Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas Story

December is nearly over.  
We have done very little to put order to our post Christmas house.
tomorrow we head over to our last Christmas celebration/family getogether.

We did not really accomplish our goal of giving to someone outside of our house 
most every day leading up to Christmas.
But, the times we did, we had a lot of fun surprising people. 
Sometimes we were called elves.  
Hm.  Not what we were going for.  
Speaking of such, I so do not get the Santa thing.  
I think whoever made up all that stuff really was trying to steal Christmas from Jesus.

Neither were we completely successful with having an advent reading every night.
We gave it our best shot, though.
the kids would daily clamor, "who gets to open the advent drawer?!!"
It is amazing what a simple thing, like unrolling a piece of paper, can be to the littles.
Peyton is still asking abouthe advent drawer.  
I guess he didn't quite gethe idea of advent being the looking forward to Jesus' coming 
(in this case, Christmas).
But, I know the kids learned one thing through our advent learning.
they know what Emmanuel means.  that makes me glad.

I was working on sewing a Christmas skirt.  
I started it right after thanksgiving & nearly finished ithat week.
On my birthday, Moira gave me the gift of slicing through the skirt in four places.
I will not pretend that I didn't cry a baby bit. 

I continued to work on ithrough the month & never got it done in time.
Iturned out dressier than I had expected.
Even if I had completed it in time, I would have been all dressed up with no where to go.
Maybe I'll finish it while riding in the car on Friday.  I have only hand sewing left.
If I do, I show ya'll what it looks like.

the kids sang in front of church for a Christmas program & they were so cute.
they knew the words & motions!

morning sun issues

Scott & I got our annual Christmas shopping date.
the 3 big kids had a sleepover with Grandma & Grandpa.
Scott got home from work early.
I was all ready to head out for fun.
threw everything in the car, except for the baby (thankfully)
& proceeded to lock the keys in the car.
I was so mad at myself. 
I called the lock shop down the street.
"Can you help me?"
I started panicking even more.
Called AAA.  She said they would have someone there within 45 minutes.  Hooray!!!
they totally saved the day.  He was here & had the car open in 30 minutes.
People, do not neglect your AAA membership.

We drove to one of the stores on our list, 45 minutes away, to find thathey were closed.
Another fail by me.

I just went back outhere the next morning prior to picking up the rest of my kiddos.
Instead of sewing.
Kendall didn't gethat stocking yethis year.
thankfully, she was very forgiving on the matter.

Speaking of Kendall, she is almost 1 year old!  1 month shy of.
And, she wears this Dr. Seuss-ish dress.

Like Cindy Lou Who.  
It is so cute, but not as cute as she, you see.
Kendall LuLu.

I made her the easiest sock animal on the planet.
I spotted the idea on Pinterest, of course.

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

speaking is making gifts, Gillian was very into gift creating this year. 
She made a rake for her dad, upon noticing that his old rake had a broken tooth.
After we opened all the presents Christmas morning, 
we had to stop her as she tried to demonstrate the sturdiness of the tool.  
She grabbed the rake & offered  to rake up all the toy on the rug.  
I believe she will be a bit disappointed to discover thathe rake is mainly artistic, 
& not so practical.

Scottracked down the block set that he used to play with as a kid 
& bought some for our kids for Christmas.
He built a castle for them to wake up to Christmas morning.
We told the kids they needed to come to our room when they woke up on Christmas.
We wanted to see them when they walked into the living room.
We woke with Kendall & were in our room when we heard them sneak into the living room.
We ran out in time to hear them gasping, "Beautiful!"

Scott & I were gifted the perfect blanket for our bed 
& we now sleep warm at night.
And, our new blocks now have a home, in the blanket bag.

It is nice to be warm, as we have had the common Christmas cold.
Noterrible.  But not pretty either.  Sinus pressure, runny noses, sore throats.

Holiday Hair?  to me that is not doing much to it.  Waste no time.
there are other things to be done.
So, when I needed a bang trim badly, it got delayed until after Christmas.
I was considering growing my bangs out again.
I kinda liked the scarf around the head style.  

It made me feel constantly industrious.  
Always with the need to have my hair out of my face.  You know?
When I went shopping at Staff of Life it was strange 
to be treated like a true Santa Cruzian.
Usually I gethe vibe at places such as that, that I don't belong.
Scarves don't work for all occasions.  So, I went in after Christmas & got a cut.
She finished my hair with the ends curled (as I never wear it).
Moira asked me why I looked like a toodle (known by most folk as a poodle).

