Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Whole Lotta White Stuff

Granted- it snowed back on Sunday- it's been 4 days since the storm- and there is STILL a whole lotta snow!

I would have posted sooner- but I've been workin' the day shift all week as Daddy stays home with the kiddos on "vacation"- he got to do things like grocery shopping, house cleaning, and carousel field trips this week- while I was at the hospital doing groups.  The other day as we were doing bedtime I said "so- would you say you are more tired after a day at the office, or after a day home with these 2?"- we both agreed- hands down- being home is WAY more tiring!

The day after we (and the entire east coast) got hit with the storm- we decided to venture out into the wintry white backyard- hoping the kids would play as we shoveled out the 2 houses. 

 Little did I know I would have to resort to this....

yes- that's right- leftover Halloween candy- to even get out of the house.

Oh- and the rubber band you see in the first shot- that's all part of the outfit- it goes around the cuffs of his mittens so he can't pull them off- and it really works!

After much bribery- I got him outside.

Where he would only walk in the shoveled paths:(, while fussing and carrying on.  Needless to say- not a whole lot was accomplished while Mr.Moses was outside...maybe next year it'll be a little easier?

Zella on the other hand was all-about the snow!

I am REALLY looking forward to 3 days in a row of family time- with no plans in sight!

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Recap

Ohhhh it was a good Christmas this year!
It was relaxing, fun, tasty, not-too-fast, not-too-slow, magical, wintry- and.... just nice.
Here is my photo recap- I will be back later in the week with some AMAZING recipes for y'all!  The food this year was some of the best!!!

We started celebrating last weekend with D's family.  We decided a few years back to simplify things and we go to his family on Thanksgiving- and mine on Christmas (and we do Christmas with his family the week before).

At Grammy's we visited with family and friends, and attended the children's Christmas service at her church after feasting on some delicious food!  We i.e- Moses almost lasted the whole service;)

For this week's Christmas celebration- we started the weekend off having a leisurely Christmas Eve day at my parents house out in the country.  It was the most relaxed Christmas we've had since becoming parents...hands down.
I know I've talked about my mothers decorating in previous posts- but I thought I'd share a few of my childhood favs-  country Christmas decorations...perfect for their old farm house.

While we cooked and baked and nibbled on sweet goodies- Z chilled in front of Rudolf with Daddy (first time watching it- she was scared of the snow monster:(

and the little man wandered the house- getting into just about everything he possibly could.  Here he is looking at the birds out in the back yard (while smashing his half eaten apple into the window....sorry Mom)

After Mosie's nap and opening some gifts we headed over to my Aunt and Uncles for our anual Christmas Eve celebration (with Mom's side of the family).

Here's my Grandma Phyllis, holding cousin Melinda's sweet, sweet angelbaby Benjamin (only 5 days old!)

Here, there was more delicious food- lots of silly business...


and, of course- SANTA!!! 
Now- if you know me- you know that I have been battling with the whole Santa-thing as my children get older and aware- but the look in little Z's eyes in the picture says it all- pure magic:)

Then- we went home and put the babes to bed- and prepared for Christmas morning....

My little gadget guy had a hay day with the kids digital camera
(I will post some of his pictures another day...I promise:)

Zella made us this lovely ornament at sweet!

She also made these amazing snowmen for various family members-

I have a thing for children's art- being a former art teacher- but these are just too cute right?!  Here's my favorite, check out the ridiculous little nose...

Sorry for the tangent- back to Christmas...
and if you are still reading- BLESS YOUR HEART
This is why I was so frazzled the other day- Christmas around here is a 2 week marathon ...

After Christmas morning at our house we went back to Mom and Dad's neck of the woods to spend Christmas day with Dad's side of the family- where we had- hands down- the best meal of the YEAR- that's right- all of 2010.

Oh- was it good!!!! (like I said- I will do a followup post with recipes- but I must say- the yellowish portion at the top right of my plate was this INSANE corn casserole that Mom tried this year for the first time and it was unreal- like, I've been dreaming about it;)

Here's my other Grandma- Grandma Jennie. 

I feel so grateful and blessed to have been able to celebrate Christmas this year with both of my grandmothers. They are such strong, special woman- and they have both had some health issues this year- so it made it an extra sweet Christmas all around!

