Posted by: Cindy | October 23, 2009

i can finally access my pictures

patrick finally fixed the computer–it now will acknowledge my digital camera.  i may do a catch-up blog entry about all the fun things we did this summer–and i might not.  for now i am going to fulfill an urgent request by a couple of my siblings to show-off the product of my house-remodeling project.  i put the pics on flickr–you can see them here;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/18589233@N03/sets/72157622648065464/

[note– i know it’s annoying when people don’t use capitals when they should.  i actually hate it.  but my keyboard, you see, is broken.  everything works fine except the shift keys.  it’s kind of my fault too.  i tried rearranging the furniture without pat’s help and i damaged the place where the keyboard wire connects to the computer.  so yes, i’m the computer programmer’s wife with the crappy computer.]

Posted by: Cindy | March 23, 2009

Sophie’s birthday

Sophie turned 10 on March 9.  As cliche as it is to say, kids really do grow up fast!  The Saturday before her birthday she had a party with her friends.  We did an American Girl mystery party with a Halloween theme:

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Here is Sophie dressed as Molly, dressed as a gypsy (Her friend, Rachael is next to her in the hula costume.):2-rot

Isn’t she cute?  In order to make the Molly glasses I bought glasses at Saver’s and popped the lenses out.

Where does one find Halloween decorations in March?  Why, D.I., of course!  I found enough of these shiney plastic pumpkins to give out as party favors.  I filled them with Halloween stickers, ghost-shaped candles, and candy.  Everything but the candy came from D.I.  Here are two of the favors (aren’t they pretty?):

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Lilly made her a delicious yellow cake with cream cheese frosting (completely from scratch!):

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Here are all the party attendees in costume (I was the stern housekeeper):

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On the night of her birthday we had a family party with chicken rolls and homemade German chocolate cake.  Here is Alice eating her chicken roll with Grandpa:

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And here is the birthday girl with her addictingly good cake (notice how yellow the frosting is thanks to our free-range eggs!):

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Sophie got a bubble maker from one of her friends and it was a big hit among the little cousins:

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Posted by: Cindy | March 22, 2009

Kittens

Introducing the three newest members of our family:

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On the night of March 2/3 our cat, Penny, gave birth to four kittens in Patrick’s closet.  Sadly the second kitten–a male black and white tuxedo– was stillborn.  The three surviving kittens are nearly 3 weeks old and are cute as can be.  Cat genetics are a funny thing.  Penny is a brown tabby with tortiseshell markings on her back.  None of the kittens look anything like her.  Here is Henry holding Olivia, the firstborn (notice his first missing tooth!):

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Olivia is my favorite.  I think she has the prettiest markings.  Here is another picture of her:

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Here is Alice holding Francis, the only surviving male:

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And here’s Alice holding the lastborn, Grace (Sophie is holding Olivia):

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Grace has the sweetest face and the most fearless personality.  Here is another shot of her:

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Here are the kittens with their mama at about 2 weeks old:

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And when they were about 2 days old:

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Our original plan was to keep one kitten and find a new home for the other two but I fear we’re all getting too attached.  Is five cats too many for one family?  We’re surely spaying/nuetering everyone so we don’t have to deal with kittens again.

Posted by: Cindy | December 22, 2008

Partners in crime

Ben’s youngest daughter, Lena, was 21 months when they moved in wth us.  She was so mean to Alice the first few months–hitting, biting, hair-pulling, knocking her down any time my back was turned.  Pretty typical for the age but still very frustrating to deal with.  And poor little Alice! What a way to live.

Well, fast-forward 6 months and sweet little Alice, now 18 months, has become the aggressor.  She’s all about the pre-emptive strikes and will walk casually up to Lena and pull her hair or smack her in the face for no obvious reason.  A few days ago she scratched Lena’s eye so badly that it watered all day.  Poor Lena!

There is some light on the horizon though.  They have started playing together.  Usually it takes Sadie and her 3-year-old’s imagination to lead them in a game of Mommy and Babies but the other night Sadie went to sleep early so it was just Alice and Lena.  They had a lot of fun getting in trouble together and didn’t fight at all:

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Little girls make big messes!

Little girls make big messes!

Posted by: Cindy | December 12, 2008

Third post of the day

My new camera holds 200 pictures so I don’t seem to get around to downloading them very often.  Today was the first time in more than a month so make sure you read all three posts I’ve made today :).

I was talking to Amanda today and told her I’d post pics of the new greenhouse Ben made.  It’s nothing fancy and so far is growing nothing but weeds:

p1000154p1000269This is also for Amanda.  Here is the vintage coat she bought Alice on Ebay.  It’s a little short in the sleaves but isn’t that the style this year anyway ;)?

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And this is for Emily.  Here is Alice breaking in the dress she bought her at a garage sale.  I can’t remember the reason for this particular tantrum.

My older girls had a fun activity in their history co-op class.  They got to dress up as a historical figure from 1900-1950 and give a small, memorized speech about this person’s historical contribution.  They did so well!  They both spoke so clearly and projected so well even though they were both nervous.

