December 31, 2008

thea's quilt

it's done, i'm so very happy the way it turned out. the quilting was lot's of fun, with the free floating stitching a bit of a challenge but also very forgiving. it's a bit of memory in that quilt too. there is some fabric from a shirt of mine which i was wearing during my cabinet making years way back in my youth.... and the main fabric for the back is from my mothers aunt's linens.

i think it turned out just right with the small binding, there is no attention being drawn to it, but still it finishes off the work.

the diagonals in the front are doing a nice work in braking up the stripes of the front rows. i'm glad i chose to add a little small second to the wider diagonals as well. i started out with fabric stripes, not knowing what it will end up, it's the adrenalin part of starting a quilt...

as i said, this is the old part of the quilt, linens which are at least 80 years old. i really like to pass this on to my daughter. quilts have to have history as well as stories in them.

there we go thea clare, enjoy the moments on to floor, gazing up into to world!

December 30, 2008

the time of inbetween

i'm sewing away on thea's quilt... tomorrow i will be able to post photos of the finished piece. i'm so happy the way it turns out and the framing is going smooth.

the big brother, very proud to be able to carry his little sister around the house. i'm glad for him, he is great with baby thea, she get's lovingly held and cuddled by him. it is great to see that and to experience the siblinglove right in front of my eyes.
beside not working on official subjects the kids get lot's of sleepovers going and pretzelbaking at a friends house. i'm still keeping the cooking going, we have haus dinner tonight, one more cabbage roll dinner,this time with rice (last time it was lentils) rolled up with veggies and ground beef. i'm already looking forward to the delightful dinner tonight.

December 29, 2008

ticket to ride

the new board game in our house, "ticket to ride" we got it for christmas from friends. it's fun and we have been spending hours playing it over the past few days.
there are already some traditions going with playing, elias is black when ever he plays. amos has had some hard times with counting the points and not being the winner... so we came up with the a "not counting" - scheme for him.
naomi is often playing along as a teammember of either joel or my team, she does craft's on the side. as just playing is too boring in her mind...

December 27, 2008

to paint is to live!

this is definitely naomi's way of expressing and creating!
naomi was very involved with this one, and determined to put the paint on the canvas paper exactly the way she wanted. i love to watch her working.
all her brains are put to work and activated. it's fun to see her so concentrated, holding the palette in one hand and the brush in the other. knowing exactly which colours she wants to have on her palette. i'm glad to see her enjoying what she does and being happy when she looks at the result. and i'm glad we have the golden fluid acrylic paint in our craftsupply closet, their pigments are strong and it looks good the way naomi uses them.
this painting is going to her friend next door, the one who is so fond of naomi to hang her paintings up in the lab she is working. this makes naomi proud, as she is very well aware, that other people are looking at her artwork in that place..... (yes being recognized is important for our little artist...)

December 26, 2008

panettone and things

the day started with a family brunch, the kids really like this. amos made a pear-sauce for the occasion and was very proud of himself. we all liked it, who would not like sweet cooked pears over their granola...

followed by some beet cooking....
the whole family loves pickled beets, it's a great winter salad item. just get it out of the fridge onto the table at any dinner.
(cooked beets, cut in slices, sprinkle some salt and peppercorn over it, add sliced onion rings and apple-cider vinegar. close the bowl air tight and put in the fridge, ready to eat over the next two months.)

yes i was baking panettone today! it was fun and i used my very own candied citrus fruit!
i'm happy with the way it turned out, not too sweet and moister than the store bought panettone. we where invited for dinner at our friends, so the dessert was coming along. everyone loved it, i was glad. sometimes i start feeling insecure with those first tries to bring along, but with this one, i felt ok.
it was rewarding to have managed to bake this and i can say one more first for this christmas season.
some more letters were written and put in the mail today as well. i didn't intend to get this done today, but thea was sleeping a few hours in the afternoon, naomi crafted something with tissue paper and the boys played the new board game with joel...

and of course the cuddling was done too today. joel has a few days off and ejoys holding thea.
again and again we marvel at our little girl. what tiny feet she has and so perfect!
thank you Lord.

