Monday, August 27, 2012

Kanoa's Art and a Kiss for Daddy, Chrysalides, 2012 NEUC Conference, and Thacher Island Lighthouse

Kanoa is getting into making art.  He chose the spot on the wall to hang it. Daddy hung it up for him with tape.  

Big hug.

And a kiss for Daddy too!

So excited this year as we found three chrysalides in our garden.   This one is empty and there is one butterfly that I think just came out of it recently as it was flitting about the garden moving its wings.  Unfortunately, its wings were not formed well and sort of had missing pieces on the sides/edges.  

This one is getting darker...getting closer to hatching!

Check out the wings.  Do you see how it isn't quite right?  

Closer up view.

Clearer view.

And a move to the butterfly bush and then to the black eyed susans.

This is the vegetable that we are the most excited about that is growing in our garden.

Makana chats and skypes often.  She uses the audio, but also does alot of writing all day long.  Frequently she asks me how to spell various words.  Lately she has started to write lots of words on paper.  Though she wrote on paper before, she is doing it suddenly very much.  Her reasons to write include making notes to someone else or writing down something she thinks is funny or to play a game like hangman.  I have noticed that she is suddenly reading new words as well as being able to correctly spelling more and more words.  Her notes often contain one word written over and over or abbreviations such as OMG or LOL.   :D

View on our way to NEUC.  Still in Maine.  Not even to Reds yet.  

Remembering that slow car in front of us with the finally turned off- yeah!

The Wolf

Reds Eats!  Yep, a line again!

Li loves eating french fries in the hotel room.

Kana on the laptop.


Ruby was going to get painted like a dog, but Makana and another person kind of made her into er....something else.  By accident I think.  Zombie dog?

Pony tails were popular at the conference.  Ruby made a green one for Makana - what a great friend!!  

Some quotes I liked or agreed with.

So daydreaming is a wonderful thing!!  Gotta have the time to let ideas percolate! 

Robyn Coburn doing a presentation on creativity.

Li was sitting next to me and said that he wanted to make one of these.  I'll look this up.

Went shopping and Kanoa was probably in his glory when he saw this! (oreos)

Kana wanted to ride IN the cart for a while.  And yes, she loves to make silly faces.

Moments in the car on the way back from Shaws grocery store.

Hazel Sellers, Ruby Persons and Sam Sellers 

Got to meet Genevieve Raymond, John Sellers, Sam and Hazel when they visited Saturday afternoon!

Science Funshop

Li LOVED making electromagnets!  He worked and worked at it and changed things up and asked questions.   I asked lots of questions too!

Another fun experiment!  Try to make the cork float in water so it is not floating on  the top nor sinking to the bottom, but instead floating in the middle of the water.  Use pushpins, rubber bands, and paperclips to make this happen.  Some used pennies too.  People really got into this experiment!

Persistent scientists...

My fairy godchild finds her first clue in an envelope delivered by Li, Makana and Ruby.

Maeve finding one of the clues in the scavenger hunt I made for her.  Li, Makana and Ruby helped me to place the clues and were excited for Maeve to find them all!

Found the pink ball in the Puffins cereal box!

Andrea and Katie getting ready to DANCE!

Before masquerade dance.

Kana and Ruby hanging out!

Great Friends = Happiness and Fun!

Taking a nap....

Melina looks a bit like Katie did a few years ago!  Amazing!

Went to park on Sunday after conference ended and there was a festival going on with bouncy houses and such.

Li and I went stand up paddle boarding for an hour!  Something I always wanted to try.  It was fun and I'm glad I tried it, but my feet did hurt from standing in the same position for so long.  I now no longer am eager to own one of these, though I would try the sport again sometime, but in Maine on quieter lake.

Back from the lake and ready to get a drink of water!


Feel the love baby, feel the love!

Jim and the kids got ice cream!

Kanoa enjoyed him immensely.

This house (you can see the speck there in the middle of the picture) was  floating in the water!!  

Monday morning we took a boat to Thacher Island to see the lighthouses.  Not enough room for all of us on the boat because two other people were already on it and Captain Bill could only take six.  So Kanoa and I waited for him to return and take us on his next trip out there.

Jim, Katie, Li and Makana heading out on the Reporter.

Views from the dock in Rockport, MA

Kanoa steering the boat (before we headed out).

