Friday, December 17, 2010

The Holiday Haps

When we saw Santa this year, both girls told him they wanted Legos. This is the same Santa we saw getting out of a Chevy several years ago.

Here's our tree this year, set up once again in our playroom. It's a Noble and it smells just amazing, even after having it up for three weeks. We lost our tree farm compass and found ourselves at BobZ for our tree this year. Nothing wrong with that. Next year maybe we'll go somewhere new with friends.

The girls got these cute knit ornaments from Target to add to their collections.
We did mini Gingerbread houses one afternoon.
Julia did some serious work on the roof's details.

Avery adorned hers with Tootsie Rolls...

Mine was nothing but a sea of jelly beans. Oh and I couldn't stop eating the icing.

Jolly good times. Jolly good.

For Me

I do things for myself for the sake of balance, without apology. This year, these are a few things I've done to put smile on MY face:

Gotten accupuncture to combat migraines (resulting in other great symptoms, too)

Signed up for a Class in 2011: Writing for Children

Practiced Yoga

Danced (Cardio Jams class where I workout)

Lately Made

Some years I am a crafting maniac at the holidays. This year, only two projects were slated. Both turned out well enough to want to keep.

This is the lid for a jar. I saw it at Goodwill sitting, just a jar with a naked wooden lid, next to an older brother and younger sister jar with naked wooden lids. Basically anything wooden begs me to collage it, so I did and now a certain old amigo will be getting this for Christmas filled with treats. I need to think of what else I could put in the jars other than food. Any suggestions?

I'd wanted to make a fabric checkerboard from this book and so I did. It was supposed to be for cousins but when Avery asked if I would make one for her, I decided I already was and I ordered the cousins a few choice games on Amazon: Rush Hour Jr. and Set. The kids are already using the heck out of it. Worth every stitch, I say.


There are artists that live in this house. I find them bellied up to the art table, replicating ideas they see in books, intent on capturing just the right details. They use their materials enough that the crayons are never where I put them back. The pens are always spilled and busy.

Amazing, I say, because of both what the artists create, but also how they feel when they create it. I want them to remember the way this made them feel when they are adults.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December? The MIDDLE of December? Holy cow. This poor blog and 2010 were so out of sync. Maybe 2011 will be better.

We are EXCITED about Christmas around here. Seriously excited, as in, we've never been quite so off the wall before. Downright Dotty! Bonkers! Loopy!

We did a photo shoot (by we I mean Me, the girls, my camera) and there were some gems of my lovelies..

This was the winner:

So the cards have been done and sent. The presents ordered and arrived, the packages mailed. I have a new appreciation for not just the gift sent but the time the giver spent in line at the P.O. sending it, you know? Why does the post office employ ONE person at its' most busiest? CRAZINESS. ANYHOO, things are crossed off the list, and all that remains is the wrapping.

We are travelling to Michigan this year on Christmas Day which will be quite the adventure. We've never travelled with both kids before-I think at 5 and 7 they are at a nice age but can confirm that after. We celebrated with my family last weekend and it was GREAT. I need family time at the holidays. It's just a MUST.

And so, there's more I could say about our holidays around here, so I'll be back.

This year we spent Thanksgiving at home and I cooked my very first turkey! I gathered advice from several sources, then proceeded along. I'd gotten a brined turkey and assumed they were salty only to discover that they aren't at all. Also, I was afraid to cook it too long, so I followed Alton Brown's directions to cook it until the internal temp was 165. I might have liked it better had I given it another 1/2hour-hour cooking time, so that plus the fact that it needed salt, not too bad for my first time.

I actually had fun with all the cooking. I made: garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, crescent rolls, stuffing, cranberry/dried cherry relish, and a funny mashed sweet potato thing with marshmellows on top. For dessert I did a pecan pie, per my husband's request, and pumpkin muffins for the girls, both topped with whipped cream. All of it was so tasty, if I do say so myself.

What I will remember about this Thanksgiving is how pleasant a day I had cooking for our little family, and how nice it was to sit down together and eat at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you the kind of celebration that goes down in history as peaceful, one that nourishes your gullet but also your soul, and one that reminds you of your many many blessings, both near and far.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day

The kids have a snow day today as it seems the whole Pacific Northwest was hit with a dusting of snow last night. This morning when my alarm went off, I reluctantly climbed out of bed and checked to see if there was school then crawled back into bed after reading an e-mail entitled School Cancelled. Nobody needed to be awakened. We all got to sleep longer.

