Portrait Project 11-23


eloise: you are looking so grown up these days. You wanted to bring your money to the zoo today to buy something. So you zipped it up in your nature vest. You picked out a toy, paid for it on your own and put your change away. For some reason it was like watching a big kid do all of that! Where did my little baby go?



Eloise: it’s good to be a kid on a warm spring day.





eloise: spaghetti and strawberry shortcake on a Sunday afternoon. What’s better than that?!





Eloise: we got to raise silkworms this year. I thought I had bought them from an educational website but it turned out these silk worms were feeder worms. So we spent the next week trying to gather mulberry leaves anywhere we could. I even bought two tiny trees to try and grow more. It was an epic failure. But not to you. We hatched one silk moth and you had one glorious day with her before she also succomed to the fate of the other worms. You carried this moth everywhere though and just loved her with all your might for this one day.



Eloise: it’s been all about butterflies this week. We are reading about them and raising them and you are loving to pretend to be a butterfly! Here you are during our morning lessons, sipping nectar (tea) like a butterfly.



Eloise: we went camping this week with all our friends! We almost didn’t make it because you came down with a cold, but you rested at home the first day and we drove up for one fun filled day and night of camping at Jalama Beach. We found fossils, dug in the sand, played games, ate s’mores and enjoyed being with friends! A fantastic camping trip even if you were a bit snotty.



Eloise: it’s Spring and the lupine and yellow mustard are in full bloom! We’ve been trying to get out into nature more often and when we do it warms the soul for both of us!



Eloise: it was May Day this week and we enjoyed making flower cones for neighbors, having a May Day party for Homeschool club with a May pole and singing and dancing and everything. It was lovely!



Eloise: our mornings consist of math (counting, simple addition and subtraction) , reading and writing and all sorts of other wonderful things. I love spending this one on one time with you. Sometimes we butt heads but other times it’s pure joy getting to teach you and be your kindergarten teacher.



Eloise: we took a little weekend trip to San Diego and stopped in your birth town , Irvine for lunch. Your Dada and I showed you around some of our favorite places and then in San Diego, we had a wonderful time with friends.



Eloise: some days we just need to refocus, take a walk and pick wildflowers



Eloise: yoga and cooking class! You love these weekly classes that you take with homeschool friends. You come home and want to show us the latest yoga position or you cook your vegan chocolate sauce for pancake Saturday mornings. I love seeing the joy in your face when I drop you off!



Eloise: look at this cricket I caught Mama!! It’s amazing!!!


Portrait Project 7-10

eloise: We visited Ojai for the farmers market and we parked right in front of an Apothecary! You had to go inside and so we did. We spoke with the man who worked there and he told us about his herbs and rocks and gems and how when he was a kid he used to want to be a wizard and now he’s pretty close. You thought that was so cool. We bought some cornflower petals and sunflower petals for your own “brews” and you left with your heart filled with magic.

Eloise: Every morning I wake up to this sweet face. We’ve tried all sorts of things to get you to sleep in your own room, in your own bed, but it’s just not in the cards just yet. And I get it, who wants to sleep alone… I certainly don’t. So, as for now, we’ve pushed up the twin bed to our queen and made one giant bed.  So we all have a bit of space, but just enough that we’re also all close enough for comfort.

Eloise: A morning at the rock and gem show downtown. You are of course in your very best Ellie garb- your witches hat (which was a big hit with the rock and gem folks), rain boots handed down from your older cousins and a baby strapped to your chest. Because “Leaf” needs to come to the rock show too.

Eloise: I love this photo of you. Since your Grandma has lost her hair to chemo, you’ve been seeing her wear a lot of hats and scarves. We also see lots of images of women in hijabs with the new books that have been wonderfully showing all types of people in all types of dress. So I wasn’t surprised that you wanted to wear the new turmeric dyed scarf we made on your head “just like my peg doll” (who happens to wear a hijab. You wore it all morning in your play and just looked darling. My sweet, sensitive girl.

A Homeschool Valentine Party

We had such a fun day today, celebrating Valentines Day with our homeschool friends. I stayed up extra late the night before, preparing some special treats for our kiddos. We had a Cupid’s arrow game, wooden bead necklaces, a table puppet show, lots of yummy treats, a heart friendship rock hunt and an adorable valentine exchange. It was perfection! Thank you to my fellow homeschooling mamas. I couldn’t have pulled it off without them!


Exploring Amethyst


In homeschool club this week, we talked about January and February’s rock boxes- Quartz and Amethyst. We talked about the different types of rocks (rocks versus minerals), the crystal structures of both and then the girls drew amethyst crystals onto rubber stamps. I carved their drawing and they had a great time making prints of their crystal stamps. A quick but fun lesson!

Amethyst peg doll by pegandbranch
Rock boxes by me!
Love bug necklaces by FairyShadow

A Waldorf Valentine Faire

This past weekend we got to attend the Goleta Waldorf School Valentine Winter Faire. We had done the Christmas faire in December and we were all blown away by how lovely and beautiful everything was. Ellie had the most wonderful time once again. There were puppets shows and Valentine fairies and goats and bees and wool and just everything magical. DSC_0340DSC_0348DSC_0326DSC_0327DSC_0331DSC_0333DSC_0337
waldorf fairewaldorffaire

(treasures we brought home)

Portrait Project week 5 and 6

Eloise: Hard at work with your Dada. You guys have been doing “engineering” days together for home school. Pulleys, cranes, jet propulsion , all topics you’ve been working on. It’s such a joy to watch you work with your Dada and also to watch you understanding these concepts so thoroughly. My little engineer!

Eloise: I love this photo. It encapsulates all the wonder and joy that 5 brings. You wear your witches hat daily, you choose a dinosaur shirt because you just love dinos. You eagerly wear your nature vest that carries mama-made patches and pins and you are giddy to wear a new little love bug treasure around your neck. As hard as 5 has been, THIS is what its all about. I love you my love bug!

“a photo of Ellie, once a week, every week in 2018”

Portrait Project 2, 3 and 4/52

Eloise: Visiting the MOXI in Santa Barbara, days before the mudslides devastated Montecito. I remember we were trying to get back into a regular rhythm of visiting our favorite local museums after the fires, then the rains came days later, mudslides and fwy closed and we still haven’t been back up since. This photo, when I took it had a wonder to it that I loved, but seeing it now, reminds me of those horrible days after.

We helped to build a cardboard city in the museum that day and thinking of it now, I remember seeing cardboard firetrucks and cardboard helicopters, cardboard houses on hills and cardboard trees and buildings. Thinking of that cardboard city made by so many little hands all over the state brings hope. And I know we will be back soon, to hopefully build more…

Eloise: Laughing at your “sister Summer” as the two of you put on a show for your Mamas.

Eloise: Your Grandma and Grandpa spoiled you with this owl puppet the other day. You haven’t let it out of your sight. In fact, you have created rules for your owl. You can only hold the owl if you are wearing the “glove” (one of Mama’s arm warmers)  and you tied a string onto its foot since ‘”his wing is broken and I can’t have him trying to fly all over and hurt his wing again.” A little falconer/ bird rehab-er in the making.