Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Two Little Angels

On Tuesday, my little Lellie turned 4.  We celebrated with a family get together at our house.  Here are some photos of the special day! I'll also share their Rainbow Bridge Story..


Once upon a time, long ago, in a place not near, but not far, there were two little angels.  One was a dark haired angel, and one was a light haired angel.  Together they flew from star to star, gathering light and warmth.  At each star, they met a big angel.  The angels voyaged to the brightest star, the sun.  The angel at the glowing sun gave the angels the gift of kindness.  Next, they traveled to the moon.  The angel at the shining moon gave the angels the gift of wisdom. 

Gazing at the Earth from the Moon, the little angels saw how lovely the Earth was.  They saw all of the rainbow colors, and the butterflies and flowers.  They saw fish swimming in the rivers, and earthly children playing in the meadows.  The angels saw a kind woman, walking amongst the tall trees, and loved her very much.  The angels saw a man with a warm and loving heart, and loved him very much.  Together, they would welcome the angels to earth and be their earthly parents.  The angels were ready for their journey across the rainbow bridge.

The dark-haired angel decided to go first, while the light haired angel would wait for the earth to travel two times around the sun before joining the other angel.  The dark-haired angel set out for her journey across the rainbow bridge, while one of the big angels watched over her.  As she slid down the colorful rainbow through the clouds and sky, she took human form inside her mother’s womb.  The angel fell asleep.  She slept for 42 weeks, and awakened as a tiny baby in the arms of her mother and father, the same couple she had spotted before.   The Dark-Haired Angel was given the Earthly name “Nayeli”, meaning “I love you”.  She was a big, beautiful, Healthy baby, who loved to look all around.  In her first year of life, Nayeli learned to crawl, and then walk.  In her second year of life, she learned to talk and express her wishes, and anxiously awaited the arrival of the light-haired angel.

One night in her dream, the dark-haired angel called out to the light-haired angel, and told her that it was time to come earthside.  The light-haired angel made her way across the same rainbow bridge, and slept in her mother’s womb for 40 weeks.  On a cold winter day, she made her entrance into the world.  She was given the earthly name Madelyn, meaning strong one.


The family was whole, and filled with light and warmth.  Nayeli and Madelyn brought joy and love to the earth, and to each other.  Their bond was special, beginning in times before the journey across the rainbow bridge.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas!

Christmas came, and Christmas went!  It was our last "big" Christmas, we'll be doing things different next year.  I feel it has become so materialistic- but I feel the need to share the presents, which were sadly the focus of the day (and which is why we're doing things differently next year!).


From us (or Santa- whichever Lellie decided to be true!) the girls got a cash register, a farm set with figures and animals, and some things handmade by me.  Lellie got a hat and scarf for her doll Lucy, and both kids got playsilks dyed by me and pillows sewn by me for their dolls.

From grandma and grandpa, they got a bunk bed for their dolls, and a little racetrack with cars that flip around.  Lellie's uncle got her a new bike- I posted about it awhile back.  I'm so excited for spring!  We're practicing in the house for now- she has motor planning delays and doesn't know how to pedal- yet!

Next year, I'm hoping to do things differently.  I want to put emphasis on the Solstice- and celebrate the 12 days of Christmas and the Epiphany instead.  We're going to do a very small Christmas tree (we have cats, remember?) and will likely just put a small something in their stockings.  Perhaps some crayons and a baked good (though we're doing a no-sugar 2012...).  We'll tell the Christmas story (remember, we're atheists, but it is a wonderful story!) and have a nice dinner.  Then we'll do three gifts on Epiphany, or el Dia de Los Tres Magos, as we call it.

For now, I'm preparing for the New Year!  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Winter Solstice

The night is cold,
The snow is new.
Lellie loves the Winter!
Moo loves the Winter!
Daddy loves the Winter!
And I do too!

Our Solstice/Birthday table all lit up.

Maddie blowing out her birthday candles!  Note the drool- she had been trying for quite a bit!

The gorgeous star lanterns I made, lit up for the first time!

First off, I apologize for the delay in the post- I have been so busy what with Christmas and all.

Our Winter Solstice was peaceful.  We were going to do a lantern walk, but since it was raining and freezing, we decided to spend the evening by candlelight instead.

