Saturday, September 30, 2006


ellajohn, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Oya Baka-ing the Preschool Again

book, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Not only did she make this, but she understands all of this in great detail and will talk about it for a very long time. Click on the first page here to see the whole book in excruciating detail.

In other extreme oya baka news, Ella watched a Muzzy video in Mandarin Chinese several times this week. She came to me with a very serious face. "I know a word in Chinese now." What?", I said. In a quiet fake Chinese accent she said, "HAMBOORGER".

Thursday, September 28, 2006

she sews

she sews, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella wants Halloween decorations so off to Michaels I went. She sewed about halfway around this spider.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


socks, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Here she is heading off to school. Why don't more socks have sprouty tassels? After a day of monarch butterflies yesterday, the class is back to spiders today.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Merry Maid

Sometimes it is funny to have a daughter who loves to clean things. On sunday morning we were all trying to sleep in, but a four year old who gets up at six am every day of the week cannot sleep in. She also cannot watch television because of her attempted preschool revolution.

Let's just say that if you come to our house the bannister railings are very, very slippery because they have been carefully polished with KY Silky personal lubricant which said four year old found in the living room. So shiny.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

almost five year old news

Ella and the family finished her 100 New Book marathon, and I'm retiring from huge goal oriented endeavors. It was just too huge and all in MY mind, so I'm trying to scale back. Not to say that she isn't proud. She just learned to count to one hundred, making it all the better. John had a great idea that she could apply for her own library card today, and she can write both her first and last name to get that. It all started with the lame library summer reading program. We read our twenty books in a week and decided to keep going. Who knows how many we really read, but we recorded one hundred. The most thrilling thing for Ella was seeing her name on a contruction paper castle on the library wall.

School Week--Inside Other Spider Homes

Discovery Time-Lacy spider webs, lifting spider webs, making a trapdoor and pruse spider home with tissue boxes and paper towel rolls, spider snacks, weaving webs on paper plates, marble painting webs, balloon spiderlings, making a spider nursery terrarium,
Circle Time-investigating differnent types of spider homes, spider safety, spider cousins
Small Group-Inventory charts, Math workbooks, Classmate Name Bingo, Spider Books
Story-Spinning Spiders, Are you a Spider?, Spiders Everywhere, Miss Spider's Tea Party, Amazing Spiders.


happy climber, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This little guy is both a drooler and a climber. If he can get his foot up onto something, anything, he will try to climb it. Here he is trying to get into Ella's bed, the Princess and the Pea bed that is so tall it requires steps.

big lick

beans, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We headed down to Roanoke yesterday. John had a meeting, and we went to their farmer's market, the science museum, and out for some amazing thai food. I got these beans from a beautiful menonite couple, and they made for a perfect dinner. I got a "bouquet" of dried lotus pods, a loaf of bread at the bakery, and we headed back to Smalltown.Nothing like a morning out in the "big city".

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Ella got in a bit of trouble in school on friday. It seems that she and her friend decided to lead the circle in a few songs, one of which was the dismissal song. Busted. Sent to the table during circle. She was trying to look so nonchalant, while her friend looked like they were going to the electric chair.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


renovation, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

The dollhouse renovation begins today. Ella is at Sophie's all afternoon, so here I go. My father built this for me in the seventies. I'm going to take out the old wallpaper and do a little painting for her birthday. Shhhhhh. She doesn't know it is here.


As I was having a cup of coffee and revelling in my new light fixture I was thinking that for years I wanted to have a stylish house. I wanted some nicely designed "things", heck, maybe a few things that matched or were even artfully unmatched. Fast forward into the present. Now, I really like that our house is starting to look like a German preschool. That appeals to me.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

numero ono

Ella has discovered numbers, and she just doesn't want to stop. At breakfast she was writing in her notebook, five plus four equals nine. Then she yells, "I am calculating with my mind." In the car on the way home she wrote her numbers up to forty seven with no spaces in between.

the disco ball is no more

the disco ball is no more, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

It is amazing what getting rid of a cheap eighties glass and brass disco ball light fixture can do for a hallway. A very brave man climbed up there. I put the five year light bulbs in thinking that we'll sell this place before we have to change a bulb. In other handman news, our leak is fixed, the patio screen door might not fall off any more, and monday is squirrel hole day. Ladder number two wasn't tall enough.

