Thursday, December 28, 2006


Christmas- joyus! Thank all of you for your lovely, wonderful gifts. Thank you so much for listening and for a fun, not too overwhelming Christmas morning. We didn't unwrap even one busty/lusty, gun packing 'hero'. We have gotten much use (already) out of candyland, story time, lincoln logs, fuzzy coats, sword & shield, ball gowns and the #1 wanted "robot that shoots green discs from his chest". So, we've made it through Christmas and Sloane's innocence is still intact. Right now she's all "let's get dirty" but not in a Christina Aguleria way and that's very nice...because she's one. And Billie is digging for earthworms right along with her.
Just WAIT until you see Billie in her Princess Leia outfit!!! The kids have some insane obsession with star wars and check out every book at the library for ages 10 + (or for 30 year old sci-fi geeks like Bill) to study star wars. They play star wars all the time and have carefully memorized odd names of life forms and space craft. So, going against all our normal 'rules' (see? see, we're indulgent sometimes! totally!) we let them watch the actual star wars video the other day. the original not the one with young Anniken being burnt and maimed, screaming out in pain at the loss of his love and all that was good in him. just the original. With scary monstery- type images and all, which it really just seems better NOT to have in your head...but they'd seen them all in the books, we just let them. and how did this turn from a christmas blog to a star wars blog? who knows? here's some pictures. How cute is Billie's drawing of Santa in Sleigh? Worthy of me embroidering it into a pillow? Yes! I think SO!
And seriously, Thank you! Thanksgiving pictures

Saturday, December 23, 2006


So, for the last two weeks we haven't done 'school' as we usually do. No Pledge of Allegiance and no 'assignments' in the morning. (Of course, I think 'school' for a 4 and 5 year old is living a day- finding out how a Christmas tree slowly dies, making up a story or learning how to pour your own milk.) But we haven't done any 'technical' school. (I reassure myself by saying "Neither have the PS kids, though!" You know you just watched movies the last few days before winter break).
But the point is that an interesting thing has happened. Billie has become a teacher. Each day she creates something new; Like a drum, by taking a mug and putting a piece of paper of the top, secured by a rubber hair band; or, a robot from a toy construction set. And then she teaches us about it. This is funny because she sets out pillows for all of us to sit on (very assigned) and assumes this whole 'teachery' posture (do i do that?) and points out things and shows us them and passes them around for us all to examine "see, his esophagus and intestines are in there." (That was for a lesson on aliens.) And she thinks about answers to all our questions. Jackson, Bill and I raise our hands and then we wait to be called on (???!!!). me: "Professor, do aliens have babies from an egg or from their Mommies belly?" Billie: "um....some are born from eggs and others are born from their Mommies tummy and others are c-section babies like me."
"Professor, What planet did this alien come from?"
"from Pluto. no, no, no...aliens don't live on Pluto (she corrects herself) from Saturn!"
so, we've been learning something new every day.
Jackson sometimes will follow up her lesson with one of his own
"These are two aliens. This one is named Crack and this one is named Crack too."
"Professor, if crack was under you would one say that you were on crack?"
Jackson's class is mostly silly but sometimes contains information.
Sloane toddles after her big brother and sister, so not at their level and so not included in their games that it's a little sad.
But sometimes if we have the big white-board out she will point to it and say "BA!" to the kids with an expectant look , as I am clearly teaching them. "Cat" "Hat" "See" "The" "Van" That's pretty cute.
Mom and Bob are here so we went to Chuck E Cheese this afternoon, which can also be found under the nomenclature "parental hell" or "grandparental heaven"
It's certainly fun for Billie, Jackson and Sloane anyway.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Son of a beach

Well, I guess I can write now that I've FINALLY stamped and enveloped my obligatory lame-o Christmas letter. This year I didn't have time for a fake smiles photograph of us all with gelled hair and matching snowman sweaters...but i suppose we've never used gel (except for that one time for Billie's ballet recital...i'll never forget that!) and it's too warm for, those traditions will have to be carried out by the more organized folks in this world.
Here's what I have been able to find the time for: A long-ago planned trip to meet our dear and not-so-near friends, it was a little pact we made before leaving Okinawa "We'll meet half-way when we're living in the States." And we DID it! it wasn't about the location, or the distance, or the dolly parton show tickets, it was all about the friends. They weren't going to let a little strep throat stop them...and we were going to bring our sick, hacking, cough right along with us...mapquest misdirections and all...we made a great time of it. We found letterboxes, seashells, somehow made the kids stop jumping on the bed long enough to allow the babies their daily naps, we swam, we made a tightrope for the seagulls, we took long walks on the beach, watched beautiful sunsets, we made crafts, we were glued to trashy reality tv shows, we made chicken fingers and ate at least 9 apples a day. We had fun despite Jackson continuing (even escalating) his level of recent obnoxious behavior, we have all had at least a slight degree of hearing loss from being confined to a small hotel apartment with Billie's skewed volume of a 'speaking' voice, managed to get through an ear-ache day with and otherwise perfect Camille, and Noah had a few time outs but was really an angel in comparison with the blondie twins here.
So, that's what happened and how it turned out to be so much fun i just can't say...maybe it's the friendship i've cherished so much that i've been missing for months as I search through the sea of other stay-at-home moms......good friends are hard to find.

myrtle beach

we got a new camera- here's what you missed: Sloane turned one, beach frolicking, and see if you can find Jackson...

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Some amazing things have been happening lately. I thought I had done away with the last bits of Thanksgiving when I tossed out two forgotten tupperwares of stuffing last week. Then, yesterday, I found a beef jerky type of honey-baked ham in the Van (in Jackson's cup holder) when I cleaned (cleaned isn't really the right word here...something much less than actually getting anything clean and more about removal of rotten food, apple cores, raisins, and meat that has cured into jerky) the Van in prep for our little vacation. honeybaked ham beef jerky= amazing!
This morning, during our incredible children's class at the Corcoran, the homeschool group of kids had such thoughtful things to say about the paintings Billie would be the first to answer nearly every question with her thoughts- whether right or wrong "I think she's poor...because she doesn't have fancy clothes." For the most part she was right on. We considered how the diagonal lines seem to show movement and what colors stand out on our tour through the Joan of Arc series by a million different artists. Amazing!
And when we came across a huge painting of George Washington on his horse heading into battle Jackson, the youngest in the group (being 4) instantly recognized him and when the leader posed the question what he was famous for Jackson quickly answered "the revolutionary war"...Amazing!
And most amazing of all is that one year ago today Sloane was only just being born!!! She was this squishy, little, squirmy ball of beauty and now she's a walking, talking, teethy little kid with hair and chuckles and doing her little tricks- "how big is Sloane?" "give loves" "bye bye" "woof woof" "book, book, BOOK!"utterly AMAZING!
Billie is picking out some of the fanciest cupcakes in the world- some local baker lady who was featured on TV and delivers to little local coffeehouses as I type this and both kids (although Jackson usually resists creating anything 'arty' of his own design) have spent all day making gifts for her so that there's a pile of pictures and paper/tape/glue creations waiting for her on the table. So sweet! Happy Birthday little (big girl) Sloane!