Friday, September 22, 2006

A Day on Angel Island

Yesterday we drove to the airport to pick up our Grandma C, who is visiting for a long weekend. As we were driving along Ethan said excitedly, "Abby we are going to go on an airplane and it's going to be my second time!" I felt so bad as I explained that we weren't getting on a plane, we were just driving to the airport to get Grandma because she flew on a plane to see us. He looked so sad in the rear view mirror. All was forgotten though with the excitement of Grandma C in the car. Ethan and Marah love Grandma C because she tells them stories about two brothers named Jasper and Zebby. This trip they are having many adventures involving a dragon, a silver unicorn and their favorite foods: shoefly pie, apple candaddy, corn bread, and lemonade. But I digress. Marah and Ethan also love Grandma C because she always has gum in her purse---a rarity around our house. ( For those of you who don't know, Momma Ashaleea does not chew gum.)

Today we woke up early and took the ferry to Angel Island. It was a gorgeous day- sunny but with a nice breeze. The ferry departs from Tiburon, a peninsula in the north bay and it is just a 10 minute ride to the island. Angel Island is called the Ellis Island of the west coast. Immigrants from Asia and Russia used to be brought here to be checked for disease before going to the mainland. We walked around a bit, ate a snack, fed some seagulls and enjoyed the view. We saw a sea lion swimming, a cormorant catch and swallow a whole fish, and a very fast red, white and blue speed boat. Abby wanted to pick up every rock and stick we walked past and Mike got some beautiful photos of the bay. It was a great day for everyone!

This is an old canon that was found in the Carribean and donated to the island... it provided a lot of fun for the kids!

Here is Ethan, our hiker boy!

There used to be a lighthouse on the island. This is Grandma C demonstrating how the magnifying lens works.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cutting Originality

Last night the kids asked me if they could each have another slice of chocolate cake. I absent-mindedly said yes and a few minutes later came over to see what Ethan was doing. He was cutting a second slice of cake. "What are you doing?" I asked. He replied, "Cutting Abby a smaller slice of cake!" I thought it very original (or maybe artistic?) to cut a smaller piece of cake out of the middle of a larger piece of cake...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Daddy Goes to Work and Mommy Goes to Ikea!

The title is an actual quote from Marah when she was about two years old. But it has been awhile since we have made the trek to Ikea and since my pantry is in desperate need of new shelves I decided to go today and scope out the options. I told Marah, Ethan and Abby that I needed to check out some shelves and it might be a little bit boring but if they could be on their best behavior we would eat lunch there and play in the kids section for awhile. I also said they could MAYBE get something. Everything went pretty well at first. We entered the Ikea Universe and strolled through the maze admiring all the comfy couches, bookshelves, pulling and shutting all the drawers (Abby especially liked that part) and I looked at the storage shelves that I was interested in. Marah and Ethan and Abby all chose to get stuffed animal bats as their treat (Ikea has weird stuffed animals...) Then we decided it was time for lunch. We stood in line, bought our plates of meatballs, potatoes, gravy and lingonberry sauce, paid, sat and ate. All was well. I checked my phone and saw that I had missed a call from Mike, so I called him back and he was almost there to pick us up. I suggested he park and come meet us in the cafeteria and he could have something to eat. It was then that I made the MISTAKE. I thought to myself, I'll just go order Mike's plate now and it will be ready and waiting for him when he gets here. The table was in eyesight of the food line so I left Abby happily eating and told Marah and Ethan to sit there and play with their bats. I ordered a big plate of meatballs because Mike had said he was starving and Marah had said she wanted more too. As I was paying I glanced over to make sure Abby was still ok and she was standing in the high chair. So I quickly ran over to her, picked her up and went back to pay. I then carried Abby and the tray of food back to the table. If you weren't horrified that Abby stood up in her high chair unattended you may be wondering where is the mistake? Well, as I sat the tray on the table it was overlapping the edge a bit and in one graceful move my purse slipped off my shoulder landed on the tray and catapulted Ikea meat balls, gravy, potatoes and lingon berries all over ME! After a long deep breath I cleaned it all up and I was very proud of myself that I did not cry. I even went and got another plate of meatballs. I think the serving people behind the counter thought I was eating an awful lot of meatballs!
We did finally escape the Ikea Universe and I really think there is a time warp when you go from our universe to Ikea and back because my watch said we had been there for 5 hours....I think I'm going batty!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Cultured Children

Today during our vocabulary lesson, Marah and I were talking about culture. What is culture? We studied Ancient Egyptian culture last year-- the buildings, the writing, the art, etc. Then I tried to expand upon that definition. To be a cultured person, I explained, someone reads good literature, appreciates fine art, and eats good food....then Ethan pipes up, "Yes! Like macaroni and cheese!"