Happy Solstice!

What a beautiful view from my kitchen window this morning… and a great way to start winter.




So the shortest day came
and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries
of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
to drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
to keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us — listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day.
As promise wakens in the sleeping land;
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year, and every year.

–Susan Cooper



Holiday pictures…

WordPress is making it easier and easier to add pictures to posts and I use the Galleries on my Photography blog so I decided to try it here also…

Here are the holiday pictures I took two days ago to put in the yearly photo book we make for family. I set up lights in my living room as it was a grey and miserable day and had a quick photo shoot.

You can see each picture larger and even comment on individual photos as well as on the post as usual.

Hope this works for everyone!


Salt dough

I shared the recipe for these a couple of years back but I thought I would make an updated post…

We put our tree up this weekend and while it went up I decided not to put all of the old salt dough ornaments that we had made before. I did keep a select few, but I wanted to leave a bit of place so that we could make more and so we did…

Xmas tree is up...

Yesterday, I made the dough and we made our ornaments and then the boys used the rest to make their own things to then paint and play with (mostly furniture for Lego and Mega Blok figures) and we dried them during the afternoon…

The dough is simple to make and even more simple when using a Food Processor as it kneads quickly and the more you knead the dough, the more supple it will be.

For the dough you need:

  • 2 cups of Flour
  • 1 cup of Salt
  • 1 cup of water

That’s it… dump it into a bowl or the food processor and knead until soft and supple, adding more flour if needed. I doubled the dough (but only used 1 1/4 cup of salt) so that we could have fun with more but really, the normal recipe would have been sufficient.

Roll out the dough and cut out the ornaments, or shape them freehand. Place in the oven at 250 and bake for about an hour or two until they are hard and dry. Don’t forget to poke holes in them before you stick them in the oven! You can use a straw to make the perfect sized hole.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Today we painted them. We actually don’t get the paints out that often around here so the kids always have a great time painting… I should really do it more often because I find it so much fun also!


(letting them dry after being painted)

drying out...

After painting them, I added some Mod Podge to the ones I made to give them lustre. Using a water based paint and the Mod Podge wasn’t the best idea but I was able to work around it and work with the paint coming off slightly and I actually love the effect it made. (especially the snowman and the strawberry)

(in the strawberry, the wreath, and the cupcake, the hole for the string is going from side the side)

I added mod podge on my ornaments

 This is such a fun project to do with the kids and having our own ornaments on the tree makes it even more special.

another Candy CaneSanta...Candy CaneSnowman

So Many Pizzas…

So I have taken a few days off of blogging after finishing NaBloPoMo… I have to start again though or I will quickly go back into that rut!

We had Khéna’s party on Saturday and it was great. We not only had a few friends with their kids there, but we also had Simon’s Sister, Mom, Dad, Dad’s girlfriend and Grandma there also… It think it was the 3rd time in all of our relationship that I had seen Simon’s parents and sister all at the same time. It went quite well, though I have to admit that I wasn’t very present. That is the thing about having a party, you can’t actually sit down and talk to the guests much. Of course, me being in the kitchen, rolling out dough and making pizzas to order, didn’t really help my cause…

I made 10 pizzas in all, and by the end I was hot and exhausted and of course hungry! It was great though and I loved making the dough ahead of time, getting all the toppings ready and making everyone happy with a pizza they would enjoy.  We also had two amazing salads, fresh pita chips and veggies with Baba Ganoush and some juice for the kids. It was just perfect.

I do have to say that there was an odd moment when my FIL started to talk homeschooling and language issues with a guest. I could hear them talk and I felt so embarrassed for him.  Luckily, he was talking to a great guest that had some great answers and the conversation didn’t get much further afterwards. I think it was a good thing to have the family there as they were able to see that our choices are not that crazy and we are not the only ones making them. We had a house full of great parents and great kids that are all life learners. Yes, it was a good thing.

I didn’t get my camera out much except for when Khéna opened a few gifts and then of course Cake time…

opening gifts at his birthday Party

 It was Khéna’s first Birthday Party. Usually birthdays are low key here. We go out shopping, let the kids choose a meal and do the cake just us together. Maybe have a grandma over or something but not usually. This party was a special request this year and he was not disappointed! His face lit of with pride when he sat at the table and everyone sang to him.

Ready for his Cake!

Black Magic Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing and Cupcakes topped with a raspberry on the side.

Cake and cupcakes...

Make a wish!

My Birthday Boy..Make a wish!

This was a day that I think he will remember for years to come.

I still can’t believe that he is six!

My Khéna is six!

For those who has been following my blog for a while you may remember following my unassisted pregnancy and then the birth of Khéna. His birth was such a healing time for me. He was my largest baby and after two long and hard labours that did not go as planned, his birth was perfect and so was he.

Just born…. a few days old…. 9 weeks old

just bornKhéna 10 days oldKhéna ~ 9 weeks- 19 pounds!

He was such a big baby and he has grown into a tall and heavy but now thin 6 year old. There are days that we look through pictures and I find it amazing how much he has changed and grown.

Khéna 1 month old!Smiley face ;)he spotted me!khénaskrunchy face...

Khéna sleepingall smiles with a new haircut...KhénaKhénasmile!!

KhénaProud big brother Khéna...KhénaKhénaKhéna

Khéna is an amazing kid. He is always happy and laughing and trying to make others laugh. He loves cars and trucks, policemen and firemen and anything with a motor or mechanical , something that the other boys had their phases but then moved on. He can play with playmobils for hours and is now getting into making elaborate Lego sets. He loves animals and his favourite show to watch is Zaboomafoo and he will mention obscure animal fact at random times in the day. Today we went to Build-a-Bear and he made the coolest bear with two of favourite passions. A Jaguar bear in a Police Uniform. (I’ll take a picture tomorrow)

Khéna is such a loving kid. He loves to give hugs and kisses and is always saying I love you. He is considerate and understanding and wants everyone to be happy around him.

Khéna and I

He is such a joy to be around…

I love you Khéna, Happy Birthday!


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