Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On my 7th day of Christmas...

The winds finally calmed down and we actually poked our noses out of our den! Although we didn't get any snow here, it's been fiercely cold and windy. Today was better though so we went to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. They've been having an exhibit of work by Walter Wick who writes the "I Spy" and "Can You See What I See?" kids books. It was really cool, they had many of his photos and also some of the models that he uses in making his books. The details that goes into his photos is AMAZING. It was a nice antidote to our cabin fever, I think even the Teenager enjoyed it!

In other news, Miss G, who is slowly recovering from the cold she had for Christmas, has been breaking out in hives on various places all over her body today. I guess she thought things were too dull around here lol! I can't remember her ever having hives before, this morning they were on her arm, then on her upper legs around noon, and now all over her legs and her back. I'm going to go give her a soothing bath which I hope will help with the itching. Poor kiddo, she is not having the most fabulous Christmas break!

No crochet time for me today, but I have just one more round of the border to go on the baby blanket I'm making, so hopefully I've have something for show and tell in a day or two!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My 6th day of Christmas...


...was cancelled on account of snow. At least The Teenager's trip to New York was cancelled. She could have gotten to NYC on Amtrak, but the Long Island Railroad was closed all day so my niece couldn't get into the city. They were supposed to go see "Phantom" together tonight. Fortunately I was able to get refunds for the train ticket and hotel, and the show tickets were exchanged for another date in April. But I do have one very sad teenager today. I'm very proud of the way she's handled it though, she has been really mature about it despite being hugely disappointed. I think she may be growing up! (Sniff sniff)

In other Christmas news, I thought I'd show you a few crochet goodies that were under the tree for me! I got some yarn from Miss G and a new comfort hook from Man of the House:


As you can see I've already been taking the hook for a test drive.

Man of the House also gave me a couple of crochet books:


(Can't wait to "sink my teeth into" that first one lol!)

And the Teenager bought me this beautiful crocheted angel ornament:


This is BIG for her to get me something crocheted. She seems to think I have too much of a yarn/crochet addiction. Silly girl, like there could possibly be such a thing!

I've been spending a good bit of time these last few cold days sitting in front of the fire crocheting. I hope you have been enjoying your Days of Christmas as well!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

On my 5th (?) Day of Christmas....

I can see I'm going to quickly lose track of which day it is! When you have an extended period of time off the days seem to blend. Not that I'm complaining!

I hope you had a very nice Christmas Day, as we did here. Miss G, 11 year old, decided to get sick on Christmas Eve with a cough and fever. So I went to early church by myself, which Man of the House and the Teenager went to the late service. Miss G did get into her Christmas dress for the obligatory photo however:

grace xmas

Man of the House and the Teenager were very spiffy looking as well!

Jim Hannah

We have a rule in our house for Christmas morning--the girls can go downstairs at 6 am to see what Santa brought and open the things in their stockings. Then they can wake us up at 7. This is the same rule my parents started after my sister and I got them up one year at 4 am, and they hadn't gotten to bed until 3! It's a good rule, and it helps the parents be less cranky on Christmas!

Today we are mostly doing the same as yesterday--enjoying a cozy fire, playing with Christmas gifts, watching new DVDs. At least I did get dressed today, yesterday I never got out of my jammies! But today I am also anxiously watching the weather. Not for us, our snow forecast has been downgraded to only about an inch. But The Teenager asked for only one thing this Christmas, a trip to New York to see Phantom with her older cousin, whom she idolized. Much money has been expended on show tickets, train tickets, and hotel reservations for her DREAM DAY which is scheduled for tomorrow. One teensy problem--New York is supposed to get a blizzard tonight. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send lots of good thoughts that the trains will run tomorrow and they will get the streets clear enough for travel! It is going to be very very ugly around here if things get cancelled.

Tune in tomorrow for further updates....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

On This Blessed Day of Christmas...

May the peace and joy of this holy day be yours throughout the coming year.

For unto you is born this day

Friday, December 24, 2010

On my third day of Christmas....

I am celebrating the Wonder of this holy season...


I am wishing you Joy...


And Peace....


And Love.

heart decor

Have a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On my second day of Christmas....

I made color-coded yarn bows for all my presents! Here's just a small sampling:


Man of the House get white bows, The Teenager gets blue, and Miss G. will have pink ones. I've been having fun making pom poms and other decorations for the gifts. And as an added bonus it will elicit much eye-rolling from the teenager, who always scoffs (nicely) at my yarn obsession.

Can't wait for Christmas morning--only 2 more sleeps to go!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On my first day of Christmas....

Today is the first of my 12 days off of work! Thanks to Christmas and New Years falling on Saturday, and my employer-mandated furlough days, I only have to use 2 vacation days to get a full twelve days off. HEAVEN! I was pretty busy today, wrapping and grocery shopping and getting my hair cut. And my most Chrismas-y thing:

The "Show-Me-Your-Tree" Blog Hop!

