Goodbye November +Advent Calendar

November is over. And thank goodness. Somehow it turned out to be so much more stressful than I was hoping it would be. There were quite a few shocks close to heart and there were and are a lot of things to ponder and re-evaluate.

What have we been up to:

-Lots of field trips: We went to Denver Art Museum and saw Glory of Venice and Japanese Fashion Exhibits. We went to Denver Museum of Nature and Science and saw Extreme Mammals exhibit, as well as Mummies (D. loved it so much, C. on the other hand hated it, “too many dead bodies”, I must say it was interesting but I didn’t enjoy it as much for the same reason). We went and listened to an awesome Drums of the World performance by Colorado Symphony. Even got to do Mannequin Challenge with them. We took a tour around Denver Center for the Performance Arts. D. and I did it once when he was in the first grade, but we had an awesome guide this time around and, since I am so much more in touch with my artistic side now, I achieved new levels of appreciation for the backstage workers, designers and craftsmen.

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-The weather was fickle, with winds, first snow and some icy rain. But plenty of sunny days too.  We were busy with extracurriculars too- both kids had a dress rehearsal for the choir concert (C. can’t wait to debut, I unfortunately will have to chaperone and watch her from the backstage instead of the audience), both participated in karate tournament. C. did extremely well, was brave and endured long waits. D. did well too, but he also got hurt, not seriously but enough for me to consider taking him to the ER. He was ok in the end, very thankful for that.

-Also thankful for friends that we were finally able to have over for dinner, thankful for everyone being overall okay and even husbands medical concern isn’t serious and very treatable.

-We have two intense weeks ahead of us, two concerts for each of the kids, tournament training at karate, I will most likely cancel our mid-year testing, I don’t think kids will handle 4 hours and then a long rehearsal all in the same day. We all need rest.

-As usual I have made an advent calendar for kids, they ask for it and really look forward to simple activities we do. The list is pretty much the same as last year, the only thing I added is “grant each other’s wish” (with a reminder to keep it realistic and kind)

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Kids read a lot in November: D’s favorite was “Marvels” by Brian Selznick and C. loved Grace Lin’s “Starry River of the Sky”. I am hoping to do a little book advent as well as the one with the activities we’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully, December is kind to all of us

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Goodbye January- Month’s Roundup

January truly flew by, but at the same time seemed so long and crazy…

Overall it was an ok month, we had a bit of rough start easing back into doing school routine, there was some friction between me and kids regarding progression of our days and expectations from both sides. But I honestly hope we worked it out.

First week was a mix of rough and quiet, some outings, some fun at home. I am glad kids got to play in a couple of different ways and they also let me join in. We made Marble universes and little walnut shells boats. Week 2 was busy and chaotic but we made it through.

The final two weeks of January were a little bit calmer. Still some medical things that we had to do (all is more or less well), C. got a little bit sick. We went to a wonderful Youth Concert with Colorado Symphony, children and I both enjoyed it immensely. Nothing beats the excitement of hearing your favorite pieces live!

The weather was so gorgeous just before the snow storm came in and we got to go for a lovely walk:

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The day was so clear…

 

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the delicate beauty of last year’s leaves..

 

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children enjoyed playing with the thinnest ice on the creek the most

 

Kids read some wonderful books in January  . I drew...and somebody bought what I drew, that was probably the highlight of my month, personally. I am not yet sure where this journey will take me, but I hope somewhere good. In the meantime we are ready to welcome February and then it won’t be long until SPRING.

Week’s Round Up : First 10 days of January

Hello, and Happy New Year to everyone who reads me 🙂 It’s been a while, but we’re back again.

Photo of the week:

 

 

New Year met us with nice biting frost, such beauty!

New Year met us with nice biting frost, such beauty!

What we were up to until now:

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THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Days 15-23

Another week went by, and lo! It’s almost Christmas!

 

What we’ve been up to December 15-23:

Letter to Santa, as always D. is all about Star Wars and C. had some unexpected wishes which I am not sure Santa can make happen.

We made homemade gingerbread cookies, kids’ dad made the dough and we did the baking. Kids refused to decorate them, though so they look a bit plain. But so delicious!

TBSOA 2015: gingerbread

 

We got so much snow!!! Fun with friends, games, giggles and sledding!

TBSOA: Snow Day!

 

C. turned 7! Hard to believe that my baby is so big already. We had a quiet celebration at home, plus C’s Spanish class at homeschool program had Las Posadas party. We also went to look at holiday lights displays nearby.

She chose Yule Log for her birthday cake :D I didn't bake it obviously

She chose Yule Log for her birthday cake 😀 I didn’t bake it obviously

 

blurry pic, but those were very very pretty lights

blurry pic, but those were very very pretty lights

Family game night! Dixit rules our lives, C. is getting better at submitting her cards too.

