Friday, January 30, 2009

We'll miss you Andrews!

Our best friends are moving to a new neighborhood. We're going to miss them terribly!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lizzie's Latest Writing

We have a budding writer in our house. Here's some of her latest compositions:

This one was a school writing assignment. They were given a prompt, and then had so many minutes to organize and compose. After she wrote this, she turned it into an elaborate game that is played at recess every day now.

"The Chronicles of Tarpia"

"Allrighty class, time to leave, it's two o'clock," said Mrs. Blark. My older sister, Elizabeth, and older brothers, Nic and Zack (10, 12, 11), are all in the same class. My name is Zippy (9), but my real name is Zipper. We didn't hear Mrs. Blark (she's our school 4th Grade teacher). We kept admiring the fierce alligator. Our class left. Finally, we realized our class had gone. It was getting dark.

We hid behind a black tarp as the zoo keepers put a blue tarp over the zoo. Then they were gone. The dark zoo then came alive. All the animals woke up. A coyote howled, signaling all the animals to get out of their strong cages.

A joey came up to us and asked who we were. The mother kangaroo (Butter) came up behind him and introduced us to her, queen of Tarpia, and the King of Tarpia, Cagee ("cuh-ghee"), was the coyote. But far off in the distance, King Buff (a bear), and Queen Tuff (a bear), Queen and King or Tania lived on the bad side. King Cagee gave Nic and Zack bright swords, Elizabeth a bow and arrow, and me, a bow and arrow as well. We became true members of Tarpia!

And now another school writing assignment: "Kwanga Ski Mountain Avalanche"

I was on my way to Kwanga Ski mountain with my mappy mother, fantastic father, brainy big brother, sweet little sister, and marvolous me! On our way there, I saw a mother reindeer and her two babies. When we had our skis on and all, we had an immediate snowball fight. I got hit 15 times and hit my brainy big brother 20 times. Then we went up the big ski lift. I was snowboarding, and I was an expert.

When we came to the bottom, we went up the ski lift again. But this time, we didn't go down smoothly. A streak of tiny snow rocks caused an avalanche. It was very narrow. In a couple seconds, it grew bigger, and wider, and bigger, and wider! I drew my board near and stopped it by coming down with my snowboard. "Go, go!!" I shouted to my family and other people. A couple older kids, like teenagers, helped me hold the avalanche since it was growing wider.

This all happened very fast, you got it? OK. Then everyone went to the bottom. Finally, I let go. I snowboarded swiftly next to the tumbling avalanche. It stopped right before it tumbled over my sweet small sister. Next thing I know, everyone is congratulating me for saving their lives. The next day, I was in the paper. What an awesome, exciting experience that was! The End

I love the humility of the heroine in this story! Okay, now finally for your poetry pleasure, here is a fun new little poem Lizzie wrote today:


Bird is sitting on a branch.
He is caring for his babies,
while the mother is
out searching for a ranch.

Why? to live on.
For they have no place to live.

Finally, she finds one.
and finally has to give
a worm to her hungry baby.
they all dance to their house,
they'll live there forever...


Monday, January 26, 2009

A bit of History...

The Third Graders in our school do a big project every year - the Wax Museum. They each choose a significant figure in history, learn all about them, dress like them, and then all pose as if in a museum. If someone comes up and pushes a button on their poster, they will give a speech about that person. It is a Big Deal.

Lizzie chose Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I remembered that several years ago, we had visited a monument with the Declaration of Sentiments that she wrote on our way back from Palmyra, New York during our internship in Connecticut in 2004. So, look what I found in our Archived photos?

Here is the house in Seneca Falls, NY, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived when she wrote the famous "Declaration of Rights and Sentiments"On this waterfall wall is engraved the entire Declarations along with the Sentiments. It's quite powerful and inspiring, especially if you remember it was written in 1848,more than a half century before women would actually have the right to vote!

This is Lizzie sprawling in the Elizabeth Stanton clover.

As I was looking through all those old pictures, you can't believe how nostalgic I became! Our kids have grown up and changed SO much in the last 4 1/2 years. It made me a teensy bit sad!

So, here for your enjoyment is some of our own Stewart History!

Here is Lizzie in front of the house she would one day like to own. I believe this is the Vanderbilt Mansion in Rhode Island. It was alright, I guess. I've seen better. Actually, no, I haven't.

This is in Boston, a sculpture paying homage to "Make Way for Ducklings" by McCloskey. Our friends, the Stephensons, were with us on many of our escapades that summer!

Lizzie and her friend Ellie in front of the house we lived in in Newtown, CT that was built in 1901. Eli in Cape Cod. All-American Baby!And here's one of our favorites from the summer, "Lizzie Monroe" in NYC.

