The last few weeks

… we’ve had swim meets, and swim practices and some beautiful swim moments.

… we’ve also had baseball games and some rained out games, that makes space for some other kind of playing.  Still with friends, still fun.

… have dried some clothes outside.


… we’ve been studying Africa and wondering how long we can stretch this unit for, because what I thought we’d take a month or so, it’s been more like 3 months!  And we are still enjoying it and having fun.

… the garden is being readied and planted, slowly, but it’s in everyone’s minds.  We’ll get there eventually.

… we’ve been outside a whole lot more.


… we’ve been mowing the yard, a lot.  Between the sun, the heat of a 90-degree day we had last week, and the rain, it’s growing like crazy!

… new friendships are grown and getting stronger.  Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easier and wonderful and funny.  Teens and pre-teens, and all the previous years, are all an amazing time for learning and growing up.  All of us, but mostly me as a parent.

… windows are often open all day through the evening.


… I’ve been listening to new to me music.

… I found this video and made me think.

… it’s been so nice that I find the kids doing their work outside many times…. love that of homeschooling!



Summer is coming, I know it, and the calendar says so. We are looking forward to it.

Last few weeks…

… Lucas lost a half a tooth and then 5 days later he lost the other half.  Does that mean the Tooth Fairy comes half way and then the whole way? Does she leave half the coins?  How does he have to deal with this situation?

… there’s been more playing out of doors.


… we went to the beach and spent just a short hour on the beach (itself) and many hours inside an indoor pool.  This time, I wouldn’t take it any other way.  We are so proud of our big fish.  She did great in that swim meet.

… I played a few games of Mahjong.

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… I went to the store and then came home to this on his window.

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(Please don’t look at the rotting, and paint chipping windows… it’s in our list of things to do around the house, together with the roof, the chimney, the rotting porch, and oh yes, windows.)

… the two boys in our house got a hair cut.


… have been cleaning a little here and there.  There always seems to be piles anywhere you look.

DSC_0097(And yes, we need to already put the Easter decorations away.)

Last few weeks

… we had the first scrimmage baseball games, but starting the season for real, this week.  We are ready for some fun.


… My mom sent me these pictures of this plant she’s grown in their house at the lake.  It’s the Chilean National Flower Copihue, and I’ve never seen a plant this full of flowers and so pretty.  I wish I could see it in person. They are amazing flowers.

Photo taken by my Mom in Chile.
Photo taken by my Mom in Chile.

… in our neighborhood email group someone posted that they had some window guards and this was one of the pictures they posted, and thought it was funny to think of it being made in Chile (and saw it the same day my mom sent me the photos above.)


… loved watching this video of the earth that I found on this website.  Found this neat video from the International Space Station flying over the Andes Mountains and over the Patagonia.  New cool photos and videos thanks to the Astronaut Jeff Williams up in the ISS.

Beverly Cleary, born in McMinville, Oregon turned 100 on April 11th.  Really?  And she looks so good! Doesn’t she?

Photo from OPB.

I loved this video.

… been spending more time outside and loving the light and the colors.


… I laughed at this 21 ways you can tell you’re from Oregon.  So funny.

… it almost feels like how the playing was last summer.


… I like this.


… it’s been so nice outside, sunshine, maybe a bit too hot for my taste, but still cool at night, and especially nice to feel the breeze after a hot afternoon.

… Mark and Siena talk about garden plans, and work a little when they get a chance.

… we had dinner with friends, and had the time to hang out, catch up, and play games.  Beautiful, lovely evenings, both.  Much needed.

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… both kids were lucky to be invited to go see a Thorns game with friends, the first one of the season.  Can it get any better?

… I like this map of quiet places.


… I’ve been making a few small things, and it’s been really fun to finish them the same day.  That’s as much time (and attention) I have these days.

… I cleaned out a couple of shelves in our art studio, and put (finally) all of our craft books together and somewhat in order.


But still need to tackle the sewing machine table… not sure this should allowed in anyone’s home (or sewing table!) or even published to all to see.  I guess this could be titled the “What not to do with your sewing table.”

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Maybe I’ll tackle this some time soon.  it is just all my almost done projects, the left over blocks I can use for another project, the pieces of fabric already cut to square (in many varying sizes and types of fabric), and all sorts of widths of strips. All that could be used in some project in the future.  But I guess I am not sure they need to be this handy, right?

