Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas!

a quote for you tonight: 
Part of being human and being an adult means we have the ability to strive, to rise up, to not let our circumstances define us but to allow us to define our circumstances.As we come also to a close of another year, I can only leave you with this parting thought:  do not be the reaction to circumstances this coming year; be the visionary and shape your world.  What you cannot shape, call on your faith, remain strong, do the right things even when no one else is, and be someone who is proactive.  Be the goodness, and carry that Christmas mood in your heart for your children.

--From The Parenting Passageway 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

simple advent

i can't believe there are only a few days left of advent.  it's such a nice quiet and calm time of year.  such a wonderful excuse to say no to things, to stay inside the cozy warm house, to drink tea and read piles and piles of books snuggled on the couch.

but with only a few days left until christmas, i suddenly feel like this advent has been so simple that we haven't done anything at all!  our seasonal table is a bit spare--partly due to mary's absence.  we can't find her at all!  the poor donkey has been journeying all alone this season.  the kids don't seem to mind, though, and noah faithfully moves the donkey forward one star every day.  he moves the previous day's star up to the wall and has had a lot of fun designing constellations.

we have really enjoyed our new advent calendar, a lovely gift from grandma.  you can see it in the above picture.  each day has a little booklet that pops out, with a tiny excerpt of a very well-written account of the nativity story.  the kids both love reading the little books (especially isla, for whom tiny-ness has great appeal).  we made our own advent candles this year from rolled beeswax, and i really enjoy them more than the church-issued set.  they smell great.

the lovely luminary in the middle of the wreath was made by isla with help from christina, inspired by an idea in this magazine.  it was very simple and easy and is so pretty lit up with a tealight!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

back where i started

this is where isla spends most of her day.

i'm coming back to this blogger blog, and the plan is to stay here for the long term.  i really liked iweb, but apple is changing things and it will no longer host my lovely iweb-designed blog.  sigh.  i try not to think about all the hours i have spent fiddling with blog design on the computer.  hopefully it can count toward overall learning experience and not just mindless screen time.  right?

anyway.  i'm still trying to reconnect with this old blog and make it the way i want it.  i'm getting there.  (anyone have tips on how to make the my header fill the space?  and how to get my "pages" list to show?)  i'm also trying to slowly re-post all my iweb posts over here, so someday it will be a complete record of my blogging history over the past few years.  but i haven't finished that yet, so if you scroll down we'll skip back in time a bit.  just don't mind that.

apple is also doing away with the gallery where our pictures have been so artfully hosted.  sigh again.  so i'm trying out picasa for posting our photos.  should be fairly straightforward as well.  let me know if it doesn't work right!

thanks for following me around the web, everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

favorite autumn books

there are so many good books for autumn!  i’ve been remembering a bunch of our favorites from past years, and we’ve found a few new ones too.  (if you click on the pictures, you’ll go to our bookshop, where you can read more about the books.  most of these are in our library, so we haven’t had to buy them.  we just check them out over and over!)

Ghosts in the House!Apple CakePumpkin MoonshineThe Little Yellow LeafSouthThe Scarecrow's DanceDay of the DeadOnly a Witch Can FlyA Tree Is NiceChristopher's Harvest Time

what are your favorite autumn books?  we’d love some new recommendations!