Sunday, December 21, 2008

Checking it twice....

Update on the Christmas list....

1. Bake cookies aexcept for that new recipe for Macadamia Nut Creams that I want to try if I have time ~ haha!

2. Make cute gift tags a

3. Address & mail Christmas cards a

4. Finish decorating the dining room & stair rail a

5. Wrap gifts aexcept for Mark's :)

6. Finish making gifts

7. Make these really cool stars abut they're sitting on my dining room table instead of hanging outside......

8. Buy an evergreen wreath for the front door ~ "What??" you may be thinking, "I just saw the most beautiful wreath on your front door in your last post..." Yeah, well, um, that was a picture of my front door last year. Which is a funny story in itself. But currently, there is still a fall decoration hanging on my door amongst the Christmas lights....ah, well, better late than never, right?? :) hee-hee.

Wow, 3 days to go and typing this I actually feel o.k. about things. Still have to clean the house and make food for Christmas Eve dinner, but feeling like it may just all come together in time.

Hope your preparations are coming together, too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour 2008

I've never participated in the Christmas Home Tour before, so this is all new for me. This is so exciting to share my home during my most FAVORITE time of the year.....
WELCOME and Merry Christmas!!
As you stroll through my home, you'll see that I have a little bit of an addiction to greenery & white lights. If there's a flat surface, I like to brighten it up with some needles & lights.

I also have a an addiction to snowmen. My brother-in-law comes into our house every year and counts my snowmen because he can't stand them. I think they're cute AND they can be left up through February without feeling like a lazy lump who didn't take their Christmas decorations down in a timely manner ~ he-he :)

{Please don't mind the toy mess on the hearth...can't seem to escape that around here}

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care.....and yes, they are handmade by me. I made my hubby's and mine as a Christmas present before we were ever married. Followed a pattern and my mom helped me. The kids' stockings are my own design and I'm quite proud of them. I've helped my friends make stockings for their families, too. It's getting to be quite the tradition to have to get together and make another stocking every time one of us has another baby.

You'll notice that we don't have many Santa decorations. You'll find 3 nesting Santas in this arrangement, but they were a gift and I think they're adorable. I don't buy Santa decorations.

We want to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas around here.

Which you may be thinking is a celebration of snowmen.....however, I think it might be a little over the top if I decorated my entire mantle with Jesus figurines.

Instead, I prefer my simple nativity scene that stands in our kitchen (where we spend a majority of our lives). I bought it at a craft show a while back. Mary with Baby Jesus and the wise man had to be replaced about 3 years ago. Found them chewed up under the dishwasher....LONG story. I'm just glad I was able to replace them!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my dining room fireplace mantle.

No, we don't live in an old house (8 1/2 years old) and no, the fireplace isn't real.

I bought the mantle at a yard sale pretty soon after we moved in here and it seems like the dining room has been a work in progress ever since. Mark mounted it to the wall and cut out the wall behind it. Eventually, the "inside" will be painted black and we'll get a slate hearth put in, but for now, it's fine.

This is our FAKE tree. Got it about 2 years ago. Used to go out and chop down a tree every year, but the last time we did that, I ended up sitting in the car with 2 sleeping children while Mark went out on the hunt for the perfect [$80!!!!] tree in the freezing cold and snow. Figured maybe we'll do it again when the kids can actually enjoy it. :)

Notice the bottom 2 feet of the tree is NOT decorated. House full of boys under 5....

I hope you enjoyed the tour. If you'd like to see more homes, you can click here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Ready....

Enjoy the new Christmas playlist I put together. It pretty much mimics the Christmas CDs I've got playing non-stop throughout our house right now, so hopefully you'll feel at home....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Checklist

I've started making my lists (and checking them twice - hee-hee!)

I've got my list of gifts I still need to pick up.

I've got my list of crafts that I'm going to do with Ryan and K when we do "cool tuff" ~ see here.

And I've got a long list of things that I still need to do:

1. Bake cookies

2. Make cute gift tags

3. Address & mail Christmas cards ~ have to buy stamps, too....

4. Finish decorating the dining room and stair railing

5. Wrap gifts ~ after I finish getting them

6. Finish making gifts

7. Make these really cool stars ~ all the "ingredients" have been purchased and are sitting at the ready ~ just have to find the time to put them together.

8. Buy an evergreen wreath for my front door.

I'm sure there's something I'm missing.....I'll have to post some pics as I start checking things off my list.

2 weeks and counting.......What's on your to-do list?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Neighbors (sort of)

So my little brother [my ONLY brother] got married about 6 weeks ago.

