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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Holiday lights

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One of the highlights of the season for us is walking through the Rotary Gardens holiday light display.  Even though there was no snow on the ground this year (Tea asked me today if it will ever snow again, EVER?), the lights still made it feel festive.  This year there were roaming reindeer that the boys were reluctant to stand near, and a sleigh we all piled in to attempt a group picture.

Terrified of the reindeer, my boys were of *course* beyond upset 5 minutes later when it was mobbed by other children that they hadn’t pet the stupid thing.

If you could see under Pea’s coat, he’s dressed *all* in red – his current obsession.  Santa related?  We’re not sure.

The garden paths were lined with luminaries and we walked under lighted arches.  The garden was supposedly lit with 300,000 lights, but I’m sure I didn’t see more than 259,840 – someone owes me 60 cents.   😉

As pretty as the lights were, I didn’t have a tripod, so I quickly tired of trying to get traditional shots.  If you can’t beat the blur, embrace it, right?  I started swinging my camera around randomly as I hit the shutter, claiming, “I totally meant this shot to look just like that.”  Luckily for my family, my fingers got too numb to keep at it for long.  But I still said, “Just one more” enough to earn myself a time-out if Tea’d had his way.

I’ll spare you from looking at the other 42 shots.  Kyle was not so lucky.

We never did get holiday cards out this year, so would you kindly pretend that picture of us sitting in the sleigh was delivered to you by your post-carrier?  Thank you very much, and Happy Holidays.  We wish you a very bright new year.


Off the needles, on the tree

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I finished the doll blanket for my niece a full 90 minutes before she arrived on Christmas morning – plenty of time to spare.

The boys also did a little crafting for Christmas gifts this year.  They helped make a few (20?) ornaments, but I couldn’t post pictures until they’d been handed out.  Tea’s were hand-prints-turned-snowmen and Pea’s were thumbprints-turned-reindeer.  The boys managed to not get craft paint anywhere but on their ornaments – a true Christmas miracle.  We also made a clothespin tree forest that I somehow neglected to photograph.  Tea has been asking if it’s too late to make gingerbread houses, so we may try to construct one sometime during the week he’s home on break, but I suspect he’s mainly interested in eating the candy decorations.  Maybe I’ll save myself the effort and just buy him a bag of gumdrops?  We’ll see…


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I finished the hat for Tea’s teacher while driving to and from Kyle’s family last weekend.  Long stretches in the car are my preferred knitting time – the scenery is ever-changing and I have a captive audience to ramble to.  The pattern was called “wurm” (Raveled here) and I loved it – the brim is 2 layers thick so it’s very polished-looking, and the ridges make it extra warm.  I knit it in my favorite yarn -the amazingly soft superwash (so you can throw it in the washer and drier without it shrinking) merino Malabrigo Rios.  I want one for myself.  I tried to forbid Tea’s teachers from wearing them at school so they doesn’t feel obligated to.

So now that those are finished, I am of course attempting to knit a very last minute blanket for the doll my niece is receiving for Christmas.  In my head, these projects are super quick.  In reality, I now have 90% of a finished blanket after 2 evenings of knitting, but 4,613 loose ends to weave in before Christmas morning.  Luckily I didn’t make anything for the boys this year so I have no other projects I’m frantically trying to finish up.

Find the pickle

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This weekend we performed the anual “find the pickle” at Kyle’s dad’s house.  A glass pickle ornament is hidden in the Christmas tree and we race to see who can find it.  The winner gets a prize.  This year we hid it twice so that the girls and guys could search separately.  Not surprisingly, it is difficult to find a green ornament hanging on a green tree.   There was an awful lot of trash talking by the guys while we girls searched, but once it was their turn, they were strangely silent.  For a very long time.  I’m pretty sure that was the longest pickle search in history.  We girls rule.

What silly holiday traditions do you have in your family?

a carrier for lamby

Pia was hiding her beloved ‘Lamby’ (a stuffed animal lamb) in the closet where I had chosen to store all the Christmas presents and I panicked a bit. “Lamby!” I cried, “you can’t go in there! Your Christmas presents and Pia’s Christmas presents are in there!” At which point Pia looked at me with those big, wonder-filled eyes that kids get when something they had never thought of before occurs to them. “Lamby gets presents?” she asked in amazement. Until that point I had no intention of giving Lamby a present, but the moment was too cute and I decided to go with it. “Of course Lamby gets presents, she’s Lamby after all.” (Lamby had been by Pia’s side at school during her tear-filled first two months of kindergarten… she is far and away Pia’s favorite stuffed animal.)

As luck would have it, the always-inspiring light blue grey had posted about a doggy bag she had made for her daughter’s stuffed dog just earlier this month. So with that in mind, I made this for Lamby:

which she fits in perfectly:

And, yes, I have now moved all the Christmas presents to a different hiding spot.

Fun gift idea for Thai families

As I was wrapping presents today it occurred to me that some other Thai families might be interested in these awesome books I found on Amazon. The coloring and activity books are by Nancy Chandler (who I’m sure many of you remember from her awesome Bangkok and Chiang Mai maps). I was giddy with happiness when I found these for Pia. I wrapped them up with these  skin-tone colored pencils that I found at For Small Hands.


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I don’t usually push handknit gifts on non-knitters anymore, but Tea’s teachers both repeatedly raved about his Tiptoe hat and begged me to make them adult versions.  Without really thinking about it, I told them Christmas was coming.  But now, Christmas really is coming and my fingers are getting the hat knitting bug, so I decided to go for it.

This pattern is called Capucine and it calls for tassels on the earflaps and on the back of the head.  I skipped the tassels and added braids instead.

The assistant in Tea’s room loves pink.  This hat wouldn’t look good on me, but I think it will fit her style and look nice with the white jacket she wears and her long (long, long) hair.

One down, one to go.  The yarn for hat #2 arrived in the mail this afternoon and I’m excited to put the boys to bed so I can get going.