Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Family at Christmas

Two pairs of cute feet in cute shoes.
Santa brings us pajamas on Christmas Eve, which is when we have our big family celebrations.
Which means that when we wake up on Christmas morning, we have a pretty laid back morning followed by 11:00 mass.
Flowers from the table on Christmas Eve.
Hugo received a fire truck for Christmas, and I think none of us have ever seen a human being that was so completely happy.  He ran around screaming for about 10 minutes.
A little Christmas morning bed head.
Ben received a T-shirt, and we both sort of loved the label,  (It reads "Size "M" for manly, just like you hope to be some day.  stay rad.")
and a remote controlled helicopter.  He was quite happy to receive an actual toy on Christmas, this man child of mine.
Our three stairstep children, lined up for the mandatory Christmas shot.
Merry Christmas, friends!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas, everyone!  Sending much love to you and your loved ones.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cookies

 A little horseplay after church,
and then it was down to business.  It was a Sunday of cookie baking
We pretty much didn't change out of our aprons all day (isn't he cute in his apron?)
Hugo masters the rolling pin,
followed by cookie cutting.
While the older set goes to town on gingerbread houses.
I love it.
And there were four candles to light at long last.  Ooh, all this waiting is killing me!  Wishing you all a most wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snowflakes, Pierogis, and a Fire in the Hearth

Tending to the fire is one of those primal things he likes to do.
We ladies went to town making pierogies: mushroom and potato/cheese for our Wigilia celebration on Monday night 
My sister Irene and her husband Robbie are home!  Along with their cute tiny baby bump that Lily has named "Spot Dot" or something like that.  This is why three year olds do not get naming rights.
The craft project of the afternoon was snowflake cutouts to decorate the fireplace (thank you perfect snowflake tutorial!  You served us well).
The door kept knocking with a friend or neighbor dropping cookies and cards off.  We started making our rounds in the evening with peppermint bark and cards.
As we headed out the door after dinner to drive around and see some Christmas lights, I couldn't help myself from taking a picture of the fireplace.  Still barely glowing, newly decorated, and awaiting a visitor in just two nights!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Quiet House

 Stockings hung from the plate shelf for now.  Do you think Santa would find them there?
 A second bathroom in the house, which is now of course the one that everyone wants to use.
 A new home for some embroidery hoops.
 Rain jacket and boots haven't found their way to the closet just yet.
Pinecones in a basket, waiting to be used as kindling.

Our house is quiet today.  Quiet and still and peaceful, and not at all the way it usually is with three lively little bodies playing here and there.  The kids are all recovering from this bug, weakened and slow from a couple of days of not really eating.  My "big kids," who haven't napped in ages are falling asleep all over the place like little kittens.  Our house project of the year, finishing our basement and putting in a new bathroom (wow, two bathrooms for our family of five feels pretty revolutionary), has come to a close, and we no longer have the traffic in our home that comes with that sort of endeavor.  We are tired, but thank heavens returning to health, and have all sorts of excitement on the horizon (vising family, a special surprise for Christmas eve, and of course the excitement of Christmas morning right around the corner).  It is a good day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Little Music


Here is a little music for you while I take a brief break as the inhabitants of our home work their way through a stomach bug.  I love love love their CD: my kids like it too, but I really love it (and it goes along with The Jesus Storybook Bible, which is my favorite kids book ever).

Monday, December 17, 2012

On A Day Like Today

A little story from Zosia that we found lying around:  "One day, I saw a colorful tulip.  When I saw it I was amused.  It was so beautiful.  I loved it."

when all of a sudden, the world around us feels uncertain and dangerous and scary, I take great comfort in knowing that in this little house, we can wake up in the morning and choose to be peacekeepers.  

That we will never be able to control the world around us, but we can cultivate love in our own hearts.  

Such love is a discipline: something we have to teach ourselves to do over and over again until it is just what we do.

And it feels incredibly puny and inconsequential, in the face of the tremendous evils that exist in the world, to say "I will love my family today.  I will speak gently with those around me.  I will catch them doing things right and be encouraging and joyful.  This is what I can do for the world."  

Which is deceiving, because really, such love is revolutionary.  It is powerful and transformative and redemptive.  If we go to bed at night having accomplished just this, then it will be enough.

We are holding our little ones close, as all of you are, and praying for the seeds of peace in our own hearts.  Because this is where we start.