Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In the Quiet Time

We had an unexpected power failure a couple days before Christmas.  As we were eating our pizza (cheese-less for Gen & I, who are on a dairy fast), the light flickered.  Once, twice, and out.  The little kids panicked, initially, but were quickly comforted when we brought out the candles.  The comfort was due, in part, to the flickering light, and also to the novelty of having open flame within their reach.

It was quiet.  No music, no furnace fan, no clicking of electronics and no refrigerator hum.  It made for a strange ambiance.  It was solemn, but not at all sad.  It felt loaded with importance, but with no expectation.

I told the kids of the great ice storm of '98, when we were without power for 6 days.  My friend, from a more rural address, was sans electricity for 3 weeks.  What fond memories! 

We sang Christmas carols together.  We told relay stories, where one person starts a story and after a few sentences another person jumps in to continue the tale.

We cuddled under blankets on the couch, while Maddie made wax sculptures from candle drippings.

It was wonderful.  If I could have packaged it, I'd have placed it under the tree and labeled it "Christmas".

My love/hate relationship with Christmas continues.  My heart is insistent on expecting a Christmas tht matches the season.  For me, Christmas should be like a walk in the woods after a snowfall.  Still,  muffled, dim, cocooned in a deep blanket of white...the feeling that I've been here before, I know this, it knows me, but as I look into the branches of the trees - by all appearances, dead - the sunlight filters though the ice and snow and there are no words for the beauty that is new every moment. 

But this.  This was Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

King's Landing Field Trip

King's Landing is probably one of my favourite places in NB, so I was pumped when the opportunity for a field trip came up.  We piggy-backed with a grade 1 class from Saint John and took part in their "The Child at Work and Play" workshop. 

It was all about how a 19th century child would have spent their day.  The kids began by "waking up".  Here are Maddie & Eva (sharing a bed, as was usual) asleep on the ticking.

The girls & boys were seperated into gender appropriate chores.  The girls made gingerbread.  Yum!  It's quite a feat to have 11 little girls make a single gingerbread. Here's Maddie, stirring the batter. 

Here's Eva, sweeping the house.

The girls took turns beating the bumps out of the ticking.  This was by far their favourite chore! 

Story & playtime with our historical reenactor.  They passed around typical toys - a doll, ball, books... the kids seemed surprised at how few toys there were, and at how simply they were built. 

The girls loved King's Landing.  As an added blessing, it really opened up my eyes to how little I expect from my kids, but how much they are actually able to take on.  They had fun, but they also came back a tad more mature than when they arrived. 

Maybe I'll add beating beds to their chore list!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Pssst...check it out!  I finally took the plunge and opened up shop on Facebook.   My next craft market is at the Boyce market in Fredericton, next Sunday.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amuse/231400363582819