Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ship watching morning

ship watching morning, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


captain, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

ahoy matey!

ahoy matey!, originally uploaded by ellajohn. This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of them. Ella's piratey jig makes me laugh.

savannah tastes good

I took the tour. Ninety minutes of historic Savannah with baby sleeping and Ella in a trance. Her head fell over on my bag for a while, but she was looking and listening intently for quite a while. The city is gorgeous and green. Ella got in the pool and dunked her head under, but it was even too cold for her. The trees are all still green there. Forty eight hours in Savannah, and we had lots of great seafood. And grits. On the last night we were going to get a pizza and go back to our room, but E said, "Seafood, please!" For lunch she had mussels at Tapas and was on a roll. We walked over to an Italian place called Cosentino's and had a great dinner, shrimp, calamari, and pasta. We took most of it back to our room when baby grew weary of the candlelight, but it was delicious.

Monday, October 30, 2006


We are deep into the sweet tea nation. Baby ate soft string beans and almost a full cup of homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner last night. We sat outside by the river and watched boats.
This morning the kids played in a giant sandbox down at the river, and we went for a walk. Further proving that I am middle aged, I'm thinking about taking one of those historic trolley tours during John's meeting this afternoon.

The children fell asleep nicely in our hotel, but it was not lasting. Ella fell out of bed in the middle of the night, and the baby woke up every three minutes. My eyes are made of burning coals.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

ella's pumpkin moonshine

ella's pumpkin moonshine, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

baby owls go out at night

baby owls go out at night, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

apple pie

apple pie, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

At some point we are actually going to Savannah, but first we are going to Newport to Gwynn and Bert's burrito hullabaloo. With pie.

name your bird

owl, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I think I have to make more of these. Doesn't every kid need one of these just to wear?

little owl man

little owl man, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Here is John's halloween hat. I'm going to make an owl "necklace" to go over his brown coat with felt and real feathers.

after the laundry


baa baa brown sheep

baa baa brown sheep, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Someone else got new shoes too. We are feeling the first of the winter chillies around here. I got him the sheepskin liner that goes in these as well. I must be turning into a grandma. I've been worried about everyone's feet staying warm. Next thing you know it I'll be pushing cookies and noodle soup.

Friday, October 27, 2006

internet confession

Dear John,
I bought these Earth boots. They claim to straighten your spine into the yoga pose called mountain pose. That is great, but mostly I like the way that they look. Cowboy boots that I can't fall off of.
I swear I'll thrift all my clothes for a year.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

draw and write

draw and write, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

wizard hole

wizard hole, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

It looks like this tree has an arm growing out of it's eyeball.

roasted kabocha, sweet potatoes and beets with garlic and toasted nori

This was great with brown rice cooked with some japanese bonito broth and a bit of soy sauce.


motion, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


ella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

"..if you get dizzy, get out into the sun and bang on the door of the house where your house comes from..." billy jonas

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

spotty orange was a grandaddy longlegs

Big C stepped on spotty orange and he subsequently died, albeit not immediately. Big C was in big playground trouble. Five kids whispered one to another, " C is a poo-poo head." Ella said it out loud and got in trouble. No longer the line leader, she had to go to the back of the line. Sharry made her tell me about it in the car. I do admire her passion for spotty orange and her desire to avenge his death, but we just don't say poo poo head in our family. I took away her TV priviledge until monday, i.e. the hotel in Savannah.

Red got her almost five year old ears pierced today and Ella is flaming jealous. We told her a while back that she could get her ears pierced when she was of a certain age, maybe nine or twelve. I can't even remember right now. I'm sticking. Why do girls want to be friends with a mean girl?

I need a walk in some fresh air. I think we are going to Pandapas.

Monday, October 23, 2006

focaccia, otherwise known as picasso

"Focaccia was an artist who took things apart and put them back together in interesting ways," said Ella.

"Who?", I said.

"Focaccia," she said with a slightly impatient tone.

"Who is Focaccia?", I said.

"Am I going to have to go all the way downstairs to get you the book and show you?" she said.

"Do you mean Picasso?" I said.

