Thursday, May 29, 2008
The boys have slowly been moving away from 'playgrounds' and into the woods. Playgrounds are a blast, and a great way to work off energy, but they are still manufactured. As we explore the woods and ponds and trails more and more, I see the boys playing less on equipment than before. If we are at a playground to play they will surely run and play a bit -- but they do tend to wander.
They wander into the fields. They wander to pick dandelions. They wander to find four leaf clovers. They wander to look at birds or insects. They wander to find water, sticks and rocks. They wander looking for paths into the woods (and usually find them).
They love deeply wooded trails the most lately. Dark, mysterious, full of life. They love the narrow trails, the tall trees, the wildlife, the animal prints, the unusual plants, the sounds, and the mystery of what lies ahead.
We'll keep visiting playgrounds, I'm sure, but perhaps we'll stick to those which are at the edge of the woods so that we always have somewhere to wander...
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This has been such a cold spring. We have had frost warnings about once every week this month. My seedlings and plants are smaller than usual - not as much rain or sun this year, but they are hanging in there!
One of the challenges with the integrated landscaping sort of planting we are doing due to limited space is that there is no easy way to cover beds or plants when there is a frost warning. I know my cabbage, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, kohlrabi, beans, root veggie seedlings and other cool loving plants will most likely be OK, but it is my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons and heat loving herbs that I worry about. I have those plants strewn throughout the landscaping, and although sheltered a bit by being so close to the houses, there is a chance to lose them when the temps drop so low at night.
It is almost June, and yet last night once again dipped into the mid 30's. This morning we went out to look things over. The boys walked with me from plant to plant, bed to bed, checking out everything - and all is good. We pulled all of the pots from against the house and put them back out into the sun.
If you were to stand in our yard right now, it wouldn't seem like too much yet - everything is interwoven throughout the beds, and still so small. I am excited to see the rich, thick growth later this summer as everything takes over and it becomes a dense pocket of life!
photos from top to bottom: sage, lettuce, swiss chard, tomato, cabbage, raspberry cane, ornamental kale.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I am a bit behind on my final Saturday:Purple post. My sister is in town for the weekend, and the annual neighborhood alley party was tonight - full of neighbors chatting, kids playing, and yummy food!
Purple is not a color we can easily find in our home - yet it is abundant in nature. So today, purple photos from our walk:
Friday, May 23, 2008
Both boys were involved in the blue photos today. It was fun to have them looking for things and thinking about it as the day went. The blue swing and blue sky, above, was noticed by A.
He also thought of the blue globe - on the water side!
Both boys wanted their foot on this soccer ball, so we took a few shots.
G was a blue-caped super hero, and ran past the camera 27 times shrieking so I could take a picture.
And this is one of my favorite ceramic bowls. Love the blue glaze.
Have a great weekend!!!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
When A heard that today's photo theme was orange, well, he had to help. He picked all of the images to photograph today. First, he colored on our outside chalkboard using bright orange chalk.
For the next shot, he reminded me that we had just bought a new hanging basket yesterday which was full of...orange flowers!
And finally, he picked out one of his favorite marbles which has swirls of orange and gold inside.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The boys love to paint, and have been wanting to paint canvases rather than just watercolor paper. Our home is filled with my paintings, and they love the depth and texture of that vs. paper. So today, we created hand print paintings on canvas. They turned out great - and the boys are very proud of their very own artwork now hanging on the wall.
We started with 6" square canvases. My boys are small, so these were just the right size for small hands. If you have an older child, get a bigger canvas.
We traced each hand on their canvas, and then using oil pastels, the boys carefully colored them in. When done, I outlined their drawings clearly with an oil pastel to help the image pop in the next step.
The boys then painted over the image, using good quality watercolors (I don't believe regular cheapie puck watercolors would have enough pigment for a canvas). The oil pastel drawings resist the watercolor, so the boys could paint all around them, and the hand image remained as well.
After they dried, I used a water based acrylic varnish (optional) over the top to preserve their artwork. We then hung the paintings in the boys room. They are so happy! Great for Father's Day too...
what we used: canvas | oil pastels | watercolors |
MountainPulse had the idea to re-visit the week of color theme that many bloggers did a month or two ago. I love posting image themes and have been taking a ton of photos with my new camera, so I will play along in addition to my normal blog posts. Here are the colors:
I am a day behind, so today I have green and yellow!
Thank you for all the well wishes for A...he is feeling quite a bit better, and not surprisingly, was very willing to be fairly still most of the day yesterday and today!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Not what I had in mind for our Sunday evening. Thankfully A is OK, but will need to take it very easy (yeah, right - he's FIVE!!!) and have ice on a particularly sensitive boy area for the next 2 days or so. ouch.
I had a big box of art/craft supplies arrive on Saturday - so the good news is that we will have plenty of fun things to do inside this week!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I also garden for my boys. To connect to the soil, to know of something that will live and grow and change. To understand through smell, touch, and sight. So as soon as they can grab a handful of soil, they have been in this tiny garden with me. In spring, we dig and clear and plan and plant. We remember what we plant where. We try to remember what grew there last year. What grows well together. What doesn't. In summer we walk each morning, picking bugs, looking for clues, plucking here, feeling soil there. We water, we watch the weather forecast. And then as we go, we begin to harvest. I love seeing little boys in the garden in their PJs with their little bamboo baskets collecting what is ripe that day. It is their garden as much as it is mine, and while it is small, it is carefully tended.
It isn't about memorizing or "learning" about gardening, though. It is about sensing and feeling and experiencing. To see a small child gently rub an herb between two fingers and then smell slowly and deeply to inhale the scent is a wonderful sight. And they remember. Today A smelled one of the herbs, and yelled OREGANO - smells like pizza!
Today we planted many pots of herbs the boys selected. We like to grow as many herbs as we can - and have many planted in ground throughout the yard, but always do pots on our front porch as well since we get such warmth and sun there. The boys helped put soil in the pots, add some worm castings, and slowly ease the herbs out of little pots before placing them in their hole and covering with soil. Today they planted thyme, 3 types of sage, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, dill, fennel, lemon verbena and cilantro. We use herbs all year round from our garden - fresh, dried, flavoring oils or vinegars, in soap, in tea...so good.
So far, we have planted (fruit/veggie/herb):
-corn (mini red for popcorn)
Many things from last year are going strong, such as the blueberries, raspberries, tarragon, lemon balm and several types of mint! Now we just need some decent, regular warm days so that we can get the warmth loving plants in the ground!
I am a lucky mama. My sweet boys (and their dad) got me a ridiculous (in a good way) Mother's Day gift. I love taking photos, and my camera was just so done. But I don't like buying stuff for myself unless I have used the old well. And I really had. My lovely old digital camera, which was a great camera in 2001 (!) when I got it, was SO insanely slow. The lens cap ring had popped off long ago. The grip rubber was gone. If it sat *just* so in the bag the lens moved, and I had to hold it at just the right angle to hear the little zoom slide back into place so the camera could focus. I really got good use out of that old camera, though.
SO yesterday I was very happy and surprised to see a new camera. Today as the boys were outside I played and experimented with it a bit. The bonus of having a new camera is that the boys let me take pictures of them all day. New and exciting and they were involved.
They even SMILED for me! And as they zoomed by, I could click click click and keep up. Amazing.