Friday, October 31, 2008

A Hands On Christmas

Although Halloween isn't even past and the Thanksgiving turkeys are still feeling's that time of the year: time to make Christmas lists.

We do not have television at our house. Well, we do have a television but it only plays DVD or videos--no television reception. Yep, not even from the free stations. This seems to cut down on Needitis. You know that disease. The symptoms are whining, fevers, hissy fits, stomping of appendages, crying. The patient believes that only a very specific cure will save her. This cure is usually something involving Hannah Montana (we've never even seen the programme) or glitter or a doll.

Needitis often comes on the heels of a trip to the store. You have to be careful because it is very contagious. Once one member of the family comes down with it...well, you know how it goes. Needitis can strike any time of the year but the height of it's season is, of course, Christmas.

I'm not immune to puppy dog eyes and pleading soft voices (warning: whining triggers an automatic no response in me). So Christmas is a struggle: do I get the things they want? do I contribute to the wealth of industrialists and lead producers in China? do I create storage and cleaning nightmares in my house? how much is too much?

This year I'm trying a hands-on approach. Every year I like to make many of the presents we give. I'm a crafty kind of girl. ;-) But this year Jeff and I are going radical. We have purchased one present for the entire family: a Wii system. It came yesterday and is safely tucked away. That's it. That's all the buying for this little family of six we are doing. Jeff and I will make everything else.

What's on my to-do list? First, I'm making ponchos for the girls. I know. I, who lived through the fashion disaster known as the 70s, shudder at the thought of ponchos too. But the girls love them. We've got a couple that friends have handed down to the girls. Second: play food. Most play food is made with soft plastics that I figure are ripe for causing cancer and containing lead. I'm doing crocheted cookies, felt eggs, pizza with toppings. Jeff is making doll furniture.

I don't have all my chicks in a row yet. I'm still considering other options--especially something for Jeff. But I have got a good start which means that hopefully I will not fall victim to another holiday disease: stressitis.

Falling in love again

with fall. I love fall---sunny days, falling leaves, falling temperatures with no chance of falls on the ice yet. Pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, warm sweaters, cosy nights...ahhhhh...the perfect season!

I have a new friend this year. It's Josephine Bear. She's an amigurumi--the Japanese method of crocheting in the round. I designed the pattern myself although she's a fairly typical construction. My problem is I never write down my pattern as I go--I just crochet until it feels right. Try making two legs or two arms exactly the same this way. One of these days I'll learn.

I really like the colours I used for Josophine. I think the orange was called "spice." I'm not one to add black accents but it looks great with this colour. I think Josophine might have to have a few adventures this fall...walks in the woods, trips to the bookstore, visits to Biggby Coffee....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Candidate

There has been a lot of talk about who is voting for whom. I've read with interest and, sometimes, irritation, defence of all the candidates. Blah, blah, blah. Which leads me to happily announce my choice for President of the United States of America in 2008: Sock Monkey!

This is a guy you can really relate to. Finally! A candidate who does not have sawdust for brains!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sweet Sunday

I used to dread Sunday nights. It was the end of the weekend, another week of school to follow with nothing to look forward to by nightfall but any homework I had put off. Until this day, the words "Sunday evening" depress me.

I didn't want our girls to grow up feeling the same way. I decided that we had better have a fun tradition for Sunday evenings--something to look forward to, something to love. And so came the "Biggby Sunday Evening Sipster."

Take four more than slightly hyper girls, add a weary father and an exhausted mother. Add four caramel marvel magic milks, one mocha mocha and one teddy bear steamer and you have a very happy and refreshed family. We love Biggby!

Tonight was super awesome because when we were leaving Biggby the owners kindly offered the girls balloons! Wowzer! If you noticed a glow in the sky, it was the smiles from my four who never ever get balloons and were over the moon. Baby ended up letting go of hers so it is currently over our town and, perhaps, on it's way to the moon but we won't worry about that. Score one for a perfect Sunday evening.

In case any of you thought that we had a "normal" experience at Biggby, fear not. Of course, at least one softie must go with me to Biggby. Number one daughter helps me figure out where to pose the softie, what it should be doing. Alas, tonight, I forgot the camera. Bad mummy. That may be why, for the first time ever, they offered us balloons. Maybe before they thought we were slightly wacko and not to be trusted with helium. It is possible. Nah--they seem to be quite used to softie customers at Biggby. Here is Stockton the Sock Bear heading in for a treat.