December 29, 2010

Coffee shop hangout

Coffee shop hangout, originally uploaded by mama_marfa.

Starbucks in downtown Cincinnati after ice skating on Fountain Square...Juliana (my niece) and Hannah are so excited to be drinking a nice warm strawberry steamer. This photo was taken last of my favorites. I'm still on "break." School resumes Mon. Jan 3. I've written thank you notes to all of the students in my class for the class gift (a snowman ornament with everyone's name on it and a $75 giftcard to the mall)., I'm going to scrapbook all the photos I've recently had printed at Walgreens. THIS is one of them...

December 25, 2010

Celebrating Christmas for 24 days...

I know it is Christmas for many of you and wish you a joyous feast! Being an Orthodox Christian, we follow the Julian or "old calendar," which is 13 days from the Gregorian calendar most of the world follows (so today is actually December 12th). In 2100, there will be 14 days difference.
(photo taken: January 2008)
So...we observe Christmas for 24 days, starting on December 25th, celebrating with my in-laws, opening gifts, 12 days of Christmas then, January 7th is when we really celebrate the Nativity of Christ and break the fast, 12 days of joyful feasting follow!
My parents gave the girls each a Lands' End dress on St. Nicholas day, which was last week for us!
I thought this was so beautifully written by Elizabeth:
"On Sunday, old calendar, we remember St. Herman of Alaska and blessed Lucia, saint of Light. I don't think it is coincidental that they are celebrated near the darkest time of the year... at a time when those of us in the northern countries are longing, longing for a bit of light, they shine out with the uncreated Light of Christ. St. Herman has brought much comfort to me this winter as I have fought the depression that comes with darkness... it is as if I can see him in his frozen Alaskan cave, still, light and angelic music pouring forth. His presence in Alaska is very real.
St. Herman:
St. Lucy:"

December 20, 2010

Last minute homemade gifts

I'm still making some Christmas gifts...simple, homemade things, like these can make some, too, just ask your kids to help out, or just use cardstock and add a photo. Crocheted hot pads made with 100% wool yarn.

I'm also making ornaments, just cut images from a catalog and glued them to wood and tie a string or ribbon on top.
Make a set of magnets...put a few in a clean old cute.
You can even bake cookies and put them in a tin. Or homemade granola in a jar. My sister just gave us Curried Lentil Soup in a jar! So and green lentils. Tie around the lid with something lovely from Helen Dardik's blog, like these gift tags:

December 15, 2010

Ice rink in our backyard

Rob decided to make a simple ice rink in our backyard, using wood to make a rectangular frame, then laying a thick large piece of plastic that he got at the hardware store over top and then filling it with water. Thankfully, it's been cold enough to freeze. That's Olivia ice skating in the photo above. We're on the look out for a few more pair of ice skates (one for me & one for Hannah)...hoping to find some at a thrift store near us!

December 13, 2010

Playing with snow indoors

We got about 4 inches of snow lovely. Have you made paper snowflakes? The photo above from Jessica Jones. We've been folding up white cupcake liners in our house and snipping here and there...then taping them onto the window. So pretty.
This morning, at work, I filled up a 2 by 4 foot basin of snow for the kids to play in...
Excuse me, let me clarify, learn through play, because when you see the snow melting, you're learning science:
  • that your warm hand will melt the snow
  • snow is a solid (you can make a snowball) but eventually it will change into a liquid, which has different properties (and will then take the shape of the container it occupies)
  • make predictions on how long it will take the snow to melt into water
  • there are definitely a lot more things one can learn, and we should prompt with quesions like: How can we stop it from melting? If it melts, can we turn it back into snow? Ice?
Yes, that is the table we is perfect (adjustable, very sturdy, washable) along with buckets and shovels. Did you know it costs $750? But we do have the best in our school. This week the kids are practicing singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain that Jesus Christ was Born!"
Last week one student said "Is Jesus His first name and Christ His last name?" and today, my niece asked me the same thing! Very thoughtful little children!!!

P.S. This is one of my favorite books on the subject of snow. What happened to Peter's snowball that was in his pocket overnight?

December 10, 2010

44 cents each

...sending out cards tomorrow in the mail...stamps are 44 cents each, I heard rumors they might be going up in price? I wish I'd gotten the evergreen "forever" stamps, but they don't fit into our dispenser. Isn't that thing so cute? my parents gave it to me a few years ago as a Christmas gift. I just love writing letters.

Here's a peek inside! I got 50 of these cards from Shutterfly...I love how they turned out.

Full Of Love Christmas 5x7 folded card
View the entire collection of cards.

December 6, 2010

Our Christmas tree...

Decorating our tree...which we decided to set up in the basement, since we don't want any risk of fire near our woodstove. We're using it every day now. Last week was cold, and we got snow, this week is going to be freezing. It's 20'F right now. We brought Snowball, the bunny, inside.

Rob took the girls to the thrift store today...scored 1 pair of ice skates for Olivia just $6.

We are bundling up, jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, etc...headed out to the zoo tonight to the festival of lights...

December 1, 2010

Ice skates

We went ice was $3 per person plus $3 to rent skates. I saw some old skates for sale for $15 at a shop in Metamora, IN a few days ago, but they weren't the right size. I'm going to keep looking, there are plenty of thrift stores around! Hannah & Olivia had an awesome time...and we were there from 12:30 to 2pm.

I remember days of my childhood, we had roller skates and ice the winter, we would skate on a pond or in our backyard (thanks to my dad, who made a rink out of several 2 x 4 and a plastic tarp, which he filled with water...and in Vermont, it will freeze pretty quickly! One year, Grandma gave us girls each a china doll...I remember my little sister, Susanna, wanted to take her doll with her ice skating and dropped her...and her leg broke. She was so sad. But now it's a sweet story.