Monday, December 27, 2010

Busy Busy Christmas

Christmas Eve:  We had our Christmas with my sister and her family and my parents.  Emily got a baby doll...which she played with a little, but it wasnt allowed to use the stuff she got for her favorite baby.

 Emily with her new baby
 Emily playing with her cousin Blaine. 
 Emily and Blaine...not sure if it were a tea party or putting the baby that fit in the basket to bed.
 Cameron had to beat Grandma playing baseball on the Wii.  Emily was cute trying to do exactly what Cameron was doing.  Later that night I tried out the Wii fit and I'm pretty sure she was better at most of the stuff than I was.
 Cameron had used playdough and left it out and Emily tried it and discovered she loved playdough.  Good thing there was some in her stocking!

Christmas morning:  A shopping cart, kitchen and tricycle were sitting out waiting for her when she got up.
 Kendall had to check out the shopping cart...she weighed too much and it tipped over.
 Her baby got a carseat so baby has somewhere to sit whenever we go somewhere.s
 There was one present that was stuck back under the tree.  She had to practically crawl under there to get it out.
 Kendall said Christmas was tiring and laying in front of the fire felt good!
 Grandpa had to identify every item Emily pulled out of her box of food and dishes.
 Kendall and Emily had to have a tea party while Emily was wearing her jammies and new pants she got at GGs.  She got the tea set from a distant relative...completely unexpected and she loves it!

 She had to cook for us. 
 But she got a phone call while she was cooking.
 Isnt this precious?
 Grandmother got her a cork pop gun.  Daddy had to show her how to use it.
She was mesmerized by the light whirly thing.

Can you tell that she got everything she could possibly imagine and then some for Christmas?  I got a spot bot....its the coolest thing EVER!  But it only came with small trial size cleaners and I used them all up already.  You just set it on the stain and push a button and watch it go.  It is also easy to clean the stairs with although I only cleaned one step cause I don't have more cleaner yet.  Did I mention this thing is fun?   And amazingly enough my daughter hasnt pee peed on the floor at all since I got it and so i can't yet comment on potty training accidents.

Hope you all had an amazing Christmas.  I know we did.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It Began In A Manger

One of my favorite perspectives written on the Christmas story.  As we put ourselves to bed (the kiddo has been asleep for almost 2 hours) remember that night so long ago, when God, sent down His son to SAVE us.  Not to entertain, amuse or make our earthly lives easy.  God came to a manger, to SAVE us.  Nothing under our tree will ever compare but isn't it great that we can celebrate?

It Began In A Manger by Max Lucado from UpWords Ministries

THE NOISE and the bustle began earlier than usual in the village. As night gave way to

dawn, people were already on the streets. Vendors were positioning themselves on the corners of

the most heavily traveled avenues. Store owners were unlocking the doors to their shops.

Children were awakened by the excited barking of the street dogs and the complaints of donkeys

pulling carts.

The owner of the inn had awakened earlier than most in the town. After all, the inn was

full, all the beds taken. Every available mat or blanket had been put to use. Soon all the

customers would be stirring and there would be a lot of work to do.

One’s imagination is kindled thinking about the conversation of the innkeeper and his

family at the breakfast table. Did anyone mention the arrival of the young couple the night

before? Did anyone comment on the pregnancy of the girl on the donkey? Perhaps. Perhaps

someone raised the subject. But, at best, it was raised, not discussed. There was nothing that

novel about them. They were, possibly, one of several families turned away that night.

Besides, who had time to talk about them when there was so much excitement in the air?

Augustus did the economy of Bethlehem a favor when he decreed that a census should be taken.

Who could remember when such commerce had hit the village?

No, it is doubtful that anyone mentioned the couple’s arrival or wondered about the

condition of the girl. They were too busy. The day was upon them. The day’s bread had to be

made. The morning’s chores had to be done. There was too much to do to imagine that the

impossible had occurred.

God had entered the world as a baby.

Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that

morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold.

The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently

in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse

scurries across the dirt floor.

A more lowly place of birth could not exist.

Off to one side sit a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed,

perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion

of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear

him—so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds. UpWords Ministries 3

Near the young mother sits the weary father. If anyone is dozing, he is. He can’t

remember the last time he sat down. And now that the excitement has subsided a bit, now that

Mary and the baby are comfortable, he leans against the wall of the stable and feels his eyes

grow heavy. He still hasn’t figured it all out. The mystery of the event still puzzles him. But he

hasn’t the energy to wrestle with the questions. What’s important is that the baby is fine and that

Mary is safe. As sleep comes, he remembers the name the angel told him to use . . . Jesus. "We

will call him Jesus."

Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of

Joseph’s saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her

son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who

God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him.

Somehow Mary knows she is holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel,

“His kingdom will never end.”

He looks anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and

healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon

Mary for his well-being.

Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat.

Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the

presence of a carpenter.

She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey!

