April 30, 2009


i got really inspired by a sheet of paper which amos used to cut out some circles, for his money production... sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and friends talking and laughing i doodled...
lines appeared and an idea started to form in my head for the 8x10 spring swap.

i have to use some yellow and red, any kind of materials are allowed and here we go...
the base fabric is from an old pair of pants from the boys. then there are some scraps of fabric from the "baggie" and lightly felted roving...
the next step tomorrow or in a few days (depending on the kids and me being able to sit down and put the piece to the sewing machine). i'm really excited and we will see where it takes me!

April 29, 2009

supper last night

we enjoyed a small supper last night. it has been a hot day in the high 80is, and that is just at the end of april! this calls for some frozen dessert...
yes and that was what we did, walking and unicycling up the street to jp licks for ice creme. it's not something we do very often, but yesterday called for it. it saved elias's evening, as he had to be bribed to go to orchestra... he really enjoyes it, but it's a bit hard for him to transition over into a livingroom from the yard or park or unicycling up and down the side walk. though he came back very happy and already practiced intently this morning, he loves the music and has fun realizing that he is improving and knowing it better every week!
we got into a good groove within the past few weeks. elias is almost every day practicing his violin before breakfast, i'm excited and it's really helpful for a less pressured day. this way he has the big thing over and done already first thing in the morning. we will see how long it lasts but i'm hopefull.

April 28, 2009

it's sunny and hot

still sunny and hot here in boston!
i like it a lot the kids do too. sunhat and just very little else to wear is the theme around here.
hanging laundry and after a few morning hours everything is dry, wonderful!

the garden is doing well too. the radishes are coming in perfect and for the first time in my gardening life i lighten out some garlic and give each plant a bit more space... it was fun and i'm looking forward to a great garlic harvest. but first we will eat lots of garlic tips, that will be by the end of may or beginning of june.

the front yard looks good too. of course i didn't remember all the bulbs i put in the earth in october. so lots of great surprises. though because of the enormeouse heat we have now, the spring flowers don't last very long... the perennials can deal better with that and are just shooting up.
there will be more to tell about the front yard and photos at some point.

April 27, 2009

dinner picnic

most of the afternoon was spent on the deck behind the house on sunday afternoon. thea loves to be under the blue sky and enjoyes the running abouts around by her siblings...

later in the day, we had to go for a picnic. what else do you do on such a "hot" day, we had temperatures as it would be august, the thermometor hit 30C.

originally we all were excited, but then some kind of grumpy bug hit a boy.... nothing was good, nothing exciting anymore, nothing could cheer up the grumpiness of the almost 10 year old in our family! we decided to go anyway and have him wheel along, he has been a recycling almost nonstop since 10 days and made a lot of progress.
franklin park was the chosen destination and so we went, with thea in the moby sling, naomi and amos on their bikes elias on his one wheel and joel was walking with me. once more i realized how much i enjoy not having to take the car to go to an interesting and nice green spot in the city of boston! a 20 minute walk will do!

April 25, 2009


my april cmp atc is done, "bursting" is the theme! it's already in the mail, and i got mine from today too! it's a gorgeous one, a rose bud bursting and just looking at it makes me wanting to see the roses in my garden!
yes here in new england is everything bursting in regards to nature, we love it and spend every minute possible out of doors. although the roses are not there yet, they will be in a few weeks.
off into the weekend, with some music this afternoon at a friends house around the corner, some more music tonight at brendan behan for joel. an other goal of mine, going for ice creme with the kids!
it's in the mid 80is and it feels like sommer heat in april!

April 24, 2009

a day in the sun

we spent almost all day outside. mostly in the arboretum playing running games, hide and seek and there is the wonderful hazel tree. it's a ship or a tree house, you can go into it and play pirates or star ship enterprise!
we enjoyed being with friends, just be together and enjoy the sun.
elias insisted to take his unicycle, naomi her little bike and amos was walking with me. he got the camera to take along and use!

these are some of his photos.

the evergreen, what a great observation this is. non of the shrubs and trees around the evergreen are spring green...

tumbling and running

yes, something is blooming.

