Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Year is approaching...

Our Christmas was great! A bit hectic and chaotic but as I always say, I'll get started earlier next year.

I was blessed with some wonderful, heartfelt gifts. I got some exercise bands. Some really GOOD bands and I'm excited because the 21 Day Fix Extreme that Paul got me, uses bands! Yay!
I got a beautiful...and I mean BEAUTIFUL cue stick..




I think it makes me play better. A Coach wristlet, an electric wine bottle opener, The Minions on Blue Ray and I've watched it twice already...I know, I'm weird. LOL! A beautiful Lenox Butterfly Meadow tea set and a train set! Now this is how Paul rolls. Back in October or so, I mentioned how cool it would be to have a train under the tree along with the village we have set up. He says, no way are we getting a train! So, low and behold!! He got a steam engine train and we decided we'd like a Christmas themed train, so the place he bought it from is ordering us one. Should be here in a day or two and I'll post pics as soon as I get it set up.
Another heartfelt gift was from my niece Nicole. When I opened this yarn bowl I couldn't believe my eyes!

It's nice and heavy too. I've been using it since Christmas day and it works beautifully! Now mind you, she lives almost 500 miles away! Does she know her aunt or what? And those are just a few of the gifts I received. How lucky am I?

I've been dying to post my Christmas present "project" I'd been working on for months for the kids. It's a Pictorial Family Tree. First I went to Michael's and bought the chalkboard frames. I then had Paul ask his dad for some pictures. We got a family tree book from him that I scanned a couple of pictures from and then I talked to Paul's aunt Donna, who is Paul's moms sister in law. She's been working on her and her husband's family trees for years. So, I went over to her house and got some nice old pictures of Paul's grandparents and great grandparents from his moms side.
As for my family, most of my family photos came from either my brother Chris years and years ago, which I have saved on my computer, or a family album Wendy borrowed from our cousin Stephanie. I'm so proud of this family tree I created! So proud and happy with the way it turned out. Half way through the process, I decided to make one for us, Paul and myself.

To make the letters and leaves, I used my Cricut and the cartridge Chalkboard Fonts


They're so awesome I can't get over it! I LOVE how they turned out. Now the frame is not yellow at all and you'll see what I mean in the photo below. It's a distressed white actually. Each of the kids trees have their names on theirs instead of "Our Family Tree" they say "Eric's Family Tree" etc.



I certainly can't take all the credit. I'm not THAT creative. I found the original on Pinterest and here's a link to her beautiful pictorial tree she made; original family tree. I think Eric, Steve and Jenn liked them.

Steve and Brandy came over Christmas Eve. I talked everyone into driving around and looking at some Christmas lights...







I love the roof on this one! 


I also worked on knitting a Twiddle Muff for my mother in law, Dory. She has Alzheimer's/dementia and I hope this helps her keep her hands busy.







Paul says, no wonder the holidays are so hectic...you have all these projects going on! It's okay though. I love creating and sharing my creations. Isn't that kind of what Christmas is all about?

We then picked up Dory and her 93 year old sister Aunt Gert for Christmas dinner.

Aunt Gert and Dory


We had a Honey Baked Ham, Paul's sweet potatoes, cheesy potatoes and a green bean casserole.
Like my sister in law Sue says; we don't know how to cook for just a couple of people

I can't believe 2015 went by so fast!! I have A LOT of fond memories and I'm really looking forward to the new year and creating new ones.

I'll post my goals and hopefully some pics of our new Christmas train in a couple of days. As always...



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas time is here...

I saw this video on Facebook (damn I need to get off of there, sucking up my days like no tomorrow), and fell in love with this girl and her dog..

Daniela Andrade just beautiful, don't you think?

This past weekend was a blast! Eric, Jess and the kids came in from Virginia and Jenn and Dan from Waterville and it made for a VERY festive weekend. Friday night we went to the movies and saw Star Wars...LOVED IT!

Here we're practicing with the selfie stick. Never did get a picture of all of us with Emmy, Logan and Jessie.
Saturday we decorated the cookies I had baked the day before...


















We then went to Sue's house for our annual lasagna meal and then we play a white elephant game afterwards.



