Tuesday, December 22, 2009



Well, we have already been to the dentist and back. (Elise's tooth was fixable so she won't be toothless for a few years.) The rest of the day will be filled with baking cookies, sneaking in some pj time during naps and possibly (if the weather holds up, so cross your fingers) a visit to zoolights. And I am such a lazy photographer that you don't get any pictures to prove any of this. I guess I could be making it all up, eh? Let me make it better then. We will be baking homemade gingerbread houses (2 stories, of course) in my sparkling clean house while the kids twitter about, being sweet as candy canes to each other. We might take a break for my homemade chili and hot cocoa and deliver some homemade treats to all of the neighbors. Gee, this no picture things is pretty nice. As Chris likes to say, with a twinkle in his eye, "Everything you read on the internet is true!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

because I said so!


•My children will wake up and play quietly while mommy sleeps in, even though they have cousins here to run about with.
•A certain 3 year old (and her partner in crime) will not draw on my fridge with permanent marker AGAIN.
•The magic eraser I go buy will take off all signs of previous art work on the fridge. (and the table.)
•We will be watching Elf at the Grand Lodge (and they won't cancel this time.)
•The UPS man will deliver my Christmas cards way before his normal delivery time of 5pm so I can stick the cards in their envelopes and drop them off at the post office before closing.
•I will stay up late working on jammies instead of surfing. (the net, of course)
•I will sip my peppermint tea in my splendid new mug (a la anthropologie) in the shadows of our Christmas tree, in absolute silence. (of course!)

How do I know all of this? Because I said so, of course. (And everything us moms wish for comes true, right? RIGHT?) And just because I am feeling especially upfront with all of you blog friends out there, I am not going to schedule this post to publish at a reasonable hour so you can see just how late I have stayed up tonight.

update: Erase all of that. Really, I would just like my hot water to work today.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hotel Kang is up and running

Yes, our guest rooms are filled to the brim (not hard, seeing as we only have the one and all...) and all is a party with the "cool aunt" visiting for a brief (but now less brief) visit. Today was makeover day, which including Aunt Rachel making up my daughters in an effort to freak me out about my near future. (you know...make up, dating, growing up....all of that stuff!) We got so excited about her cute hair that we ran out for a little (as in 10 minutes or less) impromptu photo shoot. (All the while, leaving two very mischievous three olds with little supervision. Good thing the freezing cold kept us hurrying, eh?)
And why is she called the cool aunt? Because she does things like this (a lot):

Thursday, December 10, 2009

to pj or not to pj

I am really struggling with this and I think mainly because I don't want to make jammies this year and my kids, of course, want me to.

Since it was just Rachel and Autumn, there have been handmade jammies made out of $1/ yd flannel that was bought on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, Lilly helped me only get 1 1/2 hours of sleep before the big sale. Joann's fabric wasn't quite as cheap. And now, laziness and enjoying a very slow December is taking over. I like the relaxed mode that is going on at the Kang abode.

Ok...now for the pro argument. I mentioned to Rachel the possibility of not doing pj's, thinking that with her teenageness she would be absolutely with me on this decision. And she wasn't. She was shocked that I would think of getting rid of a tradition that, in all honesty, was made when I didn't think we would ever have more than 4 kids. Six pairs of jammies are more of a time commitment than four! So do I hold on to the tradition seeing that there might be a time in the near future when my kids will not be keen on matching pj's for Christmas Eve?


Monday, December 7, 2009

the search is over.

I have been searching for a copy of The Night Before Christmas (not actively, but here and there as I have been out) and the search is now over. Being a slight book snob has its disadvantages, kind of like being a crafter. (A lot of times, I end up making things just because I can't find something that meets my expectations at the store...luckily, I am not so great at whipping out children's books.)

Saturday night, Chris and I had a little compromise date that led us out for sushi (bleh!) and to Barnes and Noble (yeah!). I was picking up some copies of The Christmas Carol for the family to read this month and ran across this fabulously illustrated The Night Before Christmas. Gyo Fujikawa's sweet artwork has graced our bookshelves before and I must say I was more than slightly pleased to hear each girl immediately identify his other works. This is a beautifully done book and is pretty much just what I was looking for. My other search that I would love your help on? A just as fabulous book that tells the nativity story.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ah, Elise...

