Julie here. (As opposed to the rest of the time, when it's really W or J typing. You're not fooled, are you?) Anyway, I wanted to share this photo and its story.

We came home from work/camp today, greeted by an enthusiastic Jezebel who is getting mighty good at her "HI!s" and welcome home hugs. After a round or two of those, I turned my attention to hanging up raincoats (yes, raincoats), emptying lunch boxes, etc. I turned around to notice the...the nothing. The quiet. The "there is no chatter or child where there is usually much chatter and child." I heard muffled sounds from the upstairs so I quietly approached a closed bedroom door, peeked in and found...
Winnie had tucked Jez into the Book Nook and was reading her a story. Jezebel was rapt--utterly focused on all that was Winnie, as this picture captures. I knew my presence would bust up the moment so I quickly retreated back down the stairs. I went back to the chores at hand and stayed pretty focused for about 10 minutes until I sensed that my time was limited and I just had to grab the camera and get in this one shot.

Jez is not a helpless infant, anymore. Winona "reads" her own books and cares for her li'l sis independent of my requests or suggestions. Most amazing to me is that there is a fast-approaching day when the two of them will most certainly drop their stuff after camp and run off and play... without needing boo from me. That is, all at once, something I anticipate with both longing (oh how I yearn on some days!) and disquiet (what will that be like?) But, what's the point, really, of anticipating at all? Today was hilarious and sweet and really stinkin' cute. Tomorrow will be, too; in its own more grown up ways.


The only thing more fun than going to a parade...

...is being in a parade! We marched in the celebration parade with the Y!
I'm the one in green.
I'm the one who would really rather be napping.

It was a good celebration of all things wacky and wonderful.


I don't just make art. I wear it.

I don't just make food. I wear it. (Seen here wearing pudding that was destined for the freezer to become fudgesicles. The fun thing about these fudgesicles is that they are made from avocado, dates and cocoa). Check them out here!


We do a lot of porch "settin'"--that is, opening the front door and strolling out into the yard, maybe to water the garden, maybe to splash in the pool, maybe to kick a ball around (Jez loves this), or maybe, as seen here, to get only as far as a good settin' spot for a little snack (Jez loves this, too, although her expression here is more of the "I have very bad news for the dog if she chooses to come towards my peaches" sort.) Today started out "settin'"; I with my coffee, Winnie and Jez with their pool. (Papa Bear was making rock and roll history in the studio). I felt the local calendar of fun events nagging at me, encouraging me to soak up the summer day at one of the two local fests that were happening, each of which would have been fun and playful and good. But I was not to be moved from that porch until the fig tree called my name. Sorry, festivals, we've got some figs to simmer and stir.
One quick google search later, we were decided: Fig Newtons and Fig Jam. A) Because as good as the broiled fig with pine nuts and chevre sounded, I wanted me some cookies and B) there's something exciting about making something from the garden to be enjoyed at an agreed upon far off, rainy, overcast, chilly date. In this case: Fig Jam on November 25th-- Thanksgiving and Winona's Fifth Birthday.

Since we couldn't wait for the "cookies" to cool, we cut up one of our creations to look more like a torte, whipped up some cream and whallah! Fig torte.
The next batch, we allowed to cool and cut them into proper cookies.

A good day. Go figure. (That's all Mike. The rest of us endured a lot of Fig play on words- consider yourself getting off easy).


Here's an interesting child development truism: Kids who live on hills learn to ride their bikes later than those who live in the flatlands. To get W on her bike, we actually have to drive, with the bike in the back, to a local park. Guess how often that happens? Not often enough to teach a child to learn to ride a bike... but we're trying to be better about it.

And, turns out, if you wait until the kid is nearly 5, it doesn't take too long to teach bike riding!
Jezzie: Here's what I learned today: I love goats. I tried really hard to kiss them--and I finally got one to return my affections. (Although we were to soon learn that he was really just after my hat).

And I was none too pleased when they abandoned me simply because I ran out of goat pellets.

Gyrl trip to the farm...

Snack time. Can you smell the peaches from there? They were sooooo juicy and good!


We went on a trip! I was not convinced that this was going to be fun when I was told that two dogs, two kids, a mom, a dad and a week's worth of gear were all to fit in the car. Is this the quality family time you're talking about?

Guess what we did? Here's a clue:
Guess where we went? Here's another clue:

We took a family vacation to the Redwoods of Northern California. It was, in a word, awesome.
The irony of Winona walking through the Redwood Forest with a magnifying glass was too good a photo op to pass up...

Back at camp, we made a hula hoop,
took baths,
hung out in our tent,
helped with the dishes,
wrote in our journals,

and did a lot of singing around the campfire!