One Good Thing

There was a book exchange at the holiday party at Eila’s preschool last week.  Each kid brought a book, gift wrapped, to school, and then they each got one brought by another child.  I wasn’t there to see it, but apparently Eila’s response, upon opening her book, was “I don’t want THAT book!” and throwing it across the room.

When I heard this story, I realized I forgot to practice One Good Thing with her.  A rookie mistake heading into the holiday season.  I should have done it in November!  Anyway, better late than never.

So on Friday, I wrapped up some less-than-desirable “gifts” for Eila and gave them to her, with the instructions that she was to say one good thing about each thing she opened.  Here’s how she did:


I was very proud of her.

A side note:  The practice of finding One Good Thing when receiving gifts can be very easily and beneficially expanded to include life circumstances in general.  When life hands you something you’re not thrilled about, remember this.  Maybe it’s not what you asked for it.  Maybe you wouldn’t have chosen it.  And maybe in many ways, it kind of stinks.  But see if you can find One Good Thing about it.  You might be surprised at what you see.


Secular Missionaries Take to the Streets!

We have a new project we wanted to share with you all.  The big girls and I are taking to the streets this summer as Secular Missionaries, and we’re going to be making and distributing care packages for people affected by homelessness.  We’re joined in this by my lovely sister, Renny, her awesome daughter, Rosalind, and my dear friend, Lori.

To raise money for the care packages, which will include things like toothbrushes and socks as well as food, we’re running an Indiegogo campaign.  We’ve never done this before, and we’re not sure how it will go, but we’re trying to just enjoy the process.  And however much or little we raise, we can work with to carry out our mission at that level.  We’re super excited.

The hardest part about the campaign so far was making the video.  We have lots of little kids around, and they were all determined to star in it.  I tried to edit around that, but you can still see it.  And I’m planning on making a bloopers reel some time in the next few weeks, because the footage we didn’t use is pretty funny.

Anyway, if you’d like to get involved or just see more about what we’re doing, check us out!

And I’ll end with a few unrelated but adorable recent photos:

imbrie hall








Night at the Laundromat


Today I took all four girls to the laundromat for a picnic.  And laundry.  A laundry picnic.


We ate sandwiches.  And chocolate.



Eila had a fun time with this little ladder.


And she’s licking her face, because she had some chocolate there left over from a few minutes earlier.


Marley had fun crawling all over the laundromat floor.


Eila helped get the change from the machine.


And I don’t have a picture of this, but she was most helpful for getting the little detergent boxes out of the soap machine, because no one else’s hands would fit in where the boxes fell.  Eila saves the day!


davia and marley

Davia and Shaelyn both helped a lot with Marley.  Especially Davia.


shaelyn and marley

davia and marley


baby in a basket

I should have taken a picture of our laundry, because the volume was impressive.  But maybe I’d rather forget that.

The trip was fun anyway.  Davia suggested we do it every week!  I said maybe.  It was definitely not the least fun time I’ve had with those four girls, out in public.  And that’s no small thing, given that we were doing laundry.  Maybe next time a little less laundry… and more chocolate.

Goings On, Part 2 (tasting time, fall, a t party and the baby!)

Continued from Part 1, we’re looking at what’s been going on with us recently.  All kinds of stuff!


Tasting Time

For various reasons, over the past few months, Eila’s diet has become less and less varied, to where now you could count the things she’ll eat on one hand.  Afraid of where this was headed (and that she’d get scurvy) I came up with a game to play with her during our days home together.  It’s called Tasting Time.  To play, I put three different foods out on the table, and then we taste each of them.  We describe the taste and decide if we like it.  Then at the end, Eila gets to put paper stars on the ones she likes.  The point of this game is just familiarizing Eila with different foods, with the hopes that she’ll grow to like more of them.  (The “mere exposure effect” suggests that this could work.)

Tasting Time




Note:  Thinking of changing the rules for this game.  Her favorite part is, of course, putting the star/s on at the end.  But because it’s so fun, she’ll put stars on all of them, whether she liked them or not.  I talked her out of putting a star on peanuts (see photo above) only by reminding her that she spit it out.  Maybe she should just have to pick one favorite.


Signs of Fall

We love fall in our house.  All four girls have fall birthdays, which makes the already festive time of year even more so.  Eila and I celebrated the other day by collecting leaves.

Autumn Leaves


And last weekend, Kane took the three big girls to a corn maze and pumpkin patch.

corn maze


Eila and Papa


double rainbow



A T Party

We have tea parties all the time at our house, but the other day, Shaelyn and Davia and I had a party for Art Wednesday.  Inspired by this post about different ways to alter a T shirt, we set to work on some old t shirts with fabric scissors, and it was so much fun!  Just our first time doing it, we all made at least one thing we’d wear.  The girls got really creative with theirs.  Very fun.

T Shirts


T shirts

I don’t yet have photographs of the final products.  Will try to post some!


And, of course, Marley!

3 weeks old






And here she is with her big sister, Eila:


love to all,

Kate, Kane, Shaelyn, Davia, Eila and Marley (That list is getting long!)

Birth Day

Following up on my last post, in which I introduced Marley, here are a few more pictures and details.  These are all from the day she was born – a most magical day for me.

Through out the night, while I was laboring, we burned candles given to me by various friends and family members wishing me well for the birth.  Marley took her time coming out, and many of the candles burned to the bottom.  I loved having them there with me.



