Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Is Just Around the Corner

It's only three days away.  It is hard to believe how fast it came upon us.  I wanted to share some pictures of a few of my favorite things.  

These are some of my favorite ornaments.  I would decorate the whole tree with these but the kids add a new ornament of their choosing each year.  Someday these will be for them to take with them when they leave the nest.
Snowman from my friend Heidi

I found this one at Target and immediately fell in love with it.  He looked like he needed a home.

I love this wonderful stocking ornament from my friend Missy.

This is the centerpiece on my table.  

Our Christmas tree and some just out of the oven yummy cookies.  These have a little surprise in each of them.   They're Santa Surprises.  It's a peanut butter cookie with a miniature Snickers wrapped inside.  YUMMY!

I have been working on some ribbon scarves.  I have finished a black and white and another autumn leaves.  I am working on a thin autumn leaves scarf.  This one won't have a trim.  I think the ends will be knotted to finish it off.  

My daughter made the Noel sign above and dear son made this snowman.  We will bring them to the nursing home to hang them in my mother in laws room.  Unfortunately, most of the things we bring her either get broken or disappear.  It is very frustrating and a violation to these people who cannot help themselves.  I am hoping that these will bring her some cheer and not entice anyone else to make them their own.
These are our gingerbread creations.  There has already been some demolition on them and pieces are missing.  

Had to try a train for something different.

This is the wonderful apron I received from Lolly in the Sassy Apron Swap.  I had a fun time with this swap.

I used the left over fabric from the apron swap to make a half apron for a dear friend.  She calls herself our daughter's surrogate grandmother.  They met when dd was in first grade and have been close ever since.  She is a wonderful lady and our daughter is blessed to have her in her life.  She lives in one of the most amazing homes we have ever seen.  It was built in 1675, I believe.  It belonged to Priscilla Alden, daughter of John Alden, a pilgrim that came to Plymouth, MA in 1620.  It is amazing to walk into her home and be taken right into the past.  There is a modern addition to the home but the original structure is there unchanged and kept in pristine condition.  So amazing.

These are some ornaments I worked on.  I crocheted the mini-snowflakes inside the ornament.  They are each glittered and added with some faux snow to the ornament.  I enjoyed making these and dh took them to work as gifts.

As most of the country is, we are covered in snow.  It began on Friday afternoon.  We accumulated about a foot of snow.  It continued to flurry through out the day on Saturday.  Sunday brought us another 4-5 inches.  It rained later and turned everything to ice. 
These are pictures of our backyard.  I do love the look of the snow on the branches.  The fresh blanket is so beautiful.  Until you have to get out there and shovel.  
This greenhouse is built with plans from MaryJanes Farm magazine.  I can't wait to start seeds in there anticipating spring planting.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Come back soon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Miss Me?!

It has been a while since I lasted posted. I am not lost in cyber space just busy with all the holiday happenings. I am finally done shopping. So glad that it's all done and only one more gift to wrap and then it's time to clean up the sewing room. Right now it is covered in wrapping and gift bags and not in a pretty package sort of way. More like a wrapping paper company blew up sort of a way. I'm sure you get the picture.

We are winding down with school before the break. On Monday and Tuesday we will work on some fun Christmas projects and definitely some baking. The kids are looking forward to it.

I have been working on an apron that I need to send out in the mail on Monday. I will post some pictures when it is all finished. I received my fun apron from the Sassy Apron Swap and it's wonderful. I really need to get the camera out and snap some pictures. Along with the apron came some very yummy cookies. Chocolate covered mint Oreos and Chocolate covered peanut butter and Ritz crackers. YUMMY!! I won't be able to post pictures of those because they were gone in the blink of an eye. I had to wrestle the last Oreo out of my daughter's hand. Thank you, Lolly!

We are expecting a big snowstorm today. The snow will start any minute now, according to the weather man. I won't be able to go to work tonight but I look forward to the snow and being cozy and warm inside. I love our woodstove and this is the perfect day for it.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

~Christmas Fun and Aprons~

This past weekend we went to the Wickford Festival of Lights. We had a wonderful time as we went on a hayride with Santa and caroled through the village.

