Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Happenings


November Happennings

11/1 - Li had his first Award Ceremony for karate and later that afternoon we joined other karate families for bowling.

Between those events, I began another ballet session in which I have 11 girls! Wow, big class!

We had a month of dental and eye appointments. No cavities for anyone! Set Makana up with an appointment late in the spring at Dr. Susan Russett Collette's office (we'll see if she's willing and interested to sit in the chair for a peek at her teeth. Think she will like it.)

At some point this month...or was it in October?....all three kids made the "Wolfrum Family Restaurant and Cafe!" What a menu! Beautiful! Bella! Delicious! So kind of them to make a special dinner for Jim and me! We enjoyed it and loved perusing the fancy menu they made together! (I will add photos of the menu at some point!)

Had the furnace cleaned.

Katie is doing basketball on Monday and Friday nights and having games on Saturdays. Sometimes the kids and I go to the YMCA on Monday nights for rock climbing and time to play in the play gym. We usually meet the same families there doing the same thing.

At some point this month....watched Louise Hay's "You can heal your life" DVD that I borrowed from Rosie.
11/8 - Saturday - Li and Makana and Wolfie had haircuts at the Jone's Brothers barber shop downtown. Li really wanted a mohawk. He got one, but agreed to not have the sides shaven until he tries this little bit longer style out first to see if he likes it. He was so excited to have a mohawk. (And yes, shortly thereafter Makana began asking for one! Stay tuned as she may decide to get one sometime in the future!)

11/10 - Kara, Isaiah, Kylar and the Speno family came over for a play date. Then Li went with them to karate and Katie went with Keely to basketball.

11/12 - Took Katie to see Beauty and the Beast at the Camden High School. Henry and Mary's son Hank played a main part, Gaston! He was excellent and reminded me of Elvis Presley! Kudos to Hank! Katie and I thought he played his part well!

On four consecutive Thursday's, the kids were enrolled in free ice skating lessons at the MRC. How nice of Fran Kinney to set that up! (See 11-20 entry for pictures.)

11/13 - Thursday. Makana was talking about ATC trading cards to trade. She said, "While I eat, you stink." Also, this am I was vacuuming. Makana wanted to vacuum too. She is so helpful. She wanted to use the vacuum attachment. I was grateful for any bit she did and it was fun watching her and seeing her decide what to vacuum and how much of any section of the molding or floor or whatever to do.

Also, Li made up his very own recipe of buns/biscuits. Here is a photo of them:

And here is a photo of me in my woolies in the downstairs bathroom. Have to get some pregnant shots in here!

11/14 - Friday - A snuggly day at home. Katie is enjoying a book in her pj's and Li is perusing his "Magic Cards" (a new interest of his).

11/16 - Li wrote letters to Pop Pop and to Jene Oakley hoping to receive some mail. Here is a photo of the one he wrote to Pop Pop. He got tired of writing, and so he dictated Jene's letter which I wrote for him. Jene did send him a return letter which he was excited to receive.

Here's the letter to Jene (Li decorated it with stickers, etc):

Here is a photo of Wolfie taken on Sunday 11-16-2008 by Makana (can tell from the angle...and she loves to use the camera!):

11/19 - The pond was icy.

11/20 - Some photos from ice skating lessons. Two of Li in class and one of our friends Lanita, Conchita, and KK.

11/22 - Saturday - Our first dusting of snow was on the ground in the morning, but it didn't stick. Went to Nobleboro for fingerprinting for my last step in getting my teacher's certificate in Maine.

11/23 - Sunday - Went to LL Bean and met the Speno's there for a horse and carriage ride. Bought a trapazoid tanagram puzzle for the kids. Couldn't wait for xmas to give it to them. Thought it would be stimulating for Li's logical mind and something new for them to do. Was right on as all the kids really loved being creative and making cool patterns. Here is a creative tanagram Katie made for me!

