Monday, November 12, 2012

Refinishing the Kitchen Table

We received a beautiful little dining set from my Aunt Brenda for our wedding seven years ago.  We have used that table almost nonstop since then, and the finish was starting to show all the use. 
You could use a fingernail to scratch off the soft finish.  If you set down a newspaper for too long, you'd get a newspaper print left on the surface that wouldn't come off no matter how much elbow grease applies. It looked pretty bad and  I'm sure everyone who came to visit wondered why I never washed the table.

So this weekend Michael had a free hour or two and decided to refinish the top of the table. He had help:

The table top is now a much lighter shade and so beautiful.  I'll try and get a photo and update this page later so you can see how fantastic it turned out.  Now we all agree he's got to finish the rest of the table!  Maybe after all his big assignments are done for the semester.

Look who's homeschooling!

Zane kept throwing a fit this morning and I couldn't figure out what on earth he wanted.  Then I finally got it -- he wants to be a big kid!  So I set him up with a coloring page and a puzzle and he proceeded to wreak havoc on the other children's activities and look completely satisfied with himself.  It's so much better when everyone else is screaming in outrage. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quiet Time Buddies

Zoe and Zane have in the last few weeks discovered that they can play together, and they are mutually thrilled about it.  Lately Zane has been going into Quiet Time with Zoe and they play and play and play together the whole time. I love watching them get to know each other.
Just a few moments previous to this, Zane was laying down and Zoe was gently wrapping him up and cooing at her "baby."  He laid so still and smiled up at her, so happy to have his big sister's attention. In this photo she's holding up a little light globe toy for him to see, trying to make him laugh.  Zane's laugh is so infectious, Jed and Zoe are always trying to get a giggle out of him.
It worked!

Autumn Zoo

Today we went to the zoo with Grandma Jan and it was soooooo fun!  The weather could not have been more of autumn perfection, with sun glowing through the colored trees and just enough of a cool breeze remind us that it is fall.  Hard to argue with 70 degrees in November!
Today we met the world's cutest animal: a tiny golden baby monkey.  My world will never be the same, it was THAT cute!  It enchanted a whole class of like 20 kids who were all watching it, cooing and giggling.  When it ran outside, the thirty of them tromped outside the building, too, and stood there for another half hour marveling at its unbelievable cuteness.  Zoe has been talking about it all afternoon, and we have this little photo of her as a golden baby monkey so we never forget the unbearable adorbleness.

Kids riding on a fake giraffe.  They were, unsurprisingly, too afraid to feed the real giraffe, but we enjoyed watching it.  I looked down at one point and I could see the back of Zane's head, where his little gold curls where trembling in the sun.  His whole body was trembling, I realized, and for a moment I thought he was having a seizure or something.  His face was perfectly blank.  But then as soon as he saw us looking down at him, he looked up and started bawling.  He was terrified of the giraffe!  Funny boy.

The pink spoonbills and scarlet ibis came up to say hello to us!  Zane sang back to them in his bird chirp.  You can see my favorite animal at the zoo, the tapir, in the background.  What's not to love about a elephant/pig!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Halloween!

 Monday evening we had Jan and Steve over for a pumpkin enchilada dinner, pumpkin carving, and popcorn with candy corn, a Dowdle family tradition.
The boy pumpkin

The girl pumpkin
Halloween day the kids dressed up to go get a free spiderweb donut at Krispy Kreme.  Then off to Trick Or Treat at Grandpa's work.  Afterward we did a quick bout of shopping with Dad and then hit Grandma Jan's and our friend the Byers' house before heading home for a very special Halloween pizza dinner.  Then three happy, exhausted sugar-coma-d kids were put to bed.
My three trick-or-treaters

The little housefly

Baby Tiger

The Ballerina

Mini spider pizzas for Halloween dinner