Today I Am Thankful



Today I am thankful because in a world that often seems to zoom by in a streak I have a place to find focus. I can be stopped still in the middle of chaos and find order and sense. I can be confused and lost and find direction. I can be lonely and insecure and find warmth and security.


Today I am thankful because I have these two little beacons of sense and sanity. They are my compass and my map. A belly laugh, a hand to hold, a batted eyelash and a hug and kiss to the moon, those are what I am thankful for.

The hubbies not too bad either.

A yummy link


I've been hunting around for some yummy pie/tart/cheescake recipes to make tomorrow for Thanksgiving and came across this wonderfully yummy blog. Such great pictures and recipes.

Just a little something to get your appetite ready.

Storytime 2


Today Annie and I messed around a bit with the photo story and came up with a little cleaner narrated book. Annie spent most of the afternoon making the book and insisting that we put it on the computer. She clicked around and did all the saving of the images and chose the transitions.

I promise not to post one of these everyday. Happy Sunday.



The girls have been working on creating little books lately. I had been thinking of making up a bunch of blank books for them to have at the ready and then I saw this post by Amanda and had to get down to business.

At the same time my sister-in-law was talking about making Photo Stories of her students books. I thought this would be so great since the best part of their books is listening to the story that goes along with the images. I scanned in all the pages of the book and then had recorded Annie narrating.

I did have some trouble converting the Photo Story file so that I could display on the blog. I ended up using photobucket instead of dropshots because dropshots did not like my file.
I think I need to make bunches of these.

Ideas anyone?


I recieved this message from A Kite Rises a bit back

"...hope you do not mind me asking, but have you any ideas on how to make the whole
Christmas experience less commercial and more magical for a teenage lad of 16? I
would be so interested to know what way you keep your family grounded amidst the madness and maelstrom at this time of year"

I have been thinking alot about this and also about christmas with the girls and all of our extended family. I have 5 brothers and sisters, 8 brother and sister-in laws and 15 nieces and nephews (and #16 is on it's way).

In my dream scenario I would make gifts for everyone but not so sure that will happen this year. I am going to try and make as many as we can and we do a lot of picking names and grab bags so as not to overwhelm everyone.

Last year I made little bags for all of my girl nieces (I think I still owe a few of them) and Annie and Maddie chose music for a cd. Annie wrapped each one and handed them all out. The year before we made ornaments for all the cousins. I was so impressed that all of the kids were so excited to receive the little gifts and at how excited the girls were about giving not just receiving.

Santa and his elves are usually very busy making gifts for the girls. See here and here and here.

Some of the ideas floating around are having the girls write books for their grandparents and using snapfish or the like to print them. I would love to sort through all of my grandmas pictures and make a book for her or my mom. That might be a nice project for an older child. I thought maybe that would be a nice present from a teenager, sorting through all the pictures and recording a caption from grandma/grandpa and then publishing it.

For the little ones in our family I was thinking of making a memory game with pictures of the family.

So those are few of my ideas as far as homemade gifts go. I know all of you out there must have some great ideas of your own. So I am opening this up to all of you. Send me an email with any of your ideas on making the holidays special without it being all about the toys. I'll compile them and try to get them up the week of thanksgiving. I think I posted last year about some nice advent calendar ideas and some of my favorite toy stores so I will also link to that.

Have a happy Monday.

Following patterns....

A while back the girls found one of my Japanese craft books. Annie took one look at the patterns inside and asked for some paper and scissors. I told her that she couldn't cut out the patterns. She said "don't worry I am going to put the paper on top and make them." Okay. The girls proceeded to trace every pattern piece in the book and glue together each of the little dolls. It was really a great little project for them, kept them busy for hours, required lots of patience and team work. I think I may have an excuse to get myself some more of these books "Oh, they're for the kids honey." I love that they came up with this all by themselves.