Thursday, December 22, 2011

winter solstice.

I didn't mean to be gone for this long. We went from G having a sore throat to a roller coaster of scary sick little boy which peaked with the frantic phone calls and urgent care and chest x-rays and febrile seizure...pneumonia. My sweet boy has been very sick. After a week of medicine, nebulizer and lots of love and rest, he is feeling much much better.

So with all of this we have been home for a while now - G is wrapping up medication that requires he avoid any virus exposure/people. So we will stay home through the weekend with lots of fresh smoothies, games, hugs, and holiday kids movies. Just what we need.

Today is the winter solstice. I am thankful we are all happy and well. I am thankful for a dusting of beautiful white snow on this dark day. And I am thankful that the sun will be staying a bit longer every day. Love and light and peace to you all on this solstice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

december days I

These December days. They seem to inch along and yet time flies. It does not seem like December, so we are behind on holiday making/preparations. But that is OK. It looks and feel like fall. Or is it spring? Either way, we keep busy. Card games, board games, science experiments, robot building, reading, crafting (or should I just admit that I have done more craft supply organizing than actual crafting recently? ahem.), music making, microgreens growing, and ... more! What are you working on?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

get moving! winter inside and outside.

This time of year is about moving as much as it is also about pulling in and slowing down for the dark cold winter. With two boys we have to keep moving, no matter the weather!

Both A and G have a lot of energy and love being active. For us that means that while we do still like to get outside in the winter, a lot of what we do is inside (it gets cold in WI in winter!). The challenge is to find a fun variety of things to keep it interesting without taking up much space in our small house. We do have some out of the house action - A has karate a few times a week and both boys take a private dance class together weekly. We also have many other ways to go go go right here at home.

  • We have a small exercise trampoline in the living room.
  • The boys love the yoga ball for balancing, jumping, and tricks.
  • We have table tennis and electronic darts.
  • We love active games like twister or wii sports.
  • We have been known to rollerblade in the dining room and sometimes pull out a futon in the living room for gymnastics extravaganzas.
  • Of course I can't leave out daily dancing to loud music. Every day!
  • The boys have wooden crossbow and bow & arrow sets and a felt target for the front door.
  • We try to get outside for a walk or to a park whenever the weather is do-able, even if for a short time.
  • If it ever snows (!) we will be outside sledding and playing in that too!
  • We have rings to mount in an archway (I just need the anchors!)

This month the boys decided they wanted to do a 30 day wiiFit challenge, and so the 4 of us are doing 30 minutes a day each of yoga, balance training, strength training or cardio. It feels good to get moving even when it is blech outside - and it is a necessity when our winters can be so long.

What do you do in the winter to keep moving and active? What is your favorite in the house get moving activity?

Monday, December 12, 2011


During this dark cloudy no snow December we keep searching for the light. MORE LIGHT!

We follow the sunshine when it does show up, even for a short time. We dance and play and lay in it.

G loves to scoot the trampoline along, following the trail of sunshine, jumping jumping jumping in the bright golden rays.

"I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time."

~Emily Dickinson

Monday, December 05, 2011

'tis the season.

These dark cloudy wet days are perfect for cozying up at home and making things. We have been busy counting down to Solstice, making gifts and decorating. Some traditional things we do every year, some inspired by bloggy friends. All making the house a warm beautiful place to be. 'Tis the season!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Seven! Can you believe it? G is SEVEN today. After my asthma boy had a rough two weeks of being sick, he felt *just* better enough for his birthday overnight at a local hotel this weekend. We went swimming, sat in the hot tub, watched a movie in bed, and went out to dinner. We came back last night and were home today for his birthday. While he is still on the mend, he had a fun birthday full of family and lots of love.

Seven years have flown. G is such a gentle, creative and yet funny guy. I think it can be challenging to be A's younger brother - but G has such a fierce and protective spirit and takes good care of his brother when he is having a rough time. Everything he does involves his big brother, and yet he is still intensely independent and a very unique kid. Every moment of life is big and exciting and fun to him.

I love him more than anything and look forward to the next seven years (14?!?!?!). Happy Birthday sweet boy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

on the oval.

About twice a year we get a special opportunity. We get to skate at the Pettit. The Pettit is one of only a dozen or so indoor 400-meter ovals in the world, and is an official US Olympic training facility. An interesting tidbit is that the Pettit is the only sea-level indoor oval in the US for training, so it is a key facility for athletes who will compete in the 2014 Olympics as the oval in Russia will also be at sea level (Did you know you skate faster in higher elevations than sea level? Higher altitudes have less air density - something like a 3% reduction for every 1,000 feet - which makes for less aerodynamic drag and faster speeds in skiing and skating!). All very exciting for my guys. Very exciting. ;)

Yesterday was the day. It takes some time to get the feet and ankles into the groove, but by the end of the time both boys are on the go. I cannot ice skate with my herniated discs in my back, but my husband Brice loves it and always takes a vacation day to come and skate with his boys. I get to watch and take lots of photos!

G made it around the oval a few times (400 meters may not sound so big, but it is HUGE!) and A whizzed around many more. Super fun day (and only a few blisters)!

Friday, November 11, 2011

clay gift tags.

The gift making craftiness has begun. It is time for list making, gathering supplies, and making. The boys love making things too. One of the things we started this week is gift tags. We change it up from year to year, and this year decided to make some using air dry clay. It is a really simple process and the variations and possibilities are really endless.

For this first round we rolled out air dry clay fairly thinly and G picked out some stamps. Using a napkin ring (it was the perfect size we needed - you can also use cookie cutters of any shape you like) we cut out circles.

G then took a skewer and pierced a hole in the top of each one. He then stamped them. He did one batch that he stamped "a gift for you" and he added some little embellishments with other stamps around the edge for texture. Stamp words, names, designs, whatever you want.

We let them dry for 2 days. The first day they dried stamp up. We then flipped them over to dry a bit on back too.

You can use them as is - the white clay looks nice. Or, you can paint. We wanted an earthy look to go with some of our tea blend gifts, so we squirt a dab of gold acrylic paint on each disc, made sure the paint was in the sunken stamped areas, and then gently brushed/rubbed with a sponge brush to remove most of the paint from the surface (don't forget the back and edges), leaving the low lying words filled with darker paint. G finished a few dozen happily painting and brushing. Let dry. They look earthy and beautiful and are great for hand made gifts.

You can insert ribbon, raffia or twine through the hole and tie onto your gift. You can leave more generic or you can use the back of the disc to write a name (a paint pen works great). We are planning on making a few more batches of them since they look so nice - some that are long and skinny with stamped names going down the front, as well as a few other shapes/variations with stamps (snowflake, leaf, star). Love it!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

first snow.

Ah, first snow. We look forward to it every year. The anticipation and wondering when it will finally come. The air smells different. The birds huddle up in the bushes. The light changes.

Today we finally had first snow. Just enough to play in, build mini-snow people, throw around and do a few snow angels. Just enough to pull out the coats and snow pants and boots. Just enough to lay the garden down. Just enough to come in cold and wet with rosy cheeks and drink warm elderberry lemonade. Just enough to let us know winter is coming.

It will warm up enough to melt and we won't have anything stick for a few more weeks at least. But today was just enough.

Bon Hiver!