Monday, June 19, 2006

Summertime and the Living is Busy

Stop me before I cute again! Actually, I've promised three more of these little beauties, inspired by Stephanie, of course:

Knit from's Sonata collection -- a very fast, very fun project. I'm just guessing at how many stitches for each kid -- I figure once I have this one assigned (turns out it's Thing 3's with 90 stitches), then I'll just go up or down 10 stitches to fit the available head assortment. Notice that I have posted no pictures at all of Cabaret's sleeves. Wonder why that is? Hard to photograph the nonexistent.

[Jen, "winging things" is clever-speak for figuring out what to do when you've got the wrong number of stitches and ripping seems counterproductive. Besides, you spin, let me remind you.]

And in the magical half hour before the Things stumble out of bed, Thing 2 sporting her Tina Turner-esque bedhead, I want to play catch up. This weekend, in addition to knitting, we entered our town's sand castle contest. One of the things I like most about living here is that despite sporting some of the world's most insane real estate prices, this town manages to retain some innocence.

The team next to us sounded as though they were out for blood -- not having a lot of fun and being very competitive -- and they did win a second place. That did little to underscore my repeated admonishments to Thing 1 that what mattered was the fun, not winning. But their sculpture wasn't world class, and the castles were, in my opinion, even more amateur. It was so much fun! I especially liked a sculpture entry titled "Sand Andreas," which featured a cool collapsed building over a fault line. Turns out they were trying to make a city when gravity intervened, so they went with plan B.

What'd we make? A Picasso-inspired pregnant mermaid:

And a closeup of her lovely face:

The Things were annoyed that we didn't win, but the judges liked the sand Ipod better. I just figured that since we made it to the contest, and then actually finished an entry, with one mom and four children, one of whom was intent on eating sand and clay and then crying unless held, we won.

On Sunday, I took the three youngest to a local regional park for a snake talk. I learned how to tell a gopher snake from a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (gopher shiny, rattler dull), and that the guy talking caught his first rattlesnake at 6. Thanks, Snake Guy! Now Thing 2 wants to make a snake hook from a paint roller and be taken into the hills in the evening to hunt snakes. I may do it with her sometime, but it's a major undertaking with babykins.

The coolest thing to come from the talk is that Thing 2 is all jazzed up about keeping a journal about the critters she observes. She took my garden pest book outside and discovered what was eating the pole beans -- loopers!

So she and her brother caught them (because, of course, we can't kill the garden pests) and named them (Catty and Pill), and made little houses for them. Then we read about them. Then we wrote in the journal about where they were found, on what date, etc.

I don't know about most homeschooling families, but our summers feel more packed than our school year. We go swimming a lot, go outdoors a lot, and just have lots to do. Now, of course, I have to take the kids out to somewhere so that Thing 2 can observe something alive about once a week, or she just falls apart. Weekends are busier; everything seems to speed up. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm a sunshine kind of person from way back -- good weather makes me want to get up and go. And it will get very hot in September/October, so we have to get to the Ollalieberries and lakes and such before I just want to lie on the floor and moan. Hence, busy.

Today? Swim lessons start (or else I'm going to have to get that Newfoundland) and we're making jam. I'd like to troubleshoot the yogurt, too. It hasn't been seting up so well. Oh, and the dentist, too.


Brittany said...

I love the sand sculpture. You creative types astound me.

Rain said...

How cute is that hat, it's adorable.

Your sand sculpture is astounding.

amy said...

busy busy :-) Beautiful mermaid! Adorable watermelon hat. That garden wormy thing (looper?) looks a lot like the tobacco horn worms we found one year. Those thing ate a pound of green a minute and pooped out these little grenades. Does yours do that?

We kept a nature notebook for a few years when the boys were 4-9ish and it is so fun to look back at it. Sometimes we just recorded weather, other times, drawings, also pasting in leaves, etc etc. Very cool that thing 2 is into naturalist mode!

sorry about writing a novel in your comments

sewingsuzee said...

You all sound very, very happy. Welcome, Summer!

The hat is great, and so is the sculpture.

bfmomma said...

Oh, wow... the sand sculpture is COOL! and we've kept (and killed....) many a garden pest.

I WANT that hat pattern! Why didn't you mention it when I was looking for baby hats on CS? perfect, I think! :)

jen said...

How did I miss this post? You're the coolest mom ever! If my mom had offered to catch snakes with me or start a naturalist notebook, I never would have left home!

Hm.... suddenly it all makes sense...

allisonmariecat said...

Cute, cute, cute hat! And beautiful mermaid, insane judges :) But it's good that you had fun doing it, anyway.