Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kids In the Kitchen

I was alone with the kids for dinner tonight and really did not feel like cooking. School planning had kept me busy all afternoon, and dinnertime crept up on me. One of those nights when I didn't have a meal planned out, and the fridge was pretty bare (excet for a ton of peaches!). But then I thought of the pita bread in the freezer. Pita pizzas are easy enough for kids to make all on their own. (For these ones: brush with oil, slice peaches, crumble cheese - done! I helped put them in the oven.) 

The kids have been super helpful in the kitchen lately, and are now responsible for planning and cooking dinner one night a week. So far they are sticking to steamed veggies and rice, but they have a list of other things they want to learn. I love to take them shopping for vegetables. They get so excited: Did we bring enough bags? Will these taste good together? Should we make a sauce? 

The time I spend with them in the kitchen is an investment that is already starting to pay off; and one that will hopefully lead them to a lifelong love of healthful good food!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Almost Time!

We are all ready for our official start of the school year next week! Well, not quite, we are still waiting for a few more books - the result of late planning - but we're very excited to get started! Today the kids made self-portraits for the covers of their folders. (I am kind of relieved to be outsourcing their art lessons this fall!)


We recently had to replace our "old" toaster, since it stopped working after only one year. Seriously, it was only one year old! We had bought it to replace our fancy-brand toaster oven after it caught on fire last year. A quick round of internet research, and we began to realize that: a) pretty much all toasters are made in China, and b) pretty much no toasters are made to last much more than a couple of years. I guess that is no big surprise, but I still find it depressing. We had just about decided to buy something super cheap when Dave found out about this guy in New York City that refurbishes vintage toasters. We picked a classic Toastmaster from the post-war period. It was the cheapest one he had, still a pretty penny, but hopefully well worth it. So far we are quite in love with it! I would probably throw a toast-party if only I knew anyone around here. Check out, it is well worth a visit, lots of vintage toasters and other kitchen gadgets there!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting Ready for School!

I am starting to get really excited about the new school year. After our big move this summer, it will feel good to get life back into some kind of routine.

Back in Philly, the girls were enrolled in a cyber charter school. We had a pretty good experience with the school, and it sure was convenient to have a complete curriculum delivered to our home by the school, which then graded and kept all our records. Still, we are pretty excited to have the freedom to choose our own books and materials this year, and to be able to plan out our school work and activities in a way that really fits our family. I feel much more confident about homeschooling now than I have in the past. Our time with the cyber school, and all their involvment and oversight, was in that way a great way to ease into homeschooling on our own.

And of course, we're not completely on our own. We have already connected with a number of other homeschool families in the area, and have some pretty cool group activities coming up. I am generally not one to over-schedule my kids with activities (they tend to come up with things to do all on their own), but I am willing to make an exception this fall in hopes that they will make some new friends here!

As for school books, the girls' math books arrived earlier this week, and it feels like we are close to set for books. I still need to figure out what we will use for a few subjects, but that's partly because I don't want to order too much until I know what they use in the local school here (they will let us borrow books).

I feel like this is going to be a very good homeschool year. And the fact that Rasi is about to not be 3 any longer can only help!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Snip, Snip

Today someone got a much needed haircut. I do it myself - quicker and easier than dragging him out someplace. And since I only know how to cut one style that's what he gets. Like a buzz-cut, only a bit uneven, and with scissors it takes much longer. But the buzzer is still oh-so-scary, so scissors it is. Even the scissors are "mean," but some youtube cartoons make it all better. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Providence Waterfire

Last night we finally made it out to see Waterfire in Providence, the event where fires are lit on the river that flows through the city. I love living in a smaller city where nothing is far, parking is free, and people are friendly. I also love (in a panicked kind of way) that our kids are getting so big. Time to brag: Last night we went out for a sit-down dinner at 10pm with three kids (including a 3-year old who doesn't nap) and it went fantastically! No tears, spills, or tantrums even though it took a half hour before our waitress came to take our order. Everyone had a good time! Waterfire happens every few weeks during the summer months, and I'm pretty sure we will go at least once more this year.
I was thrilled to be out past 9pm. My poor cell phone camera was less excited...

Saturday, August 18, 2012


My dad came and left, and we are back to setting the table for 5. It was so good to see him again. It had been over a year since the last time, and even a decent connection over Skype (is there even such a thing?) just can't compare to sharing dinners and late night conversations in real life. We ate good food, had a beautiful day at the beach, a day trip to Boston, and the usual errands my parents do each time they visit. These include going to the outlets, where my dad, who hates shopping, magically goes wild. On his travels home, his suitcase (emptied of all the gifts and goodies he brought us) is stuffed with enough shoes and clothing to last him until the next time. The other main errand is eyeglasses. I schedule an appointment for one of the first days of the visit, and if all goes well, the glasses are ready before they leave. Let me tell you something: eyeglasses are expensive! Once they are made progressive, polarized, etc, they are far from cheap, even in America. And yet my parents are happy, still saving a lot compared to getting them back home. And I am thankful for another year of good vision (as I wipe the dust off my Target sunnies with the end of my skirt).

Saturday, August 4, 2012


The house is clean (more or less), and I am going to grab my directions and a book, and if all goes well find my way to Logan Airport to pick up my dad! It's been way-to-looong! Have a great weekend!