Hi, I'm Dawn Klinge, welcome!  I write here because doing so helps me to take notice of the sweet things in life.

 

        

  

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Thursday
Apr032014

Victoria B.C.

 I took my son to Victoria, B.C. yesterday.  We rode the Clipper from Seattle, and it took about three hours to get there.  I was so excited to take this trip with him, and it was every bit as fun as I imagined it would be.  We used the fact that we were studying Canada in school as an excuse to go, but it was really more about letting this amazing boy of mine know that I love him and that I love spending time with him.  And really, who needs an excuse for that?  I hope he knows that everyday, but sometimes it's fun to do something a extra special together.  The bonus was that we did some learning for school, too.  

We visited the Royal B.C. museum, one of the best history museums I've ever been to.  Trent seemed the most fascinated by the 80's and 90's exhibit.  It was strange and funny to see parts of my childhood displayed in a museum.  He laughed when I showed him a giant VHS camera, and I told him that parents would bring those to their kid's games and recitals in the "olden days" to record them. 

 The Parliament building was beautiful ,and it was interesting to compare and contrast it to our own state's capital building and form of government-  since we had just visited it a few months ago.  We also had tea at the Empress hotel.  I wasn't sure what Trent would think of this, but he said it was his favorite part of the trip.  It felt like going to tea at a palace.  He was sweetly nervous at first, but the waitress was so kind, and set him at ease.  While I was sipping my tea, a mouse ran under the chair next to me, and into a corner!  It was funny because it seemed so incongruous with the setting.  The waitress told me that they had just had the windows open that morning, and that it probably crawled in from the ivy.  Now, Trent and I have an idea for our next book collaboration.  We're going to write a story about a mouse who lives at the Empress hotel.  

 After that, we wandered around the city a bit, completely taken in by the charm.  We loved Munro's books, and we picked up a few treasures at that place.  And then it was time to get back on the boat and go home.  We were tired by the end of the day- happy tired, but tired nonetheless.   It was a good day.

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Friday
Feb212014

Packing up and getting organized

 

 This basket has been sitting on my front doorstep, and I'm pleased with the way it adds color to these gray February days.  It's still too cold for real flowers, my preferred front door decor, but these will do for now.  I found the basket, along with some other treasures, on a recent trip to the thrift shop.

This flyer for Pinocchio recently came in the mail, and when I saw it, I did a little happy dance, because my girl is dancing in this show!  It's her first non-Nutcracker, non-children's role in a PNB production.  It is a student production, but she she had to wait until she was at a high enough level to audition, and she's finally there now.  She's been working hard on it since January.  Thanks to a good car pool schedule with some other parents, my part in all this has been relatively easy.  Why didn't I discover the wonders of car pooling years ago? 

 I also got something else in the mail that made me happy, my book!  This book is the first three and a half years of my blog- or the highlights anyhow.  I made it with Blurb, and it was somewhat simple to use the Book Smart tool for editing, but it was still an enormous task.  I started the project in November and spent a lot of time sorting through pictures and deciding what to keep and how to lay out the pages.  I ended up with 228 pages, which cost about $90 to print.  I also received a PDF file of the book so I can view it on Kindle, and so I could share it with the grandparents.  Eventually, I will have two more copies of the book printed, one for each of my kids to keep. 

 For the most part, my blog has consisted of either personal family stories, that are of more interest to me, and is what made it into the book, and homeschool information/lesson plans, in which I try to offer something of use to others.  I didn't want the lesson plans in the family book, but I wanted an archive of them, and the ability to share them, so I created another blog for that purpose, here.  I don't have any plans for that blog, other than to leave it alone, and offer it as a resource to those who are interested. Now almost everything is organized and packed away for safe keeping.  I'm currently working on putting the last three years of the family blog entires into another book. 

 Writing about my kids in the form of blogging is quickly coming to an end, now that they're reaching the age where privacy is appreciated.  I want my kids to have the discretion, to share as much, or as little of their childhood as they desire, with whom they choose.  At some point Postcards from Seattle will go away, and I'm getting ready for that, by sorting though and packing up the archives. When the time comes, I will find a new space to write, and new topics to write about.  I'll let you know.  Until then, I'll still be here.

 

 

Saturday
Feb152014

2.15.14

  

 The past few weeks have been mostly quiet, filled with the usual, the things I've written about so many times before in this space, but for which I'm ever grateful.  Basketball and ballet for the kids, and the many miles of driving attendant with that for me, homeschooling and laundry, reading and running.  Truthfully, the running was stalled for a long while, but I'm back at it now. 