I’ll see what I come up.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having fun too.

last few weeks…

… we had spring break and traveled and got to see family.

… Mark and Siena planted peas in the ground and there is also sunflower seeds planted this year.  I am so excited!  These are the seeds from a sunflower we got last fall here.  We’ll see how big they turn out.

… I think I want these in our garden from Swarm Portland

Photo from Swarm Portland‘s website.

Aren’t they pretty? Love how they all fit beautifully like that… natural.

… we got a new small camera that seems to take pretty good pictures.  Easy to carry it.

… we’ve seen blue skies, at times, beautiful sunny days, and it feels so good!

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… found this online and makes me think.

From Pesticide Action Network.

… our backyard has been getting some cleaning done a little here and there.  I am looking forward to spending more time out there.


… I’m glad I found Erica’s blog because I really like her book.

… we had our first lunch AND dinner outside, with warm dare I say, hot days?

… went to see a Blazers basketball game, play Boston Celtics, all the way from the top rows, where the loud people sit…

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It was a lot of fun, and we went with some dear friends.  A fun evening.

… we went to see Ten Grands concert.  We’ve gone for few years now, and every time I enjoy seeing so many homeschoolers together in one place.

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… there’s been lots of playing.  Cards, board games , basketball, frisbee, baseball… so many possibilities.

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… we have many, many conversations about cars.  The cool cars that we pass, or go by, the colors that make them cool, which one would I pick… so many questions and option.  And of course, there’s been lots of cars being built as well.


… had our first outdoors movie with friends last weekend.  Inside Out was on the big screen.

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Spring is definitely here, and there is lots of more playing outside happening and more to come.

Last few weeks…

… couldn’t decide which one I like better…


“If you really want something, you will have to work very hard, take advantage of opportunities and above all, never give up!” – Dr. Goodall‘s mum, Vanne

From somewhere on the internet.
From somewhere on the internet.

About raising powerful girls.  And this neat google doodle video.  Love the images.


… we are continuing to study Africa, and seems like we could take many more months to learn what we want to learn.  There is no rush and no deadline… there is so much information, so many countries, so much history.  Lots and lots to choose from what to focus our studies.  Still having fun.


… we started with baseball practices when the weather allows, and are getting used to the new routine, of most of us being out of the house every afternoon.

… I have been trying to plan and figure out how dinner will be done, so we can continue to eat at home and together, every night, as we always do.  Being together is not so much the problem, it’s the how to make the meal while we are all out…

… I like Camilla’s post from Fjord Girl that she posted the other day.

… I realized (once again) that no matter how much I clean up and organize things…. there’s always piles and messes just hours after it’s been cleared.


… I feel spring in the air.  Slowly, at times.  Yesterday and the day before felt really cold in comparison to the previous days.  I guess that is part of the changing seasons.  The sun shines, it feels warm in my body, but still the chill is in the air.

… Siena and I have been working and making things every day, in preparation for our first spring craft fair this past weekend.  It was a fun weekend.

… my dad and my mother-in-law share the same birthday.  They each celebrated on opposite sides of the world, but we wished them both a Happy Birthday this month!

… Siena has been baking a little more.  She likes it and we all get to enjoy her tryouts.

… I am feeling that push to de-clutter that I get every year around this time.  Maybe it’s all this time we’ve spent inside these past months, that make the rooms feel a little smaller by now.  Not a bad reason to clean up I don’t think.

… we watched and kept track of Astronaut Scott Kelly and his return to earth after spending a year at the International Space Station.

DSC_0075 DSC_0086 DSC_0078 Watching when they left the ISS.


Waiting to arrive to Earth and wishing for a safe landing. DSC_0083 DSC_0091

We waited and watched and saw all three astronauts come out of the Soyuz and wondered what it must feel like.  We talked, commented, thought, speculated, and have so many questions, of such an amazing flight.  We’ve been reading and keeping up on the studies and tests and results they are doing, even now after the stay in space.  So much information, so much science.  I find it amazing, and I am thinking this will be something we might remember as my kids grow older.   It’s been fun to learn from all of this.

