Saturday, May 31, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
As always joining in with Jodi over at

Putting my camera on monochrome has been a revelation. Poor Siena has broken her elbow as I mentioned in my last post and Reed has been teething- but they have been loving and brave; Siena endured the broken arm and the long 7h hospital visit with not a tear (the only time she cried was when we told her she needs a cast). Reed keeps on trying to do everything Siena is doing- down to wearing a sling.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Share Fair (part 2)- Desalination Project

adding salt to our desalinators (2 were high salinity and 2 were low salinity) 
desalinators ready to desalinate- little rocks in the middle of the plastic wrap to ensure water drips into the collection cups

the big reveal

it worked!

tasting the water was hilarious

measuring what we got in the collection cups

low salinity water got more clear water out

at the fair!

our super awesome homeschooling assistance program teachers Mr. Dan and Ms. Kathryn

We had so much fun with this project. At first we worried about it being a bit too advanced for Siena, but it really wasn't and it was a perfect end of school year project- it allowed us to incorporate so much learning. From why fresh clean water matters and how difficult it is to come by in so many places of the world, to the water cycle, evaporation, salinization, measuring and math, and she loved it all! We were so proud listening to her answer all the questions so carefully and thoughtfully, so that for example when she didn't know the answer- like why did the water with the high salt content become less red (we dyed the water with beets)- she answered it might be because it was exposed to the sun (and while I think that isn't right- I am guessing that as the water evaporated there was more salt left and so more salt to bind the impurities including beet color), it was probably my favorite answer of hers exactly because she didn't know the answer. Silly what sorts of things moms are proud of:)

By the way we got the idea for this project here at and it is a really great website with hundreds of science fair ideas!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Broken Arm, a Brother who Thinks Everything His Older Sister Does is the Bees Knees and a New Found Love of Black and White Photography

Poor girl broke her elbow bone while in the park, simply by tripping over a root:( Got a cast that same day- the only time we saw a tear was when she found out she had to get a cast. That must be so scary when you are so little. Reed thought of course it was the coolest thing since sliced bread and insisted on wearing the sling…he didn't take it off for the rest of the day. He also kept on bringing Siena glasses of water; a girl's gotta stay hydrated to keep healthy.
So not the greatest start to a summer, but we are making the best of it- in fact we have made a lovely schedule with the kids with all sorts of activities for which it matters not if one is wearing a cast- zoos, children's museum, first EVER movie in a movie theater (Miyazaki's The Wind Rises), and lots of other   no-need-for-two-arms-fun.

Friday, May 23, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
As always joining in with Jodi over at
From the clothes in these pictures you could barely tell that early summer is here- but it finally is. These were taken earlier in the week when it was still barely hitting 60s most days- Siena swinging at the mayfair and Reed watering the apple tree- his all time favorite (well his second all time favorite) activity currently - chasing "bunts" (bunnies) is his absolute favorite…which I wouldn't terribly mind if he didn't then whine for mommy to get the bunny to come back. I wish I was half as powerful in controlling the world as my son seems to think I am. When he sees an ambulance, after thoroughly enjoying it- he without fail follows it up with "more ambulance mom," and then just to make sure I understand him does the symbol for "more" while begging "more ambulance mom." If only my son, if only…

And I couldn't resist adding these two: just so smitten by my almost 6 year old.

Share Fair (part 1)- Artbot

The end of the school year has brought many special occasions, recitals and fairs, goodbyes and promises of summer playdates. And while that kept us much busier than I would have expected to be in the beginning of what feels like a summer vacation, I am very glad for it all. When we first started thinking about homeschooling one of my biggest worries was that Siena was going to miss out on all those special occasions like the excitement of the first day of school, Halloween parties at school and badly produced Thanksgiving performances, Valentine cards and dances and end of year concerts and science fairs. So we tried really hard to make sure to capture or recreate some of those same elements in our homeschooling experience. The many activities Siena does has helped in that. We had rehearsals and excited evening ballet recitals that made mommy cry one too many times to tell, the mayfair at the Waldorf school hour or so south of here and we had the Share Fair at the homeschooling assistance program, where Siena does her Junior Great Books program, math and chess clubs, science experiments, art and field trips. For the Share Fair Siena brought 2 projects- one a collaboration with her bestie Myra- and it was a store bough artbot that nonetheless was a huge hit especially with the little folk. We also worked hard on a desalination project, but more about that later. So here we are now, finally officially on summer vacation, spending slow mornings thinking about whether to have that second cuppa in the backyard or not and where to go hiking this morning. Summers are the best!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Nature Table

Although I am quite late with posting this, it is only half my fault- and half Mother Nature's. Spring has been so slow to come in these parts, but I think it is finally here to stay. We had put up our spring nature table almost a month ago, during a fleeting warm-up. We also made a spring play mat, with some flowers, a creek, a little bridge and a tiny animal cottage. Our front door wreath had become a nest for some finches, who bravely defended it from the sparrows that tried to take it over. After finding a dead bird on our porch, very close to the nest, we checked the nest in fear every morning, but the finch babies made it, and left their nest a few days ago. Just yesterday we found them hoping around in our backyard, giving us once again anxiety over their safety, since there are some mean cats in our neighborhood. It made us wonder if there is this much of nature's drama in our backyard, how wild is the rest of the world...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mayfair in Fairfield, Iowa

Ever since we moved to Iowa we've been missing our lively Waldorf community from Sydney. Some of our favorite elements of Waldorf are its focus on seasonal change and the magic of childhood, but often it is hard to create all that magic all by your lonesome (although we tried - winter lantern walk). So it was so nice to find a piece of that magic here in Iowa, albeit several hours south. Mayfairs and Harvest Festivals are probably my favorite seasonal celebrations, and this Mayfair didn't disappoint. Father winter was scared away by some rowdy children, Lady Spring danced and acrobated (so not a word) her way around the maypole, there was a Mayfair parade, maypole dance, bagpipes and celtic dances, pony rides, handworks, garland making, geode breaking, zipline sliding, cake walking, dancing, the most amazing vegan cupcakes, strongman competition?! and so much more; and it was all absolutely perfect. Just what this family needed to start the summer off right.


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
As always joining in with Jodi over at
The end of school year has brought many goodbyes and the recital for Siena's ballet. This last image was taken right before we left for her first real concert- barely made it through the performance without crying and that was only because I cried through pretty much every rehearsal I saw:))) As a parent volunteer I was in the dressing room and I watched her on screens (we'll see her live on Sunday), and they were (her group is the youngest) absolutely adorable!!!

Siena with her troupe:)