This baby had overlooked the universe. These rags keeping him warm were the robes of

eternity. His golden throne room had been abandoned in favor of a dirty sheep pen. And

worshiping angels had been replaced with kind but bewildered shepherds.

Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet.

The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would

scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their

village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility.

Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or

malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking.

Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve

They are predicting 1-3 inches of snow for Christmas.  and cold.  Although as long as nothing starts falling too soon, we should be able to get everything to moms without too much worry of drenched presents.  Currently, Emily is asleep (YIPEE!  Maybe she wont be a grouch while we travel) and I'm working on packing/cleaning, so this will be short. 

I dont remember ever wanting too many specific things for Christmas, but one year (1983?) I wanted a cabbage patch, a really cool one that held a crayon (remember the days when you could more easily find a doll that didnt do anything than one that did?)  Of course since it was my present, I didn't go to all the stores, but that was the year that Cabbage Patch dolls were "THE" toy of the year.  And somehow, come Christmas morning, there was a red headed cabbage patch named LouAnn underneath the Christmas and she held a crayon.  And guess what?  Emily still plays with that doll, so nearly 30 years later it is still loved, maybe it was worth the hassle (but mom would have to be the judge on that!)

I'll try to post tomorrow, but instead of remembering I'll be making memories, so if I don't Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Memories don't have to be older than a few hours.  Today we had our daycare Christmas party.  After much debate over what 2 year olds would enjoy, I figured it out (after all I am around them all the time!)
 The day began with a snowman breakfast.  Yummy!  (they also had orange with this)
We made wreaths (not to eat) and trees (those were to eat)

 And we got hot chocolate out of big kid cups!

 mmmm....mmmmm.... a few moments later she poured a bunch down teh front of her shirt, but she liked the hot chocolate.
 And then the fun really began....a shaving cream snow storm!

And after all that sugar, lunch needed to be healthy....crescent rolls with a sour cream/cream cheese topped with broccoli, cauliflower and tomato!

And yes, it was worth every minute.  Emily hasn't hardly stopped playing with her baby doll stuff....she immediately went and got her baby, put it on the changing pad and put a diaper on it. How cute!  WEll, except right now she's not playing with it, she's going through my undies which means I should quit writing and stop her!  (and if anyone wants the full day in photos let me know, I took close to 70!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"That's what Christmas is all about"

Here is the present dance picture from yesterday's story.

 I still havent decided if I'm really going to encourage the whole Santa thing.  But someone likes to talk to "Bo Bo" so we keep sitting on his lap.  She goes in to long drawn out stories that I'm sure Santa has no clue what she's saying.  We havent got the picture they took yet (Walgreens had straws for $.39 so we went there Saturday) because their photo printer was down, but that's ok, they let me use my camera.  When we were there, Emily was the only little kid in the whole store and so everyone thought it was adorable.  Santa let her take the ribbon off a box they were using for decoration.  I think she may have been pointing out the pillow pets to him at one point (she gets so excited about them her daddy asked me the other night if she was getting one....was the last thing I got for her but I did get one, hope she likes the monkey!)

And even though I'm currently at a loss for current memories, we need to remember what all this hoopla is really about.  That first Christmas, that baby lying in the manger, that came to save the world.  And to quote Linus "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown"  So take a minute and enjoy reading a bit of the greatest story ever told.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A suprise visitor

Hmmm....five days to go, five more memories to share.  There was the presents dance presented by Blaine in 2004.  He saw all the presents under the tree and he could no longer contain himself he just started dancing.  I have a picture of that somewhere.  There was the Christmas I remember opening a gift, and saying "Thank you....what is it?"  It was a timer to put in the chicken house so that I didnt have to go up every night just to turn the light on  (for those of you that don't know, a light in the room generally kept the possums out and it upset me to no end to find a possum had eaten one of my chickens).  And as I'm typing I remember a very distinct December 23 night.  I was sound asleep...I dont remember any sugar plums dancing in my head (what exactly is a sugar plum anyway?), but I was asleep.  Daddy was at work.  I really dont remember if Mom and Tara were still up or if they had just gotten up when the incident occurred.  As I said, I was sleeping.  Soundly.  I hear a crash.  I hear Mom and Tara yelling.  Got my attention.  I rolled over (never have been one to arouse quickly) and saw what I believed to be Little Friskies (the fluffy cat my family had at the time) running down the hall.  Looked closer....the cat that had just zoomed past wasnt fluffy (granted this was pre-lasik days adn my eyesight was horrendous and I didnt have glasses on).  Did Little Friskies fall in the pond again?  Its kind a cold out for a swim.  Nope.  As my mind awaked more, the squeals began to make more sense.  There was in fact a gray cat streaking through the house, over the shelf of antiques, around the Christmas tree and down the hall.  It was not however, our cat.  Eventually they (I was tired and finding lots of humor in this so I wasnt much help) got the unknown cat back outside.  I dont believe I ever saw that cat again, but it was definitely a funny Christmas memory (I've had some trouble coming up with 25 stories of Christmas, but if you want 25 strange creature stories of things that have wandered into my parents house, no problem!) 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bootskitty at Christmas

Boots loved Christmas
 Here he is after helping me make hard candy.  He got up on the table and rolled around in the powdered sugar while I was cooking the candy.
 He thought the decorations were for him too.

