Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preparing for the Haunt

Annie woke up at 2:00 a.m. Saturday night and got up, came to my side of the bed and asked if it was too early to get up and prepare for Halloween! I took her a loooong time to fall back asleep, and I've been tired all day because of it.

These pictures were taken when the sun (finally) started going down and we were preparing to go out and Trick or Treat. At the last minute, I stayed back to hand out lollipops to the kids, since I was tired and a little Halloweened out.

Mostly I was pooped because we held a Halloween dance party Saturday night, and we dressed up, danced, feasted and to me, that was Halloween this year.

Annie loved the dance party, and she was out-of-control excited all day about Halloween and Trick-or-Treating. Then she can't decide whether to hand out candy or go in search of! She did both. After she got home, she took at least half her candy and gave it away to those last few ghouls and goblins passing by.

Aren't these two creepy?

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

So Alive

We really enjoyed the Día de los Muertos exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California today and it left me with a great feeling of aliveness. For me it's a mix of awe at the mystery and emotions around death and the afterlife, and the sheer joy of living.

Nothing illustrates that joy of living as much as watching the children in my life! Living with bravery, gusto, endless amounts of energy and big emotions and a fresh, creative approach to each moment.

Here's to life!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little Willie

Willie, Pat's seventeen year old shop cat died yesterday.
We are all sad and feeling the loss.
Especially Pat.
Here's Annie's depiction of Willie messing up Pat's desk and the papers flying all over the office.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Making

As busy as I've been with StudioTime, I find myself thinking of and planning for holiday giving. I do love to make things for those that I love, and I'm a bit worried how to do it all, and have balance.

On that note, I did my first two woodblock carvings tonight (see above), and last night I started painting some rocks (see below) that I collected on this summers outings. I like the way they both came out! Both felt easy and fun, plus Billy and Annie gave me positive feedback. So maybe I'll make some sets of woodblock cards or prints and painted rocks as gifts gifts this year!

I'm thinking that my kids in Alameda StudioTime can do versions of both of these projects too. I'll see what response I get from them this week and how I can adapt them to different ages.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Visit to Brazil

Country Club is a small group of homeschooled kids in our community that Annie is a part of. The kids each get turns choosing a country and then we all meet once a month and the kids offer up what they know to each other. So fun!

Each persons approach is different, one child might talk about the animals of a country, a specific person, historical information
, or like yesterday, Annie chose to study the Yanamamo tribe of the Brazilian rainforest, including partial costume, seen above with a warriors face. The littlest kids sometimes just hold up a flag and support a sibling in his presentation (see above), while others read various books on the subject and review what they found out to the group. When we did Germany, Annie didn't offer anything she just absorbed what the others presented.

Us mom's offer up dishes from each country if we choose to or have the time. Yesterday Jeanette brought a yummy black beans and rice dish that I loved, plus there were fruits and vegetables and nuts.

Monday, October 18, 2010

About a Boy

Boy kitty that is...
Yes, Billy finally found a kitten.
He's four months.
A Lynx Point Snowshoe cross.
Super sweet and affectionate.
The dogs are a shivering jealous mess.
I hope that things smooth out by the end of the week.
No name yet...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Into the Woods

We've returned from a wonderful week in the Mendocino Woodlands forest and I can't wait to go back!

The Ross (Residential Outdoor Science School) program was top-notch from beginning to end.

It was a completely unplugged week of community, learning, playing and breathing in the deep, unspoiled redwoods.

The camp itself is very simple, with vintage well-kept cabins, bath houses and a main dining hall that is well loved. It seems to hold the echo's of countless folk dances, wonderful shared meals and stories told in front of the fireplace.

The excellent staff of naturalists led small groups of the kids into the woods and onto the beach each day to sing, explore, write and learn in a playful and relevant way. Annie loved "Wolf" her naturalist. I trusted the team completely!

On top of all this juicy goodness, as I sat and painted with friends, sipped tea and visited with other parents, my friend Deanne was taking some time to teach herself the hammer dulcimer. The sounds became a kind of soundtrack making our time more magical and uplifting.

I would describe Annie experience as ecstatic.
Doesn't it show?

The sky is blue. The trees smell good.
I like the sound of the waves.
I feel like one of the trees.

A poem written by Annie during Ross Camp

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Collecting Moments

Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.

Annie and I just got back from a week in the Mendocino Redwoods collecting moments. We were part of a wonderful science camp where the theme was community, and interconnectedness. It was fantastic! I was so in the moment that I didn't take a lot of photos, but I'll post some when I sift through them. Until then, here's a video that I enjoyed watching.