Tomorrow is Lellie's 4th Birthday.  We're having a family celebration.  I also need to rewrite her rainbow bridge story (I know, again!) and draw the illustrations for it.  I wasn't going to throw the angel into the mix because of our atheist ties, but I've decided to treat it as sort of a myth- a fairy tale about their birth, if you will.  It is magical for them, and when they're older they can decide if they want to believe it is true or not.  I'm not 100% in tune with anthroposophy... so I'm not treating it as fact.  Just telling it as I would any other story!  When I told it on Maddie's birthday the other day, Lellie was a bit confused.. I think illustrations would help her a great deal!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Moo!

Two years ago today, we welcomed miss Moo earthside.  She's our shining light- how fitting for her birthday to land on the Solstice!  Here are the photos I promised.  It's cloudy out, I'm using a point & shoot, and one of these was even taken on a camera phone.  So.... yeah.  Whoops! Enjoy! :)  I'll leave the cake recipe in at the bottom.





Here's that cake recipe:

Cinnamon Honey Apple Birthday Cake

-3 eggs
-3 tbsp vegetable oil
-1/2 cup of honey
-3/4 cup of apple sauce
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3/4 cup of brown sugar
-2 1/4 cups of flour
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 cup of water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix eggs, oil, honey, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla together until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well blended.
Add dry mixture to wet mixture while stirring in the 3/4 cup of water.  Mix until well blended and not very lumpy.

Pour batter into a greased 9x13" baking pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes uncovered.  Note: a toothpick will not come out clean when it's done- this cake is very moist and sticky- the insides will stick to the toothpick.  Just make sure that what sticks is crumbs and not raw batter!

I made this as a one layer cake for the girls- but on N's birthday, when we have people over, I'm planning on making it a  two layer cake and putting apricot filling in the center, and frosting with cream cheese frosting.  More on that when it actually happens!

Solstice post coming tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Busy as a bee!

I've been crazy busy with everything I've posted in the last post- and then some!  Tomorrow is Moo's birthday (and the Winter Solstice!!), so I've been getting everything ready.  I've been running into a bunch of snags- for instance, imagine my surprise (shock, horror, the blasphemy!! I'm only half kidding!) when I opened up the fridge to find NO carrots for Moo's carrot cake.  At 10pm.  So I had to get online and figure something else out.. it's a Honey Apple Cake.  More sugar than I had hoped for- but it will suffice!  I'll post the recipe (which I altered a bit) in tomorrow's birthday post.

For now, I'll share some photos of what we've been up to.

It *finally* snowed.  Granted, it did melt 12 hours earlier, but the girls did enjoy it nonetheless.


We've also been working on our nature table- it has a new location in our dining room. It has since changed (and place on a different dresser, though in the same place). An updated picture will be posted in the birthday post tomorrow.


I've also decided to bake cookies for family this year. The season is so materialistic- why not make something that almost everyone loves? Sweets! Here are some of the Kolackys I made.


While on that note- I've started baking bread again. While not the prettiest loaf- it sure was yummy! (and yes- it's white bread. I didn't have any whole wheat flour!)

The other night Moo helped me make our Solstice lanterns- we do a lantern walk the night of the Winter Solstice to celebrate. We paint a bit of our homemade glue on a jelly jar, and stick torn bits of tissue paper to it. Then paint over so everything is wet, and allow to dry. Voila, lanterns! (You also need to add a wire handle to it, and put a tealight candle in them- but more on the in another post!).



AND tonight I put up our Solstice lights. The girls thought they were just magical!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goals! Agenda! List! Yay!

Every year before Christmas I go absolutely bonkers.  My anxiety is through the roof, I'm worse than a five year old.  And I don't even believe in Santa.  I'm not even getting any gifts!  In an attempt to regain control of myself, I'm going to plan out, here, on the bloggity, my week until Christmas.  heregoes...

Oh, and I'm up late tonight baking cookies.  I suddenly decided that it would be fun to bake for the entire family.  Lellie had a ton of fun helping me measure out ingredients.. She's in bed, but, as you can see, monster Moo is not...

= something that can only be done at night, when the girls are asleep!

