Friday, December 19, 2014

Impressions



"These days - I hesitate to call them busy. There's just something about the word busy, something I don't care for. Somehow busy makes you feel taken over, spun around silly by time. No, these days aren't busy, they're full - intentionally full of good things, all the moments we've chosen.  I simply haven't the time to be busy. I'm far too content (and way too tired) for busy."

I found these words last year on Katherine's Seamless blog (it appears to be gone now).  But they are so beautiful and express my thoughts and feelings so well at this time of year.  Thank you for letting me borrow them Katherine.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Making








It's that time of year, as another blogger put it, when there's so much activity going on but not a lot to share.  There are secrets to keep you know.  I also find myself at this time of year walking that fine line of living in the moment or making sure I document the moment.  While I'm living in it, I'm certain I made the right choice by not pulling out my camera and insisting on better lighting or a for children to hold still for a minute.  But afterward, when I don't snap that picture, I sometimes find myself regretting the decision.  I just have to keep weighing the pros and cons I guess.

But just outside of "the moment" I've captured a bit of our lives during this festive and full time of year.  I've enjoyed watching the twins play with our child friendly nativity sets.  They have the wise men and shepherds all playing ring around the rosies.  They regularly change baby Jesus' diaper.  And Santa does a great job at peeing on the toilet.  The big kids enjoyed our annual holiday marketplace where they make and sell their wares for fake money.  Byrdie learned to sew in one day while making reusable Christmas bags.  And Louisa and Nate had fun dipping pine cones in wax for some great fire starters.  I made sure there were extras for us to keep here at home.  We've spent a couple of evenings cosied up in front of the fire reading Christmas books and every evening I run the big kids to deliver a "Twelve Days of Christmas" gift to someone special.

Talk of Santa, spitzbuben, Scrooge, wise men and shepherds, lights, carols and presents is all around us.  There's still more activities ahead, more gifts to make, more get togethers to be shared.  We're in the thick of the holidays and we're enjoying it thoroughly.

Happy Merry making to you and yours.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Impressions


"Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life."  Brian Andreas.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beautiful Things at the Nature Center










Last Saturday we took a break from being lazy and hanging out at home in our PJ's to stop by a Holiday Boutique at the Ogden Nature Center.  I love the Nature Center in the winter.  It seems even more beautiful to me with the trees bare and the long golden grasses blowing with the breeze.

But on this particular visit to the Nature Center there was beauty inside as well as out.  I love a good holiday boutique.  I love to see handcrafted items and local artisans sharing their work.  There weren't a whole lot of booths (I hope this boutique continues to grow each year).  But what was there was beautiful.  I told Nate on the drive that I was hoping to find some yarn--there's Christmas knitting to be done you know!  And I found some--surprisingly at a booth shared by a friend and her daughter.  I had no idea this talented Emily dyed and spun wool in addition to the other beautiful art she creates.  I couldn't pull myself away from this booth and Byrdie and Louisa felt the same way--stuffed owls, bird bags, cute pins, hand dyed yarn and oh, these prints.  Aren't they just charming!

It was kind of fun to do some Christmas shopping right there with wild turkeys, snakes and other wildlife instead of in a mall.  I came away with a handful of gifts--happy to think that someone will be enjoying some local handmade goodies this season and satisfied that Amazon didn't get my money that day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yarn Along


I'm working on a few Christmas hand knits.  There's nothing big in the queue--not enough time, or motivation I suppose.  But I love being able to start and finish a project in just a couple of days.  For the most part I'm happy with how they're turning out.  Two Big Easies--the black and the white still on the needles will both make the cut this year.  And there are two cowls I've finished up (nothing is blocked yet).  The upper right hand corner was supposed to be for Byrdie but then she saw me knitting the lower left cowl and loved the yarn so much (hand dyed and spun by a friend!)  So I'm thinking of giving that to her and using the other one for a different gift.  I've got one more that hasn't made it to the needles yet--a hat for Louisa, but I think I won't have any problems finishing that up as well.

The kids requested The Best Christmas Pageant Ever again this year.  It's a fun quick read.  We'll finish it up tonight.  We're not doing our book club this month which I'm actually relieved about because it will give us time to read all of our favorite Christmas books.

Linking up with Ginny today.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Karaoke Birthday Party








It's been a week of celebrations around here.  Somehow with children birthday celebrations tend to linger for up to a week.  Of course there's the actual birthday with gifts and a special dinner and candles to blow out with the family.  Then there's an optional  friend birthday party (my kids don't consider this optional at all).  And then we sing and celebrate once more with extended family at Sunday dinner.  That's a potential of three birthday cakes!  And for a mother and daughter who don't really like cake, we have to get creative.  Churros for family, a cake for friends, and coconut ice cream for grandma and cousins is what she went for.

But although the menu changed for each of these celebrations there was no wavering of the activity--karaoke!  Byrdie loves to sing--especially in a microphone.  A few weeks ago she mentioned that she might want a music birthday party.  Nate and I had already talked about getting her a karaoke machine for Christmas so we just bumped that gift up a few weeks and started planning.

The invitations were pretty awesome I'll admit but it was Byrdie's ideas that made it so great.  I planned to make a microphone with a slide out piece of paper with the party details written on that.  But I wasn't so sure how to do the sliding part.  Byrdie, who was helping me, ran over and grabbed some brads and said we should use them as the volume button and connect the papers to the brads so that when you push the volume up, the paper comes up too.  Super cute.

As always I like to start a birthday party with a craft.  We decided that making instruments would be a good craft.  Byrdie wanted to have several optional instruments but in the end to simplify we went with just maracas.  They were simple, fun and they worked.  I dug out our plastic Easter eggs and purchased a few fun duct tape patterns.  The kids filled them with rice and then taped plastic spoons around the egg with duct tape.  The craft required little help for these able eight and nine year olds.

Next we headed into the living room where we played a modified version of "Encore."  I had several words written down on papers--words that are commonly found in songs.  I divided the group of kids into two teams and they took turns thinking of and singing a song that had that particular word in it.  The teams went back and fort until one team couldn't think of anymore songs.  Some of the words were "Happy," "Bells," and "Christmas."  The kids were a lot better than I had expected and it was great fun to see them working and thinking together to get the next song.

After that we played a game of musical chairs.  When Byrdie suggested this game for her party I was hesitant.  In fact I told her "no."  I thought it was too juvenile for this group.  But she brought it up again and I had the idea that if we did it throughout the whole first floor it might be fun--if a bit crazy.  We went for it--even adding the toilet as one of the chairs.  It was great fun with kids running all over and screaming and fighting over seats--everything you expect from a birthday party.  And no one even got hurt.

And then we finally got to the karaoke.  I would say that most of the kids were mainly excited about this part, but I was glad that we had a few other activities because not All of the kids were interested in singing on a stage in front of lots of people.  But they still had fun watching and what was really great was that even though just two people were up on the stage at a time (just two microphones) most of the audience was still singing along.  It was just one big singalong.

The stage that Nate made was really fun and make the whole thing seem more special.  He followed these instruction (so that he could have a box hockey table when we were done with the stage).  He was also able to hook our projector to the karaoke machine so that we could project the words on a sheet across the room.  Of course the Frozen Karaoke CD was the most popular but we also got a lot of use out of this modern pop/rock CD.

I felt to busy to pull out my camera--darn it.  So we don't have any photos of the actual party.  But with 19 kids in all (not counting the twins) it was a full and loud house.  But so much fun.  A great party for a great nine year old.  Happy Birthday Byrdie!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Impressions


One hundred and six rolls baked nine at a time.  But the house sure smelled great!

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.