Sunday, December 15, 2013

St. Lucy's Day

This our first St. Lucy Day with Little Miss. In the future I hope to dress her up in the white nightgown, red sash, and illuminated crown. But for now I have my Star Boys to help me serve breakfast in bed. This year the celebration fell on the same day we are hosting a third birthday party. I took a few short cuts, like no pretty greenery or linens to decorate our breakfast tray. Our tray is beginning to get crammed with coffee, tea, and hot chocolates. If only I could find the box that has all our other serving trays!
I found this little St. Lucia doll in a catalog and just had to have it. I think she complements our breakfast tray nicely.
Another short cut this year was not making luscatore from scratch.  I had purchased these caramel rolls as part of a fundraiser for my mom's school district and decided they would be an easy baked good to prepare. Hopefully I'll have more time to make luscatore next year.
The breakfast tray in bed with 3 children is always a bit precarious.  We definitely end up with crumbs afterwards.
 I read aloud from A Surprise for Kirsten about celebrating St. Lucia Day in Sweden. This year the children actually paid some attention to the story.
 Baby Boy strips down to his birthday suit at nearly every opportunity and this was no different. He especially enjoyed the hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Visit from St. Nicholas... and snow!

It is a little challenging doing St. Nicholas Day in the morning now that we have school age children. But I think it is worth it to keep this celebration separate from Christmas Day. Everyone heads down stairs bright and early to see what St. Nicholas has left in their stocking. 
Peeking through the portiere.
Baby Boy was mystified by what had happened to the cookies they left out.
"What happened?!?"
"It's a mystery...!" I was nearly cried from trying to stifle my giggles.
Meanwhile, Little Miss was content to play with her spinning toy.
Daddy got his traditional bottle of Samiclaus beer, which is only brewed once a year of St. Nicholas Day.
And the children got some movies in their stockings. Our Little Helper helped Little Miss with the contents of her stocking.
And as a special St. Nicholas Day miracle, it snowed!!!The boys were so excited to watch the snowflakes falling. It wasn't enough to have school canceled though.
Little Miss just loves to watch her big brothers.
getting all three of them to look at the camera at the same time to pose for a picture is an exercise in futility.
I also got my St. Nicholas needle point project back from the finisher in time to display with my collection. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Count down to the birthday party

After Thanksgiving most people are prematurely celebrating Christmas. But in this house we are all about the count down to the Rocket ship birthday party. This party theme is based entirely on the plates I bought a couple years ago at Target. Outer space decorations abound so it has been pretty simple to collect things we need over the last year. (Yes, I picked his 3rd birthday theme before I had his Sesame Street birthday last year.)

Michael's sells unfinished birdhouses shaped like rocket ships so I planed long ago to incorporate them into the centerpieces. In all my sleuthing online it seems like everyone else uses these little wooden rockets too. I've primed these and am beginning to paint them similarly to those on the plates.
My preliminary plan for invitations was stylized rocket ship stickers on stationery, basically what I always seem to do. But Our Little Helper is so artistic and loves to draw. He presented me with a drawing of a rocket ship in outer space which included an astronaut tethered to the ship. And he composed the drawing so wonderfully with a border with Saturn, Jupiter, Earth, and the moon. I fell in love with it and thought it would be the perfect artwork for the party invitations. Mr. W added the lettering.
With a December birthday we have to hold the party indoors so I try to make up for that with the decorations. I ordered paper lanterns in varying sizes here and we are going to add some paint and tissue paper to create some texture to make them look more planet-y.  I think my MIL sent this set of poster paints when Our Little Helper was 3 and I never really let him use it.  So today was a big event since they got to use ALL the paints!
 This one will be Saturn.
 This largest lantern will be Pluto.
So much paint!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

St. Andrew's Day

In honor of St. Andrew's Day I had a little afternoon tea party with my boys.  One of my great aunts had quite a collection of Scottish inspired linens and I ended up with them.
A couple of the luncheon size napkins, each is different but most have thistle, heather, or tartan ribbon.

I've also begun to collect some Lucky White Heather souvenirs. This small pitcher started my collection. I found it at an antique store in Eureka, California during a road trip. The footed dish I got on ebay and used as a sugar bowl.
The table square has thistles and sprigs of heather embroidered on it.
Oh how I love a cuppa tea. I just served store bought shortbread cookies with lemon curd. The boys had hot apple cider.

Mr. W read aloud from the book Wee Gilles, about a boy who learns to play the bag pipes. Our Little Helper has begun taking highland Dance classes this year. I was able to find a teacher who had another boy the same age starting at the same time. That has been immensely helpful in keeping my son motivated to participate. He does not like to be the only boy in any situation. He tells me he really enjoys it, what little boy wouldn't enjoy hoping around swords?  His teacher recommended we attend a dance competition recently, there were a few boys competing in that too. He's getting exposed to lots of Scottish heritage, mayhaps he'd be interested in learning to play bag pipes himself?

Later in the evening Mr. W had some friends over for a Scotch tasting. He did one a few years ago. I'm not a Scotch drinker myself so I have the opportunity to catch up on my Netflix movies.
He puts on a nice spread of cheeses, cured meats, pate and nuts. This year he ordered Scotch eggs to go from The Horse Brass and re heated them in the deep fryer. I made a baked brie which I filled with fig jam made from figs from our tree.