About Me

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i am a stay-at-home mom living, learning and loving by the bay!I love to take pictures. I love to crochet cozy things for my family and friends.

December 21, 2011

Holiday Fun

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel!

Counting of the gelt!

Fun at a Carolls and Cocoa party!

Our friend's beautiful living tree.

Goose, BFF and Sebastian wishing you
Season's Greetings!

We have been having fun here by the bay!
But Goose is sick with pneumonia in her lungs and possibly developing asthma.
Not fun!
Today we are staying indoors, baking like crazy and watching some fun holiday movies like
Elf, The Santa Claus, and The Polar Express.
What are your favorite holiday movies??

December 16, 2011

getting ready

An interpretation of Monet's Waterlilies for Daddy.

A coil clay pot for her BFF!

A crocheted scarf for my sister.

An ornament wreath to deck the halls.

And some seriously adorable cats! 

We have been getting ready for the holidays by making gifts, crafting and snuggling
these two little guys.  Okay, Scratch is not so little anymore!
This next week will be CRAZY!
We will be celebrating Solstice with a walk in the woods, Hanukkah to light the lights with family and friends, and Christmas with presents and lots of yummy food!
Hope you are enjoying the season with your loved ones!

December 4, 2011

Fort Ross

Cooking in our outdoor kitchen!
We cut up beets, carrots, onions and potatoes all day long!

The Kuskov house where we slept on the second floor.

A better view of our "kitchen."

Binky in his hunter outfit.
Love the hat!

The chapel.
After dinner, we walked in silence with out candles to the chapel for
some beautiful Russian music played by some students.

Goose(far left) aka Unitma, and some fellow Fort Ross employees.

And our final hour was spent watching the militia fire the cannon!
Very cool!

I have to say this was a very cool trip!
Exhausting, but so cool!
I learned so much about this Fort and time period.
Like, it wasn't actually a Fort, but more of a settlement.
While we were there, some real Russian tourists visited the Fort and
really enjoyed seeing all the kids in their roles.
This was our first living history trip and I
couldn't have enjoyed myself more!
I know the kids had a great time.
Binky wants to go back next year.  Maybe with Daddy this time!

November 15, 2011

Peroshki Party

Yesterday was spent making peroshkis!
Goose and I (along with eveyone in this photo) are cooks for our Fort Ross class and we
will be eating peroshkis for dinner along with grilled salmon and homemade borscht.

After baking, they will be frozen until we leave on November 28.
We made vegetarian and meat peroshkis for everyone!
The Russian American Company created this "fort" along the coast
in Northern California in the 1800s while hunting sea otter for their fur.
They brought with them Aleut hunters who were experts at hunting in the sea.
Binky is part of the hunting group.  There are hunters, cooks, artisans, gardeners and a militia.
I have heard a lot of great things about this living history program at Fort Ross.
The kids and I are really looking forward to it!
You may have noticed in the first photo a girl with crutches.
Yes, that is Goose.
She fell on her knee while ice skating and can't bend or walk on her right leg.
She is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow.
The orthopedist thinks she tore the meniscus and probably needs surgery!
We will see. 
Goose is dealing with it fairly well.
There have been some tears, but overall she is coping.
She is in pain all the time, but she is more upset about not being able to do
everything she had scheduled in the coming months.
I am trying to keep her
calm and remind her that she will heal.
I will post more after we meet with the orthopedist with the MRI results.
Happy Tuesday!

November 8, 2011


Binky is working on geometry right now.
I made this little graph paper book for him.

We've learned about 90* angles.
Love the smiley face!

And angles of different degrees using a protractor.

We learned how to mark different lines.

And looked at different shapes and all their fun names!
I like "trapezoid."

Binky loves playing with tanagrams.
He will sit for hours making designs and creatures,
like a fish

and a snail.
Both kids like to make mandalas with the tanagrams.
I found  this amazing lesson to make learning geometry more interesting since the kids
already enjoy making their own mandalas.
Even though the kids are 9 and 11, I like to work with them together as much as possible.
It makes my life easier.  When they are getting along, that is!

October 25, 2011

busy weeks

We have been very busy these last few weeks.
Science classes where we are studying the cell have been lots of fun!
My class was about the plant cell.  We made our own onion slides to look at through the microscope.
This was a lot of fun.  We saw the nucleus in each cell.

We also survived 4 earthquakes!!!
Yes, I said 4!!!
These paintings fell off the wall along with some other frames that broke and
some things fell over.
The first, and biggest quake, was VERY scary!
The kids and I were home and I honestly thought to myself, "This is the big one!"
But it ended by the time we ran into the hallway.  The epicenter was just a couple of miles away, which explains why we felt it so strongly.  I have lived in California my entire life and been through many earthquakes.  This one scared me more than any other!  Goose and Binky were terrified!
The second one scared them even more.  Poor things!
We have definitely been talking about earthquake safety and preparedness all week!