Elise's new "thing"? Whenever she does anything wrong, whether it be sneaking candy, hitting a sister on accident or just being a typical 3 year old, she always apologizes very quickly. And if you aren't quick enough, she will repetitively tell you to say "it's okay" until you do. And if you tell her that you are sorry when she has fallen or when she has gotten hurt, she clarifies that it wasn't your fault.

On another cute note? The kids are all conspiring on Christmas presents for Chris and I. It sure is fun watching them be sneaky and thoughtful, but I am also very pleased with how much my kids get caught up in the giving and care very little about the getting during Christmas. I sure do love my girlies! (Even if they didn't let me change our appointment with Santa. I SO want to celebrate St. Nicholas' Day and take Christmas over as a 100% celebration of the birth of Christ! Next year, my pretty! *picture me tapping my fingers together in a conniving fashion*)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wiping the drool.

The book lover in me is going crazy over these. Apparently, Penguin Books understands my love for beautiful versions of the classics. I'm sorry...did I say beautiful? That doesn't even begin to describe these books. They are selling for $20 at Anthropologie, but my dear sweet Amazon has them for $13. Sigh. Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility....and if I was in England, I would have access to Little Women and more! Are they not just fabulous? I am in love. And now I will go do some laundry while I continue to drool.

Side Note: Hannah is calling me Marmee, too! (Although hers is a more blatant kissing up, using it directly after getting in trouble throughout the day. Maybe with age, she will learn how to sneak it in to earn more points.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh, Christmas tree!

Yesterday was the day for our yearly outing to find the perfect gargantuan tree for our Christmas celebrations. (oh, how daring of me. Calling it a Christmas tree instead of something more politically correct!) It was a little different because our time at the u-cut place went a little like this:

Me: So. Do you think you could get us a tree cut and on our car in 20 minutes or less?
Parry: Sure thing! What kind of tree are thinking of?
Me: At least 12 feet. Ok....at least 11.
Parry: Did you know there is another u cut down the street for crazies? (nah...that's just what he wanted to say.)

So it turns out that taking a picture of a 12 ft tree with a 50 mm lens is quite the task, which is why I have, for you, a picture of the bottom half of my tree. "What is in the delicious red suitcase at the bottom of your tree?" you ask. Why, that is a genius idea I had around 11 pm last night that required minimal effort on my part. You see, we have a bundle of Bethlehem dress up that we pull out every Christmas Eve for a little Nativity Skit starring the Kang Girls. This year, those costumes are staying in said suitcase, along with a baby Jesus, to be played with all December long. If I may say so myself, it is brilliant.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas shopping? Check.

Yep. All the Christmas shopping is done. Here comes the bad part....the rest are handmade gifts. Santa is just dying to come out of the closet at our house. All of our gifts are homemade and then Santa just inconsiderately (yes, he has a few kids on his list) buys all of his. I can't wait until the day where handmade can be extended to all of the gifts!

We keep things very simple at our house when it comes to gifts. All of the kids get a santa present (probably $25 or less), a pair of pj's and one present from us. Their stockings are filled with fun and inexpensive stuff. We started this after Rachel's first Christmas was pretty over the top, back when I didn't know that we would end up with six girls to give presents to. All I have to say now is "phew!". Can you imagine 6 x $100 presents? The real reason though? I don't like Christmas being wrapped up in get, get, get. I like the girls to be anchored and practical and as much as I am constantly fighting myself on this, I like to keep it simple. That and...how do we expect them to focus on the Christ's birth if we are focusing on presents the whole time?