Darlene and John Fulton, current lighthouse keepers for the past month at Thacher Island (people can volunteer to do this in the summer- how cool!)  This was their first time off of the island in three weeks and we had the good luck to catch the same boat run with them!  I chatted with Darlene for much of the ride out there while Kanoa sat on my lap steering a pretend wheel on the bow.

Captain Bill's boat is SO cool!  He knows how to use so many tools and does so many jobs related to the sea and boats.  Research, putting down mooring, fixing boats, rescuing people, taking people out to Thacher Island, etc.

On Thacher Island watching the Reporter head back to the mainland with Katie and Makana.  Kanoa and I stayed on the island while Captain Bill took 6 people back.  Katie and Makana got lunch and had their palms read while we explored the island, the museum, whistle house and south light.  The south light was the first light that Kanoa ever climbed to the top of!!  All 156 steps up and then all 156 steps down!  I didn't get a charley horse in my thighs until we got down to the last bit of steps. I always think that is weird because even though I dance and move around alot, I still get cramps in my quads.  Jim, who doesn't do exercise, feels fine.  Humph!  And he climbed up and down two tall lights!

Li took this photo for me while I was nursing.  Apparently last year there was a boy who climbed the south tower with his parent and went out to the catwalk and then started to climb the ladder by himself to the smaller catwalk at the very top.  (This light has two catwalks...and there is really no protective/safe railing on the uppermost catwalk, so NOT for anyone to go out on.)  Darlene saw the child and ran and yelled to the mom to make sure her child didn't go out there.  So that is one reason why the south tower is currently closed to the public.  They did make an exception for our family because they knew Jim was a lighthouse photographer  ( ) and we said we'd not climb up to the uppermost catwalk.

Relaxing and nursing while waiting for Captain Bill.

Tecnu is what the Audubon society uses for poison ivy.  Katie thought she had stepped on some and then gotten it on her hands.  Captain Bill shared some of this with her to help.  Thank you!!

My two guys!!  Love them!!  And love how happy Wolf is when out on a lighthouse adventure, especially with the family!

Thacher Island's two lights.  The south on on the right is the one Kanoa and I and Jim climbed.  Though Jim also climbed the north tower with Li and Kana too.

This is the dinghy that we were rowed to the island with.

Doin' his thang..

Tired little guy....

Straitsmouth Island Light - saw it on the way out there and on the way back in.  Captain Bill went slow and close for Jim to take some pictures. 

Schooner boat that looked like a pirate ship that sails out of Rockport harbor in MA.

Love Brent Sass' shirt!  "Wild and Free" is the name of his kennel in Alaska.

As I am writing this (late Sunday evening), Jim is playing Plants vs Zombies and Kanoa is watching Daddy play while sometimes moving about the room and commented, "Don't be crazy, you can just be happy."  I repeated what he said and laughed and Jim laughed and then he said, "I said that."  Then "I said that to Daddy and you Mom."

Captain Bill ringing the bell

Jim ended up missing the boat for the lighthouse cruise out of Gloucester, MA.  He was supposed to be there at 2pm, but we got back later than expected from Thacher Island.  Makana and Katie had ordered lunch to go for us, so all we had to do was pay for it when we arrived.  Jim called to see if the boat for the cruise would be able to wait if we hurried right away, but they said he'd never make it in time so we all relaxed and ate at Hula Moon, the place where we got lunch and where Katie and Makana ate.  It was like eating a homemade meal.  The folks there were SO SO nice and their daughter lived on Kauai for four years.  We chatted away with them while Kanoa ate a brownie and we ate our sandwiches.  Makana bought a dolphin/bead necklace to remind her of the fun time she had with Katie. The girls did fine together by themselves.  I was surprised that I felt so comfortable letting them head off to the mainland together without Jim or me.  It was all fine and they had a blast!  When we did get to Salem Willows, it was well into the afternoon...after 3pm I think.  Maybe 3:30ish?  Erika and Michael and Julian and another kind person whose name I don't know were so nice to make nitrogen chocolate ice cream for the kids!  It was a cool process (ha!) and I filmed much of it.  (I feel like I am on the boat as I'm typing....weird feeling...)

I might add in the nitrogen evaporating on video later.  It was really neat!

Lucy, Karen's and Josh's and Eric's puppy.

What the ice cream looked like in the end.

