Friday, October 29, 2010

Once there was a 4 year old boy...

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Ecclesiastes 9:10

He's almost 4½ now. But back when he was newly 4, I took him in to get his pictures done. This year, we brought our own props - some of his cars. I'm glad we did because I think we really captured PC as himself because of them. Below are the additional poses - one was the usual free extra and the other the result of a good salesperson who, sensing my indecisiveness when it came to choosing the free extra, managed to talk me into buying a single sheet of a third pose.

I love this picture - he looks like such a little boy. Bare feet, hands in pockets and a summer tan. PC is really starting to look like he's growing up - I guess if I'm honest with myself, he is growing up. It's just a hard thing to get used to sometimes.

This is the picture they managed to talk me into buying for twice the cost of the rest of the package. I keep flipping back and forth from loving it because it's such a great picture of PC's smile and character, to kicking myself for being so manipulated when the overall pose isn't one I really like. I don't like the over-the-shoulder attempt - it doesn't look very natural or relaxed, but his smile is real in spite of the obvious positional posing.

PC is a 'reactor'. He doesn't talk your ear off normally, but is content to give three word (or less) answers. He is happy to let his sisters make most of the suggestions when they're playing and cheerfully helps them accomplish said suggestions. He doesn't like change at all, and it takes him quite a while to get used to something new. Then it takes him a while to admit that he's not so bothered by it after all. He's compassionate, thoughtful and when he allows himself to show emotion, very passionate about the things he likes and dislikes. If I had to describe him in one word - it would be, 'eager'. He does things whole-heartedly, and it's wonderful to see.

He loves his tools, toy cars and his bike (which is recently training wheel-free and now has a flat tire).

Well, I decided to post PC's pictures tonight because it wasn't going to take me very long and it was bedtime when I got started. Now I've rambled my way through even more time and it won't be long before this won't be making any sense at all. So, before anything confusing appears... I think I'll wrap it up. Good night!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When it's that popular... write it down!

There are pumpkins everywhere recently. This year we ended up with 7 and three of them went bad before I could do anything with them. When I took a look in the freezer, I discovered that most of what we put away last fall was still there. So, the plan was to figure out a way to start using some of it before quadrupling the stash. Half-heartedly I decided to make soup out of it thinking to myself, "This is not what I would call appetizing."

With hungry kids whining underfoot and bouncing off of each other in my little kitchen, I proceeded to prepare supper. Finally it was ready and I fully expected to battle most of my children through the meal. But they took me by complete surprise and practically inhaled the stuff. Dolly had 5ths! Butler had two full ladles of soup, PC, full at 2nds, managed to stuff two more servings into himself before reluctantly calling it quits and even Emma, who hasn't been eating much lately, gobbled up 3 servings before slowing down.

So, when I find something they like, I've learned, it must be recorded someplace for future replicating. I think we'll be making this again, but probably not "Every day" as PC suggested.

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6-8
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup cream
Combine all ingredients except the cream, in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree soup, one cup at a time and return to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for another 15-20 minutes. Stir in cream, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Garnish with fresh parsley

"Dear Me" and a School Picture

Dolly in Kindergarten

I can't say that Dolly is learning very much at school and just because she goes away every day doesn't mean we've stopped learning here. Most days after school, she reads to me and it's obvious that the practice is making the task easier. So much so, that I've been finding little play notes about the house. This one is one of my favorites:
In case you missed anything, here's a typed version:

"Dear Hannah (A letter from Ellyette)
Would you want my tea set?
Please may you send the letter back and say 'yes' or 'no'.

Ellyette is a girl in Dolly's class with a matching backpack. I think that has a lot to do with Dolly's admiration of her, but this note was entirely produced by Dolly.
Ellyette did NOT write this letter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Dust is Settling

It's been a long time since I posted here. A lot has been going on around our house. Some of it good, some not so good, some exciting, some busy, some satisfying and some sad. But I'm ready to write again.

Now just where to start?! Three weeks ago, Emma turned 3 and I have yet to get her pictures even scheduled to be taken. We finally got couches after using lawn chairs in our living room for the past 10 months. One of the birds died leaving a lone survivor out of the original 5 I brought to Canada. We're all getting used to Dolly's school schedule - it's starting to look like the people are more in control now instead of the schedule. PC, Emma and I have discovered the value days at the indoor pool - at the rate PC is taking to the water he'll be swimming by himself by the end of the year. Autumn is here in all it's color and crispness. The last of the unpacking is coming along enough that it's starting to feel like home here and I now know where more thing are than not for a change. The cat had kittens. We went to the zoo and I didn't take a single picture - even though we bought extra camera batteries specifically for that trip (at the zoo store - aka outrageously priced). Sir fixed the driver's window on the van. We discovered that our crib that's been in constant use for the last 5½ years had been recalled - so Butler has been sleeping in the pack 'n play for the last two weeks. PC has graduated out of training wheels on his bike and Emma got a bike with training wheels for her birthday, so when Dolly's in school, the rest of us have cruised the local parks a number of times.

But, while we've definitely been busy, I'm finding myself feeling more in control of the chaos now than subject to it - which was more the case not so long ago. And getting one's footing is always a good feeling - even if it is in spite of exhaustion.

And now, I'll go start the stove fire to take the afternoon chill away while I get dinner going.