Saturday, January 21, 2012

Six : The Snow Party

We've been busy celebrating Peter! His 6th birthday was yesterday and it has been a snowy and sugar-filled two days.

Getting treats ready for school on Friday...

Friday night celebration with the Flemings...

It actually snowed Friday night through Saturday morning! Which worked well with our snow-themed party this morning.

We decorated with snow garland (very easy - pom-poms and thread) and paper snowflakes.

We made bird feeders (no photos - will take some soon)
and built snow forts with sugar cubes and snow-dough (white playdough with glitter added).

We played a few games...

Pin the carrot on the snowman. Here's the birthday boy posing for me after all his friends left.

A snowball fight.

And "Cold Snowball" - Hot Potato, but with a snowball.

We had cake and hot chocolate.

And sent our friends home with mugs of hot cocoa and marshmallows. These are dollar store mugs personalized with Folk Art "Enamels" paint, and stuffed with mini marshmallows and hot cocoa.

Tonight, the five of us went out to dinner to complete the celebration.

And this marks the end of birthday season for us! Whew! Until November...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wishing-for-Snow Painting

We are so ready for a big snow.

For a couple of hours last week we had some snow flurries. It was pretty, but we want more.

So, today we created a little of our own. Peter was home from kindergarten again. His symptoms are basically gone, but he is tired - just plain worn out from fighting bronchitis all week. But an art project? Well, we can always find some energy to create.

First, we started with a 8x10 canvas I found in the basement. I asked him to draw his horizon line and an off-centered/off-the-page tree (after I encouraged him to look at the trees outside). Using acrylic craft paint, he painted the blue sky, then the gray tree, making sure to leave a little drying time in between colors.

Then he painted the snow. And while it was still very wet, he sprinkled epsom salt on the snowy parts. I happened to find some leftover espom salt in the basement leftover from making snowy candles. Glitter would work, too.

Lastly, as an afterthought, he added a cardinal. I love that cardinal.

Now, if we just find some of the white wonder outside.

Coming Inside

The long weekend was January cold. Most of our time was spent by the fire with games and books and Legos and paper snowflakes. Perfect.

Peter was still sick. His weekend was more of a mixture of naps and coughing. Poor kid.

:: Peter is having a snow-themed birthday party this coming weekend. We all had some fun helping make a few decorations. We're going to need a lot - no real flakes in the forecast.

:: naps and books

:: Will made all three versions of this Lego Creator house.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Credo Magazine Book Giveaway

My husband would love to win these three (and sweetly asked for me to help him). Perhaps you would like them, too?

Here is the link - Credo Magazine: This Week's Book Giveaways

From their site...

Reading Scripture with the Reformers, by Timothy George

Justification: Five Views, Contributors: Michael Horton, Michael Bird, James Dunn, Veli-Matti Kaerkkaeine, Gerald O’Collins and Oliver Rafferty

Galatians, Ephesians, by Gerald Bray

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Even the Cloudy Part : 1000 Gifts

Early evening on a Tuesday and Will is practicing piano. Hannah is diligently going about her homework. Peter, who stayed home sick from school, is sacked out on the sofa. Chicken is roasting in the oven, smelling heavenly. And I had to find a moment to stop here, needing to jot down gifts, moments, words... before I too quickly forget.

Sounds and smells and routines of home

His sweet prayer: "Thank you, God, for today. The sunny part, and even the cloudy part."

Carol and David and the birthday lunches to which they love to treat my children.

Pineapple and mint.

Time with a mom a few years behind me seeking to learn more about homeschooling.

The first flakes of the year.

Tender family conversations. Listening to brother and sister encourage a discouraged brother.

Dinner Club in our home.

January spring days.

Peter ringing that bell with JOY!

All the time these two spend laughing.

The kids' school Christmas program... on the 11th day of Christmas.

Hannah had a little speaking part that I almost missed... and she sang a duet that was a total surprise to me!

Will's class

May B.

A very talented friend, Caroline Starr Rose, is celebrating the release of her debut book today - May B., a middle grade, historical novel-in-verse. Amazon named it one of the Best Books of the Month for Kids. Isn't the cover beautiful?!

Love Little House? Love poetry? Get this book.

Here's a description from Amazon:

I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

And a few glowing reviews:
Heroes come in all sizes; my newest hero is a pint-sized girl named May B. Caroline Starr Rose tells May's story in simple, moving verse that captures the joy of family, the gloomy isolation of a dirt soddy, and the determination of one scared but indomitable young person. May B. is a girl you'll be proud to know.
- Karen Cushman, Newbery winner
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2011:
"As unforgiving as the western Kansas prairies, this extraordinary verse novel—Rose’s debut—paints a gritty picture of late-19th-century frontier life from the perspective of a 12-year-old dyslexic girl named Mavis Elizabeth Betterly… May B. for short. If May is a brave, stubborn fighter, the short, free-verse lines are one-two punches in this Laura Ingalls Wilder–inspired ode to the human spirit. (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 5, 2011:
"Writing with compassion and a wealth of evocative details, Rose offers a memorable heroine and a testament to the will to survive."
And more... Steady Mom posted about May B. today.

Ordering a copy for Hannah now...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mid-Week Thanks : 1000 Gifts

Wanted to add to my list a few things I have scribbled here and there and in the margins of my journal. Beautiful gifts to be counted. Even if it is a Wednesday.

Oranges and Grapefruits. Warm sunshine in winter.

Thoughtful questions. The gentle way He stirs their hearts.

Beautiful thick gray clouds.

Handwritten notes.

Sun rising orange and pink on the trees.

Those pistachios that came in a gift basket.

Puffy coats.

Hours and hours of getting lost in imaginary play.

A truly amazing birthday meal.

Laughing til I cry.

Games by the fire.

The sound of laughter and that Trouble dome popping.

Books that make us laugh.

Winter that draws us inside.

A wedding. An early homecoming. A baby. All wrapped up for her... by Him.

That He makes everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Very Happy New Year to You!

Happy 2012, friends!

It was a fun and festive New Year's Eve for us. We went out - I mean we got a sitter, got dressed up, and went out. It's usually a simple dinner at home celebrating with the Flemings. Not this year. Our dear friend Andy celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday with a big New Year's Eve bash at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Fun, Fun, Fun.

I took a few photos. It was dark and these photos are pretty bad... oh, well.

That's the birthday boy next to me.

Love these ladies.

Love this man that I met 16 years ago on New Year's Eve in Times Square.
And I love this "Ok, I need to preach in the morning so let's go" look I got at exactly 12:01.

Love this city...

and the beautiful drive home.

Happy, Happy New Year!


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