What the girls asked for? So sweet.
Rachel: Something girly.
Autumn: a watch and a good book
Chloe: a cute outfit
Hannah: secretly asked for the giant horse at costco that I told her Santa could not fit in his sleigh OR our house. (it took 20 minutes to get her to tell me what she asked for because she was being sneaky....)
Elise: a Daisy train and a big percy (which I don't think exists so we are settling for daisy that I plan on finding SOMEWHERE over the next month)

Aren't those sweet things to ask for? What good girls. (minus the sneaky giant horse request. how many giant horses do we need in our house?)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Dog: Moo-moo (which is Halmoni's dog's name, so of course all dogs should be called moo-moo, too)
Water: Dado
Mom: a lovely "mummy"
Train: choo choo
Candy: nanee (learned on Halloween, of course)
Baby: baby
Bye Bye: baby (with a wave to prevent too much confusion)
Fish: ish
Chicken: bock bock
Please: pease
Piggy Back Ride: back (with actions asking you to turn around and let her hop on)
Rachel: Dodol
Autumn: Anum
Hannah: Haaaannnnahhhh (calling for her just like mom and dad)

Today's new words are yiy-y (lilly), E-yise (Elise) and O-ee (Chloe). All of these words come compliments of Autumn, who taught her to put her arm out like superman and yell "Lilly!". And apparently, it worked.

My all time favorite thing for Lilly to say right now is when she calls for "mommy", looks me straight in the eyes and says "a boo ba dab a dub a. Da buda ba da bu da. Da buda bad a buda bada." She will continue on for sometime, telling me all of the secrets of her soul and meaning every bit of it. Ah, how I wish I knew what she was thinking. But I do know one thing. It is important and she wants me to know all about it. Sweet little Lilly.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

my little photographer

As part of our revamp of school this year to help Autumn with her ADD, I let her choose a subject to add on to our schedule. Much to my delight, she chose photography. (awww!) She has taken temporary custody of my old camera (with the threat that if I see any sigh of mistreatment, it is taken away!) and has learned all about shooting in manual. We quickly discovered that it is the one subject that she needs to wear her glasses for!

The good side of this? When I discovered that I was lacking pictures of myself for a book I am making for Lilly, I asked her for a mini photo shoot. Unlike most pictures that the kids take, these were pretty in focus *and* the exposure was spot on. The whole time I was showing her the basics of photoshop, she kept asking if I would blog about her pictures. So here they are, dear sweet girly. Autumn, you are a rock star! I even think I will rehire you when I have lost a few.

Friday, November 13, 2009

blog black out

I don't know what to say. I am just not feeling the blog thing right now. It started when I was sick and I am having a hard time jumping back on the wagon. On a totally unrelated note? This no diet coke con vanilla is paying off. Two and half pounds of a pay off. As pointed out by my sister, this probably is pretty unrelated to the diet coke and more related to the mcdouble that I gravitated towards when picking up the diet coke con vanilla. Either way, I see it as a win win. It probably is also connected to the water I am constantly drinking to keep me from wanting diet coke. Yipee!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

talk about dedication!

In a show of support for my husband (and maybe some very rash thinking), I have sworn off of my diet coke con vanilla as long as he eats with his right hand. I don't think my love can every be questioned again. And now? I am off to drink some water.

Friday, November 6, 2009

move on. nothing to see here.

I have nothing for you. Sorry. It has been such an uneventful week of sickness and blechness and all other forms of ness-es. I am trying to think of something valuable to share here and....nothing. Ok. Much pondering has brought up my new parenting idea that is about 10 years too late. (but genius, nonetheless.)

After sewing camp, all of the girls received lovely $10 gift cards for Joann's from the dear sewing camp ladies. I informed them that they couldn't use them until they sent their thank you notes and the cards have sat on our counter top ever since then. After a quick run to Joann's last week, the kids (and their desire to purchase half of the contents of the store) desire to use their gift cards was renewed and they ran home and all wrote and shipped off their little notes. So here is my new policy with gift receiving: You can't use the toy/present until you have sent off your thank you note. I think it is fabulous and can't wait to see it in effect this Christmas. (and every holiday there after)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween in review

Halloween rundown at the Kangs:

