Showing posts from December, 2018

Let's pretend It's still Friday

This week of vacation has gone by much too fast, and I would like it to slow down. I'm not quite ready to go back to our usual schedule. So, since we're pretending it's Friday...

P.'s passport arrived this week complete with Russian visa inside. This is very good news as other US students had some significant difficulties getting one. I will add that P. did this completely on her own, which is no mean feat, as this is a particularly tricky visa to apply for.We are now starting the countdown until P. leaves. It will be 19 days tomorrow. It feels much, much too soon, and I'm trying not to think about it. The first coat of blue is done in the kitchen. It looks so much better already. It still needs the white paint and a second coat of blue. J. even pulled out the refrigerator and painted behind it. I signed up for a quilting class today. I've done a little bit, but it's all pretty much self-taught. I'm quite sure there are easier and better ways to do thing…

What I was making

I can finally share the things I made which were keeping me so busy during the past month. It sure is nice to work in my studio with the door open again!

First, there were the twelve pairs of Christmas pajamas that I made. It was crazy. Twelve is a lot. Most people got drawstring pants and a t-shirt, though TM got shorts and G. got a nightgown. The nightgown was more about how much fabric I had than a stylistic choice, though G. loves nightgowns, too. I had about 10 yards of fabric on hand, but came across about ten more yards of Christmas flannel at the thrift store. It was a shopping coup. I purchased the t-shirts on sale for $3 each. They were each embroidered with which North Pole job each person was. The other piece of the puzzle was finding embroideries with twelve different jobs. Here is Y.'s as an example. She is the Chief of Christmas Cheer.

Other jobs included Head Elf, Elf in Training, Sleigh Mechanic, Gift Wrapper, Cookie Taster, Tinsel Stylist, etc. They were pretty c…

A very merry Christmas

I've been AWOL, having decided to just enjoy Christmas with everyone home. We had a wonderful time.

Christmas Eve, we spent the morning baking and getting things ready.

Cinnamon rolls
Table for 14. We always break out the good china, silver, and crystal for Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas Eve dessert is always a birthday cake for Jesus (yes, we sing). Everyone loved this year's version.
In the afternoon, we go to the Christmas Eve service at church. At our new church, they always have a time for the children to come up and ring bells during a song. G. and L. cannot be pried out of their chairs, but R. is always game. M. stepped in and helped R. figure out what was going on. 

After church, we come home and fix dinner. This year's dinner was great fun, with multiple people needing to resort to wiping tears off their face from laughing so hard.

We sing carols around the piano, and then it's bed time for younger people. Older ones clean up, reset the table for the morning,…

Friday bullets, Dec. 21, 18

Happy shortest day of the year! I love knowing that from now on, the days will gradually start to get longer. I like daylight. This is good.

My family is relived to know that Christmas will actually be happening. After 20+ hours in my studio, 4+ hours shopping, and another three spent in my kitchen this morning, nearly everything is done. I still have one more thing left to finish making, and the gifts are taken care of. Of course there is still the wrapping and the baking for the holiday, but that all seems rather manageable at this point.R., even though this is her third Christmas with us, is still confused. She is very, very excited about Christmas coming. We hear this frequently through the day. She knows she likes Christmas, and every time she tells us how excited she is, she hopefully asks if Christmas is tomorrow. Recently she has also added the comment that she wants to be a princess for Christmas. No amount of explaining has managed to convince her that Halloween and Christmas…

Meet Hemingway

It's official. J. and I have completely lost control of the animal situation here. Meet our newest cat, Hemingway.

He has discovered the gerbils, and has been enjoying the cat tv.

Hemingway was living with a friend of M. and B.'s. She had to move, and ended up in and apartment that did not allow cats. Hemingway needed a new home, and it seems we were that home.

He seems like a sweet cat, though he is still spending much of his time under D.'s bed. There are a lot of new animals and people to get used to, you know. It seems that he and M.'s cat, Amun, have hit it off though. Midnight pretty much has ignored him. But that is what Midnight does. I don't think poor Hemingway has met Nefertiti yet. He seems a cat who is quiet and not too sure of himself. I'm afraid Nefertiti might bully him, as she does all dogs and other cats.

Actually I take that back. Nefertiti doesn't bully Amun. They just really don't like each other. Much yowling ensues if they happen …

Wordless Wednesday


What's important

After a quick and unexpected trip into Evanston yesterday to attend the memorial service for a friend's husband, it's time to be very careful with my time. We are at just a week before Christmas now, but the memorial service was a sobering reminder of what is important.

We can't predict the future. The people in our lives are always most important. More important than what we want to do for them, though that is good, too. Hug all your people. Remember to smile at each of them and express your love for them. Be thankful you have today with them. Always place those items at the top of your to do list... and don't cross them out.
Liturgy post... Knowledge and understanding


I'm at that point in the Christmas preparations where I start to wonder if it will all get done. After a major 8 hour sewing session yesterday, I'm a little bit closer to being done, but the jury is still out as to if I can actually do it. The children have seen a lot of a closed studio door recently.

I'm not sure if L. has noticed, though. She has become a true reader, and that is what she has been doing. Every time I look at her, she is curled up in a chair with her nose in a book. This child has inherited more than a few of my personality quirks... single-mindedness when she has a project in mind is one that comes to mind. I'm also realizing that she has also inherited my ability to hyper-focus on what she is doing.

This is kind of my super power. If I am engaged in something, I can totally tune out what is going on around me. This is a very helpful skill when living in a house with many people. My children have all learned that unless I have actually looked at them…

Gingerbread Houses

Today we decorated gingerbread houses. There was an abundance of candy and icing and decorations to choose from.

Yes, that is hot glue D. is using. It is the key to gingerbread happiness. We use hot glue to assemble the houses, and here D. was trying to create something with pretzels, and the icing just wasn't working.

And the completed houses:


B. (You can't see it, but he has a little bit of a Walking Dead-thing going on here.)
TT - J. helped her quite a bit. You need to know that J. isn't not overly fond of sticky thing or glitter, so this is what a good dad looks like... covering your daughter's house with sticky sprinkles because that is what she like.