11/23 - Sunday - Earlier that morning, Li and I were talking about slavery and child labor again. And China. Li wanted to form a group of people who would not purchase products made in China because he feels child labor is wrong. I mentioned that my friend Tim Sullivan who works at the Good Tern is head of the Peace and Justice Group in Rockland and that perhaps if Li expressed his thoughts in a letter to Tim, that Tim would understand his feelings and be able to share what Li wanted to do with other like-minded folks. So, Li dictated a letter to Tim which I wrote (picture of letter will be added at some point). 

11/24 - Was in bed or on the couch from 8:30-2:30 with abdominal pain, mostly on the lower right side. The kids were so kind and brought me hot water bottles, tea, and Katie even took Makana outside for a bit to play with Li and Erin and Nick. The pond was frozen!

11/25 - Well, the pond was no longer frozen! Temperature warmed up and I think we had rain!

11/26 - Saw Brien at Hope Health about pains in abdomin. He said my lumbosacral joint and hips were out of alignment. Did a gentle muscular adjustment and feels it is a mechanical issue. Didn't think it was anything more. Hope he is right! He did send urine to the lab for checking due to a little high leukocytes. But Donna assured me that higher leukocytes could be found in healthy pregnant women throughout their pregnancy. She said higher leukocytes are found whenever there is mucus. Hope I am recalling this part correct. But this is what I remember.

11/27 - Thanksgiving - We had a wonderful, slow paced beginning to our day. No one rushed around and we all enjoyed ourselves so much. We were totally relaxed. Dad and Jeannie arrived and Dad gave me a great big hug. So good to see them both! We had a lovely visit with them!

I'll never forget Li getting up on Thanksgiving morning when I was in the shower and he came into the bathroom (after JUST getting up) and exclaimed "Do you know what day it is?" I said, "Thanksgiving." "Do you know who's coming today?" I said, "Pop Pop!" He was just SO excited and Katie and Li (who have some concept of time) kept asking when they'd arrive and what time they'd arrive, etc.

11/28 - Friday - Here's an adorable photo of Kana and Wolfie sleeping in the wee morning hours. I saw them and just had to take this photo. It was either the first or one of the first times Kana slept with Wolfie instead of with me. Wow!

Pop Pop, Nonna, Li, Katie and I went to Planet Toys in Rockland to pick up Li's Christmas gifts. Nonna bought us a dartboard which we played with all night trying to hit the bull's eye! What fun! 

11/29 - Saturday - Pop Pop and Nonna left in the morning just before we got up. The kids were so upset when they found out. I was sure to let him know to wake us no matter what time it was as it is more important for us to say goodbye than to sleep in! Pop Pop said he read that it would sleet and he was anxious to get on the road, but didn't want to wake us up. It took him twelve hours of driving to get home. Nonna did the last three hours as Dad said he was getting almost a panic attack and even felt dizzy. (I sure hope it was just nerves and that he's okay!!)

Kana or Katie did my hair with Kana's new Dora bath toy. 

Throughout this month and always....Makana has a love of taking photos. She uses the family camera to take shots. It is always interesting what she (or any child) really notices and sees through the camera lens. I have a bunch of them from when we went to the DEW Animal Kingdom last month, but I didn't post them. And a bunch from any other month really!

Here's Jim talking to Mom W (Nanny) to wish her a (belated) Thanksgiving.

11/30 Sunday - We ALL went to see Madagasgar III. (The kids mentioned on Saturday that they wanted to see this movie. Jim and I thought that it might give them something special to do and take their minds off of missing Pop Pop and Nonna.) It wasn't Jim's and my kind of movie, but the kids all enjoyed it. And Makana was so funny. She moved to the very front of the theater all by herself. When I went down to check on her, she invited me to sit in the front row with her. However, I said no thanks as I was sitting with Daddy (a rare treat to sit so long with Wolfie holding hands!). I invited her to come back up by us if she wanted to. But she was happy in that front row (and we were the only ones in the theater, so it was safe).

11/30 - Sunday - Earlier in the day Li said this: "I think I'm beginning to know who I really am. I love my reality." Whoa! I was shocked at his introspective thinking. I said, "That's the best!" He said, "You're the best." Throughout that day, Li sang, "Lalalalala, Big Mouth strikes again!" over and over. Wolf said he might be annoyed, but he wasn't as Li was so happy singing his song that he could deal with the repetitiveness.