Rachel: It just seems wrong to be stuck in bed on Halloween. When Hannah was sick on her birthday, we at least could reschedule her party. Can't really reschedule Trick or Treating, now, can you? Don't worry. She got all of Lilly's candy and a tax on everyone else's. (Although she assured me that it is the experience that matters!)
Autumn: Tried settling for Pippie to make her sick mom's life easier, but still was feeling a pull to the witchie side. Mom bucked up, took some meds and we cranked out her skirt. Overall, trick or treating was much better without braces as she could actually enjoy her favorite, Almond Joys. note: she gave some of her favorites and a full size to her sick sister...ahhhh
Chloe: The determined Little Red Riding Hood, who saw her sick mom and made her own dang skirt. I think she pulled the whole thing off rather well, as she looks just like I imagine Little Red. Well done, Chloe.
Hannah: Big surprise, eh? A horse? What?? But Hannah doesn't like horses! This costume makes Chris laugh hysterically every time he sees it. When she was given it a few months back, she wore it night and day, making Chris giggle every time she came in the room. In a funny little twist, our little horsey ended up getting a piggy back ride from a friend who was dressed up as a cowboy for most of the night. A horse riding a cowboy? Not right, I tell you.
Elise: Daisy. You know who that is, right? I didn't either. When asked what she wanted to be, she knew immediately. When I turned to the girls in confusion, they explained that Daisy is Elise's sort of alter-ego when they play house. She wears a certain blue dress and talks in a high pitched, sweet voice. Besides being amazed by the sweetness of it all, I was relieved that this really meant one thing. We already had the costume.
Lilly: First costume we pulled out of the box. Oh, I mean a dog. She liked the whole candy thing (big surprise) and had to make her hardest decision at the 1st house that had full sized candy bars. She had a lollipop in one hand. She thought. and thought. (Silly me thought she was deciding which one to get!) She handed me the lollipop and grabbed a candy bar with both hands. Yep. Two full sized candy bars. Smart girlie, eh?
First real Halloween? A success.

Gee, this was a long post. See what happens when I miss a week? You get blog throw up. And no pumpkin carving, as Autumn is still reminding me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

what a sickie sounds like

Elise and Hannah woke up with fevers and other symptyms of general sickiness. Hannah just wants to lay around, having things like gatorade and chicken noodle soup delivered to her. Elise, on the other hand, doesn't understand sick so much and was just a moody bunch of craziness. The best example to sum up our day with Elise was when Lilly was looking at her and just kind of jabbering "poo, poo, poo, poo". Elise instantly started bawling and screamed "Lilly called me poo poo!" Yep. That pretty much sums it all up. And this morning? I am sick. Good times at the Kang house.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Autumn time...

I think I figured out some of what made it hard to go to Las Vegas last week. I lived in Las Vegas for about 6 years and I really did enjoy it while we were there. When we moved up here, it amazed me how much I had missed out on by not having seasons. I won't even start about the pumpkin patches that they have to offer there (parking lots with hay bales). I hadn't really even noticed it before, but living in the Pacific Northwest brought out this nature-loving girl who welcomed each new season with child like glee. I find myself excited and just down right giddy at the start of each new season, yet I am ready for it to be over and on with the next one at the end of it.

Towards the end of August, I was so ready for fall. School starting, leaves changing colors, that fabulous fall smell and, yes, even anxious for some rain. (as I am typing, I love hearing the sound of cars driving on the wet roads!) Right as I was settling in for some nice fall weather, we pick up and drive down to summer. I must say, it really put a kink into my fall mode. Knitting season had started, we were back in our school groove and loving the colored trees. As we drove closer to home, I realized what it was all about. It wasn't Las Vegas, but it was the lack of fall. The interruption of my seasonal transition and all of that. And it just feels good to be back home. Home, sweet (dirty and unorganized) home. Its good to be back.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

Just in case you were wondering.....
You now know just how much I love Chris and my in laws.  Or I wouldn't be here. :)  It is a wonderful feeling to love your home so much that you see nothing that compares in beauty for a good 1000 miles.  But family is in Las Vegas so in Las Vegas we are.  

We are heading to see the Blue Man Group tonight, where apparently our seats are in the "poncho section".  Knowing that, I am sure the kids are going to love it.  Later on in the week, Chris and I have a date with the Phantom.  

