Monday, August 13, 2007

Meteors, Carrot Cake, & Preschool

Tomorrow is Tristan's 1st birthday and we had his party over the weekend. I still really can't believe he is almost a year old, this year has blown by so fast. Of course, I can't believe Shannon is 3 1/2 years old ... I guess you have to be a parent to really understand the meaning of tempus fugit ~ "time flies." We had his birthday party this weekend, a simple affair at home. We don't believe in these monstrosities of birthday celebrations. I was going to buy his cake but instead made it myself using a recipe I found online. It was a carrot cake and came out utterly wonderful. We also had some zucchini muffins, though those didn't come out as well as they usually do. Oh well, can't win 'em all! Here is the carrot cake recipe and a picture of the finished cake (and also a picture of Tristan & what he thought of the cake!):

Rockin' Carrot Cake

4 Eggs
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
3 Cups Grated Raw Carrots
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Nuts (optional - and omit if serving to small kids)

Beat eggs well in a large bowl, and add sugars in gradually, beating until light. Beat in oil. In a seperate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir into egg mixture. Stir in carrots, raisins and nuts(if using). Pour into a greased and floured 13X9 pan, and bake in a 350 degrees oven for 35-40 minutes. Enjoy! (*from Cat Can Cook blog*)

Also last night was the Perseid Meteor Shower. Justin and I went out on the back deck and watched it, or at least did our best to, last night. It was really wonderful, simply amazing to see these meteors go flying across the sky. Actually, it was wonderful just getting to sit out on the deck and listen to the world, watching the sky, having a drink, and talking to my husband. That in and of itself was heaven.

A really sad realization came over us though as we were watching the sky: one, we realized how little of the sky we saw and that was truly sad. In all of our technological brilliance we have not yet mastered the ability to use technology (in a mass sense) without destroying the world around us. Secondly, we realized that we most likely knew of no-one else who would be out for a couple hours (heck, if out at all) watching the sky. We're members of the Science Museum here and if they did anything for this we aren't aware of it. It was so beautiful, it IS so beautiful ~ it happens EVERY year ... we wondered how it was that this was the first year we were really aware of it. It makes us wonder what else we are missing out on.

Something we aren't missing out on is Shannon's education. We've started him with preschool activities now. We're, of course, homeschooling him and so this is being done at home. I was inspired to, after meeting another homeschool mom and seeing hers, buy a 3 ring binder and some clear sheet protectors so that I could put any little projects or workbook pages that Shannon completes in and keep a record of his growth and accomplishments this way. It has been so neat to see him work at something, to see him not understand something quite fully but try his best anyway. And then it truly floors us to see what he suddenly is able to comprehend and understand. He is so smart and so aware, we are so proud of him!

Between Shannon starting his preschool work, Tristan getting ready to turn one, us sitting down talking about and making decisions about our future and then the meteor shower ~ this has been one spectacular weekend. Here are some pictures of us up the street at the park after the party:

Tristan doesn't like crawling on his knees on the grass, so he has figured out how to kinda "walk on all fours" instead. It was really cute watching this, pretty impressive!

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