Barb, Paul, Sue & Bobby
Grands...grand kids, grand parents and great grand parents
Paul's sister Barb had asked me if I wanted her to take a family picture of us and I said no, that's okay. What was I thinking? Oh well. Next time we're all together we will.
It was a lot of fun. We planned on opening presents and having our family gift exchange after we got home, but first we had to drive Paul's mom home and then his aunt. Whew what a hectic time it was. It's okay though. I think next year we might open presents differently as a lot of us missed what others were opening.
Scratching off lottery tickets
Notice not one picture? I was playing Santa and having a hard time with Emmy and Logan wanting to play too. Anyway, after opening presents we headed downstairs to shoot some pool. I can't believe both Friday and Saturday Paul and I didn't get to bed before 2 am!! Sunday we were zombies but it was worth it!


Eric taking a shot
I took this pic after the laughter had died down, but still it's good to laugh til your stomach hurts!!
THE FOLLOWING IS RATED "R"! IF YOU DON'T LIKE BAD LANGUAGE, DON'T READ IT! 
So after many years, Jenn found the text messages between the two of us that at one time had us in tears with laughter. We both suffer from feet and leg cramps in the middle of the night.
I'm the one texting on the left...







Saturday, December 5, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,

Everywhere you go. And our house included. Now last year I decorated really early because I was so depressed that the grands weren't here, so we got started in late October. But this year, I heard from a couple of my kids who were complaining that the stores were getting Christmas stuff too early and that anytime before Thanksgiving was too early. So, I went along with them and we didn't get started until after Thanksgiving. Hmmm. I'm not too keen on this idea. 1. because I have over a 150 ornaments that we've collected for the last 40 years. 2. I have a lot of decorating I like to do. 3. I don't like to feel rushed and this year I really felt rushed. 4. I am making my kids something for Christmas and I get a little panicky when I have to stop what I'm doing and decorate, knowing these have to be done by the 19th.  I know, whaaaaaaaa! You just want to call the whaaaaambulance, don't ya?
So anyway, here's a few pics of our decked out house. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.







Many years ago, Paul's aunt Gert gave me a bunch of sprigs of greenery she used to use above her kitchen cabinets. I decided to copy an idea I found on Pinterest and put them on the stairs. 

Our tree in the study. Complete with Toby in his favorite spot on the treeskirt. 
I love this little teal and silver tree by the stairs. 
I've searched all season for a tree skirt to fit this tree. I need one no larger than 40". Well, I could not find one anywhere so I decided to buy some felt and some fur trim and make one myself...

First I cut out a circle. This one is 37" because that's how wide the material came. I then cut the slit and the hole at the top to fit around the tree and hot clued some Velcro. Did I mention I LOVE my little hot glue gun? 

I then added the fur trim with my hot glue gun..


And, voila!!
Don't look at the little specks. I got some sparkles on my phone lens...ugh! 
Not bad eh?


All summer long I had this really cool pitcher I found at At Home that I put on my island. I had it filled with sunflowers. I absolutely adore this thing! So, I searched on (you guessed it) Pinterest and found this really cute idea to be able to keep it around during the holidays.


I really had fun with this. I put a bow on either side since it's in the middle of the island..why not, right? 
Last year I got a picture frame from Paul's brother and his fiance for Christmas. Well, I love the frame and I knew I had the perfect picture for it. It's a picture of the kids and their cousins from about 29-30 years ago all on Santa's lap. There was a bit of a problem...


I literally could not stand the blue background. I thought it stood out like a sore thumb and took away from the picture and frame. So, I google how to turn the background of a picture to a different color and...


TaDa!!! Now it just blends in since the boot is red too. I love it! And now, I gotta get those Christmas presents I'm making done.

Before I go, I was contacted by a lady who had read my blog and thought I focused on a healthy home and family. She's approaching her 10 year anniversary of her diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Now, if you know me, you know I don't advocate cancer and I don't donate money to any cancer society or cause. But, she didn't ask for money. She wants me to post who helped, motivated, meant the world to me, etc. and to give thanks during this holiday season on my blog to help inspire you, my readers. I think I might have about 6 readers to be honest, but hey, she found me. My readers know that my husband Paul, my family and friends are my world and I frequently post about how blessed I am. She asked if I could include a brief mention about her story because she's hoping to spread the word before her 10 year mark in February and bring awareness to those affected by mesothelioma. So, her name is Heather Von St. James if you care to take a peek into her life and journey.

As always...