And nothing felt better than a big warm fire....he was trying to figure out how to turn it on maybe:)

Emily likes looking at the pictures of the "MEOW"  and we are running out of noteworthy memories!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I have occasionally had big ideas that are a little bit of a challenge to get accomplished.  And for some reason the Christmas season brings out the craftiness in me.  I guess I just feel like I'm giving a better gift if I put a little of myself and my time into it, instead of just my money.  This year is no different, although I must say I do like the results better (I'm actually getting decent with that little sewing machine).  Past years I've embroidered pillows, I've made things with mod podge (however you spell it), I've made candles and gifts in jars, I've made cookies and candies, and my projects havent always worked out well.  The difference this year....I really didnt feel like paying for patterns to make the things I wanted, so I had to put a few more creative juices to work (remember...I run a daycare and to get more than 45 minutes a day to work on projects is usually a sheer miracle...and I still have the 2 year old on weekends!)  So here's this years projects:
An apron, chef's hat, 2 potholders and 2 oven mits.  Got patterns (well instructions really there was no pattern to speak of to cut out the pieces, I had to make that myself) off the internet for the hat and apron, and anyone could figure out the potholder.  Just looked at one of my potholders and made them smaller.  The apron is completely reversible with a pocket on the back side even. The back is out of the red and white fabric.  If you can't tell, there are cherries and little ice cream cones on the green fabric.  I love it;)
Ok, I did buy a pattern for this.  A baby doll nightgown and an Emily nightgown to match.  This was the easiest of my projects.  I had instructions and they were pretty easy to follow.  The only problem was I'd only cut out half the ruffle for Emily's and I didnt have any extra material.  This idea was an afterthought because I had leftover owls and recently we've had to give baby a bath, and put her jammies on and put her in bed every night before we can go to bed so I think she'll like it.
Here's a baby doll diaper bag.  I made 5 of these.  I couldnt find a pattern online that I liked, so I just figured out how to do it.  If I were doign it again, I'd make the outside pockets a little bigger, because by the time I got all the seams in there they aren't super big, but baby doll stuff isn't all that big anyway.  One of the little girls isn't even a year old but I thought she might like to put toys or something in it until she gets big enough to want to use it for her babies.  I didn't however make all the other stuff for her, I got her a present that was a little more age appropriate.
Four dresses with little pink tights.  Used the pattern that I'd gotten to make Emily baby doll clothes for her birthday. 
4 little sleepers and hats.  These were also from a pattern, and fairly simple.  Some of you may recognize some of this fabric. I think the blue snoopy is still from Blaine's baby quilt, the garfield is from Cameron's:)  Like I said, time, not money went into this project.
4 Baby doll changing pads.  They velcro shut and then open up just like a real changing pad.
4 baby doll blankets.  Was having technical difficulty with the sewing machine on these so I hand quilted them and put the binding on by hand.  Took a little longer but looks good. 
4 little wipes holders.  These were the most challenging as I kept changing what I was doing.  The wipes are travel kleenex.  i'll have to put a note to the parents on these though cause they do have buttons and I dont want the girls to pull them off and eat them.  (really there is only one that might do that if the button fell off and they are on pretty securely!)
4 bibs and 4 burp cloths....these were pretty easy, I didnt have a pattern for these either, but we have tons of bibs around here and burp rags come in almost every shape and size!
8 baby doll diapers.  These aren't perfect, but they will work, and I know Emily will like them.  She's always trying to put her diapers (which I keep meaning to put away) on her babies, and they are just way too big.
Here's all the bags, stuffed full.  Total project cost:  approximately $3 per kid, time, well, we won't even try to figure that out, lets just say I was very happy to get this done on Wednesday!  And since typing this took a while, no wonder it seems as though I haven't had any free time, making it took a little time too!  But I think my crafting for the season is over.  I just need to actually wrap presents and get the stuff ready for our little Christmas party on Wednesday.

Now I think Emily and I are going to get ready, go pick up our Angel Food boxes and maybe stop and get some donuts on the way home.

Friday, December 17, 2010


No, I dont remember a thing about Christmas 1979, but I'm sure it was great.  But I do know that it was Christmas eve that year when Lady came to live with us.  Being my first Christmas, I always kinda thought of Lady as my dog, although in all honesty she was everyones doggy.  It was I think 16 years later whenever she died, a great pet, that just showed up one Christmas Eve.
 Lady and Peanut and Peppy (and me and my baby)
Tara and Lady with her puppies, spring 1980.  See me in the background...that might be why I dont remember Christmas 1979, I was only 3 months old!