worked out and that we made it happen.

I’d say it was a success!


The last one and I noticed I’m different

Yesterday was Lucas’s last race for the year, with the Cyclo Cross Crusades. It was raining a little but not much.  So we headed out there.

Still with a little mud from last week’s race (in the bike, he was wearing clean clothes), we were there.  From this…

To this… this is the story…

And again… this little guy of ours is all smiles and happy talking when it’s about bikes.  Remember his first race back over a month ago?  Back then, the grounds were dry, we had sun, and we had this kid with the same great smile, with one more tooth.

Do you see what he’s wearing?

It’s November 18th, and he’s wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  The rest of the world in Portland, we are all waring boots, long johns, hats, and coats… not my guy.  But that’s how he is.

He’s ready.  I wonder what he’s thinking…

I’m thinking, as we waited for the race to start, how different people are.  Lucas was standing, waiting.  In just few minutes more and more kids were coming and getting in front of him.  From being on third row to start, he ended being almost in the last row.  It doesn’t really matter, but what makes me think is how different I am. It bothers me when people cut in front of lines. It bothers me even more that parents tell their children to go ahead and cut in front of everyone else waiting in line.

It’s a non-competitive race, for these little people.  It’s all for fun. But when I have a dad standing next to me telling his 14-year old daughter that it’s OK to get in front of the other kids, it bothers me.  And it bothers me even more when her mom shows up later and she tells her to go ahead and get even further in the front.  And to answer her daughter’s question “But I’m outside the course and there are people standing right there” with “it’s OK, just run them over, they’ll move…”

Or during the race, I hear parents yelling at their kids “don’t let them pass you!”

I noticed I’m different.  We are different here at my house.

We are trying to race our kids respectful to other people, no matter where we are, no matter the situation.  It makes me wonder if this is for me.  I don’t fit in that crowd.  I don’t want to fit.  I want my kids to push themselves, without pushing others to the side (or the back!)

I’m not a competitive person, and I know that.  I think it’s fun to compete but I’m good no matter where I finish.   The important thing in my opinion, it’s to have fun doing it.   It’s OK to push yourself,  push your kids even, but it should all be healthy, and respectful.  In every race, I saw a little too much that has me wondering and noticed I’m different that way.

But I leave all that to the side, when I see Lucas starting.  So focused, so intense.  So excited.

Being careful.  Especially yesterday when it was all wet and very slippery, I could almost hear him say ” I’m fine Mamá.”

He’s loving it.

Yesterday, as it was the week before, the race was riding for 10 minutes.

He is so happy.  There is mud, there is rain, there are bikes and helmets everywhere.

He’s pushing himself.  He doesn’t want any help.

And we are watching him from the sides.  Cheering him on.

One slide and a fall, few rounds on him… the bike is getting heavier.

He’s done ‘so awesome…’

He did it!  I see a relieved face.  He’s all done.  10 minutes in a muddy course… it tires everyone out.  And our little guy did good.

Raced five out of the eight races, this year.  His first time.  And he did awesome.  We are proud of him.

He’s so happy.

And we finished with a very muddy kid and his very muddy bike.

And that was the perfect way to finish his first cross races.

And today like all the other times, there were sponsors, and food and beer carts, and carts selling all sorts of bike products.

And giving samples.

Warm delicious oatmeal with all the toppings you can imagine.

And today, because it was the last day, there was also drumming.

And all thanks to our friend.  Thanks for letting us know, Butch.  Lucas had a blast!  Can you see it in his face?

:: right now ::

It’s already mid-November… it seems as if the days have less than 24 hours, I know we have less light, but these weeks have passed so fast already.

Right now I am:

:: enjoying the past long weekend, with Mark at home.

:: resting a little, nursing a cold of sorts I felt during the past weekend.

:: really enjoying my new teapot with a warmer, to keep sipping warm tea for hours.

:: trying and enjoying new teas I’ve received as gifts.

:: appreciative of all the help Lucas and Siena are doing around the house to keep it all going more smoothly.

:: loving Mark’s home made pies.

Blueberry Pie.

Apple Pie.

And pecan pie too!

:: feeling loved by friends.

:: surprised at how Siena wakes up with pains throughout her body that go away from one day to the next, and seeing her grow two inches in the last couple of months.

:: amazed at how Lucas is also growing right in front of our eyes.

:: cold at times, but feeling so lucky we have the means to stay warm.

:: hurting from a misuse of the potato peeler, and breaking a big piece of the nail of my thumb.

:: noticing how much I use and need my hands.

:: sad I missed Lucas’s fourth bike race last weekend.  They say it was the longest, hardest and ‘funest‘ of them all.

:: enjoying new friendships grow.

:: excited to attend our first (and second ever!) craft bazaar this weekend.  We’ll see how we do with our goods.

:: happy to see Siena be so excited about said bazaar and her getting ready to sell her crafts, and do new twists with her balloons.

:: trying to figure out how we are going to display all of our things.  Realizing it will all be just fine.

:: nervous of who our new neighbors will be.  Mostly because in the neighborhood there has been lots of tearing down of old homes to build (in my opinion) humongous new ones.

:: enjoyed, though it was hard to study two different countries at a time to get ready for the Geography Fair last night. Besides doing our homeschool unit, and get ready for the craft fair this weekend, at the same time.

:: learned that it was a little too much for us the past month.

:: but also happy at what we learned.

:: really hurting with that half thumb nail off.

:: looking forward to this weekend, and the next one, with more days off.