What shall we give?


                                           What shall we give to the babe in the manger,
What shall we offer the child in the stall?

Incense and spices and gold we've got plenty-
Are these the gifts for the king of us all?


                                               What shall we give to the boy in the temple,
What shall we offer the man by the sea?

Palms at his feet and hosannas uprising;
Are these for him who will carry the tree?


                                            What shall we give to the lamb who was offered,
Rising the third day and shedding his love?

Tears for his mercy we'll weep at the manger,
Bathing the infant come down from above.*


"What Shall We Give" has become my favorite Christmas song this year. The harmonies, the instrumentals--above all, the lyrics--speak right to my heart. (There is a free download of the song at the end of this video.)

The song fits perfectly with my favorite Family Home Evening of the season. It's one that I repeat every December and it never fails to get me in the right spirit.

The message is simple: we all have something to give, and we can all give something we have. The world may tell us it's not good enough. The voices in our head might do the same. But what are we waiting for if not to give of the talents and passions God gave us? To bless one another on this mortal journey, to make things a little bit easier--a little bit brighter--for our brother?

Jesus Christ suffered and died for us--an excruciating sacrifice made out of love. But did he not daily perform small acts of service? Smiling at a stranger, helping a neighbor carry a load, laughing with a child? I see my Savior doing all of these things. I hear Him calling me to do the same.

I cannot be the Savior. I cannot perform an ultimate sacrifice. But I can smile at a stranger and love a child. I can listen to a friend and I can help a neighbor with their load.

This, then, is my gift. I hope it can be all of ours.


What Shall We Give
-lesson/devotional-

Song: The Friendly Beasts--a medieval French carol about the animals of the nativity and their gifts to the newborn Christ.  (video/ sheet music with lyrics)


Scripture: Mosiah 2:17 "…..when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God"

Story: The Clown of God--a French legend of a juggler's offering to the Christ child. Keep a tissue handy. (If you don't have access to the book, here's a video that follows the text closely.)


Challenge: Book of Gifts--I made these simple paper books for my family to record their daily gifts to Jesus. On Christmas Eve we're going to throw the books on our fire and send the gifts to heaven. I don't really believe that our deeds rise with the smoke, but I love a good symbol. Christmas is rife with symbols and I don't mind adding another. Really, though, there are a million traditions much like this--adding straw to a manger, filling a stocking for Jesus, etc.


Merry Christmas, Everyone!

*lyrics courtesy of A Care In The World

The Mousse-tache




The first time I tried a Chocolate Dome at Kneader's I fell in love. As in, I made my husband take me there every date night for months because it was the only treat I felt like eating. I was pretty sad to leave them behind when I went off gluten and dairy this year.


However, the internet is a beautiful thing. Seek and ye shall find. Kosher mousse that is. Here's my riff on the Five Minute Mousse, or The Mousse-tache, as I like to call it ('staches happen). Gluten free, dairy free, quick prep, and simple ingredients. And it tastes amazing. This is how I like to FOOD.

A few notes:
-I know, avocados?? Trust. Cocoa is a power.
-If you're short on avocados (or trust), banana works at a 1 to 1 replacement. However, it will now be banana-chocolate flavored. Banana is a power too.
-The uncooked cocoa prevents this from being completely silky smooth. But--five minutes.
-This is the consistency of pudding (assuming you use full fat coconut milk), but chilling in the fridge will make it awesomely solid (assuming you use full fat coconut milk).


The Mousse-tache

1 can coconut milk (full fat)
2 avocados
2 Tbs cocoa
1/2 c. honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
(opt) fruit

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend. Serve. Garnish with fruit if desired.

Yoga Challenge

A few weeks ago, my favorite yogi issued an Instagram challenge and I had to jump in. I loosely followed the photo themes assigned, but mostly I had fun coming up with my own ideas that related to each pose. 

What an incredible 10 days!! I loved flexing my creative (and physical, haha) muscles. It was energizing to work on a project that was JUST ME! My awesome hubs and first born fully invested themselves too--Jake happily threw down time, money, and driving hours to help me get great shots. And Bryant was often my second set of arms (quite literally in the last pic!).

I am super excited to continue this series, just for fun.  :)  Namaste people!!!

