December 30, 2013

joel's eggnog

finally, i just had to post about joel's eggnog. weeks ago he started talking about how much he likes eggnog and that he really wanted to make it himself. i stayed away, i so don't like to heat egg to the point...
anyway, joel did lots of research, he read many a recipe and went then went shopping for all his ingredients. of course the kitchen was all his and the first trial was being tested at our friends. the grown ups loved it and of course the kids too, though without the "nog"!
and then on christmas day, the big party with lots of kids was surprised by the eggnog toast and each and everyone fell in love. i do suspect that joel has to cook and mix again next year. and then, yup a new tradition would be starting, how much excitement is that for a simple a treat as this!

thank you joel for all the work and keeping up your spirits, even when i was not going for it. at the end, you made my day with such a wonderful treat!

December 27, 2013

{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.

December 26, 2013

celebrating and loving it

the fourth of advent, the lighting of the love candle, well we all enjoyed this one a lot. around the big "candle" in the back of the house with friends and neighbors and a big tray of cookies, with the passage out of deuteronomy 10:17-19, we celebrate

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

and then christmas eve morning, a wonderful sun rise, a quick run for me and being full of energy we started all the preparations many little pricks and at the end a wonderful garland of cranberries and popcorn was keeping thea busy with me in the kitchen as well, cooking and baking and the boys going in and out, preparing cookie trays and setting the living room table for a big party. enjoying appetizers and going to church for the family christmas service. lighting the candles on the tree, eating a delicious meal, making music and singing carols. thank you friends and neighbors for coming to the "fest".

we did pack up and quickly left our house to be at my parents for christmas morning. and o that morning was one wonderful sight, one more gathering with family and celebrating together the coming of christ. the wonderful news of our savior being born and living with us, among us. amen

December 20, 2013

{this moment}

                    by joel

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.

December 19, 2013

one more frost

 there is just so  much wonder in a frosty morning.

December 18, 2013

an other christmas goody

our goodie-factory is in full swing and there is really  no day passing without at least one member of the family standing in the kitchen and whipping up a delicious treat, yesterday it was apple bread, today apricot goodies and caramel toffies. on monday i tried a new kind of almond-crisp cookie with a tiny meringue hat (sorry  no photos have been taken...), they turned out very sweet, i'm sure liked by all the kids and for me it's an extra together with a cup of espresso.
so far so good on the kitchen side, we are gearing up, there are a few more things in the planning, cranberries and oranges are in my fridge, also more creme and butter, eggs and chocolate, sounds promising to me. on the savory side there are two hams, green beans, potatoes and herbs being stocked up for christmas eve.

a good season laying ahead with two trips to visit grandparents and new years being away from all the hustle bustle.
from now on it's really just enjoying every moment and taking time to just being still. to be still, a moment of contemplation and being given a joy and expectation to celebrate the coming of our lord jesus which we remember and await for in.

December 17, 2013

fest and some cold weather

every year our german conversation group is celebrating christmas. it has been a wonderful celebration each year and so it was this year too. many international friends showed up with their families and a wonderful dish of food. it is such a thrill to be able to eat around the globe in one evening. and even better sit together and enjoy some wonderful conversations, be with friends and their friends and share the joy of being together. knowing that we can overcome barriers and differences of all kinds.
every year we also share the reason for christmas celebrations. this year a few youth from the young adults group were singing with us and making music for us, and as there were also lots of kids, we could sing some carols together (for the kids learn some of them in school).
and now it's back to conversation class, we meet for discussions and vocabulary building every wednesday morning see here for our program.

then it also got cold, over night it has gotten really cold, and mornings have been wonderful, though the crane has been an evening shot by joel, i love to see how it is taking off. and yes i feel the cold right now!

December 16, 2013

"ballett werkstatt 2013"

we absolutely enjoyed elias' performance at "ballett werkstatt" in zurich, it's the winter performance of his school and very nicely put together, as all the students and teachers get to show what they work on at their trainings 6 times a week. and for us, the audience it is exciting to see each year, how the students advance and all this in one show.
thank you elias and all the students and teachers for inviting us into your "studio" for one afternoon.

December 13, 2013

{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.

December 12, 2013

"guetzli backen"

we have had a wonderful night making christmas cookies. there was a good amount of preparation going on by k to have everyone of our little community be able to help along in different ways and make cookie baking fun for the whole house. the kids of course were super excited and could hardly wait until the different tasks were handed over to the people. some folks were not very enthusiastic about being a connoisseur for 40 minutes, though it turned out to be a wonderful moment and each person had at least some fun moment. as cookie making can be tedious, this time it didn't seem to bother anyone, and i have to say, the result has been very nice not just to see, but also very yummy to eat!

so lets go on with the christmas cookie baking frenzy, amos is all in and i'm sure we will have a friend over before we know it!

we made "chraebeli" (with anis), pfeffernuesse (spicy balls), brunsli (chocolate and hazelnut), and coconut macaroons.

December 10, 2013

a frosty morning :: still

no there is nothing really to add, a wonderful sun fulled frosty morning, a walk with the camera in hand and just that filled me with energy and joy up to the brim.

and then reading this, there is lot's to ponder and think and many more moments to be still.

December 9, 2013

advent's season

it was saturday night, the evenings during advent are very special to us, daily we gather as a family, sing a song or two and read stories. not to forget, as it is rather important, we also enjoy some treats and drink a glass of hot tea, cocoa or cider. candles are lit and each night someone else gets to enjoy a surprise from the advents calendar.
over the years we have grown fond of this set of advents tradition, we are not trying to change anything this year, just miss elias on some nights, as he is coming home late from ballet. never the less we try to celebrate late on some days, in order for him to enjoy the gathering too.
it's not just the evenings which are very special, but we read little by little through luke 2 in the mornings. this is helping us to set our expectations and hopes up into the right direction. as it is not easy and doesn't all the time come lightly, to focus on the lord and his plan of saving grace through jesus christ.

today, i look forward into a week with advent celebrations, with the first candle burning, the candle of hope and the second one also, the candle of peace.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

December 6, 2013

{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.

