Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

We gave our kids a choice this Christmas- Christmas presents under the tree, or plane tickets to Oregon for some family time.  So I got off the hook this year for Christmas shopping.  And I really loved it.  Because some things can't be bought from a store....






We did open stockings this morning but there was a rule that things had to be created and made.  So little Christmas elves' workshops have been filling the house with puddles of glue, bits of wire, trails of ribbons and scraps of fabric. And there may have been some lemon curd made to top blueberry, pecan scones.



Christmas morning will find us leaving the house before the sun and hopping on a plane, and then a train, to more adventures in Oregon.  More pictures to come.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

A foot of snow yesterday blanketed the winter brown in sparkling white. Just in time for Christmas.



Having fun with textures from Kim Klassen. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


Shannon Phillip's Peppernut Recipe:

1 1/2 C Sugar
1/4 lb Butter
1/4 C Oil
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoon hot water
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 C flour

~Combine sugar, butter and oil; beat well.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.  Add the soda dissolved in the hot water.  Add vanilla.  In separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and spices.  Add to the sugar mixture.  Beat until stiff then add the 1/2 C flour and mix by hand.  Chill dough (overnight is best).  Roll and cut with thimble or small cookie cutter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Yum.  Share with friends.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry and Bright

Sometimes people ask me what our holiday traditions are, and I usually don't know how to answer.  Because we don't really have any traditions.  We love trying new things more than we love any particular dish, so the food is always different.  The only ornaments that stay the same are the ones the kids bring home from school.  You know, the little foam trees with their school pictures in them?  I love those. 

But tonight I rolled out peppernuts with Chloe.  Peppernuts were a holiday tradition for my best friend's mom.  Every year she rolled out hundreds of the crispy little cookies and placed them in cute tin cans to give away.  She's gone now, and as I rolled them out tonight with my own daughter, I was remembering her sunny kitchen and contagious Christmas joy. 

We were cutting out our cookies though, with a Texas shaped cookie cutter bought as a reminder of our time in Houston, when it struck me that we DO have traditions.  But our traditions are different than doing the same thing every year.  It's a little bit like stone soup.  They change every year, because as we add new memories and friendships, our celebrations are constantly changing to reflect the new pieces. 


As we absorb a little bit of the new into the old, and make something of our very own.  But I guess that sorta fits us.  After all, we don't always even stay in the same house, same job, same city.  We are constantly being shaped with new experiences and people that share a part of our journey.  And maybe we will leave a bit of ourselves in their traditions, as they have grown into ours.

typewriter button med  Linking up with Storytellers over at A Picture Book Life

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Elmo and Dora

My brother and his family are staying with us for a while.  My little niece and nephew are 3 and 1 1/2ish.  Chloe is really, really, loving the chance to be an "older sister".  All that pent up mothering instinct is finally able to come to the front.  Roscoe is trying really hard not to look like a 90 pound wolf, but I'm afraid that he can be a bit startling to a little bit when they run around the corner and find themselves face to face with his hairy nose.  Although, my little nephew had no problems pushing him out of the way, so he could steal a bite of the dog food Roscoe was working on. 

Our house is starting to take on that certain patina of a house with toddlers again.  The Christmas tree ornaments have all migrated to the top of the tree to avoid little reaching fingers.  I am finding plastic french fries in unexpected places.  Shoes that fit in the palm of my hand crowd for space by the door,  and Dora the Explorer is back to doing her thing in the living room.

The best part though, was scene I found tonight in Chloe's room after saying yes to books in bed until  lights out...

Berenstain Bears!


 Aidan found the Elmo flip book.

Hope your holidays and filled with laughter and love.  And maybe a little chaos from sticky fingers to make it extra special.


Monday, December 5, 2011


I miss my garden.  I had to buy some kale today for the first time in a long time.  I have a few precious tomatoes left that are wrapped in newsprint in the bottom of the fridge.  I had to buy some eggs too because the girls are not laying as much with the onset of shorter days.  But even though I miss the garden producing, I really love this season.  I love the snow.  And fir trees, Christmas lights, and pomegranates.  I love hot cocoa and coffee on a cold day.  And games of Monopoly that last forever.  (I love homemade pickles too, but that's not really relevant to this post.)  Then there's sledding.  I love sledding.  But not nearly as much as the kiddos do. Sledding brings a whole new level of euphoric happiness to our younger set that is hard to top.  It tends to make everything right in their world. Probably there would be more world peace if people went sledding more often.


Here's Chris getting in on the goodness, until that unfortunate part where he ran into a stump.
Roscoe was nearly delirious with happiness chasing the sled.  And I was happy to let him run down the hill and drag me back up because having a 90 pound exhausted dog is way better than his normal hyper 9-year-old-boy-with-a-tail state.

Seriously, look at that face.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Colorado Sunset

For just a few minutes the other night the sky looked like this.  It was a step outside and catch your breath kind of beauty. 

And the camera doesn't even do it justice.