This is the little brother who I crawled under the kitchen table and cried in horror about when my parents told us they were having another baby.
Not because I didn't want another sibling [I've got 2 sisters, too], but because at this point I had an idea of how that baby got into my mom's belly and the thought that my parents did THAT was horrifying [I was 8].
This is the little brother whose diapers I helped change and who endured rides up and down the street on top of a pillow in a wagon as an infant [what were you thinking, mom??]

This is the little brother whom I nicknamed "peach fuzz" due to his soft little bald head.

This is the little brother who was only 5 years old when Mark and I started dating. He told Mark once that he wanted to marry him. I believe this was after he told my parents he wanted to be a fire truck. :)

This is the little brother who was a shrimp growing up but now towers over all of us, even my dad. Not a huge feat, since I'm the tallest sister at 5'4", but I'm glad he got the tall genes.

This is the little brother who was only 8 years old when I went to college and only 13 when I got married.

This is the little brother whom I've gotten to know better know that we're older and our almost 9 year age difference doesn't matter so much.

This is the little brother whom I love and am so happy for...

His wife, Kim, is a sweetheart [and I'm not just saying that because she reads my blog :)] She fits right in with our crazy family and we love her dearly. Congratulations, Michael and Kim!!

They just moved to Pennsylvania this weekend and I'm so excited that they're neighbors (sort of).

Thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from their beautiful wedding weekend in Kingston, Tennessee:

If you haven't seen enough here OR if you enjoy artsy wedding photographs, you should check out their professional proofs. Just type in the password 102508. I love how the photographer tells a story with her photos....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Note to Husband

PLEASE remember to turn off your Blackberry alarm.
That has diligently been going off every morning.
At 4 a.m. came home from hunting a week ago.
Time to turn off the alarm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Girls Vs. Boys

Since I don't have any girls in my house, it has been interesting to watch my neighbor's daughter, K, who is the same age as Ryan. When the little guys go down for nap in the afternoon, I try to do some preschool activities with them before their rest time.

I've always wondered if girls were inherently neater than boys. Here's what I found after finger painting one day:

Here's K's hands and her paint tray AFTER painting. Notice the wet paper towel [hence the clean hands] and how you can identify each color on her tray.....

Here's Ryan's hands and paint tray AFTER painting. Hands are definitely messier and all the colors on his tray have been combined to make one unique color...

Pretty sure this experiment has absolutely NO scientific validity, especially since we're pretty sure that Ryan is one of the messiest kids on the planet....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dancing Machine

The kids were watching Disney Channel over the weekend and the Jonas Brothers Lovebug video came on between shows. I was sitting in the kitchen and happened to look over at Nathan. He was dancing up a storm.

I rewound the t.v.~ LOVE DVR ~ and grabbed my camera to videotape him. Of course, it wasn't as cute as the first time, but I think you'll get the idea.

This kid cracks me up! :)

We're off to our traditional pie-baking extravaganza at my parents' house this afternoon. Hope you are enjoying your family this week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Case in Point...

Apparently, my wireless mouse couldn't handle my blog spurt last week and decided to poop out on me at the end of the week. My wonderful hubby went out and bought a cheapy plug-in keyboard to get me up and running again, because the part we need is currently backordered. Isn't he the bestest?!?

So, not only did I have a blog spurt last week, I also had a scrapbooking spurt. I scrapbooked almost every night and got some pretty nice pages done ~ (if I do say so myself). I finally broked into some of the new product I bought at CKC-Valley Forge back in August!!!!!

Sometimes, I have a tendency to sit on my new stuff instead of using it for fear of not creating the perfect page and thus, wasting all that fun new cute stuff. I'm trying to get over that....

I mean, what use is all that fun scrapbooking stuff if it's just sitting and no one but me gets to look at it, right??

I just LOVE my Bazzill chipboard letters that I got for $1!! A girl can never have enough brown chipboard, in my opinion...

I used my Jenni Bowlin Studio Bingo cards....FINALLY!! Aren't they just the cutest thing ever?? And I love that I'm a packrat. You see the orange zig-zag thing under the title? Saved it from cutting the surfboards out of Scenic Route paper for Ryan's birthday invites.

While looking at this page, you MUST go over to my playlist and play THE song titled here: Hey There, adds to your viewing pleasure-HA! [And you'll know what I'm talking about - he-he!]

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that almost everything on this page was found in the dollar spot at Target! Paper, diecut paper, apple diecut, and ribbon threaders all found there! Just goes to show you that you really don't need to spend a TON of $$ to scrapbook. Of course, the Jenni Bowlin Studio Bingo card and calendar along with the Heidi Swapp chipboard letters help finish it off.

Here's a tip for you...if you want to tie a perfect bow, tie it upside down. It works every time.

And for those of you who were concerned about my grungy bathroom, I cleaned it. To quote one of my family's favorite movies, we're no longer "swimming in our own filth!"
Now, I've got to muster up a pumpkin roll making spurt...