Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winter Flamenco Recital

We just had our annual winter recital last weekend. This time I sewed myself two new costumes!

Kevin, Beth, and Emma were kind enough to show up to our dress rehearsal to take some video for me. I have several videos of past performances and I use them to see where I'm in need of improvement, but thanks to Kevin's camera skills this one's good enough to share! Keep in mind that this is intermediate level dancing. It's not meant to be an example of great flamenco dancing (for those of you "aficionados" who find my blog through an internet search and want to make a snarky comment about the quality of the dancing). But for my family and friends who want to see what I'm up to, have at it.

Oh, and Kevin IS allowed to make snarky comments. That's part of our arrangement.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Learning happens

All the time!

Here are some of the kids' experiences within the last week. Mind you, these are only the ones I actually managed to photograph.

Eliza has been very interested in painting recently.

Here she is surfing the web. That's right, at 4 years old she knows how to get to some of her favorite bookmarked websites and how to navigate the sites. She doesn't read yet, but she is recognizing several words that help her navigate around. Note that her Pikachus really enjoy surfing with her.

Both kids have been picking up our various instruments regularly and really enjoy feeling them out and making up their own songs. They also like to accompany Chris while he plays and I sing. (Side note--I have started learning some chords on the guitar too! This inspires the kids to want to learn as well.) Scotty likes the bass and the cello. Eliza likes the piano, and both like the guitars.

I was recently given the wonderful gift of my late grandmother's sewing machine and it turns out that it's a great gift for Scotty too! Who knew there were gears and eccentrics inside? Of course he immediately figured out how it all worked and intuitively knew where I was supposed to oil it (I checked the manual--he was right!)

Chris has been busy working on the next phase of his shop. Here he and Scotty are building a wood rack so that Chris can move his stacks of lumber out of the shop and into permanent storage-finally!

A bit of winter

We had a light flurry a few weeks ago. It wasn't until Thanksgiving that it even started to get cold here. With our passive solar design we were still reaching 77F inside the house, and we even had to shut the shades a few times to keep from overheating. But now we have settled into a more average weather pattern. It's been freezing at night for some time now and lately the highs have been in the 40's and 50's. More clouds have meant not as much solar gain, which is hard on our PV system and keeps the house on the cool side. But we still haven't needed to light a fire in the woodstove yet (our only source of backup heat). We're hoping to make it till Christmas this year.


Every year we look forward to Marilyn's annual Thanksgiving feast. Marilyn is Chris' mom, and she's also the best cook I have ever known. She is an inspiration because she creates the most amazing food and seems to really love doing it too.

With Barry's very qualified help, they please the eye as well as the palate.

No wonder we all come back every year!

Play till you drop

We have a couple of new families in our homeschooling group! One night last month one of the families came down to the farm for an evening. The kids played together so well and had a great time. They literally just kept going and going until they all passed out. Here's the aftermath: