Wednesday, April 29, 2009

birthday doll

birthday doll, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I made this doll this week for a little friend's seventh birthday today. John and Ella say that the next two dolls are for them.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the widening gyre

Here are some chilling videos of trash island in the Pacific Ocean. I'm so hoping that Oprah has this covered. This is pollution of such magnitude that we cannot even tell my child's first grade class about it. They would be sobbing.

I wish I could never have another piece of plastic come into this house.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


miss, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

ella at author's tea

ella at author's tea, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

steel drum workshop

Originally uploaded by ellajohn
After Greg Mortenson's visit on thursday, how could it get any better? Fill the whole outdoor classroom with steel drums and teach them how to play them.


John and the children built a raised bed today that will be the children's garden. John went to Lowes three times for supplies. Ella has planted radishes and carrots for now. Here on the edge of the forest all sorts of creatures come up to nibble just about everything, and Ella says that she knows where we can buy some big stone lions to scare away all the wildlife.

3 cups

Ella had an amazing opportunity this week. Greg Mortenson, peace activist and author of Three Cups of Tea, visited her school and classroom to talk about his work. A nobel peace prize nominee took his place in the circle of fifteen first graders and talked about children their age who were working instead of going to school, about the children he is building schools for in Pakistan and Afganistan, and about how the Pennies for Peace program helps these children directly. The seven year olds knew that a penny could buy a pencil, but they were concerned about the cost of erasers and wondered how they would sharpen their pencils. Dr. Greg answered their questions so graciously. Their teacher had prepared them so well for his visit, and I think that they knew more about him than he even realized. They were even a bit starstruck.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


play, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, April 17, 2009

ruby june

ruby june, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

steel drum workshop

steel drum workshop, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


sandbox, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

model of a modern major general

The news needs to find a new word for pirate if my children are going to ever be willing to go to the beach again. Pirates? Pirates are funny talking swashbucklers with feather swords and parrots and eye patches. Pirates exist only on the video of Pirates of Penzance. I knew giving in to the pirate world would be nothing but trouble. I told Ella that pirates did not exist. And now they are back and not being very nice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter double feature

It has been a busy but good weekend. Yesterday we went to Poplar Forest, Jefferson's farm in Bedford, Virginia, for a picnic and egg hunt with Granny and Grampy. Today we joined friends for brunch and an egghunt at Susan and Saul's house. Potluck was just that; all the food was remarkable. The children enjoyed the warm sun, bubbles, and playing together.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Ella and her teacher have been working on her story for Author's Tea at school. She hasn't begun her illustrations, but she has been thinking about them and planning her supplies. She wants to use coloured pencils this year. She also has planned to draw a Caldecott Medal on the front of her book. Because in her seven year old mind it is just that good.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


banjo, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


drawing, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

her petition

her petition, originally uploaded by ellajohn.