Kids made a holiday mobile and decorated candles

 

TBSOA 2015 : mobile

nothing fancy- mod podge and glitter

nothing fancy- mod podge and glitter

We had a joined birthday party with C’s friend L. Their birthdays are very close. Fun, warmth and yummy food.

each girl got a little letter art from me

each girl got a little letter art from me

C. made some clay keychains to give out to her friends and D. read holiday books out loud to us (Ollie’s Ski Trip remains a favorite after so many years)

very abstract but each hasa backstory :D

very abstract but each has a backstory 😀

 

So here we are, it’s Christmas Eve, I am hoping for a quiet and sweet evening, the morning will most likely be a chaos :DDD

TBSOA 2015: 3 weeks of December

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

 

THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Days 8-13

Another week flew by and half of December is gone. We had lovely week of small, quiet celebrations. Here what it was like:

On Tuesday there was another lovely concert with D.’s choir- his division performed in the nursing home nearby and as always, wonderful singing and warm, holiday atmosphere.

 

Wednesday kids opened their new winter books.

TBSOA 2015: new booksFor C. it was “Snow Rabbit” by Camille Garoche- a wordless picture book about a paper rabbit that turned real and two sisters that went chasing after him.

Snow Rabbit

D. got Neil Gaiman’s “Odd and the Frost Giants” and he loved it.

Odd and the frost giants

 

On Thursday we tried finger knitting, I must say it was crazy difficult for me and C., I am not a knitter at all and crochet but a little. C. didn’t have patience. But D. got a hang of it and had fun finger knitting for a while.

TBSOA: fingerknitting

 

On Friday D. and his dad had a lovely family karate class and we got our tree after. We usually get a small tree to fit into our tiny living room, but this year the choice was either microscopic or 6 feet tall. So we got 6 feet tall one. It’s weird to have such a big tree again and it takes up half of the room, but ids are absolutely thrilled.

On Saturday we made a few decorations as per our annual tradition and decorated our tree.

D. went for a paper house, inside tha box is colored as a room

D. went for a paper house, inside tha box is colored as a room

C. painted a shell with acrylic paints. As always, I love her colors and especially how she incorporated gold paint

C. painted a shell with acrylic paints. As always, I love her colors and especially how she incorporated gold paint

I of course went with felt and made a simple heart

I of course went with felt and made a simple heart

 

our not at all tiny tree

our not at all tiny tree

Sunday was a card making day, kids made a bunch of cards for their friends and teachers.

Monday they started their annual lego village display

TBSOA 2015: Lego village

 

We watched “It’s a Wonderful Life!”, kids for the first time. Elves have been visiting and putting tiny presents for kids under the tree…I draw some holiday cheer too

TBSOA 2015 :mama draws

I keep doodle diary this season and it’s filling up little by little

two weeks of events

two weeks of events

Wishing wonderful holidays to everyone!

 

 

THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Days 4-7

Our season of small celebrations continues.

Day 4: Family movie night! Kids watched Home Alone for the first time, I haven’t seen this movie in more than 20 years so it was nice to return to childhood for a little bit (but I do admit I cringed at injuries of unlucky thieves, ugh).

Day 5: We put a little bit of lights outside

TBSOA 2015- lights outside

 

Day 6: D. and his choir performed in Christmas Concert and it was absolutely amazing. Well done once again!

TBSOA 2015- CHoir

 

Day 7: It was our “Winter Art” day. We read one of our most beloved winter books – “Buying Mittens” by Nankichi Niimi, such a lovely, kind tale and Kurai Ken’s illustrations are gorgeous!

Kids then painted their own illustrations- splitting the task, D. painted background and made a tissue paper foxes applique on it and C. created mittens for the little fox.

TBSOA 2015- winter art

 

I did a little bit of winter art myself, comparing forest scenery and what it’s like in the city

more at instagram

We listened to a lot of holiday tunes, kids also watched Russian movie “The Snow Queen”, beautiful fairy tale.

The song of the first week of holiday celebrations is Ukranian song Shchedryk (more known to English speaking friends as “Carol of the Bells”

 

THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Day 1-3

We have successfully started our December celebrations.

It feels very nice to ease into days of candlelight, baking side by side and slowing down to watch the year end.

 

Day 1-3 of our December went well, kids cut out some paper snowflakes, we put up lights at home and today we baked our first batch of cookies.

 

BSOA -snowflakes

 

rolling out lights is probably just as much fun as hanging them up

rolling out lights is probably just as much fun as hanging them up

 

Vienna crescent cookies, the recipe is very easy -  2 1/3 c of all purpose flour +1/3 c of almond meal +pinch of salt - mix together; 1c of softened butter +1/3 c of sugar - mix until fluffy; slowly add flour; chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake about 12 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Vienna crescent cookies, the recipe is very easy –
2 1/3 c of all purpose flour +1/3 c of almond meal +pinch of salt – mix together; 1c of softened butter +1/3 c of sugar – mix until fluffy; slowly add flour; chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake about 12 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar.

I made some holiday sketches:

TBSOA- drawing 1

 

TBSOA- drawing 2

 

We read “Snow” by Uri Shulevitz and “Tiger in the snow” by Nick Butterworth. It’s amazing how kids are still enjoying picture books that they loved as babies.

We also read e.e. cummings’ “Little Tree”, from Literary Advent by Book Riot. I read The Gift of the Magi by O’Henry  on my own and will re-tell this lovely story to kids too.

Overall we had good three days and looking forward to more.

Wishing a most wonderful Advent to all!

Wishing a most wonderful Advent to all!