For little cousin Sam - a train with his name. Inexpensive from the craft store, I just painted them. I was just going to do S-A-M, but the boys insisted on the engine and caboose. And really? They were right.
For the other cousins: a muslin drawstring bag (with tree applique - thanks for the missing leaf idea, Molly!) holding playsilks. I dyed them with kool-aid, like ours. We also included a list of ways to play with them. They shouldn't need it, though - playsilks really encourage creative play.
For a little sister - a little hat (modeled here by Princess). I made this on (ahem) Christmas Eve (I didn't procrastinate at all!) from an old sweater, fleece, and a vintage button (or earring?). Anyway, I liked it, and so did she! And it fit!
I've got a couple more to show you another time - and a couple more to finish! Yikes!
Last year I picked up some Hallmark Christmas cards at a post-holiday sale. I think they were 90% off. But that was before I knew I'd be getting a gocco for my birthday! How could I not design my own cards this year?
I started by making silhouettes of the kids, and just added to it. I'm really happy with the finished product. The gold showed up well on the red, the design printed well, and I just love those silhouettes.
There is a wallet-sized photo of the three of them on the inside.
I wish I could have sent them to all of you, my friends, so here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy your holiday.
Six little birdies to give away to ladies at church. This time around went smoother than the first bird, and I did them assembly line style to save time. Making the loops from ribbon or twill tape instead of making teeny fabric loops saved time as well.
Most were Christmas colors, but 2 were a little ... brighter.
Sometimes I wonder if mine look enough like birds, they're such an odd shape.
All packaged in cellophane. All but one, one of the green ones is on my tree!
And here are the teacher gifts: tissue holders packaged with antibacterial gel. Small, but hopefully thoughtful.
For a little holiday listening, and because Princess' Nutcracker ballet recital is tonight, click here to hear her playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. I'd just post it on the blog, but Typepad doesn't make it so easy to figure out. So anyway, click here for some holiday cheer (it's 32 seconds - you can do it!).
She's been taking piano lessons for about a year and a half. I don't know when her practicing went from 'noise' to 'ahh', but I love when she practices! I've really been enjoying having live Christmas music this season. And she even takes requests! ;) I also filmed her playing 'O Holy Night' but flickr vids have to be 90 seconds or less, and this song was 94. If I can figure out how to take 4 seconds off, I'll post that, too.
Oh, and please ignore the boys yelling in the background.... such is our life.
A few things making me happy lately: My new tree skirt. I was going to make one this year, but knew it just wasn't going to happen. So thanks to Martha and eBay, this pretty thing is under my tree. Along with plenty of pine needles.
See that mailbox flag? That means that most of my Christmas cards got sent out - woo hoo!
Organic candy canes. No food dye. We were going to try and order some for Thomas, who is susceptible to many food additives, but one of our local supermarkets had these in stock!
Because I prefer my candy canes without titanium dioxide, thank you very much! :)
Like so many of you, I like to buy (or preferably make) the kids new ornaments every year. This year is kind of a combination of make and buy.
I couldn't resist buying these hilarious Christmas Star Wars figures. Right, cuz nothing says 'Christmas' like Yoda with a candycane (for the record, at least I got the 'good guys', and not the 'bad guys' package!).
I had Aaron put an eye-screw in the top of their heads ('This feels wrong' he said) and then I put a ribbon loop through each. The kids love them, and believe it or not, they've stayed ON the tree!
Speaking of ornaments, here are a few old ornaments that our tree wouldn't be complete without:
I loved that when Aaron and I got married, our parents sent us all our old ornaments. Aaron had gotten one every year from his parents, and I had a bunch, too. I remember making this little 'K' stocking - and I was only 4, I think.
What is your favorite ornament on your tree?
p.s. for those of you asking about the Silly Walk image, you can just do an image search on google for 'Monty Python Silly Walk' and several choices will come up. Just pick the one you want! I freezer paper stencilled mine - there are directions of how to do that on my sidebar.
I had one of those moments the other day. A perfect moment. The kind where everything slows down and you notice how good you have it.
It was Sunday night, all was well, I was making sugar cookies with Monkey. We were listening to Princess play Christmas songs on the keyboard (I love when she plays 'O Holy Night'). Aaron and Thomas were hanging out together. Monkey was so excited to use the cookie cutters and roll dough (I realized we haven't made sugar cookies very often since Thomas went gluten-free - which is most of Monkey's life). Anyway, it was just a sweet moement and it just struck me: I have it SO good. I have such a great family, so many blessings, and I'm so grateful for them.
There have actually been several of these moments in the past week or so - must be the time of year? I hope we all have time to slow down and notice them and enjoy them.
I think Pip is actually helping us slow down and do more things together. Because I have to think of advent activites every day, I haven't been in a rush to get everything out all at once, or do everything Christmas-y right away. We've been loving playing games together, building forts, and we just decorated the tree. Together. I think just making conscious effort to make each day fun and spend time together has been working for us. So, thanks again, Amy! Your gift has been even better than expected!