December 18


Since the Redeemer Christmas program got frozen out last night, the preschoolers* sang their songs (along with the most darling actions) during the service and the older kids gave their performance right after the service. My favorite line from a Christmas carol (“God and sinners reconciled” from “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”) was also the line with my favorite action. You’ll have to ask Clara about it when you see her.

* Sadly, I didn’t have a wide angle lens, and two of the cuties got cropped out of this photo.

December 17


I love my book club so much that I would have braved roads much worse than this morning’s to attend. But even so, defying Lincoln’s little icy blast to hang out with friends was a satisfying way to start the weekend. We read Little Women this month (my first time), and we were charmed by the beautiful editions of the book.

December 16


After Jason endured an icy commute home on treacherous Lincoln roads, he turned right around and embarked on what would prove to be another harrowing journey. He suffered a snake bite and the loss of every member of his party (dysentery, scarlet fever, exhaustion) and several hardworking oxen, but he made it to Oregon after all.

December 15


Box of Lies (Jimmy Fallon–style). Is she lying or telling the truth? Who can tell?

Life Group Christmas dinner: a night of fabulous food and even better people. And that’s the straight-up truth.

December 14


After an embarrassingly long hiatus in which I not only forgot my password but also totally lost any sense of how to log in, I actually posted at Needs More Butter today! It felt especially good to create a healthful, warming, nourishing dish on this cold (so cold!!) day. This is a good one, you might want to make it yourself.

St. Lucia’s Day


Jason thinks I get a lot of wild hairs (hares? the all-knowing Internet offered only more confusion). Anyway, Jason thinks I tend toward impulsive, crazy pursuits. He may be right, I’ll give him that, but in my defense, he has no idea how many more plots I reject than the relatively few I pursue.

So on Monday, I happened to be checking over Simon’s reading homework. He had a short paragraph about St. Lucia’s Day (in which he found and highlighted evidence to answer a few comprehension questions). What luck! I read about St. Lucia’s Day on December 12, and it isn’t actually celebrated until December 13! In other words, I had a whole day to pull our very first St. Lucia’s Day celebration together.

I read a few articles about Saint Lucia of Syracuse (also known as St. Lucy). A very short version of her story is that she brought food to persecuted Christians and had to balance her candles (light) on her head because her hands were full carrying the food. The Latin of her name (Lucia) means light, and her feastday is a festival of light that is celebrated particularly in Scandinavian countries, with their long, dark winters.

Although I briefly considered the idea of a St. Lucy’s Day party and inviting some friends over, I toned down my plans and just did a couple of simple things with the family. To make Clara’s crown, I found a wreath at a thrift store (deciding not to drive real quick to IKEA to see if they had anything actually made to be a St. Lucia crown–see, Jason, how reasonable I am? I *rejected* that idea!).  Slight problem in affixing the candles: hot glue will not actually glue wax to anything. After several attempts at a creative solution, we finally came up with a duct tape remedy (of course!). The crown altogether was less than ideal, but it got the idea across, and I have a whole year to find and/or make a new one.

For breakfast, I made saffron buns. And for our after-dinner celebration, we had traditional(ish) Swedish glogg (okay, it was actually Trader Joe’s wassail) and a (not-at-all) traditional chocolate orange and a couple of the leftover saffron buns. Clara had to hold the crown, so the boys helped her by carrying in the food. We didn’t know any St. Lucia songs, so we sang Christmas carols.

Maybe next year I’ll be more on top of things, and maybe not. Our St. Lucia’s Day was pretty special just the way it was.

December 13


Why thank you, St. Lucia.

I’m not really her, Mommy. I’m just dressed like her.

December 12


Today I made doll clothes, bone broth, and dinner. Don’t be too impressed. I had help.

December 11


And now we’ve entered a new season and a new sport. Today was Simon’s first basketball game. I love to watch him play, of course, and I also so enjoy the camaraderie of the parents cheering the kids on. Today we were surrounded mostly by fans for our team, but there was one woman behind me who got stuck without any blue fans near. She talked with Ian for a bit, and he pointed out that we were cheering for different teams. She kindly said, “Well, I’m cheering for the blue team because my son is on the blue team, but I’ll cheer a little when your brother’s team does well too.”  I don’t know which one was her kid, but I sure am a fan of hers.

December 10


It was a read a book, plug in the electric blanket, build a fire in the fireplace kind of day.