December 30, 2009

the photo

we realized that we forgot to attach the family photo, here is it.

last of december 09

all of a sudden i remembered the cmp ATC exchange... i absolutely forgot about this commitment. but it's just the second last day of the year, i grabbed a few things and sat down. hope is the theme, and it didn't take long until i was able to start with the words who where spinning in my head.

elias was with me in the office, reading and relaxing. after a bit naomi joined us too, she wanted to work on her atc's. it's a very creative afternoon, of course as soon as i take out paper scraps and markers the kids are all in with me, and then the glue and the scissors have to be used too.

things i want to do in 2010

in the days in between my thoughts were pondering what i was able to do and make in the soon ending year. i made a list and realize now, that i did follow through with most of my things to do in 2009 ... and now on to my list for the next year.
soon enough there will be some photos again of our days at my parents. i'm not able to pull them together right now, but they will come...

here my new list
1. keep on speaking english in our family
2. start and finish one project each month (pants for thea, quilt for a, socks for amos)
3. get a sewing machine and keep on quilting
4. go for some real sledding adventure in the mountains (february)
5. go for hikes in the woods regularly
6. take the kids to see some shows at the marionette puppet place
7. becoming a better listener and more patient mom to my kids
8. sitting down and drink a cup of tea, before i get going in the afternoons
9. try one dozen new dinner recipes (more with less $)
10. keep on taking photos and get used to the flash
11. harvest the fruit of our trees and preserve what we don't eat (assumably 1000kg)
12. make lots of jam this summer
13. teach amos to knit and crochet
14. go to maier's for a session with joel
15. keep on doing the monthly cmp atc's

family christmas

lots of gaming going on, how wonderful to have lots of uncles who love to play games and who love to play those games with kids...

of course some wonderful dinner times around one, oh now three tables. the family has been growing a lot over the past few years but we still fit in one living room. it's soooo good to be with family for holidays. we do really treasure this year, as we have not been with family for the past 12 years!

of course you noticed the chamber pots...
it is my mother in laws passion to collect them. she has lots more and some are very very beautiful.
and yes it is true, almost every where people use real candle's on their christmas trees. it is very pretty and i'm glad we are now able to do this again. there is a big reason why this is possible. people here get their christmas trees just a few days before christmas and the trees are decorated on christmas day. this means that the trees are still very fresh when the candles are lit.
the christmas trees then stay in the living rooms until epiphany (january 6th). a wonderful tradition to enjoy the light and fresh smell of the tree during the holly days.

the next few days will be spent with my parents, there will be photos coming starting next week.
so far, enjoy the rest of this year!

December 29, 2009

a package from JP

the package was shipped across the ocean and made it on time!
thank you soooo much a, a and m, it was a great surprise.
amos was not to be stopped at all, his friend was the sender...

and the love note was the best. there is so much in a note from the friend of a life time...

one of my favorite ornaments, an old fashioned snow flake all made of wire and glass beads. i hung it on one of our door handles. a moment of still when i pass by makes it into this years holiday season memory of mine.

December 28, 2009

merry making...

we played music, lots of tunes and of course hymns too.

lighting candles was an integral part during all the time of celebrating. who would want to live through the darkest time of year without those wonderful shining candles...

this is the selection of christmas cookies we enjoyed at our own house. there were many different kinds at my parents house and then again an other assortment at the in law's house.
we all like those sweet treats and would not want to miss one kind of them.

i will post some more photos of happenings of the past days, stop by tomorrow.

December 23, 2009

hard to resist...

i just stumbled across this commercial, it's just so beautiful and subtle...

advent evenings

getting ready is a big part of our advent evenings. lighting candles, finding the right spot to sit down. of course that often is a bit of a scramble, there are the preferred seats, and the two lamb skins to be placed just right...
but usually within a few minutes we are all settled and listening to the story about lukas. (a boy living in bethlehem 2000 years ago)

and then this, i got my advents gift yesterday!!!
guess what, yes a flash for my camera, it's working fine as you can see.

there are just two pockets left for us to empty, they both were filled by amos. this year has been the first, that the kids were helping with putting little gifts into the 24 advent pockets. especially amos was fond of doing so. i love how our advents tradition change and grow with the kids. it is a surprise and a gift to see their way of participation, growing and understanding.

December 22, 2009

a look out the window

an old chestnut tree with an old mossy bird feeder. this is the view we have, when looking out the bedroom window...

