Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keeping Busy

Whew! We are coming off of a busy and festive weekend. On Saturday, we went to see Santa. Noah ran toward him this year instead of away, while Isaac preferred to wave from a good healthy distance. We also got our Christmas Tree and put up lights outside right before the first snow of the season rolled through. Sunday morning, we awoke to a winter wonderland. It was the perfect weather for a little outing to meet some real reindeer. Isaac thought tromping through slush and snow to meet these guys was great fun...Noah, not so much. I'm not sure how much memory Isaac has of last winter, but it was like he was experiencing snow for the first time, "I like this!" he kept saying, while meanwhile, Noah was grumbling, "I want to leave."

On the way home from our snowy adventure, we stopped at a craft store where Noah picked out some yarn for a new 'non-itchy' hat, and Curtis picked out buttons for a little waistcoat for Isaac that has been awaiting this finishing touch for some time now. I picked up the yarn for this little vest in a yarn shop on a little side street in Sienna, Italy because the color reminded me of Isaac's eyes. I was worried I wouldn't have enough yarn if I included both pockets (and could not exactly go back for another skein!), so there is only one, but it is just the right size to stash a favorite little toy to keep it away from a big brother.

Last week on our nature walk, Isaac found a lonely cob of corn in a corn field, brought it home, and carefully plucked every last kernel off the cob, placing them in a little container in his kitchen. These kernels have been the favorite plaything of the week at our house. They have been food for his doggy (and probably the real dog as well), eyes and nose for a play dough snowman, and most recently, a shaker (when placed inside an empty oatmeal drum or honey container). "I love my corn, Mommy."

Finally, I have been trying to get motivated to finish a new hat, requested by Curtis, so that I can move on to Noah's hat before the flurry of baby knitting that I am anticipating after we find out in January if we will be welcoming another boy or a girl come May.
And last, but not least, I have been channeling my Dad's woodworking spirit, drawing out plans, making a little sawdust, and wishing he was here to answer my questions. Stay tuned for more on this joint family project...

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This very special boy turned FIVE yesterday. His Golden birthday. Daddy went to school with him and helped him read his favorite book to his class. It was a rousing rendition of Little Red Riding Hood, acted out with wooden figures. The parts of Mother, Little Red, and Grandmother were played by Noah, with Daddy as the Woodcutter (who happens to sound an awfully lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a Chinese accent). Last evening, after a dinner of homemade pizza and chocolate raspberry cake and several rounds of Happy Birthday!, Noah declared it to be "the best birthday party ever."

As Noah's birthday is followed immediately by St. Nicholas Day, we have in the past forgotten to even put out our shoes. St. Nicholas was very good to us though, and always came anyway, filling our shoes with chocolates, nuts, and clementines. This year, thanks to our Advent calendar with planned activities for each day leading up to Christmas, we not only remembered to put our shoes out, but also read some stories about the origin of St. Nicholas. It is important to us that the boys' understand the true meaning of our Christmas traditions, and their patience with longer and complex stories at such a young age amazes me.
We will be sharing more of our daily Advent activities as the month goes on.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finding Our Rhythm

Here I am again after a yet another blogging hiatus. This fall brought with it some highs (Noah started school and we will be welcoming another baby in May!), lows (losing my wonderfully inspiring and brave Dad to cancer), and some new challenges (starting a photography business). Somewhere in the midst of all that, I feel like we lost our daily and weekly rhythm.  But something about moving into the second trimester of pregnancy (no more all-day sickness!), this time of year, and new beginnings has me inspired to renew our routines and establish a new rhythm.

The biggest challenge to our daily rhythm has come about due to Noah attending school in the afternoon, necessitating an early lunchtime for him before school, a second lunchtime for Isaac and me, and snack time and a much needed late-afternoon nap for both kids (and occasionally, me). We have slowly adjusted to this new rhythm and it is finally starting to feel comfortable.

Noah's afternoon school has given Isaac and me some time just to ourselves. Today we went for what I hope will become a weekly nature walk, exploring a nearby trail on an unusually warm (52 degrees in WI!) day.

This December, the creek is still green and flowing, the leaves are still crunching underfoot, and sticks are still magical to a two year old boy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Addiction

I have a knitting addiction, though the hot summer weather always makes me a little less motivated to sit and knit. This is my current work in progress, a simple cable patterned cardigan in a golden-mustard color.

July 17 Addiction

Photo A Day challenge, inspired by Fat Mum Slim.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Golden Hour

Last evening, we loaded up the whole family and went to Curtis' work campus to give Ella a swimming lesson in the man-made pond. I was not really planning on all of us getting our feet (and more) wet, but it was really hard to resist such perfect temperature water on a warm and beautiful summer evening.


