Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friday to Sunday...dang what a busy weekend!

On Friday I was in for a real treat - a day to scrapbook without interruptions at my mom's house.  But, as usual, I got distracted with other things for a bit..my brother bought my mom some new carpet for her basement...

We cleaned up the area...
 Unfortunately, I didn't really take an after picture, but it looks nice!  After that I did some scrapbooking, and got caught up to Christmas 2009...but with two kids now, I am sure to always be even more behind...

On Saturday I took Nathan and we headed back over to my mom's (you can see the new carpet in the picture below) for cookie making...before we got started, we decorated the tree in the basement. 
Nathan getting out some balls...

I am pretty sure Nathan put this on the tree...it made me laugh!


After that we did cookies...Nathan was pretty good at putting the cookie cutters in...

But he was kind of skimpy at the sugar...even for Grandma!  She kept telling him to put more on...


She also had to tell him to stop licking his fingers...but can you blame him?
  Then the kids played for a bit while we finished up the cookies...yes...that is Nathan without pants on!

Lots and lots of cut-outs!
 Nathan got a new coat this fall...the first store-bought one he has ever had...also, it was the first day he has worn a real pair of jeans! 

Later on that day he made an airplane and wanted me to take a picture of it...
Lovin' his pants!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday into Thursday....

On Wednesday Nathan had a Thanksgiving Day party Charlie Brown style at school (popcorn, jellybeans, toast...you know, all the things Snoopy made in Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving) and after that I picked him up and we headed to Grandma's. 

I was planning on going to a Wild game that night with a friend, but the weather was supposedly going to be nasty (as usual, they were wrong...I don't know why anyone pays these people!) so I decided to head to my Mom's early.

On the way to Mom's, Nathan told me he didn't eat his salad at lunch. I told him he needed to eat his salad to grow big and strong.  He said, "But Mom, look at me, I already am!"  Well, who can argue with that?!

Once we got to my Mom's, I helped my brother Kevin put up the manger scene outside in the backyard for an hour or so...it was so nice out there...calm, quiet, with the snow falling down.  Nathan came out and helped us for a little bit, and then we did a little sledding after which he laughed but then told me, "I don't like that Mom."


Kevin and I made two trips that night...one to the liquor store, and one to the regular store for Cheetos (you can't have cold turkey sandwiches without Cheetos!).  We had dinner and then off to bed...excited for Thanksgiving morning.  Evan decided it should come a little earlier than I did, so we started it at 3AM.  Fortunately, he went back to sleep until Nathan decided it should start at 6:30 AM. 

Benny was up and at it...guarding the turkey really well and staying close in the kitchen.  It is great to see him like this since he has an ulcer and has been really sick. 

Some people, however, thought Thanksgiving morning came way too early...
just out of bed - classic Karen!
 Evan was busy attempting to get to some toys...no rolling over yet, but he loves to try to grab things...

Nathan and I colored the turkey...a classic tradition in our house!

Then we rode bikes for a little bit to try to get some of that three year old energy out...

Daddy and Nathan helped me whip the cream...

Pie ready to eat (it wasn't as good as I thought...maybe I am just not a fan of pecan pie?)

Our family friends brought their dog Charlie...Nathan loved him!

Nathan wanted to play with his cousin Anna, but it took quite awhile for her to warm up to him...

Finally, dinner was served!  Evan was napping through dinner....


It's hard to tell if Nathan ate more whipped cream or more pie....

After dinner the usual sluggishness set in...Karen and I spent over an hour helping Mom with dishes and then Anna wanted to play jewelry store.  She is a shrewd dealer, let me tell you...I paid $600 for my bracelet and necklace!

that night we managed to get some Settler's in too...to which I was CRUSHED...the first game I think I managed to get a total of 15 resource cards the entire game...Kevin and Karen were both excited to finally win a game each...

Kevin and Karen and I all watched the movie Grown Ups and then finally turned in around midnight...a fun but exhausting day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for...

