Tuesday, December 29, 2009


After Christmas at home with all manner of family goodness we ventured over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house. There, just over the mountaintop, was a festive snowy wonderland. On our way out grandma and grandpa came along to slide down a few hills before we headed back home. Daddy took the first trip down the hill on a sled with Naiya in his lap. Since she was the one who ended up with a face full of snow, this may not have been the best arrangement. Still, in the bitter cold, it was a beautiful day for us all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

gifts for the nephews

Again, I saw something like these somewhere and just made them using what I had. (If they look familiar and you know where the idea came from do let me know as I now can't recall to site the original artist.) I especially liked the hair which came from the tasseled ends of a red felted wool scarf.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

genuine train ride

We hope you all had a festive and joyous holiday season. Ours was full of activity now that our little one has a firm grasp on all that fills our world in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Naiya was so thrilled with all the lights this year that we tried to get them in at every opportunity. Sometimes this just meant walks around various neighborhoods but we also tried to jump aboard a few of the other holiday offerings in town. This included a trip on The Holiday Express. We were on the old Southern Pacific Steam Train #4449 and took just a short journey about twenty minutes up the river and back that included a visit from Santa. Naiya hadn't been on a real train before and mostly enjoyed the bit when her daddy took her to the in-between cars space so she could feel the wind racing through her hair. This ride is a local fundraiser for the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Its mission is to build a permanent home for the City of Portland's three historic steam locomotives.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

the grotto's festival of lights

This year was the 22nd Annual Festival of Lights at The Grotto. For those who aren't familiar, The Grotto is a lovely 62 acre Catholic shrine and botanical garden located in NE Portland, Oregon. It's actual name is The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother. It's more popular namesake comes from the cave which has been carved out of the 110-foot basalt cliff side which holds a stone alter and a replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà. It's open all year and the cliff-top gardens are accessible after a short elevator ride up to a spectacular view. The Festival of Lights features family entertainment including a display of over half a million lights, choral performances, puppet shows, carolers, a petting zoo and shepherd's play. Hot cocoa, coffee and treats are also available. Naiya's favorite was the puppet show. She was enraptured this year by the story of Princess Tiptoe.

our little angel

It has always been a tradition in my family that the youngest child places the star atop the tree. Well, that's how I remember it anyhow. Possibly I made this up because I am a youngest child.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

cuttin' down the tree

Bundled up against the bitter cold we went to select a tree from a tree farm near my folks' house in West Linn. Afterward we made some attempt to capture a photo of all three of us since this is an incredibly rare occurrence. The reason is obvious.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

my friends

Naiya’s been telling lots of stories lately. Often they begin like this, “My friends said...”, or “Once, my friends, they went to...” Most often these are not actual living breathing friends to which she is referring. Nor are they specific imaginary type friends. They're abstractions. Maybe a way to back herself up. I’m not sure. If ever I ask about these friends she is vague and changes the subject or ignores my inquiries.
Today we were in the kitchen once again. I was chopping up nuts for the granola. Naiya was curiously watching . Mostly quiet. Then she pipes up, “My friends...they say you can carpen a knife.” I look at her and smile. When she makes these grammatical errors I usually gently correct them within the flow of conversation without bringing too much attention to them. “They say we can SHarpen knives?” I ask her (with a slight emphasis on the SH). “No.” She replies. “My friends...my boy friends...they speak Spanish and they say you can Carpen a knife.”
“Okay then,” I say. We both smile at each other.
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