Delightfully Summer

I keep ending up with stashes of photos that can only be classified as “Things I Love About Summer” so I thought I should dump some here.  You don’t mind, right?

Our beans are getting big  on their trellis!

Our beans are getting big on their trellis!

We’ve been having breakfast most mornings outside, on what I’ve been calling the terrace.  Doesn’t breakfast on the terrace have a lovely ring to it?  I mean, there’s no terracing involved, but work with me here.  Whatever you call it, we get to play outside before it’s blazing hot and we don’t have to wash hands or high chair trays or anything after we’re doing eating, just go play some more.  The ants are getting exceedingly well fed, and I’m getting shockingly lax about how long I’ll be ok with the children eating something after it’s fallen on the ground(really only dry stuff…hmm.  oh.  ew) but small price to pay, right?

I was going to say it’s really only dry stuff(cereal, toast) but then I remembered that Ascher spilled the last of his oatmeal on the way back inside a couple days ago and was playing with it in the gravel, and then went to slide and then when I had him clean it up 20 minutes later he started eating it again.  Hmm.  Yum.  o.O  (I did stop him…)

Let’s face it, there really is no graceful way to say I let my kids eat off the ground so often that they don’t know when they shouldn’t.  Or to say that occasionally I forget to, until it’s already in my mouth and I’m like, eh, germs are already in now!




They love sunglasses, but only inside.  Because that makes sense.

DSCF2563 (400x300)Ascher has been enjoying his sidewalk chalk.  He scribbles for a bit, then carries it around in its little bucket, then starts throwing it everywhere which is code for, “We’re done with chalk now!”  Wilona’s favorite part is biting it.  EEEEWWWW.

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’13 to ’14 – Duly Noted

Well, given that my single, solitary goal for 2013 was to write a blog post a week and I wrote 87 blog posts I’d say I nailed it.  I mean, according to last year’s New Years post that was my only *documented* goal.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I had any other really formal goals, or if I did I’ve conveniently forgotten them.  :)

Other things I did in 2013

  1. Celebrated my fourth anniversary of being a wife
  2. Celebrated my first anniversary of being a mama.
  3. My walking/running in our neighborhood April-October was mostly barefoot.
  4. Had a baby.
  5. Cleaned up and re-trashed my sewing room several times.
  6. Successfully participated in 31 Days.
  7. Started making homemade bread again.
  8. Found better arrangements for some parts of the house for cleaner, saner function.
  9. Participated in our local Thanksgiving morning race(first race post baby and second race ever!).
  10. Got better at keeping on top of chores.
  11. Started being careful about my grocery budget again.
  12. Ended the year happier and saner than I started it.

This year I’m going to aim a bit higher(higher than one goal, oh my, scary scary.  ;) ), but still keep it pretty simple.

2014 Goals

  1. Read the Bible in a year.
  2. Read 12 educational/informative books.
  3. Blog – 31 Days and at least 52 posts for the year.
  4. Write a list every week of the year. Yes, I’m behind already.

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That Snail is Fast!

We just watched Turbo this evening for the first time.  Ben and I both thought it was quite fun.  Ascher was entertained throughout and I enjoyed(for Ascher’s sake) that it was very, very  low on the scariness scale.  We all enjoyed the soundtrack, including Wilona who bounced and smiled and chattered and waved her arms very excitedly as we all danced along.  Somewhere in the movie someone exclaims, “That snail is fast!” and it becomes the snail’s viral marketing theme song.  Anyway, this post isn’t really about the movie, though we did really enjoy it.

I was thinking about that line briefly though and thought that it kind of sums up how past years always feel, come New Year’s Eve.  You can think of all the things that you stuffed into the past year and think that ok, maybe a whole year did go by after all, but at the same time, weren’t we just here?  Does that make any sense?  Well, it did to me 20 minutes ago, anyway.  :)  Maybe it just seems equally surprising that a whole year might seem to go quickly as that a snail might go quickly.  Nope, still not making sense.  Alright, end of clumsy analogy, hah.

Anyway.  We’re having a mellow but celebratory New Years Eve here.  Got a couple movies from Redbox(Turbo for us all and Wolverine for me and Ben later) and I made some yummy things for snacking purposes.

This dip.


This popcorn. 

And this popcorn.


All super yummy, but the caramel coconut popcorn definitely wins the day for me.  Soooo good.  Off to put babies to bed and gobble up more.  I’ll be back to evaluate 2013(and check if I actually had any goals for it, haha) and to write up a couple goals for 2014.  Happy New Year to you all!



