Happy New Year (almost!)
1. We're no longer commuting 32 miles a day to take Sydney to her private school. Instead, she's walking/biking to the local elementary school and we all couldn't be happier.
2. Although I started out the year trying to eat healthier, the middle of 2008 was all about fast food, takeout and junk food. I've come full circle, though, cooking almost all of our meals at home over the past few months and feeding the family mainly with whole foods and avoiding processed foods.
3. I've quit my clothes dryer almost completely! I finally bought a folding laundry rack and had Bill install a retractable clothesline in our upstairs bathroom, and now I do a load of laundry almost every morning and then hang it to dry. I'd put off doing this because I thought it would be a huge hassle, but it's actually very easy (and the laundry actually gets put away because I can only hang one load at a time, meaning I don't let six loads pile up and get totally overwhelmed by it all).
4. I got back on my bike and have been trying to leave the car in the driveway as much as possible.
That's just a small sample of the stuff that has gone on over the course of 2008. What will 2009 bring? Who knows! I'm looking forward to finding out.
Our record snowfall has finally melted. For a few days right around Christmas it seemed like it would never stop snowing. Seriously! It was nutty. Here's a little taste of what our backyard looked like at the height of it:
Sydney & Owen got their first taste of sledding:
I went completely crazy with the baked goods (here's just a very small sample - imagine each of these cookies times 10 and you'll get an idea of how many cookies we had at the height of the baking madness):
And my Candy Cane Bread, which looked better than it tasted...
I used a recipe written for a bread machine and used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour (it was all I had left at the time). It didn't rise properly the first time, so it was a little bit too dense for my taste. It made good bread pudding, though!
Finally, here are some pictures for you, Mom! We had a fabulous Christmas Day in spite of all the snow. In fact, it was probably made better by the snow because I was kept out of Target and all those other big-box stores that we need to drive to and ended up doing all the kids' shopping at our local shops within walking distance. We also pared down quite a bit from previous years and the kids ended up actually enjoying and playing with most of their toys instead of getting totally overwhelmed by the volume. All in all, it was a success (and we managed to get to my brother-in-law's house and back home in our Jetta without getting stuck!).
The morning started out with stockings and lots of exclaiming that the cookies and milk left out for Santa had disappeared (we actually put the cookies back because we just couldn't eat any more).
Santa came through for Sydney in a big way and brought her the one thing she asked for - a Yoshi doll (which Santa miraculously found in the toy section at Goodwill in late November):
Here are the kiddos, itching to get their hands on all that loot behind them!
It was sort of a quiet Christmas due to the fact that my mother-in-law has slowly been sewing up a collection of cloth gift bags over the past few years and we have fewer and fewer gifts wrapped in paper. This year there were only a couple, so the usual sound of tearing paper has been replaced by the muffled shuffling of fabric. Our trash pile was a heck of a lot smaller than usual as well!
Now I'm going to pass the rest of '08 freezing beef broth made from the bones of our Christmas Prime Rib, trying out a new bread recipe using up some leftover brown rice, finishing up a sock design that will be released next month (I got invited to do one of those cool joint design projects that Lorna's Laces and Mountain Colors put out together), formatting the new patterns that will be released at TNNA next month, and listening to Sydney, who is becoming quite the little reader, sound out the new books I picked up for her at the library yesterday. I hope you all have had as wonderful a year as we have!