Makana and Jeremiah Burton

Litsong Lu and Khiyali Puchimanchi-Pillalamarri (I think)

Everyone is digging the boppers!!!  Thank you to Cameron for making and selling them!

double fisted action


Last bit of fun before heading back HOME!!!!  God I miss home when we are away, even if it is fun and I  want to be there!  Same for the others as we are all glad to be home and in our own bed and hoping for some good rest tonight!!  We've all had a wonderful time at the conference and at the lighthouse today!  Good trip!
Some funny moments:

On Thursday evening, we went to use the pool at the Boston Sports Club which hotel guests may use.  After playing with Makana and Ruby for a while, Li went into one of the lap lanes that was not being used.  He began doing the backstroke looking mighty happy and oh so relaxed.  He was moving ever so slowly down the lap lane in a zen-like, peaceful state with his eyes shut.  He Loved doing that!  A dad (not affiliated with the conference) wanted their child to seriously do laps and was trying to get Li's attention and Li just didn't see him.  Li was in his zone doing his thing, looking very relaxed and happy.  Who's to say that slow, relaxed lap swims are any less important than vigorous training?  Anyway, Li finally made his way to the end of the lane and the dad asked Li if his child could use the lane.  Li agreed and let the other people use it.  Jim said jokingly to me that he should tell the other dad, "Hey!  Just because my kid is going slow doesn't mean he's not training!  He's practicing for the Olympics and still has four more years to go!"  And that "He just looks like he is moving at a slow rate because of the size of the pool!"

In the hotel room during a quiet moment, Makana sincerely asked Jim, "What was it like before there were roads?"

Ironic moment: Katie doing summer homework for her English Honors class while we were at the Unschooling Conference.  (But not really ironic as she is doing what she wants to do.)

A sweet moment: All the kids singing "You don't know oh oh....You don't know you're beautiful, etc" ("What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction).

Another sweet moment: Holding hands when we go over the bridge from ME into NH and from NH back into ME.  Jim and I used to do that with each other before kids.  We did it when we had just Katie, and now we all do it together.  It's a family thing I guess.  And it is so nice.  We all hold one or two hands with another reaching and stretching to make a connection. (Don't worry, the driver only gives up one hand to the front-seat passanger and only if its safe to do so.)

Cool item the William and Michele Parham had:  Awesome idea!! (I ordered it and it has arrived!)

Both Makana and Li lost a tooth at the conference.  Makana's is in the baggie and Li's is next to it.

Makana has been writing lots of notes and drawing/playing hangman before, during and on the way home from neuc.

Traveling can be hard for my kids (esp Makana) when they just want to get where they are going.  Food helps, patience helps.  More food.  For me to be empathetic and understanding that it is long and offering a game of hangman or to find the letters of the alphabet in order or to listen to an audio book or whatever might be a distraction or of interest helps sometimes.  On the way home, hangman was the fun game as well as notes written back and forth between Makana and me and from Makana to Katie.  As always, it felt so good to be home!

Jim said on the way home, "I love my kids so much!  I don't want to go to work tomorrow..I'll miss my kids so much!  Every day felt like two days like you said and so it felt like I've been with them a long time." He feels like the more time we all spend together, the harder it is to go back to being away for the day.  He's such a good dad and loves them so so much!  I'm so glad he is my husband and their father.  We are all lucky.

Here's a three page note that Makana wrote on the way home.  The bottom part (imceacsois) stands for "I'm cool and epic and awesome and cool.  So is" Katie.  

This was the first note I rec'd from a very tired and sick of being in the car Makana. 

I began writing back to Makana by creating a card for her.  While I was writing and drawing, she made a second apology letter.  I don't know why she was apologizing to us though.  I know she was having a hard time and wanted to be home.  She did yell and complain and wanted food NOW!  We did get food and agreed that this was a long trip and we'd be home as soon as we could.  The food and empathy and reassurance did help, and maybe the letters gave her something to do and got out some feelings.  

The front of the card that I made for her.

The inside.  She did like it very much and it did cheer her up! 

This Makana made before we left for neuc.  She's always been a love note writing girl!  That's another  reason I wrote to her in the car.  I thought she might appreciate a note back.  Also, Katie and I used to exchange letters often when she was little and it was so nice. 
Well...I do still leave notes for Katie.

And she does still write back!  Makana later added to the bottom of this note, "I love you Katie"

I wasn't feeling too good and laid down.  Kanoa covered me with stuffed animals.

Baked a cheesecake and a coffee cake one night when I got into a baking mood.  Makana, who Loves to eat, was anticipating having a piece.