hustle and bustle

we have been pleasantly busy around here.
too busy to write, upload photos or reflect on each passing day.
forced to be present and keep up, and feeling blessed each and every moment.
we had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday.
we spent it with loved ones, surrounded by an abundance of yummy goodness.
there were many games played, much food eaten,
 lots of wine passed around, children running in and out of the house, and all surrounded by love.
after the holidays pollywog was anxious to get the tree up and decorate the house.
last Christmas came and went without much acknowledgement,
 so i was thrilled to re-install the traditions in my little ones life. these memories are precious.
the house was filled with christmas music as we erected the tree,
decorated it and began placing new and old christmas decor around the home.
our house is now glowing with the seasons cheer and i
am reminded of my own childhood memories of playing with the nativity scene,
 entering the small snow covered villages on the shelves,
and re-visiting special moments with each uncovered ornament.
it was a truly wonderful time the little one and i shared.
with this season comes much hustle and bustle as pollywog prepares and practices
 for her Christmas program at school, her Christmas ballet recital,
and the gifts and cards we are busily crafting.
as each year passes it becomes more of a realization to me
 how important it is to keep the spirit of this season alive and thriving at home.
i detest the long, pushing lines in the shops.
 the stress of purchasing and having enough money,
and the overall spirit of consumerism as a way of "giving" to those we love and cherish.
in order to encourage the meaning of giving,
we take the time to create something special for those we love.
we have been looking at craft books and discussing gifts that she would like to make.

i too am trying to find quiet moments throughout each busy day
 to stitch, paint, crochet and "what not" for the large list of those
 i want to honor and show my love and appreciation.
oh, and did i mention amongst all of this
 we are busy planning a party for a special someone
 who is turning 5-
but i am not stressing over this as we are celebrating this
 in a simple way the little one has planned out.
i am oh so excited about all we are doing
 and feeling so blessed to have these moments. 
we are so surrounded by love this holiday season much love...
and to me this is the reason for the season.
i believe 2012 is going to be a wonderful year...
but for now we are truly enjoying the end of this year.

craft it up...

we have had a busy week (and its only tuesday).
at school this week she has
brought many thanksgiving projects home, learned some new words in spanish
and at the pre-school today, we all had a thanksgiving meal together!
at home
we have been busy making crafts and goodies to acknowledge the spirit of holidays. 
pollywog is always collecting rocks, pine cones and lately gumballs.
so we decided to roll them in glitter and display them in a wooden bowl.

a bowl full of the prickly balls covered in glitter were quite nice.

she often watches me crochet and has been wanting to learn, so i showed
her how to finger crochet a chain

she caught on rather quickly
yesterday we decided to make a special thanksgiving package for bubbie.
we made cookies
and cut out different shapes
luckily i have a professional taste tester
then she made this special turkey and we wrote all the things she loves about her bubbie on the feathers
she was one proud little girl.
she loves that bubbie!
what a sweet girl
now for mommy to take a soak and read a book
all this crafting and baking and chasing after preschoolers makes this mommy thankful for bedtime.

playing doctor

she keeps this mommy smiling 

::princess birthday parties::

pollywog was invited to a classmates birthday celebration.
a "princess spa birthday" to be exact.
she got to work making her friend a beautiful, sparkly card!

then we set out the perfect princess outfit...have ya ever seen so much pink :)

the party was so sweet. the girls soaked their feet and then got toes and fingers painted by the birthday girl's older sisters.
they had it set up like a real salon, complete with children's magazines to look at while drying.
then she had her hair curled. *notice the princess holding her crown while getting her "hair did"*
she was in glitter, pink, princess heaven!
a few of the princesses

she had such a lovely time!
now pollywog is fully consumed with the plannings of her birthday.
in just a month  she will have her first, real birthday party.
we have themes, colors and games decided upon and one very excited girl.
and this...ah, the sweetness of this.
my little one brought this home from school.
a placemat for her thanksgiving meal- complete with that which she is thankful for.
my heart was warmed to see that her home is a place that means so much to her.
and of course that upcoming birthday party :)


although it was chilly the sun drew us out and we spent quite a bit of the day creating on the sunporch.
i worked on my new art series while pollywog busied herself digging in dirt, playing pretend and later i helped the little one make a lantern.
then princess sophia (pollywog's pink hamster),baby sally,  puppy paulie, and rapunzel needed a warm home for the winter

