Archive for December, 2009

This year’s handmade gift list included:


  • 4 pairs of socks

Monkey see, monkey blue

  • 1 pair of baby slippers
  • 1 baby sweater
  • 1 pair of Toasties
  • 1 cowl
  • 1 Neighborly
  • 1 pair of Legwarmies
  • solstice gifts 6


  • 4 pair of pj bottoms
  • 1 nightgown
  • 2 doll dresses
  • 1 little doll

Food Stuff

  • Peppermint Bark
  • Orange Bark
  • Orange Bark in the Making

  • Great-grandma cookies
  • Jam shortbread bars
  • Apple bread (oops–we ate that instead of gifting it)
  • Salsa (made in summer)
  • Pesto (made in summer)

Much as I love creating with my hands some of the gifts we send to others, I am exhausted.  All of the lovely people in blogland that craft their hearts out with such graciousness, my hat is tipped to you.  I haven’t learned that knack yet in the making, only in the giving, which I so dearly love to do.


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Traditions, rituals, call it what you will.

. . . Our Solstice celebration this year began with a feast . . .

Solstice Dinner

. . . continued with our candle ritual. . .

Solstice Eve Candle Mosaic

. . . was merry with a rousing photo-shoot. . .

yule take 2 021

. . . bright with the joy of watching another sunrise together. . .

Winter Solstice sunrise in the treehouse

. . . and sweet with handmade love gifted at last. . .

Solstice Gifts 2009 Mosaic

I hope whatever your beliefs, that your winter holidays have brought you moments of peace and joy. Now that I can breath deeply once again, I am able to look back and reflect on those moments in our own holiday chaos.

It’s been nearly two weeks now since the unfortunate medication incident.  Thank you for the concern for L3 through the blog and other communications.  He is perfectly fine and is now happily enjoying his winter break.

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This morning, that is. I’m waiting to hear back from our doctor’s office because both L1 and I gave L3 his medicine this morning. I’m not letting the boy go to school until I hear from the doctor.

Nature's Balance  Beam

Meanwhile, L3 is out in the frigid morning air with Jasper.  It’s so cold that they won’t be out for long.  I watch from the window while I wait and try not to be as worried as I feel.  Thus, I write to help pass the time.

*** Edited to Add ***

Finally heard back from the doctor.  He said L3 would probably be fine, but suggested that I keep him home the remainder of the day and gave me some symptoms to watch out for and call him immediately if any of them were observed.  My boy has done some of his school work, played a bit outside with his sister more, and most recently has been doing Mad Libs with me.  He keeps asking to go sledding because, “there’s nothing exciting to do here!”  I’ve had enough excitement for today, buddy, thanks.

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Another Year Younger

November Webster Park Walk 6

The Lumberjack

L1 Clone Trooper

Happy Birthday to you, dear partner. Your way of being makes my world a brighter place. I couldn’t wish for another with whom to walk this life.

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The More the Merrier

On the crunchy bandwagon, that is.  I’m enamored of pop culture figures who use their popularity for good causes.  L1 just had us watch/listen to this song.  It’s witty and silly.

Let me know what you think of it–hope you enjoy.

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As every season turns into another, and throughout each, L1 and I are constantly making connections for and with the kids about the turning of the Wheel and the interconnections of it all.  They teach us, of course, with all the details they notice or the bits of their lives that they remember and share with us in conjunction with the yearly cycle.

Tangerine SunsSliced tangerine for solstice decorations.

This year while the darkness deepens for longer each day, I’ve found myself having conversations with our younger child that I must have had with the elder. We discuss questions of what is solstice, how it fits into the rest of the year, talk about how this time of year isn’t meant to be about gifts, how gifts do fit into the bigger picture, and finding delight in all the familiar rituals.

Tangerine Suns 2(Please ignore the crumbs that were cleaned out soon after this picture was taken!)

It’s so good to talk about the whys of it all. It is such a good reminder for me. Even as I pledge to step back, reevaluate all of the gift-giving craze, I don’t always do it. The on-going dialogue in our family this season is a good reminder.

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solstice table runner 004

I love seeing all of the beauty in blogland year round. Right now I’m especially inspired by all of the lovely traditions and decorations. Two recent pieces, in particular, stood out to me. The first was a little wall quilt from The Purl Bee.  The second piece was by Val of Collecting the Moments.  She created a Yule Log Candle Holder. Perfect for our solstice celebration.  And so L1 and I crafted the above for our family table.

solstice table runner 003

Tortellini Supper Soup

We’ve been eating by candle light most nights for the awhile now and so these new creations will be a part of our family meals everytime we gather round the table for the holiday season. Hopefully on the nights when we’re all tired and maybe a wee bit cranky, these centerpieces will help draw us back to the moment of togetherness rather than angst from the day.

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