Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joyfilled Holiday

We have had a beautiful few weeks here. So many crafts and life lessons, seasonal treats, spiritual growth, new babies ( yay, baby Rhys is finally here!).
With all these wonders to take in and learn from, I feel excited to share thoughts and photos- and also a little swept away in my rhythm.  The advent garland has been so wonderful, as it has kept me on task and the children entertained. I just move the marker and do what I had planned on that day and low, it looks as if Christmas Eve is a few days a way and I am actually on schedule!
So for the time being, I'm gonna let the rhythm carry me and look forward to sharing all our projects in those quite days between Christmas and New Years. I am also looking forward to spending a lot of time with the new bundle, can't wait to spend some hours with that boy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

St. Lucia day

December 13th has always been a celebration in our home as it is the Papa of the house's birthday. So when planning our St. Lucia celebration we blended the traditional swedish traditions with our family birthday traditions. It made perfect sense to continue with the early morning coffee and sweets. Lyra on the other hand, did not like the idea of candles on her head, even unlit ones. So we left these off. I made her a crown of boxwood ( something we do every year around this time) and she wore it while carrying a tray of coffee and cookies with one of our lanterns from martinmas. This year we have studied more about people who have celebrated St. Lucia day, than St. Lucia.  Next year, I'd like us to make some sweet rolls for the girls to serve daddy in the morning.

And here are some other festivities we've been up to  .    .    .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

advent circles of our own

Blessed we are to have a little circle of people who share our daily lives, our hopes for our families, and a deep and true love. Friendship is just not a strong enough word to encompass the way I feel about these women and their families.  I confessed one day that I had wanted to give two of them a gift of advent circles for christmas this year, but could not think of a way to make or afford them.  Mariah solved this problem with the simple idea that three of our families would go in together. Mariah and I would give to January's family, January and Mariah to mine, January and I to Mariah's.
Now, our advent circles are a little different then the traditional but they encompass the needs of our families and are all exactly the same. Over the years we will all add and change them, but the basic circle will always be the same- an heirloom for our families and a symbol of our undying friendship.
This is the first year that I have had a whole advent season planned for my family. I have fully enjoyed the whole experience from planning an event to seeing the excitement on my children's faces.
This is the song we have been singing while lighting our candles. It's a slight adaption on a traditional pagan yule song, and it does indeed bring me comfort and joy.

God bless you merry gentlefolk, let nothing you dismay,
Remember that the sun returns, upon the solstice day,
The growing dark has ended now, and spring is on its way,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

The winters worst still lies ahead, fierce tempest, snow and rain,
Beneath the blanket on the ground, the spark of life remains!
The sun's warm rays caress the seeds, to raise life's song again!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Within the blessed apple lies, the promise of the queen
For from this pentacle shall rise, the orchards fresh and green,
The earth shall blossom once again, the air be sweet and clean,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

360 moons ( give or take)

Earlier this week Lyra asked us how many months old she was. And January and I helped her figure this out in her head. To us and our nature based life, her question about her age in months became her age in moons. Well my birthday is today so of course we did me too, and found that I was 360moons old.  It sounds very romantic and wise so I think I'll keep it.  I have no issues with turning thirty. My husband and all my friends are older than me, for one. But secondly, I like growing up. I alway have. I don't mind getting older, as long as I don't get old before my time. Which I currently do not feel in danger of.  I look forward to the day of white hair ( I do hope to get my grandma's pure white locks), in their time. I have spent my whole life waiting for this lifetime. All my hopes and dreams were for these early adult years. I had goals and dreams and they have been fulfilled with more joy than I had hope for.
In my early twenties, as a new mother and wife- things were not going exactly as I had imagined. I had a sick baby, a very stressed husband, a negative balance in the checking account and a lot of confusion.  How could this be going so wrong? Well, I just flat out refused to give all the joy I had waited for over to worry and heartache.  This would not be stolen from me, and especially not BY me. I found yoga. I actually didn't find yoga so much as start a regular practice. And from that practice, I found the whole world I had been looking for. I found other people who believed in themselves and nature. I found cloth diapers.  I found CSAs and farmers markets. I found beautiful friends. I found my true self and permission to be happy despite unsettling things in the world or my life.  I found that my husband was more wonderful than I had let him be.  I found all the problems in my life were my own making. And over the years, I tended the path, and practiced, and meditated. And so here on my thirtieth birthday, I sit a real, full grown woman.  I am no longer in a rush to get here. I am no longer in a rush at all. I am ready to linger over all the future days.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Garland

I had really wanted to get this post up before the 1st. Not only because it is the start of December, but because I wanted a nice foot forward as I hoped to be making some new friends with the winter ROTH edition. But as fate, or family life would have it, that did not happen. I had been planing this garland for some time, many, many others have influenced it.  Much gratitude to all you  talented women and your inspiration.
I took out the felt last weekend and before I could start the project, it disappeared. Really it did. We looked every where and then today at the last moment- it was found! In the puppy's toy bin. So the crafting began.

                     Lyra helped trace the stars and trees in pencil. I used a pen on the darker colors.

And I let her take pictures.

I let the girls cut out some stars to make fingerknit crowns. And they let me do the rest of the cutting. We do so many projects together. I just wanted this one for my own.

After they were asleep I cut out the events of the next month on little postage labels.

Cut little slits and strung them on some twine.

So there will be this surprise in the morning.  I have noticed that my oldest learns best when things are hung around our home. And I wanted them to see and anticipate what was coming in the way of celebration. Now she can read them each morning and we can move the little marker and count the days till Christmas.

Wishing joy to you and your families this season.

Winter edition of Rhythm of the Home

The much anticipated winter edition of Rhythm of the Home comes out today and I am very honored to be a contributor.  Just the opening page fills me with excitement, there is so much beauty there. And I know that Rhythm of the Home, keeps all of us connected, reminding us that there are other families living simple and beautiful lives.There are many exciting articles, crafts and ideas for us to browse through. I can't wait!