December 25, 2008


we started out on the 24th with rice porridge for breakfast at out neighbors house, the marzipan pig was the prize! naomi got it, she found the almond in her bowl...

we all enjoyed the breakfast table, thank you a & a for inviting us, this has become a wonderful tradition.

i was able to finish up the candied citrus fruit, they are wonderful.

after the church service we enjoyed some celebrating at our house. elias was helping our hymn singalong with his violin. the nativity looked so real with the animals and the kings riding on their camel...

the big gift!
amos got a drum set, wow thank you b for helping us and being so generous with amos! yes it is truly a great gift, amos gets to play on his drum teachers first drums! from now on, he is banging away on top of me... literally, that's the case, as the set is set up in the boys room above the kitchen!!!

merry christmas to all visiting my daily meanderings, the peace of the lord our saviour be with you.

December 24, 2008

things are happening

after we enjoyed the butternutsquash soup with buttermilk bisquetts, we did have to get to that egg nog with rum! thank you j for bringing it over, and sharing time with us.

amos and naomi wanted to paint those little wooden stars in the afternoon... so they did. i didn't know what we will do with them at the time. but meanwhile i discovered those nice pealed sticks, which elias collected over the course of last year, and in my ribbon box there was some "gold"-wire to be found. the next step was easy, stars belong in the sky, the don't move, but they do move, a mobile! as a gift for our neighbor a, altough i had a hard time letting it go, it's really beautiful! thank you kids.

these are the fruit after i pealed them, to use the rind to be candied. a sudden burst of wanting to try something new, i could not reject the vision of a little dessert candie after a nice meal over the coming days.

and here they are, after 3 times cooking in plain water, i cooked them in sugarwater for about 30 minutes or so, until the peals were all translucent. now they have dried for a night and the final step ist to roll them in sugar or i'm still debating if i should dip them in chocolate.... we will see, it will happen today or tomorrow.

December 23, 2008

advents calendar

this years advents calendar for the kids, my old woolen scarf got converted for the backing, and some old linen pieces became pockets, see for yourself at an earlier post.

it was a lot of fun to fill all the pockets and tomorrow will be the last one to be emptied. in the pockets were lots of fun and little things for the kids. pocket-silver ware by wmf, a robot pen, a cool tops, matchbox nativity, sweets, an ugly doll, and lots of other small treats...
the last three pockets were filled with just their letters and each of the children is getting the present from the grandparents....
a sleeping bag for elias, a skittle set for amos, and a wooden doll cradle for naomi. naomi will get her's tomorrow!

December 22, 2008

quilting once more

front of thea's quilt, i'm excited about the soft colours and like the yellowish lines breaking up the stripes. i will a photo of the whole quilt when i'm done.

i was procrastinating.... yes it does happen with me too.
mainly, because i have never done this kind of sewing before. i had to hold my breath and just start the sewing, press that pedal and move the frame around to make an "organic" look. the initial start was stop and go, but i got the idea and soon enjoyed it a lot. it's so free from and imaginative, i really like it a lot. i even decided to not do the whole quilting last night, in order to have a treat tonight!

comfort food on cold snowy evenings....
yes cabbage rolls with goat cheese topped is one of those dishes. we are all thinking of our dear friends o & r who lived with us for over a year. they both were great cooks. and because they came from estern europ their cooking was a bit different and we all enjoyed that. the cabbage rolls i'm making are a bit different, but the basic idea and main ingredients stayed the same.
we miss you, sitting around the table and enjoy a good meal and fun conversations! and of course the sound of all the kids wanting to be heard across the big table!