My favorite part of our trip so far?  Sitting down with Chris' parents, looking through their old pictures and finding out more about them.  That, right there, makes this trip priceless.  Now I have a book to start on when I get home and hundreds of pictures to scan.  Ah, stories to tell.

knitting counter: 2 pairs of arm warmers and one more on the needles.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

an exciting life

today: piano, errands, cooking, part-ay, laundry (while watching Castle and Lie to Me, of course)

tomorrow: find my other knitting needle, school, more laundry, clean, laundry and....laundry?

side note: anyone have a friend that is due soon? (like 2 weeks soon?) Or that just had a baby? I need to try out a cocoon on a newborn and, oddly enough, do not know a soul that is pregnant *and* local.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Keeping it even

The other day, I was talking to Autumn and let her know that I blogged her pictures. Apparently, my children keep score. The immediate response was, "On both blogs?" So now I am blogging on the "other" blog to help everyone keep it nice and fair. (Can I tell you how much I hate that word?)

The hardest thing about these pictures? Getting Autumn to tone down the "I just got my braces off" smiles and to stop laughing hysterically. Autumn recently got her braces off and I have to commend her for being such a sport. (excluding the first trip to the theatre that left in her crying because she couldn't eat popcorn, but we won't count that since I might have done the same thing.) She hasn't touched nuts, chewy candy, carrots (which she actually likes!), whole apples and everything else on the long list of can't haves for those folks with braces. I was constantly forgetting and she was constantly reminding me, in her sweet Autumn way, that would need a substitute.

I thought she rather enjoyed that whole experience, as she was always showing people the new color of rubber bands and what not....until they told her it was time to get them off. She started a count down and told everyone who would listen. And now that they are off? She is just as responsible with her retainer (good thing because I am sure you will all hear about me having to cough up $180 for a new one if she does lose it!) and always goes around with a big, teethy grin, showing off her perfectly aligned pearly whites. It makes it worth it to know that she can have such an unguarded smile, even if she could have had 24 American Girl Dolls instead.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Can I just say that I did not mean to take pictures of her looking this grown up? Next time, I should pull out the pigtails and a lollipop or something. Maybe a teddy bear for the picture?
Yes, she is gorgeous. But she is my baby! My first born in the wilderness, as we like to call her. Sigh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

camera, conference and kids...oh, my!

I know, I am a slacker. But I am a busy slacker of sorts. This weekend was jam packed with inspirational conference sessions, soccer games a plenty (3, to be exact), soccer pictures, a mother/daughter dinner and a birthday party.

Yep. It was so busy that I had to work hard to find time to play with my new camera. (Isn't that awful? Large camera purchases should be followed by leisurely weekends that allow for plenty of time to experiment.) My camera's name? Papa Bear. My old camera was going to be baby wee bear, but Autumn has made me name it mama bear instead. Mama bear is being loaned out to Autumn for her photography adventures, completely dependent on her treatment (or abuse) of Mama. At the beginning of the school year, I asked Autumn to choose a subject she would like to add to our school day and she chose photography. We're going to work on her shooting in manual today. So far, she knows that she likes to shoot wide open as she loves fuzzy backgrounds and she gets the correlation between shutter speed and aperture. Go, Autumn!

On a conference note, I loved it. The only part I heard of Saturday's morning session was a little tender mercy of its own. It came as I was walking the halls with Lilly after she had *intentionally* dumped her kix all over the chapel and had screamed at the top of her lungs. Elder Bednar talked about some of his fond memories of craziness when trying to carry on righteous traditions with his children. (you know, crying kids, dumping kix all over the chapel sort of thing) He compared all of the lessons we teach our kids to brush strokes in a painting that might not seem to amount to much at the time, but how they are all integral to the final masterpiece. We wised up on Sunday and had Chris take the older girls to the 1st session while I took the older girls to the 2nd. It was great to actually get to take notes in the 2nd session and I am going to try my darndest to listen the rest of it again this week to take the rest of my notes. Notes have a way of solidifying things in my mushy little brain. See? Busy weekend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Note: I am lame. My camera is still in my car and thus, my pictures from our family reunion are also in the car. Lame, I tell you.
Maybe it is a sort of strike while waiting for Best Buy to get my Canon 7d in. Yep. I nailed it.