December 5, 2013

fabric surprise and "totenbeinli"

we got a big load of fabric from my parents in law. it's such a wonderful surprise to dig through the boxes and make such exciting discoveries as that bright orange floral print, wow! thank you for thinking of us, when you were cleaning out the storage, e and t.
there are ideas for projects, book bags, purses, quilts, skirts, we will see. one thing is certain, naomi's sewing machine will be put to work. one day early i got two shopping bags full with white linens. a friend of mine dropped them off at my house, as she had to help clear out her mother in law's little house in the mountains. wonderful stitched borders and initials, all hand made, of course. there will, now there must be some sewing in short!

while i'm occupied with thinking about fabric, amos had an other friend over and they made "totenbeinli", out of right now my favorite baking book eigelb und buderzucker. it is so nicely illustrated and the cookies are turning out yummy. it is good to learn how to read different cooking and baking books and amos does a good job at it. of course there are more friends lined up to come over and bake....
it seems a nice habit for this advent season, as he is in a training phase, to stay off the computer...

December 4, 2013

@ Glasix

last wednesday amos and i were at Glasix, an art atelier who does workshops for kids, youth and adults in our neighborhood. what a wonderful afternoon we had, learning how to cut glass and then also lay it out and glue with elmers. and then on monday we could go and pick up our objects.
it was great to take the time and spend it with amos, working on our own objects, with the same material which was new to both of us. i guess my former cabinet maker training got me a bit of an advantage in regards to glass cutting by hand...
there was a bit of geometry and organizational talent involved with the laying out of the glass bars, and then there is a whole lot of fun involved, to try things out and see what will happen.
i'm very happy with the outcome of the snowflake, that one was definitely a bit tricky and needed lots of pieces. we both liked to work with glass and the magic of melting seems to have done it's trick.

thank you beatrice for teaching us.

December 3, 2013

things to do and be still

advent season is upon us, very quickly it almost ran in the door this time. though i have managed to quickly catch up and the advents calendar is hanging, most of the little pockets are filled and we have sat down and sang already twice! wow this is a promising start. the first batch of christmas cookies were backed and elias made a wonderful advents wreath. there is a long list of things to do, some activities we want to do and ideas we want to ponder a bit more before put into action. gifting has been a talking point at many days and the hands have been busy.

but now i have to get things listed, trying to keep my thoughts straight and bundled

1. put the last few gifts into the advents calendar pockets (and leaf some empty for the kids to fill)
2. keep up with my morning runs (3x a week), i just picked this up again as i was in bed with a cold
3. stay calm and enjoy breakfast with the candle lit and the reading of luke, still going well
4. go to the school bazaar with a friend, thea and i went to the bazaar and enjoyed it a lot
5. hang up a mistletoe branch
6. make a winter garland and hang it up, i found the garland in the decoration box and hung it up on the 9th
7. each advents sunday gather at the fire in the garden, enjoy a hot beverage and a short devotion
8. bake grittibaenz for saint nicolas day (dec. 6th), naomi made the dough and we made the baenze after dinner for breakfast
9. make hot chocolate from scratch as a surprise after school snack, done on the 16th
10. go to elias' ballettwerkstatt on saturday the 14th, the whole family went and we had pizza afterward wonderful
11. bake christmas cookies
   - orangen schnittli,done on the 16th
   - schokolade kugel myrta
   - coconut macaroons, done on the 10th
   - totenbeinli, done on the 4th
   - mailaenderli, done on the 6th
   - sandele
   - anis chraebeli, done on the 10th
   - brunsli, done on the 10th
   - lemon hearts, done on the 9th
12. finish the skirt on my needles,  done and ready to be worn on the fourth of advent
13. sitting down now and then, with joel and a mug of spiced cider in our hands
14. writing christmas letters to my friends on time, so far just about half of it done the rest will be late...
15. go to the lemon carving workshop, just for fun and a good chat with friends, did and enjoyed it
16. get some egg nog to enjoy with who ever comes over at the right moment

this is it for the moment, i'm sure there will be more things added to this list, but for now i'm happily looking forward to this coming days of advent. some moments of peace and quiet. this week moments of reflection on the meaning of the 1st candle of advent, hope. the candle draws attention to the anticipation of the coming of the messiah, that weaves its way like a golden thread through the old testament history. and we still hope and expect him to come again.

December 2, 2013

weekending with friends

a saturday afternoon scavenger hunt was planned and organized. how wonderful to send the two older kids ahead and they did a great job. sending us over a narrow slippery bridge across a little creek, through the undergrowth and up some steep paths. making arrows with fallen trees and horse dung... well the snow lent itself for nicely trampled paths and of course wrong paths! thank you elias and z for the wonderful hike, the cool little notes and arrows you came up with for us.

the treasure we found, was of course a yummy one, steaming hot chestnuts! wow what a good idea and they were packed nicely in a big thermos. cool idea which my friend came up with, very creative.

for after dinner there was apple strudel, o so very delicious. i rolled the dough out, to a very thin sheet, mixed thinly sliced apples and grated hazelnuts, sugar and lemon juice and put this on the "though sheet". everything was rolled up and put into the oven, three times i brushed some butter on and it turned out very yummy. best of all, apple strudel is topped with home made vanilla sauce. everyone without exception had to have a second slice!

and thank you b's for hosting us, it was wonderful. even sunday morning starting advent with the first four verses of luke, just perfect.