At some point in November, everyone watched Star Wars I. I especially loved the part where someone says, "There's always a bigger fish." There was another quote I loved, but I can't remember what it was.


Trip to Mount Desert Island (Bernard, ME) - Tuesday 9/9/08 - Friday 9/12/08

Visit to Bass Harbor Lighthouse on Wednesday 9/10/08. Katie took this photo of Li, Makana and I by the fog bell. Wolf was down on the rocks taking lighthouse photos.

Here's one of Wolf's famous Bass Harbor Lighthouse photos!

Tuesday afternoon, Jim and Li went on a lighthouse cruise. Both took lots of lighthouse photos. Li so much wanted to emulate Jim's picture taking and Jim was happy that Li wanted to spend time with him sharing his passion! This photo is of Egg Rock.

Narraguagus Island Light is another lighthouse they passed.

And here are some more lights that they saw on their cruise: Nash Island Light

Petit Manan Lighthouse

Prospect Harbor Lighthouse

And Winter Harbor Light.

After Jim and Li's cruise, we all visited the Mount Desert Oceanarium (Bar Harbor location). The kids really enjoyed the touch tank! The person giving the presentation was very informative and friendly. The kids held all kinds of sea creatures.

Jim took Makana outside to play with boats while I sat with Katie and Li for a lobsterman talk. Katie eventually left, but Li stayed and had a couple of questions for the presenter. Unfortunately, the presenter wanted to do alot of talking himself rather than answer questions. He was very interesting, however, I wish he took the time to answer questions as well.

Makana and I went out to the field to see and pet the sheep. Katie, Li and Jim went to the lobster hatchery (too stinky for me!!).


That night (Wednesday 9/10/08), we ate out at a little pizzeria/ice cream place in Southwest Harbor on Main Street. Makana had her favorite: a chocolate ice cream cone! Li and Katie also enjoyed some ice cream at the counter...eyeing up the big cookies and pies.

On Thursday 9/11/08, we took the Wonderland Trail to the water and explored. Excellent trail with the kids and a pregnant mom. Katie discovered barnacles eating...actually opening and closing their mouths in only one of the tidal pools! It was fascinating to watch. She and I stood there for some time just watching in amazement.

Li looks out over the water.

Kana finds a sea urchin!

A dock in Northeast Harbor. 9/11/08

Friday 9/12/08 - One of the kid's favorite things to do by the cabin was to swing on the swings. And look for Oliver kitty, the owner's cat who sometimes came by for a snack and entertained us. Makana still talks about "Oliver kitty!"

This is a photo of our wonderful cabin! It was so nice! We'd definately go back. Clean, cozy and had a washer and dryer! Excellente!!!

Later that same day (Fri 9/12/08), we drove through Acadia National Park and stopped at a beach by Gorham Mtn Trail. We used the restrooms, played on the beach and Jim and I remembered when we once climbed Gorham Mountain Trail long ago. Someday we might do it again! Li got caught in a wave and changed clothes, and then we were off for another adventure of the day!

But not before svelt Wolf picked me up for a photo op! Thanks Katie! :)

One of the kids?? must have taken this of the beautiful sky!

On Friday afternoon, we took a Diver Ed tour. Diver Ed goes under the water with a videocamera. Passengers watch a video and hear him talk about what he is finding undersea. He then brings up various sea creatures and explains about them. Although he was humorous many times, he was overboard and even humiliating I thought. We liked so much when he was just plain funny, but not when he teased. We all agreed that although the trip was partly good, we would not go on it again due to Diver Ed's personality. (He must mean well, but not know how to relate to people, esp kids, that well. What kind of upbringing or experiences did he have?!)

All the kids lined up at the back of the boat to push Diver Ed off!

Here's the video screen that we watched on the boat.

Here is a close-up of Diver Ed talking cutsie and kissing one of his finds! He had a little toy "Mini-Ed" that dove with him. He kept making Mini-Ed talk and find things and get caught, dragged, and hidden by sea animals.