So many things the list probably cannot do justice...but here are a few:

My husband and boys

My sister and that she is home safe and sound from a treacherous night driving last Saturday

My brother and Dad home safe from hunting

A wonderful father and mother in law who do little things for us all the time, like take my car to the shop or make Nathan a pair of pants

Digital pictures

Warmth from my fireplace and blankets to curl up in

Pooping in the potty

Kitties, especially a certain orange one and a certain grey one

Our jobs

My mom and her attitude - never doubting, always having faith, always trusting God

My "can tell them anything" friends

My working Mom friends, who understand what I am going through and don't judge

Beer and red wine

Horrible Christmas songs you can make fun of and leave on your sister's voicemail

Loosening the belt buckle after Thanksgiving dinner...

Health

Opportunities that both scare and delight me at the same time...

Fabric and thread and yarn and projects...

I am heading over to Mom's tomorrow...hopefully before the snow flies, so I won't be checking in anytime soon to the blog...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The countdown begins...

Two weeks left and I am back to work.  My thoughts flip between excitement and anxiety about it.  I am comforted by the fact that my mom will be watching Evan the month of December.  In the meantime, I am keeping myself busy and focusing on the holidays.

Yesterday I made stollen.  I even put some of the ingredients in little measuring cups like they do on the food shows, just for fun!  

I soaked the fruit in rum just for fun as well...
I make this for my mom every year...I have tried about four recipes, and I think this one is the best.  I have altered it by only using all natural nuts and dried fruits, rather than those candied fruits that are full of crap.  I also use different amounts of eggs and extracts, so I guess it is actually my own now.   
Bakin'!
I have also been working on some hot pads for my mom for Christmas - these are so fun to make and are quick and easy.  I found the free pattern online and they only use one skein of yarn for each - I am making a slightly bigger one right  now, so we will see how that turns out.  I might make these for some other people too time depending.  With work creeping back up on me, I am sure many things will cease and I will spend each evening huggin' my babies... 

On Friday night I got a lot of sewing done on my current quilt...385 (I think) half square triangles...I sewed them, cut them, and pressed them.  Any quilter will understand why this took so frickin' long...now I have to use the Tucker Trimmer to square them all up...that will take a bit too no doubt. 

Current box of quilt pieces...can't wait until I start making the blocks!
On another project note, I made these napkins for my mom two years ago..well, I need to figure out how to adjust the size because they are just way too big for everyday use.  So I am examining it and will have to work up a sample to make sure I get it right once I reduce it. 

On Saturday we had our once a month quilt class plus a Jucy Lucy at Matt's, and then we went shopping at Crafty Planet and Bear Patch.  I got this cute kit for Evan's room...

I also got these two fabrics on clearance ($3.75/yard)...they too shall become Christmas gifts! 
100% pink cottons...love it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The night before...

When I was little, one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving was the night before.   And I realize, it still is.... 

The house would start to smell marvelous, and the anticipation that birthdays and Christmas soon followed was almost too much.  I would wake up early on Thanksgiving morning, find the box containing my Christmas ornaments, and look at them before Kevin or Karen got up.  hee hee.  i felt so sneaky....

When I got a little older, I decided that our basement (where my bedroom was) needed some more Christmas decorations.  So, the night before Thanksgiving I would get out and/or make paper decorations and hang them up all over the place.  And I made hundreds of things...snowflakes that hung from ceilings, paper garlands that hung all around, from wall to wall.  I made a Toy Shop with elves making all sorts of toys, there was Santa pulling his eight reindeer plus Rudolph, and one of my favorite walls was made of up of Christmas cookies I had traced from my mom's cookie cutters.   Kevin and Karen often helped me, but my older brother never cared or was into it. 

