Thursday, December 29, 2011

christmas at #13

this post took fo'evah!
something was up with my blogger photo loader
and i had to upload each picture individually...
and i would have loved to have made a collage
of pictures instead of have individual pics,
but that didn't happen either!

will be back soon with a fun christmas morning/day post...

christmas is by far
my favorite holiday...

it is "the beginning"
while also being "the end"
the beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
the end of the calendar year

it is the start of renewal,
if you want it to be

i love the idea of starting over anew 
each year
 a clean slate is a great start

and while i love christmas decor
the putting up
the choosing which ones will get pulled from storage this year
or not
the taking down holds a special place in my heart too...
it's about that clean slate thing, i think...

but, before we go all flylady
i am going to share a few, or more,
of our favorite christmas decor...

it is so funny what triggers your memories.
this year, smith's variety posted about a chirping bird ornament 
they had for sale
 it occurred to me as soon as i saw it,
i remembered it from my childhood!
after a little thought,
i completely could picture my sweet granna's tree
and could hear this bird ornament chirping!
it was totally clear and a very fun memory...

we also had a pipe cleaner man in our tree decor box
when i was little
he was an orangey-red color and had a bead head, maybe? 
with a face drawn on him? 
i distinctly remember playing with him, 
like a child would play "house,"
in the christmas tree! 
whenever i think about that poor pipe cleaner man
i can't help but wonder, 
what became of him???

anyway, back to modern times!

i know that the memories of some of 
our decorations will stick with our children
long after they are lost, broken, or otherwise forgotten.
that is what prompted me to actually take the pictures i have to share...

this is *before* the baking commences... 

i totally had planned to get up early and get started
but i sat enjoyed some quiet time
and then sat at my computer
where i am still several hours later!
it's been a productive morning, 
but just not the way i envisioned...
moving on...
to my house!

so... now it is about 5 days later and i am just getting back to this post
i will claim *busy*
i mean, it has been the actual christmas holiday and all...

this will just be a picture dump,
because if i don't do it now,
it probably won't get done...
here goes!

this little trio is on my kitchen counter

a little art work

from my friend margaret from our college days,
still one of my favorite decorations!

concrete nativity given to me by my bff  
giles' nativity... one of them.... we love them & collect them!
our family got new stockings this year,
from willow house!

these are so special,
designed by penny mcallister.
she was a really special artist from tuscaloosa
who designed for midwest of cannon falls
as well as made original pieces...

a fun tassel

more collection... water globes... this is a favorite for sure

a little train giles plays with at christmas time

eric carle puzzle

giles went shopping for us at a craft bazaar
at his school and he picked this out for us!
and paid for it too!
isn't that the sweetest thing ever? i loved it so much!!!

part of the piles of presents i wrapped this year...

more penny mcallister

our sweet little elf winston...
we're pretty lucky, he doesn't 'do' naughty...

a vintage ornament from my parents collection...

one of my very favorite ornaments to hang on our tree

this is a super special ornament...
an addition to my radko collection
by very dear family friends...
and a perfect depiction of the real meaning of christmas...

that says it all!

this ornament is also from my parents collection...
i just cherish these as they have been in the family
for generations! three i think i could safely say...

craziness under the tree...

giles' closet door decor

my parent's vintage tinsel tree in giles' room

giles' room decor...
christmas book stack
cookies & milk for santa set

frosty adorns a door

giles' nutcracker collection

giles made us a plate! i treasure things like this...

my very first attempt at sewing...
a "darby" dish mat... you just don't want to look too closely...

so many fun treats to make with christmas corn :)

winston, our elf, left giles a note on december 20th
he headed on back to the north pole
he put his note next to the book he left giles last year,
he wanted us to have some down time {ha!}
to prepare for our savior's birth...
next year... we will really try hard to have that downtime,
this year, that word did not exist... and it was frustrating...
i actually bargain-prayed...
"God, if you will just allow us
to return to our house safely,
i will NEVER leave my house
like this again..."
it was is, that bad.

i hope you all had time to enjoy your decorations
and all the things about the season that make you smile.
having a 4 1/2 year old sure makes things fun...
each christmas is so special,
but each year, so far,
giles has gotten more & more of the fun of the season
and that is a great experience to share with your child...

one more christmas post to come...
hopefully before new years!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry merry!

as we count our blessings,
enjoy our families,
miss those who are no longer here with us, 
rejoice at the greatest gift in the birth of our savior, 
recognize the significance of that gift,
try to impart that message to our littles,
enjoy the gifts that have come to signify a part of the season,
& eat waaayyyyy too much...

we wish you the very merriest christmas...

from our family to yours
merry christmas...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


i have a few, 
not sure which i will get to
and which will stay on 'the list'

mostly left on my 'to-do' list are party foods to make
i have all of the ingredients for the most part,
except for the elusive white "nonpareils"
i guess a trip to michael's may have to be made
a santa hat won't be complete without them...
santa hats?
glad you asked :)
these have been on my list this season and i can't wait to make them
i wanted to make these for giles' class party
but i completely let it slip
if ya let it, christmas'll sneak up on ya!

my plan also includes fudge, lemon buddies {the chex recipe},
samoa bark.
as close to the girl scouts heaven on earth
that i have had the patience to make
it's not dead on,
but if that coconut, caramel, shortbread & chocolate mix
is what you're after, you're in luck!
and these little delights just caught my eye, on pinterest, of course
i love toffee... and chocolate
i am hoping to put several gifts together
with all of these delights,
and there are actually more on the list to make
fudge {not linking to a recipe because i am not happy with mine right now}
christmas bark
and saltine cracker toffee {see? there's that toffee again}

and then, for my own little {expanding!} family
we will enjoy this yummy looking dish for breakfast
on christmas morning
as well as some homemade sweet rolls from a sweet friend

i can't believe that christmas week is HERE!
i really enjoyed doing some fun crafts with giles last year
 and i had high hopes for this year...
but, they remained just that, hopes.
i can't see the craft supplies coming out in the final stretch...
i can forsee however having a helper in the kitchen,
i think he'd like that...

