February 28, 2009

Getting it done, going forward

Wrapping up all of my birthday celebrations this weekend, I decided to reflect on what I have gotten done, and contemplate what I would like to do next. I am delighted to see where I have been moving, and am shocked at the progress, be it small, that I am making in my 101 things list, here and here.
The items that are crossed out below are selections from the list that are currently in progress or done. Intermixed in my accomplishments are thoughts about where I am headed next.
make our daily bread
next, experiment beyond daily sourdough + sandwich wheat
make more quick breads on the weekends
get some indoor plants, start with succulents
I started with a tropical plant,  and a small tree, succulents will surely be soon
take more wardrobe risks, wearing more textures + color combinations
I bought a red trench coat/rain jacket and a yellow leather purse with my birthday money
make more cookies + crackers, reducing our dependence on processed/packaged foods
mostly cookies, need to get to those crackers
frequent more resale and thrift stores finding deals on handy furniture/storage
found plenty a shelf and lovely antique side tables + plant stand
now to start that salt-n-pepper shaker collection
make draft-stoppers for the three outside doors
my sister anna helped me make draft stoppers for all of our living room windows + front door, now to those other doors and windows…of course this project grew way beyond my initial scope!
then, I want to make some pillows out of re-purposed materials
stain + seal Nate’s future room floor
needs a light sanding and another coat of sealant…but looks fabulous!
Next up, paint those walls + move him into his big bed
moisturizing gloves. get them and use them at least weekly
do simple to-do’s immediately if task is quicker done than written on a list
getting better, perhaps this one will be on the list for my lifetime!
participate in a full-day media fast once a month
a few digital-free days in February, want to start making them more intentional

My current top-priority list items that are up next, after much deliberation, and sorted into three categories:

Art Professional…
create a new curriculum vitae, and marketing package
have a website designed + active, secure the domain name in March
start an Etsy store, mixed impressions

Artful living with the Craunlets…
frame more of the children’s art, pages from books, and photographs
store/display Bella’s preschool activities in artful way
create art storage for Craunlet art

Team Craun Correspondence…
organize friends + families birthday's and anniversaries on the calendar
make and send out birthday + anniversary cards to friends and family
print up a few styles of blank thank you’s
make cards + store  for last minute correspondence needs
organize all wrapping/gifting materials into one location for easy access + use

That's all for now...and I am only a few months into my 1001 days. I am leaving February feeling pretty accomplished...and now, more than ever, quite eager for Spring!

February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday

The very clever Craunlets decided today, first thing in the morning, that the best way to acknowledge + celebrate my birthday, would be to remain in their jammies. All day. A jimmie day, as Nate declared it, excited for the possibility. Thrilled to play in their robes + matching jammie pants from Auntie Anna, how could I refuse them? 

Dave and I left for our respective work commitments this morning quite disappointed to be in our clothes.

February 24, 2009

Happy

Finally the big day has come and gone. Hard to believe the little lady is four already. 
 

 

This marks her first birthday with games, here is our more theme-fitting version of pin the tail on the donkey, with ice cream. 
 

February 19, 2009

Presents by Post

Parcel by parcel we are celebrating Bella turning four, as the presents pour in each day.  We share the same sweet love of the mail, and wait together daily for the thrill of  hearing the loud steps of our postman, as he tromps across our wooden porch. We hear him next opening our creaky metal mailbox, folding and rearranging our letters + presents into our fantastic, though small, historic-sized mail holder. 
 

Even better is the loud female voice we often hear late in the afternoon. similar to the sounds of the postman, only she prefaces all of that with an awesome nostalgic call: "Delivery"! Every time I here this word in her voice, I know the present truck is parked out front, and she has made her way to our porch. Bella and I often find ourselves tripping over one another, as we race for the door.


Also delivered today, but rather by electronic mail, was the Spring edition of Small magazine, where the gorgeous pictures above are from. They seemed so timely + appropriate to Bella's birthday week, view the current edition in full, here. And that cape, I am pretty sure Bella needs one. She out grew the red-riding-hood one we had made for her last winter. Hello, Grandma's...either of you up for the task?? 

February 18, 2009

Today. Four Years ago.

Happy Birthday, Isabella Marie. I still can't believe you came this small, and that it has already been four years of fun.

February 16, 2009

This Little Bella

turns four in a few days. 
It is so sweet, and still so hard to believe. 
 
Each of my posts this week, will center on this little lady. This Isabella Marie. This sweet song that our hearts learned to sing the first moment we laid eyes on her.
 

Here she is holding Poppy Anne, her long-awaited, much-anticipated dear new friend. Bella, the spirited and spunky wild little monkey, also now has a tender and compassionate heart, and we get occasional glimpses into this side of her personality in moments like the one pictured above. She is bright and eager to learn to read and write; chattering constantly about her observations and discoveries. Bella plays a mean game of hide-and-seek now, and her imagination leads her and Nate into many an adventure around the house. Her laughter is mischievous, and her passion for life is intoxicating. 

Her name means consecrated, set apart, for her God. I speak into her each night before bed about that meaning. Blowing wind into her sails, and reminding both her and me, that she is just right for this family. And that lovely grin spreads across her face. This ten second snuggle, as she calls it, is my favorite ten seconds of every day. Because I speak life into her, and I am reminded that the power and legacy of words, and further the investment I can sow into her heart, shall be eternal.  

February 14, 2009

Every shade of Pink

While the Craunlets were sleeping, I decided to do a  little Valentine baking. Well over 100 cut-out cookies, actually, iced in every shade of pink.


