Wednesday 28 December 2011

New Moon TUSAL for December! An end to a great year!

Wow, a year of TUSAL's and that's all I have to show for it?!  Hopefully I can fill it better in the new year.  Oh well, now what to do with it.... 

While shopping with DJ before Christmas, she saw this ornament to fill and suggested that I put my ORT'S trash treasure in it.  FAB idea, thanks DJ!
It's next to a mini snowmen stocking I made YEARS ago.  All I remember is that it was a kit and I made them all and gave them away except for this one.  Or I might have given this to my parents and "borrowed" it.  Darn "sometimes", I just can't remember!

This year I decided to get an artificial tree for the basement to put only handmade ornament on - including the angel.  There are some on there that my DH made when he was little and all the precious ones that the boys have made so far.  There are also some that friends have made me.  All of them are treasures and I'm looking forward to adding to it.


2011 New Moon Dates: January 4th, February 3rd, March 4th, April 3rd, May 3rd, June 1st, July 1st, July 30th, August 29th, September 27th, October 26, November 25th, December 24th

  TUSAL = Totally Useless Stitch A Long 
 Come join the fun!
Thanks so much for hosting this, Sharon - looking forward to next year!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Happy Christmas had by all!

Christmas morning!  Even without snow, it was a great day.
I loved that the boys enjoyed giving their gifts almost as much as they enjoyed receiving them, they did a fantastic job.

Nana had her surgery earlier in the week on her good breast and also had lymph nodes taken out under both arms.  Aunt Gerry has been staying with her and since Nana was feeling good, they joined us for Christmas dinner.  We had crackers for every one and Nathan even wanted to sleep with his hat on!

My MIL gave Nana this flag she embellished with crystals - I don't think you can see how great it looks in this picture, but it's very pretty and glittery.

 Since we've had colds going around the house, we had to postpone visiting my parents.  So we're here at the lake, waiting on the rest of the family and will make a trip to my parents, hopefully tomorrow.  Ready for more Christmas crackers and hopefully, some Christmas pudding with brandied whipped cream!

As for stitchy news, I still have a few projects to work on before the new year and I need to get my WIPocalypse ready for 2012.  Are you in?!

Saturday 24 December 2011

Our Happy Christmas Eve!

Church and dinner done - now time to decorate the cookies for Father Christmas.  In our house, he prefers iced sugar cookies... with sprinkles.
Another family tradition we have is something the elves do.  While Nathan is in the tub, the elves appear and set up a small Christmas tree with special presents for the boys.  They each get new PJ's and an ornament.

Here they are showing off their new duds.  Garrett didn't want to wear the same outfit as Griffin, but too bad - the elves couldn't find anything else!

Milk and cookies are ready, but we almost forgot a carrot for the reindeer!

And here we have Max, all snuggled with the critters, waiting for us to come to bed.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Blessed Christmas.  
Don't forget to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday!

Saturday 17 December 2011

Christmas Village and a Snowman


We had our "try to get together every month" girls gathering on Sunday and I made each of the them a snowman.  I couldn't figure out what to put in such a small space what would include us all, so I thought this worked well and they seemed to like it!

Advent Calendar, Day 18!

 Welcome to day 18 on Jo's advent calendar!

I made this for my parents the first year I was married - you know, when I had time to do whatever I wanted!  The pattern was in a Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine way back in '91.  I changed it to the way I liked it, so it's different than what's in the mag.

Griffin & Garrett had to help me open them!

This family tradition goes back to when I was a little girl.  We never had the traditional Christmas stocking that hung by the fireplace, instead we got tights/pantyhose that were filled with presents, chocolate, nuts and fruit.  Sad to say we stopped it a several years ago, but what fun it was opening all those pressies!

Onto the Christmas crackers!  Now this is nothing new to those of you living in the UK, but here in the states it's not that common.  They are much easier to find now, so we have them at our Christmas dinner and at my parents house when we celebrate with them.  Sometimes we'll use them for the New Year, just depends on where we are and what's going on.

