Thursday, January 7, 2016

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag (Well, Sort Of)

As I made breakfast this morning, my mind wandered over the coming weeks and months -- what we need to do, what that means.  I realized I was using a family present that I had gifted us a few Christmases ago, and my thoughts settled on the mooncake molds under this year's Christmas tree.  Among other things, the new year brings another round of the geography co-op class I've been teaching.  We started in Europe and will be sliding over into Asia this week.  Those mooncake molds will be just the thing!

It got me thinking about how we create opportunities -- opportunities for learning, opportunities for experiences.  Homeschooling and parenting and learning and being who we are all become one and the same -- one big jumble.  Was I thinking about geography when I bought the mooncake molds?  No, not really.  I was remembering the day that Linus and I looked at a cake cookbook together at Costco and how he tried to get it for me for Mother's Day, but it wasn't there any more.  And how we looked it up online and found that the authors did some tutorials for cakes and cupcakes.  And when we had watched all of those I remembered that I wanted to make mooncakes for book club, so we looked up tutorials for making mooncakes.  And how he sat in my lap, so tiny and so engaged.  And so now we have mooncake molds.  The book club in question has long passed.  But I've made room for new opportunities.  I've created space for creating.
made for me by a friend-
another good reason to
hang on to CREATE

Last year I used the word "CREATE" as a way to focus.  I've learned how vital it is for me to have opportunities to be creative.  Sometimes book club fulfills that need -- I've loved learning to cook and bake new things.  Sometimes I need to learn a whole new set of skills (starting a blog was that at one time).  Sometimes I just need a project that doesn't require a lot of me, but lets me plink away at it, eventually resulting in a little something new and created-with-my-own-two-hands.

Other things needed creating, too.  Space for a growing second child.  Always content to come along for the ride, it was time to arrange things differently for him.  And I'd seen how much he himself enjoyed creating -- but he needed support in doing it his way, on projects he's drawn to.

Worked out great.  Through about June.  So, for 2016, I'm bringing it back!  And this year I'm one year wiser...

Crazy about these picnic placemats
with their little utensil pocket!

Linus made the teeny jammies & I made the less teeny jammies

Saturday, January 2, 2016

We Love Gingerbread Houses

Linus's creation
had an amazing
set of storylines
I think I never did post last year's gingerbread.  And, now that I think about it -- the year before.  Darn.  We love our annual gingerbread-making for the Waldorf Winter Faire, but it's such a busy time of the year, it's hard to get to that last step.  I'll start with 2015 (and see how many other years I can dig up). 

This year both kids went with kits.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.  It all depends on what's driving their vision at the time. 2015 was about buckets of candy.

This is one of our very favorite family traditions.  We keep threatening to do it during the year, too.  The possibilities really open up when one leaves December and snow...

Sela's bears warm their
paws at the fire
after a nice skate

I like to try something new every year.
Gingerbread in an igloo pan (I KNEW
I needed it).  I made it the day before the auction and titled it "Tonight's Dessert."
I really hope they cut into it that night and enjoyed it!

The trees are ice cream cones with icing, the wreath is a spearmint gumdrop cut into small pieces, the light strings are licorice wheels from World Market.  I have no idea what those little colored balls are called -- they are personally delivered by my Gingerbread Organizer Extraordinaire friend every year.  A light dusting of powdered sugar -- I mean, snow -- finishes it off.

I tried the "grease & sugar" method for this cake -- turned out great!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Board Game Challenge

We did it!  The challenge was to play 10 games 10 times each in a year.  We didn't officially register (our games weren't exactly the kind of games others were doing), but I loved the idea.  In some cases, the challenge helped us to get more solid on the rules -- very helpful!  In some cases, it pointed us in a direction when we needed focus.  But in every case, it provided us with a relaxing activity that we all enjoy.  

We learned new things, we worked together, and we made use of our bulging game shelves!

We've started with Fandooble this morning -- we should get another board going...

My Kids Had Their Own New Year's Eve Planned...

Wishing you a