February 29, 2012

a birthday and more spring in the air

what a delicious cake, amos made some nougat and we all loved it, absolutely loved it.
and then there is an other wonderful sunny spring day, it's the 29th of february what fun it is to add just one day this year, we talked about the whole adding a day every four years, that it is called leap year and so on, and once more i'm carried back to homeschooling. learning what crosses our paths, just going about things we are seeing and experiencing, taking the time to research and find out what's all about it. some fun facts at bbc's news magazine
and today we did just this, as the kids had the day off, we love love love it. elias was baking under amos' supervision, he made muffins to sell together with a friend, to raise funds for the wwf-gray whale project. they made a good junk of money and had fun in the process. i love learning by living!

the girls thoroughly enjoyed the warmth and felt like celebrating it with lots of water... in the process thea got to change her outfit twice, o well i don't mind helping her with this on a day like today. and the chives seem to grow an inch a day, i'm already looking forward to get the first cut.
my chore today, i got to collect all the pine tree branches, which where on the flower beds around the house, spring is sprung.
i'm sure there is more in the coming weeks, as the days get warmer and we don't have to layer anymore. today was the first day naomi asked for her sandals again...

February 28, 2012

spring is coming

indoors as well as out of doors, spring is coming. not in big loud shouts, but with a soft and clear voice. i love the warmer mornings, there is still frost on the ground but by mid morning i can already see the daysies opening up and the crocus are soon to open too. besides, i really enjoy the big green leafs with three stems of flowers to come soon. that one pot is in our living room, i got it from my parents root cellar, where it was enjoying a quiet winter. i'm so much looking forward to the bright orange blossoms opening up!
spring is coming and i love it.

February 27, 2012

some jigs and reels

there was not a lot of photographing taking place over the weekend. on some days it's one more thing i'm just not doing and loving the moment for what it is right then. so this is sunday night, with the girls in bed and elias overnighting at the grandparents, amos really got a good load of papa time.
some music making, some late evening snacks and lots and lots of cross word puzzles were making for a long and late night. he was so very happy, even this morning, the first thing he told me, how much fun it was to stay up long and do puzzles with joel. i'm so very glad he had a blast. o of course joel enjoyed it as much as amos...

February 24, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

February 23, 2012

living and choosing the good

nurturing my kids, feeding our family, it is much more then feeding. and then i hear isaiah say "eat what is good, that your soul may live (isaiah 55:2-3). after those verses there is a glorious vision of what can be -living by covenant and love, with peace, and redemption of the natural order. nurturing includes all actions which bring others to this full life and growth.
to make choices which nurture each other, i must ask always: "what do i want for myself and the persons i love?"
in earlier times, to sweat and labor to stay alive was the only option, except for a few elite. this is still very much the way for most poor people on this planet. though for me, for us, when every possible need  is satisfied before we even have a chance to perceive and respond to it, creativity can't flourish anymore.

we become victims of the great disease of technological society -  meaninglessness.

this is not a disease caused by bacteria, virus, or vitamin deficiency. it is being brought on by  having nothing important to do.

with those words in my mind, i try to help myself and our kids, to find meaningful work and creative making, meaningful interactions and sustainable life patterns. right now i'm reading once more through the "living more with less" by doris janzen longacre
for me this is a point i do want to focus on a bit more in the upcoming weeks, as we entered lenten season, starting yesterday with ash wednesday. we also started an other "stop-armut" course, looking at the way we live and believe, how we want to inprint christian values for more justice, a humane and saver world for all people.

February 22, 2012


pear chocolate cake, from the "rustic fruit dessert" book. one of my housemates was bringing a big bag of pears home, she is a gardener (not just flowers, but also berries and fruit trees are her field), so she is a wonderful source for all kinds of goods, last week it was 3lbs of red beets...
in search of something sweet and yummy i was right away thinking of the rustic fruit book. this one has lots of old fashioned moist types of desserts in it, cobblers, buckles crumbles, pandowdies etc. and that's what i was craving for.
o well it's rich but not heavy, the caramel sauce is the starting grounds, pear slices added and then the batter with melted chocolate, butter and two eggs beaten (with mixer, until the colour is getting lighter, this makes it more airy).
it turned out delicious everyone liked it and there was still a slice left for my afternoon espresso in the afternoon. yes i needed it to pair with an espresso, plain would just have been too sweet for me...

by the way it was an awesome afternoon, sunshine in our living room and after a game of memory with thea i got to knit a bit further on my cardigan. just sleeves left...