  Interspersed with the usual, we had a very sick dog, who was suffering from pancreatitis.  She slept through the whole night last night, without having to go out, a first in about two weeks, which means that I also got to sleep through the night. : ) And she's back to pestering the cats, attempting to steal food, and playing with her toys, all good signs that she's turned the corner on her recovery. 

 It seems some time ago now, but the Seahawks and the Superbowl- that was exciting, even for a non-football fan like me.  I have never experienced anything like it.  The comraderie, the joy, the pride in this city- it was actually very sweet.  My son didn't want to take off his Russell Wilson jersey for days, and from the looks of it, he wasn't alone.  Seahawk clothing was the uniform in the city, for weeks.  I still don't really get it, why football?  But I love the personal stories about some of the players, about what great guys they are, and I'm happy for their success.

 Finally, Valentine's Day, always a highlight of the winter for me.  This year we stretched it out into two weekends.  Last weekend was for celebrating with our kids.  Derek took our daughter on a special date to one her favorite stores, for lunch and a surprise shopping trip.  She needed some new clothes anyway, but he made it extra special for her.  He had the biggest smile on his face when he described the smile on her face, after he surprised her by handing off his store card, telling her to go have fun.  However, that kind of date would not have been fun at all for Trent, so our special date involved the new Lego movie, pizza, and ice cream.  Last night was date night for Derek and I, a delicious dinner in the city, red tulips, chocolate, a special handbag that I've long wanted, followed by watching a new House of Cards episode on Netflix, a very good Valentine's day.  

 

 This last picture is not my own.  It was taken by my friend and shared on my Facebook page, on the Friday before the Superbowl.  I love it, because it seems to capture so well, the spirit of this city in those days. 

I hope to be able to find more time to write here in the coming weeks, but this is all I've got for now.  Have a great weekend!

 

Thursday
Jan302014

Lately,

 Coffee shop dates with my sweet Derek, careful coordination of complicated schedules and car pools to get two kids where they need to be, cupcakes to celebrate, at a lunch with dear friends and their cute new baby boy, and an inability to concentrate as thoughts swirl through my busy mind...that's how I would characterize the month of January.

 It's good though, this crazy life of mine.  I'm grateful that I have this family that I love so much, that I get to take care of, and that they also take care of me.  The swirling thoughts are gradually settling down and the picture is becoming a little more clear as January comes to an end and I look ahead at 2014.  Homeschooling, public schooling, more school for me, summer ballet school for my girl....hmm, a common theme appears.  I don't know exactly what the plan is, but I'm at peace knowing that God has a good plan for us, and that he'll reveal it at the right time.  One step at a time, I need to remind myself of that, instead of trying to have it all figured out.

 We got some great news for my daughter yesterday, news that thankfully brought an early end to her audition season for ballet summer courses. She got into her first choice school.  Five weeks in Chicago. On. Her. Own.  I knew this day was coming, and I'm confident that she's ready, but oh my....this is big stuff.  As I read the details about dorm living, transportation, meals, and such, I got chills.  She'll be fifteen soon.  She can do this.  I'm not so sure about me.

 And now I'm out of time.  My son needs the computer so that he can do his schoolwork, so I'll say goodbye.  But before I do, let me tell you about the picture above, it's my favorite treat lately- Greek yogurt, maple syrup, sliced bananas, and honey roasted slivered almonds.  Try it!  It's so good!

Wednesday
Jan222014

Daystar Indian Cultural Center

 

 Trent and I went to the Daystar Indian Cultural Center in Seattle this week so that we could see the art gallery and learn a little more about Indian culture.   And, we just needed another good excuse for a field trip.  School can start to feel kind of boring around this time of year, for both of us, so anything I can do to liven it up, I'm game for. 

Daystar was a small gallery, but what they did have was quality, and I'm glad we went.  I was also pleased to be able to talk with and listen to a lady who worked there, who explained the purpose of the cultural center, telling us that it was a common meeting place for urban Indians who don't live on a reservation, and that it was also a place where they provided services, such as job training.  She told us about some of the current issues with local tribes.  This was good for Trent, as it helped him to tie together the past and the present.  It also reinforced some of the themes of our current read aloud, making it come to life.  We are reading The Heart of a Chief,by Joseph Bruchac, a present day novel about a sixth grade boy who learns what it means to be a leader in his school and in his tribe.  We're both loving the book.

 As I mentioned here before, Trent is currently studying Washington state history.  I like to use history and geography as the center for our learning plans.  This means that, as much as possible, I like to incorporate literature, writing, and art into our history studies.  This is an example of how that happens.  Another book that he read and enjoyed this year, about Native American culture, was Children of the Longhouse

Here's some of our favorite art that we saw....