… the kids spent a day with some old friends.  They got picked up early afternoon and dropped off late at night.  Our friends, who can all drive by now (and we saw them be born and grow up to the beautiful and amazing girls they are now) do pretty much anything Lucas and Siena want to do when they go visit.  They play all the games the kids want, watch movies, have treats.  They always go with a basket full of board games, and come back filled with stories and smiles as big as it can be, and their hearts filled with love.  We miss these friends of ours.  They don’t live too far, but we don’t see them often enough.

… I have been knitting a cardigan that is knitted sideways, and I am not sure it will turn out.  I’ve never done a pattern like this, and don’t know even if it’s the right size… it will be a surprise cardigan for sure!

… we had two team parties in the same pizza place, one day apart.  We are taking a break from pizza I think.

… spring is all around us and we are bringing it inside too.


… we are opening the windows almost every day, to let the fresh, spring air in for a little while.  Until hail starts to come down.  Yes… spring, I love you so!

Making for the fair

For months, we’ve been making, getting ready for the fair this weekend.

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I can say probably, for years we’ve been making.  Yes, I’ve always been a crafter, growing up with my mom, and my grandmas (both of them), there’s always been sewing projects or canning or knitting or needlework, surrounding my life.

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I’ve always liked to try making new things, new methods, new ways, new products.  You can check with any member of my family, and they’ll tell you I have too many (cool) pens, and too much (fun) yarn and (soft) wool and (bright, soft) fabric, and (cool) paper… I totally agree.  But I have to say, this girl down here, especially, is not much different than me.

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Thank goodness, because I love seeing her creativity.  She sees something in a book or magazine, or online, and takes it her own way.  And many times she thinks about it and makes it and keeps going at it, until she likes what she comes up with.


The thing my family won’t tell you, though? Is that if their creativity wakes them up in the middle of the night, or before dinner, and we need a special supply right away, they know they can check with me or go to our Art Studio and they can probably find it, and be able to produce their project as dreamt.  Thanks to my assortment of tape or glue and papers or a specific fabric that we have out there.  I think in the end, they are thankful I like those cool pens and fabrics after all!


And I have to say, that those wool felt pieces, all organized, in rainbow order, were Siena’s Christmas present this past winter, and she’s been using them and loves to have them on the ready for when she needs them.   And can you see my wobbly piles of fabric around it?  I’m glad she’s more organized than me.  She keeps me on task.

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And so this weekend we have our first spring craft fair.  There’s been some shuffling of what we have, some new ideas turned into something, and we really can’t wait to see how it goes.  A new place, a new experience for sure.

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Spring is in the air, and on our tables.

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Things are getting finished and packed and ready to go.


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Some music, old seasons of Car Talk, or a book on tape (OK, audiobook) is usually on the radio to keep us going.


Even though it doesn’t look like it in this picture… we are ready for this weekend.

If you are in town (Portland, Oregon), come and see us at the Buckman Art Show & Sell this weekend.


last few weeks

… there’s been playing outside when it’s dry, and inside too.  But mostly, Lucas can spend all of his days out there, wet or dry.


And they are really enjoying Lucas’s new basketball hoop.

… we have noticed all the extra light we are getting, especially those days that are clear.  What a treat it is to notice it.  It is like adding a couple of hours in our days!

… I love the sun shining, just barely warm but so bright it hurts our eyes.  I guess we must have PESS (Portlander’s Eye Sensitivity Syndrome.)

… we’ve been making… lots of it.  The next craft fair is upon us.


… Lucas had the last of his basketball games, which is OK, because baseball season is upon us.  And we all can’t wait to see what happens this year.

… Lucas and a friend at the Auto Show.  I was sent this picture and love their happy faces.


… I like this article about our own kids, and them growing up, and us too, as parents.

… I’ve been wondering how in the world there are so many moles in our yard!


… I really like this cartoon from this site.


… Siena had State Championship this weekend.  We all had fun, watching her, watching everyone excited of being there, celebrating this huge accomplishment, and all thanks to their own hard work.  It is amazing to me.  We celebrated and loved watching her do what she loves the most to do.

