Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The box is filled with thoughtful goodies... a book on cheese in France (in French!), chocolates galore, some mulling spices, cocoa powder to make her recipe for homemade cocoa, a handmade wreath, ribbon that matched my Christmas colors this year, wooden heart cutouts, a little book about their family's traditions, a cd and more. Wow! Makes me wish I had sent more along in my box. I'll know better for next year.
A huge thank you to Chrissie ( I LOVE the microwave corn-bag!) and Valerie. You made my Christmas season very bright.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
We decided not to get a real tree this year after many discussions about how busy we had been feeling lately. The needles everywhere, forgetting to water the tree, a late start... all these factored into the decision. Normally these things don't bother me much, but with Ron working so much lately and the cold, cold December here in Minnesota, it just got to be too much. Instead we were satisfied (and actually, quite thrilled) with this cute little fake tree my mom donated to our cause. It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, funny little base and real wood branch with the silly little plastic pine boughs sticking out of it. In short, it was exactly what we needed this year. Small, clean, easy and cute!
And you? What did your tree look like this year? Real or fake?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
And you, have you made any fun things lately? Or, have you thought about what you would make if you weren't so busy with your kids? The holidays? Work? If you had 6 hours of *free* time... no strings attached, what would you do?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Also, my friend Leigh-Ann at Freckled Nest is sponsoring a weeklong series of giveaways from her blog-friends. Check out Mer Mag and her contest for a personal portrait drawing. Two prizes are available... a single portrait or one of your whole family (if you link to her site.) Here's my link, baby! She has some great design stuff and wonderful links on her side bar to more fun sites. Also check out: Poppy Talk and the Winter Market. If you need some last minute ideas for gifts, shop away! Amazing finds!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Happy Birthday, Annika!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
We had our house re-roofed last week. While I was chatting with the roofers in Spanish I remarked that the squirrels seem to have taken up residence in the attic of our casa nd if they wouldn't mind, por favor lock them out. The roofers closed up the hole on the roof in the back of the house, pounding very loudly, mind you, so I figured that our little friends would be gone.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The next day I heard them again and began to wonder, "Are they trapped? Are they mad? Are they going to chew themselves a new door?" I borrowed a live trap from my Dad, who trapped 29 squirrels in his attic in '89 and relocated them to a nature preserve nearby. The boys were fascinated by the idea that the trap would be located in the ceiling above their room and the possibility that they would hear the little doors slam shut. Carl even mastered setting the trap himself (note: it is completely safe, no poison, no knives, guns or nuclear weapons involved in this little bugger.)
We waited. And waited. And heard the little jerks dance and prance around, chewing themselves into happy oblivion with their warm, cozy digs, safe from the snow and cold. And finally, on day three, or was it four.... we got one.
Today we got another. Anyone else dumb enough to fall for the old peanut butter in a cage trick? Buehler? Buehler?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Here's the final product. I plan on putting up a tutorial on how to do this soon. Actually, it is complete and part of my Holiday Swap packages with Valerie and Chrissie. (If you're reading ladies... take a break for a few days. I'm going to feature some of my crafts. I mailed them today!)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I began taking Carl there with my friend Andrea, a dear friend and girl scout leader from junior high and her then 10 year old daughter. At the beginning her daughter Heather came along on the premise that she could see me and my kid, as she was old enough to really understand "The North Pole." As the years passed by and Gus and Louise were born, it became very important to Heather, Andrea and I to go and see the show the day after Thanksgiving, eat dessert in the lovely tea room called Patrick's French Bakery, and watch the kids with their growing fascination (and fear) of Santa.
Andrea passed away this year after a long struggle with colon cancer. She was a very dear friend, like a big sister, a woman I could ask any question. She is greatly missed. We picked up 15-year old Heather the day after Thanksgiving to bring her with us to the show. We talked about her mom a lot, but also about the importance of traditions and special friends. The kids love Heather. She loves them too. I hope to continue the tradition with her for many, many years to come.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Last week when I returned from Puerto Rico I thought it would still be warm enough to fill the boxes. My thought was, "It's not that cold yet. The dirt can't be frozen hard." I was wrong. Frozen solid. With the boys playing nicely together in the yard while Louise napped, it was the only time I would find to get the job done. Into the kitchen I marched seeking warmth for my dirt. Hot water in pitchers, and pitchers and more pitchers. I coaxed the solid dirt into letting a few spritely branches of spruce and scotch, a birch branch or two, a hand full of pinecones and some dried hydrangea flowers slip into their stiff slumber. With a handfull of showy grass heads and some berries my parents had gathered on an outing, the boxes were complete. My fingers were frozen too, but the smile was large on my face. Check. Getting ready for the holidays has begun.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
In the midst of all these holiday preparations, I found a little time to sneak in a birthday present for my niece Ingrid. Her sister got one last year, but Ingrid casually mentioned to me this summer that she might like a traveling monkey too. Annika has LuLu and now Ingrid has Vinny. Here's his story, which was handwritten and placed into his photo album and tucked inside his traveling case:
Hi there. My name is Vinny. I'm a monkey, but I don't have a tail. You see, one time I was looking for termites ina log near a river and I fell in the water. A giant alligator grabbed me by the tail and well, I'm just lucky to be ALIVE! I don't mind at all. I was rescued by a group of scientists that brought me to an animal hosptital in the US. I fell in love with Italian food like pizza, lasagna, spaghetti and risotto-- so they named me Vinny.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Then one day, something happened. Something grew in the "armpit" of the leaves. It looked like a pea. What was it? Our first SPROUT! Carl and Gus ran over and told the neighbor, "Megan... our brussel is sprouting!" You would have thought they won the lottery. Such are the joys of gardening with children. Every little growth is a miracle for them and a way to keep us all a little closer to the earth.
The garden has been put to bed for weeks. Well, everything except for the slow growing brussel sprouts. Finally last week, after it had already snowed a few times and the garden had been heaped with raked leaves for winter warmth, we chopped 'em down. It was dark, of course, as it always is in areas so far from the equator this time of the year, but we did it anyway. The boys felt like they had brought home something great from the hunt. The kill. "Let's get it!" They poked and prodded on each stalk, carefully popping each pea-sized sprout off the thick trunk. Oh the excitement! After four giant stalks, we had the bottom of a large bowl filled. Yeah, the bottom. Had those little rascals been full-sized, we could have filled two bowls. But no, they were our pea-sized brussel sprouts and I've never seen the boys so excited to get dinner on the table.
I'm proud to say, my kids eat brussel sprouts. And I thought I was the only freak.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Ten Things that make me Smile
::Winter hats. Louise found this Zippity Zany hat from Hanna Andersson in our mitten basket and has basically refused to take it off for a week unless she's bathing.::Grandparents that like to take their grandkids on dates. All three of my kids spend quality time with their grandparents doing special things, without me asking them to. We're lucky enough to have both of our sets of parents in town.
::Puerto Rico for four days with my sisters-in-law next week. Hasta pronto, playa!
::The color orange.
::The excitement of the Holiday Traditions Exchange over at Sew Liberated. I'm waiting my official match-up, though I recently met Valerie at Sierra Moon and we're going to do our own un-official swap. More details to follow soon. A French match up! I'm practicing my French... fun!
::This little roly-poly bug on Etsy. Why didn't I think of that?
::My new camera (except for the fact that it is in the shop. Hopefully I'll have it back by my trip!)
And you? What is making you smile these days?