I wanted to take a quick moment and wish you all a safe and happy New Year! May 2012 be everything you hope for.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Its been a busy week since Christmas has come and gone. The kids are home and the hubby is officially n vacation. We wanted to spend most of our time off together skiing, but he snow gods are not cooperating! Sigh...So instead we have a few projects that are in the works. I 'm looking forward to lots of new posts as we roll into 2012.
What the heck does any of that have to do with 40 Sucks and 40 Blows?!
The end of every year brings the all important birthday celebration for one of my very best friends. This year she had the pleasure of turning the big four-ohhhh. Oh my. She is taking it in much better stride than I figured. Of course, I couldn't let an opportunity to make something fun pass me by, especially when it would be at her expense!
Forty Tootsie Pops , a bag of gumballs, a packet of WalMart scrapbook paper, and a couple of items from the Dollar Tree made a fun gift.
40 Sucks, 40 Blows, but really?
Here's the card that I made to go with it.
Its a trifold. When you undo the ribbon up top, it opened to say Birthday Wishes over the multi colored leaves paper.
Inside was this. A sentiment I know she believes.
And the back, just because...Yes, it makes me giggle.
Happy Birthday Tammy!!!!!! We love ya!
Monday, December 19, 2011
Happy Monday everybody! We are in the home stretch. Just a few days left until Christmas. In our house that means busy, busy, busy! With two girls in Choir and one of them on the ski team there isn't a whole lot of down time. This week and weekend were certainly no exception. The middle of last week meant a holiday concert for Miss K at the Immaculate Conception Church with both the choir and orchestra. I wish I had photos to share, but the place was so full you could barely see let alone photograph a random performer let alone your own child. We moved the high school performance to the church because we had out grown our own theater, it may be time to find a larger hall. Then Saturday, Miss K officially tried out for the ski team and later helped out in the kitchens with a cinnamon roll fundraiser. She began her day at 7am and didn't end until 2 in the morning. Thank goodness she chose to not do Much Ado About Nothing too. She would have had to cloned herself! They were performing to sold out crowds all weekend.
Back to Miss H...I do have pictures of her performances on Saturday (yes, we needed to clone ourselves too). Miss H and her choir are part of a Christmas Community Service Project here in town. As part of that they performed for two retirement homes and the 7th Adventist Church all here in Northwest Reno. We are so lucky to have such wonderful audiences and even luckier that the places we perform have such amazing acoustics.
After dropping Miss K off for the bus to take her to the ski mountain with nothing more than a hug and a good luck, we both hopped on the school buses with 150 or so 7th and 8th graders. Our first stop was a very popular active style retirement home.
Not only did our kids fill the stairway, they were also surrounding this room up above on a wrap around balcony. The sounds reverberated through the entire space. I spied an audience member or two turning down their hearing aids. It created a very powerful sound.
Next, we climbed a very precarious hillside in our buses to perform at the church. We have a huge Mormon faith population in Northern Nevada, but Northwest Reno seems to be where a great majority choose to call home. I can't say I blame them. Their churches are gorgeous, their temple takes center stage in our community and our schools are quite good. Part of the reason our schools are so good is because they their support of our youth and their well rounded educational experience. I work side by side with many a Mormon mom, dad, and teacher. Although our faiths are not exactly the same, we are each here with the same purpose. I love it! They were kind enough to open their doors to not only their children, but their classmates as well and give them an attentive and appreciative audience.
Our final performance of the day was at another retirement home. This facility is a little more specialized in its care, and in some ways was the best audience of all. The joy that children's voices can bring is astounding. And humbling.
This photo only captures about half the kids. Like at the first home, we had children on the stairs and a small section of balcony above. I must mention that very special woman in red on the right. I have had the pleasure of two children going through her program and working side by side with her for almost four years now. Kris Engstrom believes in hard work and dedication. From her students and herself. And boy does it show! From the bottom of my heart, Thank You my friend.
May you each be blessed in the company you surround yourself with. I know I am.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Can you believe 2011 is almost gone?! I'm gonna be writing 2011 on checks and letters for months to come. It always takes me awhile to adjust to that single, solitary, but all important digit. I thought I would play along with Melissa over at 320*Sycamore. She's hosting a "my favorite things..." party.
First thing on my list are these sweet little guys
They are addicting, look out! Good thing you can only find them around the holidays. I usually want chocolate, but these are exceptional. Speaking of exceptional...
I cannot live through a Northern Nevada, high desert winter without this stuff. It has saved many layers of skin from looking like this.
Seriously, I couldn't live without Bath and Body Works lotions this time of year. Best of all, it doesn't break the bank. One tube lasts all winter. $20 well spent my friends. And while I'm in the mall, anther must have for winter is this
Their Satsuma fragrance oil is just the ticket when the house gets a little stuffy. You know those days? When its been ridiculously cold out for far too many days in a row? When all you want to do is throw open a window and let in some fresh air, but you are afraid you may cause icicles to begin forming from your own nose? No? Then I envy where you live. Which means my next favorite in 2011 probably doesn't apply to you either.
We have rediscovered the merits of an electric blanket. Our is a fuzzy, soft micro fiber type material with DUAL controls. That way I can heat my side as warm as I like it! There is nothing worse in my opinion than crawling into a cold bed at the end of a long day. This is the cure. Turn it on 15 minutes before you go to bed. No more cold sheets. No waiting for the bed to warm up before you can relax. We turn ours on, get everyone settled for the night and then turn it off after we have climbed in. Its a winning recipe for the beginning of a wonderful night's sleep.
