Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rainy day company

In addition to having Grandma here for a visit, our good friend, Danny, stopped by on his way to his family's cabin. A long time friend of David, and best man in our wedding sixteen years ago, it is a visit long overdue. The last we saw him was when we lived in Santa Barbara. In fact, he is just now meeting our children for the first time. What a nice reconnection it was, over a breakfast of bagels and lox. The children had fun entertaining him.

Rainy days are a lovely excuse for staying in and enjoying the simple art of being present. I am planning to curl up on the couch and read a book. Atonement by Ian McEwan is beckoning. Another book that I have enjoyed revisiting is Rachel Carson's A Sense of Wonder. She says her favorite thing to do on a rainy day is the take a walk in the woods. Off to make my pot of tea... perhaps we'll trek throught the woods later, too.

Here are a few images of my latest favorite find. A special German windmill pyramid by Erzgebirge. I love to watch the candle light spin the the deer family around the tree.

With love and light...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Peaceful home

Today has been quiet and enjoyable. The kids spent hours outside playing in the back yard with Grandma. It was another balmy winter's day - the upper 50's .We all worked to tidy up the house this morning, which felt really good!

I picked up my neglected knitting needles and started another pair of fingerless gloves. I love the new Lambs Pride variegated color yarns.

The kids (adults, too) are really into a new game in our house, called Wildcraft. It is a cooperative board game that teaches about edible and medicinal plants. It is really fun and gives a good starting point to learning about herbs. Along with my new favorite book, Growing 101 Herbs That Heal, and the huge stack of library books on herb gardens, I am on my way to dreaming up this year's additions to the garden.

Grandma is knitting, too. She's working on a sweater for Grandpa.

And my other creation today was a soba noodle soup. Yummm. The kids seemed to really enjoy it. It is a nice departure from their recent diet of Christmas cookies, cocoa, egg nog and candy canes. (smiles) I still want to make peppermint bark and more gingerbread, I can't get enough!

Can you believe how giant our Ginger bunny is now? Look here to see her when she was a baby.

Mia's Christmas star~

In gratitude for the little things,

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet family time

We have had a very peaceful Christmas. The children woke up early to creep downstairs and see what surprises lay under the tree. Jasper was especially cute, asking only that Santa bring him a lollipop. What a sweet satisfaction he had to find one peering out of his stocking on Christmas morning.

~Vivi, the other reindeer~

the Christmas breakfast table ~

Today is a lovely, restful day. The weather is mild and gray, and we are happily nestled in the house, sipping tea and playing board games. Grandma got into town last night, all the way from Oregon. The kids were thrilled to wake up early and climb into her bed to visit.
It is puppy love around here, each child has a very favorite snuggle puppy, in lieu of the request for a real dog. Some day in the future we will get a dog, but for now, a fluffy play friend is just the ticket.

Mia asked that they go on a trash pick-up walk in the neighborhood, and that is just what they are off doing with Grandma. I love that there is joy in good deeds for a child, it comes naturally to them.

Here are a few things that showed up this Christmas

And here is the snow we all dream of! My sister, Amy, took this gorgeous photo on her daily walk in Hood River, Oregon. Ahhh, we are all mesmerized by it's shiny white loveliness! Vivienne says that she wishes she could jump right into the picture.
And to add to the envy, here is Amy, Augustine and Christian's new real puppy, Choco...

With wishes for falling snow, candy canes, hot cocoa, puppy kisses and cozy warmth by fireside...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Festive Season

Here we are on the day of Christmas Eve! We had a lovely early Christmas with Grammy and Grandaddy, and started with our preparations. Many, many things left to do, but I am trying to give myself the opportunity to slow down and enjoy this process. My Christmas cards can be late (my apologies, folks...) and I can continue the baking and merry-making for the twelve days of Christmas.

Vivienne has been most hard at work, making present for everyone, and collecting special finds around the house to wrap and give away.We had carolers come to our door a few days ago, and how sweet it was to have a joyful pack of neighbors singing their hearts out to us.

Grammy and Grandaddy shared a special meal, beautifully prepared by David. His talent in the kitchen is impressive, to say the least. David has a unique ability to make a feast from the simplest ingredients. We also enjoyed using the fine china passed down to us from Great Grammy Marni, in her memory.
Grammy also helped the kids to make their own cinnamon ornaments, which smelled delicious as they dried in the oven. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart. Instead of making birds this year, they used an assortment of cookie cutter shapes.

And here are the finished ornaments~

Pogo sticks! The girls love them! Thanks, Grammy and Granddaddy!

Mia's Snowman made from Kapla blocks - these are super.

~Jasper's tower - I think these blocks will be a family favorite for a long time to come.
Today we brought out the lovely stockings and hope Santa will fill them tonight! Vivienne is holding my stocking, made by my Aunt Petra when I was a little girl.It is HUGE, the kids are all very envious.


Our hearts go out to our dear friends, Jazlyn and Tazdyn,whose father died in a car accident yesterday. Please light a candle and take a moment to send your thoughts and prayers for Elaine and her children.