Nathan trying to find out what's inside!
Each person has a cracker at their place setting and after prayers, but before we eat, you pick your partner and pull!  Hopefully your popper will work (make sure you grab it while pulling).  Inside you'll find your paper crown, a joke and a prize.  It depends on what kind you get, some of them now have nice/fancy things in them, but I prefer the silly things.  Then the trading begins! 

One year, my Dad had a huge box full of crackers that he had sent over during the summer - or maybe he brought them home with us while were we visiting - I can't remember!  Anyway, he had them hidden somewhere in the house and my younger brother & I found them.  We proceeded to get out every prize and my Dad couldn't understand why they were all empty come Christmas dinner!  So glad he can laugh about it now - I'm sure it was all my brother's idea anyway.

Last one, our annual trip to DC to see the National Christmas Tree.  I hate to say it, but I was disappointed.  The original tree (since 1978) unfortunately toppled over in February by strong winds.  This tree was okay, but on the short side and bumpy!
Just a little cold, waiting on some snow!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year. 
But don't forget what it's really all about...
My Mom made this while in Arizona - before her hands got too bad.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Jingle Bell Walk for Arthritis & a gift!

Last weekend, we did the Jingle Bell 5K Walk/Run for Arthritis.  We walked for my Mom, who has had rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years.  We were "Oma's Angels", and wore our halos proudly - at least the boys did for the picture!  We could have gone this past weekend in Baltimore, but chose to walk around the lake near us instead.  We actually ended up walking on my parents 51st wedding anniversary, so I thought it was appropriate.  We had a beautiful day, just a little chilly, but nice and sunny.  We saw the Grinch and his "reindeer" Max - too cute!  I met up with an old work friend, Diane, so that was an added bonus.

 I'm not sure how many people were there, but it was pretty busy.  We ended up at the very back and hadn't gotten very far before we could already see the runners on the other side of the lake.

The weather at the time was warm for this time of year - many days in the 60's.  So why wouldn't the cherry blossoms start to come out?!  Of course it's cold now, just waiting on some snow to go with it!

I guess you can see the leisurely pace we took for the walk, but it was well worth it!  I plan on making this a yearly event, hopefully get more family and friends to join us on our Oma's Angels team.

Now this adorable ornament was given to me by my stitching buddy, DJ.  I LOVE IT!  When Nathan saw it, he thought it was for him... sorry, I'm not sharing this one!  Our tree isn't up yet, but I think it looks nice next to our little ceramic one for now. 
She knows how much I love dragons and made me this teacup dragon when I won her PIF.  I'm not sure she knows what she started, but bring it on!  
So thanks again, DJ, you always do such beautiful, delicate work and I'm so happy to receive your loving stitches!  Hugs to my very special stitchy friend.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Better late than never - I almost forgot... again!  
Nathan helped me pick a winner for the Challenge I put out there.  

We used his Squinkies Cars 2 Globie Dispenser to help us.  I wrote the names down, we put them in the little balls and he put in his coin in to pick a winner.

Of course we had to use his "gingerbread" house he made last night at St. Nick's Night to display the winner.

Lookie who won - Parsley!!!
So, you get to decide where you'd like your gift certificate of $25 from - online or store, just let me know!

And here's what she had to say about what she does...

Parsley said...
I missed this post at first but I'd love to share our tradition with you all. My family makes a habit of PIF. At Christmas we like playing 'secret Santa' and leaving gifts on STRANGER'S porches. This year we bought blankets to share with homeless or to leave on 'needy looking' doorsteps. This has blessed us BIG and my DD's friends liked the idea so much, they too are being 'secret Santas'.

Now onto the next winner for the Paying it Forward contest.
This is where I stitch something for the winner within the next year - BUT, if you win, you must be willing to have the same contest on your blog.

Nathan was ever so willing to help pick another winner!

And the winner is... Joysze!  I'll be getting in touch with you to get some ideas as to what you may like.  
If, for any reason, you decide you'd rather not take it on - no problem, just let me know.  But I'm excited about it!

Friday 2 December 2011

PIF idea from my fab radio station

 This is on the blog of my local radio station 95.1 Shine FM.  I meant to post it earlier since the last day to post a card is on Friday, December 9th.  Who's in???

Have you seen the post on Facebook that's going around?