The pictures I really want to put on here? The pictures of Elise torturing Aunt Rachel's cat. She loved having animals to love to death all last week. We let Jack out many times just to help keep him alive. Yes, you would think we would let me him in to keep him from the coyotes, but not when it was a choice between Elise and Coyotes. And then there was the time that she was finally successful at capturing a chicken. Yep, the time I turned around to see her holding him by his wing! So as much as we loved the last week, I think there are a few animals at Aunt Rachel's that were happy to see us leave.

Friday, September 25, 2009

reunion: Tunnell style

Today we are heading out to the Hood Canal for a little family gathering. You know it has been a busy summer for all parties involved because this was finalized about two weeks ago. We know what we are eating over the weekend, vaguely. We know what we will be doing over the weekend, vaguely. What do we know for sure? We all get to hang out together and relax it. There is crabbing, canoeing and general frolicking through the woods on the docket. And more importantly, there are showers, beds and a kitchen that is complete with a fridge. What more do we need? We were able to get the whole gang in one spot for the weekend. That, it itself, is an accomplishment. Pictures to be posted....when we get back and are fully recovered. (already looking more doubtful when I phrase it that way!)

Side note: I got to assist Rachel (kind of in a Vanna White sort of way. Helpful, but not so helpful) in extracting honey. Ok. Honestly? Elise helped more than I did. But I did take pictures and promise to share as the process is pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I am up in good ole Snohomish this week, visiting my favorite (red head) sister. Hey, I have 4 sisters. I have to cover all of my bases! So far we have canned like crazy, cranking out spaghetti sauce, green tomato salsa and pickles. I think we are going to try for apple pie filling before the week is out. I absolutely love spending time with Rachel and the kids are loving it just as much. Her house is an old farmhouse on 5 acres, which I love almost as much as I love Rachel. ;) (just kidding, Rachel. The house wins.)

What else have we been up to?
running around Grandma's
watching Psych (because I needed ANOTHER show to love)
girly sort of fun stuff
potty training, continued
Lilly signing chicken ALL stinking day long as she chases the poor chickens
more girly sort of fun stuff
watching Elise yell at the chickens while trying to catch them
trying to keep cat torture to a minimum
even more girly sort of fun stuff
a trip to the best type of dollar store. (you know, the Japanese type.)
cleaning (only minimal sort of stuff. laundry is untouched, of course)
introducing Rachel to Glee
and on tomorrow's schedule? spray painting, blackberry picking and maybe some apple pie filling canning.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pictures, shmictures

I really need to sleep. Family pictures tomorrow and I don't have a clue as to what the family is going to wear. Not that we are going all out, but I do need clean clothes for 8 people that kind of coordinate. Yikes. I do know what shoes we will wear and that is all that counts, right? Right? Come on, guys. Just say right. Luckily, 2 of the girls have new, especially short and low maintenance hair cuts for the occasion. (That brings hair do's required down to 3.5, since Rachel doesn't require much more than a suggestion. woo hoo!) Bed, here I come. Laundry? I'll get to you tomorrow. You know, somewhere in between trying to squeeze some school into 8-10, a 10-12 meeting, 12:30-4 piano lessons and....6 pm pictures. That sounds do-able, eh?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

geography 101

I am all about following the crowd. (except when it comes to epidurals, c-sections and public schools, I guess.) So when Lia told me she was replacing History for Geography, I decided that I should do geography, too. Did you know that copying is the most sincere form of flattery?

Our geography is going to be slightly a "fly by the seat of your pants" sort of curriculum. I am following a book about preparing for a Geography Bee and kind of adjusting it to the younger kids as we go along.

