Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Playing Catch-Up: City Fresh

I haven't posted in more than a month, for which I am very very sorry. Truly. We've been so busy that I haven't even been taking photos of much and am hardly sure where to begin. For one, however, we've been continuing diligently each and every Tuesday to participate in City Fresh, our CSA that we volunteer for. I'm now the Volunteer Coordinator, so I organize these fools: Aleks painted these rocks with me last year to have something to hold our literature down with.
Kohlrabi. We had a lot of it this year. The kids liked it okay raw, and last year we made a slaw with it that did not turn out so great, but I hear it's good cooked. Due to being in and out of town all month, however, we didn't make it through it all and some got fed to the compost heap.
Fancy berries are fancy.
And really quite spectacularly large.

The maple syrup comes in honey jars because they are cheaper than syrup jars.

The candied striped beets made a delicious beet cake, which I made at a potluck so the children had none. They did however have regular red beet cupcakes, which they gobbled up in fistfulls. The buttercream frosting helped, but I think ultimately I really liked candy-striped cake with the hot chocolate syrup poured on top and dusted with powdered sugar better. I'll never have enough folks to feed these desserts to, however. I need more friends who need feeding and less who also get City Fresh. Hrm...
Jon dared to take a million children to Tommy's for ice cream while their parents worked. I was thoroughly impressed.
Later that night at dinner, we discovered Anthony had been writing the vegetable counts on his hand during distribution and thought it hilarious. It's totally an inside joke, I suppose.
*This post is dated June 30th, but was written August 8th because I am lame and because the events recorded here actually took place on June 29th. I apologize.

Results of Swim Lessons

The result of swim lessons is that we will never take swim lessons again. At least not at 10 in the morning outdoors in Cleveland. I coaxed them into taking lessons the last two days by the promise that they would go off the diving board and get "swim shirts" afterward. It was total bribery. I never do that. Ah well.
Then they were cold.
And mainly unhappy.
I think this face says, "Never again, Mom. Never. Again." Lesson learned. For me.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!There's something looking at us!
It's Ceiling Cat!

Dad's so weird.

Get Ceiling Cat papercraft for your living room ceiling.

At the Library

For summer reading, Aleks is working his way through the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I already read the whole series and know that it's fantastic. I knew it would totally be up Aleks' alley. I was right. He spends a lot of time talking about the gods and goddesses and assorted monsters and mythical creatures detailed in the books. It's pretty cool. I secretly wish he would just get on with reading the full-sized novels to himself, but he's not quite there with fluency just yet, so he still prefers to be read to or to listen to them on CD/ipod/online/etc.

I made sure while we visited the library tonight to put holds on the audiobooks for the one he's currently reading as well as the third book to preempt his inevitable need to listen. While I was at the computer catalog taking care of this, Aleks and Bastian played a bit with the felt board and letters. When I came over, he had already spelled - in his own unique way - Zeus and Hades and was working on Poseidon. I corrected his Zeus and Hades spelling and then found a book on the Greek Gods to get Poseidon correct. I can never quite recall. Then we read about the beginning of the universe according to Greek legend.
Bastian, meanwhile, worked on an I Spy puzzle that required he name colors and numbers correctly. I was pretty impressed since he's not picked those up much so far (he's had far more important matters on his mind over the years). Then the library was closing, so we checked out all our materials and walked home, catching shloads of fireflies on the way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Belated Birthday Lego

The boys noticed the check that came with a birthday card, so as opposed to my usual sneaky method of using that money to buy the gifts we might have already got them, the boys claimed it as Bastian's and demanded one afternoon that we go buy Lego. I was feeling kind and thought a nice new set might take up quite a bit of their time so I might eat tortilla chips and enjoy a nap.

It was quite hot, so they stripped down to their undies while working. They got two Prince of Persia sets, in the end - one tiny and one large and had an excellent time adding another base to their ongoing Lego Wars, a game they recently invented and have been playing nonstop.

Lego Wars involve anything resembling a creature in their room. They set up both sides and argue over details until abandoning it all to run outside with the little girls. I think mostly they just set the game up. I'm pretty unclear if much warring really occurs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

City Fresh Week 2

The boys didn't actually make it for distribution this week, but instead were dropped off by Papa at the park during set-up. Our neighbor walked them home towards the end of the day. It was nice! I got a little crazy playing with saturation levels in my photos though.

Aleks chose the hue of this kale in Photoshop.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

We didn't get anything together in time as there was only one card made by a child related to me the day we painted them. So the grand-dads only got phone calls. They didn't seem to mind too much. Sunday morning, the boys and I got to work wrapping the present I'd picked out and put together earlier in the week. It was quite the effort.
In the end, Bastian made the mountains, lightning and rain; Aleks made the fisherman, fish, star fish and Loch Ness monster (of course); and I added the water, cloud (painted long ago by Bastian), wind, and "Dad."

Bastian insisted Nessie get hit in the face with rain.
And inside... The photo is from last summer in North Carolina.
Papa liked it all quite well.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Swim Lessons Suck, but Swimming is Fine

I'm at a total loss on this. The outdoor pool is too cold and lessons involve doing what an adult-type person tells you to do, so swimming lessons thus far have been less than fun by a lot. We're still invited to Homeschool Swim Days, so I imagine instead of lessons we'll continue to try to do these twice a week through the winter and see how we fair. Surely they'll learn to not drown in time for adulthood. In the meantime, I'm exhausted by the constant conversation that must be had to do each day. I'm going to give it up and see if that magically transforms our interactions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coventry Street Fair

We used the buddy system, as it was necessary.

Items of Note from Today

After swim lessons - in which Bastian decided to go back to the Level I class with Aleks - we stopped at the pet store to buy crickets for Esteban. We stopped at a different pet store yesterday to look at the animals and their crickets were ridiculously expensive. We did observe lots of baby leopard geckos, however, and Bastian announced his desire for Esteban to have a brother, which I vetoed.

Today at our normal pet store we got to actually hold an animal. The boys liked it quite well. Papa hates guinea pigs, however, so we will not be getting one. Aunt Natty and I are still stuck on lion head bunnies and I am very much missing having cats. One day when we live elsewhere these matters may become more serious. For now, it is just cuddling what's up for adoption just because.

Later on, at home, the girls came over to play and I got out cards for Father's Day which we bought today to paint or otherwise decorate. I'm not sure that they'll get to the grandfathers in time with our rate of production.
Bastian did but one card.

Aleks refused to paint cards altogether. So much for my grand ideas.
Bastian started to get out lots of the new board games as well. I tried to teach him and the youngest girl how to play Battleship, but they don't recognize enough letters and numbers to do so successfully. They made up their own version and played for a bit.

Tonight is the Coventry Street Fair, which Jonas and Lavinia are going to come for. Aleks has been waiting for some time. He is asking at this very moment how long precisely it will take for them to arrive. It is a big pet peeve of mine to be questioned in minute, impossible-to-predict detail. Drives me nuts.