Monday, June 30, 2014

Sharpie mug oven project

                           We did our version of the sharpie mug project last week and it went pretty well. I bought some white mugs from Goodwill and had the kids plan our their drawings first. Then I let them draw on the mugs in permanent marker.

 There are lots of variations of this project floating around. Here's what worked for us.

1. Cheap mugs. They are from the thrift store, but originally the mugs are from Ikea, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. Basically the glaze has to melt in the oven and then dry again with the ink now on it.

2. Clean the mugs well. Ours had a few spots where the adhesive from the price stickers was still there and that part is an ugly brown after going through the oven.

3. Put the mugs in the cold oven. Then set to 425. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool in the oven.

4. Go read some books.

5. Remove when they are all the way cool.

 I put ours in the dishwasher right after they cooled down  just to see what would happen and all of the designs stayed put.

The kids thought this project was a blast and they love drinking out of their mugs now.

Friday, June 27, 2014

the museum

Thursday, June 26, 2014

and then sometimes.....

you have a photo session just for fun. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What should we do?

Every year I struggle with the balance. In February, (yes you read that correctly) when it's time to sign up for summer camps, I think a lot about the balance. I want some structured time- because the camps are fun, because it separates the siblings, because she gets to do things she doesn't normally get to do. But I also value those long stretches of summer- when anything can happen, when their imaginations have free reign. When we spend handfuls of hours at the park or the pool or the library, just because we can. 

How can you tell how many of those days is the right amount, and when you've reached the tipping point into fighting and crankiness? And how can you make that call in February of all months?

So, I try. This year we have two solid weeks of nothing planned before a couple of camps start up. I've noticed it takes some time to ease into the summer schedule. The kids get so used to have every minute planned out at school, dotted with bells and finished off with a clock. It's a readjustment for all of us to realize that whatever we're doing, we can do it for as long as we feel inspired. 

Unity's been wanting to learn cursive. I don't even know if they teach it at schools anymore, but I think it's important so we're working on it over the summer. 

Self portrait by Brixton. 

If they tell me they're bored, I tell them I always have chores for them to do. 

I enjoy it, getting into this summer frame of mind.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

At the wading pool

Portrait of summer with chipped toe polish, Dashiell Hammett and kid's comics at the side of the wading pool. 

From Unity's summer journal: When we got to the wading pool the water smelled like fresh sea water without salt. It was noisy from kids splashing, cars going by, people talking and kids playing at the park nearby. The adults sat on blankets on the grass and sometimes dipped their feet in the water. We were sliding down where the water came out. My friend Baird who is 3 was there and my friend Reuben who is 7 was there too. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Longest Day

We had a weekend full of light, full of friends, full of hard work and projects. A weekend of three birthday parties, a gathering of my Quaker parenting group at Meeting, and Chris working on a big house project that involves replacing some siding, and digging a trench to put in some rat-proof wire against the side of the house. Phew. We celebrated the longest day by filling our days up to the brim. 

Let's hope this coming week is a little more steady. The solstice is fun and all but there's a reason it only comes twice a year. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

School's out school's out

Now the parties and picnics are over, the desks cleaned out and sent home. Now the hugs and promises have been exchanged on the playground, the yearbook looked over and the growth exclaimed over. Now we begin. Hello summer. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Theo's party

A few days ago, we got to help our friend Theo celebrate turning two. He had a fun backyard party with hula hoops and a pinata. At first Unity wasn't interested in being the oldest kid at the party, but she bonded with  Leia and had fun helping her out and carrying her around. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bridging to Brownies

This weekend, Unity's Girl Scout troop bridged up from a Daisy troop to a Brownie troop. We had the ceremony in a beautiful park in West Seattle called Camp Long. The girls read parts of a poem out loud, got their new brownie pin and badge and had a closing circle. Then we had a potluck and the kids climbed around like mountain goats. It's been fun to see the introduction to Girl Scouts and it will be interesting to see where they go as Brownies. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

                        Happy Father's Day to Chris, the guy who is always up for a roar, the dad who is playful, curious, up for the challenge, firm yet loving, amused and involved. Totally grateful for this guy.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What I like about me

Unity's class at school did a cool project recently where they each wrote a poem about "What I like about me." Kids wrote about their brains, their hearts, their knees and hands and eyes and mouths. Unity was the only one who choose to write about her hair. I love this project and teaching kids body acceptance and pride in their differences. Also, I love Unity's fact on the side of her poem, about how she gets her curls from her grandpa's family. (Both grandpas actually!) 

Such a sweet project. 

Monday, June 09, 2014


We had some friends over last night while their parents went out to a movie. All the kids played together well. There was a drum session and books, and lots of Legos and dancing in the garden.