Friday, December 28, 2012

Today I Gave Ash a Project.

Today I gave Ash a pile of letter stickers (one set of the entire alphabet) and a sheet of construction paper and told her to put the letters in order. 

I started out by telling her to find the letter A and put it on the top, left-hand corner of the paper.  Then I asked her what came after A and helped to begin singing the ABC song to figure it out.  Then to find B and put it on the paper after A.  So on and so forth.  It was rather painstaking and slow.  At about D, she asked for our copy of the Amazing Action Alphabet book so she could just figure it out herself.  I was impressed with her problem solving skills and thankful that she was smarter than me about it because it freed me up to do my own project.  :) 

(working diligently)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Today I Want to Wish You All a Merry Christmas!

How was your Christmas?  I hope it was wonderful! 

Ours was positively magical.  I have really seen a lot of love and goodwill towards and from mankind this holiday season.  And that has truly made it a beautiful Christmastime for our family.  

 (my sweet babies, at church, in their christmas dresses.*)

Today I have had a touch of stomach buggy-ness.  I hope it stops with me.  But it didn't get me down! (ok, a laid down more than a couple time for 5-10 mintues, here and there)  Oh no!  We got up around 7:30 and went downstairs.  The girls were so excited, they went back and forth between their stockings from Santa and their presents under the tree.  I love how they still want to take it all in and not rush through everything.  

(being silly)

Tony made breakfast but I was feeling too yucky to enjoy it.  He was a total rock star and joined me in making an awesome Christmas dinner that took us a long time to prepare.  We had pepper pot stew (with chicken, not tripe), garlic chicken, root beer (that I jazzed up with cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla), ginger ale, grapes, cheesy celery and pickles.  Totally forgot to make the mashed potatoes and put the olives out!  Oh well.  We've still got lots of leftovers!  Yay!

We also had some friends over for dessert.  I made a triple chocolate cake and they brought Oreo caramel cheesecake (sooooo amazing) and a yummy chex mix.  

I'm ready for a vacation now!  Haha!  A girl can wish, right?

*Something I thought was funny about these dresses: they are all Ash's! Ash is wearing her same Christmas dress from last year in 2011. Britt is wearing Ash's Christmas dress from 2010. And Elle is wearing a dress I bought for Ash for the Christmas of 2009 that never got used (I bought her 3 Christmas dresses that year). Worked out perfectly!

 Ok.  Now I've gotta announce the giveaway winner (a day late).

 (sorry that it's so small)

Saimi!  You won!  Pick out a magazine from my list and I'll contact you or you can get a hold of me.  Whomever gets to it first.  :)

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  How did you celebrate today?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today I Want to Give You a Christmas Present.

I really wanted to do some fun Christmas present giveaways, but it's just not my season for plenty.  Know what I mean?  Then I remembered RecyclebankRecyclebank is a free rewards site where you are given points for watching videos, reading articles and making pledges to live greener, upcycle, recycle and waste not.  The points can be redeem for coupons, merchandise and, my personal favorite, magazines!

(stock photo)

I have enough points to give away a year subscription to the winner's choice of the following magazines:

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Sorry to all my international readers!  :(  Also, this giveaway is for my followers (google friend connect).  :)  Just leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.

I will announce the winner on the 24th (Christmas Eve)!  I only wish I had enough points to give everyone a magazine subscription!

If you're interested in signing up with Recyclebank, please sign up here.  Then I get points for inviting you.  Heehee!  Best of luck to all of you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today I Thought About Christmas Cards.

I love Christmas cards.  But it's been an overwhelming season for us and though I hate to admit it, I'm probably only going to be sending cards out to those who've sent us one.  That is SO not me.

When I was 10 years old my dad sat me down with a pen, a stack of Christmas cards and envelopes and his address book.  He showed me how to sign the card, address the envelope and stick a stamp up the the right hand corner.  That was my first year doing Christmas cards and I was hooked.  I have done them religiously (first for my parents/sibling family and now for my husband/children family) and with GREAT pleasure ever since then.

But it's a dying tradition you guys.  And I'm sooooo sad about it.  Every year we get less and less in return and it makes me so bummed.  It's a beautiful tradition but this year will be my first time breaking from that tradition.  I don't like it but it's just too expensive for a starving student family and too time consuming with so many orders to sew up and get out the door before and after Christmas (woohoo for a new etsy store!).

We did get the girls together, all casual-like on the couch, to take a picture for the few cards I'm going to mail soon.  And I thought I'd turn this post into a virtual Christmas card and send it to all of you!  My sweet bloggy friends!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Tony, Jamie, Ash, Britt, and Elle!

Which one do you like best?  I like myself in the first one better but Elle's smile in the second is too cute.  Did you send out cards this year?  Are you sad about the fizzling of the Christmas card tradition?  Do you refuse to let it die?  Or are you thinking, "Good riddance!"

I wonder when the stores will stop selling so many boxes of Christmas cards?   I got a lot of really cute ones, deeply discounted, last year, after Christmas.  It's gonna take me at least 3 years to use them all up.  Well, at the rate I'm going this year, it'll take more like 8.  :P


Friday, December 14, 2012

Today I Wanted to Show You My Giveaway Winnings.

Do you ever enter giveaways on blogs?  I do sometimes and have actually won a few.  The one I won recently was AWE to the SOME!

(100% shetland lambswool)

Cassandra of Farm Genevieve has sheep and goats and spins their wool and I won some of Ava's wool yarn!  I am SO excited.  I am such a beginning knitter, I'm afraid to use it!  But, I must have something made out of this beautiful stuff asap, so tell me, what should I make?

(ava, the sheep.  picture taken from Farm Genevieve blog.)

Ash and Britt were so excited when I pull this yarn out of the box and showed them the picture of the sheep on the card Cassandra sent.  I explained to them that the sheep's hair made the yarn they were holding and they stroked it and cuddled it and were so thrilled!

Thanks again Cassandra!

You can peruse the Farm Genevieve shop here.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Today I Helped Assemble Gingerbread Houses.

It's that time of year!  I love gingerbread houses.  A friend of mine invited the us over to make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and butter cream frosting.  Yum!  I brought crackers and tons of candy and we had a blast.  They were super easy and the girls had so much fun. 

 (ash's is on the left and britt's is on the right)

Since it was butter cream and not something more hard, I let them eat their houses the same day.  They were so thrilled with that.  I thought that I should make them be decorations, but I have a large-ish nativity scene collection and there just isn't any more space for decorations that can't be hung on the wall or the tree.

I think Elle was feeling left out because right after we got home, she made a huge mess of her own.  That'll teach me to allow the older girls to take their snacks into the living room!  This picture only shows about a sixth of the size of her mess.  Good thing she's so cute, right?  I had to run back and forth between making dinner and vacuuming her spill. 

 (little stinker!  this baby is turning out to have a VERY strong personality!)

What have you been doing this Christmas season?  I wanna know because I still have to compile our Christmas bucket list!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today I Finished a Woodland Animals Ornament Set.

 (cute hoot owl)

I also put some more items into my Etsy store.  It's slow going, but I'm getting there.  And having so much fun doing it!  I'll be adding simple reversible capes soon and have already received three orders!  Here's a gallery of my beloved creations! 

(sweet bunny rabbit)

(adorable little deer)

(friendly fox)

 (naughty raccoon)

(shy hedgehog)

 (ash with a unicorn horn on.  i made a bunch of these as favors for her 4th birthday party.  the lovely unicorn she is holding was made by a very talented friend.  check out her blog, here!)

Again, feel free to browse my shop!  It isn't super stocked as of right now, but hopefully after the holidays that will change!