Sophie as Alice Paul

Sophie as Alice Paul

Lilly as Isadora Duncan

Lilly as Isadora Duncan

Oh, and here is my new project–kombucha and kefir!  They are flanking the big bucket of raw, unfiltered local honey brought by the bee guy:

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Posted by: Cindy | December 12, 2008

New family business

My parents and Ben have started a new family business.  To the benefit of our California relations I thought I’d share some pictures of the experience.

My mom ordered a semi-truck full of insulation–not on pallets!  It took some time getting it off the truck and was, I’m sure, quite the talk of the neighborhood.

This whole semi, full

This whole semi, full

A helluva lotta work

A helluva lotta work

Insulation canyon

Insulation canyon

They spent the next day hauling it down the hill to the shop in the trailer.

Ben is very proud of his new baby:

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The previous owner was a little overboard with the stickers so we all got busy with the razor blades:

“]It used to say FORCLOSERS [sic].  I wish they'd left it LOSER.It used to say FORCLOSERS [sic].  I wish they’d left LOSER.

Posted by: Cindy | December 12, 2008

Gathering eggs

Ever since I caught my chickens eating a snake I try to remember to bring my camera with me when I gather the eggs in hopes that I’ll catch the next cool thing they do on film.  So far the only thing worth photographing has been Alice and all her cuteness.  Gathering the eggs is the highlight of her day.

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Alice is no longer allowed to carry the eggs. . .

Alice is no longer allowed to carry the eggs. . .

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Rain or shine!

Rain or shine!

Henry likes to gather eggs too!

Henry likes to gather eggs too!

Sorry, Alice, the apples are long gone!

Sorry, Alice, the apples are long gone!

Love kitty

Love kitty

She loves to stop and sit on this cinder block

She loves to stop and sit on this cinder block

Henry, Sadie, and Alice

Henry, Sadie, and Alice

"Wait up, guys!"

"Wait up, guys!"

Sad girl in the sunset

Sad girl in the sunset

Goodnight, ladies!

Goodnight, ladies!

Posted by: Cindy | November 6, 2008

Eggs and Chickens

We are getting about a dozen eggs a day now.  My hens are nearly 6 months old.  Of the main flock (not counting the Phoenixes) there are at least 3 hens that still don’t look sexually mature and have yet to lay.  One of the Barred Rocks (her 2 “sisters” have been laying for weeks) and one of the white Leghorns (the other is laying beautifully) still have underdeveloped pinkish combs and wattles.  Perhaps they are the bottom of the pecking order and aren’t allowed as much food?  I’m not sure what to think.  I’m still not convinced that one of the easter-eggers is not a rooster.  It’s bigger than the other EE and is clearly not laying.  Not crowing either though.

Our Phoenix roo is crowing.  So far he has not shown any aggression towards us and still lets himself be bossed around by the bigger hens.  However, in his little flock he is king, and proudly has his way with his ladies.  He is so beautiful–check him out:

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Getting eggs was a little bit of a challenge.  After finding hidden nests in the shrubbery we had to lock the hens in the pen for a few days to get them to lay in the coop.  Occasionally we still find an egg or two outside, but for the most part they’re laying where they should now.  Here is a day’s worth:

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I don’t know which chicken is laying that tiny egg at the top but it much delighted Henry and he insisted on cooking it up right away:

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He cooked it all by himself and claimed it was the best egg he’d ever eaten.

One more shot of my pretty eggs–we finally started getting a green one this week:

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To my poor colorblind son the dark brown egg in front looks red, the green one looks brown, and he looked at me like I had two heads when I claimed that one was decidedly pink.  I wonder what the world looks like to him. . .

Posted by: Cindy | November 4, 2008

Halloween

The girls decided on an Alice in Wonderland theme this year.  I spent way too long making the costumes but they did turn out well:

Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts

Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts

Alice and the White Rabbit

Alice and the White Rabbit

Henry, however, couldn’t be dissuaded from being a ninja:

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Numchuck skills

Some more pics:

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Lilly

Lilly

Sophie

Sophie

Alice

Alice

At playgroup

At playgroup

Ben’s girls were a couple of Whos down in Whoville:

Sadie Lou Who and Lena Lou Who

Sadie Lou Who and Lena Lou Who

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Patrick and I went to a party with Ben and Nichole.  I wish I’d gotten pictures with all of us.  Don’t worry, Pat wiped the “poisonous” lipstick off right after the picture.

Posted by: Cindy | October 5, 2008

More Gymnastics and Karate

Here are the promised pictures of Sophie at gymnastics.  I was hoping to get more action shots but the camera couldn’t be bothered to snap pictures when I commanded (the battery needed charging).

She’s having lots of fun even though she keeps complaining that her arms hurt afterward.

I couldn’t resist getting more pics of Henry.  He smiles like this the whole time:

(See him in the middle?)

(See him in the middle?)

I think he has a hard time actually believing that there’s such thing as a class where you get to kick and hit for a whole hour–a boy’s dream come true.  And here he is in meditation pose–something he obviously needs to work on.  He kept peeking and giggling.

And wouldn’t you know, the last picture of the day the camera cooperated perfectly (if only I had centered the picture better):

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