1. I bought a big ole' honkin' map that is going to be used to allow the kids to conquer countries by doing age appropriate reports and what not regarding each country or area. (once again, thanks for the ideas, Lia!) Chris thinks it sounds like I am teaching imperialism, but as I pointed out, it IS easier to take over a country if you know more about it.
2. I bought this atlas at Amazon that I am hoping the kids will rip to shreds from reading it so much. I can't begin to count the times that one of the girls has told me some great piece of knowledge from some book they read while I was nowhere near them and definitely not while we were "doing school".
3. We are starting by using blank maps to memorize tons of locations of states, countries, bodies of waters and McDonald locations throughout the world. Rachel was sure that this would be horrible for everyone to do together, but so far (day 2, that is) all is well. They move through the blank map binder at their own pace (all printed for free.99 here). Hannah simply helped me find the names of all of the states for me to fill in the map and now is "quizzing" me by asking me which states are north or south of other states. (and of course associating some states with our favorite broadway songs, like "Gary, Indiana", "You've got to give Iowa a try"....the list goes on, but I would love suggestions) Chloe and Autumn fall in between Hannah in levels and assistance, but they enjoy watching me brush up on my geography, too.
4. As we get closer to finishing step 3, I will do what any busy homeschooling mamma would do. You know, turn to the next chapter that morning and find out what I should do next. See? I am the queen of organization.

rewarding bad behavior

My kids obviously haven't learned about rewarding bad behavior. I slept in today, ignoring the lovely schedule that calls for a morning walk. (But I have done it for 3 days!) When I came downstairs, I found Autumn cooking scrambled eggs and Chloe waiting for devotional to start. Doesn't it sound like I should sleep in more often?

And as of yesterday, our school year has officially started. Lots of this:
Not so much of the crafting to post about. This year we started geography and the girls are loving it so far. I will post some of our plans for it tomorrow, after I find a place for our darn map to go. Other changes in curriculum: New science books, Rachel is starting logic, potty training and we are now using a spelling power book that is not ripped to shreds. Big stuff going on at the Kang house, eh?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

thoughts from Lilly

1. No knitting at soccer. And if you do, revenge will be had. (in the form of dragging your scarf through the bark dust, of course)
2. Cover up, mom. Get some more shade shirts or something! (while bending over to clean up said scarf craziness, Lilly obviously got a glimpse of some cleavage and decided that it was lunch time. Yep, in the form of holding out hands, asking for milk and when being ignored, just going for the kill. Ok, I get the hint. Shade shirts will be ordered soon and until then, bending over will be kept to a minimum)

Thanks for the love, Lilly. You can learn all sorts of things from 1 year olds.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This morning, after realizing that today was September 11th, I found myself talking to Autumn about the significance of this day in history. We do this every year, but with her being 1 year older, it seemed to impact her a little bit more. I was telling her about United Flight 93 and the brave passengers that were willing to give their life in order to save others. We talked about the feelings that were in the air, across the country, during this time. For our devotional, we opted to sing patriotic songs in remembrance of this day. As we were singing America the Beautiful, I was brought to tears as we sang the third verse.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

I am grateful for the brave men and women that immediately responded to the call for help on September 11th, 2001. I retold stories of bravery, love and patriotism to the girls that brought me back to that day. It makes me sad to think that so many people have forgotten and moved on. I am grateful for the people who fight for our country, sacrificing time with their family, personal safety, comfort and many other conveniences that we take for granted to keep our country safe from the kind of terror that we saw on that day. I remember.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I made these schedules yesterday, in an attempt to get us up and moving earlier. So far, so good. Autumn is running ahead. (she seems to work well with order) I need to hop in the shower or I will be behind. Notice a theme with my board? I would like to display a whole heck of a lot more patience this year. I figure the more reminders I have, the better. Today is what I affectionately refer to as our "soft grand opening" for school. We still have curriculum to throw together, but mainly just a lot of copies to be made. The girls don't want to officially start until Monday because their school "to do list" books start on Monday. Sure thing, girls. (Yet they are all still unofficially doing some school....silly girls!) And I am off!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hannah Banana

Apparently, my loved ones don't always look at my photography blog. Here are a few shots of Banana for those of you that missed my back to school special. ;) Hannah relished in the success of her modeling debut (especially after I showed her a slide show of her pictures set to cowgirl music) and has asked for a follow up session for her to put on her birthday cards. Was it the ice cream cone or being showered with attention?

