science project day at the park, exploding capsules, dry ice bubbles, chromatography and lots more


more pumpkin patch fun with friends (slide photos taken by my friend Teri)

celebrating Diwali at the Hindu temple with music, dancing, rangoli (chalk painting) and good food followed by fireworks


creating Halloween costumes: Minecraft black and orange cats

carving pumpkins with family

at the park


collecting leaves and punching leaf confetti with fancy hole punchersimg_3295

holding snakes and other reptiles with friends at a Halloween party

picking apples in our yard with a long armed picker


sorting jelly beans (thanks Gma and Gpa!)


night swinging


game playing (new favorite this time: Above And Below)


hike for me (with bonus elderberry picking & subsequent cordial and syrup making)

bookshelf assembly with Dad and decorating for Lilahimg_3343

silly dinnertime fun watching reflections in the window

supermoon through our skylight lit up the hallwayimg_3348

phone for the kids to share means lots of cat & owl photos and videos, and lots of texting

img_3351the texts are wonderful and fun, especially so if I am not in the room with them and get to decipher who is writing to me at any given time. So far, I’ve been right about which kid I’m texting with.



park time (I read some poems to the kids and then Gavin picked up the book for more)

civilization (Gavin is playing as China and Lilah as …)img_3354

an epic story being acted out, and then they realize they are being documented and give me a pose




a week of time at home

The kids have been sick with a respiratory bug this week and we have several Halloween events coming up so between feeling ill, planning for parties and trying to recuperate we’ve been sticking close the past few days.

There has been much Lego story telling, Minetest and Minecraft play on the computer, watching some movies.

Gavin dug out his K’nex rollercoaster set and doggedly kept at it despite it being complicated and missing a few pieces until it was set up and working.

Lilah and I tested a gingerbread cookie recipe she saw and desperately wanted to make so we can bring them for the Halloween Carnival we’re going to on Friday. They came out very well, despite having to make over the recipe twice and do the opposite of the directions in one case. This is why with gluten free, vegan baking, we test ahead of time!

There’s been a lot of kitten play time. She likes to play with the kids’ toys which is pretty cute except there are tiny kitten teeth marks on some things the kids really like. No toys have needed to be thrown away after her treatment yet, though. Just a cardboard box or two. The kids are learning so much by caring for her and watching her grow used to our home. Lilah told me a story from Luna’s perspective the other day about how she felt at the adoption center, how she felt meeting us, how she felt the first days in our home and how she feels now in our home. It was a wonderful and appropriate story.

We went to the planetarium for a short, close-by outing. Gavin amused us (okay, okay, me) by trying on the astronaut helmet/robot head in the shop there.


Gavin and I played several games of No Stress Chess followed by one game of Chess.


The kids made stir fry for dinner with Chris’ support. They picked which veggies and what they’d like to put on it (broccoli, snap peas, bell pepper, mushrooms and tofu with soy sauce, rice vinegar and peanut butter sauce. They cut the food and fried it, made a sauce and helped serve it. They felt really great about this and I’d love to try to make it a regular weekly event as cooking and kitchen familiarity is an essential skill for healthy happy people.

Gavin impressed me the other day by relating out the blue to me that he will stop and think before believing what other people tell him! I am SO super impressed by this revelation, even though it came out of watching a movie and not life events. This sort of thing has been a worry of mine for a while because he happens to give people the benefit of the doubt almost all the time and he rarely declares any sort of intention or recognition of the way the world works in social settings like this. I am so proud of him! The growth he’s made since the time when words were not yet a common language for us and every abstract communication was virtually impossible is so incredible and I am grateful every day for every little bit of what we have now. I still love the snuggles and hand holding and lap sitting though. I’m a lucky, lucky mama.