the making has begun.
this year we are giving handmade lip balms and hand salves. perfect for this bitter cold weather.
today we will start to make cookie doughs to freeze and then bake at the end of next week. i love this recipe.
we will also make chocolate covered apricots. this week.
hannah coaxed me into giving her the socks i was knitting for her a few weeks early so her toes could be toasty warm with all of the sledding that’s been happening here.
today is hannah’s last nutcracker performance. she has worked so hard and danced so beautifully.
i never tire of watching it over and over.
yet it will be nice to have a bit of a break from it all for the next few weeks.
In Search of a Tree
we spent the day sledding at a friend’s yesterday and then headed out in search of our christmas tree.
the snow and slippery roads didn’t keep us from trekking out and we had the tree farm all to ourselves.
it was bitter cold but we made sure to bundle up and the campfire was a bonus.
we found the perfect little fraser fir, strapped it on the roof and sang christmas carols all the way home.
tonight the girls are out with chris for a hot chocolate/christmas shopping date while i host craft circle.
i hope to finish up a few christmas gifts including a stocking for harry.
the tree is trimmed, the fire is lit, the kettle is on and christmas tunes are on shuffle as i wait for my guests.
Let it Snow
it’s snowing again!
we are supposed to get 6-8 more inches! Programs for the girls have been cancelled today which means chris has off too.
we didn’t get much snow last year so we are welcoming it with open arms.
there is chicken broth brewing on the stove to make soup for lunch and i just started a fire.
later we will head out to get our christmas tree and we will be sure to fit in some sledding too.
oh there has been much merry making and excitement over here the last few days.
st. nicholas paid a visit with some chocolates and goodies and hannah is in full swing with the nutcracker. we got to see her first performance on saturday and it was beautiful!
i shed many a tear throughout the show. my tears were of joy but also of awe, sadness and a bit of release.
this mama here has been a bit weepy these days and having quite a time excepting that my girls are growing up. i have been resisting it actually and it doesn’t feel good. i want to enjoy and embrace each stage that they enter and this weekend i had a bit of an awakening and decided to let it all go. and oh does it feel good!
and to make things even more joyous and celebratory we got snow! and a lot of it.
harry has declared that he is a snow dog. he was out in it for hours yesterday. we had to thaw him out by the fire.
the girls were romping around out there until 10 o’clock last night. you can see a few more adventures in the snow here.
today we make ornaments for our creature tree and head over to a friend’s house with a very steep hill in their back yard for a day of sledding.
what did you do this weekend?
Foraging for Greens
we are on a tight budget this year which means i needed to get creative with the holiday decor.
i am always on the look out and keep a sturdy pair of clippers and a pair of gloves in the car at this time of year.
my girls moan and groan when i swerve off the side of the road for that perfect fallen branch or crop of pine cones on the ground.
my goal is to not buy one single green and so far i am keeping my promise.
today i helped a friend prune back a very overgrown juniper which filled the entire trunk of my car.
i used it to fill my window boxes and pots.
i still hope to make my own garland to go around the front and back door and adorn it with magnolia seed heads.
i saw a bunch of them at the library the other day and plan to fill up a basket tomorrow.
i am also inspired to make a wreath like this one.
what are some of your favorite things to decorate with?
Letting the Santas Out
each year my parents host us all for turkey soup and leftovers on the sunday after thanksgiving.
we sit around the fire while the girls and seamus uproot all of my mother’s santas and reindeer that have been hiding in the cabinet all year.
they love to set them all up in one big scene for marmee to then later scatter around her beautiful home.
my sister and i love to reminisce at the collection. some are as old as me including her german smoker men.
i so appreciate the many things my mom has kept over the years and how they have created tradition and joy for us all.
december 2 envelope: make paper snowflakes by the fire with hot chocolate.
i thought it would be fun to hang the advent calendar in a new spot this year. one we didn’t even have last year!
december 1 envelope was to take out all of our christmas and winter books.
it’s always so much fun to look through all of them. even though we have read them hundreds of times it always feels as if if we have a brand new bunch of books.
many in the pile give me warm and fuzzy feelings from my childhood including tasha tudor’s a doll’s christmas. i remember studying every single detail in each drawing and my mother would even let us get a real live christmas tree for our dolls.
there are so many beautiful books out there for the christmas and winter season. we probably have at least 50 of our own. i have had to hold myself back from accumulating too many or we may need to build a whole new room on top of hannah’s for a library!
i am always drawn to beautiful illustrations and love elsa beskow’s books. a favorite is peter and lotta’s christmas about the christmas goat.
christmas in noisy village is one of the sweetest books ever and this version of the mitten is beautifully done.
owl moon by jane yolen is probably one of my most favorite books at this time of year. it makes we want to out on a night hike in the woods each time we read it.
so now all we need is a new load of fire wood and we are all set for hunkering down each night to read.
yesterday we had fun playing in the snow, sitting by the fire, making molasses candy, having a friend over for a tea party, making soup and eating dinner with good friends.
so it’s that time of year again where i brag about my talented hubby and show off the handmade goodness he gifted to us this christmas. he kept it simple this year and stuck to two gifts. but what amazing gifts they are!
i was more than speechless and in awe when i opened my beautiful ukulele that he built from top to bottom.
i kept asking him “you really built this? the whole thing? even the neck, the frets, everything?!!”
i am truly amazed at his talent. he can build anything.
not only is is beautiful but one of a kind and somewhat romantic if you ask me.
the sound holes are also peep holes that look in to little dancers from an old coo coo clock he salvaged for parts. it’s like i have little people inside dancing to my music.
it is inspired by a cigar box guitar but he couldn’t find a box he liked so he built his own.
and it even can be plugged in to an amp to be electrified. seriously.
he showed it to our cousin who is a musician who immediately ordered two to be built for the new year.
timber and co. now builds musical instruments!
he is designing a cigar box amp to go with it too.
it plays just beautifully and the best part of all is it was built just for me.
the other beauty that he made was gifted to the girls. a gorgeous kick sled inspired by this story. if you have not seen this yet, i highly recommend this magical and beautiful movie.
the sled is impeccably made from poplar, with runners sanded and polished with bowling alley wax. the girls are looking forward to some snow tomorrow to try it out.
we are all still in holiday bliss here, sleeping in and snuggling by the fire, nibbling on sweets, playing with our new games. we are all loving these.
there is always a tray of chocolates and cookies out and ready for friends and family who stop by.
today we are heading into the city to see this. and then out for tea and cakes.
christmas has really just begun at our house.