When the girls woke up we lay in bed reading Those Happy Golden Years. We only have two more chapters to go. Then per Avery's request I retrieved some snow from the yard to mix with sugar and milk. There was lots of toast for breakfast, some pitcures of the snow, then the girls occupied themselves playing quietly and I caught up with Soule Mama's inspiring Blog. Her Maine family recently became first-time homeowners and reading the chronicles of their experience inspired me.

Even though this was slated to be a short week because of the holiday, it's nice to have a day, just a day of rest, all because of the snow. Thanks snow!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rice Rock Museum

It was Monday and it was cold! Loading onto the buses, we were pelted with a rain/snow combo that interjected an extra amount of excitement in the air. Julia's second grade class was going on a field trip to the Rice Rock Museum and it was the first field trip I'd gotten to chaperone since she's been in elementary school. Though she still preferred to sit with a friend and stay glued to their side the whole time (sniff, sniff) I always enjoy being a part of her world at school and she always seems glad to have me there.

Their geology unit has been very high interest for Julia. She's come home full of information about volcanoes that were about to blow in Indonesia, intrusive rocks and the life cycle of a rock. This mid-century house turned museum was a treasure trove of examples of everything they've been learning about. I was amazed how vast their collection was! From gems to petrified wood, fossils to agates, even meteorites were on display here. I spied some fossilized hazelnuts much bigger than those today, intrigued by the idea that all life was bigger millions of years ago because of the extra oxygen in the air. CRAZY!

In the gift shop they were selling thunder eggs. I've always wanted one, so of course I had to get Julia and myself each one. Turns out the one she picked was a Geode, which made her just as excited. Apparently you can break a geode yourself but getting into the center of a thunder egg would take a professional. Even though they look pretty unimpressive from the outside, there is much potential for them to be amazing inside. Now that I've BOUGHT one, I'd love to get it sliced somewhere to see what it looks like inside. I'd also love to hunt for and find one in a dig sometime.

Thunder egg Outside

Thunder egg Inside

At the end of the field trip the kids got to hunt around on their outdoor rock pile for the perfect rock to take home. Rocks bring out the treasure hunter in all of us!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The skies were dark and foreboding yesterday. Then, out of nowhere a rainbow appeared, punctuating the sky with color.

I did my usual "marveling at nature" sounds and Julia said, "What's the big deal about a rainbow?" (A somewhat surprising thing for her to say given that she too loves nature).

We were headed into Joanne's and a rowdy teenager was coming out with a friend. He caught the girl's attention because he was being overly loud and silly about the rainbow, shouting, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh, look at that rainbow! Wow! That is really an amazing rainbow." The girls really thought he was more amazing than the rainbow.

When we came out of the store the girls imitated him, silly, hooping and hollaring about the rainbow.

Still, it was the most impressive rainbow I'd seen in awhile.

Picture courtesy of Denise (I did not take a picture).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here Avery reads to her classroom's friend, Blackberry, who got to visit her house and have advenures with her over a few days. Julia got her classroom's friend the week before. Both visits coincided with the girls being stars of the week in their classrooms.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver

Monday, November 08, 2010

Rainy Cabin Weekend

Last month we got up to the cabin for a cozy, rainy weekend with my mom.

We purposefully laid low, reading, writing, playing, while the stormy weather raged outside.

A hike in the rain can sometimes just hit the spot, especially if you get to come inside and get warm. So we did that and of course, being in nature with my family I had to take some pictures!

In the rain, everything glistens.

The lake had a green murky look to it.

This little inlet almost seemed to have a tide, and we watched the water and everything floating in it move back and forth.

The Madronas were dressed up in their orange-red berries.

The moss on this madrona seemed to almost travel right before your eyes.

The maple leave were big, but rain coats were still necessary.

Nature, we love you so, even when it rains!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Always Grab the Blue Tootsies

Have you ever had a vanilla Tootsie roll? They are so tasty. I've managed not to eat one single piece of my kid's Halloween candy this week, but we gave Tootsie treats for Halloween and I set aside several of these for a treat. If you're a vanilla person, or even if you're not, these will please. I promise.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Have you seen Sarah's House? I recently discovered it by accident and just love it! On it, Canadian Sarah Richardson (her homeland obvious the first time she says "out") buys a house and then redoes a room in each episode. She has a great sense of color and design and her rooms turn out so cute! I especially love the fabrics she uses. Plus she and her co-designer are funny and find some real treasures for the rooms. All the home deco shows seem the same-this one stood out to me and appealed to my aesthetic. Check it out!