Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good-Bye 2006!!!

The end of the year. And what a year it's been! I feel incredibly blessed... Wish I could post a bunch of photos as a send-out but I'm having trouble with my blogger account (I can't log in on my own computer -- any suggestions for how to fix it?), so just this for now.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Expedition

Every year we venture down to the creek with hot choc in the backpack, pulling our lovely old European sled to collect branches from our cedar grove.

This is A&P "warming" their hands on A's pretend fire.

They each had to take their own backpack.
A's has her baby tagging along, of course.
And in P's? his bobcat.

This is our beloved, beautiful Penny.
She always accompanies us on expeditions abroad...

Annika pulling the bounty, Pedar eating snow... mmmmmmm

And the results of our labour.
All made from our own trees: hemlock, cedar, spruce, pine, fir, grape ivy.
We are so blessed.

Our door swag complete with a bit of whimsy (grinning reindeer balls. ahem! i mean bells! tee hee!).
It's snowing tonight. And inside the fires are burning warm...

I LOVE this time of year!!!

(We can't put boughs on the mantle as the fan blows up and they dry out in about 2 days creating a fire hazard... Tree is fine there though, doesn't get the heat blowing onto it. )

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not so little anymore

I can't believe how quickly Annika is becoming a big girl... I have to admit it both thrills and scares me. She is such her own little person. She's delighted with braids today (she had an enormous knot in the back of her hair that looked like it might have to be cut out -- thank goodness for good leave-in conditioner/detangler!) and her new jeans she got from her Oma. She adores pockets, and these ones have SIX pockets! She's got little things in almost all of them...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Celebration with our tribe...

On Thursday we had a little celebration for Annika's 5th birthday, inviting our homelearner friends that we feel most comfortable with. It was such a delight. It just felt like a celebration is supposed to feel: comfortable, easy, fun, joyful, and like we didn't want it to end... We ate, we opened presents, we blew out candles, we sang, we cheered, we built gingerbread houses (out of graham crackers, which is NOT as easy as it looks in the Dec. issue of Martha Stewart!!!!!), and some of us sledded until well after dark. And here's the kicker: when I came back into my kitchen after the last guest was gone? Well, you could hardly tell I'd had guests! More like family (or how you wish your family was... ha! ha!) They'd washed every dish, put the food away, cleaned up the toys... so we could just relax and enjoy the aftermath of celebrating with people we want MORE of in our lives... So often when people come, Annika is left feeling overwhelmed and jittery and takes a long time to calm down. And, okay, me too. But not this time. We just cuddled on the couch with big smiles on our faces, feeling blessed to have such good friends in our lives...

What I've Been Working On

This is sweetP, the doll I've made for Pedar for christmas. It's from the Wee Wonderful's Archie pattern and was so much fun to make. Harder than it looked, though! Maybe because I chose for him to wear jeans, pleather shoes and have mohair! And I've always loved the way LoobyLu draws eyes, so I tried to do something similar. He's soft and cuddly and I hope he wears well. I love the way he's turned out. He'll be a surprise for Pedar under the tree. There is an Olivia girl pattern too, and I want to make one for Annika, but might have to be in the New Year when she can pick out the fabrics...

And today I worked on a couple of kiddie aprons made out of vintage doilies and dresser scarves. One is for Annika's cousin, Rane for Christmas, the other is a surprise for Annika. The DK kids cookbooks were highly recommended to me, so those are on the list as well...
So fun to have a little time to spend in my craft room!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday Morning Music

Music is SUCH a huge part of my life, my memories, my moods... music is pure magic in my life.
I hadn't heard of Regina Spektor before, but I LOVE her voice. And love the last part of the video SO much. A must watch on this playful snowey Saturday.
I love weekends... We're off to make snow caterpillars outside. wanna come? fuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Photos from Annika's Saturday birthday party

Every year she chooses her cake. This year she wanted an igloo (she decided on this long before she found THE one in the Martha Stewart December mag.) She's SO fun to make things for.

p.s. that's the polar bear she made (on the far right) out of the marzipan. That's why the penguins looked so shocked -- "WHAT is a polar bear doing here in penguin land?!?!?!"

Playing catch up...

I finally sorted out how this new photo program works, so will catch up with a few photos I've been promising people...

Tree Fun

Getting our tree is one of our favourite things every year. We didn't 'believe' in Christmas when I was growing up, so now I'm probably the strongest believer I know in Father Christmas, the whole tree thing and everything else in between. Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity for me. I'll post about that later.
We planted a bunch of new trees this year. Annika did most of it and is very proud of them. She takes care of them like they're her pets. So cute!

The Kim's

I have been so affected by the tragic ordeal the Kim's faced. I can't take a deep breath when I think about them. I feel so achey and panicky and deeply sad. I can't imagine what they went through in those long days before anyone could rescue them... I can't imagine the pain they felt when the dad decided to go off to look for help. And I can't breathe when I think of the agony they felt when they heard he didn't survive.
I urge you to read Patti's post on this. And especially this amazing link. Maybe it will be just the words to keep one of us from facing similar pain.
And in the meantime, hug your kids, sit with them, read to them, appreciate your family, and never miss an opportunity to kiss your partner.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Happy St. Nicholas' Eve

This is the first year we've celebrated this fun day. We spent the afternoon listening to Christmas carols and baking gingerbread people. Then tonight we snuck out under the full moon and left them on a few friends' and neighbours' steps. It was SUCH fun! We giggled and hooted so hard our sides ached. We all LOVED sneaking around in the dark leaving goodies for people! Annika wanted to do the sneak at her cousin's house. So P and me stayed in the car while A snuck stealthily up their sidewalk. But her aunt saw something out the window and just as A had placed the package and was starting to stand up to knock on the door, her aunt's head appeared in the window. I've never seen A run so fast in all her life. Her eyes were as big as the moon and she ran down the sidewalk, RIGHT PAST the car and kept going! I was laughing so hard I could barely drive. Her heart was pounding and she had to be coaxed back around to doing the neck few sneaks. What fun. The only problem was the recipe I used (Donna Hay) was SO good that we ate far too many and ended up not being able to do all the sneaks we had planned...

Five Years Ago...

My world changed and I can hardly remember what it was like before I became a mother.
I just can't believe how blessed I am...