I went to Home Depot to look at tiles to do the backsplash and cover the wooden trim on the bar. I left with a chrysanthemem, a sedum, and six pansies. I just couldn't deside on the tile, so I thought I'd mull it over for a while. It will probably be the one inch natural tumbled stones. In other good new, it was a gorgeous day, and happy baby slept in the sling all morning while I ran errands, drank a cup of coffee while sitting outside, and ran into a field to pick a giant bunch of goldenrod. I made brown rice and lentil soup this afternoon. Full day. Off to bed.

why do i always want

earth shoes of my discontent, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Sideways Slung Sun

This hot tub rules. Cicadas. Stars. I'm waiting to get beaned in the eye by an english walnut, but until then I'm going to be very relaxed.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

daddy day

This afternoon Ella and her daddy went on a bike ride together down at the river. She required many supplies, and luckily I talked her out of taking her rain clogs in case of inclement weather. She did take two handkerchiefs and peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches. They also played a long game of chess downtown and went to the library.


tired, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

drooly runny nosed lovey baby

love baby, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

thirteen months

thirteen months, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

clap handy

clap handy, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


feet, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella's Week at School

Inside a Spider's Web
Discovery Time- Spider hats, handprint spiders, hanging spiders,taking photographs of spiders and their webs, Itsy Bitsy Spider puppets, moveable spiders to accompany the poem "Corncob Spider Ride", numbered webs, attribute blocks, pattern blocks, geoboards.

Circle Time-discussion of the physical characteristics, habitat, life cycle, and types of webs and spiders,turning our classroom into a giant spider web, spider vocabulary,

Small Group Time- Younger Group- spider web counting game, Miss Muffett directional game, sequencing cards for the Itsy Bitsy Spider, shape sortring using attribute blocks and pattern blocks, Button Bingo, practice recognition of written names using upper and lower case letters

Older Group- numeral/number correspondence poster, math workbooks, Classmate name bingo, journal writing

Story- Dream Weaver, The Spider, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Magic School Bus Spins a Web, The Lady and the Spider

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Who wouldn't want to go into the Blueberry Forest?

What is the one thing we don't really need. Toys. Toys like this are just too delicious to not look at, plus fairy kits, and other wonderfuls for the littles. Who knew there was a Princess and the Pea game? I got my first inquiry yesterday about what the kids want for the holidays, the first holiday being Ella's fifth birthday. She wants anything in this catalog. I think baby John wants a wooden truck.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sick as a Fiddle

That is what she says she is. She really just has a very runny nose. We stayed home from school today.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

stats, just because I know

I took both littles to the doctor today for well-child checkups. Ella weighs in at FIFTY pounds and forty five inches tall, and John is twenty seven pounds and thirty inches tall. Ella got three shots, and John got four. Ella did not even cry; John screamed at the top of his lungs and will never look at that nurse again. We are all exhausted from the long days this week and last. ..School every day, lots of driving, ballet, play group, playground. Nothing too intense but just contantly moving.

Yesterday we went out to Newport to a Waldorf play group. The kids got to feed apples to cows, follow chickens around a garden and play in the sandbox. Now I want to live right there. Why am I always looking around for a new place to live? Every window had a view of the mountains. That and a chicken coop put it at the top of my list.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

clothespin happy lady

clothespin happy lady, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella loves making these little dolls. Tomorrow she wants me to make a boy with overalls.

first day of ballet

first day of ballet, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This is from Ella's first day of her third year of ballet.

falafel man by ella

falafel man by ella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

dinosaur feet

dinosaur feet, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

These are about a foot long and look almost like metal.


ostrich, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I can't stop posting pictures of this excursion to Safari Park. I was so scared of this ostrich in terms of children's eyeballs. Oh, the obsessive compusive fears of motherhood. I knew how big they were, but let me tell you they have a look in their eyes and reptilian dinosaur feet. Ella had such a great day that she was calling people on the phone when we got home and leaving messages about it. She did say that her favorite animal of the day was the salamander that she caught at the lake.


family, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

this head is delicious

this head is delicious, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

type A ostrich

type A ostrich, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

salamander hunt

salamander hunt, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


BAAaaa!, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

explorer john

explorer john, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, September 08, 2006

more lunchy wonderfulness

bear-with-kitty-chan-pasta, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

school lunches from Bento Corner

manic-maki, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Bento TV

Bento TV is the cutest daily video blog ever, and there is also a link to purchase bento boxes and accessories. Bento Corner is also about making bentos, especially for children.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


It is nine twenty four pm, and John left for work at 6:30 this morning. He still isn't home yet. It has been this way all week. I have spit up on my shirt, and I just ate dinner in front of the computer.


restaurant, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

i've got the tree

i've got the tree, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Schooling and Baking

ella's breads, originally uploaded by ellajohn.
After lunch I thought we should do something calming, so we baked five loaves of irish soda bread. Four of them were very tiny.
I can't begin to recall the nine hundred things Ella talked about today when she came home from school. Sasha taught her to write in two forms of secret code, words and musical notes. She can now sing her own secret code.
The spirit of the place is good. Tonight when she went to brush her teeth she prepared four toothbrushes, one for each member of the family.

First day of school picture

First day of school picture, originally uploaded by ellajohn.
Where did we see Carter with a noodle? Claytor Lake. Why do we have no arms and Romper Stompers? Because we are underwater.That lobster claw is actually a fish. She draws a flowerpot and a flower whenever she makes a mistake with a letter.
The first day of school is finally here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

colonial williamsburg tryouts

home theatre, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


kiss, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

honey, i'm headed for the office

honey, i'm headed for the office, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella secretly attached this to her brother today.

snow boots

maybe this blog could be my new brain. then you would really wonder. note to self. check ebay about ella's red snow boots on wednesday night.


I'm so glad my kids don't know about Steve Irwin so we don't have to go through a long winded explanation about how most people don't get a sting ray barb to the heart. I bet Joe G is in total mourning.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

my little red hen

The littles and I circumnavigated Smalltown on foot this afternoon, partly to get some exercise and partly to get Mr. Unsatisfied to take a nap. It was warm yet fall was in the air. Ella was mortified that all the college students have left tons of trash, beer cups, 12 pack boxes, and cigarette butts all over campus. Ah, sunday in Smalltown. Ella says that next time we have to bring bags and gloves to clean all this mess up. She says that I need to be the mayor and change the government and that way there would be no more war, no more guns, and no more swords, and we would not have to clean up all these red cups, broken glass, and "cigles". Hallelujah, sister.

She picked a large bouquet of grass seed heads. "I have found wheat. We are going to make bread." She wanted to cancel dinner in order to make bread. Tomorrow, we will bake. It is the last day before school starts.

pollock project

Ella is going to love this. Try your hand. Click and move.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


specs, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


beans, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

These beans are so good that four year olds scrap over them.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fairy- Lavender

I just spent an hour looking at felting supplies and wool on the web for making handmade toys. This link has so many pretty dolls. She also sells her dolls at .

maiden vogage

maiden vogage, originally uploaded by ellajohn. I took the second shift after all the littles were tucked in their beds. I almost can't believe that this is practically in my living room. I feel a little melty. The post-Ernesto winds were rocking the walnut trees as I was floating in the bubbling water.
Tomorrow we are headed out to the farmer's market for some purple and yellow string beans. Ella and her friends were actually fighting for them at a playgroup yesterday. This is quite surprising after her recent announcement that the only green thing that she likes is parsley. For a few days she said she would only eat "Japanese" vegetables and gobbled up a plate of hijiki seaweed, soba noodles, and crispy tofu with miso glaze. I'm just not worrying about her diet any more. She is even more of a sponge these days, a darting quick thinking sponge. I have to say I love her current passion for all things Japanese. I won't tell her I feel the same way or she would change her mind. She wants to be "Japanese" for Halloween in a kimono, obi, and dangling butterfly hair ornament.