April 23, 2009

spring in the house

i love spring flowers in the house. it's really april around here, rainy days and sunny day are so mixed up and the cold wind is often blowing hard which makes us put on our windbreaker and possibly a hat!
i don't like to wear hats in spring, it just doesn't feel right. naomi will refuse all together to put a hat on, maybe her bonnet...
never the less, we will go out this afternoon to put some potatoes in the earth. as well as carrot seed... (we didn't manage the last time...)
on the way home we will stop at canto 6 for a hot cocoa and some wonderful pastry.

o and then i stumbled over this yesterday, totally worth seeing!

April 22, 2009

tasting her sweetness

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977

earth day

it's earth day here in the usa...
what is earth day? look here
how did it come about? look here
what can i do? some ideas here

and of course joel is biking to work! it's a lovely spring day, so this works out just fine. if it would have been yesterday, i don't want to think about it. (it was raining, pouring all day, and he really could not have done it)

for my part, i'm hanging the diaper's into the sun! in the past few months we dried them on the radiators but the furnace is not longer on in our house so we rely on the sunbeams. which is just fine for the coming 6 months.
lets say we try to have earth day every day! recycle, upcycle, freecycle, green dieting...

April 21, 2009

hibiscus flower syrup

for the past five years a tin with dried hibiscus flowers was sitting in my cupboard... now and then a used a few pedals to add to a herbal tea, but never a lot. what should i do with them? i want to get rid of that tin and use the flowers. my mind was racing and trying to come up with something, of course "google" helped me.
rosella syrup! yeah, that was it and it looked so pretty. a very strong dark red.
so i got started and it's super simple, smells wonderful in the house and we ended up with two bottles of syrup. what more did i want, nothing more.

these are the dried flowers with light brown sugar, add water and bring to a boil. keep on low fire for a while.

these is left after pouring the syrup in to bottles. i tried to eat the petals and it was like eating sour candy. lovely, just what i craved for.

the two bottles of syrup are now in the fridge and will be used up before i know. maybe i will buy some dried hibiscus flowers again, maybe next week.... who would have thought!
i already used some syrup for a raspberry-tiramisu, delicious what a great substitute. instead of coffee i used this and it looks so pretty. i left the lemon zest away as the syrup is already tangy enough.
no photos of that dessert, i guess i have to make it again and bring it to the blog.

Hibiscus Flower (Rosella) Syrup

1 ¼ cups dried Hibiscus flowers
1 ½ cups brown Sugar
5 cups Water

Place all ingredients in to a large pot and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and strain through a sieve. Discard the petals.

Keep in the fridge and add a little to a glass of chilled water to make a refreshing – and ‘different’ – drink ! We have also added sparkling mineral water which make a great “fizzy” drink for kids.

April 20, 2009

marathon monday

once more and it has very likely been our last time to watch and cheer for runners at the boston marathon!
after breakfast and practicing our instruments we packed sandwiches and water bottles. we hopped on the 39 bus and walked over to coolidge corner, and of course as in years past, we met william dawes on his horse on shortly before the first wheelchair racers came down the hill! this year was special with a lot more wheelchairs, as 15 veterans, all double amputees wheeled their way to success.
of course i could not walk by paper source located at coolidge corner... and it was good that we stop by, they had a lot of paper on sale!

i got a few sheets for 1/2 off and those great recicled newspaper pencils, i'm very certain they will find a good home some day.
it was a succefull day and ended with elias making a dish of baklava! mmhhhh dessert for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow...

April 18, 2009

north bridge concord 8:30

the men went to concord this morning. bright and early, to witness the "Commemoration of the North Bridge Fight at the North Bridge at 8:30 am". the boys were super excited and could hardly wait until dad had his coffee in the mug to be ready to hit the road. for this weekend concord and the minute men national historic park are transformed back into the year of 1775.

the red coats advance across the bridge toward lexington.

here the minute men come...
after defeating the red coats and pushing them back across the bridge from where they came.

and then the photo with one of the red coats. a "fifer", hi calls himself a "non combatant", just "fifing" along the way i guess...
it was fun and of course there was so much to see. except the cannon was missing for the reenactment that morning, they were keeping some special highlights for the rest of the day, when the battle road fight was reenacted. we did not spend all day in concord, but it was great to see what we have been studying for the past few months.

