Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Time with Grandma T

What a fun and amazing summer. I can't believe there is only 3 weeks until school starts. We are off today for our end of summer trip with Grandma T to her family cabin along the Russian River. My great-grandfather Popop built the cabin in the 1930s and my children are now the fifth generation to enjoy the cozy cabin with the jaw dropping views. It's a comfort place for me and it's the time of year when I get grandma all to myself. We are going media free so I won't be checking email regularly. I hope everyone enjoys the last few weeks of summer vacation!
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Monday, August 13, 2007


This short film is dedicated to Charles and Yvonne. Their years of dedication in creating such a well rounded son have not gone unnoticed and Sean is so proud to dedicate his first movie to them.


p.s. Oki translated from Japanese to English is big.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dear Mother...

(picture of canoe trip with kids as we paddled through the lily pads at trillium lake.)

Dear Mom,

Dirty toes, dirty toes in sleeping bags. Cooking... cleaning... fire... gathering... all of our primal basics. There have been many times since I became a mother that I've pondered on how you were able to accomplish all that you did while raising five children. I have but three and it seems infinitely harder sometimes. This weekend I found myself constantly thinking of all my idyllic outdoor childhood memories. I remember hiking, swimming, swinging from ropes and dropping into lukewarm lakes, curling up into sleeping bags and if we were really lucky sleeping under the stars. I remember you making Rice Krispie treats and never once yelling at us not to eat the whole thing. I remember concoctions wrapped in aluminum foil placed in the fire pit coals and I never remember them tasting bad. Please tell me if it was really that easy because this past weekend camping with my three children was really hard. They had a great time and didn't want to leave but I think one more day sleeping on the ground and I might not have been able to get back up. I truly appreciate you instilling a love of the outdoors into my inner soul. It is definitely something I want to pass onto my children. So if there are any secret tips please share (besides getting an air mattress).
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Monday, August 6, 2007

Goodbye Mira!

The scene Saturday morning was a starving mom (me) wrapped in a towel standing guard outside the bathroom door protecting Bryn from Mira who presumably lives in mirrors. Mira is the story of a girl who lives in mirrors and can pull you in. Frankly that's downright scary even for me. Please let it be known that I was not the person to introduce the Mira story.

Of all the monsters introduced that day Mira was the only one that stuck. For weeks afterward we would find the wardrobe door open so the mirror on it would be facing the wall and there were multiple discussions on Mira's reality. Then talk of Mira stopped... until recently when Bryn claims to have seen a glimpse of Mira in the bathroom mirror. So now we stand guard outside the bathroom to project Bryn from the mischievous Mira.

I'm off to find Everything I know about monsters by Tom Lichtenheld. After much research this morning I think this book is the culprit of Bryn's Mira. Today will be spent coming up with a good strategy to get rid of Mira once and for all.

Mira Mira in the mirror it is time you left my little Bryn alone.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Randoseru are Japanese leather backpacks worn and used by elementary school children. They not only last all through elementary school but lots of people will save them through adulthood. The general rule is you would never be caught dead using one in junior high or high school. However, that rule does not apply outside Japan due to anime collectors snatching them up and wearing them. The other rule is red is for girls and black is for boys. Although, they have just recently starting making all different colors of Randoseru for the Japanese kids of the 21st Century.

Hunter and Bryn were extremely lucky to each receive a used one in Japan from Emi's family. They are still in good shape and I'm predicting many more years of use in them. They are quite costly but when you think they last many many years of abuse by school children they end up a pretty economical option. Plus think of all the saved resources by not buying a new backpack every year. One my favorite things about receiving the backpacks is that they are indeed used and worn because I've always preferred that look over the brand new ones. Hence the reason I make my kids wear their new school shoes at least 2-3 weeks before school starts.

The kids in Japan also attach charms (or sometimes called straps) to their backpacks which I guess is practice for their cell phones straps as adults. Bryn's came with Hello Kitty and she's since added Totoro and Turtwig. Hunter's still working on his charm ideas.

I can't ever imagine falling out of love with these bags. The straps... the clasp... the hidden pockets... the durability... red leather.... the charms that change with the ages... and even these yellow safety covers for walking to and from school.

Here are few places where you can buy them new and I've even found some new and used ones on ebay.
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