Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday 2009 or slinky on the hotel stairs

Our holiday tradition is a feast with friends around the table that goes on late into the night. The dinner is usually a couple weeks into December. The food has been the same for the last 8 or so years. It is a scrumptious Paella brimming with everything that looks good at the Pike Place Market and a Flaming Baked Alaska for dessert.  Our Baked Alaska is a flourless chocolate cake with a wild ice cream inside (pumpkin this year) and covered with an inch of meringue and baked. Finally we light the huge delicious meringue dome on fire and the kids squeal with delight.  (dinner photos coming)

The morning after dinner, we share family gifts and hang around the tree to enjoy one another.  

Godfather William comes over to help open presents.

We took a walk downtown after opening presents and did a few loops on the Carousel.

Although I am non-religous, my mother's side of the family is Jewish.  I have taken the girls to Shabbat and Passover with friends, but I my character building comes from a heaping dose of rational thinking, frequent discussions of virtues, accountability and social mores.  I love Valerie Tarico's wisdom commons and Yaffa Maritz' Character Corner and use many of those ideas with Simone and Naomi.  

David's side of the family is Christian, so sometimes the girls enjoy Christmas or Easter Mass with their Grandmother Elinor.  Opera Diva, Frederica von Stade belongs to the Church and sometimes sings. The girls love the music.  

After our walk North, we took a walk South through Pioneer Square. (below)

Chocolate treats from the cafe at Elliot Bay Books.

Later in the day or the next day we fly to California to visit David's family for their holiday festivities.

The girls at the Claremont where we stayed this year.

Getting the Slinky to work.

Claremont hallways are great for performances.

There are many ways to play with it.

hee hee hee

We will eventually get this slinky to work!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sweet and HORRIFYING! or A Whirling Deverish Halloween

Hanging out on the Schembre's back porch before trick or treating on the top of Queen Anne. Annabelle (Princess), Sophie (Mermaid), Josie (Kitty cat), Simone (Good and Evil), Naomi (Smaller Good and Evil) and Lucy (Clown). The second photo shows Josie's cat and the horrifying skeleton on the underside of Simone's costume. Naomi has a bony creature under her hoop skirt too.

When Simone was trying to decide what to be this year, she sketched some costumes in her journal. One was a gruesome skeleton and one was a lusciously pretty goddess in a ball-gown. We merged both. She called it a two sided "good and evil" doll. Naomi and I followed suit and sewed similar costumes. At the time I had a cast on my leg so Simone was in charge of the sewing machine petal and cutting out of the many fabrics. The mad scientist inside the dress below only can be seen if the front of the skirt is pulled up.  We created swirling dervish dance for "trick or treating" that included spinning around and then stopping right in front of our audience and lifting our skirts to reveal the monsters and then roaring and chasing them with the skeletons or mad scientist.  It was so fun!  

Naomi was afraid of these costumes when we were first assembling them. If she had to walk past the closet where they were hanging, she would walk along the edge of the opposite wall singing to herself a cheer-up song and keeping her eyes on the closet door the whole time. She would tell me, "Those are NOT real monsters," but the way she said it you knew she was asking not telling. So I replied, "Those are pretend monsters Naomi. We created them to be super scary for Halloween. (pause) Did we do a good job?" "Oh yes! We made very scary monsters!"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pausing at Rhoad's End

Our summer sail included a brief reprieve at Rhoad's End to visit with Linden, Rhoads and Celeste.  We found evidence this sunny cardboard house on the doorstep....and some slithering creature was snoozing inside....but no one else was around.

Inside the Gazebo there is a earthly bathroom tucked into the cliffs rock.  The garden moved in.

We took a quick swim and headed off.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rhoads' catch

On this particular July day on Orcas Island, Rhoads' captured four snakes.

Naomi and Celeste are waiting for us on the dock.  We're getting ready to go fishing.

Sweet Zepher.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gritty Oasis in Seattle or Beaching in Seattle

McKinley and Naomi.

The recess Monkeys showed up.

All aboard!  Kaya and Simone riding high on David's shoulders.

We indulge in long days at the beach in the summer.  Somehow we always stumble into friends and gatherings, on this day it was both...the recess monkeys arrived as well as friends from "Tribe Seattle."

Puget Sound is a bit chilly, perfect for a swim at the end of an epic beach day.

Melissa relaxing.


Lake Washington beaches have darker sand but the warmer water and floating swims docks make for luxurious long swims.  We often head to the lake at the end of the long summer days. (Sunset is 9pm.)

Pictured below is Simone, Stella, Elizabeth (holding the clan together) Elias, Lola and Naomi.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ferry on over to Vashon Island

We often visit the Vashon Island farmer's market on the weekend.  The food is scrumptious, the music terrific but the real reason we go is to visit our friends Kelly and Rob.

Family pile-up.


Our good friends Rob and Kelly live on Vashon.  We LOVE them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knighted by chivalrous iron-clad warriors in Gasworks Park

Sometimes we stumble upon the chivalrous Knights in Gasworks Park.  They meet in the clearing on the left when you enter the park.  Simone and Naomi are transfixed by the beautiful armor.  They battle and they also share medieval stories with the girls.

"This sword is heavy." - Simone

What a warrior!

"We welded these helmets to scare our opponents. They are meant to be intimidating."

"I like your medieval battle.  Here is a ticket to my climbing the tanks show." - Simone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The BIG DIG Treasure Hunt or Simone's 5th or Great Traditions

We have a few traditions. One of these is the annual sailing trip, another is the annual BIG DIG treasure hunt that happens every year for Simone's birthday. We bury chests with treasure across the Global Gardens beach, pass out measuring tapes, shovels and maps and divide the kids into teams. It is mayhem and marvelous!

(pictures coming very soon!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting trussed up?

This was probably taken in 1998.  I had harnessed up and climbed out of the globe at the top of the Smith Tower intent on dropping down the side of the pyramid to unseal the gothic windows but I was so scared I couldn't get myself to move.