field trips & fairy tales

on tuesday, mars & i joined lexa's kindergarten class on a walking field trip to crystal springs rhododendron garden.  the garden is close to our house (we live one long block from lexa's school) & i can't believe the girls & i hadn't explored it before.  what a gorgeous place--beautiful plants & waterfalls for our viewing pleasure, rocks to hop over water on, ducks to feed, canadian geese to ogle (if one ogles such a thing) & many fabulous nature items to explore & find. 

luckily, i came packing my camera with every intention of documenting one of lexa's last days as a kindergarten. however, i soon found myself distracted by the beauty of the place and, instead of taking pictures of my older daughter & her school friends, i started snapping away at everything else--ducks, geese, waterfalls, bridges, trees, flowers, mushrooms, water, etc.  as i surveyed & clicked, i decide this would be a fabulous place to base a children's fairy tale book with photos taken at crystal springs overlaid by either other photgraphs or hand drawn pictures ala knuffle bunny (mo willems is big in our house--especially his elephant & piggie series for my budding reader) or
in my mind's eye, my fairy tale book would visually go something like this:

involve a quest, of course, and will be filled with fairies & elves & trolls & dragons
& griffins (i've always l o v e d griffins) & such.  i'd need to take more pictures
& really think this through but there it is.
mars & i have had the good fortune to accompany lexa & her classmates on all of their field trips this school year as well as volunteering in the classroom 3-4 hours (or more) each week. luckily for me, lexa's teacher has allowed mars to tag along all year which has allowed me to volunteer frequently.  it's been a great experience for us & has hopefully helped build a solid base for both lexa's & mara's future schooling (mars will start preschool at the same place in the fall.  again, luck for me ;).
since lex informed me after tuesday's trip that she doesn't want me to accompany her on any more field trips, that will give me more time to write this fairy book that's humming about in my head. 
plus, make more crowns & things.  check out my new ones if you haven't already
(shamefully shameless plug inserted here) at felted kitten


princesses + potions + one token prince = an awesome 3rd birthday

my daughter, mars, turned three on may 30th, and ever since her older sister lexa's 6th birthday party in april she talked about having a purple & pink princess party.  now, princesses are all well & good and purple is my favorite color but as i started gathering supplies & ideas for the party it very nicely morphed into more of a garden fairy princess party with purple, pink, orange & green to add balance & whimsy to the mix.  luckily she picked pretty, mulitcolored flower plates & napkins over character princess, or even pink ones (boy, was i surprised) which helped set the tone for the party and grounded the purple & pink a bit. 

add some princesses, potions, a prince & a heavy dose of cupcakes & you've got yourself a party.

earlier that day, we'd gone to a very fun & fabulous harry potter/wizard party complete with magic wand & potion making tables.  lexa was so enthralled with the potion table that she wanted to add potions to the princess mix.  who know that kids are secret mixologists & love mixing up brews?  call a fruit juice or fresh or frozen fruit by a fanciful, magic name (dragon's breathe, phoenix tears, magical berries from the forest of lothlorien, etc) and your prince, princess or wizard will brew until they can brew no more.

in addition to brewing, the princesses + prince made necklaces, wore crowns with fancy glasses (because, after all, everyone need fancy glasses), hula hooped (or, as mars would say, 'whobee hooped') & devoured hot dogs, white on white cupcakes with pink & green sprinkles & white chocolate covered strawberries decorated with pink & purple sugar (so easy & so delish).

at the end of the eve, i'd say princesses + potions + one token prince = a very awesome 3rd birthday indeed.

p.s. yes, mars did have her very own fancy felted kitten crown but i ended up substituting it for a mistaken custom crown purchased via etsy on tuesday. 

my little princess will have to wait.