Monday, December 24, 2012

"Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care"

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
My front porch with luminaries
the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where He lay.
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes.
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
and stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever and love me I pray.

Just a few of the 26 luminaries around our house
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And bring us to Heaven to live with Thee there.
-Lyrics to "Away in a Manger"

With recent events on the East Coast, I have prayed for those families who hold such grief in their hearts. And I have wanted to do something more. One idea I heard about was to light luminaries, 26 of them in memory of these "dear children" old and young who were killed. I live away from neighbors, streets or anyone who would see these lights but I know God sees and hears our prayers. So as I filled paper bags with sea glass for weight and lit 26 tea candles my heart felt such sadness, 26 lives gone. I felt gratitude for my knowledge of Jesus Christ and his role as a Savior and Redeemer. And I felt a call to love and care for my children, and all children even more.

May the families who mourn at this time feel of His "great redeeming love" and may each of us regardless of our place in life, also feel of that healing love. For I know that He heals all sorrow...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Look what the waves washed up!

All just sitting in the sand for me to collect!

Small pieces but nice to find something!

One thing I have to say - my maternity pants don't fit so well and they don't have belt loops. So I walk down the beach one hand holding up my pants (because they wiggle down when I move and bend) and then other hand grabs the sea glass I find. I am thankful for more than one reason the beach is quiet - I looks so silly! And time to find some pants that will stay up!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

King Tides

I had never heard of these types of tides until a friend commented on them, then I heard a story on NPR about King Tides. It means (when you look at the tide charts) the waves come up really high and they go down really low! Perfect for beach combing!

Here are some speciments from the past few weeks. I have tried to head to the beach regularly (which has been hard with all the holiday happenings and sketchy weather) but with bribery the kids and I have made it!

Purple piece that Child #2 found on her own!

Piece of pottery found!

Perfect name "King Tides" for this time of year as we celebrate the "King of Kings!" Merry Christmas:)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Being There

I've been so missing sea glass. With a big storm that has come in, I have been checking the beach - and seeing nothing but smooth sand. Today I decided that perhaps I have been looking in the wrong place (great connection to real life -huh!?). I loaded up child #2 in the stroller and set out to get some exercise and to check out another part of the beach.

We wandered along finding only a few small pieces. Child #2 is a very good little sea glasser and as we came to a few spots with bigger sand pebbles and more sea glass, she was excited as I was. We escaped a few of the incoming waves but then one came in faster than we realized, we were up high on the beach so it was only inches of water, but when you're 3, it is enough to knock you over. She fell down and that moment as instinct had me turned to try to outrun the wave, I turned back to her and made sure she could see me. We locked eyes as I took the two steps over to scoop her out of the water. It was the eye contact that struck me... I couldn't save her from getting wet but she could see me and knew that I was one arm reach away.

As I thought about that little incident and moment when I knew in my gut that I couldn't get her out but that the next best thing was to communicate that I was right there, I considered, how often we can't rescue or save someone we love from incoming troubles or difficulties. We know they will be alright but while they are in the swirling mess, our nearness, eye contact and concern can reassure and be the support they need. Genuine friendship and support is so important to me and I know that others feel the same way. I need to be more aware of those "moments" when rather than dashing out of the waves (or to get things done) that I turn back and lock eyes with them and share a few extra moments of friendship. And this is the perfect season to do this!

Soaked from chest to toe, Child #2 cried and continued to look for the last pieces of sea glass(such dedication!) until I finally convinced her to take off her shirt and ride on my back. Then when we got back to the stroller, I took off my tank top (the only piece of clothing I could shed and still be modest) and and had her snuggle under its thin protection. Luckily it was a fairly nice day and the sun was warm. We made it home with smiles on our faces and what I would like to say is the "first glass of the season!"

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sign of the Times

Months ago, I received this in the mail. It made my day! Except that day (like most days in my 1st trimester of pregnancy) was spent in bed. I admired my package (thanks JJ) and then put it in my sewing bin with hopes for the future!

Well, the future is here and I am feeling like my old self! Two weeks ago, I got out my quilting book (Thanks Ally!) and made a quilt for my sister's new baby girl coming this week (if she doesn't appear early!)