April 17, 2009

egg coop

finally after almost one whole year i'm telling you a bit more how it has been going with our egg coop...
as for now we are 14 families who are participating in the coop. every other week one family is picking the eggs up at chip-in farm in bedford.
so today was our pick up week and what a sunny day, perfect to pay the country side a visit. i have also been reading about chip-in farm in the edible boston magazin, which was interesting and nice to see.
it took us about 45 minutes to arrive at the farm in bedford, a little convenience store belongs to the chicken coop. and because i was calling ahead to have the 26 dozen eggs ready shopping was done very quickly. of course we had to talk and pet the goats. the orange pig was not to be misse and the one year old zick neither.
we also went for a little walk in the woods behind the farm. finding all kinds of things and elias could once more take his pocket knife out to do some stick carving.
on our way back home we took a bit a longer route, but were stoping by at concord museum. and of course looked at the neatly groomed and decorated houses around town. they are so ready for patriots day!

we could not just drive by our little beloved spot in newton, it's called "lost pond sanctuary" yes the pond seems to be lost in the woods. this is a place elias and i discovered when he was about two years old. we went there with the "puddle stompers" a very cool nature explorer group. if elias is a reference, that group and experience got him hooked, he loves everything wild and wett, and if it is alive even better!
this was also the place where elias was "scratching" his violin strings for the first time, about four years ago. after we went to johnson's to get the rental violin, we stopped by the sanctuary, and of course he had to take the instrument out. today he remembered that moment! i was very happy, that he was connecting this little spot of land with his instrument.
those latter two photos are by elias

April 15, 2009

a brake

i just have too many things going on at the moment and feel like i'm coming down with something... this justifies a little brake from blogging.
i will be back in a few days, enjoy every bit of spring sun!

Pleated Petal Tank


This is such a nice top, i would love to wear it and lure spring into full bloom!

April 13, 2009


I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living Head.
Samuel Medley

a very good and pleasant easter we enjoyed. all kinds of weather and lots of laughter. the kids were so happy to go to church on sunday morning at 8am that they were up and dressed before i was.... this made for such a peaceful start into the day.
coming home to set the easter brunch table with all it's goodies. naomi's favorite green beans with bacon... an easter tarte wich ended up to be the afternoon snack, as we all were so satisfied with "zopf" (challah bread), eggs, and so many different spreads. never the less it was a nice sunny morning and not even to cold indoors!

the and i stayed at home when the rest of the gang went for a bike ride around peters hill. this left me with some time to adore thea's precious little chubby feet. she is so much fun to be around enjoying the sun shine, as i do too! i was able to finish the little project for naomi, she was hoping for a set of bed sheets, a pillow case and a fitted sheet for her doll's cradle. it's done and loks pretty.

April 10, 2009

good friday

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(1979 Book of Common Prayer, p. 221)

it was a warm sunny spring day, a good day to be outdoors. we attended the tenebrae service at our church and all of us were once more taken in awe what christ did for us. a very impressive and solemn service.

and then of course we planned to decorate some eggs for easter. a long standing tradition to have easter eggs decorated on good friday...
we did it in the past years and i remember especially last year. my parents were visiting and we really enjoyed it a lot, working together with the kids and preparing for the easter fest.
this time we went to visit friends, i was preparing a red cabbage and an onion-skin bath to colour the eggs. rubber bands, grasses and cotton thread to bind...
my friend had some paints and brushes ready and together with the kids we went to work.
not everything turned out the way i imagined but it was very nice and the kids enjoyed it a lot. of course naomi had to paint a whole dozen, her "family" had to be complete and good looking in the carton!

i played around with this last photo, and wanted to share it with you, as it looks so fun with the eggs iluminated... i guess slowely and with little steps i'm growing braver to play around with 'gimp'. (which is one of my
goals for this year ;-)

April 9, 2009

eating "out"

yes it is warm, sunny and just perfect for a little lunch on the deck behind the house. we take the opportunity, i have been waiting for this day, yes i do have. but the day has come and it was great. dipping carrots in sour creme dip and a casserole with leftovers and things which have to be eaten. we all liked it and enjoyed the moments of rest in the sun.

we also planted a few salad plants in a box, i'm curious how well they will thrive. it would be fun to use the leaves for snacks, just when we all play outside and have a little hunger for something yummy. i remember when we all snacked on chives last year...

