Friday, December 28, 2007

Snow Fun

First snowman of Winter. Oh, wait! It is a snowLADY. My bad. We have had something like 25 inches of snow since December 1st, but this was the first good and packy stuff. The contrast was really bad on this picture, so I played with photoshop a little. Still a lot to learn, so forgiveness please.

This is the snowcastle that the Queen Momma so nicely built.

Abi decorating the snow castle.

Snowpaint is way fun. If you have never tried it before, it is a must. We emptied some spray bottles of their cleaning solutions (not that there has been any cleaning around her recently anyway) and added some water and food coloring. Squirt away!

Snow angels are also great!

Dreaming of...

Pear Blossoms


Walking around Barefoot

Green grass, green leaves and water flowing in the river


Black Eyed Susans

The Dreaming makes the months go faster.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Decorations on a budget

When we first got out our Christmas decorations this year, I had a slight panic. You see, our new house is quite a bit bigger than our cute little cottage was. I knew exactly where my decorations went at the old house. I always put white lights on the picket fences in the corners of the yard. The tree had a standard home. I did silver balls in the dining room. It helps that there were really only 3 rooms I could decorate. Much less overwhelming. All of a sudden I have a much bigger house to decorate, but the same amount of decorations. I wasn't sure how I was going to make the house look festive, using only what we had. Many, many material things have been put into perspective this year, and now I can add Christmas decorations to the list. When you are saving for an adoption, suddenly, how many and what kind of decorations you have just really doesn't matter. The slight meltdown/panic came on because I really like to decorate. I like to surround myself with pretty things. But, I am also immensely cheap. Like I said, it was only a slight panic. Once I put my mind to it, I have been able to decorate quite nicely without spending money on anything but the tree (which we do every year). I am so thankful for a healthy dose of creativity that sometimes drives me crazy, but many times is exactly what I need. I am also quite thankful for Flickr and all the great ideas that can be found there. You will have to forgive the quality of these pictures. The lack of sunlight is not helping with the photo taking attempts. I am unable to get a decent photo of the silver snowflake garland in the dining room and school room doors, but you will just have to trust me that it looks great.

I sewed fabric that I had in my stash into star shapes with some batting in the middle. Cut the edges with pinking shears. Used a large eyed needle to thread some shear ribbon through and hung 1 on each spindle on the stair case. We also hung the stockings with ribbon from the stair case. Emma did the tying, she said it was good practice.

The tree found a good home next to the window seat and in front of one of the glass doors, so it reflects nicely.

The wreaths are my favorite! I have really wanted star shaped wreaths after seeing them in a pottery barn catalog a couple of years ago. Being CHEAP, I wouldn't buy them, so I had been searching for a star shaped wreath form and have been unable to find any. As I was trying to figure out what to do outside the house, I realized that the star shaped wreaths that I have been longing for would look even better on this house than they would have at the other. So I set my mind to figuring out how to make them. We always get extra pine boughs when we go get our tree so I had plenty of that to work with. I just needed a base to wire the boughs to. I spent some time looking for sticks that would work and came up empty. Then I saw the stash of utility flags that the children had hidden behind the couch. When we moved in we had the utility guys come and mark all the line so that in my mad gardening frenzies, I wouldn't kill myself or blow up the neighborhood. After I had taken pictures of where the flags were, I told the girls they could have them. They used them all summer for such things as marking where they had planted their dandelion seeds and pretending to land on the moon. So now I reclaimed them and used the sturdy wires that the flags are attached to to make star shaped wreath forms. I wired the greens on, snuck some lights in there and ta-da!
We had intended to put lights on 1 of the trees down by the river so that they could reflect off the river and make me exceedingly happy and also had intended to put more greens around, but alas, the every other day snow/ice pattern that we have been in has prevented further decorating. I guess there is always next year. I keep telling myself that snow is a free decoration and who need icicle lights when there are real icicles?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Baking and Making

Since Thanksgiving there has been a great deal of sewing, crafting, decorating and baking going on around here. I am hoping to post a little more often to share some of the goodness, but I have to be careful as I wouldn't want to reveal any gifts. For today, I will share some baking loveliness. The 2 days immediately following Thanksgiving we get together at my mom's house and do some hard core baking and cookie decorating. I love this tradition because it always involves some degree of craziness on the part of my sister and me. You see, we are a tad bit anal, mixed with a little crazy, and have more creativity and ideas than either one of use will ever be able to use in a life time. So cookie decorating becomes an art. Not like Martha Stewart though. Oh no, we are much too silly for that. Oh, and inevitably someone gets cookie dough thrown at him or her. And we laugh so hard that we cry. Such fun.

This is Mandy's crazy cookie spiral. Last year we realized that it was very fun to photograph the cookies. (that is what the cookie pics at the top are from.) We both probably have over 100 pictures of cookies between the last 2 years. Like I said, crazy.
My girls really got into the decorating this year. This guy is Emma's.

Ever the entrepreneurs, my children set up shop in Grandma's living room and sold the cookies for 5 cents a piece. Who was buying? Me, Mandy, Curt, Grandma, Grandpa, and even one of my Aunts came out and bought some. The little buggers made over $2 selling cookies over the 2 days. I think I should be worried.