… I am learning to use Facebook a little more.  With our new Etsy shop, we had to have some link to the media to try to help Siena’s store, so I am working on learning.  And I don’t know if I like it that Facebook shows me “things that I could like” in posts… and also on the side bars… is my whole life being tracked by someone and/or something? That is a scary thought!  But I must confess…. these were pretty funny…

img_5575dec3c4780 Is-swimming-important-to-you-

swim liI-Know-I-Swim-Like-A-Girl-Try-To-Keep-Up-Tshirt

… I am going to miss seeing daily photos of the Earth from Astronaut Scott Kelly and his year in space.  I can only imagine the excitement, the experiences he’s had, the experiences and feelings and re-adjusting to living on Earth he’s going to go through.  Amazing.

… we are finally feeling better from our colds and sinus infections.  We are so ready to start feeling better.  I feel like it’s been so busy, we are kind of living through it, I am looking forward to resting a little during spring break.

… we cleaned the backyard, taking all broken stuff to the dump.  We don’t do this very often, which makes me feel better.  But it was a “date” for Mark and Lucas, and they had lots to talk about while on their field trip and I guess the good thing, it was educational.

Hopefully a conversation we will always continue to have, about the needs of each one and what is enough and what should be enough.  Because if we don’t talk among ourselves, we can stop caring, and I do believe strongly, that we can live simpler.  There’s always room for improvement.  And if we all did a little better, maybe there will be less excessive consumerism.  Less excess. Less stuff and more of what I think can be more important in our lives.  All I can do is improve myself, and help my kids learn and grow up to be conscientious of their ecological footprints.  I am trying.  I really am.


Looking better, cleaner and safer for our basketball players.

… started thinking what projects I should finish (or start?) with all the pieces I’ve been keeping for a long time, to do these.   Spring cleaning.


Spring cleaning is happening around here.  Much needed.  Slowly, but it feels good for sure.

… loved this one


Back to Earth

I have been watching and keeping up with Astronaut Scott Kelly and his year in space at the International Space Station.

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this from March 2015.
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this from March 2015.

I’ve posted few times this past year, with some of his pictures and videos.  Now that view from up above, the sights from his camera, are done, but there are others up there that I am sure we can follow and continue to enjoy the view of our world from afar.

"Earth Art : Desert Dunes" from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 28, 2016.
“Earth Art : Desert Dunes” from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 28, 2016.
Himalayas from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 24, 2016.
Himalayas from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 24, 2016.
Mountains from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 25, 2016.
Mountains from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 25, 2016.
"Near the top of the world" from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 24, 2016.
“Near the top of the world” from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 24, 2016.
Astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov Sokol suit fit check on February 23, 2016.
Astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov Sokol suit fit check on February 23, 2016.

For now, we are glad he’s safely back on Earth, together with the other Russian cosmonauts.  It can never stop to amaze me what technology and what humans are able to do.

Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The news said last night “Two thumbs up from NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, seen here resting in a chair outside the spacecraft just minutes after landing in a  remote area in Kazakhstan.”

We are waiting to see more videos from his return to Earth and their families, and learn more about the experiments and research being done. But I’d say, that here at home, we are anxiously waiting to see a picture of Astronaut Scott Kelly reunited with his family and kids.  Something we’ve talked about for a while, how hard it must be to have a dad astronaut.   My family was teasing me last night, as we watched NASA TV live, and how stressful and so much happening at once, to make the return back to Earth, and how such a bad candidate I would be to be one of them.  I am so glad I an firmly grounded here on Earth.  Thank you very much.

But I am so glad someone else can be up there doing the hard work, and sharing with the world, these beautiful sights.

"Earth and fiery vein" from ISS by Astronaut Scott Kelly on February 28, 2016.
“Earth and fiery vein” from ISS by Astronaut Scott Kelly on February 28, 2016.
"Earth Art : Snow and ice make Canada" from ISS by Astronaut Scott Kelly on February 28, 2016.
“Earth Art : Snow and ice make Canada” from ISS by Astronaut Scott Kelly on February 28, 2016.
Ice from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 28, 2016.
Ice from ISS by Astronaut Scott kelly, February 28, 2016.

