Sunday, December 30, 2012


It's Manochehr's birthday today, in Canada, and though he doesn't enjoy getting older, he does enjoy being loved and fussed over a little:)) I decked him out in a new suit for church, as my gift. Lucky us; he made Okra Khoresht for dinner, and instead of cake, which he doesn't have any great love for, I made home-made cream puffs, something he actually does have a great love for. When we go to Iran, he always chooses a cream puff from the bakery over everything else. It turns out that they are a snap to make, and here is the proof:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Concert 2012

For Christmas this year, the Eaton's gave us a Christmas concert; the likes of which I was barely able to get through without crying all the way through. Crying for how they've grown, so accomplished, and  for how they won't be the way they were that very day, again. Crying for Jane's beautiful voice and for her impeccable timing at the cello, for Charlie's earnestness showing in the line of his shoulders at the piano, for Jacob strumming his ukelele just right, for Scarlet just because she is such a little girl.  I honestly loved every minute. There were recitations of poems by heart, dance moves (Scarlet's hula), ukelele, piano and cello solos and duets, original composing and playing, and then  beautiful bows and curtsies at the end. This was no easy feat, because all the books, music, instruments, and clothes had to be packed up to Edmonton. The children had made a lovely program, which I will try to include a photo of, and dressed up for the event. Baba watched from work on Skype, but I had a
 front row seat and was so happy and amazed, and truly just so tender! My heart was so very tender. 

The final bows and curtsies!

Hats that I ordered for all the children for their snow-boarding vacation from a seller on Etsy - these hats were very well made, and just the cutest! We're missing Ezra's here, and Isabelle's, but suffice it to say that they were all amazing! Here's the link:

Christmas morning breakfast!
These were tasty, and super easy to make. I would have added to my 'goals' - I am loathe to call them that, because then I won't want to do them, but in any case - cooking something new each month, but I am not sure I want to be accountable for that one.


Charlie composed this piece, and Jane collaborated.

The videos were difficult to upload, and my camera didn't do the best job either - but you get the idea:)) The one I really wanted to add wouldn't load, but I think these will appear on Sarra's YouTube Channel: eventually.

THANK YOU Jane, Charlie, Jacob, Scarlet, Sarra and Timmy (and Ezzie b/c your're cute)!!!!! 
Much love!

Carl Sandburg

Did you know that Carl Sandburg earned two Pulitzer for the tome called Abraham Lincoln: the War Years, and another for his book of Complete Poems.  He wrote in many areas, according to Amy Peters from The Writer's Devotional  - adult and children's literature, fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose. Have you read anything by Carl Sandburg? I'm not actually sure I have either, so here is a poem to whet your appetite:

Father to Son by Carl Sandburg
A father sees a son nearing manhood.

What shall he tell that son?

‘Life is hard; be steel; be a rock.’

And this might stand him for the storms 

and serve him for humdrum and monotony 

and guide him amid sudden betrayals

and tighten him for slack moments.

‘Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy.’

And this too might serve him.

Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.

The growth of a frail flower in a path up 

has sometimes shattered and split a rock.

A tough will counts. So does desire.

So does a rich soft wanting.

Without rich wanting nothing arrives.

Tell him too much money has killed men

And left them dead years before burial:

The quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs

Has twisted good enough men

Sometimes into dry thwarted worms.

Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.

Tell him to be a fool every so often

and to have no shame over having been a fool

yet learning something out of every folly

hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies

thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.

Tell him to be alone often and get at himself

and above all tell himself no lies about himself

whatever the white lies and protective fronts

he may use amongst other people.

Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong

and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.

Tell him to be different from other people

if it comes natural and easy being different.

Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.

Let him seek deep for where he is a born natural.

Then he may understand Shakespeare

and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,

Michael Faraday and free imaginations

Bringing changes into a world resenting change.

He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own.
From THE PEOPLE, YES by Carl Sandburg

Big Plans to do Little Things. Every. Day.

Things to is a new month, and though I do not like resolutions particularly - especially not New Years resolutions, I am going to get started this month, as if it were any other month, and start some new routines:

• Shelf (or drawer, or cupboard) -by-shelf elimination of all things I do not use/like/are broken. This is going to be brutal. I have already begun, but it's going to take all month, or maybe longer to get through the entire house. I have Sarra and Royall as gurus in this area - I know I can do it. (The boys will start hiding stuff b/c they would say that I am already maniacal in getting rid of things, but this will be a tornado never the likes to have twisted through these here parts!)

• Daily writing - writing in my journal, blogging, or in my notebook. Every. Day. 30. Minutes.

• Crafting, sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, painting, drawing. Dedicated time for creative outlets - I love to do these things yet rarely find the time. Maybe 1 or 2 days a month. I have four projects in mind already!

• Reading - read even more (take e-reader everywhere).