Before Marley was born, I told my midwives that the only thing I would have changed about Eila’s birth (which I had at the same birth center) would be more photographs.  So they had me bring a camera this time, and they made sure to capture some of the most important moments from Marley’s birth.  Including some moments I wasn’t sure I’d want to see pictures of, so it actually took me until today (almost a week later) to bring myself to look at them.  But I’m really glad I have them now.  Some of them are a little too much for this blog (though they’re actually my favorites), but here is one from that series, right when my midwife first handed Marley up to me…




Here’s Papa Kane, holding his newest love…





Then we got to spend the rest of the day just resting and loving on Marley, right there where she was born.


kate and marley



Postpartum doulas, who were all wonderful, took good care of us.  Any time we wanted anything, they’d get it for us.  In the afternoon on Marley’s birth day, I asked for a cup of tea.  When they brought it to me, it came on a tray next to this carrot cake birthday treat…


happy birthdayy, marley


This made me VERY happy.

birthday carrot cake


This was also the day that Shaelyn, Davia and Eila came to meet their new baby sister.  I shared some pictures from that visit in my last post, but here’s one more.  It’s our first famiy-of-six photo.


First Family Photo



Such an incredibly happy, special, perfect day.

Marley Jayne

Marley Jayne has arrived!  Showed up on Tuesday, September 10th.  She was born by candle light in the wee hours of the morning, in a cozy birth center in Portland, Oregon.  She’s wonderful.  Here are some photos from her first few days of life.

Marley Jayne

Kate and Marley

Marley Toes


big sister


Marley, Mama and Papa

Davia and Marley

Shaelyn and Marley

Mama, Marley, Eila

Marley and Papa Hand

First Outfit

Marley’s First Outfit

First Time Outside

First Time Outside

Shaelyn Time

Davia Time


Happy Birthday and the Apple of Discord

Kane is away working in San Francisco right now, and today is his birthday.  We were all sad we didn’t get to celebrate with him.  But we celebrated in our own ways.  See, Eila celebrated by doing a spot-on impression of Kane when she first woke up this morning:

Papa's Girl


Then at dinner, I was telling the girls the story of how the Trojan War started, with the Apple of Discord and what not.  If I’m remembering right, it goes like this:  Eris was mad about not being invited to a wedding, so she crashed the wedding and threw a golden apple with the words “for the prettiest one” (“kallisti” in Greek) onto a table in front of Athena, Hera and Aphrodite.  Then all chaos ensued.  Anyway, I’m reminded of that story all the time while watching the girls be their ultra-competitive twinny selves.  I’m pretty sure I could start a war myself by tossing those two a gift labeled “for the smartest one,” or “for the one who sings songs from Frozen best,” or whatever it is they’re currently competing over.

So anyway, I told them the story, and of course this inspired them to dress up and perform it.  That’s when we decided a video of them acting out the Apple of Discord scene would be the perfect birthday present for their papa.  Happy Birthday, Kane!

Note:  The video’s a mirror image, because I don’t know why.  But on the chalk board, it says “The wedding of Peleus and Thetis.”  And the thing stumbling around looking like a pink Cousin It is Eila.

Ms Bigins Egg Hant

This is a book Shaelyn wrote and illustrated when she was four that we had the joy of rediscovering recently.



(Ms. Biggen’s Egg Hunt)

by Shaelyn


Easter Book



(It was Easter morning.)

(It was Easter morning.)


(But the Easter Bunny wasn't done yet.)

(But the Easter Bunny wasn’t done yet.)


(But there were still more eggs left.)

(But there were still more eggs left.)


(Only the most special egg was left.)

(Only the most special egg was left.)


(The egg him himself would go in.)

(The egg him himself would go in.)


(Soon the egg was found.)

(Soon the egg was found.)


(Happy Easter.)

(Happy Easter.)






Miscellaneous Updates

Here’s what’s going on, in no particular order…


Let It Go:

Eila saw her first full movie in a theater a few weeks ago.  The movie was Frozen.  Here is Eila reenacting a scene from the movie while painting a bird house:


No News:

As you may have noticed, Tuesday Newsday has been off the air recently.  This is partly because we’re doing the garden club at the big girls’ school on Tuesday afternoons.  (I lead the garden club, and all three girls are my captive participants, along with a couple other kids.)  We would probably be doing our news a different day, but I’ve also started watching some other kids three days a week, and there’s just not enough time for everything!


Sharing Shoes:

The downside of having daughters old enough to wear your clothes is that when they borrow your flip flops, they may get left outside.  And though once black, they may now be brown.

My Flops



A Boat:

The girls’ school had their annual Family Fitness Night last week, and there were lots of emergency vehicles there for the kids to check out.  (Why not?)  I thought Eila would be excited about the fire engine, but she actually preferred this boat.  She was the first of the three girls brave enough to hop in.  Even let the strange police man pick her up to bring her aboard.

Girls in Boat



We’re going to find out whether the new baby (due in September) is a boy or a girl on Monday!  Will keep you posted.  And speaking of babies, when I read this book to Eila, she always makes the same comment when we get to this page.  “Oh!  It’s Mama Baby and Eila Baby!”




Slowly but surely, I am learning to use a sewing machine.  Here you can see some cloth baby wipes I’m making.  Clearly, that’s going well.

Cloth Wipes

Note:  After seeing this picture, my lovely sister-in-law, Jenna, told me I needed to flip my bobbin.  She was absolutely right, and that helped for a few minutes.  Then this happened:





I know it looks like the same problem, but it’s not.  (Jenna, help?)



I’ll post about this separately soon, but the girls and I are attempting to learn sign language.  Not fluently, but we have a goal of 350 signs.  Here is a video of Eila and I practicing our signs.  I’m pretty sure Eila’s are the ASL equivalent of gibberish, but we have fun!



And that’s our update for today.  Stay tuned!




Tuesday News Day, March 18th

Now presenting this week’s edition of Tuesday News Day.  Enjoy!

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