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.