Wednesday, December 30, 2009

YooHoo! Calling all Stitchers!

If you are looking for a way to spend your Christmas cash the Silver Needle is having their annual New Year's Eve Sale. Go to their website and check out the details. I know I will be up and on the computer for the 6 AM CST time baragains!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Travelers...

Saturday afternoon we had visitors that we were expecting then some extra. We were very excited to see our cousins, aunt, and sister for my mom. One group was heading back to Texas after being in Kansas for the holidays and the other was heading to Kansas for the holidays. It just so happened that they all stopped at our house around the same time. It is truly a wonderful surprise to get to see family at Christmas. The teens that live in Texas year round were delighted to see the snow, so we of course had to venture out and take some pictures. The little guy in the front is so cute, I wish I could have kept him, but they wouldn't let me! He is four and absolutely onery and adorable!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Vera Christmas

It was the day before Christmas when all through the house you could hear the sleet hitting the windows and the north winds howling. Thank goodness there was no mouse (that I am aware of...) The stockings were hung on the shelves with care. I was getting ready for a much needed shower, so I could wash my hair. When what to my wondering eyes should appear a big white Fed Ex truck without any reindeer. The Fed Ex guy dashed to door with a big box that said "Handle With Care" shoved the package in the door and ran off like he had seen a bear. Okay enough of the trying to rhyme words...the jist of this here story is I had the most fabulous VERA Christmas. The box was from Hawaii, where later last night my uncle reported that they had turned on their air conditioner. Inside the box was a huge Vera Bradley tote that will look quite lovely on my arm when my cross -stitch and I go out and about! My cross-stitch and I are rarely separated. It also had a shirt for Jonathon. All I can say is this--Christina and Kathy I was totally blown away and love the bag. Really you shouldn't have!

Later we went to my mom's to open gifts and she got me a VERA purse and cosmetic bag, and then this morning at home Dan got me a VERA purse and some matching acessories! I am in hog heaven. I can't wait to carry them all and show them off!

So I am going to leave all of you to go upstairs and try out my new stitching lamp, that my husband also got me!

The photo below is of the scene outside my door. Yesterday we had high winds and sleet all day and snow throughout the night. If you didn't have anywhere to go it was the perfect Christmas Eve scene complete with one of my favorite Christmas movies "Christmas With the Kranks!"

Have a wonderful Christmas evening, I am off to stitch and watch "Home Alone" for the umpteenth time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

To all of our family and friends our wish for you is a safe, happy, and wonderful holiday season.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the Season

... to be busy! My vacation officially started at 3:00pm yesterday. Jonathon gets out in two days. Of course I don't think we will actually have a day to relax until maybe Wednesday. I still have a couple of baking things to do possibly. I was going to bake cinnamon rolls for his teacher, but I am sooooooooo tired of baking. So maybe I will just go and look for a really nice gift for her instead. Tonight we have church bingo and I have been cooking like a madwoman for that--I have 4 pies made, turkey salad for sandwiches, and a pot of ham and beans. Tomorrow is the church dinner, then Monday is the cup stacking tournament that Jonathon qualified for at school.

So yesterday everyone that met their AR goal earned a trip to the movies. We went to see Blindside with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. What a great movie! If you haven't had the chance to see it yet you should. Some people might get the idea that it is a football movie, but really it isn't--it is about family. I think it really shows what living your faith truly means. Not everyone has it in them to do what the Tuohy's did, but everyone can do something and trust me from a teacher's perspective there are a lot of Michael Oher's in the world. You just never know when that one little act of kindness will change someone's life. I was worried that the kids would think it was corny or whatever, but they didn't they cheered out loud in parts and clapped in others and some even cried.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where's the Stitching?

So I suppose that all of you wondering what happened to the stitching on this blog. I am wondering if I will ever have the time to sit down and put needle and thread to fabric. I think it would be fair to say that my stitching progress or lack is all to be blamed on Pioneer Woman. I hope she is happy with herself about this! See, I used to make a bunch of "stuff" for Christmas and then take them to friends and family. But, then Sara got me hooked on Pioneer Woman. I found her cinnamon roll recipe, and decided that for once and all I was going to learn how to bake a decent cinnamon roll. Her recipe is so tasty and easy! Making them and giving them away makes me feel like a celebrity, as people carry on so about them.

