Monday, November 29, 2010

The light... near.

The tunnel just seems really crowded and impossible to navigate well.

I know I'll get there...and it will happen quickly. (Too quickly, in fact. I'm getting a little shaky just thinking about the pace of the next few weeks.) And along the way there will be several climactic and joyous moments to celebrate. Just a little worried about the quality of my task completion until then...and hoping there won't be too many horrifying moments of failure to mourn.

Certain things will suffer. I'll have to choose carefully.

I will also have to remind myself several times a day to slow my racing brain and frantic respiration to contemplate what is real.

Christmas is coming. And that Light will be beautiful to celebrate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Little House Christmas

We had an early little our little house (which feels a lot bigger with our new basement) with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Sean. Since they won't be 'home' for Christmas, they decided to spoil my daughters early with some perfectly chosen (and way too decadent) gifts while they were here for Thanksgiving. Kelly made for Maya a beautiful "Laura Ingalls" bonnet and apron...wrapped together in a basket with a little glass jar of chalk, her very own 'slate', some yarn and wooden beads for stringing and a book of Little House on the Prairie Crafts.
The bonnet and apron are seldom removed. (Every time I see her in her costume, it's a little reminiscent of my own childhood, spent dressed as "Old Mother Hubbard." if only she she added some white plastic sunglasses with the lenses removed....)

Her beloved basket now sits by her bed holding all her new treasures and her copy of By the Shores of Silver Lake. In the book, it's Christmas Eve right now. And the family is warm and happy by the fire, listening to Pa's fiddle and enjoying oneanother's presents and presence. With each Ingalls' Christmas we read about, I am struck again by the simplicity, the love, and the contentment, despite the incredibly hard life that they live. A typical Ingalls' Christmas included some hard-earned or hand-made Christmas gifts: two sticks of candy, AND a pair of knitted socks, AND... a tin cup.
Inspired by her heroes, Maya had the idea to make a "Charlotte" rag doll for Sophie this year for Christmas. Last week, she sewed one button eye to the doll's face...and then told me that she was just too tired to do the other. I love that she wants to do this for her sister. I hope Sophie understands someday how hard her sister worked....but mostly, how deeply she is loved.

Sophie was also quite spoiled... receiving her very own shopping cart and cash register. They love to take turns being "Da Lady" (who runs the cash register) and "The Customer" who fills the cart with pretend food, and uses the credit card to "pay". Their pretend play seamlessly leaps through time-periods and characters. And it's pretty delightful to get to pretend with them...or just watch and listen.

Thank you, Kelly and Sean and Chloe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall trip to Frederik Meijer Gardens

The trees were up, but not lit. We can't wait to go back to experience the whole Christmas display (including the beautiful train and village) and fun activities.

Sophie was a little mad because I made her slow down on the cement sidewalk.
She had already crashed once.

Entering one of our very favorite places to visit...the "Little House."

It's always extra cozy when the fire is roaring.

Maya taking a break in the garden maze.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

i didn't believe her...

...when she told me she could hula-hoop.

Then, I got to visit her at preschool. The moment didn't last long, but camera caught it to forever prove her claim.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Soon..we'll have to have a party...

It's not huge, but it will drastically increase the living space in our little house.

The basement is almost done!

A guest bedroom...just in time for the Holidays, come and visit!

Tile for the floor in front of the fireplace...Ryan finished the grout last night.

There is even more progress now...paint on the walls, tile in front of the fire, and carpet arriving on Friday.
More pictures coming soon.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Sometime, I am going to combine this and this (using sun-butter or soy-butter instead of peanut butter) to make my own peanut-free, gluten-free granola bars.

I've always wanted to make at least I'll have the recipe filed away here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Good night (from Sophie, with some direction by Maya)

So we're a little obsessed with The Sound of Music these days.

All day long our house is filled with sweet (loud) little voices singing, "Da hiws ah alive wit-da sound of moo-sic...AAHHHH"

or "You ah sixteen going on seventeen, I'll take cay-ah of you"

Friday, November 05, 2010


Of the many reasons that I've grown to love October so much in the last few years, my favorite reason (at least for today) is the connectedness that I feel to the earth. The richness of the colors and smells. The cold air that fills every part of me, my lungs, and fingertips... The apples and pumpkins and squash and vegetables that we collect in the cold and bring home to be eaten and baked or transformed to soup. The many trips to the farms and orchards, the farmers' market, carving pumpkins with our hands and getting the stringy insides everywhere...

But I love November too...