take me anywhere

take me anywhere's book montage

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems
Philadelphia, Here I Come! : A Comedy in Three Acts
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
The Lost Salt Gift of Blood
Imagining Argentina
A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy
The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Amongst Women
Church of the Dog
Charming Billy
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Birth House
The Poisonwood Bible
Catching Fire
The Hunger Games

take me anywhere's favorite books »

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Happy Holidays!

Gabe and Camille's smiley cheeks on Christmas Eve.
We love to wrap up in our big, comfy towels.
After the kids went to bed, Brett and I turned the tree into a Happy Birthday on Christmas tree for Camille. We added balloons with birthday messages to surprise her when she woke up.
Christmas morning icicles.
The frog tent is a big hit!
We LOVE our bright and cheery matching aprons that my sister-in-law made for Camille and I. Thanks, Tammy!
After eating our Christmas cinnamon roll and marshmallow hot chocolate breakfast, we dove into cupcake making for Camille's birthday. We are all about sugar today. Yeah, we didn't wait long to eat one or maybe two. Lots of sprinkles and frosting. We are still slipping on those sprinkles.

There were some left!
My Christmas cuties!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Family Reflections.

This week we are celebrating being a family! It is so important to turn our energy to truly acknowledging the wonderful attributes each family member offers. Christmas time is definitely the time to do this. I feel such gratitude when I can see how intertwined Brett, Camille, Gabe, and I are; how we weave together to give happiness, laughter, love, and strength. Last night for Family Home Evening we sang endless Christmas songs including "Away in a Manger" and "Samuel Tells of Baby Jesus." Camille is choosing one song a month for us to learn. We cut out pictures to represent words, then glue and laminate. With these visual aids we have it down! The house is so peaceful when we gather to sing. Tonight, we turned on Mindy Smith's "My Holiday" CD and made fabric bird ornaments. We had such fun creating our individual birds for the tree. Our family is very into birds right now and I guess we have always been. I think we feel drawn to them for their delicate, airy beauty, and music abilities. We are thankful to have many opportunities to observe nature in Skagit Valley. I am blessed to share these peaceful moments with my family. Brett carefully constructs. Gabe is having fun using lots of glue and fabric.

The finished (just need ribbon) birdies.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Importance of Layering!

It is gorgeous here today as I am looking out the back south window at a ribbon of sun remaining on the horizon. Ah, to be able to have the sky open all day. That is the wonderful part. The not so great part is trying to keep warm and I am in my house. I have been in my kitchen for the last part of the afternoon, cleaning from this weekend, and am having a bit of trouble standing in socks on the linoleum floor for more than a few minutes. The floor is an ice pond that I can't avoid. Even better, I heard my washing machine start urring and when I went out into the room that adjoins our house to check. I smelled the burning engine. I think it is dead. Our sheets that I stripped this morning are in a dead washing machine full of freezing water. Nice. I would now have to plunge my hands into the glacial water to retrieve and wring them. It felt like my entire body was immersed in this machine. I took a shower after this in order to recharge my limbs. As I was in the shower, I noticed the last two toes on my right foot were purple and entirely numb. This reminded me of Unity St., a place we lived when first married. We refer to the places we have lived by the name of the street. We have a cat and a dog, so finding a place to rent was always difficult. Well, we found one in Bellingham, on Unity St. It was a part of what used to be a functioning plantation, with a substantial brick house, (now some sort of business) servant's quarters, and a stable for horses. We lived up the stairs at the very top of the servant's quarters. When we moved in January, the weather resembled this coldness, but not even close to the low 20's with endless days of snow. Our first morning there, when jumping out from under heavy quilts to use the bathroom, that had been transformed from a closet, we found our shampoo had turned from liquid to solid. It was completely frozen. I wouldn’t be washing my hair today. Oh, the memories. Our current house parallels Unity St. on certain levels like cradling the cold, but at least there is a heating system so that there is actually heat to escape. When we first began to rent our house from my husband’s grandparents we were adding a mirror in the bathroom and the screws went directly from the bathroom wall into my daughter, Camille's bedroom. No space in between to hold insulation, plenty of space for whirling air. We have become very good at layering; hats, wool socks, and slippers are a necessity for arctic living.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snowy Days!

Sunday was a beautiful day. To actually awake to a bright day streaming in through the windows, calling for you to slide out into it. Well, I am pretty sure the kids were calling for us to slide on out. Slide we did. We prepared with internal (cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate) and external (the essential gear) for warmth.

Brett pulled Camille and Gabe on the tabogan, and they loved when they flew through the snow, powder spinning into the air. Bryn and I pretended to skate on the icy roads, on more than one occasion we almost came crashing down. Okay, Bryn who has four legs not so much, just me. A lovely day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two chairs and a sister and brother.

The other day I turned around (one second) and was on the phone looking out the window and then I spun back again (one second) to find:

Gabe standing on two chairs. Wow, how can one so small be so quick? I thought so! Camille had been wanting to reach an incense holder on top of the armoir and apparently couldn't get ahold of it, so she thought hmm. . . Can Gabe reach? Let's find out. He moves fast alone but with an older sibling leading the way, oh, what can be accomplished.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Saturday was the day for our annual train tradition. Last year's hats were too small, so we needed new hats for the frosty occasion. Gabe's hat size is 5-12, so he's supposedly good until twelve. Not too sure about that. I guess he has a big head. We always joke that they take after their dad, who now has a rebuttal. In one of his grad Science classes they did an experiment and the outcome was: his head was just average. That's too bad. I can no longer say he has an extraordinarily big brain.
Camille rode the ponies alone this year. She no longer needed me by her side and I was banned to the outside rope.
At least Gabe still needed our help.

We love, love, love the train rides as they twirl and whirl through downtown and under the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

three a.m. thoughts

I am existing on few hours of sleep over the past well, I was going to say days, but this being mobile in the dark hours of night has painfully trampled its way under and over weeks. Sweet sleep apparently will not become a daily reality until my children no longer have blankets and beds in this house. I have to admit my mind, once startled, jumps into this frenzy of mad-dash thoughts. When I started this blog it was to tame my 3 a.m. thoughts by channeling them into written words. So, it's out. I am not normal, not even close to being sane. I know I'm not alone as I look around. Oh, this is getting scary. It's a bit hard when you have to fight yourself, especially your brain, the one that is in control of the thinking. What right does it have to go ahead and have a jolly laugh by sending messages flying all about armed with irrationality? Knock it off BRAIN! Depression, anxiety, OCD, Bi-Polar, the list goes on; I don't have all of these. These just happen to be the "disorders," since that is what most of them end with, that I have seen working within friends, family members, people. Okay disorder, I should be functioning in the opposite, orderly fashion? This is what you are trying to say. All highways and no side alleys for me. Not exactly. Do I have a conclusion? I might have to end with the reality of me being a "disorder." Can I be fixed?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A little help from Mr. Potato Head.

Gabe loves to go to sleep because then he can gather every toy from his room and stack them on his bed. The other night I found him in his doorway reading. He used his Mr. Potato Head glasses to help him.

They are a bit snug but apparently do the job!