Yesterday was the epitome of a perfect day. First, it was a Sunday and we love Sundays. Second, it snowed all day long so we got to enjoy the beauty of falling snow all day long! We had snow right up through Christmas Eve, then it warmed up and rained all day Christmas, so it was especially nice to get more snow.
So here we go, we took out the children and the new camera to the pretty much one and only sledding hill around.
Lily is happy (this won't last long--you'll see why).
Getting ready for a run.
Climbing back up (er, crawling).
It's time for Lils and I!
But we hit a big bump at the bottom and toppled out of the sled, so she was not at all happy with that.
We moved over to where the hill wasn't so big.
Eric's run. Lily is ready to give it another shot. She and Grace get ready to go.
And this moment right here pretty much ruined Lil's sledding time. She got a faceful of snow. My poor love!
Calvin loved the snow. He was so happy to stand in it and watch the sledders. He said 'uh oh' every time anyone would take a tumble.
We ended Lily's misery and splurged on a pizza and came home to eat and have hot chocolate. We hope for more snow on a weekend soon, and we will try again. Lily may just watch though (or we'll just pull her and Calvin around in the sled).
The presents got wrapped on christmas eve by Rob and I and it didn't take too long at all. We really strived to not give too much, just a few presents for each child. And I realized as we were wrapping that only one thing for the children was plastic (the mp3 player). It wasn't a conscious decision to NOT buy anything plastic (after all, my hoops are plastic, as are the bilibos we love and my new digital SLR (!!!)), but as I strive to live in accordance with my values--basically rejecting mainstream toys and marketing and commercialization of children--that's how it played out.
I was happy to realize too that we saved money while giving special things--I got the PLAN rocking horse and deluxe road set both used, the MP3 was used too, and the books and train tracks were purchased at independent stores, which is really important to me too. We didn't buy a single toy in a chain. We're making strides and will continue on this path, and it is exciting.
The day began at 4 am. Yes, 4 am. Oh, the magic and wonder!
Grace cleverly re-gifted toys to her brother and sister that she didn't want anymore. Lily loved getting the pink bilibo.
our gift exchange--a coupon book for Rob from Grace for things like mowing the yard, a half an hour of piano time, playing a game of tennis...I'm guessing she is going to babysit for the piano/tennis ones??
We read 'The Shortest Day' and Grace's wonderful St. Lucia book. We decided that next year on Dec. 13, Grace will dress as St. Lucia and we'll have a St. Lucia celebration.
Eric was so proud to give each sibling a small cloth doll that he had picked out downtown.
Grace made me a necklace!
The new long awaited jammie pants!
I loved how happy they were with them. They (the jammie pants) are so simple and sweet (well, so are my children).
Eric says the blessing before we eat.
Vegetarian Shepherd's pie-mmm!
Calvin enjoyed playing with cranberries (and later throwing big handfuls of them).
Yesterday I sewed 4 pairs of jammie pants for solstice presents. Tonight we are having a solstice party--we're going to bake cookies and have them with cocoa as we read The Shortest Day. I tucked the jammie pants away for tonight, it will be fun to celebrate the return of the light with my loves.
The TV is off and doors are closed. Christmas music is playing softly.
Children are enjoying a stack of their library books.
Can't wait to read these! The Chicks Christmas is by Felicia Bond, author of Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, which I adore. The Story of Holly and Ivy is by Rumer Godden, and the other little book is Christmas Is a Time of Giving (c. 1961) by Joan Walsh Anglund. Sweet illustrations!
In other news--I am going to be starting a photography project in January that I have wanted to do for a long time. I will need to have a good camera though (no offense to my current camera, you have served me well. your pictures are not clear though. I'm so sorry). So, for photography people, what do you have? I am looking at Nikons and Canons. Nothing terribly fancy. I don't even know what that kind of camera is called, the kind with lenses and stuff. Pro cameras? I pretty much say 'you know, the not-point-and-shoot-kind.'
I had a coupon code for Sweet Papery and got this cute stamp. I've wanted one for years! sweet papery
I love it. Lily did the cutting there.
And I've been meaning to make this, from Martha Stewart. Hint: you need to double up the pipecleaners when you make the 'snowflakes', otherwise they're way too flimsy. At least the pipecleaners I used.
And I am trying to get my mending done. I wondered how best to patch the 4 holes (one on each top corner of my jeans pockets) and then I got some embroidery floss and sewed side to side and then wove it in the length of the hole. I'll see how it holds up--hopefully no more underwear peeking through!
And this (darn fuzzy camera!)...I saw this a couple years ago now somewhere--it's like magic I swear. To tie a knot--put the needle point facing the thread end as shown.
Wrap around a couple times, hold on and slip down the needle and length of the thread.
And you have a knot! It always stops about an inch before the end of the thread. Amazing!
I spent a lovely morning with the children going to a library book sale and to Goodwill (half price day). They each took some of their money and purchased these nearly new books at the library book sale to donate to a toy drive. I got lots of books that I had been wanting to read, or that I have read before but don't own, or that look intriguing.
At Goodwill I got these cute vintage (or vintage looking anyway) plastic mugs, 4 corelle bowls and 6 saucers, 2 small milk glass dishes, a floral sheet, and a sweater for me to wear and one to felt up and make something out of. And an expressiva nursing top (black w/ floral) Also, more books!
I spent a total of $36 on the dot for all of this. I'm striving to live in accordance with my values, some of which I wrote about here, and this feels good. It's recycling, it's being over the entitlement of 'it must be new to be good enough for me', it's being a good steward of my money, it's treading lightly on Mother Earth, it's being mindful and having a purpose in what we're bringing into our lives. It's all of that, plus it's pretty fun!