Man, I love those kids! But how did we ever get along without Ivy around?? :)

Monday, January 19, 2009



For your health and safety, you should read thoroughly.

IF your daughter is waiting for a phone call from her friend and brings two phones outside so she can hear it ring (1 phone isn't good enough - 2 is better)...

...and IF in the event that two of your three home phones are placed directly on the hood of a car...

... and IF in the event that several hours later someone gets into the very same vehicle...

...and IF the driver unwittingly drives the car onto a busy freeway...

...and IF she notices some unforeseen object hit her windshield just before merging onto a busy freeway... ...and AGAIN about a mile later the same thing happens on the same place on the windshield...

...and IF the driver comes home to a confused and befuddled husband who is wondering where 2 of his 3 home phones are...

...there's a good chance your phone ended up HERE:

Then, if while driving on the freeway two days later, suspicious that the mystery objects that had hit your windshield were more than a piece of tire or cardboard box, you notice a phone-like object off to the side of the road... ... you would most likely do what I did, and Fight for you Phone. Yes, I pulled off to the side of the road and took a little walk down an I-202 onramp.

Here's what I found... ...Poor Phone. And the other one was most likely smashed to smitherines days ago. Sniffle.

I brought him home. Adam put some new batteries in, and ...

...Voila! It works.

Well, 1 out of 2 ain't bad.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rockets, Citrus Trees, Light Rail, and Hockey

You know, a good Saturday isn't complete without all of these. So today must have been a Good Saturday! We had a lovely brunch this morning with crepes and fruit and sausage and even fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice!

Then Lynn entertained the kids by showing them how to make rockets.

The recipe is: an empty film canister, half an Alkaseltzer, and a few drops of water...and POP! the top part of the canister goes flying sky high!
The whole neighborhood was entertained for a good half an hour!
Christmas brought us an Orange Tree which Adam planted today with the help of Ward (aka "Fake Shaq" for you Twitter and Suns fans), and a goofy 6-year old who can't get his picture taken with a straight face.

Maybe at our next brunch we'll juice those two oranges and serve them. yum.

Then, tonight, we scored some box seats to the Roadrunners Game. What? Did you say, "Roadrunners Who?" Well, as about ten people in Phoenix Everybody in Phoenix knows, they are our second tier professional Hockey team. Second only to the Coyotes. What? Did you say, "Coyotes Who?" Well, now that's enough. Little boys all over the Phoenix Valley dream about becoming Phoenix Suns Basketball Roadrunner Hockey players because everybody has a frozen pond in their wooded backyard all winter, and really, what else are they going to do outside? Oh, wait, I was mixing that up with Connecticut. Well, anyway, shocking as it may seem, Arizona does have a second-tier Hockey team, and almost as shocking was that the box seats were available. But, you know what? We all had a total blast!

Do you know how we got downtown to the game? I'll tell the Metro Light Rail that just opened up a few weeks ago! It was so fun for the kids (Eli's friend Max came with us too!). And you could tell most of the adults were just as excited, pretending to fall when the train came to a stop, speculating out loud about how many viruses were in the air at any given moment. And it was Clean! So Clean! Riding the Metro was almost as fun as the hockey game!
We're just so Urban. Ivy's so urban, she can't even smile.

Here's hoping that your Saturday was filled with as much citrus, alka-seltzer, Metro stops and hockey pucks as ours was!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mommies Making it Work!

On Wednesdays, my friend Kim comes over for a violin lesson. We have so much fun together. But our three little girls sometimes don't like that we're not giving 100% attention to them. We have to be creative to keep them playing so we can actually get a lesson in.

Sometimes it turns out to be a comedy of errors. Well, truthfully, most times! But, you know, really, it is an absolute testament to the power of the multi-tasking mother. We're giving out snacks, averting disasterous messes, providing arts & crafts, all while teaching and learning. The amount of times it takes to refocus and then switch gears again is truly an homage to a woman's abilities, if I do say so myself.

Today, I couldn't resist getting out my camera as Ella was climbing up the music stand, I was trying to distract the girls by giving them triangles to chime along with, and Kim was mastering a new concept on the violin. (Ella escaped before I could catch her in the act!) But I love that Kim is still willing to try something new even though it isn't as easy with little ones running around. That inspires me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Princess School!

Today we learned about Our Body. We had so much fun.

We sang "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," the "Hokey Pokey" and read stories about our bodies. Then we traced each child's hands and feet and then entire body. We drew their faces on.

We also learned about what's inside our bodies with my favorite learning toy ever:

Hooray for Princess School