Diver Ed blew up his wetsuit and acted like the Hulk. It was hilarious..until he got a little overbearing chasing and intimidating the kids! He is like a big kid himself!

Kana and I get to know one of the lobsters! We also enjoyed the star fish, crabs, hermit crabs, fish and sea cucumbers!

This part Katie did NOT like. I wasn't sure since she was smiling, but she told me she did not like it when he did this. She had said not to, but he didn't listen and then she just gave in to it. (I hope she eventually learns to speak her mind or tell me and I'll help her if I am there!)

We all learned how to make the sea star (starfish) stick to our hair. Then we pulled the seastar off.

This was cool until Diver Ed began trying to put them on the kids heads whether they said it was okay or not. Here he is doing it to Li!! Again, the kids smiled, even though they said not to do it. Diver Ed just did what he thought was funny and you can see the passengers laughing too. It was one of those situations where I wasn't sure whether or not to step in....Li might have said not to do it, but Diver Ed was persistent, and Li ended up smiling and it sort of seemed okay. I do regret not being more adamant about standing up for my children!

He did seem to interact with Makana respectfully (except at the beginning of the trip when he shook her hand even though it was obvious at least to me that she didn't want to. Another instance where I wasn't sure whether to step in or not as she wasn't protesting where I felt I should interfere, yet I didn't think she enjoyed his persistance.) Here Diver Ed shows us one of the starfish.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Saying goodbye to our friends who are moving to CA


Saying goodbye to our friends who are moving to CA

Here is Keegan on 8/18/08 at Alford the mud!!! We arrived at Alford Lake and there he was! I asked if I could take a photo as he was too funny!

Here are Emma and Makana at Scott Smith's talk at the Camden Ampitheater a couple days before Traci, Bill, Keegan, Jack and Emma moved to CA. Miss them! Hope they are enjoying the weather and seeing new sights! They traveled cross-country stopping as they pleased along the way!

I don't have pictures handy of Jack, Traci or Bill, but we love them just the same!

Montpelier: The General Henry Knox Museum (Monday 9/8/08)

Montpelier: The General Henry Knox Museum (Monday 9/8/08)

I arranged for a homeschool tour of Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum on Monday 9/8/08. Jim had the week off and so he came too. We had a lovely day and most people brought picnic lunches with them as we were allowed to use the large lawn area in back of the museum afterwards.

The kids split up into two groups, one for the older kids and one for the younger kids. I went with Katie and Li and Makana went with Jim. We all enjoyed learning about the Knox's family and the history associated with the time period and building.

Some background information: The museum building is a replica of the original home of Major General Henry Knox, a Reveloutionary War hero and General George Washington's right-hand man. A letter signed by George Washington to Henry Knox is in the museum. Mr. Knox was appointed by President Washington to be the nation's first secretary of war. He commissioned the building of the frigate USS Constitution which is currently moored in Boston Harbor, and initiated plans for the building of the Army and Navy academies at West Point and Annapolis.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Saturdays beginning 9/6/08


Fall Saturdays beginning 9/6/08

On Saturdays's, I got up early so that I could go get eggs and produce from the farmers market and be home in time to take Katie to soccer and get myself to ballet. Katie needed to be at the Middle School for her soccer game from 10-11:30am. After dropping her off (as I couldn't stay), I drove to the YMCA to teach ballet from 10:15-11am. I then picked her up on my way home, usually catching the last bit of the game. And I could actually watch as I didn't have the other kids with me. This was our typical Saturday.

Sometimes Li would have karate (if he only went once during the weekdays). Once Jim had an art show and so I had Makana in ballet class. Once I took ballet myself after class. But that was our typical Saturday morning. Once Katie and I went to the Bagel Cafe by ourselves and then the library for an hour or two. It was so nice to be one on one with her!

Harvesting Sun Gold Tomatoes and Finding Frogs


Harvesting Sun Gold Tomatoes and Finding Frogs

I believe this frog is a Northern Leopard Frog. This is one of the many, many frogs Makana caught this season!

