and 2014 begins…

How did you ring in the new year?

It was with fondue here.  My new favorite thing to coat in cheese is brussel sprouts.  It made me feel like my festive food was healthy.  Aside from the nearly $40 worth of brie and gruyere that is.  The cheese was followed by chocolate and fruit, of course.  Super yummy- but something I can only do once a year.


This morning I taught yoga in my living room.   Barry snapped a photo of me while I was singing during savasana (final relaxation).  It makes me happy to have friends over to do yoga with me.  It feels so good to really move and breath with awareness– to really enjoy and experience your body.  I am determined that as many people as possible have that experience.


The little boys dug through the recycling and found containers to do “science experiences” in.  The “lost pepper” experiment was the coolest they say.  The pepper sunk to the bottom below all the suds and oil and lotion also mixed into their buckets of water.  Hours of fun, I tell you!  If your kids are driving you crazy with whining to watch a movie let them pull a chair up to the kitchen sink.  They’ll stop whining, I promise.

DSC_0013 DSC_0042 DSC_0051 DSC_0066Over the weekend we also tried out Jonah’s new bow and hatchet.  It’s pretty fun to live in the woods.

through a new lens

Eva in the stroller

full fledged teenager


no chin

speedy gilbird

almost a chicken

hunca munca

close up pushing

full stroller

going through the diaper bag

always drawing

It’s Christmas.  I am always beyond spoiled.  I can’t remember a Christmas where I haven’t felt like I got more than I wanted.  The kids got great individualized gifts this year.  It’s that first year in many that I don’t feel like there is too much stuff.  Eva is loving her babies (old and new) and her new stroller that fits them all.  (Thanks Grandma and Aunt Patti.)  Ian is in heaven with all his new art supplies.  The other kids are happy too.  And happy for each other.

This year I got a lap top and a new camera.  For a snippet of my day I carried around my camera.  It is fun to have new tools.  That might bode well for this blog of mine!

We had the neighbors over for dinner.  As I was getting dinner ready and trying to tidy up and all that having company over entailed I have to admit I was feeling a bit grumpy about it.  It really would have been easier just to stay in our jammies all day and not worry about getting dinner done on time and having a somewhat clean house, but having people over is always SO worth it!  It is so sweet to have a home filled with conversation and friendship.  Add some Christmas singing and 4 sister missionaries and it gets even better.  I was too busy enjoying it all to get any photographic evidence.

It always makes me think of the mother in the book Laddie.  She had “the invitation habit.”  It’s a habit I’m determined to cultivate.

How did you spend Christmas?  Are you close to family?  Do you feel spoiled and blessed?  Do you feel stressed when getting ready for company, but thoroughly grateful when they are there?

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I hope you are all having a beautiful, wonderful Christmas day.  I love the Christmas season.  The music is my favorite part.  Here’s a little peak into one of our living room jam session.  You just can’t beat 2 year old dancing, bells, guitars, and a recorder.  I hope this makes you smile!

the Beard Beanie

Among my brothers and their wives we draw names for Christmas gifts and the brother I drew this year had a very specific request.  When we were together over Thanksgiving he whipped out his phone and thumbed through his pinterest pins to show me the coolest thing ev-ah.

A Beard Beanie.

merry christmas to my brother

(Excuse the photo quality– these are all from text messages we’ve exchanged.)

I used this pattern for the beard.  It was quick and painless.  For the hat I used “The Man Hat.”  As for yarn I used some Martha Stewart acrylic/ merino blend that I found at Jo-Ann’s.  I had to use two strands to get the right gauge.  It is super soft and my brother likes it.

Ty's beard beanie

beard beanie and a smile with teeth

So does his wife.