"Yes, "she giggled, "How do you spell that?"

birdwatching from my living room

birdwatching from my living room, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

want to sew something


sister's sketch of the trainyard wizard

trainyard wizard

trainyard wizard, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

dances with wings

dance, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

saturday home school

saturday home school, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

A few weeks ago I started talking to Ella about home schooling. She frequently meets home schooled children, and home schooling could be an option if we ever buy our goat farm. Ella thought that home school was a brilliant idea....ON THE WEEKENDS. School is pretty much her favorite thing in the world. For now, we play home school on saturday and sunday.

We went on a leaf walk yesterday and pressed them between sheets of waxed paper.

soup, I wear it on my head

soup, I wear it on my head, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Soup on the head and drool on the chin. He is thrilled that I let him hold the spoon and bowl.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

on the side

I just ordered a turkey sandwich at the Ella Rose Washington Cafe here in my basement. The side orders available today are ham, cilantro, or butter beans.


grin, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

wait for me

wait for me, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


baa, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


sunset, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

pumpkin patch 2006

pumpkin patch 2006, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

whoa, mama

whoa, mama, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


We just had a Grandmarie weekend. Oh my, I have to start washing my own dishes again! There was a lot of farmer's marketing and vegetable cooking...Miso Braised Turnips, kale, Curried bean soup, steamed apples.We made several gigantic greek salads and fresh basil pesto. Ri and I went to Riner to the pumkin patch with the littles and friends of the littles, and then went over to Emily's house for porch sitting, Native American dancing, wood's walking, pumpkin muffin eating, cider sipping, and bike riding.
Somewhere along the way I finally stained our back deck and started redecorating the upstairs bathroom. It is delicious chocolate brown. Yesterday we drove one hundred miles looking at fall color in the mountains; We crossed the New River up near Pearisburg and then turned around and headed down Spruce Valley. The pavement ended and we had to stop for the same coal train twice, but we eventually followed the New River up to McCoy, Virginia and had some sense of where we were. We have pine needle fairies in our house and kabocha pumkins for roasting. It must be fall.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

sky girl

sky girl, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

pumpkin, i kiss you

pumpkin, i kiss you, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


fall, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

pumpkin patch

pumpkin patch, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

farmer john

farmer john, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


pony, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


For the toy obsessed mammas.


huggy, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


littles, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


love, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

new scooter

new scooter, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

family birthday dinner

family birthday dinner, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella's Granny and Grampy came to Smalltown to spend the night and celebrate Ella's birthday on friday. They went to preschool with her, and Ella was very happy to present her grandfather as this week's show and tell. I still haven't heard what she told. We had a giant Greek salad, pizza, the cake of her dreams and lots of presents. She got a new scooter, two wheels, a brake, and very speedy.She got a lap harp with the music cards that slide underneath. It is going to sound great after I find a way to tune it. Ella's granny sewed her a poodle skirt as well as some pretty playclothes. The dollhouse got some interior windows, a bed, a fireplace, and, best of all, a framed portrait of it's doll inhabitants.

Yesterday we went down to the playground, and Ella rode her new scooter on the bike path by the river.John loved swinging on the swings, and he so wants to slide down the sliding board. We went out for ice cream in our little downtown. What a nice wrap up for Ella's birthday week. It does take a village, and we certainly have a dedicated and generous group of villagers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Welcoming Autumn, Herbal Festival

Discovery Time- making Herbarium Books, preparing peppermint tea, decorating and stuffing dream pillows, potting herbs to bring indoors, and herb wreaths
Circle Time- discussions about herbs including identification, smells, and uses for herbs
Small Group Time- practice writing numerals 0-10, practice writing names (first letter upper case; beginning each letter at the top), adding two numerals under 10 on fingers, math workbooks, alphabet puzzles, phonemic awareness and letter formation of Aa, Bb.
Story Time- And the Good Brown Earth, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Nora's Stars, Two Little Gardeners

Five, with friends

Ella's smile says it all about her birthday. She got a pair of red mary janes from the mailman today. We've certainly stretched out the birthday week. She loved her party; she is always happy "with friends". The fierce autumn sun was shining on the bright leaves and they played, ate, and laughed. They found the "goldenrod spider" on the playground. The pinata of my fears turned out quite well, and I was very proud of the children as a group. They cheered each other on and shared the lizards and Smarties when the butterfly finally broke. If there had been margaritas it very well could have been the party of the year.

