Remembering Rei

Matthew, out of the blue at breakfast this morning: "I LOVE Rei-chan and I miss her so much! But she lives so far away. Let's visit Japan and go see her, and I will be so, so, so, so, so happy!"

Falling in Seattle

The black walnut tree behind our house...I can see it out the kitchen window and I must admit I do a bit of daydreaming there! So much scope for the imagination...a burst of molten gold...


Matthew figured out that if he put his silly straw in my dishwater and blew into it, the bubbles would groooooooooooooow....

Not only does Joel like to see his name, but he enjoys writing it as well...

One of the latest crazes around here: rubber-band propelled planes!

I Think I'm Turning Seattleite

You know you live in Seattle when you drive by a Taco Bell sign that says "Open Late" and you read it as "Open Latte."

Anpanman Walks and Drinks Coffee

Joel, this morning while putting on his Anpanman socks: "Anpanman went on a walk. Anpanman went to a coffee shop!"


Matthew, last night as we were putting him to bed: "I'm gurpy!"

Stephen: "What does that mean?"

Matthew: "I'm hiccuping and burping at the same time."


Joel, this morning while pointing to his name on a piece of paper: "Hey, Mom: J-O-E-L. That's an important word!"

The Beans' Tree and a Leaf Quiz

We've been leaf hunting quite a bit lately and made a tree today with some of our finds. Click on the image to enlarge it enough to see the numbers, and leave us a comment with as many as you can identify.


Matthew, tonight as he was going to bed: "Mom, I feel something...something tickling me."

Abigail: "What is it?"

Matthew: "I think it's a brainstorm."

Current Events

Recently read: Imaginary Friends by Nora Ephron (I love anything and everything by Nora, and this one is especially clever - would enjoy seeing this on stage)

Recently watched: "The Pixar Story" (extremely interesting - did you know CG images are made up of millions of triangles?)

Currently reading: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Currently watching: "Konkombe" (documentary of Nigerian pop music), "An Officer and a Gentleman" (wanted to watch this one again now that we know more about the NW landscapes)

Soon-to-be reading: The Best American Poetry 2011, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Soon-to-be watching: "Top Gear", if Stephen has anything to do with it (and actually, I quite enjoy it myself!)

Pumpkin Patch

Fun day today at Thomasson Family Farm in Enumclaw, Washington...

It's so great having college friends Bonnie and Gabe in the area...

How It's Made

Well, we were sad about the demise of "Word World" on Netflix streaming, but have just discovered "How It's Made" and we're set.

So far this week, we've learned how toilets, beer, bread, acrylic bathtubs, toothpicks, paper, jeans, and computers are made.

And that's just the beginning...

The Real "F" Word


Did you know that 30,000 children have died of hunger in the last 3 months in just the Horn of Africa???

Watch this video created by Bono and friends and then go to to find out more.Link

Giants in the Land

Matthew, to Stephen this morning: "I want to be a giant like you!"

Soundbridge, Our New Love

It literally gives me goosebumps to write this post because I honestly have never seen Matthew and Joel so completely focused and so intensely joyful for such an extended period of time. We visited Soundbridge, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra's discovery center for kids, a couple of Saturdays ago.

They have a drum circle every Saturday...

And it was rockin'! The parents had a lot of fun, too.

And Soundbridge is not full of just drums--they have a bazillion instruments that kids can play and learn...

We were there for hours!

You betcha we're going back and getting annual passes as well! The only reason we left last time was because they were closing, and they actually kept it open a bit longer for our enthusiastic beans...

Wordy Beans

I never taught Matthew to write "God" but one day, he just decided that that's what he wanted to write, and he did it all by himself...

We leave messages for the beans to read, in the form of magnetic alphabet letters (this one's to read, not necessarily to do!)...

Cookie sheets are good for magnetizing...

And Joel likes to add "s" to words to make them plural--one of his favorites is making "Joel" plural!

Stickers by Number

A fun little project from the beans's great-aunt in Australia...

You just coordinate the color of sticker with the number and stick them on to make a picture...

Chocolate and Hair Nets

Even when we lived in Japan, I had been looking up activities/amenities in Seattle and I had found out about Theo Chocolate and their tour. It's the only organic and fair-trade chocolate maker in the States and I knew I wanted to find out more. I asked a few ladies in a moms' group I'm in if they were interested, and it spiraled from there...chocolate...out of control...this morning...tons of samples...history...called Theo because of the theobromine in chocolate...the cacao grows on the trunk of trees, not branches...chocolate is fermented...and Theo makes it all worth while.

My favorite was the burnt sugar ganache...but I didn't turn my nose down at the chili chocolate with hints of orange and cinnamon...or the cacao nibs...or the coconut curry chocolate (YUM!)...or the chai tea chocolate...and the beat goes on...

I had a feeling I knew some beans who would be interested in playing with a hair net and also tasting some chocolate...

I love these kids.

Birthday Girl

I recommend having a birthday, and here are my top five reasons:

5. All the lovely birthday cards cover up the dust on the mantel.
4. The beans insist on the traditional birthday banner being hung in the kitchen.
3. Little guys talk about it for weeks beforehand and are still discussing it, asking why the birthday banner hasn't been taken down since Monday. I've been trying to emphasize that birthdays should last for a whole week...or even a month.
2. You get to pick the restaurant...and it's Greek to me (the keftedes, meatballs made with beef, lamb, mint, cinnamon, and tomatoes, were amazing as were the lemony roasted potatoes).
1. I've got superb folks to hang out with on such a special day, and always.

Café Culture

Joel, in the car today, and out of the blue: "The French sometimes call 'ketchup', 'café ketchup'."


And in other food news, tonight at dinner Matthew said, "Mom, you can make onigiri for me in the middle of the night. I looooooooooooooooove onigiri!"

We Miss You, Mimi and Pop!

Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend with Mimi and Pop


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