January 31, 2011

just a moment

just a moment alone with the girl, she is happy and twirly and loves to take all the attention she gets. and that's alright with me. we enjoy her so much, all the laughing and shouting is being heard. we all respond, run and let her know that she is the youngest our "baby". though sometimes she can yell and scream and will be ignored... that's life, especially when there is a handful of older siblings and their friends around.

January 28, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

January 27, 2011

unsere nastuecher (handkerchief)

eigentlich ist es einfach so gekommen, es war keine strategische planung und minutioese ausfuehrung. als wir vor ueber einem jahr im birkengarten (der gemeinschaft wo wir wohnen) einzogen, fanden sich viele alte kuechentuecher im schrank. die tuecher waren verbraucht und zum abtrocknen nicht mehr wirklich brauchbar. doch fuer irgendwas praktisches wuerden sie bestimmt noch einmal ein zweites mal ins leben gerufen werden.
so hab ich diese tuecher ganz einfach verschnitten (mehr gerissen) und in nastuer umgewandelt. war ganz praktisch, da sie etwas kleiner waren wie nastuecher normalerweise sind und passten so gut in die hosen- und rocksaecke der kinder.
doch nun ist naomi schon einige male nach hause gekommen, mit verzweiflug im gesicht: "ich musste das nastuch in den abfallkorb werfen, hat frau s (ihre lehrerin) gesagt!" natuerlich war das nicht weiter schlimm, hab naomi auch getroestet und ihr einfach ein naechstes tuechli gegeben.

doch nun sind die grossmuetter besorgt, diese tuechli seien zu grob fuer die feine haut, das sei eine zumutung... ob wir denn keine papiernastuechli benutzen wollen... und "die armen kinder, das sei eine zumutung ".
ich nahm das alles recht gelassen dahin und wir entschieden uns als familie die kuechentuechli-nastuecher weiterhin zu benutzen.

dann am vergangenen samstag, nach einem besuch bei meinen eltern, ist naomi mit diesem geschenk nach hause gekommen.

alle 28 nastuecher, gewaschen-gebuegelt-gefaltet!
ja das war ein fest, nun wird sogar bei naomi die nase oefter geputzt.

eines der tuechlein ist aus der "jugendzeit" meiner mutter, als sie die ausbildung zur baeuerin machte auf dem "custerhof", handgerollt 100% baumwolle, made in switzerland! noch nie gewaschen, das ist nun naomi's favorit unter den tuechlein...

thea begnuegt sich mit sortieren, auslegen und ruft mich dann zu sich um alle wieder fein saeuberlich zu falten. sie selber bringt danach jedes tuechlein wieder zurueck auf den stapel...
danke ma fuer dein tolles geschenk an uns.

January 26, 2011

taking a hike together

it is not that often that we all together head out on a sunny cold afternoon for a hike. but if we do, we enjoy it. frequently the discussion get's started by joel, the boys are in disagreement about joel's idea, the discussion goes on and together we try to figure out how to make it work for each family member.
most often, those conversations gulp up their time and at the end we find our self's very close to the initial idea...
though that's ok, it makes us all feel like we had "the say" (at least i live in that illusion) and as soon as we leave the house behind us and climb up into the woods or hop on the train to bring us a bit farther out into the country side, we do well together.

of course there are more discussions on which path, or much more which "not path" to take. this time elias got the compass and a whistle in his pocket and navigated around us... it was a lot of fun to see him disappear and hide, as he ran up steep and hard to travel terrain under his feet.

the rest of us mostly stayed on track and i really enjoyed the pattern of shadows and sunshine in the woods.

discoveries are an important part of such hikes. this time it was a high seat, the hunters will be using such seats, they are about 25 feet or so up in the air, accessible by a ladder. not to hunt, but to count animals, wild boars, foxes, deer etc.

after the first half hour of not seeing elias he showed up with this very cool branch, which had to be carried up a steep snow covered mound and unloaded by a tree...

such sights are rewarding. what a silhouette.
of course a big choir of angels was being made into the untouched snow, and they had to sing a few songs too...
(yes we all sang out loud and loved to soak in the warming sunshine)

on the other side down the hill.
they called it "fuedli-schlittle" (literally bumm-sledding)
lots of laughter, lots of joking and lots of snow all over and lots of happiness coming home to a cup of hot cider with whipped creme and caramel sauce!
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January 25, 2011

the hat is off the needles

i got this wonderful wool from a friend, she undid a sweater and asked me if i'm interested in the "old" wool. of course i am. and here we go, i took amanda soule's hat pattern and started to knit. this is a quick knit, no stopping. except if thea had to go... and to take some photos.

i knit it for myself, but naomi claimed yesterday, that her hat was to small. it didn't cover her ears anymore. ok that was true, she likes to wear big hats, covering hears and forehead and almost her eyes too. so there we go, i have to knit again, maybe this time it will stick with me!

January 24, 2011

the view

this is what the kids looked at in {this moment}...

its the view from the eschenberg tower a bit south of our city winterthur.
joel took the two of them up there with the bikes. it was cold and just sooo wonderful, the sky clear and they viewed a great panorama and a stunning sunset.
it's a beautiful place where we life!

