year of the rabbit*

On Sunday, we went to the Chinese Cultural Center to check out the festival they were holding in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit. It was somewhat of a photographer's dream with all of the visual stimuli and the color! We had a good time soaking in the sights and sounds. There were some amazing performers. We've come down to this center to go to the Chinese Market before and to eat dinner at one of the yummy restaurants. I asked Asher and Journey to share about what they remember from the day.
*Asher* I remember the biggest dragon. There is all different kinds. The biggest one was red and the smallest one was a little smaller than the first dragon we saw. And, I remember the first dragon that we saw. I remember the Ferris wheel. I was playing with some friends on the ferris wheel saying "hello there, hello there, hello there!" and they were laughing. The Chinese Cultural Center is the best. It was awesome. It is the best place to be because it has ice cream. There was two ponds in the gardens. There was one pond with two goldfish and there was a giant pond that just had tiny fish and a coral. It wasn't really colorful because it had algae all over it. There was a rocky place that was like an area where koi fish can live. They can live next to bamboo. They can live next to rocky parts with water. And guess what these fish eat? They eat the algae. Guess what I did? I put the algae in my hand and threw it in the water. And guess what they did? They were nibbling it! The fish also ate dead lily pads. Also, I was fishing for fish with my hands. I loved them. The buildings where we were were really cool. They looked just like the Chinese buildings. I also liked watching the guys do the karate stuff. I felt happy about the day.
*Journey* This is what Journey remembers about the day: riding the pony* having fun* jumping in the bounce house* sitting down and watching the shows* having some ice cream* playing*
It was also like 80 degrees when we were out there. Seriously. 80 degrees, in February. Oh my.


where the days pass like minutes*

i'm not sure how it has been well over a week since i last posted. i am choosing to look at that as a good sign that life is full, and we are busy living. ;) i'll treat this post as an attempt to catch up with what we have done in the past week and a half.
the day after i wrote, we had a trip planned to Biosphere 2. asher has been really wanting to visit here after we talked with him about it several months ago. he was asking about it at least once week and so we planned a trip out there with a group of friends. josh was able to take the day off to join us, which was a huge help. trips out into environments like that, with all three is still proving to be difficult for me. so, the extra pair of hands is always helpful and appreciated! it was interesting. the tour held asher's attention for the most part. he soaked in a lot and was surprised that a group of people had lived there before. in the beginning, the guide asked how many of us would be willing to stay inside the Biosphere for two years. i thought to myself, " two years of peace and quiet and gardening? where do i sign up?". ha! asher really liked the sections where we talked about the air pressure, the fog desert and the "ocean". journey loved running around with her pals.
a lot of our time has been filled up with the regular stuff. helping dad make muffins...measuring, taking turns stirring, learning about why muffins rise when they cook.
reading...exploring our interests. this is one of my favorite sights of all time. when the house falls silent, i know that either 1) i am about to walk into some type of disaster, or 2) they are both completely enthralled in books. this vision always, always brings a smile to my face.
exploring shapes, creative energy, letters, and imagination through our wooden blocks and sticks...
the weekend brought a couple of parties. yummy food, good company...and then repeat. sunday we had earth scouts in the morning. i just caught the tail end of things because i ran an errand to give kodiak a decent nap in the car. the kids are earning a peace and non-violence badge and so they did a lesson on peace, where they read a book and made a peace tree and then took a walk around the preserve. we packed a picnic and stayed in the park for lunch. it was beautiful out. after lunch we went to the recreation center where asher could climb the rock wall. he LOVES to climb. journey is itchin' to go too...but she has to wait until she is 5. she keeps asking me when she will turn 5. that number holds some kind of crazy magic to her.
monday brought a lesson date with some of our friends. we covered the days of the week...playing games, singing songs and enjoying the afternoon together. after that, we started preparing for an early valentine's day party we decided to host last minute this week. we made some decorations
some valentines for our loved friends
and some totally indulgent and delicious whoopie pies. journey helped measure, pour, stir, mix, bake and lick. ;)
the party was wonderful. the kids did a heart hunt game where they each got to find 5 hearts that were hid around the house. they played a heart dart game and exchanged valentines with each other. they also tried a craft and then had some lunch (heart shaped sandwiches, fruit, and other crafty snackies). and then they played for hours and it was perfect. other than that, we have just been exploring through art and song and reading. it takes up most of our time, really...the exploration.
we had a really great day of making some medicine with a dear friend on friday, and that has brought up a lot of conversations about medicine from the earth. asher is wanting to make a tincture or salve from the roots of the mallow in our backyard. hopefully i will have something to post on that soon. :) this weekend has been another busy one...i will save all that for tomorrow. better yet, i think i will ask asher and journey to write the post. their words and summary would probably be much more inspiring. :)


dig it.

we had a lovely weekend. i felt very weary and tired by friday evening and woke up saturday feeling totally sick. luckily, josh took the babe when we woke up early in the morning and let me sleep in. my body is in some serious need for rest. i am slowly catching up on the weekends as much as possible. this weekend was pretty slow, which was very healing. mmmmmmmm. i was doing my best to clean up the backyard by saturday afternoon. the dirt. oh, the dirt! my kids are outside a LOT these days with this amazing, beautiful "winter" weather. which means my house is filled with dirt. our backyard is all dirt. totally wonderful for the senses...but it requires a lot of broom action indoors. my kids walk around like "Pig-Pen" from Peanuts. seriously. asher waked in the house today, COMPLETELY covered in dirt and said "I was just in a dust storm". he had shut himself in the hot house and started throwing dirt around, trying to see if it would all stay inside without the outside air blowing it around. :) needless to say. i vacuum and sweep what feels like a ridiculous amount. over the weekend, josh also helped asher with a pretty cool project. they created a dig site in our backyard. asher helped with turning the soil, measuring the site, determining how many stakes would be needed for the site, and then hammering the stakes and roping them off. next up...we are going to bury his fossil collection within the dig site where he can dig up fossils, brush them off and record them in details in his very own fossil log. he will be able to record what the fossil looks like and where he found it within his site. it was wonderful to see josh so active in a project with one of his children. yum. :)
asher, showing me a trick with his shovel. :)
tonight, asher went to a lab night for the local paleontological society. :) he is such a fossil lover. they meet once a month and he has joined them for the past 3 months or so. he digs it (no pun intended) and has a wonderful time getting the hands on experience with fossils. the first night he went, he got to take home his very own fossil. he has that in his room, displayed with all of his other fossil finds. tonight, they were searching for pieces of egg shell within mounds of dirt, i guess. i have yet to go with asher to one of these meetings. josh takes him and i stay with journey and babe while they are away at lab night. :) i guess they are looking for what is believed to be the first eggshells ever found in AZ. asher thought he saw a piece of eggshell in a chunk of dirt and was diligently working away on a certain rock with his microscopic goggles and tooth brush. asher, the paleontologist.
monday was fairly challenging.... but with that came one of the most powerful conversations i have had with asher in a long while. i like to think that i have evolved enough to know that the hard stuff helps me recognize the flow when it happens. like when journey wakes me up with an excited "it is morning, mama! see the light? can i go outside and blow my bubbles? it is a GOOD day for bubbles!". and then i say yes. that is flow. that is good. that is worth all of it.