Sunday, December 23, 2012

Graham's Very First Present

"Camera!!! Cheeeeeeeese!"

"Yook at my tongue."

"Uh... what's dis ting?"

"Okay, yike dis?"

"Is good to eat?"

"Oh, hey... camera!!! Cheeeeeeeese!"

"Wait, where'd dis book come fwom?"

"Hi, camera!!! Cheeeeeeeese!"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Esme Moments That Made Me Smile (Updated)

Esme, as I engulfed her little brother in a towel after his bath: I wuv you, Gwaham! Hims my baby!

*   *   *

Esme, as we listened to a song on the radio that began with children's voices singing, "Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Jesus...": JESUS??! We have Jesus!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Benjamin Harrison

This is the official portrait of our 2012 Christmas tree, Benjamin Harrison. Harry for short. He's a handsome old gent.

I no longer have any idea why we name our Christmas trees after dead American presidents. Was there ever a good reason? Probably not. Was there ever a reason at all?

Our Christmas tree archives now include a Truman (he came before we owned a camera), a Chester A. Arthur, a William Howard, a George Washington, a Teddy Roosevelt, and a Mr. Adams. A venerable bunch.

Here is Benjamin Harrison in nothing but his own glow, on the night before our gift exchange earlier this week.

I love a good Christmas tree!

Friday, December 14, 2012


On December 4th, our oldest turned... well, you already read the title of my post.

Look at this girl.

Doesn't she look so composed and mature? And she is... about 60% of the time. The other 40% she's still as wild and crazy and loud and silly and bouncing-off-the-walls as ever she was. Precious first daughter. How she fills our home with life and laughter.


Meg wanted a fairy garden cake that she saw in an old Family Fun magazine. I made a gluten-free ice-cream cake version to accomodate our family's changing dietary needs. (More on that in another post.) The fairy garden turned out pretty cute, notwithstanding the fact that I've always been kind of against decorating my kids' cakes with plastic toys. It seemed like taking the easy way out. This year, I Googled "make your own fairy cake toppers," read one blog post on creating a fondant fairy, clicked that window closed and ordered the darn plastic things. (Hey, they doubled as gifts!)
(Do you like the stray vegetable remnants and other spoils of dinner hiding behind the cake pan? What can I say? Just another example of my peerless food photography.)







So it was a very happy birthday for Margaret Lauren. But just to give you a clearer idea of her temperament, I do have to tell this one story. Meg was so intensely excited, so keyed up about her birthday. I know this is normal for kids.

But for Meg, the excitement was so palpable; it was embodied to such an extent that, at the end of the day when it was all over, she literally experienced a physical purge. The day was ending. We had enjoyed her birthday dinner (baked potato soup), we had eaten birthday cake, we had opened presents, we had celebrated Advent. Jammies were on; teeth were brushed; little bodies were in beds, we were singing final lullabies, and the light was about to go off when... Meg made a final request to visit the bathroom. One the way down the ladder, she suddenly bolted to the toilet, slammed up the seat, and--moaning prayers that God would not let her throw up--she lost it. All of it. Soup, salad, cake--goodbye! Then we cleaned her up, popped her back into bed, and... she crashed out and slept the sleep of the righteous all night long. And that's just the way she rolls. This was so NOT the first time that she has barfed because of over-excitement.

Yep, she's a crazy one. Crazy, and beautiful, and smart... and ours. For seven whole years. Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

My Beautiful, Wonderful, Blue-Eyed Peoples



Are there any words grand enough to thank God for blessings like these?

Saturday, December 01, 2012


I'm taking down our Thanksgiving Tree tonight. Do you like the ripped "roots" at the bottom? Graham's contribution. He's thankful for paper, and mobility.

Here's a sampling of the other kids' leaves:

"dinosaurs" -Matthew
"my big house" -Esme
"mommy painting my nails" -Meg
"Caroline" -Esme
"The Bible" -Matthew
"Jimmy Cone and Ice cream" -Meg
"cooking with Aunt Lena" -Meg
"Scout and Mommy's car" -Esme
"puppet shows" -Matthew
"my mommy and daddy and brothers and sister" -Esme
"pizza" -Matthew
"our grocery store, Safeway, so we have lot's of food" -Meg
"nana" -Matthew

We're not even close to being fully decorated for Christmas, but we pulled out a couple of things today. One was our Advent calendar, along with lots of candles--24 to be precise, so we can light a new one each day:

I think we're also going to try doing a Jesse Tree this year, a la Ann Voskamp and courtesy of our forsythia hedge.

(Dreadful picture, I know, with my flash on and our poor lone ornament!)

I honestly CANNOT believe that we are rounding the bed toward Christmas. My inbox is filling up with emails from various Nalle women about wish lists, our family gathering, food... and I'm just in shock that this year is nearly over. It does. Not. Seem. Possible. WHERE DID YOU GO, 2012???