January 21, 2011

{this moment}

by joel

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

January 20, 2011

the busy kitchen of ours

i got one liter of grape juice from my parents. what a treasure it's from their own vines, which they have in their front yard. i could not stop myself from making grape jelly.

winter veggies, and yes some zucchini thrown together, sauteed and served on a pork chop. the pork is from my brothers farm. i'm very glad we are able to know the place where those pigs grew up and how they get treated and what they get fed. soon there is a new batch arriving at our house, the freezer is readied and has room.

do you remember us collecting the apples and bringing them to the cider mill...
here is our very sweet and a bit tart apple juice, we all love it. either cold or also hot and spiced, yum.
there has also been soup a lot these past dinners, fresh bread rolls and pasta with gorgonzola sauce (american's usually call that type of cheese blue cheese), wirz so called "english cabbage" with ham and white wine, o that is so very delicious. lots of potatoes lately, there will be a new delivery of potatoes and apples from the farmer today, i'm so much looking forward to more cooking, baking and just plain apples from a neighboring farmer, not having to rely on oranges ad bananas from other continents, but instead good fruit from the neighborhood.

and then my little busy helper, where ever there is work to be done, she is there working.

January 19, 2011

the pants off my needles

a few weeks since i started those purple pants for thea. i'm not a fast knitter and i'm not knitting long hours at a stretch, it's just not possible with 4 little ones (although the big boys don't really count as little anymore i guess...).

but the yesterday i was tired and it was cold outside, so i got to just sit and knit (and nurse...) for a bit after 5pm. it was very comforting and amos got the camera out...

i love close up photos of my own knitting. especially with those gorgeous wooden needles.

so then this morning i finished the project. and of course within minutes of sewing the buttons on to the bottom of the legs the lady was already taking her clothes off and jumping into the fashionable pair of pants.

she does love them, they are still a bit long, but that's ok, thea is growing quickly and of course this way she will be able to wear them for a while, at least i hope!

January 18, 2011

the tangerine

thea loves tangerines, and what better afternoon snack in a sunny living room when it's cold outside but warm and cozy indoors.
i had to get my camera in hand and then loved to just click away, here the once i feel like showing...

January 17, 2011

quince fruit leather

i got two pounds of quince paste from my mom. a friend of mine has made a sweet quince fruit gelee, every year around christmas. i just didn't have the time to squeeze it in this past season and never before had the chance to get a hold of quince.
this past week, i got to work with the quince puree, two pounds of it and exact the same amount of brown sugar, i got this from here. this and this are other general recipes for fruit leather.

after cooking the puree for one hour i spread it very thin (~3mm) on two cookie sheets, on top of baking paper.

after three days of air drying the sheet was ready to be cut. the fruit leather together with the paper had to be cut into stripes.

and then rolled up...
it was a bit sticky, though that's ok, we all love sugar don't we...
(sorry the colour of this photo, i turned the light on and didn't change the setting on my camera, i know the yellow tint looks creepy)

and here we go, all the nicely rolled up quince fruit leather stacked up, ready to be snacked away. amos already announced that he loves fruit leather. it is something i have not found here and we all loved those treats back in america.
it might be soon becoming a habit of mine to have fruit leather in the making, it is easy works to produce on the side and in big quantities.

January 14, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama.

January 12, 2011

things i want to do in 2011

in these bleak january days my thoughts were pondering what i will be able to do in this newly started year. i made a list and as i started to ponder, think, the wishing started happening...
the list doesn't look too different from past years, that's ok. i like to be able to enjoy some of the traditions we got started of the past years and sometime they just need a little tweaking for the future. i do also feel like this year will be a bit more settled, as it is the second in our house in switzerland since we arrived here in november 2009. and still there will be lots of new and exciting events and adventures happen, without us doing a whole lot of planning. the one thing i'm excited for elias and joel is their summer trip to boston! we all would love to hop along, but this will not happen, and i settled for it not to happen. sela

1. participate in the project "stop armut"
2. being calm, loving and firm in discussions with our kids
3. finishing elias' quilt
4. sewing some more hairbands for the girls, and maybe me too
5. knitting a skirt for naomi and a few more projects...
6. getting into a rhythm for prayer time and contemplation
7. start running again (when it gets a bit more pleasant outdoors)
8. read a book a month (this includes cook- and craft books)
9. organize a german-conversation group for my neighbor friends
10. spend some time in a cabin high up in the swiss alps
11. get into the habit of doing ATC's for myself and with the kids
12. write my a card a month to my godchild
13. visit my friend a
14. go to a session at the maiers with joel
15. take a photo a day
16. bake and cook with new recipes

naomi turn's 7

the day started out with a candlelight breakfast...
including a chocolate cow from a friend...

the afternoon tea time included guests and a wonderful chocolate cake by amos for his sister!
and yes of course my mom stopped by too and certainly not empty handed, but with a wonderful pineapple cake, with lots of whipped creme...

January 11, 2011

picasso at the kunsthaus

since october is a large scale picasso exhibit at the kunsthaus zurich. i wanted to go for a few times already but never followed through. so here we go, amos, naomi and traveled to zurich and spent a good morning in the kunsthaus. the exhibit was excellent and we all were so intently listening to the audio guides, that we didn't notice the many viewers in the exhibit halls. (yes it was crowded...)

amos loved the period and birth of cubism, naomi got hooked on the fruit bowl and pitcher theme we got to see in many paintings. and my favorites are still within the blue period of pablo picasso.
and after almost 2h we got some yummy treats...

we love the tram's...
and of course zurich main station...

January 10, 2011

this is were we went...

i do owe you a little glimpse into the moments of our year end...

for the last days of 2010 and to get started into 2011 we visited friends of ours in montmirail. they belong to a community called don camillo and one of their ministries is the guest house of montmirail.
it was a very good place, we felt at home and cared for, and able to enjoy family and friends. it was uplifting and we also felt spiritually rejuvenated.