Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


 From our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Skylanders and Soccer


I sewed a Skylander NightShift costume for Buster.  Apparently, he teleports, so he doesn't have legs, just some wispy mist.



Q-ster is now a big fan of Lionel Messi, champion soccer player.   A good time was had by all!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Curious George Comes Home


In first grade, names are drawn for two special things each week.  It was Buster's turn to bring Curious George home and write a story about the weekend.


George enjoyed piano lessons and eating pizza.


Coincidentally, Buster's name was also drawn to be VIP of the class for the week.  So it was a busy weekend, taking photos of George and filling out the VIP poster.  He was pretty thrilled.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The One Ring


One of Q-ster's friends has watched all of The Lord of the Rings movies, which re-ignited Q-ster's interest in the story.  He started re-reading the books, pulled out the party favor ring we got last year, and we're going to start watching the first film together.  Fun times, sharing our favorite things!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trick Shot


Q-ster's been watching YouTube videos of Dude Perfect, a group that does sports stunts, like throwing a basketball across the entire court into the hoop, or throwing a football from the top of the stands into a target.

Tonight, he set up the laundry basket all the way across the living room and dining rooms and practiced throwing the Angry Bird pig plush (nice and soft, and therefore allowable as an indoor throw toy) until he got it in the basket.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Animal? Vegetable?


This is one seriously weird looking fruit.  It looks like it should have eyes and be a cousin to the hedgehog, but apparently it's called Jackfruit.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Uses for a Test Tube


Both boys have been learning about plants at school this autumn.  I came home one day to find this on our windowsill.

It turned out that Buster brought home some wheat he'd been growing with the first grade class, and pulled out his chemistry set pieces to give it a place to live.  Still flourishing!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Creative Minds


Q-ster picked up The Three Musketeers off our bookshelf and finished it this week.  Obviously, the next step was to make a Lego fencing sword.  I just love how he's always surprising us with what he wants to read.


In the meantime, Buster drew a comic about Peter Parker.  Notice how he wrote "Marvel" in the top corner to be complete.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

70's Style


A favorite shot of the 70's girls from the party last week.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

On a Mission

Every 4th grader in California studies the history of the Spanish Missions and is assigned a major project to build a model mission.  The kids learn about the geography (from San Diego to San Francisco, all the way up the Californa coast!), economy, religious practices, and functions of the mission system, and lavish hours on completing their missions.  It's also a source of a lot of parental stress, so I can understand there being a market for helpful supplies.  This, however, really seems not quite in the spirit of learning.

I ran across these in a trip to Michael's a while back.


"Highly detailed, pre-cut mission kit" with assembly time of one hour.



A slightly more involved kit, "build from scratch," (except that they provide the pieces?) taking 4-5 hours.


Tons of accessories - miniature wheelbarrows, barrels, buckets, plants, animals.


Even tiny bags of flour.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with perfect little mission parts, but what if you don't want to spend $2.99 for a Lilliputian garden lattice, times a hundred for all the other components?  I imagine that the teachers will recognize homemade efforts (even if clumsy) as much as the Pinterest-ready scenes.

We'll see what my opinion becomes later this year, because Q-ster will probably have to build one of these things.  Maybe we can sew one out of plush.


Monday, October 06, 2014

Tea Through Time


Check out my handsome boys! I don't get to dress them up too often, so this was particularly fun.  We were attending a Tea Through Time - SwingDaddy turned 40 this year, one friend turned 50, another turned 60, and the hostess's house turned 100.  So, the costume years were a choice of 1914, 1954, 1965, and 1974.


We arrived in 1914-esque outfits.


 I was convinced to update to the 1970s with the loan of a vintage white halter jumpsuit.  I was commenting to the other ladies that it was amazing that the white fabric stayed so sharp over the intervening years, and our costuming expert sniffed, "Polyester.  It stays exactly the same forever!"


Madame A had prepared a cake with representative candles for each birthday.


The challenge was to blow out only those candles that belonged to each birthday person.



Everyone was successful!


And we feasted on various treats, including the homemade donuts made by SwingDaddy.  I also brought about ten metric tons of fresh fruit, which was consumed in short order by the boys.


Fabulous in every year.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Swedish Breakfast and Flat-Pack Furniture


It was time to get Buster a real desk in his room, so we made the trek to IKEA.  I'm so impressed with the thoughtful details in their setup.  They have carts that hold multiple trays, so parents can handle the whole family's meals with one hand and still keep ahold of their kids.


The Swedish-American breakfast, including Swedish pancakes and lingonberry jam.


Buster hugs a reindeer and I hug a broccoli.  We love plush!  (but resisted bringing them home.)


There it is, the future desk in its boxes.  The boys are pretty excited to set it up.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Singing Heroes in Miniature


I had this idea to make little felt dolls of a few musical theater characters the other evening.  I was watching interviews of various stars on the Broadway.com site while I sewed, so I tweeted this photo.  The editor of the site retweeted it and somebody who saw the photo correctly identified the character as Pippin!


Pippin and Elder Price from The Book of Mormon. They were gifts to some talented musical theater actors here in California on tour.  I'm particularly pleased with the zigzag stitch to make the chain mail on Pippin.  they're not totally symmetrical, but I guess that's the charm of hand-made and pattern-free. ;)

Next up, a Skylander Halloween costume for Buster.  He just has to decide what character to be!

Friday, October 03, 2014

All Caught Up

Whew!  I'm all caught up with summer vacation and back to school photos!  It's probably non-traditional to backdate those posts, but I wanted to be able to keep track of when we were flying around and visiting friends in the north.  Onward into the year. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Challenge



For the fourth year in a row, SwingDaddy participated in an event to raise funds for early cancer detection. He rode 100 miles!  We met him at the finish line.


Yay!


The event "Kids Zone" had candy bags, a bounce house,


and a balloon artist. 


In the evening, SwingDaddy and I went to the celebratory dinner.


It was so beautiful, with lights strung under the redwood trees.



Next year, maybe the rest of us will join in for the 5K. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pippin!


Opening night of Pippin in San Francisco!


I saw the production on Broadway last year and was glad to see them come to town.



We had a blast and got to meet some of the leading actors (and their dogs) after the show.

Monday, September 22, 2014

UnFountain



The corporate campus where I work has many, many interesting fountains, all of which were turned off in a fit of frugality about ten years ago.  They look sort of sad and abandoned, and I wonder if they should just be repurposed as something else.








I've never even see the fountain above in action.  I'll bet it'd be beautiful in the summer - sprays of water falling on the rounded rocks.