This week I felt like the little engine that kept saying "I think I can, I think I can!" First off, I have had this sinus thing going on this week, I don't know if it is the common cold or something else, but I am pretty sure that Friday I ran a temp most of the day. Second, I had just a few little odds and ends to pick up here and there for Christmas, so I ran to Bartlesville to get that done Saturday. Jonathon was going to stay at a friend's house and then at the last minute decided to go. I actually was kind of excited he decided to go as he and I don't ever seem to get much time just the two of us. It was a wonderful time, he was foul Al the entire time. We were looking for dress shoes for him to wear to his band concert and Christmas Eve Mass. He is at the size where he can wear a very small men's size and they don't really carry a selection in boy's sizes that big. Well, they also don't carry very many men's shoes in that small of a size. So while the trip was productive it wasn't especially pleasant. The third reason I haven't got much stitching done is this.....

I decided that this year I was going to spend more time and effort in appreciating those who did nice things for me and reciprocate that kindness in some way. Early Saturday morning I started batch one. These weren't too bad as most of the recipients showed up at my door and picked them up. I cleaned up the kitchen from batch one and took off shopping, then came home to mix up batches two and three....

Here they are cooling on the kitchen table. After kitchen clean up part duex. My mom says I cook like my Grandma Hawkins, we were both very messy. Of course, Dan was none to happy to hear me say no I haven't cooked dinner, and no there are no cinnamon rolls here for you to eat. And truly, I didn't care. I shoved some money at him told him to go to Subway and get us dinner. "Our" cinnamon rolls finally got out of the oven at 10:15 pm.

This morning I got up early for Mass and tied pretty bows on all of them to make them look more "present-like". I even made a bow for the guy that lives at the farm! My mom's friend called and offered to adopt me if my mom ever wanted to get rid of me. She had eaten three of hers, but was going to start pacing herself with the rest. She better be careful what she wishes for!

I took one of the bigger pans to my aunt Artie. Artie has made me plenty of cinnamon rolls throughout the years. She also has taken on the planning of three fairly large family reunions. Every family has one person that leads that pack and on my dad's side of the family she is the go-to gal. Well, when my dad was alive every time Artie would bake cinnamon rolls my dad would show up at her house. believe me when he showed up he ate his fair share and then some. She didn't call and tell him, somehow he just knew she was baking them that day. He either had an spy on the inside, ESP, or the smeller of a bloodhound. Today she said eating them made her think of him so I guess that made my day yesterday very worthwhile. And I hope to not see another cinnamon until next Monday rolls around, when I start again.

Have a happy, stress-free, Christmas preparing week!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Home Tour IV

This is my last tree and picture, I promise. The tree in this picture has only red, gold, and ecru decorations on it. The gold decorations are another set from my mother. Now, at this point in time you must be thinking my mom buys a lot of Christmas decorations, and you are right. Last year she came to my house Thanksgiving weekend and I was sitting on the couch guzzling Diet Coke and sweating profusely, because my back was killing me and I needed a decorating breather. Afterall a fat girl can only run up and down the basement stairs so many times in one day carrying stuff before it becomes a medical emergency. She looks around and says "you know you could just put up one tree, you don't have to put them all over the house." Christmas Eve came and we are at her house opening gifts, I rarely get anything that I haven't gone with her to pick out, but there was one present that I had no idea what was in the box. I opened it up and it was a set of Christmas ornaments! Next year, I will probably put up another tree with Dan's growing set of K-state ornaments, guess who has been buying those?