(please ignore my dirty appearance... ive been in painting mode)
fireplace and shelves of course
happy weekend

monday funday...and catch up

we have been busy.
too busy to stop and write here.
busy meeting up with friends. pollywog had a play-date with a classmate on friday and then a golden friend of hers came over on sunday.

while the girls played, us moms snacked on this and had fun catching up.

aside from our special times with friends, cookies were made, work was done on our popsicle stick house, and christmas decor was purchased.
we are excited about christmas this year!
we plan to do it up BIG!
lots of hand-made ornaments, baked goods, christmas carols on the record player and stories under the tree.
pollywog is getting excited.
we peeked at the christmas box and she is counting down the days till we set up the tree and the house.

her school is going wonderful. i am so happy i found this wonderful place.
pollywog has started spanish there and has been invited to a spa/princess bday this weekend.
wow! wish my friends had bdays like this :)
mondays are usually reserved for our library day...however i was feeling cabin fever. we were needing some fresh air, lots of space to run, and lights to illuminate our night-time adventure.

living in the city university campus suits these needs.
so we headed to explore and run.

the grounds were beautiful...colorful trees shown brightly under the lights.
the bells chimed with the changing hours...athletes were running around the track and there were lots of walkways and stones for the little one to practice her tight-rope walking skills.
we went into the music and art building so i could show her mommy's ol stomping grounds and came upon a free percussion concert.

we quickly grabbed seats and enjoyed the sounds of the vibes, bongos, mariambas and many more interesting instruments.
i love spontaneous moments that happen when one is open to experiences.
pollywog truly enjoyed this impromptu adventre and was drumming along with the musicians.
once home, after a couple stories, she quickly fell asleep.

who says mondays are not fun?

::this moment::

{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.
                                                                       (Amanda Blake Soule)

:::5th of saturday:::6th of sunday:::november:::lets eat:::

this past weekend was cold and rainy...and on days such as these us gals have one thing on our minds- food!
so i opened up my new cookbook and pollywog and i made a turkish feast fit for the queens we are.
we made turkish flat bread and sprinkled it with anise seeds...this was some yummy bread!
pollywog loves to help mommy in the kitchen and she is pretty much next to me chopping, stirring, kneading or assisting for dinner each evening.
 i love this time we spend together.

the meal we shared was delicious. home-made hummus (on left), home-made babaganoush, falafel with cucumbers, tomatoes, and greens, kalamata olives and the turkish flat bread to scoup and dip with.  pollywog and i had full bellys and thankful hearts!
on sunday we tried another new recipe that was perfect for the rainy, cold, grey day: baked ziti!
this was a rich, creamy delight!!!
when cooking, while the little one waits for oven timers to go off or breads to rise,
she usually occupies herself around my feet in the kitchen.
arranging the alphabet magnets on the fridge or, like this night, playing with mommy's tea canisters pretending they are people, or maybe "canister people"...not sure but she was fully engrossed.

in any case the kitchen truly is the heart of the home and a place where memories are sure to be.


friday is a day of no school and no work at the preschool... and a day we declared our "nature day"!
it was a sun shiny day so we took the day to do some work on the property. closing down some of the garden beds and transplanting some Rose of Sharon saplings.
we also planted some seeds for our own garden and experiment in "winter gardening".
i took the opportunity to strike up a dialouge with pollywog regarding growing ones own food versus having to purchase all of it.
she loves talking about things such as this and learning.
she was interested in other things we can do on our own. we talked about maybe someday owning chickens and getting our eggs fresh each day in our very own yard.
she carefully and expertly helped me plant the saplings and sifted through the rich soil to find temporary pet worms. this gal loves her worms.
and well what gal can resists piles of leaves???

we ended the gorgeous day where we began it...outside!
i lit a fire in the pit and brought the drum out to play along with World Beat on NPR.
pollywog loves music and has some serious rhythm.

now for the weekend