Sunday- Monday - happy day (these days are ours)

What goes better with newly rented books? Mommy's home-made chocolate chip cookies. This weeks finds: for pollywog -You See A Circus, I See (she is very much into the circus at the moment and can often be found being, "Sally the Circus Girl") - Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy (our second of the series) - Out and About at the Apple Ochard (seasonal enjoyment) - The Great Blue House - plus an Authur dvd, Eloise dvd and Care Bears dvd for mommy - Year Round Gardening - My Life in Orange (Im excited to get started on this book by Tim Guest) -Simplicity Parenting: Using the Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids - Huggable crochet (crocheting animals) - plus the original "Cheaper by the Dozen" dvd and a couple foreign flicks. * It's nice to snuggle up on the cooler evenings and read or watch films. My landlord had provided us with full cable and after a week I unscrewed the box and gave it back. We havent had cable in years and I almost immediately noticed a negative energy permeate the house. So many images and words constantly pouring out and very few offer positive information or happy images. Without it peace and creativity has re-emerged!* ^ *Happy Monday*

:::merci:::

i am thankful

I am thankful for the sunshine that special pockets of magic around my home. I am thankful for the cute pudgy cheeks that dimple when my little one smiles. I am thankful for her smiling face when I pick her up from school, the friendships she has made, the gentle kindness of her teachers, and special days like today when her class makes apple pie! I am thankful to be starting work at her preschool this week. The opportunity to nurture and teach precious little ones, be close to my little one and leave each day together hand and hand with adventures to share. I am thankful for my family. The special relationship my sister and I share that only sisters understand My mom's humor and innocence that brings joy to all those around her. My son's heart that I can see under the pile of teenage agnst. My neice and nephew and their unique personalities that I get to see grow and flourish. (***My nephew being old enough to join the adults at "Taboo" during my sisters party was special to watch and filled me with pride***) Pollywogs imagination, her love for snuggling and her sense of humor. My dad's legacy and the laughter he still provides us. I am thankful for the time I took today to go to spin class. Exercising makes me feel strong both physically and mentally- and - I need to feel strong. I am thankful that organically Monday evenings have become "library day", Wednesdays "swim day" and Fridays "nature adventures". This rhythm is important to Pollywog and therefore me. Also that I have stayed on my weekly dinner meal plan for three weeks now and it has cut down on my grocery budget and made evenings flow nicely. (***tonight is chicken strips (from Saveur magazine) and bake potatoes***) I am thankful for a renewed energy in my creative realm. Painting for my sister got the wheels spinning. I did a painting for my living room and I have big plans for starting my own etsy!!! I am thankful for the hope I have each day when I wake up. Hope that life will keep getting better. That my kids will be okay and happy. That the love, care, sacrifices and guidance I give them and have given them, mean something. Hope that time heals, love is the answer, humility is key, dreams do come true when you keep them in sight and work hard at them and that there is no one way to live so don't judge and don't compare.

I am thankful for the goals big and small I have each and every day. Because goals mean that you are living, moving forward, excited, willing and that there is a whole big world out there -waiting & happening- and that is pretty awesome!!!!

:::weekend:::

:::this weekend was::: yard sale finds with saved change (my little one grabs every penny, nickle and dime she finds) South American wooden sculptures Bearstein Bear lamps Leap Frog fun and a large bin of big legos that Pollywog has been hoping for! -there has been lots of building of things this weekend-

home-made birthday cards and presents a painting for my sis birthday celebration

sunny sunday at the park collecting leaves playing hide&seek behind mighty oaks pushing babies in swings pulling babies in a wagon and carrying one in a sling

