Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our Day

Big Idea:  home made cinnamon rolls:

(don't worry I only had to use the glue gun a little)

I took a little break to nebulize Lucy.


Hmf.  Now to deal with this:

When you are too sick to go outside you get to lick the beaters!

I'm hoping to finish this project - in my lifetime.

I hope your Saturday is productive or restful, whichever you need most!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thinking ahead

This is a painting I did last week for my father in law.  He's an entomologist/chemist and an avid gardener.  I thought this caterpillar was perfect.  When he opened it there was some confusion about what the painting subject was, someone thought penguins.  Really?  Penguins?  I'm trying to imagine the circumstances of me doing a painting of penguins.  It could happen.

This year I sent out New Years cards.  I loved coming home to a stack of Christmas cards to open.  Then it occurred to me:  I didn't get mine done before I left the country.  OH NO!

These were inspired by an article in my favorite magazine Smithsonian. (ok, my second favorite after People).  I love, love, love a time capsule.  I have always been fascinated with them and have actually made a few for myself and I made one for each of my girls.  The ones I made for my girls are full things from the year they were born that I hope will be very interesting in 30 - 40 years.

So, the card is a photo time capsule of our year. I think I like this idea and I might make it a tradition.


Lent is on my mind.  I didn't give up anything last year but I have given up everything that can be given up: caffiene, alcohol, meat, t.v. and  sweets (that was harsh). My favorite was giving up listening to anything in the car.  Ahh the silence, I could use that now.

So, for 2010 I am going back to 1995,  I'm giving up the computer. No checking of e-mail, no blogging, no facebooking, flickring, allrecipes searching and no following rabbit trails from blog to blog.

There,  I said it.

Would anyone like to join me?  If you do, I will have you over for dinner, coffee, dessert - whatever during lent, I mean, after all we are going to have so much time.

Maybe I'll even start dressing my kids in clothes that match!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flying by

The other night while I was out for a chilly tricycle ride with the girls I ran into my neighbor who commented " Oh I'm sure you're glad to have them out of that stroller".  I felt like I had been stabbed.  Really.  I miss those days. Those two sweet girls in the double stroller. I got some sustained cardio for sure but I'm reminded that I wished it away at the time.

Looking through all of my photos for a picture of Betsy I saw some photos made on hard, trying days.

  But there were so many more days that were sweet and lazy.  I'm afraid of the school year/organized sports/ I'm too cool for you Mom years . kindergarten.  I want to savor the minutes. the days. the mornings of jammies till Sesame street, just wandering around the neighborhood trying to find something to do.

My mom tried to tell me that these are the the best years of my life.  Why is that so hard to recognize when you are in the midst of it?

Time is flying by.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Resoloutions 2009

Last year I needed a new "mom friend".  As many of you reading are aware...YOU LIVE TOO FAR AWAY.

Ok.  now that I got that off my chest.  I resolved last year to make a new mom friend and did I ever.  My neighbor Betsy.  I love her.  Today is her birthday. I'm not even sure which one.  32 maybe?  She's so wise it's hard to believe that she's so young.

Between Betsy and I are 6 houses, it's a short walk.  Between us are 5 children under 5.  Betsy has a 4 year old daughter and twin two year old boys.  Whew! The odds of all five being well at the same time- slim.  So we talk on the phone, e-mail random thoughts at random hours and read each other's blogs.  She's an excellent and economical cook. (She's the source of the granola).  She gardens, sews and budgets. She has a servant's heart and her faith is the center of her life.  My kind of gal - oh and of COURSE she's a Dansko wearing fiend.

Looking through my bazillions of photos I have just these of her: (are you wearing the same shirt, green shirt project eh?)

And here are all of our kids together.  See why we talk on the phone during "tv time?"  There's a lot of needs there.

I admire and appreciate her on so many levels

But this year, more visits please.

Happy thirty-something birthday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nebulous New Year's Resolutions

I am still trying to decide just what I am resolved to do in 2010.  My recent trip opened my eyes to how differently other people live,  how "soft" I am both literally and figuratively.