Speaking of style.  
I got Scott a fabulous french made sweater with a bit of cashmere in it.
He wore it Christmas dinner & it was so handsome & snugly 
(amazing combination).
I promptly washed & dried it & shrunk it, the very next day.
today I am making an attempto stretch it back to his size.
I am so disappointed.  Please stretch back out, fabulous sweater...

And you all?  Christmas was wonderful.  
We had lovely times together & Scott even got some video 
of each of the kids singing a Christmas song.  
It was awesome!
(But I don't know how to put it on here.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Branch Impressions - Quick, Inexpensive & Lovely

We made these fabulous little ornaments this weekend.
they are budget friendly, preschooler friendly, last minute DIYer friendly & look great!

I bought a 1.75 lbs. box of white Sculpey for under $10.
A box that size can make about 50 ornaments.

I did this project with my 5 yr old & 3 yr old.  
they were able to be very involved. 
Many project attempts here do not go very smoothly.
But this one was enjoyable for them both!

Items you will need:
Sculpey Clay - White
Rolling Pin
Evergreen branches 
knife &/or cookie cutters
twine or embroidery floss
small beads

the sculpey has to be kneaded.
this is really fun for the kids.  But give them small enough pieces so they can work it.
Once it is soft, roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Set branches all over clay.
Lightly roll them into the clay.

If you place them with the ends hanging off the clay, they will be easier to remove.
If you need help getting then back out, use a toothpick to carefully lift them.
Now you can cut out the ornaments.
We used circle cutters, a star cutter & a heart.
I tried free hand cutting with a butter knife to make an oval & a tear drop shape.
those ones turned out decent, but the cutter did a better job than me & a butter knife.

Poke a hole in the top of your shape with your toothpick.
Bake as directed on your Sculpey box.

Once they are baked & cooled, thread your string/floss/twine
through the hole to make a hanger.
We knotted the floss & threaded a bead onto each one.
But, that part can be skipped, if you don't have any beads on hand.

Now you have a lot of last minute gifts for neighbors, teachers & friends.
You could also tie them on top of your gift package for a beautiful addition.

* Inspired by a pin floating around from Garden Mama's blog.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Connected {five minutes}

It is 5 minute Friday folks!
Check out the Gypsy Mama for the info.

"It’s Friday.
Let’s do it. Let’s just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes."
five minutes


they don't maintain themselves.
we need to rebuild the bridge of connection, again & again.
Do you care about staying close 
to your spouse, your parent, your sibling, your child, your friend?
Find a point of connection.
Reach through regularly.
Give the hug, play that game, hold hands, 
really look at them.
Find a way to reach through.

I want to peek-a-boo, ring-around-the rosy back to connection.
You can tell me that story again & I'll hug you tight 
& we'll build a bridge to each other.


Monday, December 12, 2011

I dreamed, I blogged, I pinned, I made

It was my man's birthday a couple weeks ago.  
I planned on living my dream of making a mille crepe cake for his birthday.  
He was barfing & sick on his day, and for a whole week.  
I would not be thwarted.  I would make it finally.
We a had a family birthday dinner for the end of the year birthday folk.  
Perfect second chance.

Make regular crepes.  Crepe after crepe after crepe.  I think I made 30ish.
Make a custard.
Layer them.  
I used these recipes for French Crepes & Custard filling.

the cool thing abouthe "cake" is you don't have to do it all at one time.
Crepe batter can be mixed & put in the fridge for a day.  
Make the crepes & puthem in the fridge for a day.
Make the custard & keep that in the fridge for a day or two.
then the fun part - stack & layer!

Make a chocolate ganache glaze & pour over the top.
Store in your fridge before serving.
We thought it would be tricky to slice this big guy.
It was not.  It served up beautifully.

Nextime I may try to cuthrough the stack with a glass to get mini versions like this.

Or I may try something more like Martha's dark version someday.

Or maybe a savory one for breakfast?

One thing is for sure - I making a crepe cake again.  
Crepe cakes are lovely.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

ten on ten {december 2011 edition}

ten on ten button

1. getting set to put up to decorate the living room
2. block play
3. morning bath
4. dressed as Mary of Nazareth
5. making snowball garlands with cotton balls
6. daddy & babe have been doing some dirt playing
7. stockings set up, minus Kendall's because it is not made yet...
8. waiting while daddy builds a fire.
9. Christmas picnicking with cream puffs.
10. story time.