• Think more. That means being still some time during the day! That will be the toughest, and maybe the most important for the others to become possible!

•Exercise - just 20 min! Small bites here b/c goodness gracious, I really do not like exercising! I learned in Kauai, where I was super active, that when I love it, it's easy to be active. I need to find that kind of interest at home somehow. Maybe I'll rope Jared into being my exercise partner - we could watch O'Reilly together!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

11 Foods

white bread
plain yoghurt
vanilla ice cream

11 foods

This cart, at the grocery store, belongs to a man in his mid fifties. He's probably of middle eastern descent, maybe Iranian. He's a simple, honest person. Hard-working and sensitive. He loves his family, and shows it through his good works. He's uncomplaining, likes to stay home, enjoys working at home,  and watching t.v. He also likes to sleep. He has soft brown eyes, a quick laugh; he teases but not unmercifully. He can be antsy due to his nicotine habit, so he disappears regularly to smoke. One minute he's there, the next he's gone. The anxiety of needing to smoke is catching up to him as he gets older, and he knows he needs to quit. He is brilliant in some ways and almost simple in others, but this simplicity is a ruse - he's always thinking more deeply than you give him credit for, yet he isn't a planner. Planning frustrates him...he doesn't plan his next turn while driving down the street. The surest way to ruffle his feathers is to ask him to plan a trip - this exercise will irritate him  no end, but he will thoroughly enjoy said trip when it comes time. He is deeply loyal to his wife, and she can trust him. He loves her, and protects her, and has devoted his life to her, and she to him.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Kauai is home to free roaming chickens and roosters, as you may know. They cock-a-doodle-doo at all hours! They can be found anywhere, beaches, road sides, parks, and hotel grounds.

First day breakfast - a la Mano

View from the top of the trail at Hideaway Beach

Trail down to Hideaway Beach; this was probably my favorite find on the Kauai, it was breathtaking to go down the trail and see each new scene. Wonderfully secluded.

Hideaway Beach

Dry cave at Tunnels - Mark and Mano

Scene from the inside out.

Hanalei Bay surf spot - Eli's favorite place to surf.

The sunset from our lanai at Hanalei Bay Resort - also the photo below.

Hanalei Bay

A little church in Kilauea

The light house at Kilauea - there is a bird sanctuary here that is awesome to see, for nesting albatross and the red-footed booby.

Anini Beach

Leaf bug - found in my room:)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home School Post

Mount Vernon - George Washington's home in Virginia.

How it looks today.

This is how it looked in George Washington's day.

George & Martha Washington

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baby Sign Language

Check this Channel out on YouTube - she has several wonderful signing videos.

She is so effective that I learned all the signs in no time - haha - good for me! But I think a child would learn well from these videos too - or at least you would learn so quickly that you would be able to teach your child in no time!

Home School Pics - The White House

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Visiting Teacher

This delightful bouquet was hand delivered to my door this afternoon - I have a very thoughtful and sweet, and astute visiting teacher. She happened to infer that we lost beloved Baba this week, and she delivered this sweet bouquet. I have truly been blessed many many time throughout my life by good visiting teachers.
I will post more about Baba soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chess Obsession

 Thanks to Jacob and Charlie the entire family is Chess obsessed! We are all playing like mad...Dad, me, Mark, Mariah, Jen, Eli, Jacob and Charlie of course, Sarra and's seriously so fun. Today Eli stopped in to borrow a chess set to take home tonight...he had been undefeated since Thanksgiving (I was the only one to get a stalemate) but tonight I got a text saying that Jen had won a game..."finally" she said. It's been a really great family game night 'thing' to do.

We have this awesome chess board that I bought for Manochehr last year for Christmas (for the flip side of Backgammon, which we are also playing - again Charlie and Jacob picked up in record time, within the confines of the first game)! It's been fun for everyone to be learning together...I kind of new how to play, I knew what the pieces could do, but I haven't played much. We are all keen to learn more strategy now. The chess game came from Restoration Hardware. Here is the link:

Here is ours...this is really fun, worth every penny - the scale makes the play significant and I swear it makes you play better!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I just found this fabulous website for 'books to read' ideas. There are thorough reviews and you can also share what you are reading each week to be entered in a contest for a book. I spent ages on here, learning about all the books I could read after I finish the 1000 books I have on my 'to read' list now...many of which are sitting in piles around my library and in my bedroom! Oh, there are not enough years in my life to read all the books I want to read! I hope I live to be 99, and that I can see right to the very end:)

The Scale of the Times

"Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times. Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest -- from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false. The president's campaign falls far short of the magnitude of these times."  

Governor Mitt Romney

Still Thinking About Voting for Obama?

I don't have time to post anymore in my busy seems. I will get back to it once I scratch 1000 things of my to do list! But here is an interesting video on the election, if you are following. 
I am praying for a change.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012