cold days

We’ve been reading books, of course. Gavin picked out a novel from the library that he says is good called The Mapmaker’s Sons by V. L. Burgess. He also borrowed How To Train Your Dragon, Book 1 by Cressida Cowell. Lilah is reading The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

Lilah and I built a canoe and teepee fort with her set of fort building pieces.


Then we had a tea party inside it.


We went to a women’s gymnastics match at the university with my dad

and Lilah’s practicing her own gymnastics in a slightly more challenging class now. Here she is doing a handstand on the beam and then she practiced a round-off dismount.



We all played Civilization on the computers together.

Gavin and I played a game of The Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It’s really quite a good one for kids with longer attention spans.

Lilah watched Song of the Sea again, one of her favorites and mine too.

I baked some oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry cookies and we all ate them.

We pulled out our marble maze pieces and built and experimented and gasped as the cats knocked our creations down and then built them again.

Gavin got out his master builder books and has been making and remaking various different things with his Legos. Today he built a drawbridge that moves up and down.

Lilah made a horde of adorable paper cats and angels and cat angels. She even decided she wanted to make a chain of them and figured part of the process out and asked for help with the rest but did it all herself.

Gavin’s been working more (in tiny bits) on his book.


He and I spotted a bird up close in the parking lot.


The kids made a few different automatons from a kit that came in the mail as a gift. They were fascinated.


So I introduced them to the Strandbeest, amazing huge automatons made by Theo Jansen, and they were even more fascinated. If you haven’t come across these already, you’re in for a treat!


Lilah and I have been hula hooping and working on new tricks.

We went to the natural history museum and learned about DNA and watched videos about Native American history and culture. This was the first time that the DNA has sparked Gavin’s curiosity apart from solving the puzzles they have out in the area. He looked carefully at a display of all the protein pairs in human DNA compared with about twenty other animals and then we talked about how two strands fit together and apart again, creating the spiraling shape.

The kids reconnected with some old friends at the museum who we haven’t seen in years and who play a computer game Gavin and Lilah like so they have been playing a bit together now and then and having a lot of fun sending “letters” to each other and showing off their in-game creations.

I have been thinking a lot about parenting with empathy and reading many articles about how to support kids when they feel anger, in expressing and feeling and then moving forward and if helpful making things right with others.

We’ve been chatting and dreaming about where we’d like to visit this year; Southern Utah, California, Arizona are on the table.

I talked a bit to the kids about yoga and mindfulness and we practiced a few very short meditations together. I found mainly bedtime meditations for kids and I am hoping I can find some more that involve both movement and relaxation and are a little more playful.

We read a few books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and talked about how things are similar and different than when he was alive.

I learned how to knit cable twists and made a pretty good looking hat in a color I call mermaid. Gavin put in a request for a similar one in deep blue.

Chris served on a jury for a trial the past two weeks and so afterward he talked with the kids about what he did and how things work. They were both fascinated and a bit worried about it as it was a pretty serious criminal trial.

Today, Chris was home all day so I got to take a snowy hike on my own. Beautiful!