How to Identify: 2 - 3 1/2 in. (5.1-8.9 cm); green or brown; rounded spots with light borders; light stripe on upper lip; ridges on its back which extends to groin.

Habitat: Lakes, streams, rivers, ponds; often far from standing water. (This is why it's sometimes called the meadow frog.)

Makana LOVES to pick and eat tomatoes! She and Jim do it quite frequently. This day, Katie and Keely helped out! Katie and Li don't eat the tomatoes, but they do enjoy picking them! You can see there was a huge bucketfull!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

September and October 2008 Happennings


September and October 2008 Happennings

9/6 - Saturday - I began teaching the fall session of ballet. Katie had soccer in the mornings at the Middle School. We usually went to the farmer's market for fresh produce and eggs. This day I took a ballet class myself. first class since I participated in the People to People Dance performance in the beg of June!

Here are two pictures of a few kids at the soccer fields when it was rainy and not everyone had rec'd the message that soccer had been cancelled. The kids ended up playing and having fun despite the weather. Jackson's grandmother (who was visiting) took this photo and his mom Whitney sent the photos to me. So nice! Kids in picture: Nick, Jackson, Katie and Charlotte.

9/7 - Sunday - We all drove to Perham's in West Paris, Maine to find out where to go mining for minerals and gems. Li really wanted a mining hammer, but the cheapest ones were forty bucks and we all agreed that we'd use the regular hammers from home which we bought. We met some interesting people there who explained alot about the different rocks and minerals we found. Some especially nice folks offerred the kids to help them search in the water and use their equiptment. We even had a surprise visit from Mr. and Mrs. Perham! Cool!

9/8 - Monday - Jim had off and we went to the General Henry Knox Museum for a homeschool tour.

9/9-9/12 - Went to MDI for a trip (see another blog entry for pictures and more info.)

9/13 - Li took karate (his first of two private classes before he joined in a class). This photo of Mr. Andrew and Li is from 10-28-08 after a regular class. 

9/15 - Our Citizen's for a Green Camden did an Adult Ed Class at the high school. Had a small amount of people, but interested and active folks.

9/17 - The Common Ground Fair. We only went on Friday this year. Had a great time. Saw Matt, Rosie, Josiah, Leo, Ben and Rosie's mom Shirley there as well as many other folks we/I knew. The kids took turns acting like a musher and dog on the dogsleds. Katie especially enjoyed talking with the folks who offer dogsledding adventures in the winter. Jim and I especially enjoyed Alex's fabulous sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches! And we all took turns sliding on cardboard boxes down the big hill by the stage!

9/27 - Alpaca Day - Went to that same farm off Melvin Heights Road. The kids headed to the swingset after visiting the animals and having loads of cookies and cider.

10/1 - Was suppossed to go apple picking. But ended up going to midwife appt and then caught up with our homeschool group in the corn maze! Had fun in spite of inclement weather.

10/4-10/5 - Wolf set up his tent on Friday the third at the art show (his second show ever) at Camden Harbor Park in the Ampitheater section. He sold one picture during the weekend (the fourth and fifth). Maybe another venue would be better. But best to be grateful for the experience and the knowledge to not go in on expensive shows and to do the Lincolnville one again. Mabye try the summer one in Camden instead of the fall one. And maybe wait until the economy is better. Or maybe just try a totally different art show as this one has so much competition. No harm done, just a learning experience!! (Gotta look at the bright side!)

10/8 - 10/12 - Dee, Megan and Emily Clark came to stay with us. Dee came for a friend's wedding and to be part of her old singing group which was performing for the wedding. We really enjoyed seeing them all! Makana especially loved seeing Emily and even wrote her a letter shortly after she left. 

10/10 - Went ice skating at the MRC for the first time this season. There were people there in shorts as the weather outside was still quite warm. I obviously didn't skate, so Makana couldn't either. (What did Makana do while the others were skating? Don't remember! She must have hung out with me there and had some snacks??)

