Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Review

Well, we had a wonderful Christmas here with all the family, many of whom traveled to be here.    Christmas Eve was the big family gathering complete with a fun gift exchange and more importantly, homemade ravioli and lasagna, as is family tradition around here. 

Christmas day, as we sat down to eat our Christmas morning breakfast including homemade cinnamon rolls, the electricity went out.    We opened gifts next to our unlit tree and enjoyed the quiet.  The boys took their time and we played as we went.  Dan spoiled me as usual and just as we finished, the electricity came back on. 

About our green Christmas, although we opened gifts elsewhere too, here at the house, we managed to finish up with one kitchen sized bag of trash, a pile of recyclables and a pile of reusable bags (37 and counting) and tissue paper.  Not bad. 

Pictured are the homemade gifts I said I wasn’t going to make.  :)   I felt like something special was missing so, I started these aprons and chef’s hats a couple days before Christmas.  Two evenings and they were done, in secret.  The chef’s hat was the one thing Oliver asked for, that I could make, so I thought I should get it done.  Of course, if Oliver gets a chef’s hat and apron, so must Benton.  I got them their own kids spatula and Oliver got a few cookbooks for young kids. Oliver opened his and said “A chef’s hat!  I’ve always wanted a chef’s hat.” 

Their colds came back with a vengeance on Christmas, so we have been playing with new toys and watching a lot of movies around here the last few days.  Oliver said he didn’t feel like baking or cooking anything until he felt better.  I guess we have to wait a few days to try out the new cookbooks.

I hope all of you had a great holiday and I look forward to hearing your stories.  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Green Christmas

Well, kind of green.  If you look closely, you will see that every gift under our tree is in a fabric bag.  No paper, no plastic ribbons.   I sewed most of them.  My mom sewed and sent a few last year and there might be one or two felt gift bags from Target’s dollar section. 

This fabric bag dream started four Christmases ago.  Oliver was barely 3 months old and my mom and brother visited.  After we were done opening gifts, I was just stunned at the amount of trash we accumulated and the number of gifts our 3 month old raked in.  So, the next Christmas, I bought some fabric and ribbon to sew a few bags. Usually, I wrap the gift itself in tissue paper (which we have been reusing),so you get the sound of opening a gift and then put it in a bag.

Last year I sewed a lot of bags in all sizes.  This year, I was so happy to get them out and start wrapping up gifts.  No wrapping paper to buy or ribbons to mess with.  Each bag has a ribbon sewn into the seam, ready to tie up the bag.   For now, I have even been reusing the metal rimmed tags I bought a couple of years ago.  I am either cheap or environmentally aware. 

Dan loves the gift bags.  What man wouldn’t?  The only problem is that he is the last to buy any gifts and so has to pick from the bags that are left.  I am going to make a few more bags tonight so all my gifts will get a bag too.

My mom still reuses a gift box she got from the Disney store back in the day.  It became a joke between Kenny and I.  We would wonder aloud whose name would be on it and what could possibly fit in it this year.  Maybe my kids will do the same.

Speaking of sewing, I had planned a few mama-made gifts for the boys, but I realized I would have to make them at night and, well, I’m tired.  And, I can tell already that they are going to have more stuff then they will know what to do with on Christmas day.  Six more boxes arrived today!So, I think I will save those projects for Valentine’s Day.

I hope your holiday season is going well.  I got my cards in the mail today.  That’s something.  Last year I never got past trying to get a picture of the two of them.  Now, onto a little crafting with boys and cookie baking.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Christmas tree

It started out looking a little like a tall version of Charlie Brown’s tree. 

We have always got trees from a local garden store, but this year after moving to a new spot, they did not have trees.  Since we were all ready in loaded in the car, we went to the one nearby spot we knew would have trees: Lowe’s.  By one o’clock on Saturday afternoon, the trees were already a bit picked through, but we found one.  Next year, I think we’ll try a tree farm and get the full experience.

Oliver and Benton helped Dan get the tree ready for the stand and then swept the porch.  Later that evening (after the football game), we decorated the tree.  Benton was most excited about unwrapping each ornament. Oliver was more into the hot cocoa and picking the right spot for each ornament, which was pretty much the same spot for all the ornaments.
Oh,  I actually got a decent photo of both boys in front of the tree, but I am saving it for our holiday cards!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ready to love

This poor baby doll has been sitting around without hair or a face for the last 2 months.  This morning, as Oliver wandered in with his baby doll, I decided that I would finish Benton’s, today.  So, it took barely an hour to stitch on some eyes, mouth and secure the hair.  Although, I have done it before, I think I was nervous about messing up the eyes and mouth. So, I stalled. 

Now it is done, the doll looks fine, Benton loves it and that’s what matters.

Well, on to other unfinished projects.