This display was in one of the shop windows. We went into the shop but it was tiny and crowded. They had the most adorable doggie gifts.

This is dh and kiddos at the gazebo near town square. The whole town was lit up beautifully. There were luminaries lighting our path and the shops were just heavenly. I love visiting with the people. I also found a wonderful little yarn shop which I plan to return to someday very soon. It was very crowded and tiny so I just couldn't spend enough time with the gorgeous yarns they had.

The antique shops in this little town are just to die for. I could spend a whole day just strolling through town and enjoying all the gorgeous little shops. I think that will definitely be on the list of things to do this spring.

This is the first apron I have sewn. I recieved this cute fabric and pattern in a swap on Mary Janes Farm. I just love it. Nothing could say farmgirl better than this little apron. I was thrilled when I finally completed it.
Isn't it just wonderful. I love the flounce at the bottom. It gives it an added farmgirl touch.

I received an adorable little apron from my secret pal at MaryJanes Farm. I am wearing it right now. I love the fabric and the large pockets.

Thank you Secret Pal!!!

I made this apron for the apron swap for the Sassy Apron Swap. I had so much fun working on this. This was my first swap and I really enjoyed it. I cannot wait until I receive my apron.

I added some little snowflakes I crocheted and a little snowflake notepad.

I wrapped up the little package with some snowflake ribbon. I sent this to Lisa and she really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Busy, Busy!!

We had a fun but very busy week last week. I was thrilled at how much we were able to accomplish before the Thanksgiving holiday. I had so much on our list that I didn't think we would come close to getting it all done. I was so excited when Thanksgiving came and everything on the list was crossed off.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was fun and completely stress free. My in laws usually come over and then we visit my brother's house later in the day. I decided this year that we would have my in laws over but would stay home afterwards. It gets to crazy running from place to place.

The kid's busy at work. My work spot is near the window and I always have stacks of work and projects.

My side of the table where I work is always pretty messy.

This is a baby blanket I finished for a lady who works with my husband. He calls her his work "mom" and this is for her first grandchild. I was glad to finish it and send it to it's new home. I hope they enjoy it.

The kids worked on Thanksgiving activity books. We read many of the different presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations and some less known facts about Thanksgiving history.

This is my dd's cover.

This is ds's back cover. I don't know why it's turned. It isn't on my computer only here.

This is the inside cover of my son's book. We burned the paper's edges to antique it.

The front cover of ds's book. He likes to keep things simple. Not too much detail.

This is dd's inside pages.

The back cover of dd's book. That looks yummy. I did make an apple pie that looked that good. It is one of my favorite things to bake but I don't eat it. I don't like it. I just love the smell of it baking. Weird, I know.

I started this table runner last year but never finished it. I wanted to finish it for this Thanksgiving. I had completed it but was nervous about doing the backing. It was my first time.

I finally attempted it on Wednesday night and I think it worked out well.

Here is the finished product. I used it on our table for Thanksgiving dinner.

Working on some clothes pins for a swap.  They will make great Christmas card clips.

On Friday we put up our Christmas tree and I did all the indoor decorating. Just a few things left to finish. I still have to put up the outdoor decorations.

I participated in my first apron swap and spent most of Saturday and Sunday putting the finishing touches on it. I sent the package out just in time on Monday. I will post pictures once I know she has recieved it. I was so excited to participate. It was fun adding all the little extras. I do hope she enjoys it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Survey

Thanksgiving has come and gone and our house is officiall decked out for Christmas. The tree is up and almost all of the other decorations. I'm sure there will be a couple of new things to add to our decor just as in other years. I still need to bring in my Thanksgiving scarecrows and put out our outdoor Christmas decorations. I love this season. It is just a warm and wonderful time.