December 20, 2008

yesterday night

after the long expected snow storm and the already friday afternoon announced snow emergency over boston for friday. the storm finaly moved in mid afternoon. it was great, just a wonderful experience to have snow falling and falling and slowely covering up the whole city. the plows were not coming through too quickly, it was gorgeous and very quiet for a friday night in the city.

indoors it was warm cozy and i was occupied with the production of "anis broetli" and "chraebeli". they turned out nice and i'm so happy, as i have never done them before. i got a wonderful cookie mold from a dear friend two years ago and yesterday was the day to use it the first time.
the molds turned out great, i love the look of them and the mold was great to work with. a little flour on the mold did the trick.

the anis broetli recipe
2 eggs
250 gr powdered sugar mix and beat until white and very fluffy

1 pinch of salt
1 Tblsp cherry brandy
1 Tblsp anis, whole add to the mix

250 gr flour add and knead the dough together gently

with rolling pin, work dough until 1cm thickness, put flour on the mold and press hard on the dough, cut the mold out.
put the molded "cookie" on a sheet and let dry over night.
bake for 20 minutes with low heat, at 280F

if you choose to do the "chraebeli", form long rolls of 1.5cm diameter, cut 5cm pieces and cut those 2 - 3 times, half way diagonal. bend them lightly and put them on the cookie sheet, follow instructions above.

December 19, 2008

our fridge...

living in community has it's interesting sides...
four parties sharing one fridge is at times a bit of a challenge, but it is great so see it work!
for the second day in a row, we recognized a bad bad stench floating through the kitchen, when ever we opened the fridge door. it was really bad and i knew i used up the gorgonzola yesterday night for a pasta sauce. the sauce was great, i personally like the gorgonzola a lot, it's strong and distinct smell of cheese doing what cheese is supposed to do, stink!
but the air in the fridge was not getting any better. so together, m and i felt like we had to do something. the something ended up, the two of us cleaning out the whole fridge!
it is clean now, but the sad part, the smell has not gone really... i don't know what else we should do. we cleaned out the freezer on top of it too, as the two compartments exchange the air.
we will smell what will happen over the next few days.
all over it's a great feeling, having a super clean fridge, we will get rid of the smell sooner or later.

December 18, 2008

december atc

this month's atc for the cmp was focused on the word "promise", immediately i was thinking of the star of bethlehem. very quickly had ideas and found the stuff which got me going. i was surprised to find myself finishing this months atc already midway through the month.
i got some linen covered cards, they have been use by the kids, not fully covered, just blobs of acrylic paint. i liked the texture, still visible, even after i used some dark acryl to paint over. my intention was to have a dark imaginary sky with the one big star blinking through. i knew that there had to be faces looking up onto the star, i found them in an old brochure. old brochures and magazines have the right to sit around in my house in one corner of the kitchen....
i was glad to find the staring people and knew they had to go on my atc's. so here they are.

December 17, 2008


we have a future skier in our family...
we have not contemplated such a thought ever. but it happened, like the snow on the ground this morning.
it came about on monday afternoon, i found an email in my inbox, which told us about a program called yeskids. friends of ours signed up with them to have the kids go on ski trips. we inquired, about the sign up, as it was after registration deadline. my hopes got up, when the person in charge told me, that there is a possibility of still signing up on tuesday night at their office. there were a few dates open and some of them were possible for elias to go. my friend went to get the equipment with her sons and so, elias could hop along and get signed up. he came home with all the equipment needed to ski!
wow, yes! it was so quick and on the 3rd he will be standing on his skis in the snow of one of the new england ski slopes.... more after the 3rd!

December 16, 2008

advents lantern

i'm a bit late with this post but still felt like i wanted to share it with you.
this year our advents "calendar" had a bit a different twist to it. we were working in three groups to create four lanterns. each is about 35 inches long and lit by an LED strand going down the middle.
the theme we worked with was very much focused on different bible passages about advent.

what is advent,
objectivly: israel's longing for a messiah.
subjectivly: a longing for a new breaking in of god's spirit upon us.
we looked at isaiah 6 and a some word's of robert webber; "o dgo, turn me away from my indifference, create in me a heart of repentance, and leas me to the waters of spiritual refreshment."
some more passages were psalm 113:3, 93:3

1st sunday of advent

2nd sunday of advent

3rd sunday of advent

there will be a fourth lantern coming this sunday. we are all looking forward in expectation what the group of mostly kids came up with.
thank you a and j for leading us as a community through this project. as in years before, it is very exciting to see the light brighten up and bring hope to our dark december nights.

