Thursday, December 31, 2009

How to spend a rainy day

Yesterday was a rainy day here - so I decided to make a big mess. I took all the decorations off the Christmas tree - including the lights so I will have no choice but to re-light it next year. (or buy a new tree but since I already have the lights. . .we will see!) There was one whole string that was out and all the bulbs looked burned out on that string. I tried replacing a couple of bulbs but they wouldn't work either so I just threw the whole strand away. The other strands only had 11 bulbs out between them, but if I'm going to re-light the thing, I'm going to do it all.

I have bought my kiddos a new Hallmark ornament every year since they were born. Sometimes they might get other ornaments, some from other people, some they got from school or church but they each get one Hallmark every year and they all go into their own box. When they were old enough I started letting them pick their own. When they are ready to have their own tree, they can take their box of ornaments (if they want them) Until a few years ago, they each put their own ornaments on the tree. So far they haven't taken them so they still go on my tree every year - I miss them being here to hang their own ornaments. (my tree will someday be so bare!)

For the 'snow people' aka baby boy and his bride, I picked the ornament for them this year - impulse shopping - I hope if they ever decide they don't like flamingos anymore they tell me! I have more than a few flamingo ornaments on my tree that I have picked up for them!

Brian's pick for this year

And Timothy's. He usually picks Taz, but there wasn't one this year.

This is the one I got for us.
The tree is still standing but I'll work on that and the rest of the indoor decorations over the next few days. Hubby will get the outside over the weekend.

Annemarie - I picked up the plant stand at a craft show several months ago. It has been sitting in that same spot - waiting for spring and flowers - when I was decorating for Christmas I just stuck some garland and lights in it so it didn't look bare! You can find them here. The website says they have a permanent booth at Canton. I've seen them there and was planning to buy one next time I went, but who knows how long that will be!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Christmas goodies

The weekend before Christmas, I got together with Sandra and Sarah for dinner and gifts. The hubby and I were in town for the weekend but we had to pick up a car load of stuff from the main office to bring back so space was limited. I managed to get all my stuff from the girlfriends in one tote bag.

The tote bag was part of the gift too - I got those two pictures in backwards!

These ornaments were part of my goodie bags as well

Thought I would show them to you before I start putting the holiday decor away. I think I'm going to start on that tomorrow.
Hope you are having a nice week. It is cold here and I'm staying inside - that's why I thought tomorrow would be a good day to start on de-decorating. Undecorating? Putting holiday stuff away!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I missed it

I missed telling you Merry Christmas!

I had planned on posting before we left for the day but somehow I didn't have time. We left at 8:00 am and got back home at 10:00pm! We had a nice day at my sister's. The two boys who are within driving distance came - meaning the middle one missed his chance at a white Christmas since the Dallas area had snow! (baby boy had plenty of snow for Christmas!)

Before we left I had a little pink Christmas!

Lola got a friend. (that touch pad is so 'touchy'!)

I have a new pink step-stool. I was told it means I'm not supposed to stand on chairs anymore but hey, who are we kidding? First, a chair gives twice as much height as the step-stool and second, whichever is closer is most likely what gets used!

Anyway - inside the pink step-stool

there are pink tools! The first one to get used - screwdriver, and not by me! Apparently hubby is 'man enough' to use pink tools!
There is also a picture hanging kit thingie but it doesn't fit inside the box and I haven't opened it or tried it yet but I will let you know if it works better than the level and a yard stick method.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a great week!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Night lights

Our subdivision had a lighting contest and our street won best lighted street. The hubby, the dog and I took a walk around the block and took a few pics.

Standing in our driveway the snowman is right next door.

A couple of houses down - this is the house you see out the r/w/b bedroom I showed the other day.

At the curve in the road, looking back towards our house.

From the other end of the block, looking back towards the curve.

