Friday, December 21, 2012

ABCs of Winter

Our ABCs of fall really helped us to focus on a handful of activities that brought us closer to the season. After Christmas, winter can get a little dreary. I'm hoping this list will help us keep our enthusiasm for the new season alive!

A-Alderbrook farm trips, one of our favorite local farms with animals to visit and treats to enjoy
B-Baking and Birds. I want to help the girls be able to identify more birds for the when spring comes.
C-Caroling to the neighbors
D-Doll house project. We were given an old doll house that needs some TLC.
E-Ezra's first birthday! We'll have fun planning ways to celebrate our sweet baby boy.
F-Forts! What could be better for playing inside on a cold day?
G-Garden Planning. Time to start dreaming up what will fill those garden beds in a few months!
H-Hot Wassail to drink. My mom always made this, and it forever reminds me of winter nights.
I-Igloos and Iditarod. We'll learn about them and build a mini igloo if we get enough snow.
J-Joy--when the days are long and dark, I want to focus on the joyful moments.
K-Knitting. I'm going to try and carve out time to get better at this!
L-Library, as always.
M-Maple tapping, depending on the weather
N-New Year's resolutions, and reading the New Testament
O-Organizing. Closets, toys, clothes, etc.--time to make sure everything thing has a perfect home.
P-Painting (pictures and rooms in the house). Planet Earth parties--great shows to watch when we're stuck inside.
Q-Quilting. This is pretty much on-going for all seasons, but is especially cozy in winter.
R-Reading. I want to get through some chapter books with the girls this winter.
S-Snowmen, snow angels, snow balls, and the like, Stargazing in the cold, Sewing Projects
T-Tea parties and treats. I love having a pot of herbal tea and cookies made for when Marty comes home.
U-Undies. Another attempt to potty train the Goose.
V-Visit to Maine? I'd love to see our brother's farm in the snow.
W-Walks in the cold. Warm Baths. Whaling Museum in New Bedford.
X-ocean eXplorium in New Bedford. Like a mini aquarium for the girls to eXplore.
Y-Yarn projects--I want to start Dorothy's fingers early getting used to working with yarn.
Z-Zoo trips--using up the end months of our free pass and seeing what the animals do in winter.

Winter brings us back to so many simple things. Most of our list focuses on being home and being around each other. I'm grateful for a time of year to slow down and focus on what is most important.

Welcome, Winter!

We are excited to start a new season! One of our favorite winter activities is snuggling with a big pile of books and something warm to drink. Here are some of our favorite wintry snuggle books:

 These Little House readers are a great way to introduce children to the world of Laura Ingalls.
Simple living, family togetherness, and the beauty of home shine from these books.
 This book is short and sweet with beautiful illustrations of life.
 I think just about everyone owns a copy of this book. It always makes me think of early winter nights with a fire burning and the old lady knitting in the background.
 Cynthia Rylant is one of our favorite authors. Her stories about an old man named Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby always make us giggle.
 Speaking of giggling to Cynthia Rylant books, Poppleton has been known to make me laugh out loud! We are always scooping Poppleton stories up from the library.
 Oh, how I love this book. It reads almost like poetry and has gorgeous illustrations.
Books like this make me look forward to the dark days of winter ahead.
 One of my favorite children's books of all time! Winter is the Warmest Season is not only cozy but makes your kiddies look at the world with different eyes.
Each page of this book has only 1-3 words, but it perfectly captures a snowy winter day. 
This one is great for a tiny little reader with a short attention span. I also love the rustic drawings of Douglas Florian.

Now go get yourself some books and warm drink and enjoy the start of this new season!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lighthouse Christmas

Lighthouse Christmas

As you can imagine, we have been reading a LOT of Christmas books around here. This was one of the books we got today at the library, and it was lovely. The Author's Note really makes the whole book worth reading. This sweet little isolated lighthouse family thinks that they will be stuck on their island with an almost empty larder and no comforts of Christmas. Then they receive a gift from the sky: the Flying Santa Service, started in 1929, drops a Christmas package from a plane onto their coast--just to say thank you. This service is still continued today. What a wonderful story to help us remember those that serve and rarely receive thanks. It makes me want to seek out someone typically overlooked and say a big thank you (perhaps in the form of cookies, music, or even just a visit with the children). Let us all remember this shining Christ-like example as we celebrate His miraculous birth and life this holiday season.