As soon as we arrived in Munich we took the subway to our hotel, dropped off our luggage and headed back out.  It was 5 pm on Friday, people were everywhere.  We headed to the Christmas markets in the heart of downtown.  As we walked around enjoying it all, it slowly dawns on me, no one is talking or texting on a cell phone.  Not. one. single. person.  We had been on two long subway rides and now were in a big crowd of hundreds of people.  This happened in Munich, Nurenburg, Prague and Vienna.  I started really looking for the arm cocked up to the ear and the loud, obnoxious talking... out of 12 days I might have seen/heard 6 people on cell phones.

You know me, I had to get to the bottom of this.  After talking to some locals in all the cities I realized that cell phones are expensive, the people I talked to said phones were seen as for "emergencies" and another person I talked to said that they (Austrians) think that it is more important to talk to the person that you are with than to be on a phone with someone else.  This person also commented that chatting endlessly on the phone was very "American" and it made it easy to not have to listen or pay attention.  I had to think on that one for a while.  But she's right.  How many times do I call people for the last directions to their home instead of listening the first time.  I never walk out of the house on my way to the grocery store without telling my husband " I have my phone in case you think of anything else".  Why can't we just "think" now?  Why can't I remember where people are going or what they might be doing instead of that usual phone call of : "whatchadoin'" or worse, "where are you?".  It became so clear to me the other night that we  I use cell phones because I am so impatient.  I call the husband if he's 20 minutes late.  I want minute by minute updates if I have to meet someone, pick up the kids etc so that I might be able to squeeze that last errand in.  The other night I called my sister from the movie theater because she was 7 minutes late.  Not late to the movie mind you, 7 minutes from the time we said we would meet.  How long would I have waited 10 years ago?  By the way, she was about 30 feet away from me when I called her. 

 Am I giving up my cell phone?  No.  I am giving up using it as a crutch.  I am making plans and sticking to them.  I'm going to listen to directions, people's plans, I'm going to remember what I tell people and I am going to try to be more patient.

The American infection.  The American sickness.  That's how several different people from several different countries described the influence of American culture and capitalism.  I realized that I am a trained consumer, my thoughts about my purchases in Europe were dictated by getting a *good deal* on something *unique*.   Not on quality, utility, durability or, heaven forbid, necessity.  Just looking at the attitudes toward Christmas gift giving  the second I got back home - those people are right - we are sick.   (please feel free to disagree)  A few years ago I helped a co-worker pair up "secret Santa" for her church womens group.  (for the record I hate secret santas but that should surprise no one).  I was appalled, appalled I tell you, that under the hobbies section of the questionnaire people wrote:  shopping.  Really?  That's a hobby? 

I would argue that I'm not a huge consumer, but my bank account would argue otherwise. 2010 is going to be the year of doing, not consuming.  For so long it's been hard to do lots of creative things because of the kids but it's always easy to buy supplies and sometime just looking at a stack of fabric or a blank canvas gives me the idea that I have done something.  That, my friends is a lie.  Doing something is doing something.  Buying something is just preparing to do something.

My goal is to be out of supplies by Jan 1. 2011.

Good night what kind of weirdness is going to be made.  I can't wait.

I have nebulous ideas for keeping it real in 2010.  That one scares Jonathan.  He thinks I'm real enough!

Next up: Back to our regularly scheduled photo-heavy programming.


Monday, January 4, 2010

December. What happened.

So, blogger tells me the have some new format which will help with my photo uploading.  So here goes, I'll let you know at the end of the post if it is any better. (I know, I know, you can hardly wait to read ahead)

So Christmas happened here.  The girls had fun, enjoyed lots of activities at our church and I think next year everyone will be big enough to really have a good time.
Oh and I plan on being in the country next year too.

With all of the planning for Christmas, the end of school, my trip, baking and making I forgot one important thing.  I forgot to let Anna pick out presents for us.  On Christmas Eve she was running around the house, picking out things for us, putting things in bags and sticking them under the tree.  On Christmas morning she stopped opening her gift and gave us our "gifts".

Oh that girl!

Little Lu had her birthday celebration in early December.  She looves some icing, just like her mama.

We had the pleasure of lighting the advent wreath one Sunday morning. Look how sweet:

Now for the reality:

I remember so clearly when she was my girls' age.  Here she's joking about this baby of Anna's being her "American Girl" doll.

The final thoughts are that I may like this new interface.  Maybe I'll post more!

Ok. let's not get crazy.

Next up:  Resolutions inspired by Europe.


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