Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Art Thursday -- January 1st

"Kids with Animals"
Yep, kids with animals.  Some of them are on the roof.
Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What-What?! Week of December 28th

Merry after-Christmas everyone!  We made it through.  The kids all had a great Christmas, and have been enjoying their gifts.

Forgot to post on Thursday.  It was Christmas, though, so I don't feel too bad about it.  Was too busy playing with children, cooking a delicious dinner, and so on.

Speaking of cooking, these white chicken enchiladas are really wonderful when made with turkey.  We did this last night with leftovers from Christmas, and it was so, so good.

You should check out Epbot's finished Harry Potter Christmas tree.  There are so many parts to it, make sure you look through the close-ups.

The last week, the big kids and I have played around with different snowflake makers online.  I used SnowDays to make this one:

Christmas Pictures!

Lots and lots of them.

The tree, with presents.  No lights this year -- didn't find that box until later.
Waiting to unwrap presents.
Both of the big kids were surprisingly excited about this microscope set.
Putting together lots of Legos.
Even the littlest one got Legos.
The biggest one got the biggest set, though. :P
There are other pictures over at the husband's blog, A Wizard's Rambles.
You know, if you want more.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What-What?! Week of December 21st

We have survived!  The husband now has two weeks to sit at home with us and relax.  I'm looking forward to it. :)

This week is all about the boy's birthday.  Next week I'll post something more substantial... or maybe just a bunch of Christmas stuff. :P

Corwin's Birthday

My middle child is now five!  For his birthday, we took the family to the local Bullwinkle's to play in the arcade and the indoor jungle gym.  We also tried playing mini-golf, but the only child truly interested in it was Saffron, so we didn't spend too much time on that activity.

All of the pics of him in there are blurry.  All of them.
The indoor gym had a room full of giant exercise balls.  Ozzy spent most of his time in there.

The big kids would pop out to say "Hello!" then dive back into the fray.

At home, we played pin the tail on the pony.  Saffron provided the pony.

The cake... the cake.  This cake suffered from poor planning.  I had a lot of trouble with the Lego candy molds, and I just didn't start making the decorations soon enough to be able to experiment with them to get them looking as good as I wanted.  Still, the boy was happy, and it tasted great, too.  The cake was a simple yellow cake with buttercream frosting.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Art Thursday -- December 18th

"Santa Claus at our House"
Saffron did this one.  You can see milk and cookies out on the table for Santa, as well as a paper chain decoration near the top.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What-What?! Week of December 14th

Today, we're celebrating Corwin's birthday!  Kid is very nearly five years old.  We're going to take the kids to the local Bullwinkle's to play games and ride the bumper cars.  Since the boy's birthday falls in the middle of the week, we thought it would be better to celebrate it now.  I'm putting together a Lego-themed cake for him.  I'll make sure to post pictures next week of the festivities. :)

Otherwise, my kids are in full on "Christmas is coming!!!" mode.  The other day, I took Corwin to Target, and they had this one decoration of Santa holding his list of children.  Corey stopped and gasped "The list, Mommy, the list!", then started looking for his own name.  It was adorable.

Last weekend the husband and I took the kids to a Christmas tree farm down in Snohomish.  The drive was very nice, and the first time I've seen real farmland in the six months we've lived here.  The big fields felt very homey.

We had intended to buy a little Christmas tree and put it on the dining table, but the farm didn't have any available.  After a quick punt, the husband and I decided to get a full-sized tree.  Then we went to the store to buy a Christmas tree stand (hur-hur).  The tree is partly decorated, though the kids and I are slowly filling it up with homemade ornaments.  It only took me 6 days to find the tree skirt (why wasn't it with the other Christmas stuff?  No one knows).

Van Vogt Family Farm
While we drove down to Snohomish, we saw a bunch of these barns that had rounded roofs.  I don't recall ever seeing anything like it in California, but there were a lot in this style.  On the fifteen minute drive, I counted five, and that was only after passing one or two.  Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of them (and came back to town a different route), but I did do some looking as to the historical significance.
Thayer Barn -- Built in 1930's from the Sears & Roebuck barn catalog.
According to History Colorado, this type of roof is called a gothic or round- roof.  This type of barn is designed to optimize the amount of hay that could be stored, and is nationally a pretty unusual design.  Most of the information I could find on this type of barn is, oddly enough, from a Colorado website, but from what I can tell, the same truths apply here.  These barns were generally built with sidewalls pre-WWII, and without sidewalls after.  Every single one that I saw had brick sidewalls and wood roofs, which dates them all back to 1945 or earlier.

There's a nonprofit, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, that works with the government and landowners to preserve these historical barns (and other buildings, too).  They have a ton of pictures on their website, and some pretty interesting info, too.

(Photos from

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Art Thursday -- December 11th

"Corwin's Santa"
This is one of Corey's pictures -- it shows Santa and a bunch of presents.
My kids actually started drawing Christmas pictures shortly after Halloween. :P

Sunday, December 7, 2014

What-What?! Week of December 7th

It's December!  How did that happen?

This week, I've been very tired.  Like, falling asleep in front of the computer tired.  The ice finally finished melting on Friday, so we've had about a week's worth of snow and ice.  That's enough of that.  :P

Christmas and Santa Claus Shenanigans

My littlest one has recently been obsessed with Disney's Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas film.  He would (and honestly, sometimes has) watched it every day.  It's a collection of Christmas stories that involve the classic Disney characters.  One of the stories, A Very Goofy Christmas, is about Goofy and his son, Max, and discusses the truth of whether Santa exists or not.  The conclusion of the short is that Santa is, of course, real.  It's kind of a nice discussion about the nature of lying and the sometimes ridiculous things we do to make others happy.  But the whole thing makes me a bit uncomfortable.  My kids believe in Santa Claus.  I contribute directly to this (who tells them Santa is coming? Me.), but I'm not some pro-Santa Christmas tradition thing.  I'm kind of ambivalent about it.

After doing some research, it seems that The Santa Lie is a big deal for some people.  There is one particular gentlemen on the anti-Santa side that has raised some awareness, writing many articles about the possible damage that comes from believing in Santa.  He's actually been published in Psychology Today discussing the issue.  But I keep reading it and I really don't find anything that would motivate me to stop with the Santa business.  As far as I can tell, the evidence that this man has accrued is anecdotal.  Hilariously, in a follow up to the article linked above, he blasts pro-Santa people as not having any scientific evidence to back up their side.  Further, I'm not sold on his qualifications -- he has a PhD in philosophy, not, say, child development, or anything more pertinent.  This becomes apparent in the follow up article, where he uses the example that children should be spoken to in proper English, so that way they grow up to speak proper English; babies actually respond to baby talk better than proper English.  In other words, sometimes there's a place for teaching children differently because they're children.  They'll grow up, and most of them will be okay.

The husband and I do Santa because it's fun.  I'm not concerned that my children will grow up to be gullible, or that they will lose their trust in us.  For now, while they are small, I'm going to enjoy letting them experience the magic of childhood.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Art Thursday -- December 4th

"New Thomas Movie"
A movie poster for Saffron's proposed Thomas film, Princess Emalenor (pronounced Emily-nor).  Stars Percy, James, and the princess, of course.