Saturday, December 26, 2009

White Christmas

Christmas Eve

We did the usual Christmas Eve tradition: opening new jammies.

We took baths and made preparations for Santa. This year--ginger cake for the big guy and carrots for his reindeer.

We got the deets on Santa's visit from daddy. We had lots of questions.

One of them being . . .
Ian: Should we leave the fire on in the fireplace?
Daddy: Umm, what do you think?
And then the realization, and the evil grin . . .

We decided NO on leaving the fire going and placed Santa's treats neatly on the hearth.

We posed sweetly in front of the tree together, making mama think, "Maybe they DO love each other," or maybe they were just pretending for the sake of staying on the "nice" list.

Santa visited. Boy, did he ever. Thank you God for the gift of Jesus, for He is why we offer gifts to each other.

Merry Marshall Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Infirmary

Backtracking to make up for missed days--

You may find this hard to believe, but life isn't always peachy in Yeeland.

Like this week . . .

Lilly's lovely green snot (but hey--maybe she was just trying to be festive--red nose, green snot) on Monday and a doctor visit.

And more green on Tuesday: Ian waking up vomiting, unable to keep even water down. Trip 2 to the doctor in two days.

Aint life grand?

Good news, though:
1. The doc gave Lill an antibiotic. I swear it's a Christmas miracle. No fever or ear infection, and yet, we got an antibiotic. Big score.

2. Ian's vomiting lasted 2.5 hours and then, one blood test, one tummy x-ray, one throat culture and probably about a thousand bucks later, it was gone just as quickly as it came. It disappeared and he was well again.

3. Neither Ian or Lilly caught what the other had. Maybe because I do my usual Clorox and Lysol routine when sickness hits this house. Here's a photo of the bleached goods. I hate using bleach on my children's toys, but when they are sick, I do use it and just rinse VERY well. It seems to work.

Any green in your holiday this week? Hopefully your green was a nicer shade than mine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy birthday, dad

Happy birthday, dad.

Ian has started a new thing lately--impersonating his grandpa--you. What strikes me is, during these impersonations, Ian has a perma-grin. He laughs constantly, makes jokes, is silly and happy. He says things like, "You did it, Ruthie!" and "Good job, Caleb!" with great exuberance.

If ya ask me, Ian's impression of you is spot-on: the joy you bring, the encouragement you provide, and the laughter you share.

My wish for you is all the joy, encouragement and laughter you so willingly give to others would find its way to you on this precious day.

And I love you. MUCH.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Mail, Happy Deliveries

A wonderful email arrived in my inbox this week, straight from the publishers of the new Craft Hope book. I have the privilege of being one of 26 designers whose projects will be featured in the book. The first paragraph of the email was my favorite:

"Greetings, wonderful Craft Hope designers. I'm Jade's editor. Our book (YOUR book, too!) is coming along nicely. The art department is starting to lay it out, and the initial peeks I've been allowed are exciting. It's going to be a beautiful book, and we're anticipating that it will be one of our biggest books for next fall (it should be in stores in August). I've been in publishing for almost 30 years, and this is by far my favorite book. Whether oooh-ing and aaah-ing over your beautiful projects, working with the amazing and inspiring Jade, or talking to the various nonprofits about the work they do, it's been a really joyful and meaningful process."

What an honor. Someone pinch me, please!

On to day 17 . . .
Who doesn't love Target's dollar spot? It just makes me happy (as does the rest of that store).

Last night while Christmas shopping at 11 p.m. (I know, crazy) I flipped to find these precious little felt bags, right there at the dollar spot. Yep. Loaded up a few things right there to use as Christmas gifts for our neighbor children friends.

Also, the dry ingredients from our favorite hot cocoa recipe fit perfectly in a half pint jar. Squeeze as many green and red holiday shaped marshmallows on the top as you can, add the directions and a ribbon, and you have a quick gift.

Who doesn't love special Christmas deliveries from the neighbors?! Sweet Nathan headed out in 24 degree weather this morning to deliver the goods. That's my guy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Flair for the Dramatic

SOMEone may have stolen the show again at Ian's preschool Christmas party program.

SOMEone loves an audience.

SOMEone's drama teacher is gonna adore him someday.

SOMEone's family was lovin' it.

I have evidence of this flair for the dramatic.
See for yourself:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Camera Longings

What December moments do you wish you had captured on camera?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Packages

Nathan has created a favorite game this December: Wrapping the Christmas Packages. It goes something like this . . .

Ian: Daddy, are you feeling Christmas-y?

Nathan: Hmmm. I am feeling a little bit Christmas-y. Ya know what I like to do when I start feeling Christmas-y? I like to start WRAPPING PACKAGES!!!!

Ian and Lilly leap onto the bed with sheer glee and then . . .

(Turn up your sound to watch 51 seconds of Wrapping the Christmas Packages):

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A-caroling we go!

We live on the best street on the planet. EVER, people. EVER.

One reason it's so great? Precious neighbors, Bruce and Carol, who, although their own children are grown, work hard to make every holiday special for the kids on this street.

Another reason? Said kids. A core group of bff's who have grown up together, sharing snotty noses, bumps, bruises, costumes (daily), giggles, and who run around all summer to one another's houses/swingsets and back wearing no shoes or socks.

Bruce and Carol threw the gingerbread-house-makin' shindig of the year today. After decorating the houses, their faces, and fingers, and filling tummies beyond the legal sugar limit (don't worry Carol, no stomachs had to be pumped) . . .