I saw this quiz over at my friend
Jen's blog and thought it would be fun to try it here.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely gift bags. I would love to wrap presents with a magninficent flair but everytime I have I always hear~"Why did you do that I don't want to open it?" or "Why did you do that I'm just going to ruin it?" Everyone seems to love the gift bags.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial~I don't like to ruin live trees and I would be afraid to catch it on fire.

3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving every year. The kids look forward to it all week.

4. Do you like eggnog? Yes, I love it. I am the only one in my family.

5. Favorite gift received as a child? A doll house. It was small and cute but I loved it and can still remember playing with it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My father. He has everything and buys everything. What's left to buy for him? Plus he has very expensive taste.

7. Easiest person to buy for? Our kids. They both give us detailed gift lists.

8. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes and the kids look forward to taking turns putting up the different pieces and taking turns each year to put on the angel.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, even if they're late.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Some of the gifts I received while teaching. What were they thinking?

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Carol

12. When do you start shopping? We try to start early. This year we only have one gift left to buy.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, but I can't remember what it was. Not often though. The things I don't like usually end up in the every growing yard sale pile in our basement.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Everything, but especially the meat cakes my mom makes, only once a year.

15. Lights on the tree? Yes, I would like white but have been out voted and there are color lights on the tree.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Mary Did You Know

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? No, maybe three of them.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Beautiful white angel

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? It depends what we are doing with my family and my husband's. It has been a bit crazy sometimes.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The way some people behave. Definitely not in the spirit of the season and rude. I don't like to deal with the nasty crowds.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Prim or vintage

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Anything easy. Sometimes, we just have Chinese so I don't have to cook. We have a big dinner at my mom's house on Christmas Eve.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? I would like to have wonderful time with family. Making great memories. Of course, I would also like to spend it in Disney but I don't see that happening.

Feel free to add this to your blog. I would love to read each of yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday Sale and a Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Old Schoolhouse magazine is having an amazing Black Friday Sale. Don't miss it! Here is all the information:

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is having an amazing sale on subscriptions during their annual Black Friday Sale November 26 – 30. For those 5 days only, they are drastically reducing their one-year subscription price to $7.95! That's the price you would usually pay for just one issue at a bookstore!This is their lowest price ever on the magazine and they want all of you to take advantage of this offer and share the info with your friends.Please don't miss out. Your one-year subscription will pay for itself time and time again as you receive practical tips and Biblical encouragement to keep going strong in your commitment to homeschooling and to the Lord. Since it's a quarterly magazine, they even have a monthly subscriber's only E-Newsletter called Teacher's Toolbox that will give you seasonal teaching ideas and a free E-Book download! It's like joining a unit study of the month club! The free E-Books alone are valued at almost $250/year. It's really perfect for people who are homeschooling on a shoestring or just wanting to add in some little extras to your teaching.Plus during the Black Friday Sale, they have all kind of bonus gifts when you spend $50, $75, $100, or $150. Some are electronic downloads that you can download immediately, while other are physical products mailed from various vendors directly to your home.AND, their Win Big contest is going on so if you just happen to be customer 67,000, you will receive a prize package valued at almost $500 which includes a $150 gift certificate to the Schoolhouse Store! Who couldn't use that? And you can qualify to win it no matter how much or how little you spend!Mark your calendars for November 26 - 30th and do a little shopping from your seat, not your feet at the Schoolhouse Store's Black Friday Sale!

I would like to wish all my friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy your day as you spend time with your families and thank the Lord for the many blessings He has graciously bestowed on us. I am so thankful that the Lord has continued to provide for our family in so many ways.
Psalm 9:1-2~I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.


Monday, November 24, 2008

FOR TODAY ~November 24~

Outside my window...I see the greenhouse that we have finally completed.

I am thinking...about what I need to finish this week.

I am thankful for...our health.

From the learning rooms...we are working on a lapbook for Thanksgiving.

From the kitchen...I am cooking oven fried chicken and potato wedges.

I am wearing...tan jeans and a blue sweater.

