Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Images of Christmas Eve

Ha Ha!

New jammies made by Mom.

Chrismas Eve was quiet this year, just us, no big family party. We had a simple dinner of salad from our garden, fried potatoes and onions, and Swedish sausages from A.J.'s. After the little ones were in bed, Jill & Lucy finished crafting homemade gifts and Mom & Dad finished all the wrapping. It was a peaceful, if late, night. Santa's visit came before the wrapping was done. He enjoyed the Lebkuchen and donuts and went on his way, leaving Mom & Dad to finish up around 3:00 A.M.!!!

Elsa's First Nutcracker

On December 20 I took Elsa and her sisters to the Nutcracker Ballet. It was Elsa's first ballet, so of course she received her very own tiny nutcracker doll. It was an enchanting performance and a magical evening for us all. It made me think of my first Nutcracker Ballet...I was almost six, Oma and Opa took Missy and I to Gammage to watch the matinee performance by Ballet West. I was so swept away by it that it began a lifelong love of ballet. I can remember dancing down the stairs outside the theatre that afternoon, and for years afterward dreaming of becoming a ballerina. Although it is a dream left unfulfilled, it did awake within me a sense of beauty and appreciation of the cultural arts that has enriched my life. That appreciation is what I hope to pass on to my own children...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Grandparent's Day

Yesterday the kids were all invited to a Grandparent's Holiday Party at the Bielefeldt Grandparents house. (The invitation was made by artist Grandaddy - it even has our black rooster on it!) They all had a ton of fun, making ornaments and cards and playing with the cousins. They are working on some kind of secret project for the parents, I know this because they all had their pictures taken in front of the tree yesterday, and today we parents were asked to send Grammie a picture of them in front of our trees at home. That can only mean that there is a suprise in the making!

Well, just you try to get 5 very silly kids to take a nice picture on a Sunday afternoon. I have been trying for about 8 years now, and it usually ends up looking like this....

Ok, I guess that one will work...I do love these kids! Today in sacrament meeting the three oldest started giggling so hard. Now it's usually the younger two that are the handful at church, but since we switched to 8 AM, those two are mostly in a sleep-deprived stupor for the first hour. Anyway, after I reached over and pinched (gently, really) the three big kids, they admitted that they had just realized what "geeks" they all are: Jill in her long black gloves, Lucy with her Scottish family tartan scarf, Jesse with his long hair, all had been quietly arguing about Star Wars. And we wonder why we don't perfectly "fit in"..... :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saint Lucia Day

Today our own sweet Lucy made these beautiful saffron buns for us. They are a Scandanavian tradition on this day, usually served to the family early in the morning by the eldest daughter. Well, even though Lucy is not the eldest, and didn't wear a white dress and wreath of candles on her head, we sure appreciated her tribute to her heritage!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This is the very sweet, very Christian Advent Storybook that I am reading each night with Robin and Elsa. I love the soft, dreamy pictures and tender message that goes with each day's little story. It is perfect for bedtime and keeping us focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I think that next year it would be awesome to have an Ostheimer wooden figure that goes with each day. Then we could set them up around our wooden nativity scene and watch it change through the season.

Christmas is a coming...

...fortunately, these litte geese have nothing to worry about. Maybe they are bringing feathers for the Baby Jesus' bed...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Eric!

For my awesome brother, Eric!

Quiet and creative, thoughtful and funny, and the greatest new daddy to little Alice!

I love you Eric! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yes, we saw the movie. Yes, we loved it! I really think it captured the spirit of the book in the way some of the better movie adaptations have. Of course it wasn't perfect, but it certainly gave the same feeling and I am very glad we saw it. The Washington scenery was amazing! And it was fun to be in a very responsive audience - gasping, sighing, giggling, laughing right out loud at "aren't people from Arizona supposed to be, like, tan?" Yeah, it was a ton of fun! Though David did notice that the female to male ratio in the audience was about 20:1!!

The picture above is an awesome sculpture my girls put together from things they found at Marshalls.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amazing Ants!

This video blew me away! I keep thinking of the anthill by the barn at the cabin. It is about that same size on top...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Hanne!

For my amazing, creative, inspiring "baby" sister Hanne!!!
You are awesome, and always bring a smile to my face and cheer to my heart.
I love you Hanne, Happy Birthday!!!

Beth & Hanne 1982

Monday, November 17, 2008


I am enjoying these last few days of Fall, and thought I had better take a picture of my Autumn mantle before it all comes down and Christmas goes up in a couple of weeks...

I couldn't resist putting in a picture of the apple-berry pie Lucy made last week. It was so good!! She has definitely mastered the art of baking...

And before I eat it for is the last blueberry scone, made last night. They were so yummy that we are thinking of making them a Sunday night tradition...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Star Baby

Last week Elsa was learning about the number 5. To introduce the number we talked about the 5 pointed star shape, fingers and toes, and how we can make a star shape if we stretch out our arms and legs. Then I read her a sweet little story about an old couple who wish they had a child and find a star baby. Friday morning Elsa woke up so excited to find a star baby on her pillow! She says "it appeared in my hair and then fell on my pillow! I think the angels gave it to me...her mom and dad stars died and so the angels gave her to me because she wanted to come to me....This is the best morning of my whole life!!"

Such a sweet, magical view of the world!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Belated Happy Hallowe'en!

Here are a few pictures from our Hallowe'en party. We had a great turnout with tons of family and friends! Thanks everyone for making it a memorable night!!

Little witch Elsa with Aunt Susie in the Phantom of the Opera dress made by me!

One view of Lucy's amazing pumpkin.
It was a work of art!

Our little witch with the Jack-o-lantern princess she made!
Actually, Elsa informed everyone that she was a
"Dark Fairy Witch and BAD!"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Marching Band

I just have to brag on my girls! They are both in Marching Band at their high schools, and I am really proud of all the hard work they have done. Jill plays the clarinet for the Highland High School Marching Band and their band is well known for being one to watch! So, the Highland show this year is not doing as well at competitions her in AZ, but we think that is because it is a very inovative show that the judges just aren't ready for ;-) It is titled "A Tribute to the Brecker Brothers" and the music is very much "skunk funk"! Not the typical kind of marching music, but they do an awesome job of it and their marching is amazing! Check out how tidy their very complicated sets are!

Below is the Williams Field Black Hawk Regiment which Lucy is part of. She is the Flag on the far left. As you can see in the video, they are amazing!

Williams Field High School Black Hawk Regiment

Here is Lucy's marching band in their 3rd and 4th movements. You can see why I am SO proud of this little band!! They are one of the smallest bands competing this year, but as you can see they are POWERFUL! We LOVE them!!!! Listen to the audience's excitement when that huge black flag covers the band - WOW! They are really making a name for themselves this year. Lucy is in the color guard and is just gorgeous!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Climbing trees

I couldn't resist putting up these two pictures of my little monkeys! They love tree climbing and so do I! In fact, you could say we are a family of tree climbers as David has an amazing history of tree climbing as a kid in Flagstaff and I practically lived in our grapefruit tree all summer growing up. A few years ago Jill, Lucy, and Jesse were climbing trees at our neighborhood park when a parent told them to stop, that those trees were not for climbing! Well, they were the perfect climbing trees, and I told the kids that if anyone ever said that again tell them that "my mom says trees are for climbing!"
Just last night I read something about how climing trees is a great way to connect the right and left sides of the brain! I knew I was right about the value of climbing trees!!

Homeschool math

As most of you know, I am homeschooling Robin and Elsa in 3rd grade and Kindergarten. We had a great start with the online homeschool curriculum provided by K12 and the Arizona Virtual Acadamy. Well, the last couple of weeks have been tough for all of us and I finally realized that I was pushing myself and them at a very academic pace that isn't suited to our highly creative personalities. School wasn't fun for any of us and that is definitely not what homeschooling is about!! So, I stepped back and regrouped, did a bunch of reading and drawing back upon my roots, and decided that I can add an imaginative "Waldorf" flair even to such a highly academic curriculum. I have to say, today is going much better! We are all having fun and much more relaxed, and the intellectual results are amazing! For example, Robin was at a little bit of a sticking point with subtraction with regrouping. Not real bad, but I knew I would need to work through it. So today we took the chalkboards and went outside and sat in the grass, I introduced both sweeties to the "Math Gnome Family". Papa King Plus (loves to add to his treasure), Mama Queen Minus (subtracts from papa's treasure to give to those in need) Sister Princes Times (quickly and cheerily multiplies papas treasure) and the twin dividing Princes (divide the treasure equally amongst the family members). It was so fun, and both kids took part in our little excercise.
Here is a picture of the result:

Now it was time to get to the serious business of teaching Robin regrouping. First to keep Elsa busy! We talked about the shapes of 1 and 2 and drew them big on the sidewalk and "walked" them, then traced them in the air. (She has been having a little trouble forming 2 so this was really good for her) Then I set her to work with her little chalkboard to write and illustrate 1 and 2.
Here are her results, she took the photos herself!

Finally it was time for regrouping. I found a great way to teach subtraction from the front end where you start on the left side and proceed to the right, looking ahead and giving to the next column if needed. I explained this to Robin using the King and Queen characters and he caught on with no problem!!
Here he is in deep thought:

And here is his final problem after several practices. He totally understands the concept and we actually blew through FIVE of the k12 lessons in one!! We came in and he took the K12 assesment while I fixed his lunch and he did great!! Yay!!

This problem is 910 - 179. You can see the extra ones where he "gave" them to the next column.
Now it's time to get back to school!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My first blog

Well, I guess it's finally time for me to join the blogging world! There is so much going on here all the time, hopefully I will be able to keep the blog current. Here's an example of what's going on right now - Two girls competing in two different H.S. marching bands, baby goats born, a Halloween party we are planning, a trunk-or-treat last night, a Phantom of the Opera costume to sew, middle-school soccer, homeschooling a kindergartener and 3rd grader, OK, I will stop there. Now if I can just remember to take more pictures!