February 21, 2012

making is living

i so understand and at am the same wave lengths as said by erin in this blog post.

there is not really something to add, maybe a photo of me and my makings now a days. it's getting warmer outside and i miss having planted bulbs before the cold days hit home this winter. so there, i am stuck without bulbs starting to grow, without little green leafs starting to get me thinking of spring time. never the less there will be a visit at a garden shop and i'm sure i will not be able to resist some little pots with grape hyacinthias and daffodils.
and that 's the other moment i'm so fully being alife, watching nature take it's course. sun rays in the spring, warming up the soil and waking up the plants. the ice and snow is starting to melt and that's what is waking me up too, the little drip drip drip going on around me.

February 20, 2012

the many things on a weekend

there have many things been going on over the weekend, though over all it was very quiet. one of the reason for the slow and quiet feeling was the fact, that two of the kids were out of the house. elias enjoying a long weekend at his god mothers house, taking the train all the way to bern. and naomi left at the same hour friday afternoon, also on the train, though in the opposite direction. she was picked up at the next train station by my dad. both of them enjoyed a wonderful time visiting and were very happily arriving back home sunday night.
the two remaining kids enjoyed the time without the other two not less. getting a bit more attention by us adults...
i got to knit on my cardigan, and listen to james joyce, which i'm lending from the library, as well as some classical music one of them was purcell's shakespeare wonderful for a saturday night. and even got to read a bit. this absolutely counted toward a relaxing and slow weekend, good to enjoy just before school started again this monday morning. the kids were ready to go back, i didn't mind having a flowing and kid led rhythm for the last two winter vacation weeks.
and joel was working on fixing and mending and untangling the odds and ends of our in house network and computers, o well this seems like a black hole, though progress was made.

so now let's embrace monday morning, breakfast at 7:15, laundry is already being in the machine, the empty milk cartons in the crate waiting on the front steps for the milk man to stop by later in the morning.
at 8:10 i was reading the first book to thea, she loves the moment the kids run out of the house and catches me at a moment of trying to figure out what's next, of course next is her book!
by now joel left the house too and i have enjoyed the waiting of the machine to be done to quickly wind an other ball of the wonderful wool from retrosaria of portugal which is beeing knit into the effortless cardigan. it has been smooth and yes effortless, very easy instructions and the cardigan is growing so very quickly, wonderful.

February 18, 2012

loving the snow

the day in the snow, on the slope was super, lots and lots of snow up in steg. the ski lift was a bit hard though we all managed and the slopes were just the best. lots of snow, not to much preparations on the runs, this is skiing, i have not been so satisfied and excited about skiing in a long while.
this just a quick review of thursday's fun afternoon...

happy weekending!

February 17, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

February 15, 2012

take it easy

is an older game, we played it before we had kids and have not played it for a long time. just this week it has come into favor some how, by most of us. it's a nice mix of strategy and still lots of luck mixed in in order for the younger ones in the family to take part in the game without feeling to be at a loss.
and even if you lose, we all take it to heart "take it easy", it's just a game. on the other hand, it's not just a game, it's lots of math each of us does, when we add up the complete rows. first a whole lot of multiplication and then adding those results up to the total. i'm glad the kids discovered this one again, especially now as we are on winter brake and no one really want's to do worksheets. and yes i don't blame them for it.
thinking back to our home school days in JP.... o we often miss them, being with friends, learning so much together with other families, being it music, book club, geography club, and of course the monthly math game morning! this brings it back and i'm glad to have this memory