Ghosts of December 23rds Past

For as long as I can remember December 23rd has been the longest day of the year.  My dad works at a hospital and every other year he has to work on Christmas Day, so my parents created the tradition of doing our Christmas morning on Christmas Eve morning.  So, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both big celebration days and the 23rd was the longest day of the year.  Ben and I have enough visiting to do that we’re keeping with two celebration days.  Really, who doesn’t want two full days of Christmas??    I thought, the way everything else speeds up as you age, that the 23rd might start going faster too, but no, not yet.  I still wake up in a fidget of expectation, only now I have the addition of a list of last minute things to do to finish my Christmas prep.

Today I need to

  • Wrap the last few gifts
  • Make a couple pans of Christmas goodies
  • Do a tiny bit of sewing
  • Finish straightening the house for a tidy start to celebrations

Instead I am

  • Eating a candy cane in my Christmas pajamas while
  • Writing this post with a
  • Background movie running with
  • Wilona on my lap playing and
  • Ben and Ascher playing in Ascher’s room

So, one way or another, I guess the day will go.  I don’t remember how I used to spend December 23rds.  I don’t think we had a particular tradition, other than to jump around the house shouting, “Tomorrow is Christmas, tomorrow is Christmas, tomorrow is Christmas!!”.  Ok, fine maybe that was just the tradition of us kids.

Because three days of Christmas must be better than two, I’m liking the idea of starting a “night before Christmas” tradition for our kiddos.  We went on a Christmas light drive last night(our neighborhood actually has some really fun ones!).  I have Christmas jammies for the babies tonight and we might watch a movie or something like that.  Low-key, but I think that’s enough for this year.

Remember I got all those great pics of Wilona by the tree?  I tried to add Ascher in later that same evening.  Good grief.  Trying to singlehandedly take pics of a wiggly, mobile, uninterested toddler and a tipsy baby is really hard.  Here’s a sampling of what I got.

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And this is Ben and Ascher’s snowman fun!

May you all have a happy, blessed and relaxing Christmas, whenever your celebration begins!


This post was partially inspired by this one.  Do you have particular memories of December 23rds?

Sweet Talk

At some point growing up we were introduced to the tradition of making graham cracker houses for Christmas, usually in the two or three weeks just before.  I don’t know when that was, exactly, but I have fond memories of the heaps of candy and frosting that were constructed every year by us, our best friends, and eventually many of the kids in our church(still a running tradition for the church kid’s craft day!).    Our house’s construction materials determined what kinds of candy we’d have available for eating in the next week or so, so the trick was to artfully load up the house and yard with as much favorite candy as possible.  All that to say, on my less creative years my house ended up plastered in m&ms and chocolate bears and wreaths and red hots and caramel, veritable mountains of sugar and gluttony.  I do remember skipping the house altogether one year and, after a failed attempt at a greenhouse, doing a stream of blue m&ms with a graham cracker bridge for the gummy bears and a fence of mini candy canes and chocolate rocks.  Ok, actually I cheated.  All I remembered was the stream and bridge, I found a picture, look!  Circa 2005(I was 17), when we still had real pictures!  (thus the digital photo of my scrapbook page, haha.)

Man, I wish I still had that sweater!

Man, I wish I still had that sweater!

In fond memory of all that, this morning after breakfast Ascher and I decorated graham cracker houses.   I constructed the house for him and put down squiggles of frosting for him to stick candy onto.  Gummy bears never made it past his hands,(yum!) but he was quite willing to use other things for decor.  A couple times he even pointed out to me where he wanted frosting for something particular.  He repeatedly pulled things off to restick them elsewhere and generally had a grand time.  We both had fun and neither of us ate too much candy.  I was really excited to share one of my favorite childhood holiday memories and begin the tradition with my babies.  Photos!

When you give sprinkles to toddlers...

When you give sprinkles to toddlers…

Go Tell It

While shepherds kept their watching,

Over silent flocks by night,

DSC07357Behold throughout the heavens,

There shone a holy light:


The shepherds feared and trembled

When lo! above the earth

Rang out the angel chorus

That hailed our Saviour’s birth:


Down in a lowly manger

Our humble Christ was born

And God send us salvation,

That blessed Christmas morn

Where I found baby Jesus this morning under the cabinet edge.

Where I found baby Jesus this morning under the cabinet edge.

Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.



We three kings of orient are


Bearing gifts we traverse afar


Field and fountain,


Moor and mountain,


Following yonder star.


O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice!
Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia,
Heaven to earth replies.