Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas lights

I love so much about Christmas...the foods, the smells and the sights. There are so many emotions and memories tied up in Christmas. One of my favorite things is all of the lights... twinkling Christmas lights, candles in the windows, and fires burning bright. I am so utterly grateful for the star that shone many years ago and heralded the birth of the baby Jesus. He came so that we might walk in light. He is the light. May your Christmas be one filled with walking in the Light. Merry Christmas my friends!

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a Light has shined." Isaiah 9:2

Sunday, December 20, 2009

of snowflakes and snow

When we bought a new Christmas tree this year, I thought it would be fun to decorate it with all our Wendell August Forge pewter ornaments that we've collected over the years. Every year my mother in law gives me the ornament for the year from WAF...I have over 25 of them. My husband has always wanted an 'all pewter' tree, so with the fresh start of a new tree, I thought it would be the perfect time to try it. So, after the lights were on, I strung on the cranberry garland and put on the muslin bows. I then added all the pewter ornaments...but it lacked any was kind of dull, so I put on some red balls for color and then added some icicles. That was better, but something was still missing. Then I saw this snowflake pattern and this one and the rest is history. I cut snowflake after snowflake and as I put them on the tree, they just transformed the entire tree. I loved that they were free and they added the perfect something to an ordinary looking Christmas tree. Not only do we have snowflakes on our tree, we've got piles of them outside. We're going to have a white Christmas this year, thanks to the amazing 22 inches of snow that piled up here on Saturday. It was a gorgeous snow, albeit the blizzard conditions that abounded. We stayed home and with the wood stove cranking, the kids went sledding, I baked some cookies, we watched basketball on TV, (whew, the Mountaineers pulled off a win....barely!) and John plowed and blessed our neighbors. Then our adventurous friends piled in their four wheel drive truck and headed down for dinner. We had a blast visiting with them and their 3 beautiful nieces. (and yes, they got home safely and all was well) So, today, we'll finish digging out and enjoy the transformation that snow brings...both inside and out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

holly days!

These are such holly days. In the midst of all the basketball games and schoolwork and checking our lists, we've been enjoying:

::{munching candy canes...the kid's favorite Christmas treat!}::{creating secret gifts}::{enjoying the snow....while it lasted}::{incorporating some holiday reading into our school days}::{decking the halls, and windows and walls!} ::{doing our best work, even when it's hard because of all the excitement in the air}::{watching surprise science experiments} ::{enjoying some kid directed baking} ::{savoring our family advent time}
Hope your holly days are filled to the brim with all things wonderful!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

quilted gifts

I had some leftover blocks from my scrappy log cabin quilt. I was planning on making them into pillows but I've seen some cute pot holders around the blogosphere and thought I'd try my hand at making some for Christmas gifts. I sandwiched a layer of batting and insul-brite between my front and back fabrics. Then I quilted the top with a traveling line that makes a square into the center of each potholder. (A more experience quilter could probably tell you a name for what that's called...not me) Finally, I top stitched the edges. I like how they turned out...I kept the one I made first for's rather wonky. But, I really got some practice using my walking foot! These will be fun to give with my favorite cinnamon rolls for Christmas. ( I made them last year and they were so delicious...the recipe makes about 7 pans of rolls...enough to enjoy and give away!)
Enjoy your holly days...may they find you full of joy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

it's that time of year!

It's that time of the year when everyone's hurrying and scurrying about...trying to finish up this or get started on that. The lists seem to grow and the project piles mount with each day. We're especially busy with basketball right now, so as I find myself sitting on bleachers and traveling to games I am continually jotting down things that need to get done. Last night, I read on Beth's blog that she's purposing to "doing something Christmas every day!" I really liked that. In additon to that, my girlfriend Kristyn, who knew I had an extremely busy week, sent me a note to " do something special for myself this week" . (I asked her if going to the bathroom with the door shut and no one coming in and interrupting counted! ) But in all sincerity, I think Beth and Kristyn are right! I need to be purposeful during this season to take care of myself and my family and choose wisely those things that will enhance our celebration. It doesn't have to be big stuff. Years from now, they won't remember if I baked 6 dozen cookies or 10 dozen, but they will remember sitting in the living room and reading together by the light of the Christmas lights. They'll remember that we took time as a family to share our Advent readings each night. The phone calls and emails will be forgotten next month, but the time spent wrapping and talking while listening to the holiday music will stay with all of us. My to do lists are important but they're not more important than creating special times to truly celebrate this season. So...what are you doing to keep the season special at your house? Have a wonderful weekend...the girls are performing in a play today and we've got a holiday basketball tournament this weekend so I'll be back sometime next week! enjoy.... stay jolly!