found on friday

i was asked by a friend if i could help her daughter with clouds.
micaela likes painting in acrylics and loves clouds.
can't say as i blame her. clouds are magic!

so i pulled out my easel, found my old paints, and we sat together a couple of times this week to get fluffy.
what a great job she did. i hope she keeps practicing, and maybe she'll let me post some of her work so i can show her off :)

and this morning i found a little time to make some of my own clouds...


a few of my favorite things...

ahhh, my blog...

we're all probably feeling a bit like, "how much can you fit into one week?!" one week ago i was wrapping and shopping and cooking and checking my lists... and now it's fait accomplit. our family's christmas is quiet and relaxed and very yummy... and there are certain customs that we have developed that are important to us. i neglected the advent calendar this year, and decided that was a mistake i will not make again! we play games together on christmas eve, the boys (now adult-sized) always open their stocking gifts on our bed in the morning (my favorite), breakfast is always eggs benedict (kyle's favorite) and "sunshine drinks", and english trifle with too much sherry (ian's favorite) for dessert after dinner. (all the food is kurt's favorite, especially the chicken a l'orange)

we usually go to christmas eve service as well, but my husband has had a rotten cold, so we stayed home and all my men listened while i read the littlest angel (i was a good girl and didn't cry).

we all love the opening and sharing and fun of the presents. it's been a tight year for us, and i was so pleased at my sons' acceptance of the smaller and more practical pile. of course, my favorites are anything pretty or crafty! i thought today i'd share some of my favorite new things...

the darling robin plate is from pier one,
the weekly organizer from art in motion, 
orchids courtesy of the greatest artist of all, 
the gorgeous water bottle from wild and wolf.

what were the most delightful gifts (yes, the ones you actually opened)
you received?


(virtual) french roast

if we were really having coffee this morning...

i'd sip my french roast sans croissant and tell you that i really enjoyed my monday. i substitute teach occassionally, and yesterday i got to play le professeur de francais. speaking franglais makes me smile!

i'd also tell you that we went caroling sunday evening with some of our friends. boy, did my teenage sons moan and groan about that one! but once we got there and the little kids were jumping up and down and people were so sweet, they smiled and sang and would never confess that it wasn't that bad after all. maybe the pretty teenage girls sweetened the deal... i dunno... ;)

you'd hear about how i'm falling behind in my christmas gift crafting and that i'd better get a handle on what needs to get done and when, pdq! or suddenly it'll be christmas eve and it'll be too late! then you'd tell me how your list is behind, too (don't even tell me if you've got it all under control, cuz i don't want to hear that). and we'd tell each other to down that last gulp and get to it, girl! i'd wrap my scarf over my shoulder and wish you a super day!


found on friday

fridays were a silly choice for me to make a blog commitment... they are usually rather full days.
but i've got one this week. notice the time i posted, didn't actually make my deadline, but who really cares, right?

this morning i pulled out my camera to take a picture of my special find, but i'd left my card in my laptop. duh. good excuse to draw...

see what i found today?!


not white, wet

here in california, winter doesn't mean white, it means wet. but it's a gentle wet.
mostly it feels fresh and green and doesn't have to keep you indoors. my morning walk was wet this morning... soft and quiet ... and although not white, the world is dressed with touches of red :)


beginning to look a lot like...

yes! the tree is bee-u-ti-ful and this year i put the nativity under it rather than the christmas village i usually put there. i'm liking the choice. decorating is done and shopping is under control. i am a happy woman. now i can relax with what are the fun things this time of year...

...working on the little hand made gifts for my friends, caroling with a group of friends, going for after-dinner walks to look at christmas lights, all my favorite cd's, our family's traditional movies that we watch this time of year, cranberry margaritas, meeting friends for a latte (oops, that was two "foods" in a row, better be careful!), small gatherings to play games... and i will NOT bake cookies this year. too bad guys, but mom gets fat just LOOKING at them!

(yes, that's a tortilla)
i'm hoping that you are finding time to enjoy the season too...


cup o' coffee together...

i didn't realize how much i needed to sit down together for this (virtual) cup of coffee... hold on a sec while i get a refill...

i'm on my third cup! i usually only have two, but i'm busy this morning and i've just been chilly for days! any how, i've had my walk, avec une amie ce matin, and the second load of laundry is going (which means i had to go into my youngest son's room for his sheets and to hunt for dirty stuff in every drawer, nook, cranny, figure out which stuff in the pile on the desk is the clean stuff he never put away, and those socks! mothers whose children are still small, you have no idea how smelly and disgusting a 14-year-old boy's socks are... diapers are nuthin')! 

i'd ask you if you think i messed my hair up badly. i haven't been able to afford my hairdresser for about a year now, and i am at the age when my husband says, "i like it when you color your hair." the grey was really catching the light, :) so it was past time. hmmmm.... i ran out of day yesterday, so i performed the operation after dinner. i was tired, it is an involved process, i mean, highlights and all... 

our lovely tree is up and lighted and garlanded; tonight we'll put on the actual ornaments... my husband and sons are such a great help, they don't leave it all to me. i can't tell you how much i appreciate that! my eldest even did the lights this year. yippee!

 i am learning to pull back on Christmas. i've decided which decorations are enough. i've decided that we don't need to have more lights on the house than all the neighbors. my sons don't need knock-your-socks-off gifts. the past few years have been less prosperous, so we're learning to appreciate the little things more, and that's a good thing! we are all learning to give to our favorite charities in someone else's name... and that's our gift to them... and people really value that! i hand make my girlfriends' gifts. we read from the bible at dinner and remember that this season is really a time that is set aside to contemplate the mystery of an almighty and infinite God that came to dwell on this earth with us, to bring us light and life, and that he came, as we all do, helpless and tiny and so precious, so human. 

i'd show you the scarves i made. way too easy, just cut 'em out of fleece. shop around and you can make them for almost nothing! i am determined to wrap them up with a red bow and put them in my car. now i have a Christmas gift for the homeless folks i run into.

i enjoyed visiting with lisa and alli and corinne... you wonderful ladies make me laugh! have a wonderful day!