Toe Dipping

Dipping toes

Noah liked dipping his toes from his own private rock and Ella turned out to be a pretty good swimmer. However, Noah got a 'wet dog shake' shower and a case of the giggles when Ella joined him on his rock.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


“If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” - Andrew Mason

Just what is it about dandelions that draw us to them? I have to admit, they are a pretty whimsical 'weed'. While at the park last evening, the boys found some dandelions just begging to be blown. Before long they were running around blowing them as fast as they could. Frankly, I was afraid one or both of them was going to pass out.10 Blowing Dandelions 1_edited-2
Noah seems to have become an expert dandelion blower. However, watching Isaac blow dandelions is like watching him blow out birthday candles. He huffs, and he puffs, and...
Blowing Dandelions
10 Blowing Dandelions 4_edited-2
Nothing happens. Except lots of spittle flying through the air. But he is persistent and eventually...
Blowing Dandelions
10 Blowing Dandelions 5_edited-1
Success! He was so proud of himself.

I am sure the park service would be glad to know that we have done our part to ensure that next year's dandelion crop will be a good one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Favorite Color

July 10 Favorite Color

Blue. Which is a good thing when you have two boys, whose favorite color also happens to be blue.

As a side note, I have found that when trying to take photos of Isaac (and probably toddlers in general) it is much better to just snap away while he does his own thing than it is to try to pose him in any way whatsoever. For example,  my vision of this picture was very boring (trying to get him to gaze straight into the camera), resulting in this:
Look at me
while Isaac's take on it is anything but boring. Only he would think of dangling himself backwards over a ball. With his puppy, of course.

Photo A Day challenge, inspired by Fat Mum Slim.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Being gone the entire month of May put of bit of a crimp in my gardening this year. I did get a few things in as soon as possible after we got back, but pretty much missed out on the salad greens. There are herbs, lots of carrots (got those in before we left at the end of April), some sunflowers and cosmos that Noah helped me plant, a few varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I bought as transplants about one day after we got home at the end of May, and a really sad looking bush bean bed.

7 Garden 1
The first sunflower opened today.

7 Garden 2
Thyme and lavender.

7 Garden 3
Cherry tomato.

7 Garden 5A wee bit of salad greens. Most of it bolted immediately in the heat.

7 Garden 6
This is the bean bed. We used seeds from previous years and germination was very poor. I think those tall things are weeds. They looked very much like beans when they sprouted, so neatly in a row, that I left them. And now I don't want to pull them out because the Japanese beetles (HATE those things) seem drawn to them. So, I figure, better for them to be eating the weeds than my beans. The neighbors are probably wondering what kind of new-fangled vegetables I am growing.

7 Garden 7
Basil, which I have been battling the Japanese beetles for. I will probably have to harvest soon or risk losing all of it to the nasty little critters.

7 Ella in Garden
Miss Ella loves sprinting in circles around the (fenced off) garden. Amazingly, when I was outside taking these pictures, it seemed that the temperature was dropping. I am crossing my fingers that this heatwave is finally ending.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On The Floor

5 On the Floor 3
Car ramps on the living room floor entertain these boys for hours. Which is a good thing since it has been 100+  degrees outside!

5 On the Floor 2
Pots and baskets on the kitchen floor. I have been informed that the large basket is their puppy's bathtub.

July 5: On the Floor
Yes, we have a potty in the living room. Because this is one busy boy, and he will not have his play interrupted by having to go into the bathroom to sit on the potty. Heck, we are lucky to get him to use it when it is in the same room he is playing in.

Photo A Day challenge, inspired by Fat Mum Slim.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012



Watching my kids watch fireworks. Isaac lies down, sits up, lies down, sits up, apparently searching for the best viewpoint. Noah lies back and reaches his hands up, as if he can catch the lights streaming toward him.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best Part Of My Day

July 3. Best Part of My Day  
Family meal time. Every night (except when I am at work!). Each night, we go around the table sharing what we are thankful for. Tonight's highlights: Nu-nos (aka noodles. Whatever we are eating usually is at the top of someone's list!), playing with cars, the fact that Isaac now enjoys raw carrots and salads, and that Mommy is home for dinner.

Photo A Day challenge, inspired by Fat Mum Slim.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Self Portrait

In an effort to take at least one new photo a day and resurrect our blog, I am joining the Photo A Day challenge, using the topics created by Fat Mum Slim. I cheated right from the start though. This photo was taken by Curtis, per my request.
July 1: Self Portrait