Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

 I really don't usually do new years resolutions, as I feel like each day I try (not necessarily successfully) to resolve to do and be a little better than the day before. But, as I move into this new year, I am taking the opportunity to think about my life up until this point and what I want to create in 2013. I have no clear answers, just ideas and feelings. The question I keep hearing is.... how do i create, allow, find, that joy, love, meaning,  in each day, moment, encounter? The ideas and feelings that keep coming to mind are more togetherness, community,  music, slowing,  choices, surrendering, trusting, breathing. If I had to think of all the things that I would want for 2013, it would be a long list, but here are some of them...........

I want to work hard. I want to play hard. I want to sweat. I want to laugh a lot and hear lots of laughter. I want to kiss a lot. I want to dance. I want to learn to love flying! I want to sleep. I want to let go of useless worries. I want to keep an open heart and mind. I want to play the piano. I want to sing for someone who wants to listen. I want to want less and give more. I want to hold my children and my niece any opportunity I get. I want to show my family how much I love them. I want my kids to feel how much I love them. I want to be swept off my feet. 

Happy New Year 2013!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

making gluten-free maple sugar cookies

Cookies are great, but making cookies with the two most loving Mothers and Grandmothers in the world is much, much sweeter. 

I hope you can share this recipe with someone you love.
Happy Holidays!

Gluten-Free Maple Sugar Cookies (mega Batch)

5 Cups Maple Sugar
2 cups butter
6 eggs 
1 T salt
1/4 cup vanilla
3 cups GF White Rice Flour
3 cups GF Potato Flour
3 cups GF Arowroot Flour
2 T xanthan gum
2 T baking powder

Preheat oven to 350° F. 
Line some  large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Put dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. 
Place sugar,butter, vanilla and eggs in another bowl and  mix. Beat on high until combined then add dry ingredients and beat on medium speed to combine.U
se a as much extra flour as you need to keep from sticking as you roll out and cut your shapes. 
Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"for good"

At it's worst, the performing arts can be all about competition and stepping on others to push your way to the top. At its best, it can be a way to express joy and sadness at the same time with a single note. It can touch the heart of those in it's presence. It can enliven even the hardest of souls. It can be the ultimate communication tool. It can cross borders of every kind and link together each one of us with the sound that we all recognize. This weekend I brought some of my students to Baywoods of Annapolis, a retirement home, to perform some Broadway favorites and a few timeless holiday songs. The smiles and tears that  spread around the room made me remember again why I love singing and theatre. It is not about who is best or even whether you did your best........but more,  it is about the communication from performer to audience. That is where the magic happens. It is in that single moment, that exchange that takes place, that lives are changed......."for good".  I know mine has been.
"so much fun to see my daughter and son up there having a blast!"

I look forward to performing again for this beautiful community.
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Monday, December 17, 2012

putting the love into it

Finding those things that bring us together as a family is so important to me. Cooking is definitely one of those activities we all love to do together. The best part is that there is always a job for any size helper.  And when the cooking is done and it is time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor, we can always taste the love that has gone into it. "That surly is the secret ingredient!"

We made gluten free gingerbread men cookies last year for the first time.You can find the recipe here.
I hope you enjoy making and eating these cookies a much as much awe have!

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Thursday Favorite Things
Monday Mingle 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

hula-hoop weaving with finger-knittings

This is a great holiday gift idea if your kids are like mine and have hundreds of finger-kitted snakes lining around. You can use any size you have (1, 2, 3, 4 finger knitted snakes) and then tie them all together to form a big ball. 

To create the loom, cut strips out of an old t-shirt and stretch around a hula hoop. We found that we needed 9 strips.

When you are done stretching the fabric around the hoop their should be 18 "spokes" (don't know what else to call them).  You will need to have an odd number in order to make the pattern turn out as desired  so take one "spoke" and put together with another to form 17 "spokes".  Each spoke will have to strips of fabric except the one with have four now. Then tie your finger-knitting to the center of the loom and start weaving in and out of the spokes. 