This little guy has been having lots of fun with Cody the dog.
They really have fun together. 
I am surprised at how much Cody loves him!
And no, we don't have a name for him yet.  We can't agree on anything so far.
Any ideas?

More cell stuff with Shrinky Dinks and a mitosis flip book.

Binky loves snuggle time!

I finished this scarf!  It is a Christmas gift for someone special!

And we've been enjoying the season with candles,
cups of tea, baking, and leaf collecting.
Happy Tuesday!

October 22, 2011

Please join me here for a Halloween Party
hosted by

You won't want to miss a thing!
Happy Haunting!

October 10, 2011

spider webs and a diorama

This spider is living right outside my bedroom window.
I watched it build this web the other day after heavy rain and wind
destroyed the first one.
Every morning when I wake up I check to see if my new neighbor is still there!

Binky finished his ocean diorama today.
He made the kelp, the rock that the eel is poking out of, and the red coral with air dry
clay.  I like the school of fish he painted in the background.
This goes with his Oceans study.  He just finished listening to "The Cay" on disc.  This was the first time we used an audio book.  Binky loved it!  He relaxed in the living room while listening so intently.  I checked out "Island of the Blue Dolphins" to start this week. 
I also can't wait to try this project before we head to the Monterey
Bay Aquarium in a couple of weeks.  The jellies are one of our favorite exhibits.
It's not even 9pm and I am exhausted!
Looking forward to another great day tomorrow!

October 9, 2011

Harvest Festival

The kids and I spent yesterday at a local farm for their yearly Harvest Festival.
It was warm, crowded and lots of fun.

We said hello to the animals,

picked a lot of corn,

really beautiful corn,

found some pumpkins, made a corn husk doll, and had some yummy snacks.

This is our bounty of Indian corn.
Isn't it beautiful?

I love, love, love the colors!

They are like jewels!
These kernels remind me of garnets.
Goose likes to remove the kernels and grind them in her mortar and pestle
for potions and the like.
I am saving some for displaying around the house and
some for art projects like kernel mosaics.
Last year I made a corn kernel necklace.
I hope you are enjoying the season as much as we are!
Happy Autumn!

September 26, 2011

Happy Fall!!

Happy Fall!!
This is my favorite time of year! 
I always seem to come home from our morning walks with a handful of
fallen leaves.  I can't help myself. 
This is the time of year when I change the radio station more frequently to our local
classical station.  I love listening to classical while cozied up with a cup of tea!
Not that I will be cozied up anytime soon.
It will be quite warm here this week.  No sweater weather in sight!

Goose is studying pre and ancient history this year.
We started with the first peoples migrating out of Africa.
NOVA's Becoming Human is a great program for this subject along with this
website.  She made this very cool ice age shelter, complete with handmade
mammoth bones, moss, twigs and animal fur.  I also found this
amazing website created by the French Government with a virtual tour of the famous cave paintings
at Lascaux.  I highly recommend this site!
Our reading list for this section includes Maroo of the Winter Caves,
Boy of the Painted Cave and Manu's Wolf.
Next we move on to the first civilizations!
We will be reading the Gilgamesh stories first while also reading Story of the World.
I have a huge list of activities for this section like making our own cuneiform tablets,
cooking ancient bread and stew, and building a ziggurat model.
We will also be looking at the roles of women and gods and goddesses in everyday life.
The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago has an amazing
website on ancient Mesopotamia where I found
some activities and photos of ancient artifacts for this lesson.

Goose has a full schedule this semester.
It looks something like this

Math Group meets once a week
Ancient History
Creative Writing Group meets once a month
Science Group meets once a week with lesson blocks on the cell, human anatomy and oceans
Art History Group meets once a month
Charter School Classes include Industrial Revolution and Fort Ross living history
Repertory Theatre Glee Production meets once a week with performance in December
Volunteering at local Animal Shelter twice a week
Library Book Club meets once a month
Cuong Nhu martial arts meets 4x week

Wow, I'm tired just typing it all up!
  Lots of driving from place to place for me, but I know she is really looking forward to it all.
I am still finalizing some things for Binky.
He has asked to hold a cooking class at our house this year.
Sounds good to me!  I am also organizing some fieldtrips to our local
 missions to go with our California lesson.  Binky is so looking forward to volunteering at the animal shelter!
He LOVES animals!!

I am opening my Etsy shop this week!
More details on that later!
It is time for our morning walk!
Happy Fall!