I thought about what to put on the back because they live in Hawaii and my go to fabric is usually minki and that would be too warm. I settled on flannel (white) and it turned out perfect, just right the right weight. Although the color will show every little stain - sorry Gen! I just love white - so crisp!

Now I can gear up for Thanksgiving! Although with a honey baked ham, potatoes au gratin (from a box), salad from a bag it should be a fairly easy meal...I am going to make rolls, jello, apple cake and fancy brownies, so there will be some cooking involved! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumpkin Puree

Did you know you can put an entire pumpkin into the oven? I put two of them in at 400 degrees and baked them for over an hour until they were easy to stab with a fork. When the cooled a bit, I cut them in half, removed the guts, cut off the shell and then pureed the fleshy insides in my blender (with a bit of water). Easier than trying to cut a huge pumpkin apart. Still messy but I liked how easy it was to cut through them and to get to the good stuff. I love real pumpkin puree for my pumpkin recipes. I now have a freezer full of pumpkin puree. It will last me through the winter!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Anna Karenina


About 2 weeks ago, I spotted this book on a shelf here at home. It is my husband's book(I teased him the other day that I collect sea glass and he collects books!) Seeing the book,  I realized that even though I have been to Leo Tolstoy's home and lived in Moscow, I haven't read any of his works. A sort of  "shame on me" feeling came over me and I thought I would give it a try. Unsure of what I would find, I began reading and immediately liked it.
I liked the characters I met, it was fairly light and easy to follow and then Anna meets Vronsky. As far as I can tell he isn't that special but from the first time they meet, they have a connection and rather than walk away (Anna is married and has a 4 year old son) they become "involved". I appreciated how Tolstoy explained their connection without being graphic or even suggestive. You really don't know(but assume) how intimate they have become until Anna tells Vronsky she is pregnant. 

It was easy to contrast this "relationship" with the relationship that develops between two other main characters, Kitty and Levin. Their relationship begins with disappointment, a time of waiting and working on themselves, and then they meet again and the time is right and they marry (despite some differences!)

I don't know if I would have/could have appreciated this book for all it offers when I was younger. I have seen both of these relationships (I won't call it love because what Kitty and Vronsky have I don't consider love, although Hollywood does but that is a different tangent!) and marvel at the way Tolstoy explores the effect these different choices have on the main characters. (spoiler alert!) Anna gives up her son, doesn't really care, emotionally, for her new daughter, and in the end seems to lose her mind with jealousy.

Tolstoy does include various philosophical, religious, and political thoughts of the times, which are interesting but I didn't always follow. I thought the ending when Levin finds a spiritual peace to his searching a great way to end such a "serious" book. Tolstoy truly was a genius and after reading Anna Karenina, I am interested in reading more about his life and others of his writings. 

PS When I did a search to find a picture I could clip, I found a trailer for the 2012 movie Anna Karenina with Keira Knightly and Jude Law. The trailer was, in my mind, everything that the book isn't, sensationalism and sex. But then again, that seems to be what much of Hollywood is all about!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Picture Day

Today I helped at Child #1 school. It was picture day and I volunteered to help do all those little things that need to be done to help move kids along and keep them looking their best. I had black combs and a spray bottle of water, and as I occasionally used the water bottle I thought "oh, if your mom could see you now, standing still while a stranger combed your hair"!! I know kids and spray bottles don't usually go together.

I enjoyed my time and find (once again) that I really enjoy schools and kids. I still have the teacher look (and a few kids got it today and it was all they needed to correct their behavior). I was able to reassure a few little ones who were so nervous and I was able to direct and sort the chaos that come with lots of kids. It was nice to have a  first hand look into this school that Child #1will attend for the next 5 years?!

Perk of the day - my child got a fancy, expensive photo package because I helped ! Unexpected but nice - I am not sure what I am going to do with LOTS of photos (and his smile was so-so) but if you're family and reading this - expect a school picture in the near future!

