Sunday, December 6, 2009


a lot of nice things start like this:
and when you add mushrooms and garlic,
that may be the aroma of heaven.

It's really nice that the semester is now done for me, but having Thanksgiving sandwiched in there was a little nerve wracking. Now, my Tweens Read blog is done and all my other projects. For the moment. I may still add to it, but right now I am relishing an actual adult novel, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Nice and gothic, a little creepy, and paced for people who have longer attention spans than 9-14 year-olds. The best part: I don't have to pay attention so that I can write about it later.

I. can. just. enjoy. it.

So here's some random tidbits...
Sometimes creative endeavors happen around here when someone puts a plastic zip tie on their thumb, which almost immediately begins to turn red from the pressure. Thumb was saved from gangrene or whatever the danger is from that sort of activity, I am happy to report.
Oh, the turkey baster. So much in demand around here as a play thing. Perpetually popular. I do get a little tired of picking it up from random places, like the rug or under the couch. Think of it. Some poor turkey basters just languish in a kitchen drawer, forgotten but for a few ventures out per year. Not so, ours. But really, someday I may miss these household still-lives: Turkey Baster with String and Hairbrush.
Some people enjoy playing games that require hours worth of rule-reading and assimilation. BEFORE. YOU. EVEN. START. PLAYING. Some people like to watch golf on TV. Others like to watch their own knitting with self-striping yarn. Or paint drying on walls. While this activity was happening, I was probably writing a Tweens Read blogpost on Thanksgiving.
Jonas sometimes has these amazing ideas. You may know that we have a few small girls who we adore around here; lacking any daughters/sisters in our own house, we borrow them when we can. You may remember our four year-old Froggie Hostess? She who arrived in a box, hand-delivered by UPS?
So. Jonas decided to make her an advent calendar.

It became a family endeavor. Jacob and Jonas worked on the painting each evening together.

Jacob cut out each door. I used my favorite .02 Micron black pen to draw tiny interior pictures for under the little doors.

Sylvan and Jonas colored the pictures in one morning before school, so that we could deliver it to her that afternoon. Not quite in time for the 1st of December, but pretty close. As it turned out, perfectly, her mom had been scouring local and online sources for S's very first advent calendar. But hadn't found the right one yet.

Truly a gift in the spirit of the best ones: conceiving, creating, and giving something handmade can be as fun as getting a present yourself. Because the gift is that twinkly sparkly brown-eyed angel girl's smile when she sees what you've made her. And every morning, we wonder which picture she's opened.


  1. That is without a doubt the BEST advent calendar I have ever seen... I just love it!!!



    PS See you soon, I hear!

  2. That is such an amazing advent calendar! What a beautiful collaboration of artwork and creative thought!
    love, Marcia

  3. Awwwwwwww. I'm so glad I'm back because I did not want to miss the sweet story of this most precious Advent calendar. What a wonderful gift and inspired collaboration.

    I'm also going to bookmark that Tweens Read blog to give it a look over and share with friends who have tweens of their own.

    Thank you, Iris, for always knowing how to make me smile and for inspiring me with your endeavors.

    Peace and love...Ana