December 21, 2009

a's house shoes

for a while now was it on my mind to make a pair of house shoes for amos. he was the only one in our family without a pair of warm indoor shoes...
i really wanted to make them myself, as amos is so appreciative of home made things. my sister in law has already knit and felted for her whole family and friends so i knew she would be a good and trustworthy source in regards to wool and pattern.
a week ago we quickly visited, picked out wool from her stash, got the pattern (from this booklet) and nr. 8 knitting needles...
i wanted to start immediately but for one or an other reason was just not able to get the knitting started.

as you can see, they are all done, knitt and felted!
they turned out great, amos loves them.

December 18, 2009


i got mail

a few days ago i was browsing on etsy, looking for some gifts. i knew what i wanted overall, but not in the detail.... then i stubled over LillaLotta and could not resist those ribbons!
and for the moment i'm still sulking in the ribbons which i'm now holding in my hands. aren't they lovely!
the matrioshka and the twinkle one are for two of my friends... they just fit so well.
i know i will be late, as they have to be shipped overseas, but that doesn't disturb me at all. they will make my friends happy regardless of being on time or not.

December 17, 2009

the little hand

there is not a lot to say, i'm just on love with those little hands grabbing what ever they can hold onto!

December 16, 2009


auf dem schulhof steht seit anfang advent eine krippe, sehr einfach und schoen. umgeben von baumstumpfen und tannenaeste ist die weihnachtszene mit etwa 15cm grossen figuren dargestellt. ich war beeindruckt, dass dies auf dem oeffentlichen platz raum hat und hab mich sehr darueber gefreut.

heute hatten die buben ein kurzes weihnachtssingen von der schule aus. alle kinder der unter- und mittelstufe erschienen warm eingepackt mit zum teil noch mit instrumenten. die lehrerin von amos spielte mit dem saxophon mit, einige kinder spielten auf den trommeln und andere auf ihren querfloeten und gitarren.
amos und auch elias waren gluecklich thea und mich unter den zuhoerern zu wissen und der leichte schneefall konnte uns unter keinen umstaenden die freude nehmen.

doch kalt war es, sogar amos trug seine muetze (die graue muetze und braune jacke im rechten bilddrittel, zweitunterste reihe).

December 15, 2009

hand's being stitched

there is lots of stitching going on in on right now, i totally enjoy working with the girls on some projects. the hands we make together are all unique and will be worked into presents. i'm so tempted to keep them for me, but especially naomi is determined to give them away!
i think that's good and work on each little piece with lots of enthusiasm and love.
no i will not show the finished products, as there is still some mystery to be kept for the people which will receive the presents.

this is thea's hand, traced with pencil on linen, the linen is "upcycled" form curtains which have been hanging for many years in our living room.

this is naomi's hand, the white fabric has been a napkin, which i decided has to fit an other purpose...

December 14, 2009


gestern abend hatten wir mit der gemeinschft znacht und anschliessend in drei gruppen ein lebkuchenhausbauen. es ist toll in gemeinschaft zu leben, miteinander zu backen, zu essen, zu arbeiten und familie sein zu dürfen.
fuer jede gruppe gab es zwei blech lebkuchen und viel dekorationsmaterial, sowie lebensmittelfarbe und "leim".

der lebkuchen war so hart, dass sich eine gruppe der stichsaege bediente um die gewuenschten streifen zu saegen fuer den turm der ihnen vor augen schwebte...

toll, so ein hellblauer turm, hoch musste er sein und architechtonisch schlank...

amos und naomi waren mit dem anmalen der verschiedensten teilen des "lsd"-haeuschens beschaeftigt, ein genuss fuer die kinder so miteinbezogen zu werden mit all den erwachsenen zusammen zu schaffen.

das "klassische"

der nachbau des eiffelturmes. genau und exakt passte da fast alles zusammen!

December 12, 2009

3rd sunday of advent

i stumbled upon this wood cut today, it is made by maria uhden in 1918, a german painter and graphic designer.
my heart warmed up as i enjoyed the wonderful warmth of this wood cut. we are once more shortly before christmas, in the time we call advent. a time of waiting and expecting.

December 11, 2009

more baking

there is more baking and working toward christmas being done...
amos and i prepared an other cookie dough, this time for speculatis. though there is to say, i discovered a bit late, that we don't have almond flour in our cupboards, so i substituted hazelnut flour for it.

i love this photo for it's motion...
grating lemon peal is not the easiest task, but amos managed.

December 10, 2009


naomi was very eager to write a letter to her friend m, of course thea wanted to help her, which was not appreciated. our office is still a mess. the kids started crafting yesterday evening, lots of cutting and gluing going on, including some wire cutting... no i'm not giving it away, elias and amos have their christmas projects going on now. i'm excited about their ideas and curious how things will end up looking.

naomi has lately been very careful in her handwriting. spelling is still very creative, and i think this is super. it makes for lots of good laughs.