Funny thing of the day - a little girl's (4th grade) envelope has a very clear handwritten note "Please encourage my child to have a natural smile not a forced smile". I had to chuckle at that and then I had her show me her natural smile.

Best part of the day - taking Child #1 out of school early (he had a substitute and another teacher suggested it or I would have never would have thought of it!) I picked up Child #2 from our friend and then we got some lunch. After that, we went and saw the rabbits and chicks at the local feed store! Fun day!

I have been meaning to explain why I have been absent for so long...
I  always assume when a blog isn't updated for a long time that 1. They are pregnant 2. They need a break from blogging or 3. They are traveling... (Most of the blogs I read are moms...) I fall under reason #1. I have been feeling quite yucky for a while and while I still spend 50% of my day in bed, I am much better. I am at week 14 and if all goes well the baby is due in March. After 4 ultrasounds, all looking great, I am hopeful... but I do have in the back of my mind my "advanced maternal age" and that fact that our last pregnancy miscarried at 16 weeks. I suppose that is where faith comes in and I am faithful that God wanted us to have more children and if things don't work, that my faith will sustain me, just as it always has.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more regularly but more than that, I hope I'll more regularly be out on the sand finding some sea glass. I can't remember the last time I found some..... Kirstin

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Take-A-Trip Tuesday was a bust!

So the plan was to go into the city (SF) and go to Golden Gate Park. So much to see (bison, flowers, ponds) and to do (enjoy the open spaces, play in the parks).

Well, you can't win them all. We found the bison first thing and with about 5 different wrong turns finally found out way to the back of the field where they were laying down.

And it went down hill from there.Then after about 40+ minutes of driving around, trying to read the map I had printed off and use the GPS on an iphone, and find what street we were on, we gave up! We did find one park but by that time one child was asleep and there was no parking. Shortly thereafter the other child fell asleep.

We rounded out the trip by stopping at McDonalds and then went to a local park to get some play time. That seemed to help the kids forget the pointless trip.

On a happier note, I'll include a few photos from last week's adventures.

Masterpiece made by Child #1. He thought it up himself!

Enjoying the rides at Happy Hollow on AnyThing Thursday:)

Another Happy Hollow perk - the slingshot swing!

Waiting for the 4th of July Parade - don't you love the coat and sweater?!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

Sometimes as I walk along the beach, the quiet of the day brings phrases and melodies into my mind. This was the stanza that began to form in my brain and I walked home singing it to myself. I feel every word!

My native country, thee
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills.

My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above. 

-Samuel F. Smith, 1808-1895

 - Kirstin
PS Found some sea glass this morning... it was a beautifully low tide, not much glass, just lots of smooth sand!


Friday, June 29, 2012

A Review of our Week

On Monday we painted birdhouses for Masterpiece Monday.

Finished product with shells added on. Thanks to my favorite sea glass store, the owner gave my children each a scoop of shells. They were a perfect addition to our masterpieces.

Tuesday was Take-A-Trip Tuesday.

We took a picnic and then went for a short hike through the redwoods. It was a little part of our area I hadn't been to before and it was lovely!

Wednesday was Water Wednesday. The sun decided to come out and we headed to a really mellow beach in the area.
The quote of the day was, "I really felt the spirit!" from Child #1. This was said when he caught a good wave. I wasn't sure if he was referring to the "spirit" in a religious sense or in the spirit of the sport of boogie boarding. It was a fun hour!

AnyThing Thursday was full of all sorts of "anything"!
We made these:
 They are chocolate covered bananas. The recipe came from this favorite children's magazine. (Note: my kids only ate the chocolate part of the frozen treat and left the banana.)

I discovered my pumpkin plant grew a flower... pumpkins could be in our future!!

 Laundry from our Wet Wednesday was hung out to dry!
And rocks painted to be reminder rocks. Also from The Friend, our favorite children's magazine.

To finish the day, we ran errands to the store, the bank, the post office and the library. It certainly was  an "Anything" kind of day.

Friend Friday
A friend (age:2) came over to play while her mom unpacked at their new home and packed for their upcoming vacation. She is a darling little friend and I see we are going to have to have more friends over as Child #2 was less than polite! (Sand throwing, grabbing, shouting and declarations of "I'm not sharing my toys"...Yikes!!)