Bird on a Curb

Tree Pose

Hero Pose

Boat Pose

Plank Pose

Child's Pose

Bow Pose

Warrior Pose

Dancer Pose

Goddess Pose









15 Years

Two years ago, I discovered that Jake and I were married on a Catalan holiday. This year, I learned that it is also Shakespeare's birthday.

In honor of the bard and (more importantly) my best love:


Sonnet CXVI

by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Truth.

Thank you for 15 years of building a life with me, my Love. I am wiser and better and happier for knowing and loving you.





Faces Rip Art

My 8 year old is a joker. The other day he ripped out some magazine pages and held a huge mouth in front of his own. Light bulb! We made an event out of it.

People. I cannot stop laughing at these!









Idea Formulation Generator


Found this book of postcards at Barnes and Noble recently. It made for a fun Maker Break one evening while picnicking in the yard. I love summer evenings!

Our favorite ideas, in case you were wondering:

Origami Rock Water
'Everything Is Awesome' Dirt Clothes
Shockapow Plant Undies
Liquid Seed Toothpaste
Uhduh Dirt Diapers

At first, some of my kids were complaining about their results. "That doesn't make sense!" 
It became an amusing challenge to flesh out how random words could be actual items.

Keri Smith (the author) has done some amazing books and apps that challenge how you interact with the world. I love what I've seen so far and can't wait to try out more with my boys.

Okay, now you play!

A Midsummer Mingle


There's happy and then there's giddy like a seven year old. I admit, my inner 7yo was doing cartwheels at A Midsummer Mingle. I was lucky enough to score some tickets, and it was bar none the most amazing party I've been to. What a positively delightful way to ring in the summer. There were swag bags, floral crowns, art prints, lemon lavender iced teas, giant paper flowers, crafts, and Instax photos. Everyone was dressed in white. The gardens were straight out of a storybook. There was just so much happiness and openness in the air. I (the introvert) even made a few new friends! It was magical. It filled up a part of my soul--a deep down part that isn't a job or role, she just IS. And as if my evening couldn't get any better, my drive home was punctuated with fireworks ahead of me the whole way. 

After I came home, my desire to do good increased tenfold. I want to share art and kindness and goodness and make women feel like a million bucks. Working on the why's and how's of that….. Stay tuned!

And a few more pics….




































Check out some AMAZING pics of the night here.


Nature's Rorschach

My favorite genus is Coleoptera

Recently I spotted a new-to-me Steve Jenkins book (on beetles!) so I had to get it. Mr. B. and I pored over the cut art collages and juicy facts. (EX: Natural history museums use the Hide Beetle (whose diet consists of dried skin/dead flesh) to clean animal bones for display. Sorry--that's just cool.)




The markings on many of the beetles reminded me of inkblot tests

I think it's beatiful. I can't articulate why, but the fact that inkblot patterns have existed for thousands of years on the backs of tiny beetles is…..stunning. What other beauties and functions exist all around me, if I just had eyes to see?

Also, cool inkblot shirt and diy art.

Images via 100 Scope Notes.







15 Years

Two year ago, I found out that Jake and I were married on a Catalan holiday. This year, I discovered that it is also Shakespeare's birthday.

In honor of the bard and (more importantly) my best love:

SONNET 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
     If this be error and upon me proved,
     I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Truth.

Thank you for 15 years of building a life with me, my Love. I am wiser and better and happier for knowing and loving you.

Chroma Zoo

Fun activity for a preschooler: sort and photograph your toys.

We chose animals by color. E loved it; so did I! There is something therapeutic about creating order in this world, even if for a moment….









I heart Oliver Jeffers

Oh, Oliver. Could I love you any more after this brilliant video? Hunting burgers by bow and arrow? Genius.



If you are unfamiliar with Jeffer's work (or your library doesn't carry his books….I'm looking at you Dear Public Library o' Mine),  a quick YouTube search will reveal readings of many of his books.

p.s. Our tippy-top favorites are The Incredible Book Eating Boy and The Heart And The Bottle.

Jump

via Spitfiregirl

I can't seem to stop thinking about blogging, sharing, and doing good from my own little corner of the universe. So here I am.

Welcome to my corner. May you feel lucky and loved at my hearth.

Geronimo!