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Showing posts from September, 2009

Summer Strawberries

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Every Tuesday morning since school started I've been walking over to our local Farmer's Market with a girlfriend and her young daughter. We stroll through the produce stands, sampling the delicious fruit and taking in the sights and scents of the flower booths. This week I bought six baskets of strawberries, thinking I could make some shortcake and use them in other recipes.

I washed them, hulled them, and put them in a large container in the refrigerator, where they lasted only until the boys got home from school and went scrounging for after-school snacks. Poor little berries, they didn't stand a chance against my two growing boys who love strawberries at least as much as candy and almost as much as I. I think I managed to grab one or two before the feeding frenzy was over and the container was empty.

Who needs shortcake and whipped cream when just the simple sweetness of a whole strawberry will do? And how long are they in season anyway? I'm doubtful we'll find th…

Writer Boy

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Third Grade is a big deal to me. It is the first year that I remember very well. I remember the school, my friends, my clothes, and major events like the total eclipse of the sun, and my Grandfather's passing. It was also the year I discovered writing... the ability to arrange words in an order of your choosing to create a story or a poem and provoke a response in the reader. That was the year I declared I would be a writer when I grew up. And if you define writer as someone who earns money from the written word, then I grew up to become one. So it's just somehow stuck in my brain that this is the year that somehow countsmore than all the years before.
So far the year has gone well. Nathan's teacher is the only male at the school, and I was delighted my son was assigned to his class. I was even more thrilled when I found out that our district started a writing program last year that really pushes the 4th and 5th graders toward developing writing skills, and the 3rd grade s…

Jammies

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There are some families who gift the kids with new pajamas each year for Christmas. We're not one of them. Instead, I thought we could be the family that gifts the kids with new pajamas to celebrate the first day of school. With flannel on sale at rock bottom prices at the fabric store, I couldn't resist picking up a skateboard print for Benjamin and some guitars with flames for Nathan.


They only took about an hour to make, start to finish, and were a big hit. Who says you can't sew for little boys? We'll see if this is a tradition that catches on come next Fall!

Waiting

Every weekday at precisely 1:30 p.m. I get this mysterious feeling in my chest of restlessness and intense longing. I distract myself with busywork- cleaning the kitchen, balancing the checkbook, pulling weeds. And then, at 3:12 p.m. I greet my boys at the school yard gate and the feeling evaporates when they take my hand and tell me of their adventurous day at school.

First Day of School!

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Now it's time to say goodbye...

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For the last several years we've gone to Disneyland on the last day of summer vacation. The Park is always empty since the schools in both Anaheim and Los Angeles have already started, and it's just our little district that is late to start. We head for home in the late afternoon in time to see the classroom assignments posted at 5:00 p.m. on the school gate. This year I had the pleasure of bringing my friend Cassi's son, Jake, who also has a Disneyland Annual Passport. It was fun to bring along a friend for my boys to play with.For our very last ride we went on the Grizzly River Run, a whitewater rafting attraction. Normally I despise water rides and make Michael take the kids. There is just nothing worse than spending the day walking around in wet clothes! But since it was the last ride of summer, and because poor Michael was working instead of playing with us at Disneyland, I gave in to the three pleading boys. We made it through most of the river with just a few sprin…

Benjamin is...

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...colorful.

Nathan is...

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...bored.

Good Bye Summer

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We did one last trip to the beach on Labor Day, along with tons of other people. Perfect weather and perfect company. Then we went for ice cream. Which the boys seemed to wear more than they actually consumed!
Happy Labor Day!

Happy Birthday Michael!

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Normally Michael's birthday falls on Labor Day weekend and we take advantage of the three day weekend to head out of town to celebrate. This year his birthday was smack in the middle of the week and we needed to use the three day weekend to do more work on the house. So poor Mike had to spend his birthday working, where people in the office made some fun birthday decorations featuring his lovely face. Then he met the boys and I at Disneyland so he could take advantage of getting his free "Fun Card" as part of this year's promotion of getting in free on your birthday. If you already get in for free because you have a season pass, then Disney gifts you with a Fun Card in the dollar amount of a one day pass into Disneyland. They just raised prices, so it's no small gift on Disney's part!

We rode on the Indiana Jones Attraction (it was Daddy's choice) and then we ate at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. We only go there about once a year, and every time …

Peach fuzz

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Benjamin decided he was old enough to start shaving and attempted to remove the invisible offending hairs off his chin using Mom's razor. Of course, we didn't catch what he'd done until the afternoon when it had formed a little scab. I totally thought he'd fallen! The crazy thing is that I thought we were past the stage where all sharp objects have to be locked up and out of reach! This seems like something they should have tried to do as toddlers! Oh well. The razor is now totally out of sight and Ben is counting down the days (make that years, Baby!) until he can start shaving in earnest. I'm so not ready!
He's still my baby faced Benjamin boy, with clear skin and a toothless smile. Just give me awhile longer to hold onto that image...

Smokey Sunday

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Other parts of the U.S. can count on a yearly hurricane or tornado which sweeps through, leaving disaster in its wake. In California we have earthquakes and wildfires. Right now we've got quite a few fires up and down the state, and yesterday two firemen were killed north of Los Angeles when their truck rolled down a fiery hillside. Many homes have been destroyed and thousands of acres of land are charred and smoking after being roasted by flames. This week the Palos Verdes Peninsula caught fire on the hill above our town. We stood outside on the lawn after dark, watching the line of flames light up the night sky. The next day the area north of downtown Los Angeles caught fire. Of course, we've had quite a chilly summer, lots of "three outfit days" where you wake up and put on jeans and a sweater, change to shorts and a tee in the warm afternoon, and then throw on a jacket in the cool evening. But summer eventually comes to the South Bay in September and early Octobe…