Show Me Your Tree

I've already shown my tree, but here it is again for good measure, along with some of my most special ornaments:

xmas tree


The first year that Man of the House and I were married, we made salt dough ornaments--it was very creative considering how left-brained the 2 of us are! Amazingly many of those ornaments have survived 27 Christmases and still hang on our tree. The oldest ornament is the one from 1966 when I was in nursery school. I love all the memories on our tree!

Click on the "Show-Me-Your-Tree" button to add your own tree to the blog-hop--I love looking at everyone's decorations!

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Christmas present!

After saying in my last post that I'd won my first blog giveaway, yesterday I found out I won another one! Melinda at MoCrochet has gifted me these two awesome patterns. Thank you Melinda! I can't believe how many great crochet blogs I have found since I started my own just a couple of weeks ago.

Now to finish up a few things here at work before I take the next TWELVE DAYS off. I guess this will be my twelve days of Christmas! Goodness, the big event is nearly here.

xmas tree

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My newest Christmas ornament!

heart decor

Isn't it lovely? I won it in a giveaway on Teresa Kasner's Crochet and it looks perfect on my tree. It's so delicate and beautiful. What a great prize for my first win in a blog giveaway. Thank you so much Teresa!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter must be here...

It's snowing out there today. We do often get some snow here in Maryland in December, usually just enough to look pretty and to royally mess up the roads and people's plans! You may have heard just a bit in the news last winter about the snow we got around here--Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, etc! Frankly I'd be happy to have no snow at all this winter, but I guess a little is to be expected right?

Here's what my front yard looks like this afternoon:


You can still see the blades of grass under the snow. But for comparison here is what it looked like a year ago, December 19, 2009 when we got a foot and a half:


Poor baby Jesus is completely buried! And Mary's head is barely visible above the snow. I'm hoping not to see any snow that deep for a long, long time!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday for December 8

This week I'd like to tell you about my favorite charity project and perpetual work-in-progress:


December red

Knit-a-Square (KAS) was founded just over 2 years ago by Ronda Lowrie and Sandy MacDonald to help children in South Africa who have been orphaned, mainly due to the AIDS epidemic. Knitters and crocheters from all over the world make 8-inch squares and send them to South Africa, where local volunteers stitch the squares into blankets to be given to children. I heard about KAS just a couple of months after I picked up my crochet hooks again after a hiatus of a dozen-plus years, and making squares has become my passion! My goal at the start of 2010 was to make 4 squares per month. Well, the squares pictured above bring my total to 105 for this year! And that is just a teeny drop in the bucket--in 2 years they have received over 120,000 squares to help keep this children warm!

Why do I love making squares? I get to try out so many new patterns, there are TONS of ideas out there for doing squares, and an 8-inch square works up in just a couple of hours. That's another thing I love--they are fast! I'm an instant-gratification kind of girl, and this fits my personality perfectly. But most important, I love that I helping children who have so little, whereas I have so much.

Please look around the Knit-a-Square website, and consider making some squares (or a sweater, or a hat, etc) to help warm a child in need. And thank you so much for reading!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crochet Popcorn Garland

I found this very cute pattern to make a crocheted garland that looks like popcorn and berries. So I used it to decorate the little Christmas tree I have on my desk at work. Rather festive, don't you think? I'm not sure it was faster than stringing actual popcorn, but it's more reusable!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Season of Advent

I really love Advent! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the tradition, in many Christian faiths the four weeks before Christmas are the season of Advent, the time to prepare for the coming of Jesus. One of my strong memories from my childhood was having family Advent devotions every evening. We had an Advent wreath of black wrought iron that held four candles, and lit one candle during the first week, two during the second week, and so on. We have carried on this tradition with our children, and no matter how busy the season is, we try to have devotions together every night.

Several years ago I found this wonderful ceramic Advent wreath on ebay:



(Take it from me, ebay can be VERY dangerous for someone who collects Nativity scenes as I do!)

We have a few books of Advent devotions that we use:


The Advent A to Z is wonderful for young children! Even though my girls are a bit old for it now, we still like the lessons in it. The Light in the Lantern is good for older children, its stories use alot of symbolism and folk tales.

The kids love this Advent calendar, and look forward to putting a figure up on the scene every evening after we have devotions.


Blue is the color symbolizing Advent, so this is the banner we hang out front during this season before Christmas:


Advent is a very special time in our home. What traditions are important to your family at the holiday season?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday!

Borrowing an idea I saw on another blog, I'm going to make a weekly post of Work-In-Progress Wednesday. This will (hopefully) also encourage me to take pictures of my projects as I go along, so I can see that I'm actually getting somewhere!

Today's W.I.P is a baby blanket I'm making for church. The pattern is done on the diagonal and I like it alot, it's so easy, and it comes out nice and square even if your gauge varies along the way. (Who, me?) If you'd like to try out the stitch, you can find the pattern here.

The blanket:


And the "helper" who doesn't seem terribly impressed. Maybe pink isn't his favorite color.