So there you have it - our week!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day Gift

In going through some boxes in the computer room my husband found a box of photos. He asked me if I could arrange them into some sort of album. Because I am not creative in that area, I bought 6 very simple photo albums and put them in. The real find were a series of photos of doors, really cool front doors that he photographed on a trip to Europe. There were so many, I decided to get creative and make a photo collection. The best part was his surprise and that he liked it (so often I strike out!). Here is how the collection looks from above:
Here is the arrangement, three slender frames with multiple photos

Here is are some of the photos up close

More photos. There are 15 doors in all!

And of course, I can't let the post go by without a photo of a recent find....the past few mornings have shown some great rock washes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Water Wednesday

No these are not beautiful pieces of sea glass - it is our collection of water balloons. This afternoon in the sun, we threw them about and watched them splat! (The best was the one that we threw up on to the roof!) Then we followed it by a smoothie at Jamba Juice and a trip to the library.

Lest you think we are always this fun, Child #2 looked at me strangely, when I announced that we were going to Jamba Juice. Then she asked, "why are you being so nice to us?" I told her because I loved her but since she was in her underwear, she did need to get her clothes on! She had expected a scolding for not having clothes on and I surprised her by talking about smoothies - sometimes the best way to achieve compliance is to distract or bribe. I admit to using both! Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Masterpiece Monday

On Mondays this summer we are working MASTERPIECES! (It is part of our summer plan.)

To a 5 year old a graham-cracker-ginger-bread-house photo in a cookbook is a masterpiece. So that is what we made on Monday.
Gingerbread houses in June!
Take a look at how they turned out:

The following picture is last week's masterpiece.

Can you tell what it is? (I am referring to the red thing with black tentacles.)
A paper mache Squid!
Yes, a squid!
 I know it doesn't look like one but that is because you can't see the gray eyes on the sides.
And what fun!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lucille's Rolls

Lucille's Rolls (my husband's grandmother)

1 c. Warm milk

3/4 c. Warm water

2 T. Yeast

1 tsp. Sugar

Mix above. Let brew

3 T. Oil

3 T. Sugar

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1 beaten egg

3-4 c. Flour

Mix Above. Add Yeast Mixture. Let rise once. Knead again.

Press out and cut 1/4 inch thick with circular cutter. Mark the middle.

Add a bit of butter. Fold in half and place on pan. Let rise 15 mins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Super easy and they turn out everytime!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take-A-Trip Tuesday

Like most mothers, I have the best of intentions! So with that said, we'll see how long these "intentions" last.

 With the arrival of summertime, I have decided we need some structure and adventure in our days. Both kids are potty trained, naps are optional and there are some cool things in our area.

It will look like this (if all goes well):
Masterpiece Monday (we'll create/cook something awesome or go see something awesome)

Take-A-Trip Tuesday (we'll plan on taking a fun trip somewhere) This where we went on our first Take-A-Trip Tuesday:

It was a beach we had never had ben to but guess what I found?!

Yes, some sea glass!

We'll see how the rest of the week works but here are the rest of the weekdays.
Wet Wednesday (That was today. They took 2 baths and played in the water at a local beach)
AnyTHing Thursday (do anything we want)
Friend Friday (friends over or go visit friends)

I know it sounds ambitious but I have lots of ideas.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


A friend asked if she could buy some sea glass for her mom for Mother's Day.

 I had a better idea- let's swap babysitting for sea glass!

She bought the vase and I filled it. Here is how it turned out:

 And up close:
Finished product:

Another gift I have been working on was for my sister in law's "beach" bathroom (somehow a beach bathroom isn't complete without sea glass). I am kicking myself that I didn't photograph it before I packed it away. I hope she likes it. It looked something like this but filled to the top.

Since my mom likes sea glass but doen't really need any (she is in the process of moving) I sent her this book for Mother's Day.
Product Details

It is a wonderful (true) story of man who found meaning, success and gratitude through the process of writing thank you cards. 365 of them. I loved it!