10/17 - Homeschool trip to DEW Animal Kingdom - This was excellent! We all really enjoyed it. Jim didn't get to come. The two folks who run it were great! Heard that the fellow is well, different and might say things that shock people. I thought he was wonderful and so humorous! It was such a great experience! Awesome, friendly animals! We were allowed to touch a couple of them, and the owners were able to interact intimately with them all, even the more dangerous animals! 

10/15 - Went to our first ATC (Artist Trading Card) gathering at the Camden Library. The kids and I had a blast making trading cards and then trading some too.

10/22 - Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum. Saw interesting exhibits. Brought home HUGE pieces of mica, arrowhead replicas, and real shark teeth. Man from the Discovery Museum in Bangor traded the kids geodes for some of the mica. Li and Katie were both very talkative at one of the exhibits/presentations done by a man who spoke about groundwater transportation. I was so proud that they spoke up and answered and initiated questions. Cool!

10/23 - Got my new studded tires on! (Still have to get rid of the old ones!)

10/24 - Damariscotta River Association's Native American program. Kids enjoyed hands on activities and games while learning about the culture of the woman leading the program. Then a Halloween Party at Kirk, Susan, Zach, and Luke Folk's house. I had to keep going outside because I felt it was hard to breathe inside....stuffy with all the people I guess (and esp when I hear lots of noise and people are running around, I tend to get that tight, wheezy feeling). This is the same problem I often get when in a crowded "party" atmosphere. It could be partly how I feel as opposed to a physical problem. No matter what the cause is, I have to listen to my body because how I feel (even if it is all emotional) is just as important as if it were all physical....the symptoms are there none the less and I need to make sure I feel I am getting adequate oxygen, esp since I'm pregnant! I did listen to my body and felt okay afterward. Actually, once the kids went up into Zach and Luke's room and after some people left, it was cooler and I could hang out for a long while. I hope I didn't offend Kirk or Susan going outside so much. (I dressed up as Dorothy...a pregnant one...Katie enjoyed doing my makeup and helping me get ready. Katie got dressed up as a witch in the special outfit she bought. Li dressed up as a ghoul, although he didn't use the blood in the blood pumping mask...saving it for Halloween. Kana dressed as a witch too - Katie helped her dress up. Jim met us after work, not dressed up. Did park jeep half in ditch by accident and had to have huge repairs at Rockport Auto afterward!! Yikes! Or mabye his jeep needed the repairs anyway?)

10/30- Before the library gathering (see below), the kids and I went to Miller's pumpkin farm and then to Rosie and Matt's for carving our pumpkins. Makana had picked out a squash which ended up being too hard to carve, so she borrowed a pumpkin for the night (which was never used as we were all so busy and into other things, but it was so kind of the boys to lend her one! They even said she could have kept it, but she ended up not even thinking about it as the other things going on were so fun. And Jim met us at the library at 6pm. Always great to see Daddy!). Here's the kids posed for a picture at the pumpkin farm:

10/30 - Halloween party at the Camden Library. Inside fun and crafts and food. Then families brought all their carved pumpkins outside to the ampitheater to light up and photograph. They looked so cool in the dark! Oh, the kids dressed up for this event again.

10/31 - Halloween! Kana dressed up as a wizard just because the costume was warmer than the witch one she had been wearing. We went to the Ashwood Walk through the Woods before going trick or treating with the Speno's. Was alot of fun! Katie and Li met up with Keely, Okie and some other girls while we were on Sweetbrier. They went to a couple of houses together and then we caught back up with Jim, Makana and the Speno's. We had a wonderful time again! It was luckily warmer than in previous years. A good workout going around to all the houses too. After we completed our neighborhood, we visited a couple of houses on Gould Street and then went to Marsha and Harry's house on Harden! Excellent!

Here's a photo of Wolfie and Kana at the Walk Through the Woods at Merryspring (awwwww! So cute together):

And here is Wolfie and I (thanks to Katie's great picture taking!! Thanks, Katie!!)

Here's a photo of Katie and Li when we got back from trick-or-treating and one of Matt, Li, Leo, Josiah, Ben and Rosie after we got home.

Here's the kids chowing on the candy and checking their booty!