When filling out your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address: A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed National Military Medical Center 8901 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20889-5600. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful, special people, who have sacrificed so much would get. Please copy and post on your wall.

We want you to know that Walter Reed will NOT be accepting cards, and the post office will be filtering out all mail addressed to "A Recovering American Solider." Why? Walter Reed does not have the staff to inspect all the letters that will be pouring in.

BUT, there is still a way that you can participate!

The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes partner together to sponsor the "Holiday Mail For Heroes" program. The cool thing about this program is the cards go not only to service members in the hospital, but also to those serving in the US, overseas, plus veterans and their families.

Send cards to the address below:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

You should know:

-- All cards must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9th. Cards postmarked after this date will unfortunately be returned to the sender.

-- Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member,” and make sure to sign all cards.

-- Do not send letters, pictures, or any other type of an insert.

-- Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.

-- Avoid cards with glitter because many will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities, and the glitter could interfere with a patient’s recovery.

For more information about Holiday Mail for Heroes, follow this link. Here's to making this Christmas bright for our military and their families!

Jack & Erin

Wednesday 30 November 2011

New Moon TUSAL for November! Ornie SAL too!

Just a little bit late, but here's my TUSAL glass, filled up a little more since last month!  Nathan wanted all MY Fisher Price Christmas toys put out for him to play with, so I added it to the scene.  He doesn't like that fact that all these goodies are mine, but he's happy that I'm willing to share.  You should see my Christmas list - I want more!  I also have the Manger and Wise Men, but they'll go upstairs later.  What can I say, I'm still a kid at heart.

Ornie SAL so far - The ladybug bear is for Nathan's teacher since they are in the ladybug room.  Nathan seems to have claimed the reindeer and I'm not sure about Mr. Snowman, I just thought he was cute.  I still have many more in mind and then will have to make them all into ornaments!

2011 New Moon Dates: January 4th, February 3rd, March 4th, April 3rd, May 3rd, June 1st, July 1st, July 30th, August 29th, September 27th, October 26, November 25th, December 24th

A Whirlwind Thanksgiving, A Challenge and PIF

Thanksgiving was a whirlwind of family, food and fun!  My younger brother Uwe, and kids arrived at my parents house Wednesday evening, and my older brother Peter, SIL and nephew came from Baton Rouge, LA, on Thursday afternoon.  Everyone had to make at least one "turkey feather" for Tom, but the younger ones did about four!

Dinner was fantastic, turkey with all the fixins!  I made fresh cranberry sauce for the first time and will continue forever more - delish!  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and apfelkuchen for dessert, more yum.  I was able to make cranberry scones on Monday, but didn't get to the Welsh cakes.  Oh well, plenty of time before Christmas! 

On Friday afternoon, all 16 of us took the Santa Express on the Western Maryland Railroad.  It took us to Frostburg, my old stomping ground, and we got to walk around there for a bit - enough for Peter and Paul to find a bar for wings and beer!  All in all, a fantastic day, the weather couldn't have been better and all nine kids had a blast.

 On Saturday, my SIL, Cathy, and I went to Cumberland to shop and support local businesses.  We stopped by the bakery, but just to take pics.  We found a book store I didn't know was there and got some treasures!  Not only did I find The World of Cross Stitching, but the Woody "frame" was still with it.  Even better, there was a mermaid in there!  I also found a couple L*K and some fabric and floss.  I think I paid under $10, what a deal!  Cathy found about 25 Doctor Who books for my nephew, so we were both happy.

 Cathy found some yarn she wanted and made me this fun scarf - I love it!

On another note, I was so busy over the weekend that I didn't pick a name for the Challenge I put out there, so I'm going to extend it until Saturday evening.  It will be a $25 gift card to whatever stitchy/craft store you'd like!  I also have the Pass it Forward that needs to be given out.  Please comment on the post you're interested in.
Nathan picked a name from a tree at school for a four year old who wants clothes.  Well, we're going to find some fun ones today!  We are also picking a toy for a child his age and the gmen need to find toys for two children their age.  DH picked names at work for two children - their number one item is a bike, I think I need to look at what's on sale!  Can you imagine their faces if they get what they asked for?!