December 15, 2008

bubbles in december

such a warm and pleasant day! it was in the 50is and we were blowing bubbles behind the house. we were out on a stroll to run some errands up the street "in town" (center street in jp), with just a vest over our light sweaters, not even a hat on our heads and that in mid december. we liked it and hope for some more of those days during the cold and dark winter days before us.
this was also a welcome change after a few days of cold and lots of rain, pouring down on us.
i got the gift package for my sis in the mail, yeah #17 done of my list...

December 14, 2008


ja wir haben gebacken, und die orangenschnittli sind gelungen. anstelle von weissmehl habe ich die halfte des mehls mit vollkornmehl ersetzt und dann auch biologischer puderzucker verwendet. dies hatte zur folge, dass die schnittli nicht so gelb und glaenzig aussehen... doch schmecken sie allen vorzueglich und ich bin zufrieden mit dem aussehen.
mal sehen was wir als naechstes backen....

December 12, 2008

things to do

i came up with the following list of things to do until years end....
we will see how many of those i will be able to get done, but it's good to have a list. and i do enjoy putting dates behind the items done!

1. baking and decorating gingerbread cookies with the kids - 12/11
2. picking out photos for naomi's photo book, and put them in the book
3. putting naomi's doll bed together - 12/23
4. sewing a quilt for the doll bed - 12/17
5. buying the angel tree gifts - 12/12
6. getting a fishing rod for amos
7. taking every day in advent the time to light a candle and read the story with the kids - did it
8. sewing the felt christmas trees and putting them up - 12/14
9. baking cookies
- orangen schnittli - 12/12
- chraebeli - 12/9 and i also managed to get the honigherzli done today
- pfeffernuesse - 12/17
- burbon balls - 12/22
- i managed to add one more..., candied citrus fruit - 12/23
10. going to allandale farm for the evergreen garland and put it around the fireplace - 12/19
11. sit down, now and then, with joel and a mug of spiced cider - yes it is happening
12. finishing thea's quilt
13. start knitting a pair of socks for naomi
14. get some egg nog for a good moment with friends - 12/27
15. knitting mittens for the boys
16. drinking a cup of tea every day from the "tee advent kalender" -i was catching up and finished the tea 12/25
17. sending my sisters christmas present off - 12/14
18. giving elias the attention he needs in all his urban nutcracker doings - it's done 12/21
19. baking panettone for christmas day - missed that one, but was able to bake it on 12/26
20. enjoying and cuddle my baby thea clare, as well as my three older kids - still doing it, though it's good to have it written down as a pointer...

dear thea

thea is so much more interesting then doing math...
but who blames amos for enjoying to cradle his little sister and abandon his workbooks, not me.

dear thea,
we are so amazed over and over again, about you little girl. you are crafted so carefully and lovingly. often we are stop in our every day doings and look at you, keep looking at you until we realize, that we have forgotten the time... and a few minutes have passed. that's fine, you are little just once and it is just once you are such a little babe. we are so blessed and thank God for you as the precious gift to our family.
we love you xxx

December 11, 2008


yes so here we are, yesterday we made the "lebkuchen" - dough (it was more a gingerbread dough, as i was not getting ready on tuesday to make the real lebkuchenteig, with natron bicarbonate. that one would have to rest over night) and cookies, baked and ate some...

as promised to the kids, we decorated them today, just some very easy icing (powdered sugar and lemon juice, and of course some food colouring). when i discovered, that there was still some red chrystal sugar an chocolate covered sunflower seeds, i had to get it out and the kids were even more excited.
we all had a lot of fun, and i was able to get to stressed about the mess in the kitchen. of course it just so happened, that naomi accidentaly pushed the chrystal sugar from the counter, elias was outraged about it, but both of them together were able to clean up after a few seconds of hubbub. i was just sitting there with the babe nursing... yes it will happen more often as i expected, that the kids have to work it out themselfes as i'm occupied with our little thea clare. i guess that's good for all of us, especially for me, just to lean back and relax, when chaos is erupting around me!