I am creating...two aprons, a table runner, and clothespins for a swap

I am going...(actually already went)to pick up our turkey from Whole Foods.

I am reading...the Wonderful Art of Disney. I fell in love with Disney since we visited.

I am get everything done for our swaps on time.

I am children talking to each other.

Around the home is a bit of a wreck from the weekend. I have alot of picking up to do.

One of my favorite things...the smell of apple pie baking.

A few plans for the rest of the week: cleaning the house and cooking for Thanksgiving.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

Our woodstove that is keeping us warm on these very cold New England days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Destination Disney~Epcot

My dear friend Heidi host Destination Disney every Friday. This week I am finally able to participate because we have just visited. Epcot was a great place to visit because there are so many different and wonderful things to experience. We loved Soarin and were completely amazed at this ride. You cannot believe until you try it. It truly made you feel like you were riding above cities, lakes, golfers, skiers and even right in the middle of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. We were sad to have missed the Illuminations show. That just gives us something to look forward to if we have a chance to return, which I might add, we are totally looking forward to. We are Disney addicted!!

Here are some pictures from our day at Epcot:

Here we are in front of the Epcot icon. Spaceship Earth is a great ride that is actually in the Epcot ball. This was a fun ride. At the beginning they snap a picture of you and then at the end of the ride it is added to what you pick as your future home and life. Really fun.

Here we are headed to Soarin.

These pictures are from Soarin. They are not that great because it was dark and we could not use flash photography. You actually feel like you are flying over all of these places.

Living with the Land was a great ride at Epcot. It was very educational and I was completely amazed at the greenhouses. They were growing many rare varieties of vegetables. There were also fish and eel that they were raising. They actually use everything they grow in their restaurants. There was alot about sustainable living and finding new ways to care for our earth including not using pesticides and chemicals. This was totally up my ally.

Epcot also has a great character spot and this is where we were able to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy.

Mission Space is also another can't miss ride. What is great is they have a mild ride and than a more turbulent ride for those who are brave enough to try it. We did the mild ride and loved it.

Of course if you visit Epcot you can't miss the country showcase. It was so much fun to have a little bit of each country there.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures of Epcot. It truly is an amazing park with so many different things to see and experience.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Book

I recently read It Was Worth It All by Elly Matz. This little book was absolutely amazing. It tells the story of Ukranian women, Elly as she lives in communist Russia. Her family is of German descent which causes her greater difficulties. I was very moved by this story and how God led her throughout her whole life. She clearly tells of God's hand orchestrating so many events she did not even understand. I would recommend it to everyone.

In the back of the book there is an article by Chris Noonan Funnell and appeared in the MetroWest Daily News. I wanted to share some of that article with you because it beautifully summarizes Elly Matz's story.

Now summer is in full bloom and due to abundant rains, gardening has become a game of catch-up, weeds need pulling and the mosquitos are ferocious. Whenever I feel like giving up on a job like that and plop on the couch with a bag of chips, instead I have been inspired to perservere by the autobiography of an amazing women and true patriot.
Elly Matz immigrated to America over fifty years ago from the Ukraine, realizing her childhood dream to come to the land she first heard about on her father's knee. Her ancestors had migrated in the 1760's with many German settlers to the fertile farmland south of Russia. Born in 1920, three years after the revolution, she saw the demise of her people's way of life as the farms were being taken by the Communists and divided up.
Not long after age six, when she first stated her intent to move to America when she grew up, life began to get very hard and starvation became a daily threat. The German farmers who were once welcomed in to farm the black soil were now enemies of the Communists who starved and imprisoned the German farmers and thereby created greater hardship. Elly knew no real childhood because, being strong and healthy, she was needed to work when her father grew weak. Her story is full of devastation, suffering and overcoming. Her father was taken to prison never to be seen again.
She married at sixteen and on a visit to her family's village when she was a young mother about to give birth to her second child, she discovered her Babushka, mother and little sisters had all been take to Siberia as well as whole villages of Germans born in the Ukraine. she was treated like a stranger in her own land during WWII, not accepted by Russia or Germany, but useful as a translator. A real-life survivor, she was on her own after her husband was killed at the front and she determined to leave what she knew would be certain slavery at the hands of the Communists to run for her life with her five-year-old son. Her second child had died soon after birth.
It Was Worth It All is a great remedy for the times we live in when the framers of our Constitution are seen as "dead white guys" on college campuses and the foundational writings the sweated over in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia are currently going under the judicial activist's knife. If you want to find refreshing and anabashed patriotism, talk to an immigrant who has escaped the Red Army's, or other despots' assault on freedom.
The spunkiest octogenarian whis side of the Volga survived starvation, disease, beatings, bombings, labor camps and concentration camps. She even survived her own attempt to take her life to escape the misery she had known so long during the war and its aftermath. She figures she was destined to make it here to the land of her dreams to tell us how wonderful freedom is and to warn us about what can happen to a nation that forgets God. Elly is still traveling and telling her story at schools, churches and conferences, and to whoever will listen. America has what she and others have longed for -- freedom! she won't give up her freedom march or stop thanking God for her miraculous deliverance into her land of promise because she "wants to know what hands this country is gonna be left in."