February 14, 2012

the trip to the frozen harbor

the harbor of rapperswil on lake zurich is frozen and open for people to skate and enjoy. it opened on saturday and as we are on winter brake  we just had to go and enjoy this event. it is the first time since 23 years.
we went there by train and enjoyed a good cup of soup as some beef jerky, though the kids did notice that the jerky is not american and that they like the american better, much better... never the less it's fun to have a picnic on the train.
then the ice, o it was perfect, and the boys felt bad that they decided to not bring their skates (as they where thinking, that it would be the same as on lake paeffikon, lots of snow on the ice, and skating was not fun...). the ice was almost clear and naomi enjoyed her skates a lot. the boys ran around and had fun never the less and thea too. it did give me an ere feel, walking on the ice in the lagoon of lake zurich, where usually there is just water and boats...
after some good icy time we went for a cup of tea near by and on the way home i was enjoying a few rows of knitting. over all we all had a very good time an exciting vacation day, yeah!

last night the people of the community went for a walk on lake pfaeffikon. we decided to go for a nightly walk as it was just so super crowded in the day. (those night photos are by joel)

February 13, 2012

the books we live with...

it occurred to me, that i did not do a book post for a long time (it was in june last year...). books are with us at home as well as traveling along on the way out of the house, coming along on holidays or weekends at my parents. i just ordered a bunch for naomi, she has been improving her english reading skills a lot, to my happiness. amos still spends many hours a week at the local library to read his beloved comics and what ever he can not find on his bedroom bookshelf.
so here we go, this is what we all enjoy at the moment:

this is thea's pile, her favorite to be told to her is "millie's marvellous hat", as i already told you a couple days ago here.

naomi's reading is interesting, there are mainly two types of books. when i put her to bed we read the books by patricia maclachlan she loves those and her english reading has been improving a lot. and then when joel is putting her to bed, he works through the "atlas der anatomie des menschen", naomi is very excited in any aspect of the human body. i got that atlas for free from the library as they put a new copy on their shelf. an other one she loves a lot is "julie ist wieder da!" a book about a girl fighting leukemia.

this is my pile i have been working for a while now sherry turkle's "alone together", i love to dive into this one and the thinking process is pushed further and further into the way we are interacting and living a more and more technology interwoven life. something i try to not be pulled into myself, but definitely i can see this around me, how people are increasingly functioning without face-to-face contact. and how all those social networking, texting and the e-communication has pushed people closer to their machines and further away from each other. definitely a very insightful read.

joel's books are a few, though he never run's out of the house without a good fiction in his hand.

elias loves books he is familiar with. the david macaulay books are an all time favorite of his, understandably they are so wonderfully illustrated and explain so much detail. and he also is still very much living in his "old world" with the books he has read and gotten to know when we were still living in boston. sometimes it seems like, this is the way he is staying connected with his time back then... and the french vocabulary word book is also to be found at his bedside most nights, i'm glad for that as he is not easily learning french but never the less is keeping up with it.

amos is definitely our most avid reader, it must be something like 500 pages a week or so. he reads almost whatever comes into his hands. and the big green one was a gift "mit 365 verblueffenden experimenten durch die naturwissenschaften", a daily read and do stuff...

(the local library, definitely amos' second home)

February 10, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

February 9, 2012


as i was browsing on sew mama sew i came across the wonderful little "love quilt" by kelly and fell in love with it right then and there. of course i had to give it a try, with my own little creative twist to it. i love it and i'm so happy knowing to whom i will be able to pass this one on. (the folks taking care of our kids while we are out and about on valentines day....)
it was quick and easy, and i do enjoy using up all the little bits. i have never before done paper piecing so this is a first and i'm sure i will do it more often, though have to get used to the process of thinking...
kelly is selling the whole alphabet in her etsy shop. just in case some of you would want to get started on letter quilting too.

meanwhile i'm thinking of other little valentines, like this or this or this. well we will see what i manage to create within the next few days...

February 8, 2012

it's cold outside, lets warm up

the boys have been collecting bullets (here a bit of bullet history) at the town's outdoor shooting range. o how precious are those collected led filled pellets, we have been talking about melting the led out of the steel for a while now, though never got to do it.
with the cold days we have had (and it will stay cold for an other few days) we have been working indoors. it was a fun project which joel started with the boys, elias got his camping stove going and in a little steel tray the boys got the bullets over the heat. and what a joy to observe the led come out of those punctured steel cases, fun to see how the process was working. when it was hot enough all of it was dumped into the bucket with the cold water.
the boys were sifting through the led pieces talking about those very creative shapes and forms. i'm sure the process will go on, there are big plans floating in the boys heads...