Friday, March 25, 2016

Nature Imprinted Easter Eggs

OMG I am so in love with my Easter Eggs! I can't wait to show Holly in the morning! 

Inspired by a Facebook video I saw earlier this week I decided to do nature imprint eggs.. Lyra and I headed to Berkeley Bowl to grab some beets, (which I freeze and use for smoothies and decided to use instead of the cabbage or onion skin in the video) 

then we went to walgreens to get some hose... Finally we picked up Holly and Oliver from School.. 

We were early and Holly was in the garden so Lyra and I decided to find some leaves and flowers lying around in the garden to collect for our imprints.  When we came home Oliver and Holly got a few more plants from the back yard.

It was pretty fast and easy to set up.. Just put the stocking over your hand, choose the plant you want to use and then pull the stocking down to cover the egg and hold the plant in place.. Tie a tight knot.

Before you know it -it was like an assembly line with the kids taking turns.. This part went really fast..  We stopped for a strawberry break and decided to use the stem!

The kids had a lot of fun and holly decided to make arm bands with the left over toe cut stockings...

Then it was time to clean up the mess, chop up the beets and set everything in the pot to bowl...

As instructed by Joel (on how to both cook beets and boil an egg..) I let the water come to a bowl and after about a minute turned it off and let everything sit and soak and cool and soak...

It was at least 45 minutes when Oliver's dad arrived... The eggs were cooked and Oliver wanted to bring home the favorites he made but almost no color seeped in by then... 

So I let them sit and waited and waited and waited at 9:00 when they were just barely tinged with a pale pink I added a splash of vinegar a few drops of food coloring to the pot.. And waited some more... until 11:30 pm and voila!

Then it was the long messy process of cutting of the hose and washing off the plants... I think they are gorgeous!  It was cool how there was a tie dyed like spot where the know was..

And this one I think color transferred from the plant as it was some type of bright pink leaves..

There were from the strawberries...

We even used some cilantro that we got Joel for dinner..

This was one of my favorites.. I had thought the plant got crushed in my pocket but I blew on it in Holly's hand and all the little fine leaves spread out to make this miniature tree.

The larger greener leaves seemed to work best.

This one was cool.. It was another pink flower and I think some of the color must have transferred.. It's very subtle but pretty..

This was white flowers and the stem part worked but the dye went right through the fragile white leaves..

Another of my favorite a leaf pulled right from the bunny rabbit out front.. 

Another favorite looks like some type of sea creature.. This if from the bright orange flower.. One Lyra got in the garden..

Two of the eggs cracked.. But I thought this was still pretty like a crescent moon..

And there you have it!

My sister and I are taking the girls to the beach and then Disneyland starting this Saturday for spring break.. Since we will be traveling on Easter I was almost going to just skip all the holiday rituals.. But I just couldn't help myself and there you have it a dozen plus pink hard boiled eggs so snack on while on the road and to leave with Joel so he doesn't miss us too much!!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Malcolm X Celebrates National Women’s History Month with Five Plays

I'm so proud to be part of this amazing school community! Not only do the kids get a chance to be part of a theatrical production, but they get to learn about great woman in history while doing it. I love the diversity of the woman picked for the 5 productions and I even got to learn something as I'd not heard about Wangari or the inception of bloomers! I love that we live in a diverse community that teaches kids to fight for what they believe in and accept all people, the story of Wilma Rudolph (the play Holly was in) helped give her the determination and bravery to stand up to the BUSD school board last week.. I'm so grateful for the teachers, and parents.. And so proud of the kids...

Below is the press release from the district information officer and links to photo's and video of the plays


Malcolm X Elementary School 2nd graders performed five short plays on "Women Who've Changed the World" telling the stories of Dolores Huerta, Amelia Bloomer, Wilma Rudolph, Helen Keller, and Wangari Maathai. Their amazing script was based on stories taken from books about these courageous women, and transformed into theater by Malcolm X’s own drama teacher, Mariah Castle. The 5th grade Drama Club filled in as stage crew, and helped to insure a seamless production. The students were well prepared for their roles and articulately executed their lines in two assemblies and an evening performance for the parents.

Check out video of “Women Who've Changed the World” and enjoy photos of the production.

M X 2nd Graders - Women Who've Changed the World Photos:

M X 2nd Graders - Women Who've Changed the World Video:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day Due Date

8 years ago today was my due date and the last day I worked before my pregnancy leave.. It would be 11 days of forced rest and relaxation before Holly was ready to join the world.. We talk a lot about today as part of her birth story.. She tells me she didn't want to be a February birthday that only came around every 4 years so she waited to come out.. 

Plus Mommy's belly was too cozy.. 

So here we are 8 years later and my life is so vastly different! But interestingly enough not as different as I thought it would be... Having worked in academia before having children I find my life as PTA Board President, Manager of After school enrichment classes and Special education advocate not that different..  

I still attend lots of meetings and am part of many committes and District work groups, trying how to figure out how to do more with less.. Budget and funding concerns and educational outcomes.. 