Monday, December 19, 2011
-Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookies 
-Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies 
-Make Kolacky dough 
-Bake Loaf Cookies (I promise this isn't as disgusting as it sounds!)
-Bake Sugar Cookies with Lellie
-Freeze Loaf & Sugar Cookies
-Make wool balls for their stockings
-Paint Rainbow Bridge Story for the birthday table

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
-Make birthday crown for Moo's doll (morning)
-Paint with N (need to paint birthday banner & lanterns
-Bake Kolackys
-Go to work (late afternoon through night)
-Freeze Kolackys
-Get to bed by 10pm!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
-Sew the girls' doll bedding (they're getting a doll bunk bed from grandma)
-Bake cake for Moo [test run of the party's cake]
-Make Solstice star lanterns
-Finish writing Rainbow Bridge Story

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
-Wake up before Moo to set up her birthday table
-Go on Solstice walk at 4:30

Friday, December 23rd, 2011
-Work, 10am-5pm
-Defrost one of each type of cookie, make sure they're alright
-Go grocery shopping for birthday snack supplies

Saturday, December 24th, 2011
-Work, 5pm-11pm
-Defrost cookies and put in tins, label tins
-Get stockings & gifts ready

Sunday, CHRISTMAS, 2011
Enjoy!  ...hopefully!

Monday, December 26th, 2011
-Clean house for birthday Celebration
-Sew N's doll clothes for her present
-Make birthday snacks
-Start making ice

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
-Wake up early and set up birthday table
-Decorate the house
-Make snacks, make tea

I've got a lot on my plate!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In A Rut!

This past week hasn't been too productive in terms of projects.  I mean, we had the carpets cleaned, but that's about it!  I haven't really created anything.

I *did* however write up the girls' Rainbow Bridge birthday story.  I'll post it another time- but I'm thinking of writing it onto cardstock and creating illustrations for each little part.

Not sure- just exhausted right now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For the love of CATS!

Since I was a baby, cats have been a part of my life.  They're sweet and have their own personality.  When I had children I knew I wanted to give them the gift of having owned a pet.  Or in our case... three.

Meet Artemis and Milo.  Artemis is the one at the left, Milo at the right.

Our girl kitty is Frida, named after Frida Kahlo, the artist.  She's a Tortie and she has major attitude problems, but we love her nonetheless!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birthday Woes

I really dislike throwing parties.  It's not for me.  I'm not a social butterly and find it extremely awkward to entertain people.  I'm getting past that though, and am trying to focus on making it special for the girls.  Maddie was born on Dec 22nd, and Lellie was born on Dec 27th, two years before.  Having birthdays 5 days apart makes it easy for me to lump a party together.  Maddie's actual birthday is on the Solstice so we'll be doing something special to celebrate both things.  Their party is on Lellie's birthday.  Confusing much?

Right now I'm waiting for payday so that I can get some more yarn to finish up the Happy Birthday Banner I'm knitting.  And that birthday crown for Maddie's doll?  Still not even in the works.  And her birthday is in 15 days.  Oy vey.

Here are the ornaments they got for St. Nicholas day.  I realize that the heart is a bit wonky but she loved it nonetheless :)



Rhythm In Our Home: St. Nicholas Day

It is 1:00am on December 6th, so I suppose, St. Nicholas Day.  The girls left carrots in their shoes for St. Nicholas's donkey, and excitedly went to bed in anticipation of tomorrow morning.

Both girls are getting a few honey sticks in their shoe.  In addition to that, each is going to get a Christmas ornament.  I feel that it's fitting, given the time of year.  Each year we *try* to get them their own special ornament (a childhood tradition of mine, though my mother always bought them from Hallmark).  This year, and hopefully from now on, they'll be getting handmade ornaments.

Lellie is getting a knit rainbow heart ornament, and Maddie is getting a needle felted toadstool ornament.  Photos to come later- I'm not quite sure where the camera is at the moment!

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful time of year!

And a photo, because I *really* don't like leaving a wall of text as a blog post!  It's the girls' play kitchen in our kitchen, back in October (hence the squash!).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Old King Winter, where are you?

The girls and I have been anxiously awaiting the first *measurable* snowfall of the year.  We live in Chicago.  Generally, it snows by November 21st.  It is December 5th.  It hasn't snowed yet!  It has been very rainy and feels more like the pacific northwest than Chicago, honestly!

Old King Winter, please come join us soon!

Lellie (N), back in February 2011.  Blizzard!!