Here's the hostess with the mostess:)  Mom- YOU ROCK!

Zella was in RARE-FORM.  Here she is about halfway through her 35 min. set- performing her rendition of The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

After much merriment (and entertainment) along with a fabulous dinner- we moved onto dessert.  And in my family- when it comes to dessert- we DO NOT PLAY!

Celebration of  family, new life, health, togetherness, magic, spirituality, giving and living.
It was indeed a very merry Christmas this year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm feeling frazzled

Yes- the holidays are getting to me- and I'm feeling a little bit taken over by the holiday frenzy folks.  So- what do I do to combat that stress?  I sit on the couch and write a blog entry of course:)

In all seriousness- I thought I could help lower my stress level by coming up with a to-do list- to help organize my racing mind.

here it goes......

  1. eat something
  2. make to-do list
  3. make presents for Dad's family- cinnamon honey butter (TODAY)
  4. and peanut brittle (THURSDAY)
  5. make tags for Dad's family's gifts
  6. package goodies
  7. and attached tags
  8. finish shopping! uggghhh- (I know- this is sad, and ridiculous, and embarrassing)- get final 3 gifts
  9. make Dad's "gift card" from me and the sisters (THURSDAY)
  10. wrap ALL presents (totally overwhelmed by this one too!) (TONIGHT???)
  11. make and rise dinner roll dough- and freeze it (for Christmas day) (TODAY)
  12. play hop-scotch outside with Z
  13. make eggplant parm (for Christmas Eve) (FRIDAY @ Mom and Dad's)
  14. help Z wrap her snowmen
  15. make Santa's cookies with the angelbabies (THURSDAY)
  16. find some black, long-enough, trousers for myself for Christmas Eve...and beyond
  17. figure out my work schedule for the next 2 weeks
  18. breath

So- I think that about covers it- although I do feel like I'm forgetting something....

I will leave you all with these pictures of my loves doing what I wish I was doing for the next week or so straight- painting away.....

Thankfully- I have my helper-boy

and my little daydreamer to keep me grounded;)

Merry! Merry! Merry!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How To Make: a quick personalized photo album cover

I am in full Christmas crafting, wrapping, painting, cooking madness over here!

I had this last minute gift idea for the angelbabies.  We have a little photo album that was Zella's as a baby that has a bunch of pics of her, and pics of family members in it.  She loved it when she was younger- and still enjoys looking through it- but most of all Moses loves it!  It's sad to say- but it holds true-that the 2nd does get slighted a little bit- so Moses has not had his own photo album to look at- and Zella's is getting a little ratty.

I decided to buy 2 inexpensive photo albums- (that seemed pretty sturdy) from our local drug store. They were 6$ a piece.  I bought them- despite the cheesy (in my humble, picky opinion) writing on the front,  and decided to whip up a quick, personalized collage on the front of each of them to cover up the less-than-favorable writing.

Here it is as it was when I bought it:

Here are the materials I used- various pens, scissors, craft glue, and Mod-Podge (gloss luster finish- shiny is always better;) If you haven't used it- it's a fabulous multi-purpose glue/glaze/sealer for decoupage (technically)- and it's fabulous!  It's what I used as a top coat on my custom drawer pulls on the kids dressers.  All this stuff is available at your local Walmart or arts and craft supply store.

Then I rummaged through my jam-packed scrap paper box in my studio.  In it- there are years worth of scraps- all sorts of papers.  The most exciting thing I save and use frequently for quick homemade cards (I rarely buy a card), gift tags, invitations, etc. is old calenders and book covers.
You see- one day, as Moses was ripping another book cover off of our extensive collection of hardcover children's books- I realized- "hey- I should be saving these and using them for collages"- so, ever since then I have been.  They give a great splash of color in a collaged card!

Below is the calendar page I used for Zella's album cover- it's from our 2009 calendar- which I've used  for at least 10 projects!
It was a Wolf Kaan calendar- love the vibrant colors in his paintings- so beautiful!

Here are the finished products! (they were still a little wet when I shot the photos- but the Mod-Podge dries to a clear finish)

I stuck a collection of their favorite photos in the the first 10 pages or so- and there's room for me to add more photos over time.  I still need to add a little picture of each of them in the front window...
Cute right?