halloween whirlwind: more scares

I didn’t get in as much as the actual “storytelling” element of Halloween that I wanted to this season. They watched more “scary” movies than they ever have before (Claude in particular, who saw “Poltergeist” and “Sleepy Hollow”). We all enjoyed the old Disney live-action “The Watcher in the Woods” and while it’s only mildly…

more halloween prep (with uncle al)

Although he made it look like a much more foreboding experience than it actually was, Béla and Claudia went to Termini’s bakery for the infamous “dead bones” cookies. Of which I doubt they ate more than one. Claudia’s YouTube makeup tutorial searches landed us with a formidable shopping list, but we amended it to be…

halloween season begins (and it’s hot and muggy, thanks global warming).

Crank that AC and burn that pumpkin spice candle. Check out the Halloween displays before it’s even October. Order decorations online (like a “Village of the Damned” bunting.) Get a David-Bowie’s-Stages-of-Life-While-Trick-or-Treating pennant.   Beg for foods you would otherwise have no chance of getting. (Béla really impressed me by exclaiming over those “Frahnkensteen Papes”. He…

béla’s homeschool birthday

I had been worried last February, that Claudia’s ninth birthday — our first homeschool birthday — would feel somehow lesser. We are not a family that does (or enjoys) parties very much. Last year, Claude had taken a cake to Brownies, and she also made Big Mama Thornton cupcakes for the Blues show rehearsals at…

indoor skydiving

To celebrate the eighth anniversary of the night we picked Béla up at the airport after his very long flight from Korea… he and some of his fave people went Indoor Skydiving.   Béla’s close friend (from his former school days), Max, and his family, came along. Max demurred, but Max’s dad ended up getting…

the first homeschool birthday, and the annual martenitsi-making

I had wondered about this from the beginning. I knew Claudia’s birthday would be first-up after we started homeschooling. (Béla’s had been during the first week of school; in fact, Béla started kindergarten ON his sixth birthday.) And I worried: it was still going to be just a weekday, when Ben was working and Tucker…

valentine’s ROCKS!

As we have mentioned, Tucker got a rock tumbler for Christmas, and has been helping the kids identify the stones as they first went into the tumbler, and then make observations throughout the various (and long) processes involved in tumbling. These stones have been going for about a month now — but NOW THEY ARE…

how to have your mom turn 47

What I was really (really) most excited about this year when it came to my birthday was that I’d bought a new writing textbook. I was chomping at the bit to get the kids to use it. Public school had ground them into such a mold with “writing”… “about” their weekend, “about” a trip, ……

lunar new year at the buddhist temple

We had meant to stop at our neighborhood Asian-American Buddhist association last weekend but did not make it. That turned out to be a good thing, because when we went there today, we were just in time for lunch… and Lunar New Year celebrations. Well we were actually a tad early. We went and got…

geomukkah?

We’ve been multitasking more than we would like to be. In addition to Ben’s consulting business and our own two-pronged family business (which supports people on the autism spectrum, on both the employment and product sides), we certainly knew this fall and winter would be an extra hard time to balance the holidays as well…

parade of spirits, liberty lands, 2016

This event is such an important part of our lives, and the older the kids get, the more they are able to contribute to it. Béla in particular was very active in designing his costume this year. it was a Bender-from-“Futurama”, GWAR, samurai kinda Krampus thing. (Photo by Neil Kohl.) Béla was also instrumental in…

geometrymas… four? maori koru pendants

This project just sort of snuck up on us, as I saw it lying on the table in what I assume is the most recent Highlights. Seemed like a very easy, gender-neutral gift idea for some folks; in this case, we chose to make them for the kids’ teachers at Philadelphia School of Rock. Rolling…