Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Cookies

Yesterday the kids and I were talking about cookies, and I told them that we could go to the grocery store tomorrow and buy some ingredients--well really just chocolate chips, since that's all we were missing. In case my timeline is confusing, that means that we made chocolate chip cookies today. Both kids were excited to help, and washed their hands and climbed on a stool to help measure the flour and sugar. We were taking turns stirring the dry ingredients when I got a phone call from the store that necessitated a couple more quick phones calls. In the middle of talking to Aunt Becky, I turned around and Caroline had both hands in the flour, taking pinches and spreading them on the counter. I removed the bowl, and let my tactile girl play with the mess already there: soon enough Jack added his own touch, and a monster truck toy was making tracks through the white powder. I snapped a few pictures before we continued with the cookies:
I also took two videos of the kids putting the dough on a cookie sheet: mostly because Caroline was having so much fun playing with the dough. Jackson, true to his personality, was carefully rolling the cookies into balls and placing them on the tray. Caroline, on the other hand, was smashing them and squishing them in her hand. Lots of fun for both of them!

Caroline thought I was taking a picture, and kept saying "cheese." You have to catch her unawares for a good picture, and it's hard to do!
As a side note, we were praying before bed tonight, and we always ask for sweet dreams and a good nights sleep (what mom doesn't?!), but then Jack prayed for bad dreams for Caroline. I told him that wasn't very kind, but he responded that God loves bad things too, like bad people. It still didn't sound very kind to me, so he thought about it, and then prayed for wild dreams for his sister instead. "That would be fun Mom," he assured me. I guess wild dreams are okay with me, as long as they lead to sound sleep!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

For Anna and Josie

We spent quite some time this afternoon watching Anna and Josie videos, as Caroline calls them. We even went way back and watched one of Anna dancing, doing "real ballet," with her yellow wings. Miss Caroline wanted to show her cousins her "real ballet," so we went directly to my room, where there was already kids music playing, and took a video of her dancing, to share. Here's the video, which includes a lot of twirling, and even an arabesque and a pirouette, straight out the the ballet ABC book we keep getting at the library (I think this is the third time now). Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Farm

Two weeks ago now, the kids and Becky and I drove to Portland for a spur of the moment trip to meet Michael and Jeanette's new baby, Maia. She's a doll! While we were there, we also had the opportunity to see my brother Jeff, his wife Farrah, and their three kids (thanks for a LOVELY meal Mosers!), and to spend a day with Ginya, Joanne, and Helen on their farm. I have said for two weeks now that I would post pictures of our visit to Portland, and I'm finally getting to at least the final day of our visit: the trip to the farm. This was definitely the highlight of our quick trip for the kids, although the new kitten at Michael and Jeanette's house would be a close second. Caroline liked Sparkle: she's just her size. I doubt however that the excitement was mutual. We could see a horse right outside Ginya's window, so we had to go see. Becky and the kiddos wandered off and picked and ate Asian pears. Ginya held her newest great-granddaughter while we wandered around the farm. Caroline never did take a nap that day, but she did share a little quiet time with Aunt Becky. She's the best aunt ever! Uhhhh, with the exception of course of all the other aunts :) Jack and Aunt Jeanette found some plums. Jeanette has already mastered doing everything one-handed! There was even a sandbox, which the kids enjoyed for a few minutes before they found other things to do like picking tomatoes, corn, and peppers, or digging up carrots and beets (check out Michael and Jeanette's facebook pictures for more info). Ginya and Caroline picking tomatoes. Two ladies laden with produce. Ginya drove us around for a short walk up to the upper field. There's quite a view, and we also got to see several gliders being dropped to soar over the valley. I think that's what Michael is pointing at here. We also walked down to the back pasture . . . can you think of better people to go for a walk with? What a great group! Joanne and Caroline watching the tractors outside. We weighed baby Maia on the scale in Ginya's house. Isn't she a cutie? Michael helped disc the lower field, while Helen rode the other tractor. Dueling tractors! Jack tried out the swing. The rope swing on the other side of the tree was also a hit. Uncle Michael on the tractor, with Bear running alongside. At some point Michael came around the corner of Ginya's house and said: "your son's on a horse, by the way. " And sure enough he was! Helen generously saddled a horse for him and let him ride. I'm pretty sure he'd like to be a cowboy now. On our drive home the next day he asked, "can we go back to the farm tomorrow mom? Forever?" Caroline even rode the horse for a few minutes. I don't remember what changed her mind, but it was something competitive or contrary. She's definitely two! Uncle Michael wearing a brussel sprout hat. After all of our farming fun, we went back and Ginya had cooked us a wonderful shephard's pie. Yum! Joanne and Ginya both gave the kids airplane rides on their feet (yeah, they're amazing: not sure if I could do it--not with Jack anyway). And they had fun clambering all over Ginya, Joanne, and Helen. Thanks to all three for letting us visit!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Weekend at the Beach

Last weekend we came up with a spur of the moment plan to go to Pajaro Dunes. It's located just west of Watsonville, halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, and we last went there when Jackson was six weeks old, so four years ago. We called last Wednesday to see if they had any available condos for the next night, and they did, so off we went! We arrived just before sunset on Thursday night, and stayed until checkout at noon Sunday. It was a true vacation: we played on the beach, and didn't leave except to buy groceries once or twice. Andrew and Will were not able to come since they had previous plans, so it was just the four of us: Trace, Holly, Jackson, and Caroline. We went for lots of walks down the beach, collecting sand dollars, practicing our letters in the sand, and we built sand castles and played in the waves. Every day. That's all we did, and it was completely relaxing. Jackson and Trace watching the sunset Thursday after our arrival. Both kids had some trepidations about the water at first, but in the next three days they certainly overcame their fears! Looking at a shell perhaps? Caroline and I watching the sunset with our shades on. We saw a lot of pelicans, sandpipers, and seagulls, with or without the sunsetting. The kids loved the bunk beds in their bedroom. They both slept through the night every night--no worries about new beds with these two! Caroline slept on the bottom bunk, and although Jackson played on the top bunk all day, and called it his, he slept on the queen bed also in their room at night. That was fine with me, since I didn't have to worry about him falling. I packed their warm pajamas, which they haven't worn much since last winter, and Jack found a hole in his foot. Our first full day at the beach was Friday, and it was a sunny, beautiful day. Trace and Jack built a sand castle together, which surprisingly lasted the whole trip, although hit by waves a number of times. Caroline built her own sand castle, further back on the beach, because she was a little intimidated by the waves coming close to the big one. The kids loved playing in the big sand castle, and spent time in it every day.
Jack did a good job with his shovelling! The next day dawned foggy, but still warm, and the fog didn't slow us down much. This is the view from our condo.The kids spent a long time running in and out of the waves, and Caroline would run back and forth between Trace and I. She always held a hand, but Jack by day two was pretty fearless, and he got soaked falling down in the waves, perhaps intentionally.
They even did ballet in the water, and their shadows were pretty cool too! For dinner that night Trace made fresh oysters. Both kids tried them--this was definitely their first oysters, but contrary to her face, Caroline actually asked for more.Caroline's first bite of oyster. Her reaction.
Then we finished up with clams for dinner, which everyone enjoyed. Eating seafood sitting outside at the ocean. What could be better than that?
Sunday morning I didn't take the camera with me, so that I could get a little further in the water. It was cool that morning, and the kids had on sweatshirts with their shorts, but as you can imagine, that didn't stop them from getting soaked to the waist. We had a lovely trip, so much fun that we're hoping to do it all again soon. Want to come?