If you haven’t ever been in Jamaica Plain for the autumn solstice, you probably have never heard of a lantern walk. Every year JP, a neighborhood in Boston, hosts a Lantern Walk. People with home made lanterns (typically made from 2 liter bottle and tissue paper) crowd the path along Jamaica Pond. Musicians and performers dot the path to entertain the walkers and the lanterns light up the horizon. Some of these lanterns are pretty detailed and intricate. JP is a greet place, with such an awesome energy. Much thanks for this energy should be given to Spontaneous Celebrations, a non profit who organizes this and the “Wake up the Earth” celebration in the spring.
Since we’ve recently moved to a neighborhood with a pond, I thought it would be really cool to do a lantern walk here. I couldn’t invite the entire neighborhood this year, instead I invited some old and new neighbors. We had a pretty good turn out, considering I began sending text invites three days before. It was a pretty tall order too: “your invited… by the way, you need to make a lantern”. So India and I made a few extras, and we hosted a lantern making party the day before. The favorite lantern I made had a wolf howling at the moon. It was swiped by a 3 year old. I didn’t complain too loudly. I’ll just have to make an even cooler one for next year’s walk.
Everyone enjoyed walking the pitch black, coyote filled backwoods of our neighborhood.
When the kids arrived we had them removed their shoes, and socks (too slippery) and get to work catching flies. Mr. Miyagi style. I held the lantern with “flies” dangling around it on a sword while the kids each took a turn with the chopsticks. It’s too bad they don’t know who Mr. Miyagi is. Oh well.
Ez and I love macaroons… not too many kids like those. We found one in the bathroom trash. Hahaha! It was so bad they had to sneak it into the trash! I love these pretzel/rolo/pecan things. It’s nice I can make them with gluten free pretzels. The kids liked the ones without the nuts best… more for me!!
The cupcakes were made with gluten free cake mix along with gluten free brownies as the scarf/headband.
Ok, there’s still more. I am very slow these days. We’ll see when I can get back to this ol’ blog!
The week leading up to Christmas was pretty great. I made gluten free gingerbread so the kids could make houses and invite their friends to come make some too. Thursday, when all the house making was planned, there was a huge snowstorm (white Christmas!!) so the party was pushed back to Friday… and not as many kids could come. Zach couldn’t let the pieces go to waste, so there is a huge house sitting on our table waiting to be decorated with the candy we keep pilfering from the bowl. Will it ever happen? Who knows. The gingerbread is pretty tasty, but is much better with the frosting. I’m hoping, for my sake, that the candy and frosting make it on to the house.
The kid sized houses:
While trying to photograph these, I discovered my main camera body is not working. The shutter fires (maybe) and the mirror flips up (I can hear that), but there is no detail in the file created. Probably the shutter isn’t firing or there’s something terribly wrong with the sensor. These are taken with my back-up body. Man, I sure hope this is a quick and easy fix.
Anyway, this year’s favorite gifts are pictured below. Mostly the home made ones. I’m a little biased towards them.
Zed kept asking for Zombie Underwear… whatever that is. So the older kids and I made some for him. Freezer paper fabric painting sure does come in handy. He wears these over his diapers for now, since he still refuses to sit on the toilet. Why or why is he so difficult?
Harry Potter has also been popular in our house this year. Zed kept asking for a black HP wand, since the one we have is light brown and not HP. So he got his wand and a pair of glasses that hopefully won’t break as easily as the more “real” ones. He had no idea how cool a hat and scarf could be until his Grandma made and sent them to him. He is a true Hogwarts student now… or USC fan.
While living in Australia for a month and watching a large amount of tv, mostly Ben 10, Ezra grew quite fond of the show. So India and I worked on this Omnitrix for him. I saw a few online that boasted holograms and moving parts. All things buit to break and disappoint. So I thought we should make one and make it simple. So that’s what we did. If this thing breaks, I can fix it.
India loves legos, so that was her favorite gift this year. Ezra and I had planned to make her a friendship bracelet kit, but she received a pretty cool clipboard from her teacher at church (with a skier on it). Instead we just got her floss and scissors. Kind of a cop-out, but all these home made gifts were being made at the last minute.
The last photo is of the kids opening their gifts from Aunt Teri. While in Australia we visited the Chinese Garden where the kids dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes. They loved it. So Avatar, especially with the staff. Since then they’ve asked for Chinese dress-ups. While looking online for something to purchase Teri called to ask what she could get the kids. I told her what I was working on and she offered to make them for me! So cool!! The kids love them and have been wearing them around the house. All except for Zed. He must be convinced that his is a cool color. What 2 year old is picky about clothes?? Mine! Maybe I’ll get all of them to wear them and take a photo. Also, maybe I’ll put up one of the shots from the Chinese Garden that inspired all this.
Do you remember spending hours making friendship bracelets?Â I sure do.Â My friend Heather suggested we give this as a birthday gift.Â We have a few more to make and give, but I’ll show the one we made along with the directions we copied from Design Mom.Â India is very excited to make these herself.Â We just need more floss, since we gave it all away!
I would suggest not gluing the paper under the clip of the board.Â It was tough letting it dry without getting glued down.Â Heather sewed a simple pouch to hold the floss, scissors and instruction paper, which India and I made together.
As stated before, the instructions were taken from Design Mom, but we didn’t include the last few steps… We were in a hurry and finishing this up minutes before the party.Â There may have been yelling heard from the street.Â “Hold the thread like THIS, I can’t see it well enough!”Â Not one of my best moments.Â Apologies were made to the poor girl.