Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
It's the little things in life that bring us all such meaning and joy. I know. There are big things as well, the birth if a child, the purchase of a new home, marriages......but I believe it is the small things that sustain us. Today, the small things in my life include a quiet moment in the chapel watching the children rehearse their Christmas pageant; the gift from a friend of playdates with my children while I put the final touches on Christmas; and the knowledge that yesterday I prepared enough food to feed my family through Monday. It is easy to get caught up in the stresses of the holiday but much more pleasant to take a quiet moment and appreciate the small things in your life. What sustains you today? I'd love to hear from you.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Well, we are quickly approaching Christmas and things are beginning to breakdown at the Croy homestead, home of the harmonious family. Frustrated by the lack of 5 minutes to wrap gifts, I put the kids in front of Elf while I locked myself away to get said gifts ready for display. In other words, we began Christmas break two days early.
The kitchen now looks like Santas elves have been creating havoc (who am I kidding...they would never leave that mess).
Once Elf was over I realized the beans I had been cooking all morning were not ready for lunch and I didn't have enough wits about me to give the kids oatmeal for lunch, so we ran out to grab a gf lunch (not easy in our neighborhood). On to violin, then a mad dash home to get the Sun ready for his violin concert. These may not seem like much but there were other stressors added in which revolve around scheduling and a father with a doctor's appointment each day this week and well, the conversation with my husband sums it up.
"When you get to the church for the concert, come down to Boca Loca where you will find me with a sangria." He responded, "So, you are that kind of mom." "I am today."
I will leave you with a picture if the moon sipping a Shirley Temple. Cheers to you!
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Here are few things we have been doing here at home. Note the snowflake wreath thanks to Better Homes and Gardens and the new Christmas card holder made from an old window frame. I hope this week finds you calm as you navigate these last days leading up to the Winter Solstice and the birth of Christ. Relish in the increasing darkness and celebrate the light this holiday season!
Have a very merry day!
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
To prepare for the new celebration in our home (and to prepare for the arrival of our Christmas tree on Saturday), I spent yesterday cleaning the silver (the base for said Advent wreath), cleaning out closets and reading articles to the children about the meaning of the Advent and how the greenery ties into the Earth based religions we also honor in our home.
One of the best articles I found that resonated with me the most was one on how the advent season honors Mary as she prepared for the birth of her son. It reminded me of an Advent season, 13 years ago, when I waited for the birth of my own son, born 2 days after Christmas.
Regardless of what or how you are celebrating and enjoying this dark time of the year, go in peace and be blessed.
This year the Advent calendar gifts look very different from how they have in the past. Inspired by author Isabel Wyatt in her 7 Year Old Wonder Book, I occasionally draw pictures for the children in a sketch journal and leave them on their bedside table to be waiting for them when they awake. Last night I read to them the story of the Star Twins and instead of leaving the pictures by their beds I left them standing in front of the Advent calendar.
When the book is filled - probably sometimes at the end of the school year, I'll pack the journals away with the other important items that I am saving for the children in hopes that they will pull them out as adults and remember this part of their childhood.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Unfortunately, the hours we give are not enough. To make things happen in this world, money is also required. That's why today we will also make a small gift financially to the person/organization of our choice. Today's gift will most likely be someone or some group tied to orphans living in one of China's many orphanages.
In the spirit of giving, I want to share with you some of the organizations that have their way into my "in-box" today in case you are at a loss of who put on your #givingtuesday list.
Monday, December 1, 2014
This past weekend Nathan and I were able to have our 10th annual no-child Thanksgiving weekend. It's a tradition that my mother-in-law began for us. When Noah was two years old, she insisted that he be allowed to stay with them for the weekend while we (I) had a much needed break. Each year we spend Friday shopping and eating out and the remainder of the weekend going to the movies, taking on household projects or doing anything else that strikes our fancy.
As the years have passed and our shopping interests or the interests of those we are buying for have changed, the shopping has diminished. We now purchase what we can from local makers and sellers, make what we can, or order online. It's a rare day that finds us at the mall regardless of the time of year.
This year I find that I am once again a seller and now a maker as I am making many of our holiday gifts for friends and family. Today, I am sharing with you my top 5 books from the company I sell for - Barefoot Books. These books are broken down by age and I'm giving you a book for each age that will bring wonder and joy to a child in your life.
A final note on these books. All of these books are for all ages. My 8 year old enjoys looking at our old board books as much as she enjoys reading the first Harry Potter. My 12 year old (the one who devours a biography on George Washington in one sitting) enjoys his copy of Odysseus as much as any Percy Jackson novel. When you are purchasing books for your children, it is always a great idea to look at age suggestions, but remember, children of all ages love books and love to read to. Believe me, I know! Most weekday afternoons you can find both my 8 year old and my 12 year old on the couch with a cup of hot tea listening to me read outloud.
100 Greatest Books for Kids List, Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine
Winner of the NAPPA Gold Award
Winner of the NAPPA Gold Award
Moonbeam Awards Silver Medal Winner