Last few weeks

It feels busy right now.  No excuses, no real reason other than having two active kids, and being a family of four, with lots of ideas and wants and needs and trying to enjoy our days. The last few weeks…

… we had our first trip to the emergency room with the kids.  Not bad for being parents for 13 years.  It was a corneal scratched that the doctor wanted to check after talking to advice nurse.  That’s not a thing you want to hear at 9:30pm “yeah… you should bring him now to have him checked”… (or at any time of the day !) A couple of hours in the hospital, some help/cleaning from the doctor, antibiotics and an early follow up ophthalmologist visit made our weekend a much busier one.  But with great relief, a very quick recovery and able to do all of our fun activities as hoped, cleared by the doctor.  Phew! Not bad outcome for an emergency visit. Thank goodness.

… we’ve had some sunshine and clear skies.  Beautiful, beautiful couple of days! Oh how I love this place of ours.

DSC_0193 Hills to the northeast, with the tip of the new bridge.


Mt. Hood…. beautiful Mt Hood.

… have enjoyed seeing the kids talk and check their fitness gadget they recently purchased thanks to a present from their grandparents from Chile.   Both got a different kind, matching their personal needs.  One is waterproof, the other one didn’t have to be.  Now, we are learning how to read all the information we can get from it.

… I really liked this short video explaining dyslexia.

… during (another) doctor’s visit for the kids last week, I asked them to measure me as well, and Siena and I are the same height if she’s barefoot and I wear my shoes.  I guess, it’s official, she’s taller than me now.

… Siena got some cute socks from her uncle from Chile, sent directly from China.  By the way… have you’ve seen this video of the panda in the snow and this one of pandas playing?


… Lucas had his first two wins in basketball.  They played well, and most importantly they had fun.

… he also had his baseball try out.  Worried with his scratched eye, we thought he’d have to miss it.  But thank goodness for kids’ quick recovery and amazing bodies, he was given a good to go, and was able to participate and see where he places.  All is good.

… we had a swim meet that we all enjoyed watching and celebrating and getting ready for a bigger meet (State Championship) next week.

… liked this article about unschooling.

… we like this billboard.  It makes us smile every time we go by…


… Siena is checking every day her new Etsy shop, managing visits and hoping a sale will come through.  Lots of talking about what looks good, what words we should put, how to describe her pieces, how to better serve costumers and what people would like best.


(I am also trying to figure out how to put the Etsy banner/logo on the side of the blog here, to be able to link it straight to our Etsy shop, but I can’t figure it out.  We have lots to learn! Yes I do.)

… the kids got to spend a couple of days with some special borrowed grandparents.  They are so nice, they always talk great things about our kids and how they all play so well and have so much fun out in their farm. We feel lucky to have them and have the chance to spend time with them at their place.

… and while the kids were at the farm, I got to have a whole day to myself, and a morning.  What can one do with all that time to one self?  A trip to the library.  A stop for chai, checked out a paper/craft store around the corner (with nothing in mind, just to look), a stop at a very nice store next to it, and drinking my tea by myself in the quiet of the house.  A rare thing around here.  Not sure I’d like to have it every day, but I certainly enjoyed it this time.  Good for a change.  I think it was good for everyone.

… we are getting ready for the first spring craft/art show.

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… we are having fun learning about Africa and Jane Goodall and chimpanzees and geography.  Lots to learn about, with such a big theme.  Sometimes that is easier because we can choose whatever we’d like to focus on, but there are so many options that some times that’s harder.

… the flowers are starting to appear.  Which makes me think, we don’t have much of a chance to get some snow anymore.  I think I’ll be OK about it.



The rhubarb is one of the first vegetable, plant appearing in our garden.  This plant is from some friends who gave it to us long, long time ago.  18 years?  They lived here in Portland for few years, we became friends, they had kids and they moved back East.  When they left Portland, we had our house and they gave us their rhubarb.  Three plants.  One of them is very strong.  The other two, I transferred them last year to this new spot.  I think this is a better place already.  (Thank you Lisa!)


Is Spring really coming?  I know, it always seems too early when the first flowers start to bloom.  Seeing in the news all the snow falling in the rest of the country, seems that purple crocuses shouldn’t be flowering just yet. DSC_0045

The rosemary is also starting to bloom, but it is a little hardier. DSC_0046 DSC_0047

It is these delicate petals that make me wonder about spring.

DSC_0037 DSC_0039 DSC_0041Is February Purple Flower Month then? Or maybe (most likely) we like purple so we have only early blooming flowers that are purple. (Probably this last one is truer.)  But I guess I wouldn’t mind the first one either…. so Happy Purple Flower Month to you all!