Thursday, December 31, 2015

holiday happiness, part 2

more of my moments to keep the christmas spirit going through the whole season (until january 6, epiphany). revisiting last year helps me to remember what to look for.

back to meadowlark, this time with the kids and a friend for them and steve (for me):


me and my man near the marshmallow-roasting fire

he IS dashing, wouldn't you agree?

a drizzly evening kept may patrons away until later, leaving the space delightfully open for us to be comfortable

i thought particularly of my friend angie as i gazed at these

ander embodies this better than anyone else i know

me and my young mr. scrooge

i realized i needed to change things up for our family's celebration of winter solstice. so i rented a fire pit from the nature center and collected fallen wood around our neighborhood and invited some friends to join us to watch the fire and roast marshmallows and just hang out. we sang the song and hugged and i think this was just about the best idea i've had in a while. definitely doing this again next year.

me tending my winter solstice fire, with a friend looking on

we've now all seen star wars: the force awakens. yes, even ander, made possible by a sensory-friendly showing (to lower the sound - the volume is overwhelming to him and to me) and movie popcorn without the extra butter-flavoring and plenty of spoilers and explanations from steve and diana before the movie (and during. and after. it had some pretty profound moments in there, after all.)

ander posing with kylo ren after viewing *the force awakens.* yes, we bought that lightsaber, too. it has light and sound and is an awesome addition to our collection
my fantastically beautiful daughter has been exploring her artistic creativity with her own body. she actually let me bleach her bangs and color them. i love it.

i am so pleased she allows me to share some of her selfies
so now the year is coming to a close and the kids are playing together in their epic pillow fort and i am thinking about my word of intention for 2016 whilst sitting in my pajamas.

good times, people. so say we all.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

holiday happiness, part 1

in the midst of everyday living, i am seeking - and finding - things that make me happy during this holiday season.

sewing stockings with girl scouts to stuff and deliver to local charity

seeing the nutcracker ballet with my boy

facing drizzle and cold to get our tree early this year

decorating graham cracker and chocolate houses

making origami at hands on! club

the best latkes i have made so far

listening to the nutcracker, reading, and doing art

friendship

holiday lights. in dry, temperate weather. without kids.



just what i would like in my backyard someday
oh, and christmas resource packs for minecraft. :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

happy chanukah

many thanks and much love to all of our jewish friends who have warmly welcomed us into your hearts and homes and holiday traditions.


on our musical playlist for this year:

hanukkah blessings:


hanukkah, o hanukkah:


candlelight:

miracle:

shine:

eight nights:

burn:

dreidel:

all about that neis:

chanukah:

lift yourself up:

latke recipe:

it's definitely expanded since a few years ago. ander's favorite holiday book is still latkes, latkes good to eat.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

the essence of being

ander likes star wars. by this i mean that he likes star wars legos. he likes light sabers and dueling with them. he likes the force - both light and dark. he likes characters and analyzing them.

he wants to know about anakin and luke and yoda and darth vader and darth maul and darth sidious and obi-wan kenobi and qui-gon jinn and mace windu and count dooku and general grievous.

right now, he wants to know more about kylo ren. he wants to *be* kylo ren.

inspired by this youtube video, among others, ander pulled together parts already available at home and purchased a mask.


he's been studying tae kwon do for nearly two years and watching countless video clips of battles over the past few months. reading books and asking questions.

he is doing the things to *be* kylo ren. i am transfixed by his transformation.






 



note: this hooded cape was handmade by mema (one of the grandmothers) for diana years back when diana was a dementor for halloween. it has also served well when ander dresses as the spirit of christmas yet-to-come from the muppet christmas carol. i'm so pleased that he rediscovered and repurposed it for kylo ren. thbak you so much, mema <3

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

campfire cooking - the girl scout way!

one of the things i get to do as an advisor to the cadettes in our troop is learn. i am never too old to learn something.

i attended enrichment training to explore beyond the basics of campfire cooking (involving putting something on a stick and heating it). this focused on using cast-iron dutch ovens and foil packets.


onion, ground beef, baby carrots, sliced red potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, cauliflower & garlic powder

properly prepared foil packets will nicely steam the contents
at our last meeting, we invited our certified camping/cooking girl scout dad to teach us how to bake a cake using a box oven. the girls worked at lighting charcoal briquettes (instead of building a fire) to use in the box oven and for the cast-iron dutch oven to compare baking methods.

diana preparing an area for the dutch oven

blinky removed the very hot dutch oven lid

to reveal a perfectly-baked spice cake
photo by someone else of the very decorative box oven

photo by someone else of the very functional box oven - look at that beautiful chocolate cake!
so many ideas, so many opportunities!

Monday, November 9, 2015

autumn tradition

yes, i believe this is definitely one thing we'll be doing every year.

diana got to run through the night corn maize at temple hall farm with some of her cadette besties already this season, so ander and i headed out alone to revisit last year's best fall adventure.

pump water powered duck races

corn hole - he's got great aim

spider web silly selfie

the best thing of all

jumping pillows


samson. same as last year. simply the best.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

costuming

hallowe'en is a big deal around here. a holiday favorite, second only to christmas in terms of anticipation, preparation, and celebration.

diana changed her costume up just a bit from the air and scare event. ander did a 180 and went from the dark side of the force to the light - instead of darth vader, he was obi-wan kenobi.