Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Day of Christmas Joy

Cinnamon Buns

Christmas morning.

I made Land of Nod Cinnamon Buns. Russ made eggs and sausages. All washed down with OJ. YUM!

Christmas Morning

Stockings in PJs. (Lola stole Mommy's Twizzlers.) Lola went down for a morning cat-nap. Got dressed for our day. Opened a few gifts. A couple minutes of playing.

Boys on Christmas Morning

Tried to make the 1 hour task of getting out the door take only 15 minutes. Failed. A few melt-downs. But we managed to drive two country miles down the road and arrive at Bambi and Poppy's house, where all my family was assembled.

Christmas Tree

Russ, Heidi, and Bon Bon

Sugar Plum. Or Bon Bon. Take your pick.

Daddy and Bon Bon


Bambi and Poppy

Shannon and Holly

Ilex and Drake

It wouldn't be Christmas without Holly and Ivy:

Holly and Ivy


Passed out all the gifts.

Lola and Leif


Opened one at a time.

Mommy and Sugar Plum

Leif and Ilex

Played with Daddy's new toy while dinner was being readied.

Boys and Toys

Set the table after the front living room was disassembled and turned into a dining room.

Drake Setting Table

Ilex Setting Table

Ate spiral ham, cheese potatoes, bread dressing, yams, broccoli salad, creamy lime jello salad. Washed down with mango-apple sparkling cider.

Christmas Dinner

Spent the evening working on dishes, puzzles, napping, guitar playing, and eating pie.


Ended the day on a fabulous NOTE.

Ilex and Violin

Sang along with Ilex on the violin, Drake on the keyboard, and Casey on guitar. While the little people put money in their open cases...


A beautiful day wrapped up in a sparkling bow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Fun Time Was Had By All

St. Lucia Celebration

We had a fabulous St. Lucia Celebration with my family. Lola was beautiful in her debut role as St. Lucia, but so much partying wore her out. I'll share more photos soon.

Lola Toes

Baby Toes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Life, Startling Life

Kitchen Helpers

After I put Lola to bed for her morning nap, I got busy making Orange Cardamom Bread for our (belated) St. Lucia Day celebration tomorrow. Leif never leaves my side when there is cooking or baking going on. He was reading the recipe, pouring, stirring.... and kneeding his own little tiny loaf of bread. I adore his cheerful spirit and his little boy hands.

Little Hands

Luke joined us a little late, but he really gets into his work. Baking=sprinkles in his opinion. I think he had more sprinkles than dough. And more flour on his face than on the counter.

Flour Face

I think bread exists to remind us to live slow. I should have listened. I really can only accomplish ONE thing each day. But I forgot.

Bread Dough

Where was Levi? He was in the living room listening to an audio book. His hands have to work while his imagination is engaged....

Levi & Lola

And Little Miss Lola Angel? She was taking a 3+ hour nap. After she woke up and had a snack, I couldn't help taking a gazillion pictures of her. (See the slideshow.)


Leif was trying to be helpful and get her to smile. It didn't work. The boys knew I was distracted, so they brought in all their pillows and blankets and were building a 'castle wall' on the other side of the bed.

Leif & Lola

This might have been the point when I thought, hey, it would be fun to document our day, today! Which is probably precisely the moment the day started to tank.

I ended up with a disaster zone of a house (remember the boys helping make bread in the kitchen? and building castles in the bedroom?), one hundred things on the do-right-this-second-to-do-list, a baby who needed attention, boys who needed parenting, a shirt covered in spit-up, a massive baby-diaper blow-out (and subsequent baby bath and 30 minutes of scrubbing out the brand-new white outfit and bouncy seat cover), piano lessons, ten projects left undone (wasn't I the ambitious one?), and a hubby finally home who had to rescue me (and figure out where to get dinner....).

So, now it is almost 10 PM. I shouldn't be going to bed, but I'm going to anyway. And maybe a miracle will happen and the house will have sorted itself out overnight. And all the to-do list will still get done before my family comes over for dinner tomorrow. Anyone want to place bets?

Pillow Pile

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

~Emily Dickinson

A Few Moments With Lola

Whaaa! It isn't working for me. I guess you have to click on "Picnik Show" at the bottom if you want to see the slide show.

O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yep. Still Here.

Blogging. I was on a stupendous roll, wasn't I? Sssssssssssssss. That's the air whoooshing out of my tires. I still have lots to say (when do I not?), but I've been swamped AND really sick. Appointments, painful sore throat for a week, photo sessions, holiday celebrations, fever of 103, to-do list, antibiotics, boys, baby, hubby at home. Some days I don't know which end is up. Or whether it is AM or PM.

Suffice it to say, I'm still here. I'm not abandoning my little corner of the blog world. I'll be back shortly, but quite possibly sporadically through the end of the year. Or maybe with really short posts. We'll see. I hope y'all are having a positively LOVELY advent season!

Christmas Around the World

Las Posadas

Christmas is a beautiful season of celebration. I love the comfort of familiar traditions, but I also enjoy discovering new ways to share the delights of the season with my children while learning about the world around us.

We read stories, listen to music, and research online to discover how families in other countries celebrate Christmas. Often, we are inspired to go a little further, such as learning how to fold origami cranes with which to decorate our tree.

While we’ve enjoyed our brief ‘visits’ to other countries, three celebrations in particular have become family traditions that we look forward to every year.

I'm over at Simple Homeschool, uh, last week. Head on over to read the rest.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Karstens Family

Karstens Family (2)

Are you tired of photos, yet?
I HAVE to share my beautiful sister and her lovely family.

Ilex, Ivy, and Drake

Karstens Family 2010

Guitar Guys

Sunday, December 5, 2010

She Makes My Heart Sing

Lola ~ two months

Fourteen pounds of pure sweetness.

Lola Colette

Sweet Cheeks

That's more like it.... Second time's a charm. Still no smiles on camera, but we'll get there.
Here's a few of 'the girls' goofing off in front of the bathroom mirror:

Lola and Mom

The B Family ~ 2010 Edition

B Family

Just an itty-bitty sneak peek for my friend, Aimee. We had so much fun doing a family photo session last year, she decided to try it again. A tad bit colder this year...

Fine Arts ~ Hallelujah!

Artist: Botticelli

Learn about Botticelli and his painting, Madonna and Child, here at Garden of Praise.

Composer: George Frideric Handel

Printing: Meet George Frideric Handel at Making Music Fun.

Listening to: Classical Kids: Hallelujah Handel!

Reading: Hallelujah Handel.

Sharing: The Handel's Messiah: Family Advent Reader. (More about this here.)


Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. The kindom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Hallelujah!

Watching: 650 singers burst into Hallelujah as part of a Random Act of Culture.

Christmas Poetry:

A Christmas Carol

by G. K. Chesterton

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O Weary, Weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the Kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O Wear, Weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up and Him,
And all the stars looked down.