And our house.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A couple of gifts

have been delivered, so now I can show you the pictures.
I met up with Sandra and Sarah over the weekend - they were supposed to come for a visit last week but things came up - anyway, we got together for dinner and gifties.
I made each of them a pillow this year to put in their bags along with a few purchased things. (which I didn't photograph)

We usually start early and collect things all year but with all that was going on this year, my bags were kind of slim. They, on the other hand, filled my bags to the rim! I'll try to get pictures before it all gets split up and put away.
We had a great dinner and visit. I really miss our weekly stitch nights.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A few stockings

I made a little stocking to hang in 'my' room

then I made two to send to baby boy and his bride (they are hanging over the stockings we have used for the last 25 years - I stitched the names and my grandmother made the stockings) I 'stuffed' them and mailed them off to Minnesota.

hung a little r/w/b stocking in one of the guest rooms. I didn't make that one - found it half price one year and it matches the room. Can't beat that!

and if you look out the window in the r/w/b room you can see this! I think they ran out of yard space!
I'm going to get out one evening after dark and get pictures of the houses on the street. Maybe tonight? I'm sure it will be cold once the sun goes down, but at least we had SUN today!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On occasion

I actually do stitch!
Tuesday night I carried this basket downstairs with me

and yesterday I finally finished off three ornaments that I had stitched earlier in the year.

I very much dislike sewing on cording. More than that, I dislike sewing anything with invisible thread. I'm not exactly happy with the results and if I had been giving them to anyone else I would have taken them apart and started over.

But, they are just for me and I just know not to look to closely!

Well, actually I can look as closely as I want as long as I don't have my glasses on!
Thought I would show you a pic or two of my 'large wood and glass structure' that is now in the master bedroom.

The other day I found some lights with a white cord and since they were on sale, I figured why not - so I lit up my little 'structure'.

I kinda like it all lit up so I may even leave them up after Christmas. Makes a great night-light in the evenings before bed. Would have been really cute on the porch all lit up, but I'm enjoying it inside!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Would you like a cup?

Would you like a cup of hot chocolate?

I made hot chocolate mix the other day. (I didn't have any marshmallows that day, but I have some now if you would like those in yours)

I've had this recipe for years and usually make several batches before winter is over, although without the boys living with us I may not have to make as much this year.

First you need a really big bowl. If you have a pretty big bowl that you think will do, get a bigger one! This one is a 13qt bowl I found at Sam's. Big enough to mix it in without making a mess - if I am careful!

This is really easy. Nestle's Chocolate Mix, powdered sugar, instant milk and coffee mate. I use a whisk to break up any lumps in the powdered sugar and coffee mate before I mix it all together with a big spoon.

Mix it all together

and keep it handy! I keep mine in a glass jar on the counter next to the flour and sugar.

This is the original recipe - remember I said it was really old and at one time everything listed came in the size container listed - the chocolate mix and instant milk boxes have changed sizes. I'll list 'my' recipe following the original.

Hot Chocolate Mix

2 lbs Nestle's Chocolate mix
1 lb. box powdered sugar
14 qt box instant milk
6 oz coffee mate

Mix together well. Store in tightly covered container. Use 1/3 cup mix with 2/3 cup boiling water for 1 cup hot chocolate.
Makes 65 cups.

my conversion - 5 cups Nestle's chocolate mix (you could probably get away with a little less but I like a lot of chocolate!)
1 box powdered sugar - I think this is still a 1 lb box.
19 cups instant milk - I use the store brand, actually I use the Sam's brand - much cheaper than buying at the grocery store
6 oz coffee mate - have used the store brand for this also. I've never made it with anything other than the 'regular' flavor but you might try something different.

we use the 1 part to 2 part ratio - we always make ours in a large mug.

I'm really missing my instant hot water tap about now!

Makes a nice gift in a pretty jar if you need just a little something for someone. Add a pretty mug and some marshmallows and they are ready to go!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last one

Karen got a little ahead of herself yesterday - she was wrong, but still right.