i have a small amount of shopping still to do,
all presents that have been bought or made are wrapped & ready
and while the house isn't in pristine condition,
with a swipe & dash
it could be company ready in roughly 10 minutes,
i'll take that.

our family elf, winston, will be heading back to the north pole today
we've so enjoyed having him
he is a pretty tame little elf
he brings little gifts every few days
from a ring pop, $1 bill, undies, pjs
to a really cool buzz lightyear thermos
but, for now, he wants us to concentrate on the real meaning
of this magical season
the birth of our savior!
i am quite certain nothing is as worth celebrating as that is!
and as i bake and wrap the remaining gifts
and ask giles to join me
and try not to come unglued when he does it 4yr old style
and not like the vision in my head
{because, just like mikey, he can read my mind---- RIGHT?!???!?}
i will recall these words
{not sure where i originally came across them,
but they were in our bulletin this past Sunday}
keeping in mind what is important
and what is just extra

1 Corinthians 13 {Christmas version}
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen,
 carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
 and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir’s cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home
 that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way,
 but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return
but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
Video games will break,
pictures will fade,
clothes will be worn out,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the gift of love will endure.

Monday, December 19, 2011

priorities people...

i say that because, sincerely, 
the LAST thing i should be doing right now is blogging!
i have a large group coming to my house tonight
for a christmas party!!!
{or at least i did when i started this post 5 days ago!}

but, i have been wanting to do a pregnancy post
and i just got a fun email in my inbox that inspired me
i am not totally sure at what intervals i will continue with this
but i decided to go ahead and start now!

i am 14 weeks this week and here is what's going on
{according to}

Welcome to the second trimester! This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb. Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him -- a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb. In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches -- about the size of a lemon -- and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. 

so, me and my lemon are getting along swell...
most of the time he/she has me feeling ok...
at others times, green.
maybe a little more green than giles,
not's hard to remember the specifics.

i was at a party last night and was telling the group of our good news.
as i was leaving and telling various people good-bye,
a lady stopped to talk to me about the baby.
she asked if i had found out the sex, and various other questions. 
i told her that i hadn't officially found out anything, 
but that i thought i might have seen boy parts. 
she said, 'i knew exactly what i was having with each. 
back then you didn't find out like you do now-a-days. i picked
out one name each time. and got it right! i don't know...
 i am feeling 'girl' on this one"
so, i rubbed her arm.
i did.
like she was some sort of good luck talisman.
not that a boy is bad luck
{babyB2, if you end up reading this, and you are in fact a boy,
please know,
we aren't wishing for you to be a girl... only a healthy you...
but, if you turn out to be a girl, well, that's fine too!}
there are so many great things about 
having a boy OR a girl

boy, we've got so much already!
girl, i could go crazy with PINK!!!
those are the things that excite me about each!
giles is excited about either...
and i keep asking him, not that it would change anything,
but i just like to be sure he understands
we're not in control of this
he really seems to be genuinely excited about either,
even though he started out asking for a sister.
now when he talks about baby, 
he always says something about both
 a brother and sister!
and since we've confirmed that there is only one heartbeat,
him talking about both makes me happy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

all things baby...

oh my.
things change!
awesome baby things, that is...

in 4.5 short years, baby stuff has gotten so much cooler!
i distinctly remember hearing this conversation
when giles came along,
a lot!

it was hard to imagine,
just how much could baby stuff change 
in 2-3 years or so...

well, i know in 4 1/2 years, it's changed.

here are some really neat things that i have found 
in my internet browsing...
they aren't *needs*
just merely things that look totally indulgent, fun
or possibly that they might make things easier

for instance, the video monitor
we live in a small house
we don't miss much
so why a video monitor?
well, because. that's why!
actually i figure with giles around, it will just make things easier
to be able to actually see the baby when i hear a noise
instead of having to "check"
if i can tell a noise is just part of the process of sleeping, 
or content 'hanging out in the crib time,' etc
it would be so much easier to know this,
especially with giles around...
in my imagination, he'll want to be around his sibling at ALL times--- ha!
so, if we can have longer rest times
and show him that baby isn't quite ready to be disturbed,
it might just make things a whoooole lot easier
so... we just might *need* this...
check it out!

and then... because it is just SOOOO cute and SOOOO soft
and so totally *not* a need...
i just love these two...

see this cutie here
and then there is this one... in case there are 'boy parts'
and you can see him here

i have always loved owls...
more so since giles was born {in decor, i suppose}
but now, they are almost too trendy,
but i still love them in small doses- like these precious friends!

and then there is sophie.
just so sweet.
and functional {she's a teether!}... which makes it more of a *need*
see sweet sophie here
and even though when it comes to buzz lightyear,
amazon has gone off the charts with being overpriced...
this is actually the best price going for ol' sophie...
she's normally almost $25!

and one more really, really neat idea...
*almost* a need... especially for those first few months
see this gem here
i think this just sounds so inviting
a soft light that charges in the wall
but then can be taken on the go!
just like this!
isn't that sweet?

i secretly, or not so secretly, cannot WAIT
to hold my baby in the middle of the night... 
i certainly didn't mind passing that buck to mike
on a fairly regular basis, especially at first,
but never did i hold my baby giles and wish i was any place else

ahh... i think i have baby fever :)
{thank goodness! right?}