the flash went out in my camera so all photos are being altered to b&w

hump day

My camera is not working very well so this post is absent of images from our day. Of course it seemed there were an abundance of, "picture worthy moments", and I often found myself reaching for my camera. Oh how I long for a nice camera, ah someday! It was another sunny day kissed with a hint of autumn. Pollwog was especially excited about this day of school because mommy was going to be there. I volunteer at her school and today was my day to assist with lunches and breaks. Once Pollywog caught a glimpse of me she and her friends began jumping up and down and waving. I too was excited to see her and sneak glimpses of her at play and learning thoughout the day. Later in the afternoon I visited with the director of this wonderful,sweet, small pre-school and we chatted about an employment opportunity for me. I felt tears well in my eyes as I listened to her describe a job I have literally being praying for. With my garden season slowing down Ive been hoping for an opportunity to get back to teaching and have hours around Pollywogs schedule. To be able to do this and it be where Pollywog attends, is a blessing I was overwhelmed by.
::giving thanks:: After school we relaxed and then sat in the sun. Well I sat and Pollywog transformed into "Sally the Circus Girl" and spun a disc and did tricks. This is a new character she has recently come up with. Sally is a circus girl who lives in a fort in the backyard and is allergic to people, although today she overcame this allergy. She performs amazing acts with a hoola hoop sort of disc and tightrope dances. We went out for mexican dinner and Sally and Pollywog took turns joining the meal. Gotta love her imagination!!! After dinner we played in the backyard. I got to work digging out my garden beds so Pollywog and I can start preparing the beds and planting some fall and winter goodies. Pollywog helped me pull and harvest the many tomato plants and found lots of grubs, rolly pollies and worms that she excitedly showed me each time. She was blissed out! I lit the firepit in the lower garden and when the sun set we snuggled by the fire. Me, Pollywog and Peanut all piled onto a lawnchair. Goodness the cute picture opportunities were constant. We decided tonight that we are going to groom Pnut and bring him into our home for the cold months, so Pollywog is gaining a dog. Pollywog LOVES to snuggle this furball and he seems to enjoy it to. Pollywog was in snuggle heaven. So sweet! Now we're cuddled on the couch watching "The Little Mermaid"...her first time seeing it. She has decided she wants to be a mermaid for Halloween so I thought it fitting. ..."Ive got gadgets and gizmos of plenty"...

the garden::part II

Pollywog played hooky from preschool today to play in the garden with mommy! With such blissful weather and opportunities to learn it was an easy choice. She started the morning off with a special smoothie: Coconut milk, almond milk, a banana and a hint of chocolate...yummy.

then we headed out to the garden Pollywog was intrigued by the compost bin. We observed the micro-village inside and she was amazed that it was becoming dirt.

She helped mommy pull weeds and harvest all of the tomatoes (there were alot) and then got busy creating mud pies in the brick oven I made her.

I brought a blanket and a "garden bag" out filled with water, her sketchbook, markers, and her dishes and tea-set.

She spent hours playing,cooking, washing her dishes and even found some leaves that are currently being pressed out there.

It was wonderful being able to look up and see her sweet face and watch her enjoy the fresh air and playing with such joy.

I am loving my sun covered front porch! Right now I see a pink cape flapping behind a little girl, ahem I mean "super girl" I better get off this contraption.

the garden::part I

Today was beautful. The sun burst through the weekend of clouds and cast its glow upon us. Garden work that has been put off was finally attended to. I have been building and tending an organic garden for a dear man who has employed me for the past three seasons. It started off slowly but this years harvest was bountiful and easily fed three families (including mine). I have learned so much over the years. From building a compost box that now houses rich and nutrient rich organic soil, to creating a design and building the garden with my own two hands. This is how I learned how to operate a skill saw. :D

Diggin for hours in the hot sun dripping with sweat, covered in dirt and blissfully passing out each night with aching muscles and blistered hands. (I am proud to say I now have hearty callouses)

Being lucky enough to watch the magic and journey that occurs in a garden. Planting seeds, eventually seeing sprouts poke out their little bodies, then sitting around a table full of the goodness the earth provided...with really little help from me...aside from alot of weeding and singing.

I have spent many mornings in that garden with a heavy heart only to be given the gift of watching a robin having a soak in one of the several bird baths,or out of nowhere being illuminated by a comforting sun, or have a friendly butterfly land on my knee, or pulling up an earthworm and thinking of Pollywog.

This garden has been a blessing in my life and opened up a passion in me I didn't know I had.

I am an amateur gardener with much to learn, but now I know its a path I hope to continue on. My intention is to be able to take permaculture classes,have the opportunity to work in other gardens, continue educating myself and maybe own a little plot all my own that Pollywog can flourish in as I have. We are creatures of nature who spend to much time away from which we came. Our bodies, spirit and mind revive when touching and working with the earth. Eating these fruits right out of the ground nourish us instinctually. I often envision a cozy home overlooking a couple acres filled with my gardens, chickens, ducks...a creek to paint and make pottery by, Pollywog and maybe some other babes running through meadows, catching lightening bugs, pulling carrots to snack on,AWWWWWW- but for now I am happy to tend this garden and begin working on the small beds in my own back yard. I just ordered several books on year round gardening and Pollywog and I are going to be working on our garden this weekend!

:::giving thanks:::

::earlier::later::now::

::earlier::

::later::

::now::

the sweetness of a simple day

The weekend flew by. My nephew is turning 9 and Saturday we went over to my sisters for cake and ice-cream. Earlier that day Pollywog put her heart and soul into making him a birthday card and finding a very special rock with a cool fossil to give him as a gift. She made her own wrapping paper and carefully wrapped the treasure.

