Category Archives: delight

magic elves 2009, part 4 – Coda

Full set of photos here.


elves09 part 4

Normally, magic elves go back to the North Pole with Santa on Christmas Eve. But we got special permission to keep ours with us a little longer, since Auntie J was coming just after Christmas for a visit and we wanted to introduce them.

So the mischief lasted a little longer. A “snowdrift” of styrofoam, reading a book about flower fairies on top of the tallest bookshelf, setting up the Star Wars and Littlest Pet Shop figures in the kids’ room…. On the last day the elves were thoughtful enough to bring a couple of giant Christmas pencils and set up the homeschool books for the day. They also left notes requesting that the kids pack up their clothes and items for their return trip.

Altogether, it was a wonderful visit. We are definitely inviting the elves back again (in fact, the kids want to invite a couple more to join in as well), though they likely won’t stay quite as long this time.


magic elves 2009, part 3 – Christmas Eve

Larger photos in the set here.

Christmas Eve

elves09 part 3

Ever since Halloween I hadn’t been able to find my little point and shoot camera. APPARENTLY the elves found it, because the next morning we found an interesting mini-tripod setup in front of the tree, and a ton of photos on the camera. Peeking into the frig, out of the microwave, eating their crackers, climbing in the tree, cuddling their kids – and even a couple on Santa’s boots. Clearly a busy evening – and what else would you expect for elves on Christmas Eve?

magic elves 2009, part 2 – Adventures

Check out these photos larger: the set is here.


elves09 part 2
The next morning when we woke up the elves were no longer in their bed. We’d been warned there would probably be mischief, hide and seek, and other unexpected adventures (some people call them elf-capades, but that sounds a little too much like an ice dancing show for me). But then – we opened the frig, and there they were! I guess they missed the cold.

Most days the elves’ main activity was hide and seek. We made them some clothes – pajamas shown here. Some of their other adventures included trying to untangle Christmas lights, stacking up all the Christmas movies (and bringing a new one – Elf), playing on the swing set and the tricycle outside, and getting out all the playdough in the house. They hid in cupboards and the silverware drawer. They started up the computer and were found playing Lego Star Wars one morning, found some tiny playing cards that I had as a child and were interrupted in the middle of a card game.

My son’s birthday is in early December, and so one day they brought a gift – toy reindeer (they also got out our claymation Rudolph dvd set – it stays in the Christmas decor box the rest of the year), and one day they brought little Christmas themed coloring books and crayons. Another morning they were waiting expectantly with a gingerbread house kit, and once they took all the cookie making supplies and stacked them on the stool in the middle of the kitchen (with themselves in the plastic bowl at the top of the tower).

The best thing was probably the night that my daughter’s friend slept over and brought HER elf Ginger with her – the next morning they were nowhere to be found. But what was that? Our car was all turned around and askew – NOT how we left it the night before. When we went out to see what was up we discovered a team effort – Ginger steering, Priscilla buckled in (no doubt navigating) and Mickey working the gas petal. (And boy, you should’ve seen the half-delighted, half-freaked look on the kids’ faces.) I told the elves that next time they took the car out they should really bring back pizza.

magic elves 2009, part 1 – Arrival


First of all, if you’d like to see these photos larger, the set is here.

So as I mentioned before, I first saw these elf shenanigans on Marci Lambert’s Make Art Every Day blog. And it looked awesome. I checked out Elf Magic and ordered a couple of tickets for two elves to come visit us last year.


elves09 part 1
Our elves arrived just after Thanksgiving as we were putting up Christmas decorations – they appeared on the doorstep in a basket with helium balloons. They brought magic snowflakes and elf sacks, as promised when I got their tickets. They also brought a little suitcase with some extra clothing, passports, and files on each of the kids, complete with a tiny elf-drawn sketch, likes and dislikes, and naughty/nice status. Also – blank paper to add notes as the month wore on. Which they did, weekly or so.

Their names were Priscilla Snowflake and Mickey McFrost. Judging by her loopy handwriting and abundant use of exclamation points, Priscilla was very excited about her visit. It turned out that Mickey was more cautious, having had a bad experience the year before while visiting a boy who was on the Naughty List.

Anyway, we tucked them into bed (used a shallow Amazon box with some of the airfilled packing material as a mattress; we had a candy-cane striped fleece blanket as well which I later sewed into two sleeping bags), sprinkled them with the magic snowflakes as instructed, and set out some crackers and water (their favorite snack – the crackers are crunchy like North Pole snow and the cold water is like melted snowflakes). As you can see, when we awoke the next morning they had also gotten into a leftover muffin…

apparently he used the money to buy a motorcycle

Love this. Apparently it is Dutch (in case it makes you insane not to know, like me). I love the scary angry gnome man and the klepto dolphin. The more I watch it, the more I love it. Enjoy.

(I really hope my title isn’t something horrible in Dutch.)

You. You are awesome.

This might be the best film I’ll see all year.

my joys

Balance, family, faith, hope, beauty, truth, compassion, creating.

Kisses from my son, can’t wait to hear what my daughter says next, ripe peaches, my mother’s lasagna, scrapbooking, breathlessly tearing through the last pages of a great book, the smell of paper, writing with a good pen. Strawberries. My sweetie cuddling up to my back as we go to sleep. Our eyes meeting over the kids’ heads at something they say. Sharing something funny, sharing life. Watching a delightful movie together. Beautiful, beautiful patterned paper, so many colors. The sound of my children playing together in the next room: “And then pretend you said…” — the way my brother and I used to play. Folk and contra dancing. Quaking aspen leaves, trembling in the breeze. Smelling the kids’ hair. Old photographs. My tuned harp, resonating. Soft crocheted afghan. Long talks with siblings. My daughter singing along with the radio. Savoring a favorite book, again. Threading my sewing machine (so easy! it surprises me every time) and sewing a straight seam. The smell of fresh rosemary. Stained glass windows. Laughing with cousins. Spaces that echo. My dad reading to my daughter. Yoga and t’ai chi. My husband laughing at my wittiness. Getting THE photo. Lolcats, reading blogs, a beautiful poem. Connection. The power of imagination. Coming home to find my sweetie has cleaned the house. Singing, especially those floating high notes, or those heavenly low notes. Perfect unison. Harmony. Radiant differences. Cute clothes for babies and kids. Cool breeze and warm sun. Spring and autumn. Hugging a friend. Mountains. Dancing, that evening in the cultural hall, my infant son in my arms, my daughter and husband skipping around us in circles — could I ever be happier? Flowers. Christmas. Rereading a story I wrote and finding, maybe it’s pretty good. Traditions. Sky. Stars. The moon. Finishing. Starting again. Being grateful. Being present. Love.

Noticing the details.

[from Kerflop. Hmm, I seem to have overlooked the “essay” part. Well, we’ll call it a prose poem and let it go.]

[Okay, one more note. My daughter’s name is a Sanskrit word that means: “that joy without which the universe would fall apart and collapse.” (If you’ve read the right book now you’ll know what it is.) I do believe it, that the universe is based on joy.]