Ella will remember the little things. The spider. Chicken on a stick with Sasha and Isaac, fried ice cream. Oh, and that crazy haired Dan Zane saying, " Where is Ella?" My favorite was when she said to Nancy after DZ had played two songs, "I'm not sure, but I think that is Dan Zanes." Then she said, "I'm so excited that my seat is vibrating." Later, she realized that Rose was kicking her seat.

I saw so many people at the Dan Zanes show that I remember from my own younger years. I saw two people from William and Mary, both drippping with littles in the nicest way.

I'm so grateful to all the people who helped make it all so special for her.


pinata, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

goldenrod spider

goldenrod spider, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Monday, October 09, 2006

happy birthday singing

happy birthday singing, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

happy with friends

happy with friends, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

hey, cupcake

hey, cupcake, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


friends, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

pinata wrangling

pinata wrangling, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

birthday lunch in the park

birthday lunch in the park, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Off to school as a five year old

Off to school as a five year old, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

oya baka papa

We are home and the birthday party lunch is bubbling away on the stove, sesame noodles with edamame, tea eggs, peanut sauce...and peanut butter and jellies for the not so adventurous. Oya baka papa snuck Dan Zanes a note during the choo-choo, cha boogie song, and he sang Happy Birthday to Ella and then her favorite song of the day, "Walking the Dog". Yes, DZ sang to my baby for her fifth birthday. She swooned in utter embarrassement up there in the front row. She'll be talking about that one for a long time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Countdown to Five

Friday, Saturday, Sunday....birthday. Saturday is the big surprise show. Sunday we see the Catlins. Monday is the party that is keeping Ella from sleeping at night. The Pinata is done but must be stuffed. The menu is planned yet must be prepared. Just pray for sunshine so that we can use the playground because I really don't want to come up with a kid party project. I just want food, friends, cake, and did I mention twelve preschoolers beating a paper butterfly with a stick. I'm a little appalled at myself, but it is a pinata. Ella is a little bit Portuguese. Does that buy you a pinata? Is that kinda Latina?

Single mom week is almost over and what have I really accomplished. I drank a lot of coffee. (Thank you, Nancy!) The car is freshly oiled yet apparently needs five hundred dollars worth of new tires. Crap. Crap. Crap. The car has 34 thousand miles on it! Home and car ownership and management make me hyperventilate because everything seems to cost five hundred dollars that we don't have. Well, the dishes are washed, the floor is somewhat clean, the children have been sleeping since seven, and now I better get to the packing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

John needs his own farmhouse

John needs his own farmhouse, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

See, I'm not even calling it a dollhouse. Is this not wonderful? Baby was sitting in the high chair yesterday wearing Ella's old pajamas with a little bow at the neck while playing with a little naked baby doll, and John was wryly commenting on how secure he was with his son's masculinity.

I saw this at Imaginations, and I think it will be John's Christmas present. And the tractor to go with it.

roseola bumberpants

I am a grownup who missed out on a lot of childhood illnesses, so I'm getting them all as an adult. Chickenpox was bad at thirty. Roseola at forty is pretty easy, especially now that the fever is over. I haven't been back to the doctor, but I was exposed to roseola, I have all the symptoms of roseola, blah, blah, blah. I have an autoimmune disease, and you don't know how happy it makes me when I find out that I have an "actual" bacteria or virus. Thrillsville. It isn't just my immune system trying to ingest my eyeball or some other very important part of my body that I might be needing, as in, to live. The icing on the cake will be when one of my kids gets the roseola, and it better not be this weekend. It is Dan Zane weekend, and I'll be taking that roseola to the show. Fine. It is good to get these things out of the way early. I like to say "roseola". I wonder if I'm like the typhoid Mary of our preschool.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Crispy Wormsap

Ella's school is studying apples this week. Today they had an apple tasting, and she announced that her favorite apple is the Crispy Wormsap.

Apple Week Curriculum- Welcoming Autumn, Apple Harvest
Discovery Time- apple prints, apple bulletin board, stringing apples, apple mobiles, apples trees through the year
Circle Time- Apple tasting, anantomy of an apple, making applesauce, how apples grow
Small Group Time- Older Group- adding two numerals 0-10, using pictures and minipulatives to group objects, math workbooks, recognizing same leters/same words, rhyming words, Rhyming bingo, phonics workbooks
Story-Autumn if for Apples, Apple Picking Time, Apple Tree, Johnny Appleseed, Apples to Oregon, Rain Makes Apple Sauce