Monthly Archives: December 2010

Wednesday December 29, 2010

As I mentioned early, I didn’t make very many Christmas presents this year.  I had plans, good intentions, great ideas, lots of inspiration, and no time.  I did chose a few simple projects that I managed to finish amidst all the Christmas rush.  I made my niece a sweet little play pinafore, but I forgot to take a picture of it before I wrapped it.  Maybe I will try to borrow it from Alli and take a few pictures.

So here they are~

I made fabric totes for my Mom and Mother-in-law.

For Mom W. I made two large sized totes out of recycled burlap coffee bean bags.  I really like the way they turned out (am I allowed to say that?!).   I reinforced them with heavy duty interfacing and lined them with cream muslin.

For my Mom I made the whole set of nesting totes, the largest all the way down to the tiny tote.  I love this material and I knew with would go with my mom’s natural, woodsy, earthy decor.

The totes nest down inside of each other.  You can buy this fabulous pattern here.  I know, I know!  I’ve been a little tote crazy lately, but they’re delightful, and useful,  and yes; easy to make… I promise (cross my heart).

Lastly, a little peek at my previously-mentioned “perfectly wrapped, beautifully coordinated” presents .  This year I went with a “brown paper packages tied up with string” look.  I used lace, burlap, twine, cream colored trim, and recycled poetry… the little bird tag was cut out of an old book of poetry that was falling apart.

I already have a stack of projects piled up on my sewing desk and a pages of notes and sketches so… stay tuned… it’s going to be fun!

Tuesday December 28, 2010

“It’s my birthday and I can do whatever I want!”.  That’s what he said to us the morning of his birthday.  “No Gideon, not exactly…”

Gideon was born the day after Christmas, which is kind of a tough day for a little guy to have a birthday (for all the obvious reasons), but we celebrated it in grand style because turning 4 is pretty special.  Since his birthday fell on a Sunday we waited until Monday to have his party.  He loved squeezing every minute out of those two days.  Monday morning we loaded six kids into Grandma and Grandpa W.’s car, and took off for Sacramento.  Our first stop was the Lego store.  I forgot my camera in the car.  As it turned out navigating the kids through the mall, helping them select legos in their price range, and then standing in the long post-holiday line; took all our concentration anyway.

After the mall it was time to feed the hungry brood so we found a McDonald’s and loaded up on McNuggets and fries.

Right here… this was it… the quietest moment of the day   Actually, all of the kids did great. 

He opened his presents and then it was off to the big destination of the day~

I love this picture!  Justin and his gaggle.

We were not the only ones who decided that the Train Museum was a great holiday get-away.  The line to buy tickets stretched out the door.  Keeping 6 excited kiddos in line is not possible, but they had fun looking at the Christmas train parked in the entry of the museum.

The giant miniature train set inspired a moment of stunned awe.  They all just stood in front of it with wide eyes and open mouths.

After the museum tour and train movie their little legs were aching for a stretch.  Justin and I thought it would be wise to let them burn off a little energy before the long, cramped ride home.  They loved running down the abandoned tracks.

It was a gorgeous day.

We dropped the happy, tired cousins off at their homes and finished the day up with dinner at our favorite taco truck. 

The grandparents came later that night with cupcakes and more presents.  Gideon beamed his happy smile while we sang him “Happy Birthday”.  He’s a great little guy and I feel so tremendously blessed to be his mother.

Thursday December 23, 2010

We are packing in as much Christmas festiveness as we possible can this week.  Jude took part in his first Christmas program last Sunday night.  His Sparky class recited the 10 commandments at their Church Christmas program.  I was excited and nervous for him.  It was just one line but we practiced it over and over.  The grandparents all showed up in support.  We sat through %90 of the program until his group went on stage.

I sat in my seat with butterflies in my stomach as he calmly walked up with his class.

He was up first.  In a clear loud voice he said, “You shall have no other gods before me.”  And just like that it was done.  I suppressed the urge to jump up immediately after he was done and start clapping.  I waited in my seat grinning like a fool.  What can I say; that’s the kind of thing you do when you are completely smitten.

Monday morning we headed to Grandma’s house to make gingerbread housed and gingerbread men with the cousins.

They all donned their aprons, and got to work.

Eliza decided to just dip the cookie directly into the icing.

Gideon thought that was funny.

So serious…

Grandpa getting to spend a little time with the newest member of the family.

What to choose next?

Everybody with their houses, oldest to youngest.  As was expected, more candy got eaten than got put on the houses.  Good times!  Good memories!

Sunday December 19, 2010

Confession:  My boys are coffee drinkers. 