She guessed 5 but 'thought there might be more'. This is the big tree in the living room which brings the count to 6. Not the best picture but sun, we ain't got. Once we got the tree put together and straight and started plugging in the lights I remembered that there was a section that had gone out and we just kind of stuffed some in to make it do - I totally forgot that I had bought six boxes of lights to re-light the tree with. (I found them after about half the decorations were already on - wasn't about to start over!) so I'm marking in my 2010 calendar that sometime in November I need to set aside a couple of days to light the tree before we start decorating again. So if you think you see a few dark spots, just pretend they are twinkle lights and those are the sections that aren't twinkling at the moment - that is what I've been doing!
My tree topper showed up much better when it had a green wall as a backdrop. Hopefully by the time it goes up again next year there will be some color to show off the topper better.
I'm not going to even try to shove those big boxes under the tree - they will be delivered in the next few days so . . .
While this is the last of the trees, I do still have some decor shots I can show later in the week.
Now if we could only have some sunshine around here!

Monday, December 14, 2009

5 was the best I could do

As far as making a post a day went, but I do still have another tree or two to show. :)

At the top of the stairs, going into the game room - or hubby's room - is a little table where I put his 'fire station' this year. It has a little night-light in it. Not sure you can see it in this picture. In fact all these pictures are barely passable but that is what happens when you have no sunlight! It has been awhile since we have had any sun.

I used to put all the fireman decorations in the guest room and the ornaments on the big tree in the living room but this year I decided to put them in the game room.

The newest fireman ornament

on the tree with all the other fireman ornaments we have collected over the years. So hubby's little fireman tree brings the tree count to 5.
I'm almost finished with my shopping (thanks to hubby providing driver service on weekends - I do not do Houston traffic and you just can't get everything at wally world) Still have wrapping to do but I do have Jason and Ashley's package ready to send out today. I so wish they could come home for Christmas.
I will eventually have some stitching to show, but it seems the little bit I did this year was all gifts and I can't show those until they have been delivered. I do have a couple of ornaments I did earlier in the year waiting to be 'ornamented' so maybe I can get those done this week so I will have something to show.
I'm way behind on blog reading and still have some emails to answer but I'll get there.
Have a great week!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Are you keeping count?

Days in a row to post - 5

trees - 4
This little tree is in my office/sewing room. I've had it several years and have used the same decorations on it every year. I still like them, so I'm using them again this year.
The snowman is hanging on the door to 'my room'. I picked him up a few years ago at an antique store. The only other holiday decor in this room is a little stocking I sewed up a few days ago that I haven't had a chance to snap a pic of yet. (yes, Bertha has actually seen a little action the past week or so!)
I'm not showing the rest of my room - I know I showed the 'real' dining room but this room is a little too 'real' at the moment. LOL.
For those of you who asked - no, Jason and Ashley won't be able to come home to Texas for Christmas. I'm having a bit of a hard time with it, but I know it is just the way things go. This will be only the second time I've not had all three of my boys together for Christmas. Brian missed one Christmas when he was living in Illinois - that one was hard too. Even the year Brian missed, the other two were home Christmas Eve and woke up at home on Christmas morning so we had our traditional Christmas morning. I won't have any of my kids here to wake up on Christmas morning this year. I will see the oldest two on Christmas day which I am extremely grateful for, but it will be different.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Made my day!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - in Minnesota!

We interrupt the Christmas decor for something way better! (to me anyway)

Baby boy's bride sent me these pictures. What a great way to start the day!

Yes, he has seen snow before - but this is probably more than he has seen (total) in 23 years!

Aren't they cute?

We miss both of you !!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Three in a row!

Hey - I'm on a roll!

add two to the tree count. I've always had a living room/family room on the front of the house but in this house it is on the back and the dining room is on the front. These are the only two (downstairs) windows on the front so I put these two trees in the dining room.

on the opposite side of the room is the buffet (I'm seriously thinking about painting this white)
And just to keep it real

Autumn also hangs out in here most of the time. I was really hoping to not have a dog in the dining room in this house, but she likes it here so for now. . .