Monday, September 7, 2009

crochet {adorned}

Yes, I have been known to turn my nose up at crocheting. (sorry, all of you crocheting friends of mine.) I am a knitter during the months of September to March, which I affectionatly refer to as knitting season. I can't bring myself to knit when it is sunny and hot out, yet there is something about knitting during the winter that ranks up there with drinking hot cocoa and smelling the fresh fall air. But this year is a little different. I have been feeling the pull of the crochet hook as an increasing number of projects call for cute edging that just isn't done so well with knitting.

A few months ago, I tried to master crochet in an attempt to add edging to the girls' pillowcases. My grandma threw her arms up in defeat as we tried to translate crocheting from right handed to left. I finally got desperate enough to watch a video online for us left handed freaks so I could crochet (cutely, of course) around baby socks. Then I ran into Crochet Adorned, which sealed the deal. (or the addiction) I have now mastered all of the little stitches and am busily working on a table runner for the table that will (someday) be free of the sewing machine. And instead of getting ready for school to start, I am crocheting. Just like any responsible homeschooling mom, right?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I say tom-ay-to, you say tom-ah-to



Yes, the beloved community garden is in full bloom. The tomatoes are out of control, much to our delight. This week has been a week of canning sodium free spaghetti sauce and sodium free (and spicy) mango salsa that should take us through the year. No more depending on Trader Joe's some what runny sodium free spaghetti sauce. Our little joke in the Kang house, after making a sodium free dinner, is for one of us to say "Do you know what this needs? .....salt!" With these two little creations, there was none of that. They were delicious, even without the salt. Next week? I think I am going to try tomato soup, as I have really missed my tomato soup (with corn, of course) and grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.

Side note: Thank you, Ball, for making silver canning lids and rings this year. They sure do look lovely.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

back to school: homeschool style

Normally, August is spent with at least some sort of homeschool preparation going on. This August? You guessed it. None. So this week the three oldest are off to Grandma and Grandpa's while the three youngest and I get ready for school to start. It should be interesting, but that is the way we like it. Right? A trip to Exodus Provisions for a few new books, trying to figure out some new techniques for a certain daughter that gets off task a bit, working out a schedule of sorts, getting all of the school supplies in order....and I am sure this list will grow as the week progresses. It is definitely time, though, as the girls have been asking when we can start "doing school" again.

I am just glad that I am not sinking a ton of dough into new school clothes, a list of required school supplies (some brand specific) and that I get to make decisions along the lines of "I think we should do geography this year." or "I think Rachel is ready for ________" Ah, the flexibility. I love homeschooling!

Friday, August 28, 2009

hi. my name is old blue.

hi. nice to meet you. they call me old blue because I am dedicated to storing berries of a blue nature and because I am...old. (but we don't need to talk about that part. I do my job, and that is what counts.) Yep, 7 cubic feet that are completely full of blueberries.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Last night was the birthday bash, and in true Sarah fashion, I did not take a single picture. *gasp!* Luckily, I didn't clean up last night and took a few pictures of the aftermath for you folks who weren't able to join in the fun. (yes, we are rubbing it in....NEXT year, let's make it happen.)

We made zippered pouches, mini notebooks, the obligatory 9 patch for my 31 squared birthday quilt (we are still 11 short, but that brings us to the issue of child labor....), newborn caps and covered button bobbies. I just loved having all of my fabulous friends, old and new, under one roof. I am truly blessed. The most fun part for me in the planning? Putting together presents for my guests. I chose small and simple things that I love. (Think of Oprah's list, but *way* cheaper.) Old copies of my favorite books, bottles of my favorite shades of spray paint, material...you get the idea. I enjoyed getting them altogether and I hope all of my friends will find unique ways to incorporate them into their homes.

The key to success: banishing the kids to a tent out back. There were a few infiltrations, but overall, it worked fabulously.