It’s a small ritual their Daddy started with them on the weekends; 3/4 of a cup of milk, a little sugar, and a splash of coffee.  What started as a weekend treat turned into a “most mornings” routine. Lately Jude can take it or leave it, but not Gideon.   At the beginning of the week I picked up a carton of orange juice as a special treat.  The next morning I thought I would surprise the children and fill their cups with orange juice.  Jude and Eliza were very pleased but Gideon wasn’t awake yet so I set his cup on the coffee table.  As I was making my bed I heard his little feet shuffle into the living room, a few minutes later he showed up in my bedroom doorway looking like a storm cloud and said in his low, growling morning voice, “This is NOT coffee!”

Word to the wise~ don’t mess with Gid’s coffee.

She loves eating her breakfast on this little stool.  It makes her so happy!

She mostly lets the cereal sit in the bowl until the milk gets sweet and then she drinks the milk…

… leaving the unwanted cereal behind.

Jude is very excited about wrapping presents, so I got the paints out and let them make their own wrapping paper.

I made potato stamps by slicing the potato in half and carving out a star, holly leaf, and cross shape.  They dipped them in paint but it would have worked much better if I had used stamp pads. 

They mostly ended up finger painting anyway

It is so tempting to just stop typing here, and leave you with the impression that I’m a laid back mom who’s totally cool with them “expressing their artistic individuality”, but I’m not that mom.  Here’s the thing; I love perfectly wrapped, beautifully coordinated Christmas presents.  Every year I choose a new theme and color scheme for my presents.  I know it’s weird and uptight but it makes my heart happy.  But, I bit my tongue  and let them enjoy themselves and reminded myself that there are more important things in life that perfectly coordinated presents ( I guess).

He got sick~

3 full days of a high fever that just knocked the wind right out of his sails.  I was cleaning up after lunch when I noticed he was being very quiet and I found him like this.

It was Jude’s last week of school so we made treats for his classmates.  Carmel corn!  Yummy, crunch, buttery, sweet goodness!!!

He was more than a little pleased with his gifts.

I haven’t made very many gifts this year.  Just a few.  I thought I would give the whole “crazy Aunt who makes stuff” routine a rest.   The sewing machine has been quieter than I would like but I was able to squeeze in a little time this afternoon.

She sat so quietly in my lap watching the machine make neat stitched along the fabric edge.  It’s fun to have a little girl.

All of the little boxes in the 5 day weather forecast, have little rain clouds on them.  We might just have a wet Christmas.  Nothing is better on a wet afternoon that fresh bread with a generous helping of butter and a warm cup of coffee.  Nothing!

I hope you week was full of things that make your heart happy too!

Monday December 13, 2010

Over the last two weeks, as our lives have been a happy blur of activity, my mind kept returning to my silent blog.  It has been sitting here quietly, patiently… waiting for me to fill it up with our Christmas happenings, and finally on this quiet gray morning I am able to sit and type. 

Our days have been filled with:

~Christmas trees
~Bing Crosby, Elvis, and Dean Martin crooning from our CD player
~Paper chains and snowflakes
~Parades in the rain
~Unexpected date nights, sharing the most amazing plate of pasta
~Dinner and a concert in the City with friends
~Fevers and tummy troubles
~Toasty fires
~A house that smells like pine and tangerines

We started the Christmas season off with a Costco tree and a trip to the our town’s Christmas Parade.  It was cold and raining the night of the parade.  My resolve was seriously tested when the children fell asleep in the car on the way there, as the rain pelted our windshield, and we circled block after block looking for a single parking space.  But we loaded up our gear (umbrella, dinner, chair) and ran down the wet streets with three children in tow, just in time for the start of the parade.

We stopped of at Wienerschnitzel for corndogs.  They made a nice warm, portable meal.  Eliza was snug and happy with her corndog; hanging on Daddy’s back.

The boys piled into the one chair we brought and took in all the sights

I love marching bands.  I really do.

Monday night the Christmas tree was put in it’s stand, and the Christmas boxes pulled out of storage.

Since the first year of our marriage, I have stored our Christmas decorations in this small Crate&Barrel box.  The first few years all the trimmings and trappings fit into that small box.  We have since outgrown it and now is only houses the tree decorations.  The boys love that box.  They get so excited when they see Daddy coming in with it in his arms.  Every year they huddle around it bringing out their old favorite ornaments.

I spent the rest of the week, slowly putting up my decorations

Since we don’t have real snowflakes in our part of the country… we improvise!

I have saved all of the boys Christmas art from previous years and I try to find special places for them around the house. 

One of my favorite treats of the season… tangerines!  Christmas and tangerines go hand-in-hand in my mind. 

Gideon found the Toys R Us Big Book in the mail.

It has been his constant companion ever since.  He pours over each page, and points to things and says “Mom! Mom!  You know what I want?  What I super, SUPER want?”

Miss Eliza has two new loves~ her new pink rain boots and her brother’s stocking cap.

The house is no longer quiet and that means my time is up.  Hope you are enjoying your own Christmas traditions and preparations!