Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Crafty

Church was cancelled for the second Sunday in a row, so our cooped in children
needed something to keep them occupied.  
The weather raged outside, and since there was nothing better 
to do we made cinnamon applesauce ornaments.

They are a cinch to make, but maybe a bit too easy.  The older girls
only lasted one ornament.  The little ones held out until we ran out of dough.
They loved it.

Graedon, forever the ham, really went to town on this activity.

He sort of looks like a TV evangelist in this picture.

Eva, poking a pattern into her ornaments.

Pretty, no?  And they smell heavenly!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Eva turns 8!

Our Eva turned 8 in October.
Horse lover, mama trainee and compassionate friend, she is a special gal.
Here's to a wonderful, smart, gentle girl who loves as big as the sky.
My first attempt at fondant...I should have started out with something simpler than horses.  Like a ball.

Work-Away Experience

When Richard and I first found out that this was the summer he would be having his hips replaced, we
signed up for a program called WorkAway.  The idea is to 
host a worker, usually a young person wanting to travel and experience a different culture,
and to trade room and board for a few hours of work every day.

For months, after several dozen requests to interesting participants,
we got nothing.

Summer passed and whadaya know?

We got an e-mail from a Japanese lady who said she could come the next week.

And that's how we met Toni.

We picked her up at the bus stop on a dreary, rainy evening.  She stayed with us for almost a month.
We got a lot done around the house with her help.  It's incredibly motivating to get things done
when you have to fill 3 hours of a workawayer's time with chores.  The bathroom was painted,
the windows washed, the gardens winterized and so much more.

Another plus was that it threw us into tourist mode.  We showed Toni around our little town,
and in so doing, we were able to see our home with new eyes.
Everything was exciting and new to Toni, and we were able to realize that
yes, we do live in a pretty great place, full of beauty and quiet excitement.

We took the time to go biking.

We discovered a waterfall we had never seen before, just minutes from home. 

We feasted, Japanese style. 

We went whale watching. 

The best part?

Getting to know a wonderful young woman who has become a friend to the whole family.