Sugar buzzed from eating one of the largest iced hearts, 
Bella is bounding through the kitchen: 

I think we have too many. TOO MANY!
I think we have WAY TOO MANY cookies!

February 13, 2009

Quote Note


Bella is thinking all things birthday right now, as she turns four in short order, though the happy party is still a good week out. 

February 12, 2009

Magical Thinking

Little people say the darndest things. The way they think and make connections, and further articulate their conclusions is both revealing and a source for raucous laughter around here. Visiting Purl Bee recently, I stumbled upon this glorious and beautiful idea to collect the musings of children. So, I am scavenging about for my supplies today at a resale shop for a just-right jar befitting for each Craunlet, and gathering a variety of snippet papers from a local paper outlet.  And I can't wait to get started. 
  

First in Bella's jar, will be her quip from a few nights ago: 

I would like to giraffe that.

[translation: I would like to set this on my giraffe nightstand, so I can look at it as I fall asleep and pick it up to play with it immediately after waking.]

First in Nate's jar, will be his response from the back seat last night, as we were attempting to spot the train house whilst driving by the zoo, after mommy mis-identified some other Australian building:

Silly mommy.

[no translation necessary.]

From time-to-time, I will share snatches of Craunlet-speak here, only now the format will be a bit simpler. And requiring a lot less reliance on my foggy memory to get the phrasing correctly, and further keeping the full measure of humor in tact. Link to the magical thinking jar project, here.

February 10, 2009

All in the Family

I found this sweet new series of books at our library this week, and am so ecstatic to have a preschooler to share them with. For my secret, or not-so-secret, love of words and language, this is such a delight. To watch a  little person learn to spell and read is as fun and delightful as a chocolate sunday. With sprinkles.

We are  already completely crazy for the Japanese preschool workbooks by Kumon. What a both visual and educational feast, for Bella as well as myself.  And now, I find Yukiko Kido. Hello, reading. I love you. 

Here is the introduction to Snake Cake, our first experience with the series:

The world is full of print. Written words are everywhere. It's impossible to learn printed words by memorizing them word, by word, by word. To make learning easier, words can be grouped into families...this book has words from three different word families. All the words in a family rhyme--which means you can add other words to the group by changing the first letter. It's o.k. if some of the words you think of are not real words...it's not wrong--as long as you know the difference between a real word and a nonsense word.

Based on rules, surely, but with permission to play, and truly enjoy the art of language and reading. I love it.  Find Snake Cake, here, and other family members too...
 

And to further top off my enthusiasm, today I stumbled upon a truly great treasure. I found a charming schoolroom chalkboard at a local thrift store, and I could just jump for joy! It's only Tuesday, and we are soaring into this week in high spirits. And loving all things reading and writing.

February 9, 2009

Under all that Snow

The sun shone today. 
The temperatures relented.
The snow is melting, and nearly gone.

And I saw the most glorious thing:

These teeny tiny little green spears of a potential Spring, just barely poking up out of the cold ground. And I am jumping for joy. This winter will not last forever. 

In short order, this is what those little green points will become: 

February 6, 2009

The Grand Dubs

Happy Birthday to Grandpa Dubs!! 
 

Nate has recently become completely obsessed with the Grand Dubs. They have super hero, almost mythical status, though due to their geographical distance his main relationship with them is through Skype. Which is so Jetson's to me...and so completely normal to the Craunlets. And because we find ourselves playing Legos several times a day, he has further coined the Grand parent Lego people as Grandpa and Grandma Dubs. Above, is the small cake tower he built for Grandpa Dubs when we were talking about today being his Happy.

February 5, 2009

This Necessary Winter

I am reminded today of how much the Spring needs Winter. 


For the lovely things that we long for as signs of Spring, and rebirth, rely on this. For they must first endure the bitter season of Winter in the ground, to know new life in the Spring. And though it has been a very long and hard week of winter here, on so many landscapes, my soul is longing with great anticipation to see the Spring that it makes way for.

February 4, 2009

This Notion of Home

Likely it is all perfectly normal preschooler behavior. 
 

But Bella's recent home constructions in Lego have triggered some mild concern. Namely her perception of home, and safety. Sure, she loves to be snug as a bug, and get all nestled in on the couch with her Bun-Bun -- a hooded towel, and a story for some other time--but this new building trend of stashing, piling and securing is of particular interest.

She has two imaginary friends right now, Baba and Sippy, and it is not unusual to hear her either talking to them or about them while playing. Today, she built Baba's house. The orange roof near the center of this now quite solid Lego fortress. Next, she blocked the door with bricks, further adding, so she won't get out. And then the obsessive. The covering, enclosing, stacking, and piling on of every single brick we have , and even the orange warning light, sealing off any hope of escape. 
 

Those of you that know and frequently build with these little Lego houses, would also know that the backs are completely open, so when built into a house they provide access to a greater built space beyond the foyer. It has long been a point of Bella's frustration that a Lego person barely fits into these diminutive structures, and frequently topples out the open backside when not built into a cavernous mansion. But these new strategies and measures of security seem a bit over the top.
 

I just hope this isn't what home looks like to her. I'm not sure what that would say.

February 2, 2009

We were Hoping for Spring


It's unfortunate that we have been begging for the sun to shine all week. And I wake up this Monday morning to a glorious brightly diffused light and a welcome above-freezing warmth, fully forgetting that today was such an important day. So, our furry friend proclaims, after seeing his shadow, that we have six more weeks of this Winter. This longest Winter ever. This Winter that rushed out our Autumn and seems to now be stalling the arrival of our Spring. 

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