On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever

Theoretically, I went to work today. I putzed around, cleaned off my desk and responded to an email or two before the BRIGHT SUN could no longer be ignored. I swung by home to pick up the wee gals and furry pups and off we went to a nearby beloved hiking spot.
We VERY nearly summitted... and would have had it not been for the sky to begin to show the subtle beginnings of a beauteous sunset. A sign for me that we should take a quick rest and then turn around and head back before too much darkness or cold set in. 

Only had my phone camera on me, so you can't really see the four white capped mountains in the distance, but we could see them clearly... Fantastic!

I could almost hear Lucy saying, "We used to do this like 4 times a week before the two legged kids came along, you know." I know, Lu. I know.

Dude. That was a serious hike and nap.  FEED ME! Latkes and applesauce! Happy Hanukkah!

Visions of Sugarplums Danced In Their Heads...


Here Comes The Sun!

We had a merry Solstice Celebration last night... 

Winnie made Daddy a pillow!

And we got dollies, whom we love.

After a yummy meal, we spent the longest night of year camped out in our living room!
Welcome back, Sun!

And then, what can only be described as a PERFECT holiday treat: a fancy holiday tea at a local b&b thanks to Aunt Jenny. Mark Lewis was the guest storyteller (as seen on Grimm and as heard in the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland) and he was phenomenal! 

Note my extended pinky. 

more soon. Mama's off to finish off a work day or two and then take some time off!! xox, all... hope your days are full of gratitude and joy!


Because we absolutely have a 300:1 ratio of Hours of Winnie On Camera to Hours of Jez on Camera
here's a little solo time for the second born
("Jinger" Bells is not unique in its inclusion of the phrase "my booty"--every song gets so blessed when sung by dear, sweet and always appropriate JezMonkey.)

Happy Holidays!


Musical Musings...What IS it about?

"Is it about a baby, I never ever knew?
Is it about a guitar that is covered in blue?"
ji ji ji ji ji ji ja. ji ji ji ji ji ji ja.


Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holidays have arrived with bells on at chez nous. There is no more quietly slipping through or wondering if "they get it." 

They get it. Big Time. SO...we have an Advent Calendar (counting down to the First Day of Winter--Winter Solstice), a Menorah, a Christmas Tree and a holiday music soundtrack everpresent in the background.  Don't get me started on Kwanzaa. I don't even want to know about it, because I'm sure there are some awesome, crafty, delicious traditions involved and for the love of the sweet baby jesus, we have enough going on already. 

And so, let the good times roll. The theme of this weekend was Nutcracker Remixed and Holiday Home Makeover... A few shots to fill in the details:

We're making handmade and homemade a 
strong theme of the holidays around here. 
Winnie worked on some items on her new sewing machine and embroidery ring today while I made this to add to the festivities in our home...merry merry! (Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, New Year, Kwanzaa implied. A girl only has so much felt and yarn).

Winona made her debut on our little city's GORGEOUS theater's stage this weekend... as a Bubblegum Baby in Nutcracker Remixed. She was glowing and confident and magnificent and Mike and I beamed like fools through her whole dance. Jezebel just kept asking me for bubblegum and candy thanks to the inter-song narrative about the land of sweets. (Note: the really cool frogs in the background of this picture taken on the balcony level of the theater's lobby.
Makeup and hair, done! Tutu, check! 
At dress rehearsal, awaiting her turn to dance. 
The Little Ballerinas in awe of the Big Ballerinas. 

We like this season. 


Now We Are Six

Sometimes, the universe aligns to bring you Thanksgiving, Grammy, Grampa, Cousins, Uncles, Sunshine, Orange Trees and a Sixth Birthday... all in the very same weekend. Not often, but sometimes.

Like this past weekend, for example.

I spent a LOT of my time doing this: art with cousin Rory. She's a REALLY good artist and a very patient teacher. She's also nine, which makes her pretty near perfect in my world. 
After turkey, ham, yams, mashed potatoes, peas, cornbread, stuffing and cranberries, 
who doesn't have room for a little chocolate cake? 
Happy Birthday to ME! 

The next day, when we awoke from our food coma, some old friends of mom and dad's stopped by for some playtime...

Then we got out into the 80 degree dry heat and glorious winds to enjoy that SoCal weather!!! 

After countless hours of preparation, Rory and I put on our puppet show.
It was about 48 seconds long. I was really proud. Rory was really patient.

A professional photographer was retained to capture the three sons gathered together. This particular shot was posed around the SOUND asleep wee munchkin Jezebel who decided that 7 minutes into the photo shoot was the perfect (and only) time to nap all weekend long. 
(This is mom's shot, not the photographer's; I'm sure they love it when the amateurs lean over their shoulder to capture every shot they take).


The Handsome Brothers. 

Their beautiful children. 

Taking a break between shots. Jez still undisturbed by the commotion. 

Seriously? How do you SLEEP through all this? Uncle Todd, give her a wet willy in the ear. That'll wake 'er. 

Thank you, Grammy and Grampa! It was a weekend to remember... xoxox!


Runs With Scissors

I frankly can't imagine the occasion, but should you ever need me to sit still and play quietly for more than 7 minutes (we're going on a full hour, folks), hook me up with a pair of scissors and a magazine.

I will have the focus of a laser beam.

And, as a reminder to you that nothing in this world is predictable, I'll suggest that I clean up after myself, get the bag and get 'er done. 


Playin' In the (What No Rain?) Rain Day

Every year, rain or shine (and let's be honest--it's Oregon, it's gonna rain), our local Arboretum hosts Playin' In the Rain Day.

Oddly, it was sunny, blue skies all day long.

We made hot dogs,

masks and wetlands,
 and marshmallows, too!

And we found a whole bevy...flock... fleet... gaggle... of girlfriends. Seriously, if we had tried to plan all meeting up for the 12:30 hayride,it would have more likely frozen over in hell. But, without a single phone call or text, there we all were. Gleeful in our girliness and making the poor dad sitting next to Maya on the far right only slightly concerned for his welfare. 
 It was a super fun and sunshine-y day! 


Today, Winona wanted to make a fairyland. After some discussion about this (and with me feeling a wee bit under the weather and unwilling to head out to the cold, wet backyard to build a fairy house), she decided that she wanted  to make some "little people" for atop her dresser, to be augmented with wee houses, wee decorations and other wee creations...

Here is the family she created today (with oven hardening clay, my sewing scraps and pipe cleaners for the cat. Yes, that's a cat.)
The quarter on the far end gives these guys some scale. The matress pad scrap underneath them is what she laid atop her dresser to be the "snow."

They're teeny and cute... and I can't wait to build the houses and see what other fun "touches" (her word) she gives these guys. 


The Halloween Haul

Final line here is "I got scared of the wolf."


 Did you say "candy?" Ok. I'm listening. 
 Thumbelina knew how good it would be.
 And the good news is that you don't need many teeth to 
eat 47 pounds of candy. 
Don't worry. Jez caught the fever pretty quickly and was soon knocking, wishing Happy Halloween and gratefully accepting candy block after block...