Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the handmades: part 2

More from the Christmas gift list...

Some clothes for the dolls in our lives...

And a matching dress for their owner.

Again, this was made following this pattern on Ravelry, just like this one here. It's a little big, but there's some time to grow before summer comes.

And for the boy, a quiver for that long awaited bow and arrow.

There were a few other gifts that made it off the needles and out the door before I snapped a picture of them, as well as jars of homemade goods and children's creations that added to the gift piles. And there were also lots of plans that were set aside... oh to be able to meet my ambitions!

Monday, December 27, 2010


The holidays are so very full around here, with lots of family closeby to see. This year, we were able to spread the celebrating out over several days, finding time to see everyone with a bit less of the rushing around than some holidays bring. Now, it is nice to settle into the quiet space that follows all that preparation and celebration.

the new dollhouse

with nicely appointed rooms

trying out the new window crayons

quality time with papa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

winter on the farm

It's Tuesday, which means we were at the farm today. And it's the solstice, happy winter to us all. The light was low; lamps were needed to finish the chores in the barn, where the cows and horses help hold the heat. When we were done with the work, we set out on a yule log hunt. My friend who works at the farm was kind enough to hide one for us. I remember yule log hunts at the nature center when we were young, hiking through the woods, searching for the log with the red ribbon tied around it. Once found, we would carry it to the cabin to add it to the fire and warm ourselves with wassail.

Tonight the kids ran about, searching high and low.

The yule log was found in the hollow of an old tree. We brought it to my brother's house for a fire and dinner. That night, the kids each got a winter gift before bed.

I made them each a heat pack, filled with flax, rice and lavender. They have been taking the heat packs I made when pregnant with Charlotte to bed with them for weeks now, and each night I sneak in and take them back when I'm ready for bed. Crawling into a warm bed is such a comfort, so we warm the packs each night at bedtime and tuck them in between the covers while the children brush teeth and have stories. By the time they crawl into bed, their sheets are toasty warm.

A little bit of warmth and mama love for the winter ahead.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It seems that as the years go by, without much effort on our part, traditions are beginning to fall into place. There are the obvious traditions of celebration this time of year, the tree and stockings and all the trimmings.

We enjoy the tradition of baking favorite cookies with Grandmas,

of building gingerbread houses with friends,

and of Christmas Theatre. This year, we joined Grandpa Joe for a children's theatre production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane Theatre.

Dinner at the theatre was a surprise for the kids, as was a visit with Santa.

It was a wonderful way to share the holiday with Grandpa Joe, and a favorite gift for the kids. A memory to long outlast any plaything, and a tradition we look forward to continuing next year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

for the animals

Last year's Christmas tree has been out back by the wood pile all year. It has been used to make fort walls and ships; branches have been taken as needed for starting fires, sweeping paths, building houses. But now it is revisiting its former glory.

This time, decorated with popcorn strings, apple rings and old cookies,

with berries from the yard and the remains of autumn.

The animals have their own Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the handmades: part one

We've been busily making things these days, getting ready for the celebrations and gift giving to come.

Some bath things for the piano teacher...

A dress for my niece's doll, made to match her birthday dress.

For my littlest niece, a kitty from the book Knitted Animals.

And lots of fabric bags for wrapping the treasures.

The kids have been busy, too, working on top secret projects. I keep coming across little packages tied with ribbon and yarn, stashed in corners, under shelves, in backs of drawers. I can't wait to see what they've been up to!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

decking the halls

This year's tree may just be the best yet. It's a lovely Douglas Fir that reminds me of the trees we used to get when I was a child. My dad used to order them from out east, and I can remember coming home from school to find the tall, white box waiting for us on the porch. When my dad came home, he'd open the box and pull out what looked to be an impossibly narrow tree, all wrapped in netting. We'd cut loose the ties, and while we ate dinner, the tree would open, unfurling its boughs and spreading its scent through the house.

This year, we made an advent garland. I tore strips of red and green fabric, sewed them into long strands, twisted them around each other and hung them. Each day, the children and I cut out paper snowflakes or stars to hang on the garland.

Sophia decorated the table with an old piece of fabric from her great-grandmother's stash, marking each week of advent with a candle and a new addition to the scene, first stones, then plants, next animals - a Waldorf inspired advent tradition.

Our home has been filled with the warmth of winter festivity.

Monday, December 6, 2010

snow: part 2

We've adjusted to the cold around here, and are enjoying what the wintery world has to offer.

The work

And the play

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It's here.

And it's lovely.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

sophia's workshop

The children have really been enjoying the story of The Nutcracker this holiday season, which has brought Daniel to wanting a whole army of nutcracker soldiers. Not one to disappoint, Sophia has been hard at work making that happen. Her first round of soldiers were found at a thrift shop, where she snatched them up for a quarter a piece. Not satisfied with the size of the army, she set out to find more soldiers. At the craft store, we found wooden soldiers just waiting for uniforms.

On a day when Daniel was out with friends, Sophia set about completing her gift for him.

The thoughtfulness and creativity the children have been putting into their gifts this year has been heartwarming. That they think of their gifts in terms of what they can make rather than buy makes this mama proud.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays -- family, food, tradition and the start of the holiday season with weeks of celebrating to come.

I love hearing all the things my family is grateful for, the children excitedly talking about what the day will bring. Of course, my family is among the things I am most grateful for. The time we share, the work we do together, the changes each year brings are all things I reflect on this time of year.

This Thanksgiving, we worked together to make the pumpkin pies we brought to the two dinners we attended. Fresh roasted pumpkins and homemade pie crusts go together so nicely.

And while we usually resist spending any money on Black Friday, I have to add one more bit of gratitude this year: the sales at Whole Foods. More specifically, the sale on apples. Organic fuji apples for less than a dollar a pound! Add on the 10% case discount, and I was sold. We came home with a full bushel of apples. Because we need another 45 pounds of apples.

There is never enough applesauce around here!