Monday, December 30, 2013

Holidays around the Rose Garden

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas!


This year was one of the best I have had in a long time.  The celebrations were relaxed, gifts were thoughtful, and the company was good.  I’m not sure you can ask for better than that.  


Due to a few family emergencies that took up my mental space (not to mention Thanksgiving being incredibly late), I felt festive much later than normal.  But when I got to it, I once again used things I had on hand for most of my d├ęcor, only buying a beautiful wreath from a friends scouting group.  Although it was on the cheap, it still had a lot of charm.


Pictures inside the house are horrible this time of year, so most of the ones that turned out well are of our outdoor decorations.  We had no lights up outside the house this year due to breakage (along with “brokeage”, haha), but it still turned out festive and cute.  And I LOVE the bells I purchased earlier this year at a thrift shop.  They are all metal and have a beautiful sound.  It was fun to add them in here and there.


Merry Christmas my friends!  Blessings for a beautiful New Year!



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Advent Days

This years advent activities went off beautifully!  Many of them were tons of fun and we started some new traditions that I am excited about as well.  The kids had a blast getting to open the card for each day and finding out what kind of adventure we were going on.  My favorite thing about doing the advent activities is the memories we get to make as a family.  All those incredible, collectable, stories that start with “Do you remember when….”

Here are some highlights and I added the links where applicable.

Dec 1st: Christmas Movie with Caramel Popcorn


For this activity I actually ended up using this recipe:  Honey Vanilla Caramel Popcorn from

It includes no corn syrup and uses honey instead.  It was SO tasty!  I don’t think I will ever go back to the corn syrup version again, even if we only make it twice a year.

Dec 2nd: Pomander Oranges


Dec 3rd: Dreidel for Hanukkah with friends

Dec 4th: Paper Snowflakes and Stars Crafts


Dec 5th: Journey to Bethlehem


Dec 6th: St Nickolas day

The kids laid their shoes out the night before and I got to treat them with a chocolate coins and a neat little trinket.  Smile  It’s a fun tradition considering Santa Claus coming down the chimney is a ‘fun’ thing at our house and not a ‘real’ thing.  I read the story of the real St Nick and we celebrate his life, completely separately from the Christmas holiday.  (That's where the chocolate coins come in… if you want to read about the real St Nick check this out!)

Dec 7th: Breakfast with Santa at the Station

IMG_7837      IMG_7838

Dec 8th: Family Game Night!

I WISH I had pictures of this.  This was one of those memory nights.  Highlight:

Playing Taboo w ILs and family.  Boys vs girls...

Carlos says "um... Ah... I love this?"
Don says "beer!"
Carlos "yes!"

This game is rigged.

Dec 9th: Get Christmas Tree

IMG_7852   IMG_7857

Dec 10th: Teasel Hedgehog Crafts (Never got to this… teasels are still on the nature table… maybe after break?)

Dec 11th: Going to see Santa scuba diving with some sharks at Zoo Lights

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Seriously… how cool is that??

Dec 12th: Cards and Gifts for Friends

Dec 13th: Going to see Paradosi Ballet Company


Dec 14th: St Lucia Day (make St Lucia Bread)  (Technically it was the 13th, but we ended up making it for Christmas brunch.)


Dec 15th: Go find some snow at Mt Rainier!


This was Ember’s (our 4 mo old puppy) first outing and she was so excited!  It was adorable watching her run around in the snow.  Luckily, we had had some snow just last week, so she wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with it.  She just jumped in and had a blast!

Dec 16th: Shopping for Mommy with Daddy

Dec 17th: Chocolate dipped treats


Dec 18th: Make peg doll nativities

 IMG_7979   IMG_7985

Dec 19th: Make gifts for our feathered friends

Dec 20th: Christmas Cookies for Neighbors


Dec 21st: Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt with fresh hot cider 


Dec 22nd: Ice Skating!!


23rd: Fantasy lights at Sprinker Park


Dec 24th: Light a fire and roast s’mores

Haha!  Joke was on us, burn ban started today!  Smile with tongue out  So we had some boxed chocolates and watched It’s a Wonderful Life together instead.  I cried.  I always do.

And that was it for this year.  It was on to Christmas!

Advent Activities 2009

Advent Activities 2010

Advent Activities 2011 

Advent Activities 2012


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chicken Boy

Here in the Seattle area we have had a nasty cold snap these past few weeks.  Teens or lower at night, high of twenties during the day.  The creek froze over, the tiny bit of snow we got just after Thanksgiving is still on the ground, the grass crunches as you walk on it, and the chicken waterer is frozen all day long, despite the fact that we were bringing it into the house each night.  This isn’t normal at all for us sensitive West Coasters.  So we all got a little stir crazy.  Which meant that as soon (like the HOUR) it started to cloud over and warm up, everyone went outside.  Even the chickens. 


While inside my toddler figured out that he is now big enough to pick up the animals.  My cats were the least happy about this arrangement.  But Luke loves to ‘pick her down’ as he calls it when he dumps our pretty grey cat, unceremoniously into a spot that is not NEAR as cozy as wherever she had decided to nap. 


She has started sleeping in places he can not get too…

like the top of my closet shelves,

or in my kitchen cupboards. 


The puppy is now too big for him to carry… so what is a boy to do?  What could he possibly carry around that wouldn’t avoid him or squirm or be able to jump out of his arms?  Oh yes!  Chickens! 



They don’t seem to mind too much. 


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