There you have it guys. My favorite things for 2011. What can I say? I'm a simple girl.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
One of the most highly anticipated traditions of Christmas in our home is the day we choose our tree. Not just any old tree will do. The process is an adventure.
Friends and family all load in the kids, the dogs, the axes, and the picnic baskets. Over the river and through the woods to get our Christmas tree we go!
Then the fun really begins. We spread out far and wide. We communicate the old fashioned way and I wander from hubby to kid to kid inspecting their finds.
I get the final choice. The success or failure of each year's tree falls squarely on my shoulders. Its a BIG responsibility let me tell ya!
We spend the day playing in the snow, if we are lucky enough to have any.
none this year :(
We spend the day sharing the wonder of the outdoors, the company of friends that are considered family and the deliciousness of a hand prepared picnic. The girls cut extra greenery for the house, the dogs romp around in joyful freedom, and we begin the season with tradition.
Finally, the decorating begins. Two different kinds of lights, ribbons, snowflakes, stars, crosses, bells and balls. White, clear, silver, gold and bronze. Family, friends, places, events...history, tradition, and heritage all play a part in our tree decor.
The tree isn't completely decorated until the 24th. We add homemade and natural details nearly every day. So, these photos of the tree as it looks today are different than how it will appear when we exchange our gifts from beneath her boughs. I will share again as we get closer to Christmas.
For now, sharing with:
Monday, December 12, 2011
Please, please, come closer...
Ooh, ooh, a little too close.
Agriba our home. Sorry, a little too much Aladdin. My favorite Disney movie, ever.
Let's try this again, shall we?
Let's try this again, shall we?
Welcome to our humble abode. Please come in, make yourself at home. I do hope you enjoy your tour.
As you can see, we are counting the days down to Christmas. Thank you Mr. Shawn for all of your hard work on our new advent calendar! Perhaps he can sit and play us a song while we get a hot cup of cocoa. Would you like to join me in the kitchen?
It is such a dreary day outside. The sun just does not want to come out and play. Unfortunately, the grey skies do not mean snow. Bummer. I want to go out and play...
Feel free to have a look around. I've always thought of the kitchen as the heart of a home. You?
I wanted the kitchen to be about fun memories...new and old. The frames up above the fridge hold holiday school projects of yester year...When did they grow up and stop bringing home handmade Christmas trinkets? At least they're able to help with the dishes.
Shall we go have a seat in the family room?
Have you met Jack?
Its not very often he will stop and pose for a photo. I found some new stockings. They need a little something? Don't you think?
See the gifts on the table to the left? Those are the only two presents we have bought... sad, I know.
This is one of my favorite spots to sit and peruse blogs from. It usually has fantastic sun. The vase is awaiting the bouquet of flowers my mother in law brings me every year. Its one of my favorite gifts. Peppermin Stix likes to spend his days here too.
He is our naughty little elf that likes to wreck havoc and create chaos. He has been a little more subdued this year than last, maybe he is growing up too?!
May I show you one of my favorite display spots in the room? Its getting a face lift after the new year, but...
I love all of the nooks and crannies that a china cabinet offers.
Oh my...what a horrible hostess I have been. You came to see the tree! How could I forget!?
I promise, I will show you more of the tree tomorrow.
Until then friends!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The trees on my mantle began as a temporary fix until I found the right pieces of mercury glass. This one's too small, this one's too BIG, this one is just right. Instead of fulfilling that gap until something better came along, they have kind of grown on me. Hubby called them groovy, the girls both proclaimed them perfect. I now call them cute. Cute enough that they may actually get to stay. I haven't had a hankering to change the mantle, yet...
At any rate, I thought I'd share how we did them. We began with three sheets of poster board. The tallest was rolled so that the length created the height of the cone. The shortest was done the opposite, the width determined its height. For the middle one I grabbed a piece that had a section of its height cut away for another project. Its randomness then became our middle sized tree as seen below in white.
After we rolled and glued the cones we set them aside and brought out the paper we used to cover them.
A $5 book of scrap papers from Wally World- I knew they would all coordinate, it helped with the no brainer aspect that I was going for. We separated out the designs, grouping them by color. Black, white and red. There was green too, but I felt the pine added enough of that. We then proceeded to cut them into rough three inch wide strips. From there we did each color a little different.
For the tall, black tree we cut the strips into rough 1 by 3 inch pieces and made a point at the end of each. To make this go faster, use your best scissors and do them in piles. AND enlist child labor. Its free after all. :)
You can see the back of this cone is open. Its okay as long as you are tucking it up against a wall like I did. If not, well, you'll have to get a bigger piece of card stock or make it smaller or tack in another piece...You can see we added a thin strip of paper along the bottom of the cone to hide the white and give it a clean edge. Now you can start layering. Pointy side down, aiming to place the layer above the first with its pints in the center. KWIM? It doesn't always line up perfect, but you can't tell when you are all done. Promise.
For the white, medium sized tree we decided cutting the points was too tedious and chose to try triangle. Cut the strip at an angle to make a triangle and then straight up to the top of the angle for the next. Rinse and repeat. I chose to keep the triangles lined up all in the same direction, but it would probably look better if they collided once in a while. A little less planned looking.
For the little red job, we decided we would combine the two previous shapes. So inch wide strips with one angle. Let the gluing commence!
Linking up with: