It's a Circus Around Here

As I sit here typing this I am in the midst of my brother's toy strewn living room. The days are filled with cousins playing lego, pillow fights and piggyback riding around the house. We venture outdoors together to go walking, skating, sledding or swimming (we do that indoors though). Or just to get outdoors. Period.

Meals are cooked, cleaned up and cooked again. And the kids run around and play. It's a circus really. And I'm trying to appreciate it for what it is. Time together with my whole family - my brother, his wife and three kids, my parents and our family of five - twelve of us all together in a three bedroom, one bathroom house.

It's always this way when we get together since none of us live close enough to go home for the night. We come together and live closely for a short, intense period of time. Doing our best to enjoy our days together, stay healthy and sane.

Compared to our family gatherings this circus that Celine made for Brienne's Christmas gift is downright tame, lion included.

Celine made the lion for herself months ago and Brienne has been eyeing it ever since. She decided she had outgrown it (the fun for her is in the creating, not so much the owning) and wanted to gift it to Brienne so Celine crafted more pieces to go with it.

Our children have never been to a circus but Celine created a few pieces that she has seen in her reading and research. The center ring, a few props, the lion's cage and a trailer to pull all the bits and pieces. The ring master is Laurent's miniature, a toy he made a couple months ago.

We left the circus at home and the kids will play with it when we return. For now, they are enjoying the circus of family Christmas.


A couple notes:

  • On this trip I am not editing and exporting photos for blog posts. Every photo that I've posted this past week was taken at home before we left. I'd love to share some of the photos from right now, in these moments, but that will have to wait.
  • The circus is called Seikos Circus because the lion's cage is an old Seiko watch box.

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  • Heather

    Heather on Dec. 31, 2010, 12:18 p.m.

    I am impressed by Celine's creativity and true skill in creating gifts for both her siblings. Inspiring!

    What a sense of abundance and possibility your children must have growing up creating and receiving toys out of felt and watch boxes instead of out of hard-earned money and trips to the mall.


  • Penny

    Penny on Dec. 31, 2010, 1:30 p.m.

    The circus is just incredible - and beautiful, and thoughtful, and wonderful. Your daughter is amazing!

    Our eldest daughters would be great friends, they have many similar creative talents and inspirations. Mine made her sister a theater (complete with costume box with costumes and scripts) for her favorite small stuffed animal. Such talent these girls have.

    Happy New Year, and thank you for all your amazing sharing, you have been so inspirational on so many levels, from hiking to cooking to math programs! I consider your blog a treasure of the finest sort.

    Happy New Year!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 31, 2010, 2:17 p.m.


      Thank you so much. I'm feeling quite uninspired myself these days, living in the circus of family life.


  • Adventure-Some Matthew

    Adventure-Some Matthew on Dec. 31, 2010, 3:28 p.m.

    Echoing everyone else's comments, Celine's crafting is amazing! The craftsmanship is only over-shadowed by the thought she put into the gifts.

    I can certainly relate to your circus, and the need to remember how blessed you are to have the opportunity to spend time with family. My nieces drive me up the wall sometimes, until I remember how lucky I am to be able to spend time with them.

    Hope your beginning of 2011 is amazing!


  • Shawn

    Shawn on Dec. 31, 2010, 4:18 p.m.

    Your children are brilliant! I always love travelling to see my family, it is such a gift in itself. I think sharing a home is far better than having dinner together here and there because you live close. I much prefer the long conversations in pajamas and connecting more deeply. Happy New Year!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 31, 2010, 9:07 p.m.

      Unfortunately, there is very little long conversations in pjs with 6 children 11 years and under. And the overall noise and chaos of small house "being together" extends my reserves of grace and sense of well being. A supper here and a supper there once in awhile would be a nice change of pace (smile).


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