Monday, December 28, 2009

We Had a Merry One!

Lining up for the big moment!

The looks on their faces in this photo made the extremely late night worth it! I love how the breeze is blowing her hair as she runs!
Here is what they saw:
I'll bet you can guess which present I was most excited about!

She was pretty excited too!

This girl is a candyholic! She had a candycane in her mouth when she was still in bed. All through the day, I kept catching her hiding behind the couch with candy in her mouth. When she runs out of her own, she just steals it from everyone else! I got advent calendars for all the kids and within a day or so she had eaten about half of hers and a whole bunch of days from the boys' too!

The mice found Santa's leftovers.

My first grader gave her the owl he made at school.

He's been collecting bop it toys since he was about 8 or so. A couple of years ago you couldn't get one at all, but this year a new one came out and Santa brought it. This game has an attitude, if you lose, it insults you. Of course the boys find this hilarious!

He's been asking for a quilt for a while, so I decided to get one done for Christmas. It's the Turning Twenty pattern again, I really like that one. I sent this one off to Utah to be long armed again, you can see the pattern in the dark blue. I didn't get the binding on before Christmas morning so I still have that project to look forward to. The fabric in this quilt is "American Pastimes," by Marcus Brothers. The line is a reproduction of fabric from a quilt that was in an exhibit I saw in the fall at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. The exhibit was all quilts made from clothing fabrics and it was so cool. The quilt that inspired these fabrics was a 9patch quilt made from shirting fabric from the early 20th century. If you click on the fabric maybe you can see that one of the prints is little tiny baseball players (or you can google it and see all of the prints close up). In the original quilt there was also cowboy fabric, and another interesting thing is that they said that the fabric was most likely used to make shirts for women, even though the prints were kind of guy themes. This exhibit was so interesting, there were quilts made from ties, socks, military uniforms, and even underwear! It was totally up my alley, and I wish I had a photo of every quilt in the exhibit to study.

Lots of Christmas morning smiles!

Daddy was pretty worn out after staying up all night to put together a certain item. Oh, I mean help Santa put it together!

Grammie and Grandpa came over to join in the early morning fun!

She played with her new kitchen all day long!

Another big hit!

I think we've had a toy sword on Christmas morning every year for about 10 years straight!

The younger boys got headlamps which they love!

I hope you all had a merry one too! The other highlight of our day- dinner with 6 different desserts!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All-Time Favorite Nativity (Besides the Real One)

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

(could this photo really have been taken six whole years ago?!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Festive Porch
So here is what I have been doing the last couple of days when I was supposed to be preparing for the big day on Friday. Don't worry I have all my shopping done, I just got a little sidetracked with a fun little project- decorating my porch for Christmas!

I made this pinecone wreath this last fall after seeing the one Vanessa made on V&Co. Right after she posted her tutorial I was at the park with my little gal where there were about a million pinecones, so we collected a ton of them and made a wreath of our own. I've had it hanging inside for the last couple of months, but I decided it would look good out here with my outdoor
all-natural porch decor theme.

So, the other day I decided to do a little more porch decorating with the rest of the fresh greens that I had. All I was going to do was fill up my little tomato crate with some pine and berry stems and pinecones that I had. The idea kind of snowballed from there, as my ideas tend to do sometimes! Here are some photos I took today of the results. I had a lot of fun doing it, mostly on Monday and yesterday with the kids. Never mind that I haven't wrapped one gift- at least I have a cute and festive porch!

So after I started putting some things together I thought, you know what would be really great to have out here- a little Christmas tree! My hubby was nice enough to go along with my madness (he's gotten used to it!), and we went to Home Depot Monday evening to pick out this adorable little tree. It's about 5 ft tall and it was on sale for about $14, perfect for my budget!

I decided that if this tree were going to be outside it would be fun to make it a tree for wildlife decorated with all natural materials and food for animals (we haven't had any takers yet- I think they're mostly hiding out fromt the cold!) I think I saw this idea in a magazine sometime in the last few years.

So yesterday when the kids came home we made birdseed ornaments out of cardboard stars and pinecones spread with peanut butter and dipped in birdseed, and strung popcorn garlands. It was a fun project to do with them.

We also dried some apples and hung them on the tree with jute twine. I'd like to do some
dried oranges that I saw on Wendy's Shabby Nest blog too. I think they're so pretty. The other garland is this jute strip stuff that I bought at Joann's for 79 cents a yard. I think it is normally used in upholstering furniture. It's was the perfect colors for my little outdoor tree. I also bought some burlap at Joann's for $2.99/yard to wrap around the bottom as a tree skirt.

Here is a wide shot of the whole porch all done up!

These are my Dad's old skates hanging on the chair. I got this idea from this post by Barb at Reflections on an Empty Nest. I also love it when people use old wooden sleds propped up on their porches. We had one of those when I was little, too bad we don't still have it!

This morning, I took a bunch of boxes in varying sizes and wrapped them in brown paper bags and tied them with jute and some greenery and pinecones for embellishment. I saw a similar idea for decorating with boxes on The Lettered Cottage.

This basket was holding all of the outdoor toys and helmets, baseball gloves, etc., so I dumped that all out and filled it with the rest of my greens and some berry stems I got at Joann's, plus a bunch more pinecones and some firewood.

All of the furniture pieces out on the porch are trash to treasure things that I've collected or gotten from friends or neighbors. I like this little dresser a lot, I think it's fun to treat the porch kind of like another room.

Since my house is pretty small, it was fun to have another whole space to decorate. Since everything I bought at Joann's was either really cheap, or on sale, this project didn't cost very much. I love that Joann's has had all of their Holiday Inspirations brand decor for 70% off this past week. That is where I bought all of the berry stems and greenery besides the fresh stuff. Some of the other decorations, like the little white church, I already had. So, here is the breakdown of the cost of my project in case you're curious:
tree- $14
burlap- 2 yds for $6
red berries and stems- $9
little tree in silver bucket- $3
red berry garlands on railings- $12 for all three! (they were usually $15 each)
So, just over $40 or so, and of course everything will be used in future years, whether it's on the porch or inside the house. I don't know why, but for some reason, this project has really gotten me in the Christmas mood! It was a lot of fun to do something new, and even if hardly anyone besides us ever goes back there, it was still worth it. I hope you're having fun decorating your home and getting in the Holiday Spirit. I'll let you know if we get any bird or other critter customers. It would be really fun to capture that on film!

More Nativity Art

-Philippa King
-Steve Marshall

-Gisella Loeffler

-Vladmir Borovilovsky

-New England Nativity Maxwell Mays

-Evelyn O. Simon