Monday, June 11, 2012

What we've been doing

Drooling at Scrumptious, the awesome Arvada sweet shop:

Camping at the Sand Dunes (more pics to come of that crazy-awesome place) with dear friends and new:

Discovering that our sisters are often our best friends:

Playing school (all day), putting on fashion shows, making up plays:

Jumpy castling (thank you Groupon):

Jumpy castles will always and forever make me think of our friend Jared, who at Nolie's 4th birthday party jumped so hard in the jumpy castle that he literally knocked the thing over, which I didn't think was humanly possible and which made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to die.

Thanks to some new research projects in energy, I see loooong, loaded coal trains everywhere I go now.  I'm horrified, fascinated.

Making our first cake all by ourselves (with only a little help from mama, who hung back, biting her tongue while much flour ended up on the floor and we almost put 1/4 cup sugar in instead of 2 1/2 cups but then we figured it out and the cakes turned out better than any of mama's solo efforts ever so there:

A quick, interstitial day of work tomorrow to finish up a few things--including a revision on that first coal article--and then we girls are off to Idaho Thursday.  Things just keep getting better.  Trying not to think about it ending.


Turns out that Addie spent some time recently educating her school mates (incorrectly, I hear) about the birds and the bees.  Also, she has been educating me about swear words.

I know all the big swear words, Mama.

Oh really?

Yep.  B is for [whisper, giggle] BUTT!

Oh, right.  B is for butt.  What else?

C is for...

Wait, C?

Yeah, C!

Okay.  [Gulp].

C is for CRAP!

Right!  C is for crap.  Totally a swear word.

And F...



F is for fart?

NO!  F is for fuck!

Right.  Those are the ABCs of swear words, my friends, brought to you by your friendly elementary school bathroom stall.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe for Joy

From the most recent issue of Taproot:

"We live in bizarre times, victims of a post-industrial era that, for the sake of efficiency, has segmented our culture into factions--some produce the food, some produce the education, some produce goods and services.  This segmentation fails to acknowledge our need to be human, to engage in daily work that feeds our minds and our bodies and reestablishes our oneness with the earth.  Perhaps more carrots can be produced, more books can be written, more art can be created, more kids can be schooled, more numbers can be crunched and more albums can be produced if one person plants carrots, and someone else writes the books, and someone else paints pictures, and someone else teaches our kids, and someone else cooks the carrots.  But none of us is experiencing what it means to be fully human, where our unique minds and bodies work in harmony with our spirits and nature to create and provide for our wellbeing.

I believe this segmentation of our lives becomes a source of despair.  Our disconnect with our fundamental needs causes us to live without connecting to the earth, to grow ignorant about what is required to sustain life on this planet, and therefore commit crimes of ecological disrespect, which starts when we confuse soil with dirt.

To heal the damage wrought by ecological disrespect, we must begin by embracing what it means to fully be human.  This means spending a few hours resting, a few hours playing, a few hours creating, a few hours teaching, a few hours learning, a few hours nourishing our bodies, and perhaps most importantly, a few hours tending the soil and connecting with ourselves and, ultimately, and most importantly, our planet."

--Shannon Hayes

Saturday, June 2, 2012

More Summer

Really, I can't get enough of this not working for a few weeks thing.  I mean, I've struggled a little with what to do with all the normal anxiety and guilt and stuff, but now I'm really easing into it, really feeling the slower pace wash over me.  It's so interesting to wake up and not have to rush the girls to school, to not have to check email, or buy anything, or do anything, or be anywhere.  It's like being at camp.

There are the slow wake-ups in the morning, the best part of my day, where I open my eyes only because some little body has crawled over the top of mine and is huddling under the comforter with her own sleepy face.

There is morning coffee in the swing...

There are evening cocktails under the umbrella...

There are nights at the amusement park...

And afternoons in the hammock with a good book...

Stuff is growing everywhere,

and then there is this big dog who just wants to be petted, and to have his ball thrown, and to be fed treats.

It's a good life.

No more kindergarten.

Nolie and Daddy at the graduation picnic.

I think this means I's is old, but I'll try to make this not about me.  For once.

At her graduation ceremony, Nolie's teacher talked about what a little "cuddlebug" she was, and how much she and the para loved getting to know Nolie.  I was so proud of her.

Nolie, with her beloved Mrs. Tubbs.  Nolie often calls me "Mrs. Tubbs" at home.  I take it as a compliment.  Because of how entirely screwed up public school funding is at the moment, Mrs. Tubbs won't be coming back to our school next year.  This makes me so sad.  She is such an amazing teacher, and has really helped Nolie move from being a somewhat clingy, shy preschooler, to a brave, friendly kindergartner who absolutely loves to learn.  We feel so lucky to have known her.

And with her Para, Ms. Mueller.  Ms. Mueller and Mrs. Tubbs had it down.  Every kid in the class was reading at a first grade level by the end of the school year. I volunteered in the class occasionally, and I can tell you that some of those kids didn't even know their letters to begin with, and now all are reading and writing.

Teachers are amazing.

Graduating kindergartners are amazing.

What a great year.