I did that for a long time...all the way into college, when the night before Thanksgiving took on even more excitement...it would be the  night Chris would come home from college for the holidays!  And even if I only got to see him for a few hours and then the next day he was with family and so was I, it was usually so exciting because we were both so busy in the falls we rarely saw each other until this time. 

A few years later when we were both working, we went to a Wild game on the night before Thanksgiving, a rare treat for us both at the time...and we won the game, and as we were leaving, it was the first snow of the season.  Magical. 

For some reason, I really seem to remember each year the night before Thanksgiving. 

Now, don't think everything is always perfect...I remember some very sad and stressful nights before Thanksgiving too.  The year I was sick and couldn't figure out why...I remember putting decorations up and getting them soaked with tears...the year my mom was sick and had just had surgery...the year my dad broke his back and Nathan was four weeks old and I was miserable...the thing is, on all those bad nights, no matter what, the night ended and we all got together the next day and had Thanksgiving...and even if there was some worry or sadness in our hearts, we found room to laugh, and smile, and thank God for everything in the midst of it.

I wonder what the night before Thanksgiving holds in store for us this year...it sounds like it will be chilly and cold, that's for sure!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas decor....

Been decorating for Christmas this week...everything is up except for the stockings...it is just too early for that (actually, I need some hooks...)

Yes yes I know...Poor Evan...I thought it was funny!

There are always a few branches each year that fall off...
Nathan is always quite the helper...he managed to only break one ball so I was impressed...

I let Nathan play with the garland for a few moments...mostly because, I remember how much I LOVED playing with it when I was little and my mom never wanted me to touch it because it would break...

Nathan liked to put all his ornaments and balls and snowflakes in the exact same area.  He would put one up, and then Daddy would move it when he wasn't looking, and then Nathan would put another one in the same spot. 

Of  course it wouldn't be Christmas without forcing Chris to put up decorations...he just loves it when I ask him to get out the ladder and put this stuff up! *sarcasm*

Evan started in his bouncy chair this week and just loves it...he is hating to be anywhere now where he cannot see us...he also started on peas this week, which perhaps you can see on his outfit...


I thought I would snap a picture of this tree skirt I made years ago...it is pretty neat if you look at the closeup...I have my Dad's business on there, where we both went to High School, and our two family "houses"...Nathan just loves looking at it...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trip to Chicago...Part II

After our visit at the House on the Rock, we had a three hour drive to Chicago.  We made good time and got there around 3:30, checked-in and showered, and left around 4:15 for our friend's place which was only 11 miles away...however, only in Chicago will it take you over an hour to go 11 miles!  Although, part of that was our fault for getting lost because a road was closed...but eventually we made it!

So happy to finally see her!
Shamu (the black cat below) was so happy to see me too. Back in the days when this one company made what we called "au jus", I would bring Shamu cans of Au Jus as a treat...




However, this cat was NOT happy to see me.  Somehow she remembered that the last time I saw her (over a year ago) I gave her hugs.  Look at her though...her tail is so fluffy...and she is so pretty...argh...I just want to hold her and pet her but she will have nothing to do with me.  Boo.

  

After we briefly saw the cats, we had a great dinner at the Melting Pot and were in food comas when we left.  The next day we met for some Dunkin' Donuts, saw a few things, including the Museum of Science and Industry.

They had a lot of trains!

Chris saw a special the day before we left on Chicago Italian Beef...so we set out for the worlds best Italian beef after the museum...

I was the only one who wasn't extremely impressed - everyone else was just raving over how NOM NOM the sandwiches were...
They were drenched in au jus.  Seriously.  They dunk the suckers. 

So happy for his sammy....
After that we headed home and seriously, five minutes into the door and the wine was being poured...we played games..talked...laughed...ate junk...and just as I was settling in and thinking how great it all was it ended.  *sigh*
I guess that is what makes it so great...the fact that it happens so rarely
and is a real treat.  It is that sweet kind of sadness...like, after the holidays are over and you feel so blessed...yet you know you have to let it go until the next time...