April 8, 2009

more crochet

today elias got back into the mood, he had a clear idea about wanting to crochet a coaster for his water glass on the table. it was almost noon when he started with the little project i was thinking that he might want to use it for the dinner set up tonight, but o now! i was wrong, very wrong, it had to be done for the lunch table!
that meant a lot of quick helping hands on my side, in the middle of lunch preparations. but once more i was glad to help him along and it turned out very cute.
i guess the next time i should take my time to help amos get some knitting started, he expressed the interest a few days ago and i did not follow up on it...

we also went quickly to allandale farm this afternoon, to get a few pansies and potting soil, the pansies are planted and on the front porch! yeah, we made it before easter.
for the garden, we got carrot seed (scarlet nantes, they looked gorgeous on the seed package) and for an other box to start in the house, sweet basil. but that for an other day...

April 7, 2009


we have guests as i already announced yesterday. a quick dessert for tonight, as we are taking advantage of a nice sunny day here in boston.
who would not love to dip a chocolate biscotti in a mug of coffee!
here is the recipe, i substituted pistachios with cashews, worked fine.

April 6, 2009

holy week

it's holy week already it came around the corner much quicker then i anticipated. i did realize a few weeks back, that we are approaching april and with it easter and it's days before. it dawned on me yesterday, when i was tending naomi with an upset tummy, that it was palm sunday!
elias was very quickly in his sunday best and ready to run out the door. you have to know on sunday's he is the last one up and the last one putting his shoes on, the one running down the side walk to catch up with us, on our walk to the T.
he did contemplate for a moment to feel sick, as he must have thought naomi was having a treat to stay home. but within a split second he arouse from the bed again and announced: " i don't want to miss the palm leafs!"
i smiled and enjoyed the moment. once more it made me realize how important traditions are. how much the children depend on them and make them to markers in their daily life.
we will be colouring eggs this friday, as i want to keep the tradition alive of doing this. i remember being home with my siblings and mom, running around the house to find the right kind of grasses to bind them and colour our easter eggs. more by the end of this week.
for today, we cleaned the house and expect guest's any minute.

April 5, 2009


the little cardboard and paper scrap covered rattle, bells attached was once a big hit. home made and very special. but it has not been in use for a long time and the paper is coming lose...
time to say good by!

all of us have been in the crocheting mood lately. i offered elias do to the crocheting part he wanted to but then forgot about it. i wanted to have the little bells up hanging for thea to enjoy, so i did it myself. it was a fun quick project.

and thea does enjoy the new toy. it's hanging from the saw horse which we used for all kids to hang things on it and place them underneath to play. it still works.

April 3, 2009


for the past few years i tried to get an amaryllis to bloom in my house. it did bloom once one two years ago, until it got knocked down with still three of the four blooms closed shot. last year i ordered a bulb online, don't know anymore where, but it turned out, that they didn't ship to the northeast until the danger of frost is over. yes ha ha ha, that was mid april and the i totally missed out on the flower.
o and then there was the white goddess, which i planted one year. i have given that one to a friend, when it was ready to bloom, don't know why. of course that one bloomed wonderfully at her house!
this year one of the old bulbs came back and left me waiting until just two days ago! but it's open now and the stem just broke off....
i still enjoy it, it's a wonderful blossom i will treasure it in a vase for the next few weeks.

April 2, 2009

finger haekeln

gestern abend wollte naomi auf einmal haekeln...
die garnschachtel war natuerlich eine wunderkiste fuer sie, um dort die passende farbe herauszusuchen. damit hat der grosse spass angefangen. ich kann ihr da gut und gerne glauben, dass dies wirklich toll ist.
natuerlich musste es rosa sein und so haben wir dann angefangen. bis heute abend hat sie dann bereits verschieden lange, verschieden farbene haekelketten gefertigt gehabt.
als erstes mussten diese werkstuecke ihrer freundin i verschenkt werden...
und nun wird fleissig weiter gearbeitet, bin gespannt wie lange dies anhaelt, hab da noch ne menge garnreste die verbraucht werden wollen!