Our family doesn’t usually celebrate winter solstice due to the busyness of the season. This year we wanted to take part in our earth’s celebration. We researched and adapted a ritual of our own.
We started the night with a candlelit dinner. Each child took turns lighting their own candle to remind us to retain our light during the dark days of winter. Our peaceful moment was interrupted briefly with our kids struggling to light their candle. We took a five minute break, recollected ourselves and the rest of the evening was beautiful.
Each of us listed our intentions for the new year and wrote down some of the negative things that happened during the year. Then, we placed our paper into our fire pit and reflected in silence. This was a lovely celebration for us. It felt so good to have a night of pause before the rush of Christmas.
Let us all remember to keep our light shining bright even in the darkest of times.
During our homeschool co op last week, we made crystal snowflakes. My Mom found this idea and we enjoyed the process so much during class I wanted to do this again as a family project. The results are lovely and the whole process is easy and only takes about three hours.
What you Need:
Coffee filters to cut snowflake designs out of.
A Styrofoam or glass plate with a lip big enough to hold liquid.
A glass jar, 2 cups boiling water and 6 tablespoons Borax – dissolve mixture. Be very careful when pouring this out, the jar gets very hot.
Pour equal amounts over each snowflake. The above measurements made 5 snowflakes.
Your crystals will begin to form within an hour. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Then pour off the water and peel off your beautiful snowflake!
Our sweet Gigi left this earth nine days short of her 101st birthday. I am so thankful we were able to spend two hours with her on the day she died. We had a great time planning her party that day. She was looking forward to having pumpkin pie, ice cream and her favorite food ever, kapusta. I wasn’t so sure about making this dish, but I looked at John and said, “At her age, if she wants kapusta, she is getting kapusta!”
She was such a bright spirit! She always lit up when we walked in the room. She had so many funny sayings too. Here are just a few: “Oh, la boga”, “Hot diggity dog”, “I’m gonna womp your woodle” (even though she was never spanked us), and “Oh, bobo”. She also never let us say goodbye, she would say “Not goodbye just good day!”
She was always calling John, Harold and Max, Pumpernickel.
As a young women, she was a roller skating waitress for A&W. She had one daughter, Betty, who she raised on their farm while also owning a grocery store with her love, Jocko. Her life must have been filled with amazing adventures. To spend your childhood outside climbing apple trees away from the rush of modern times sounds dreamy. It is a life we would like for our own babies.
This photo was taken November 2nd on the afternoon of her passing. Her breathing started getting more labored but sadly, none of us really knew it was going to be her last day. We are glad that she had such a happy final day. She has been ready to see her mama in heaven and often prayed for their reunion for quite a while now. Her other prayer to live long enough to see all her babies grown came true! What a blessing for her.
This was taken last year at her 100th birthday party. It was such a lovely party and most of the family was able to attend. There were a lot of little ones around! It is hard to believe that just one sweet lady with only one child herself was the beginning of close to 33 individuals!
Gigi and Pumpernickel enjoying time outside together.
We all miss her already. I will miss the days playing Rummy with her, hearing all the tales about her life and visiting with her. She is definitely in good hands now and no doubt dancing with her mama. We love you Gigi.
All year we have been dreaming of Halloween for the chance to dress up as a family and hand out fruit to people who are truly in need. Last year we found out that people were going crazy for the oranges that we were handing out (instead of candy) and were shocked to find that some of these people had little to eat for that day. We vowed to hand out more fruit this year. While we thought that we had bought enough this year (about 250 oranges and apples), we were mistaken about the amount that was needed.
Since our family had just finished reading the Harry Potter book series with the kids, we thought it would be great for all of us to dress up as characters from the books. Sadly, the kids had their own ideas about how they wanted to dress. Sara and I dressed as Harry Potter and Hermione.
Max designed and colored the sword of Gryffindor. But, we all helped create the Hogwart’s castle for our trunk.
Max was so helpful and caring when passing out fruit to the kids. He would say, “Apple or Orange? Red apple or green apple?.”
Next year, we will save even more money to buy plenty of fruit to hand out.
You may not think that carving pumpkins seems like much… However, we realized that last year we never even got around to carving them with the kids when we were in The Fog. We all enjoyed this activity together. We think the kids pumpkins turned out pretty cool.
John and I couldn’t stop looking at each other knowing how far we have come since last year. We love every moment (well, mostly, ha) spent with our family!