You can make it as big or small as you like. These make create coasters, trivets, wall hangings, or even small rugs. The kids really got into it and we off and weaving all night and woke up the next morning ready to knit and weave again. I only helped them when they asked. Making mistakes is all part of the fun of learning a new skill and being creative. Each one they make they are getting better and better and coming up with new ideas as they weave.
When you are done, tie  the end of your knitting to one spoke and cut your piece of art off the loom. Leave at least 3 inches of  fabric strip when you cut it off so you can have room to tie them. After cutting them off take one of the two pieces of fabric and thread it around the last knitted rim and tie. Do this with each spoke all the way around.  And there you have it! 

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a mom blog community! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

ode to Fathering (building a toy chest with daddy)

 John is such a wonderful father. I grew up without my dad around for most of my life.  I had a wonderful Mother that more than made up for any gaps that might have been there, but it isn't until I  had the opportunity to watch John Fathering our children, that I have seen the amazing possibilities and have stopped to wonder what would it have felt like? What would it have felt like to have a man in my life, my Father, who looked at me each day with love and adoration? What would it have felt like to know that my Father would rather be going for a walk with me, hand in hand, than traveling anywhere else in the world? What would it have felt like to be cuddled up with my father and know that snuggled up with me, listening to all my thoughts and dreams, was exactly where he wanted to be. What would it have felt like to know, so deep in my core, that my father would always be there for me and that no matter where I was or what I was doing, he would do anything in his power to be available to me and to let me know that he loved me and would never stop. What would it have felt like to have a father that showed his love through his actions and not just with his words. What would it have felt like to see the sparkle in my fathers eyes when I did a cartwheel, or sang a song, or told a joke? What would it have felt like to be tucked in bed each night and given a million kisses and hugs by this wonderful loving person I called my Daddy? What would life feel like with all those wonderful memories?
 Well, I will never know........but I count my lucky stars every day that my children will know the answers to all those questions. For they have a father that gives them all he's got and more.  I never dreamed I would have a partner like this. I was pretty sure I would never be able to find such a man...... and I thought I would be happy doing it alone. I am sure I would have survived and maybe even thrived.........but there is nothing that can take the place of a wonderful Father and partner. And each day I love him more and more!
 This is a really heavy drill Daddy.......
 Six hands are not necessarily faster then two, but certainly more fun.

 Hold on tight!

This Moment: little helper

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy.  If you are so inspired, please leave a comment for me with your own special moment and check out other moments this morning at soulemama. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas pasts

As Christmas comes around this year, I find myself thinking about how fast time has seemed to travel since we started having children.  I started looking back at old photos of the kids and remembered times that had been locked away in memory and luckily captured in a snap shot.

Jetta's first Christmas (4 months)

Jetta's Second Christmas (16 months)

Jetta's 3rd Christmas (2 years old and I am pregnant with Pilot)

Jetta's 4th Christmas (3 years), Pilot's 1st Christmas (9 Months)

Jetta's 5th Christmas (age 4) and Pilot's 2nd Christmas (age 2)

First solo tap dance performance

Jetta's 6th Christmas (age 5) and Pilot's 3rd Christmas (age 3)

Jetta's 7th Christmas (age 6) and Pilot's 4th Christmas (age 4)

Jetta's 7th Christmas (age 6), Pilot's 4th Christmas (age 4) and Scout's 1st Christmas (2 months)

Jetta's 8th Christmas (age 8), Pilot's 5th Christmas (age 5) and Scout's 2nd Christmas (14 months)

I can't believe it has been 8 years. Time does fly when you are having fun. And I have to say, we have had a ball!  I do miss those babies. Sometimes you want to just stop time or go back and give them one more squeeze,  but I live in gratitude for each day I get to spend with them, watching them grow up and becoming such wonderful people.