The posts on this blog are copied from my private blog: "At The Rose Cottage". If you are interested in viewing The Rose Cottage, which has more personal family posts and pictures, email me at stewcrew9 at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Assignment #18 - Tradition

Just out of curiosity, I asked my older children what traditional things we do around Christmas that they really enjoy. Here is what they said:

-Skating party on the 26th will all the cousins (Steve's folks have 27 grandchildren!) .

-New Years sledding party.

-Just staying home as a family.

-Turkey stuffing!!!

-Reading God's word together.

-Receiving gifts.

-Cold lunch after Christmas with all the leftovers.

-Watching old movies like Mary Poppins, Cheaper By The Dozen, Kidnapped and 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

I smile as they say all these things because none of them started out to be traditions. They are not old traditions, but they are what the kids think of that makes this time of year special for them.


I think back to my childhood and my Norwegian family. Foods like Gjetost (pronounced yea-toast - a brown goats cheese aka: ambrosia!), Lutefisk (fermented whitefish that smells awful but has no flavor), Lefse (potato flatbread to wrap your ambrosia Gjetost in), meatballs, smoked herring, milk rice, and strong coffee.

Most of these things are gone now. I am allergic to wheat and dairy (even goat's cheese :-/). I will still make milk rice for our Christmas morning breakfast (made with coconut milk instead of cow milk). I will also make lefse for New Year: it works out OK gluten free. I will be drinking tea instead of the black, thick coffee. Even so, my childhood memories are still precious because it was not the actual traditions that were REALLY meaningful, but what they represented: family, togetherness, security, and LOVE.

Assignment #17 - Handmade

Being a Mother is one of the most rewarding yet challenging positions to hold. Everyday is physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally taxing. Everyday also has it's little rewards of preciousness: baby smiles, loving words, pictures to hang on the fridge, wet kisses and hair-messing hugs.

Occasionally, in the midst of homemaking, I get this creative urge to make something beautiful that I can enjoy right away. Let's face it, baking, doing dishes, cleaning house, and grocery shopping just doesn't fulfill a creative desire (OK, it sometimes does, but the clean house or the cookies or the full pantry doesn't last very long).

When this urge hits me, I generally want to do a project that will not take too long to finish. Sometimes I pick up my paintbrush - I enjoy watercolors, sometimes I pull out scrap booking, sometimes I blog :), and sometimes I sew.

Last week I got the "creative bug" and started making a tea cozy that would fit my largest tea pot. I looked up different patterns and ended up using the instructions on a website called "The Rusty Bobbin". I couldn't get a link to work *grrrr* so just Goggle "rusty bobbin sews tea cozy" and you'll find it.

I also purposed to use only what fabric and notions I had on hand (to save money and to have a fun challenge). Applique is one of my favorite sewing methods because the projects are small and I can work on them while sitting with the family.

So, Ta Da....
I love RED, so there is red accents - if I had brown fabric, I probably would have chosen that instead of black, but I am happy with the black.
The main change I made from the directions, was to put a casing around the bottom and run a bit of elastic in it so that the cozy would "hug" my tea pot better.