Monday, February 28, 2011


For all intents and purposes Spring has arrived here in Austin.  The sun is out, we are getting warm spring showers.  The plants and trees are beginning to bud, the grass is beginning to green. Slowly the flip flops and sandals are emerging.

We have been getting into the mood as well.  What we've been up to...

Spring Toes. David took the boys to the hardware store. Lily Clare promptly declared it 'girl time' and requested that we paint our toes 'Dutch Tulips'.  Btw - Lily, or Lily Clare announced to her teachers at school that her name is now Lilliana. At this rate she will have a different name for each year of preschool.

Spring Garden.  I got tons of free consulting from our four little ones.   When we went to the nursery you would have thought we were in a toy store the way the kids were falling all over themselves, literally, eagerly picking out new selections of flowers, vegetables and succulents for our yard. "How about this one, and let me see, I like this one. And can we get this one too? Do you like this one? How about this one mommeee?!"

We finished planting the vegetable garden and a few pots this weekend, tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, succulents and herbs.  I held back a bit this year because our little garden turned into a jungle last year. It's always hard for me to get my head wrapped around how fast everything grows when I look at all the tiny transplants.  Next weekend we plan to plant our flowers.

Will making rainbows

Rainbows and Popsicles. Warm weather means water play and cold treats.

Soccer Sundays.  David's spring league started up and our older three* are starting their first real soccer team in a couple weeks.  Every one's practices and games will be on Sundays.

 *I'm trying to stop using the word 'triplets', a blog post for another day, but in a nutshell, calling them triplets, apparently fosters their single identity resulting in exclusion, and some bullying, of others, in particular Holden.

CSA.   It seems we are one of the last families in Austin to sign up for a community supported agriculture.  We just joined Johnson's Backyard Garden and got our first weekly box of locally grown organic fruit and veggies on Friday.  Amazingly fresh. I love the idea of eating fruits and vegetables in season.  This week our bounty was the inspiration for our weekly menu plan.

Which brings me to Family Meals.  One of my favorite things is eating together as a family. Since Will, Evan and Lily were about two years old we started eating together at the table, albeit not too successfully (in hindsight, not recommended unless you have a dog to 'clean up'). But we have persisted, through the mess and general chaos to eat together, for better or worse.  After questioning myself for about two years, I am starting to feel like the hard work is beginning to pay off.  Breakfast has been easiest since we are all together and everyone is rested, happy and hungry.  At night the kids typically eat before David gets home, but sometimes just have a snack or dessert while David and I eat and we have some makeshift conversation about everyone's day.

Now I'm trying to shift their dinner to 6pm so we can all sit down together, while working on that somewhat illusive balance of serving things we will all enjoy without making separate meals.  I got some great ideas from Kristin, a fellow preschool mom (Will's classmate's mom) and Schell Cafe blogger.  She recommended some good cookbooks that I am enjoying including The Family Dinner by Laurie David and talked me into getting a crock pot.  She has this radical idea of having dinner prepared before noon each day:) ...something to strive for.

I love our family calendar. It has a place for our weekly menus. When I fill this out early in the week it makes dinner time much smoother and helps me make better use of what's in our fridge.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Slow blog days

I've fallen off the blog wagon has been busy.  

Birthday parties, cooking, cleaning, work, the days are flying by.   Just about to get more busy with work managing a new web conferencing product website we just launched

Here is a recent-ish pic I like from our snow day a few weeks ago.