It fills my heart to see her take such care and consideration in giving gifts. It is important to me to instill the true meaning of giving to others. It is so easy to grab a toy at a store and throw it in a bag for a gift...but to take the time to custom make a card or gift keeping the person's individualness in mind, is truly giving.

To take the time to create is important. I believe he truly appreciated the gift and pollywog felt a sense of pride in seeing her creation enjoyed. Today it has been rainy and gray most of the day. However the sky has been rotating through amazing glows and colors that have illuminated the house with a cozy glow. Crafting is always a good way to enjoy oneself on such days and today Pollywog tried a new craft that she LOVED!

I poured glue into different bowls and then mixed in food coloring. In the pink glue I added glitter to her delight and she made the coolest glue paintings. She titled this one "The Road"

and this one she called "Papa Bowling" due to the thunder that accompanied her creative time.

Tonight I tried implementing something new on her responsibility chart. Being pretty much like an only child (with a teenage brother) and with her personality she has always felt best when right up against mommy. Her feet barely touched the ground before age 2 as she loved being in the sling on mommy's bosom.. She loves to snuggle mommy and when playing she always wants me to play with her. I think this is a beautiful thing. Some might say she needs to be more independent or blame it on attachement parenting and extended breastfeeding, however I disagree. This is merely her individuality and I respect that. She likes to call herself a "mommy baby". I also think that with the changes that have occurred in her life this past year and being away from her mommy, has caused her to feel a bit insecure, needing me by her and to reassure her. I am giving her the space to heal and just loving her, offering her constant security and being patient. My only concern, if you can even call it that, is making sure that I am fostering imagination and the ability to play independently, creating games and make-believe. I don't see a sibling in the near future so I really think it is important that she learn to play on her own at times and enter the magical times of child-hood where one is lost in faraway lands, or teaching a class of stuffed animals, or pretending ones room is a castle. Television and constant stimuli for kids has stripped this once easy and natural ability. So on her chart I have added "alone time". A time for her to do the above mentioned as well as just have quiet time with herself. She doesn't have to go off into a room alone but rather think of something she would like to do or play and then I set a timer and she plays, reads, crafts whatever, on her own. When the timer is up she can stop or continue if she chooses. Once she fills up this section in her chart she has chosen to get two fish and a frog. I discussed this with her earlier in the day and we added it to the chart together. She let me know when she was ready to have her "alone time" and I set the timer. Apparently she had been thinking of what she would do at this time and quickly grabbed stickers, her two fairys and a bucket of hair ties and such and quickly became lost in song, princess voices and a world all her own for an hour. I was so proud and she was too as she added a circle to her chart. After dinner we snuggled on the couch to watch "Prince of Egypt" and in the middle of the movie I looked at her to see if she was enjoying it.

My sweet sweet baby...I still get tears in my eyes when I see her sleep. She is growing up so fast and yet she still seems like a little baby to me. Such a sweet perfectly simple day. (Pollywog is working on making a raisin :) )

grrreat grrray day

No school today! We had planned on our nature walk and working in the garden but it was cold and gray out so we just enjoyed each others company. making bacon and pancakes with our home-made playdough

the ever growing art wall

cookies and almond milk dipping party

working on "homework"

we had to decorate a life size pollywog for her classroom

Later that day we took a trip to the pet store to look at fish and frogs that Pollywog is saving for. I am contemplating a puppy for Christmas! She has been begging and begging me. She has a name, collar and dog bowl already picked out! :) Then she got to pick a special toy from the store for having filled up her responsibility chart. She has been doing so well with it. She asks to set the table every evening and works hard to fill up the chart. She picked out a princess coloring book and two fairys. She named one Rose and the other Marigold.

It was Pizza Friday and we shared our meal together by candlelight discussing plans to build the fairys a home with blocks, rocks and acorns, which we did after dinner.

happy weekend!

i just stick out my chin, and grin...

Pollywog woke up this morning excited about her afternoon playtime with her cousin and literally most favorite person in tbe world. I think she even trumps me. When I picked her up from school she was bubbling with tales from her day at school, "mommy we are getting a class hamster!", "mommy I have homework" (something she has been longing for since seeing her cousin do hers)..."mommy I learned I like nachos today", "mommy I picked out a ballet slipper notebook from the treasure box today!" What an exciting day. Once home she opted to postpone her afternoon snack till cousin B arrived. "were gonna have treats together mommy." and they did...and a whirlwind of pretend, laughter, singing performances (my neice is a born performer! and the girls love to sing Annie songs) crafting and hugging followed.
blowing the trumphet for the princess arrival princess pollywog making crafts for the art wall a card the girls made for me

one of their many performances- pollywog just dancing away in her own little world...so sweet

video