Making a list; checking it twice...

It is THAT time of year! That time when we start madly gearing up for our (now) Annual Consumer Fast!! And that means I have been making a ridiculous amount of lists to get ready. For the entire month of January, we make the decision to not spend any money on extras. Right before the month begins we buy any household items we may need, as well as make our monthly grocery shopping trip, and then we hunker down. No going out to eat. No impulse purchases. No extras. We spend the month seeking out the free activities around us, learning to enjoy what we have more, and exercising more self control. We of course pay the bills as usual, and we do have to leave wiggle room for medical emergencies, but it really has become a great tradition for us to take this first month of the year off from spending. It is amazing how many things you can decide you DON'T need when you have an entire month to think about the purchase. 

So, any crazy takers to fast with us?

I promise, it is FUN:)


 I woke up to this face.
 I got to play with these girls.

 I got to take in this beautiful scene.
And it was Good.

Very Good.

Ode to my wee Bubs

 The two men in my life.
 Ridiculously adorable bed head.

 Still a sweet gummy smile on top.
 Feasting on the only manly book we own.
 Making mischief.

 Snuggling with mommy.
My sweet, handsome son. 

Life Is Good.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Random Shots

Just a few more pictures from the last few weeks that make me smile.

 Dentist trip. Perfect check up!
 Baby Boy scooting around the floor.
 Technology is exhausting:) 
Or maybe it was all the fun we were having at grandma and grandpa's house!
(oh, yeah, did I mention we took a 12 day trip to NC in November? oops.)
 Trying out mama's eyes.
 Loving on my baby.
And this little family of ours just keeps on growing!
I'm going to miss all this cuteness when it is over.

A perfect fall day.

They don't happen often, but the day after Thanksgiving was practically perfect. There was pumpkin pie for breakfast (a post Thanksgiving must around here), leaf piles to play in, a sweet little family hike, honey sticks at our favorite local farm while we looked at animals and freshly cut Christmas trees, and warm turkey soup with rolls for dinner. Bliss.

Goose was our star of the day. Nothing but smiles. How could you be otherwise on such a day?

art round up

Some recent works by the ladies of the house:

Our dining room has officially become the art room. We now only eat in there on special occasions, and the girls have free reign with their crayons, stamps, play dough, and paints the rest of the time. They like having the space to create, and I like the free time it gives me for little projects around the house. Sweet trade if you ask me.

snuggle bugs

This is what happens when you make smoothies for breakfast when it is 30 degrees outside:

You get snuggle bugs. The only bugs I let stay in the house:)

Walden trip 2012

I love our family tradition of a trip to Walden Pond in the fall. We were a little pressed on time, so we didn't get to do the whole hike around the pond. But there were still lots of smiles. Nothing beats the sweet smell of crunching through fall leaves coupled with a beautiful view of the pond.

Gardening Goodness

We recently cut our last greens from the garden. It was a little sad to say goodbye to the fresh veggies for the year (aside from the piles of winter squash to see us through), but we are grateful for a freezer and basement shelves full of food saved up from the summer. Until next year...

We are alive. We are well. I just haven't been in a blogging sort of mood lately. Forgive me!

Life has been moving along, and we are oh-so-eagerly anticipating Christmas. Our halls are decked, we have watched snow fall, and we are ready to hunker down with the goodness this season brings.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October--photo round up

I finally have some photographic evidence of the month! Sit back, and enjoy the show.

Conference weekend at Kristi's.

 Preschool Board.
 Breakfast Love.
 Utter Handsomeness.
 Our New Art Gallery.
 Providence Children's Museum Adventure.

 "Daddy's Home!!!!"
 Mama--portrait by Dot.
 Wait a hurricane AND noreaster are threatening to hit around Halloween?
What costumes can we make in 4 hours and still make it to trunk or treat?
Rag Doll Dot--let's be honest, the face paint didn't make it out the door.
 Spiderman Gooser--her pick, and nothing would change her mind.
 Little Skeleton--not so glad to be a skeleton.
 Happy Early Halloween!
Until next month...