. . . Carol decided the children needed to burn off some sugar high energy.

So what did we do?

We went a-caroling, down our wonderful street we love so much.

So many houses, so few songs we knew; Jingle Bells, Rudolph, and We WISH You a Merry Christmas sung over and over again.

I think a wonderful new tradition has been born.

Thanks, Bruce and Carol. We love you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tree and Ornament Goodness

Tree how-to
Purchase a green styrofoam tree from your local craft store.
Buy a ba-zillion toothpicks and break each in half.
Purchase a ba-zillion Christmas marshmallows.
Ditto with gum drops.
I found peppermint star peeps at my local Joann store to use as a topper, but you could just cut a paper star and call it good.
You can probably figure out the rest. It goes something like, stick away until fingers bleed. Merry Christmas.
But, seriously . . . thanks, Denise Schriver, for such a fun idea! Denise used this as a game--tables had all supplies and trees were the centerpieces. Table members were instructed to decorate the trees, but were timed! You can imagine the results . . .

Chalkboard ornament how-to
Buy wooden die-cuts at the craft store (found mine at Hobby Lobby--99 cents for a four pack!)
Paint with chalkboard spray paint.
Add a chunky button and thread.
Get your creativity on with some chalk and these original works of art. Use as gifts, gift tags, stocking labels, or ornaments. Wow!

Chalkboard ornament idea found here. I'm sure you will immediately want to bookmark Kellie's blog when you hit that link. She is amazing. One of my favorite blogs on the planet. Uber-creative, super-sweet--you'll love her and want to re-create her ideas. Thanks, Kellie, for a new take on ornaments!

Hand-drawn ornament how-to
Purchase muslin fabric. Bonus: it's SUPER cheap, and easy to find--even Wal-Mart carries it.
Trace around a bowl and cut out. My circles are 5 1/2 inches.
Child draws a picture with thin markers.
Sew around, sewing a bit of ribbon for the top and leaving a small opening.
Stuff with fiber-fil.
Sew opening closed.
Write child's name and the year on the back.
Special thanks to some elf artists who drew my ornaments: Ian, Lilly, Emilia, Taylor and Zachary. Amazing job, little helpers!

Fab Five: Ideas for decorating a clear glass ornament
1. Fill with pom poms. (Isn't this cute?) An extension to this idea would be stringing a pom pom garland with a needle and thread for a mini tree, then adding these ornaments. Love this!
2. Embellish the outside with all kinds of goodies. These beauties were found locally at the Scrap Nook.
3. Add a monogram (my personal favorite). Letter stickers from American Crafts. Rub-ons can also be used.
4. Isn't this pretty?! Roll paper tightly around a pencil and hold for about 30 seconds. Slide into ornament.
5. Insert a peacock feather (sound like a punchline to anyone else?). In a fancy-schmancy house, aka not mine, these would be so lovely in a big, glass bowl. Peacock feather found at Hobby Lobby--no birds were harmed in the making of this ornament.

Any questions? Email me! Thanks for looking!

Busy Elves

Santa's helpers are busy preparing for mama's trip back to KY3 tomorrow. Check back tomorrow for some sweet ornament ideas!

See ideas from my last visit here.

Good news this time--Ian and Lill will be on air with me, so folks are sure to stare at them, not me, right? Hoping that's the case.

What are Santa's helpers busy doing in your home today?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hoping, Praying, Wishing

Dear Snow,

Ready when you are.

When we got our new snow boots and discovered Lilly's light up when she stomps, we closed ourselves in her room for 45 minutes with the lights off. But, stomping on carpet in light up snow boots is nothing compared to the glory of BIG, deep, crunchy snow.

Hoping, praying, wishing.

Your Devoted Fans,

Ian and Lilly (and mama and daddy, too)
"I am the Ghost of Christmas Present!"
--my father-in-law

Aww, we love him. One minute later he was a reindeer following Ian/ Santa's every command as they dashed around the house. Mum (grandma) and Hoo Hoo (great grandma) followed close behind.

Does anyone else have silly in-laws like this?

Please share . . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Junior Youth Symphony Christmas Concert

You tried out for Junior Youth Symphony.
You made it.

You tried out for placement in the first concert.
8 cellists.
YOU made first chair.

You. Wow.

It was my favorite Christmas concert. EVER.

Congrats, gifted nephew.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ginger SNAP!

Best gingersnaps in the history of gingersnap-dom.

But don't take my word for it, make them and let me know what you think!

Nathan's gingersnaps--recipe found here.

When December arrives and the weather turns cold, you can find him baking these in the kitchen, filling our home with the most delightful Christmas, yummy smell.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brian Regan

Dear Brian Regan,

We would park four blocks away in 22 degree weather any night of the week, just to hear you-- just to hear your Pop-Tart bit and learn about your UPS girth issues.
We'll never forget "chicken muskrat" and "tuna fish sandwich." Never.
My sides still hurt.

We love you, Brian Regan, and we hereby crown you King of Comedy.


Nathan, Rebekah, Keli and Chris (Thanks for laughing as hard as we did, guys--we had a great time.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ian's Colored Lights

Daddy makes Ian's room extra special each Christmas.

This year he covered Ian's headboard with lights--lights that stay on in the evenings until Ian goes to sleep, then we unplug them the rest of the night.

So far, it's been a big hit, and hasn't kept Ian awake.

Here it is . . .

Of course, daddy had plenty of (ahem) help.

When finished, the three of them enjoyed a favorite book.

Try decorating a special place in your child's room this year. Magical!