Friday, January 13, 2017

Kyle's Birthday

We have had a busy January so far! Kyle bought new glasses, so of course we all had to try them on.
 We bought Ticket to Ride Jr. which is an awesome family game. Kyle likes building tiny trains and Sora likes winning. Fun for all!
 We made new year's goals. Sora's are pretty amazing. I put piano and Spanish on her list. SHe added things like "I will not hurt other's feelings" and "bathe every other day".
 She also decorated the covers of both of our journals. As you can tell, she is way into cursive at the moment.
 To celebrate Kyle's birthday, we went out to a Korean restaurant. Sora ordered Korean sushi. It was delicious!
 There was a reading/snuggle fest, as always.
 And we went bowling. Sora had never been before and she seemed to love it!

 To celebrate even more, we had a snow day on Monday. Kyle had to work, so Sora and I celebrated without him. This is our first snow day in the three years we have lived in Yakima.

 After much outside entertainment, Sora and I had to break out the creative works and made some oil pastel drawings.
 And finally here is a photo of Sora before swim team practice. She recently got new goggles, a new swim cap, and a new swim suit. Adorable! (*since Kyle reminds me that there are no photos in the locker room I want to assure everyone that this was the only photo, all participants are fully clothed, and have waver forms on file).

Monday, January 2, 2017


Sora is becoming a budding ballerina. Since she started lessons in October she practices her dance moves every chance she gets.
We did a count down to Solstice. I simplified it this year - I am accepting the fact that we can't do everything we used to do in December that we did when we lived in WI and Sora and I were home every day. It feels good to let go of that pressure.
Sora and I at the holiday symphony. She is rocking a very fancy skirt to make up for the casual shirt.
Sora is always the guinea pig for my projects at work. This means that over break she got to try out drawing with crayons on a warm hot plate. It was a success (and something she did when she was 4).
On the 31st of each month Baskin Robbins has a sale. Sora was stoked to go on new year's eve together.
We spent a lot of time snuggling and reading over break.
Sora in front of her grandma McPherson's tree. Notice the ballet pose (and the "unders" that she wore almost a week straight).
And my favorite selfie of winter break!

School starts back tomorrow, which means no more sleeping in until 8 or later (a skill Sora was finally beginning to understand) and not wearing the same pajamas for multiple days. It might be a rough transition for the poor kid (and the rest of us).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Solstice - city style

This year we celebrated Solstice in town, and the day before actual solstice. Such a break from tradition!
 Much time was spent reading (as every day)
 We decorated the trees in the backyard for the birds.

 We went on an extremely icy walk in the neighborhood.

 Sora and Kyle made me a book of poems to commemorate various milestones in my life. So sweet!
 Kyle and I made Sora a swinging chair. She loves it and spent 2 hours reading in it while Kyle and I napped.
 For dinner, Sora insisted on sushi. Somehow we lost our mats and made impromptu newspaper sushi mats. They worked pretty well.
 We had a sushi feast!
And of course solstice wouldn't be complete without candles and cupcakes, lots of family games, and a night spent together in the living room. This was the first year without a fireplace, but we made it work.

Happy holidays!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Giving Thanks

 This was the first year Sora took her job as Kyle's sous chef seriously. Together they planned an elaborate menu, picked up the turkey from the farm, and did every step to make a delicious meal.

The theme this year was: no recipes. We did use a recipe for the desert, but the rest was all Kyle and Sora. Sora took care of the sweet potato biscuits:
while Kyle did a lot of various other things.
 Together, they made a delicious pavlova for desert
 complete with candied pecans!
 We shared the delicious meal with Kyle's family, but no cousins so Sora got a lot of extra adult attention (both good and bad).

Other than that, we watched a lot of TV this weekend, played with Kyle's brother's family at the trampoline park, and I reintroduced myself to my knitting needles. I meant to make a slouchy hat for myself with some fancy yarn I bought in Seattle. It turned into a non-slouchy hat for Sora (that she won't appreciate nearly enough because it is a bit scratchy - hand dyed and a silk/wool blend but she won't be able to understand those nuances). It's cute though!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mother/Daughter Date

Kyle spends a lot of weekends up at camp without us, so Sora and I had a whole weekend planned when Kyle's plans at camp changed and shortened our mother/daughter weekend into a morning date instead. 

We started off at the bakery with a muffin.
 Downtown is often dead, so I always love when there is an event which draws people. Today, in addition to what we were downtown for, there was also a big beer drinking event with chalk signs all over the sidewalks. We even saw a political gathering at the town square.
 We headed to a puppet and singing show. Sora took a while to warm up to the act.

 She finally got interested and wiggled on the floor like an alligator with the other children.
And eventually, she even winded up on stage (yes, in her pajamas). She had fun and had a huge smile on her face the whole time!
We also went to the Dia de los Muertos exhibits. Different organizations and families make alters for various reasons. Here is the alter made by the library to honor authors and illustrators who died this past year. This is the third year Sora and I have seen the alters and Sora decided next year we should make one at home for my grandma.

The library also had a small alter in the downtown branch. I love that the whole community rallies around this holiday. I love it much more than Halloween. Last weekend, we all went to the Dia de los Muertos in a small town nearby. We ate tamales, made some crafts (Sora is making her Guatemalan kite from a kit that she bought there right now!), saw people we knew, and felt like a part of a community.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Some random things that have been happening lately:

My awesome dad and father-in-law came over and helped us pour this sweet cement slab in our backyard. Before this, it was known as the dirt patch (or the mud patch or the weed patch depending on the season). Now it will be known as a patio. Very classy. We might even dye it with some fancy cement acid stain and someday may even put a hot tub on it. We'll see.
Sora went to the dentist for her 7.5 year old birthday celebration. She was not very excited about this milestone. She had a cavity, but only one which is a win in my book.
 Here she is just being plain adorable.
The other day, I went into her class to observe since I wasn't able to go to her open house (the downside of teaching at Sora's school - I had to host my own classroom's open house). Anyway, she was excited to show me something she called "Grammar in Art". She chose this picture:
Children Playing on the Beach by Mary Cassatt 

There were a number of questions (grammar related, or course) to answer regarding the picture. The first was to name "at least 5" nouns. Sora wrote down 6, explaining that she always tries to do one more than is asked. She said, "5 is the minimum, and I want to do more than the minimum". It made my overachieving heart happy. 2 was to name some proper nouns that could be related to the picture. She wrote "Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Summer Solstice". 3 was a sentence that she had to symbolize. Symbolizing sentences is something I especially love about Montessori elementary. I remember learning grammar diagraming in 7th grade and absolutely LOVING it. I love that Sora gets to start that 6 years earlier! She doesn't know all of the parts of speech yet - she knew all of the triangles (article, adjective, nouns) and circles (verbs) on her own. The other symbols (for conjunction and preposition) she didn't know. So, she walked over to a chart on the wall which explains each type of speech, shows the symbol and gives and example. From that, she extrapolated  that "and" was a pink rectangle and "in" and "under" were green crescents. I was super impressed that she figured that all out on her own, and when she showed Kyle a few days later, she even remembered what those two types of speech were called.
 Unfortunately, when she came to actual open house with Kyle, she face planted on the way inside and was pretty upset, which ended the evening a lot sooner than planned.