December 10, 2008

natures sway

the god fathers present to thea, a little rabbit which is tied to the hammock... its a music "box", which we all adore and humm along with the melody. this set up works great, we love to have thea with us in the kitchen at any given time. it's very convenient, we do schoolwork and anything else, cooking, eating, crafting, sewing, talking for hours and of course drinkig (not just tea).

the darling daughter is likeing the sway of the hammock. it is perfect in every way. the only thing i bought for thea, a good investment. natures sway came with an eyehoock which we put into a beam in the sealing. we did not get the stand, as i really like to have it hanging, in order to have it free from the floor.
today thea was sleeping for 4 hours in one stretch, basically all afternoon. what a wonderfull life, sleeping and nursing. the rest of us were working on gingerbread...
more of that project tomorrow.

December 8, 2008

beeing close

joel is super busy reading and writing, his paper is due tomorrow evening.... there is literally no minute going to waste at the moment. getting a cup of coffee is being topped with baby wearing. they both love these moments, and of course if thea is so cozie in the sling, she hardly want's to get out of it. getting hungry might be the only real reason of wanting to leave papa's closeness.

December 6, 2008

the home made camera

my neighbor is so creative.....
yes she is, she went to the zoo with the kids and of course everyone had to take a camera along for taking photos.
pasta boxes with transparent foil windows were turned inside out, decorated and a pen was taken apart and inserted for a push button. of course there had to be strap for hanging too....
it was a lot of fun to watch the kids being very serious and thoughtful in taking photos. she did take it even a step further. back home she "developed" the film. in doing so, she photocopied some of the seen animals from magazines and handed them to the kids.
there are just good things to say about my neighbor and friend a: she really takes crafts serious and loves the perfect fun!

December 5, 2008


elias and his friend e were working really hard to not get bored....
i guess that's where the name is being derived. or then it must have been one of joel's great ideas, as so often elias clame's to be bored....
what ever it was, it's an awesome lego creation and it has been helping elias to fight boredome, yes indeed it still does. just yesterday it crashed into something or another and elias had to get to work again. there are many details to it, even a big box of coffe with six coffee mugs are included in storrage, i guess that's to keep the crew awake all night. oh and three wine goblets, who would have thought that fighter pilots are enjoying a nice wine on their brakes. to go with a chicken leg? yes, there are many more details to this creation, believe me, and it's fun to have elias talk about it.
one more little tid pit, he was dreaming of it and yelled loudly as he realized, that he couldn't find the "fighter" as he himself was the lego pilot supposed to get the fighter launched! yes a boys dream, indeed!

December 4, 2008

the inn

as we did in past years, we do this year too....
we are reading a story all through advent. it's a good moment of the day, usually with candles lit and some advents or christmas carols being sung. this years story is about an inn and it's keepers. but even more about the animals who also live in the stable behind the inn. so far we have met the rooster and the scrubby dog, who is not loved by the inn keepers wife, but does a good job keeping roman soldiers out of doors....
as you can see in the photo, we are recreating the scene of the story in our living room, this is a lot of fun and helps us with perspective in regards to the bigger picture of the happenings.
the story is called: "was ist los in betlehem?" (what's happening in betlehem?), by rudolf horn and kerstin wichmann. (photo by elias)

December 3, 2008

advents tee

seit anfang woche bin ich ueber mittag am tee trinken in spezieller stimmung. es ist ja nun advent und das moechte ich auch ganz besinnlich feiern. mit einer tasse tee, einer leuchtenden kerze und den baby toenen in den ohren, die unsere kleine thea in der haengmatte von sich hoeren laesst.
es tut gut, einfach zu sein und zum fenster raus gucken... manchmal einem kardinal zuzusehen oder einem eichhoernchen paar das sich jagt. oder dann einfach zu sein und nichts denken oder tun muessen.
ich hab diese box tee von meiner schwaegerin erhalten zum geburtstag ende oktober und freu mich nun so richtig dran, danke m.