new sisters

new sisters
Penelope holding 10 day old Violet

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chocolate Dance

You can tell from this video that my kids are deprived. They are actually breathing heavy as they attempt to inhale the chocolate cake batter. And when the sugar hits Penelope's blood stream and she does her chocolate dance Violet copies her quite seriously, as if this is a normal part of chocolate cake batter eating.

We were making a cake for my brother Charles, whose birthday was last Saturday. I didn't remember it, but last year on his birthday, we had to bring him home before his party, on our way to the hospital to get Penelope stitches. Of course I remember the hospital, but in my mind it isn't just a year ago, it seems like 3 or 4 years ago to me. And I'd forgotten that it was on Charles' birthday. Penelope remembered. The day before his birthday she asked me if she could call him. I said sure, and while I listened to her talk to him I realized why she wanted to call  him. She was telling him not to worry, that what happened last year would not be happening again this year. She was not going to spoil his party by going to the hospital. "I just didn't want you to worry about it Charles!" she said as she ended her conversation. And we did have a nice party for him, with no trips to the hospital at all. Just the chinese takeout he requested and the peanut butter and chocolate cake he always wants me to make. And lots of dancing to his new c.d.s.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What We Did This Week

It was M week and we learned about the phases of the moon.

We made the phases of the moon with cookies.

And then Penelope ate the moons.

We also made moisturizer. It starts with M, but was completely necessary whether it was M week or not. Our skin has been so dry!

Penelope tried a free yoga class, and LOVED it!

It was warm enough to eat our lunch outside at the zoo.


The girls with their babies in their baby carriers.

New boots were bought and tried out.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Maple Sugaring

Penelope on the right, raising her hand.

Pen helping to saw wood for the fire.

Sawing away.

The pot where the sap is boiled down.

Violet catching sap.

She was very interested in this.


Hollowed log for catching sap.

Violet with her branch.

Violet and the big turkeys.

Pretty hen.

Peek a boo through the fence.

Penelope asking about a horse she has loved and ridden for years, he died in the fall she found out. He was very old. She was told the farm will be getting a new horse soon. I was very pleased with her asking about it herself, even a few months ago she would have made me ask for her.

Violet being fascinated with all the sheep poop she kept finding everywhere.

Playing old fashioned games.

Violet petting Handsome, the rooster.

These fabulous boys, and they know they are.

Tasting maple candy.

Eggs found in the barn.

New Lambs

Pen wishing she could get close enough to pet them.

We went to the farm to watch them tap trees and boil sap into syrup. Penelope was very involved and interested, asking questions, knowing answers, and wanting to participate. We learned a lot, you can tap any maple tree, they even used to tap cherry trees because they have sweet sap too. The sugar maple is the best for tapping, not because it has better sap, but because it takes the longest to begin to bud, and trees can't be tapped after they begin to bud. This is a bad year for getting sap because of our mild winter, they don't expect to get much. We will have a drought this summer too, we learned, because without snow all winter long we start out without enough moisture in the ground.

Violet loved the chickens and turkeys the best, and I remember Penelope adoring them at her age too. Both girls played with the old fashioned hoop and stick games quite a bit. We searched all over for the sheep, having heard there were new lambs. We finally found them, but they wouldn't let us get very close. The babies sure were cute.

It was a mild, beautiful day, and it felt so good to be outside in the sunshine and fresh air. It was just what we needed after a couple weeks of sickness and being housebound.

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Moment, February 17, 2012

 {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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Dragon Supported by Chopsticks.

Decorating Dragon Puppet.

Finished Puppet

Violet's Dragon

Trying it on her hand.
Last week we started back up with homeschooling. We did the letter J over because the first time around we were a little more focused on Thanksgiving and I felt like we didn't give J our full attention. My favorite part of J was when we spent the morning baking a loaf of bread and then ate it all warm and fresh with lots of jam while reading Bread and Jam for Frances.

But we also spent the week learning about Chinese New Year. We learned that Violet was born in the year of the tiger. this is interesting not only because she adores tigers, but because she was also born under the sign of Leo. That girl has all kinds of good cat energy. And Penelope was born in the year of the pig. She, of course, argues that she should have been born in the year of the horse. Is it a coincidence that she chose Pig as her constant companion, cuddly friend, and partner in crime?

We made some fabulous dragons. The best one was made from toilet paper tubes and crepe paper and supported by chopsticks. It was a mini version of the big type that is seen in parades and it was spectacular. I couldn't get a good picture of it though, because my camera is being stupid and the flash is refusing to work. I can take a picture without the flash, but any movement shows up as a blur. And I take pictures of children. They move. A bunch. And when they are holding an awesome dragon they made it moves a bunch too. We also made paper bag dragon puppets. Violet made one, and she was so proud of herself. We had our own parade through the house, and Pen let everyone have a turn to carry the special dragon. We made a lantern too, which I never got a picture of, but it was pretty with a candle in it.

We also made a bunch of Chinese foods. We made dumplings, noodles, scallion pancakes, and soup for dinner and we made almond cookies and sliced oranges for dessert. Most of the foods we made symbolized long life or were eaten for good luck in the new year. We ate with chopsticks, even Violet, and that was funny. We had our celebration on Sunday because Steve was home and we wanted him to be a part of it too.

We have moved onto the letter K this week. I am really hating not having a fully functioning camera. We went to see The Toe Jam Puppet Band yesterday and Violet somehow got a hold of somebody's used tissue, so I prepared to flee to the bathroom to wash her hands and Penelope asked if she could stay. I told her she could and ran. When I came back in the room Penelope was not where we were sitting. I scanned the room and was absolutely shocked to see her ON STAGE in the middle of a performance! She was a "cuddle" fish, complete with fins and fish head. She was up there for a full 20 minutes, not looking a bit nervous. She did her part perfectly (which was to hug the other cuddle fish when she was given her cue). I saw her glancing around the room a few times, looking for me. She never saw me, but when it was over and she came back to our spot she was so happy I had been there and seen it. She told me that when they asked for volunteers she raised her hand and when she realized what she would have to do she thought about hiding. "But then I said, wait a minute, I can do this, I'm going to do this...and I did Mom!" she said with so much pride. I was SO proud of her! And so annoyed with my camera. I hadn't brought it because of the flash issue, but I could have taken a video just fine if I had brought it. Oh well. So it goes.