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Christmas Eve ten years ago you entered our lives. Born by candlelight to the sounds of Emmylou  Harris,  you had the softest ears and most perfectly shaped head. You were so calm and aware, like you'd made this entry into into the world a thousand times before. You've always known your place, your needs, your own journey. Never one to be persuaded by others, instead you set the example. And I am so proud that it is a noble one. You are inherently good, and I know  that can be difficult for a young girl in a world that is often... well, not so good. But know that you inspire those around you to be better, and that is perhaps the greatest gift a person can offer in this world. You have been my greatest teacher, showing me the ways of the world, children, nature, animals, civil rights, history and simpler times, slowing down, parenting, and so much more. You have been such a great friend to your father and I -and I know some people say you shouldn't be friends with your children -  but I couldn't disagree more. Thank you for the light you've brought into our lives, and for ten years of beautiful, crazy love.

A Whole Lotta Making Going On

We had another serving of wintry weather here today. And as the title says, there was a whole lotta making going on. But as much sewing and decoupaging and knitting needs to happen around here in a very big way... there was no time today in my little craft room with the door shut where I magically performed the work of ten elves. Today was spent with my two favorite people, class was canceled this morning so we've been home all day. I so love being home all day.

But still, things were made... there were the flexible flyer tracks made in the street...

Gingerbread dough was made for house building and decorating...


This handsome fella was built as our house pieces cooled after baking...

Then we were back inside for the first phase of construction, creating the basic structure and candy sampling...


We've been puttering around waiting for the "glue" to dry, now it's time to decorate so I'll sign off. Though I should have put in about eight hours of crafting time today, I just didn't. I hung out with my family and we had such a festive time, so no regrets there - just a long list of things to do still!

Happy making this week my friends, this mama will be burning the midnight oil for sure. I'm checking out of here for a while - well, do look for photos - but no words. There's just no time to talk! Have I told you Emily's birthday is on Christmas Eve? So there's that little detail too. It surprises me every year - the energy we put into trying to separate her day from the holiday buzz. It's rather hard to do but we do try, and in the end I think she feels that.   

Kettle Corn


For the past seven years Friday night around here has meant one thing - movie night. It means hot cocoa and popcorn for dinner, yes, that's right. It's an indulgence that we try to balance out by serving all of the right foods throughout the day. It doesn't always work out perfectly, but movie night carries on regardless.

This Friday Adam could not be home so I needed to run the show. Typically he orchestrates the entire evening, everything from movie selection, to popcorn making and any audio/visual technicalities (I am always rearranging  and consequently disconnecting our set-up) and any other details. Movie night is his territory, and his popcorn is really, really good. I had some pretty big shoes to fill. Nobody was more surprised than I was when things turned out rather delicious! I thought I'd share my recipe with you - movie night or not, it's a quick snack to make for casual company stopping over this holiday season, especially children.



Kettle Corn
1/3 avocado or coconut oil 
1 cup popcorn
1/3 cup sugar (we use evaporated cane juice crystals)
sea salt to taste

In a heavy large pot with tight fitting lid heat the oil on med/high heat, add popcorn and cover. When the first kernal pops add sugar and cover again. Shake the pan often as popcorn pops ( I hold the lid on the pan with oven minutes on my hands and shake away!!!). When the popping slows to 2-3 seconds between pops dump it all into a really large bowl and salt immediately to your taste.

Hot Chocolate with candy canes optional!

An Advent Basket


Is it bad to have an advent basket? For several years I've thought about the perfect advent calendar. Actually, most of you have them, I've seen them on your blogs - and on your neighbor's blogs. Oh my, they are beautiful! But yet another autumn has passed and something spectacular and of heirloom quality has not been created by my hands. I was at Starbucks Saturday night (the first day of advent) with some girlfriends (must do that more) and we ran into another gal who was purchasing a Starbucks advent calendar - it was cute! I thought of picking one up and calling it done for the year, but Janet purchased the laaassstt ooonnee!

Remember Cabbage Patch Dolls? How there just weren't enough in the world to go around? My parents totally did the wait in line at 5am thing just to fight the masses and still left without scoring the coveted doll. Can you imagine the pressure of coming up empty handed on the one request your child had? I'm sure my mom and dad would say there were plenty of other requests, all I remember is desperately needing that large headed baby that was born in a garden and came with an authentic birth certificate. But this is about advent.


This little basket came together thanks to the inspiration I found over the weekend while thumbing through a 1997 December issue of Martha Stewart. By the time I had everything together I was a couple of days late, but Emily is enjoying it all the same. The experience of patience and excitement all rolled together. I find the older she gets the longer I try to make the Christmas season last - the longer I try to make everything last really. She's enjoyed opening tiny treats each morning; a beeswax candle, a piece of dark chocolate, a Burt's Bees chapstick, a coupon that says I will do her chores for one full day whenever she chooses. She pretty much flipped with excitement when she opened that this morning. She doesn't know it yet but there's another coupon in there - somewhere around day twelve - that says Adam will do her chores for a full day too... he doesn't know either. Sshhh, it's a surprise for both of them...

May you find joy in patience and little things this holiday season.