Just in a much more personal and meaningful way now.. I still work with faculty and I still train people on technology and I even still register students with an online system my husband created (how crazy is that... Rosterizer 8.0)

I still am full of information pointing people to the help and resources that they need.. And I still love my job.. Though I still have a work day that goes long into the night.. I guess the big difference is I am now paid in hugs, thank you's and the personal gratification that I've helped make my school and community a better place..

But I also get to spend long days playing barbies, climbing at the park, jumping on the trampoline, hosting play dates, pushing swings, splashing in the pool, napping occasionally with my 2 year old and driving all over town to see friends and attend play dates, classes, and other community events..

I'm also surprisingly a much more relaxed person.. In someways the stakes are much higher when you are raising kids but somehow most of the time I realize things will work out just as they were supposed to.. I occasionally even remember that the journey is half the fun so I should make time to smell the roses.. 

And though I'm much busier now, I get much less sleep, and hardly any time to myself (other then 2am) and even less alone time with my husband.. It's worth every second.. And really my children will only be almost 8 and just over 2 once.. And tomorrow they will be that much older.. So on this day of reflection I am reminding myself to appreciate every minute.. Because even though it will be 4 more years before today comes around again.. My god my girls will be almost 12 and just 6.. I will have a middle schooler and looking back on this letter to myself it will feel like only days past since I wrote it.. This day will be back and those 4 years will pass like a blink of an eye.. I wonder how much the same and different my life will look then...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Love Our Neighborhood Day

I haven't been posting on here for a long time it's hard to do with Lyra... And Facebook makes it so much easier when you can upload groups of 30 pictures and just make little comments on them all in one little Easy screen... But today I have more than 30 pictures so I thought I should do a full-fledged blog post.  Now that Lyra is 18 months I'm starting to have a little bit more time and so I'm hoping to post a little bit more regularly maybe not every day like I did with Holly but maybe at least two or three times a month

So A friend of mine recently asked me to reflect on turning 40 and what things I wanted for the new year... one of the things I said was to be more spontaneous.  So I saw this flyer at 2:30 this afternoon and even though the event ended at 4:00 I decided to take the girls and walk on over.

So this neighborhood event was happening, they closed San Pablo Ave. from Ashby all the way to Stanford and outside in the streets their were lots of vendors and stores with tables, it was full neighborhood people and little things to see and do.
This guy was playing Cello and his amp was being powered by bike
Here was a chalk drawing area
Lyra was enjoying the walk and Holly thought it was cool to be in the middle of the street 
She decided to draw some flowers 
Next we checked out some spray paint art
I liked this storm trooper
There was music everywhere. I'm not sure what the style is called but they had hand drums and these tall string bows they were strumming 
We saw a screen printing place, Holly recognized it as we recently had screen printing of t-shirts at MX
She wanted to give it a try
She made a cool poster that said live my neighborhood with a hand drawing
This is a close up of some street art I see driving all the time 
This one I never notice because the door is usually up

Holly liked this one because she was pink, I hadn't seen it before because it was tucked around this ledge
Maybe a camel?
Another music pop up with a close up of the bows 
Giant chess set
So we ran into lots of people, first Lila R at a Bike Booth, then Mo and Stella at this cool water area
There were materials to build little boats 
Lyra liked splashing
The boats were set at the top and then they floated down several ramps
The water recycled through a pump and was a closed system
There were plants and rocks and obstacles 
Holly made several boats with little animals but she kept loosing them her favorite had a little Orka
We could have stayed for hours but there was little time and a long way to go so we moved on
This giant tree was another mobile music player run on peddle power
This dog was super cute, Lyra kept pointing at him
So this is hard to see but there was a band playing in that little alley way and about 100 people squeezed in and moshing! It was cool
And then there was the duck!
We ran into Kaya walking too, so she joined us for a bit.
Here all the kids climbed up
It was a super cool car duck
At another booth called Ace Monster Toy they had this cool marble toy set up.. The booth was for a "hacker mom" type Wirk space for crafty people to work on projects.
This was cool, awesome octopus!
So the silk screen place was called "the greasy diner" but inside they have Art Classes and a little store.
There were all these beautiful art peices 
You would never have realized how neat it was inside from driving by 
Holly found this really cute knitted giraffe 
But it wasn't a good price.
Maybe I should go to Ace Monster Toy and Knit one... But they don't have Chikd Care like Hacker Moms
One the way back towards home Holly wanted to draw more 
She found this orange peice of chalk and would run about 1/2 a block ahead of me and draw smilie faces
She wanted to decorate all the streets from ashby to ward!
By this point Lyra was so tired she was falling asleep sitting up...
On the way back we saw this in a sign making store 
I spied this little penguin, the tree was black... I wasn't sure what it is.
This was a sweet little bench
Pretty flowers
This were huge! Bigger then my open hand
This cute yard had several ceramic creatures hanging out
This turtle was my favorite! It was a great afternoon!