On the stitching front I started a new SB's pattern to take a little break from the Lizzie Kate Abc's of Life. Ofcourse with all of these trees up my lamps are not in their usual position and I have trouble stitching in the bad lighting, but I am doing it anyway. Bad lighting is one thing to deal with, but having a dog that constantly thinks she has to sit on your lap is quite another, so needless to say I might have to move my base of operations from the corner of the couch to the kitchen table, or perhaps start up some covert stitching operations where the dog isn't for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Home Tour III

The last picture is from the parade last night. Of course I love anything with a flag, last year the local refinery had their community response vehicle in the parade with this huge flag and then they had their big flood light shining on it. I was really hoping that they would have it again this year and they did. I actually had my camera with me this year. On a dark cold night in real life it is a stunning sight. The light they have shining on it is so bright the street lights go out when they pass them on the parade route. This year I tired to take a photo of it, I didn't do a very good job, but here it is anyway.

The picture above is of another small tree. Every year my mom gives us these snowmen with our names on them and they are so small they get lost in the shuffle on the big tree, so this year we got the little guys a tree of their own.

Below is our big Christmas tree with all snowmen. When Jonathon was born I tried to start collecting decorations that were more kid-like and came up with snowmen. Every year I try to add an ornament or two to this tree.

Lastly, have you heard the song "Cryin' For Me" by Toby Keith? It is a beautiful song, and will probably make you cry. I saw the video this morning and when I got home from a donut run I came straight downstairs and downloaded it. The song is about Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale was a stand out basketball player for OU back in the eighties. He went on the play in the pros. When he retired from the NBA his music career in jazz began and he made quite a name for himself. Last year Tisdale died after a long battle with cancer. This is a song Toby Keith wrote about missing his friend. Check it out.

Have a great weekend, and may your days be merry.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Home Tour Day II

This a picture of the float Jon and his buddy rode on in the local Christmas Parade tonight. He is in the car that says the word POLAR on the side. This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my home decorations, but I thought I would share it with you. It was a very cold evening, but watching the parade was quite enjoyable. My friend Sara and I sat in the car and watched most of it from there and visited.

This is one of my small trees. It actually only has eight decorations. They are part of a set my mom got me for Christmas last year. They are egg shaped and each one plays a Christmas carol when they are opened. Next year I will try to add a few more things to this one to make it a little more interesting.

The last picture is of a stitched piece that I put out every year. I know that it was done approximately ten years ago. It is a Shepherd's Bush pattern. I have several SB pieces that I stitched through years, but have never had framed. Hopefully I can work on that throughout the next year.

So this concludes today's tour. I hope all of you are enjoying the season and your preparations are going smoothly. I think at this point aside from baking I am good to go.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Home Tour

Welcome to my home! I thought this would be a great time to show my Christmas decorations for the year 2009. Hopefully everyday for the next several days I will show you my different trees ranging from small to large. I put up six of them this year. First off this is my little Dallas Cowboy Christmas tree complete with Troy and Emmitt. Maybe this year when Tony Romo goes on sale for 75% off at the local Hallmark shop I will add him to next year's tree. But my heart will always belong to Troy. Before I bought one of those little trees that you stick in a pot I used my Troy Aikman jersey for a tree skirt.

This a picture of our Shepherd's Bush stockings that I made the year Jonathon was "in progress". I hang one up for my mom every year since she celebrates with us. As you can see they are not necessarily hung by the chimney, but by the built-in bookcase. I usually display all of the Christmas cards we receive on the blank spaces in the shelves. We have got a few so far, but hopefully by Christmas we will have several to put on display.

These are my stand up Santa's. I made these years ago before Jonathon, (isn't it odd when you have kids you start to divide your life into before and after?) each of these were made with different speciality threads. Some have wool, a suede like thread, alpaca wool, cashmere threads. People always see these and say "you should sell these!" I just have to laugh because they have no idea how much I have invested in these things. The one in the middle, with the little snowman beside him I like to affectionately call Charlie. Charlie was my mom's oldest brother. My dad died the week after I was engaged and Charlie walked me down the aisle four months later. He did a fine job as the night before he had on the job training with his own daughter. Charlie was killed when a transformer at work exploded and burned him badly. He lived 13 days and I spent many a late night that June stitching because I couldn't sleep. Several tears were shed while stitching this one. Every year when I pull this one out I send a little mental thought and hello to Charlie. As anyone who stitches knows it is great therapy for what ails you physically and spiritually.

See you tomorrow!