December 9, 2009

a new treasure

for a long time now have i been looking to add type writer to our office. i just never found one that was usable and not super expensive because of it's antiquity...
so the first opportunity i got in switzerland was the flea market in our neighborhood. and what did i spot right away... yes a mechanical type writer and it seemed to work flawlessly. hurray!
the same afternoon i went to the store to buy ink-band, as the old one was totally dried up. it was a long three days we were not able to use our new treasure. but the morning arrived when i went back to the store to pick up the new ink-band.
the kids came home from school for their lunch brake and of course all three of them ran to the type writer and one after the other had to try the magical machine. i was standing by and enjoyed the moment.
the past few mornings, naomi took the opportunity of not having to compete with the boys for the type writer. so she was writing whole sheets of paper full, her letters to the teacher, her friends, her momy, her sister....

elias startet to write his math problems on the type writer... and amos started a letter, o of course not just one, a few dozen...

December 8, 2009

community "guetzlete"

as i mentioned yesterday, i was preparing christmas cookie dough last week. there was anis dough for "chraebeli", which as you can see joel is all into it.
it was very interesting to hear him say, "i'm working with this dough, so i'm not tempted to eat it all." i encouraged the guys to try some and they did, after some more urging on my behalf. and then what a surprise, they loved the dough a lot. not that i was surprised, but they just didn't expect it to be yummie!

the chraebeli turned out great and after resting them for 24h and baking 15min. they taste delicious and look great, almost all of them grew their little feet! yeah!

some hands did a diligent job in "painting" the meringue onto the "zimtsterne"
others prepared rice crispy treats and a variation of it with dates and brown sugar instead of marshmallow...

and of course, the chocolate balls are a must in any list of christmas cookies...
for now that's it. but i'm sure the kids and i will do once more a round of baking. i'm looking forward to those moments, of mixing dough, rolling and cutting into shapes and baking. even more the eating them, sipping a cup of hot cocoa and all that in front of a warming fire!

December 7, 2009


it all started out this week, with me preparing cookie dough for the community cookie baking.
there was a lot of sugar, eggs, ground nuts, chocolate and vanilla to be found on the kitchen counters. o yes of course butter too!
then on saturday night t started his project. 20 sugar cookies as huge as possible for one person to eat. of course thea was with us in the kitchen. with big eyes and active hands was she sitting with the cookie baker at the table, helping him.

there is more cookie baking coming tomorrow, as the community has done their annual christmas cookie baking project yesterday afternoon.

December 5, 2009

peanuts and a gift

it's saint niklaus time...
the first time for the kids to experience the tradition in switzerland. it's very exciting to finally take part in the tradition, which is so rich in it's focus on kids. naomi was storming into the door after kindergarten, in her hand a little bag with peanuts, walnuts, chocolate coins, tangerines and a "lebkuchen". and then for lunch the grandparents were visiting, that in itself has been a surprise and they were bringing a "chlaus saeckli" (the link gives you an idea what this is), for each child. the kids started to trade their favorites which each other, and we all sat around the table cracking nuts and eating sweet treats. in all that we enjoyed each others presence, it's such a gift to have family close by!

a big surprise for myself!
my mom told me about the piano music, which she found in her attic, and in addition there was a cook book with local recipes, a blank book with a wonderful little art quilt on the cover (made by a friend of my mom's) as well as a clay star. i was blown away, being showered with so much goodness. thank you mom.

December 4, 2009

a brisk morning

a brisk morning, sunshine and cold air, quickly running to the mailbox and then discover that a friend of mine sent me a care package!
the mood of a white wintry morning with the rising sun peaking into the kitchen window, there is almost nothing better to start a day.

thank you r for the surprise, the smell of those wonderful tea spices is in the air and i was able to sit down with a big mug of jasmine green tea today. tomorrows mug will be a rooibos with peach flavor! i'm looking forward to taste all the delicious kinds of teas, i will not find excuses to not sit down. moments of still will have their space, especially during advent and tea helps to keep them my own still moments.

December 3, 2009


there is a new game going on in our house!
because our house was originally a restaurant, there is that little "push up door" between kitchen and living room. thea discovered that there is a lot of fun to have with it!
up and down, and up and down, and so on. especially if there are other people sitting in the living room, she will be able to get their attention in now time!
with a big smile is the whole crowed pleased and laughs back at her...
now you can imagine there is now end in this game, at least for her. on my end though, after a while i have to help her down to find some other activity, the shutter is just to loud when she bangs it down.
though i'm glad for her to have found a unique way to connect with all the new people in our house.