Sunday, November 8, 2009


After breakfast with David, Ashley, and my dad at the Original Pancake House yesterday, Katie and I came home and decided to have a "eucalyptus leaf" hunt in our yard. I showed her examples of the leaves, and then we got a pail and began collecting. Although the gardeners raked up most of the windfall last week, there were just enough eucalyptus leaves to make the search exciting---finding them wasn't terribly difficult, but nor was it simply a matter of picking up big handfuls.

When we gathered a little over half of a pail, we brought them in to clean and sort them. As they dried, we went back outside and chose a supple little branch from one of the sturdier bushes, cut it, cleaned off the leaves, and wove it into a circle.

Then we glued on our leaves. Isn't it amazing how eucalyptus leaves have so many beautiful variations? Some are completely sage green, while others have gorgeous garnet streaks. Some are spotted. Some are long and thin, and some are short and rounder. I have always loved eucalyptus trees, yet studying the leaves up close gave me a new appreciation for the infinite beauty in a single tree. After the leaves had been placed and glued onto the woven branch, we cut out six little cards, and Katie, Bill, and I were each responsible for two of them. We wrote down what we love, or that for which we are most thankful this year. Katie asked me to write, "I love going to the pumpkin patch" and "I love Amie and Boppa." While Bill and I wrote our cards, Katie embellished hers with a felt pen. Then I glued all the cards around the wreath, and I added a sheer sage green ribbon.

Katie and I decided to hang it by the family table in the nook, right near her high chair and also near her play kitchen.

One of the most rewarding parts of this craft is that it was totally free and made of "found" materials (including the ribbon that I had saved from a package, the paper which I cut from scraps of scrapbook paper, and the hot glue which we always have). We didn't have to buy anything special to do this craft; we could celebrate the natural abundance around us.

Our thankfulness wreath, made of eucalyptus.

Katie has been especially thankful for Boppa these past few days. They love harvesting tomatoes together, and they love to have little conversations together about all kinds topics.

Katie and Boppa visit during a break from painting the patio.

Katie gets ready for an evening wagon ride with Boppa.

We had a barbecue last night for David and Ashley, and it was a cozy and chilly night. We even lit the fire pit for awhile. I made a chocolate pudding, raspberry, heavy whipped cream and chocolate crust pie; Boppa was in charge of the all the barbecue items. We had a good visit!

I have started telling Katie more about Santa Claus, and she is really excited about him right now! I need to figure out more ways to celebrate November with crafts and food first, though... It seems like November is zooming right along. Our lessons this month are going to focus particularly on being thankful and what it means to show gratitude to others and to life on a daily basis.