This article amazed me when I read it . It was printed on July 4, 2003 but I don't think there could be a more important time to think about it than this. With the election now behind us it is time for all of us to take our place in doing what God wants us to do. The results are not what we hoped for but this is not a time to give up but rather a time to stand and fight for this country, for the principles on which it was established. We need to be warriors in prayer and in our daily lives not complacent. The enemy wants us to give up but we need to put on our armor and go before our King to be strengthened for the battle ahead.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hollywood Studios~Disney Pics and Fun

Our second day in Disney we chose to go to Hollywood Studios. We were there from the time the park opened until the end of the Fantasmic show at about 8:30 p.m.. It was our favorite park and we had to go back another day to finish all the things we wanted to see. I especially enjoyed the fifties theme that the park had. One of the first things we did when we got there was the Tower of Terror. I am not a fan of these rides so ds and I opted to browse the gift shop. We found the machines that make coin souvenirs and that became one of our missions throughout all the parks. I love the rolled coins and they make such cute but compact souvenirs. While dh and daughter were on the crazy rides we were out looking for more coin souvenir machines. Sorry, no pic of the Tower of Terror. It was hard to remember to take a picture of everything. I guess we'll just have to go back someday.

After the Tower of Terror the crazy duo went to the Rocking Roller Coaster ride which they both enjoyed. Ds and I went to the Animation Studios and took some classes on how to draw Disney characters. We also met the Incredibles.

Ds still loves the Power Rangers so we headed to meet them and take a picture.

One of our favorite movies is Prince Caspian and Hollywood Studios has a Prince Caspian show and area where you can see costumes and other things used in the movie. This is Dh with Ds and Prince Caspian himself. He was outside the show and we were thrilled to meet him.

Costumes from Narnia.

Prince Caspian and King Miraz from the Narnia movie.

Ds and the Stone Table.

Part of the show explains how the characters are made for Narnia. It includes about 3 to 4 hours in a makeup chair each day of taping.

We all headed to the Animation Studios together and were able to meet with the mouse himself~Mickey!! We were thrilled.

Some of the character and scene sketches for the new Disney movie~Bolt. I was amazed at the color wall they had. There was a shade of every color imagineable in that studio. I could use some of them for projects.

At the end of the night we went to see the Fantasmic show and the kids kept saying Fastasmic is fantastic. It was such a wonderful show and nobody does it like Disney. It was hard to take good pictures because they asked us not to use flash photography during most of the shows.

More amazing parts of the Fantasmic show.

This was the park we had to revisit. There was so much more to see and do there. I will post more pictures soon. We were busy from the minute we entered the park until we left. It was nice to sit for a while and watch the show. I think we collapsed every night when we went back to our room but everyone was always ready to go see more the next day. It still amazes me how much fun we had and what a wonderful experience Disney was.