Saturday, December 31, 2011

There's Some New Kids in Town

I have been taking care of my grand-kitties this week, while movers have been packing my son's house for the move south. Twice each day Jonathan and I have been going to my son's corporate apartment to feed and pet the cats, and scoop out the litter boxes! Rusty (top) has been with them for their entire marriage, I used to kitty-sit him when they lived in the area before their move north.
As of last night, there's a couple of new kids in town! My son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren have officially arrived! They will be living in a condo while they search for the perfect home for their family.
Next Friday, both of the kids will be spending the night with me! I am so happy to have them close by once again.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Five Christmases

Every Christmas Eve, Jonathan stand on the fireplace hearth. Look at how much he has grown!
2007 age 18 months

2008 age 2 1/2

2009 age 3 1/2

2010 age 4 1/2

2011 age 5 1/2

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Christmas

I enjoy looking at Christmas pictures on blogs, seeing how each home has their own way of doing things and their own traditions. We were joined on Christmas Eve by my sister, my nephew, and Jonathan's surrogate grandparents. Here are a few pictures from our holiday.
We made and decorated cookies for Santa:

A bountiful table awaits our Christmas Eve guests:

Jonathan tracks Santa's ETA on Norad Santa Tracker:

A magic set is a fun gift:

Friends Edie & Bobby gave him a special gift, a quilt made by Bobby's late mother, and he has slept under it every night since Christmas:

Cookies were left for Santa on another gift, a painted plate from our friend Brenda: 
Christmas morning brings more gifts, these from Santa:
We are so blessed that we had family and friends to share the holidays with us. It was indeed a merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Busy Week

It has been quite a busy week, as I expected. Lots of time spent cleaning and in the kitchen, but fun things, too.
Tuesday I had a couple of friends over for lunch, as well as a friend for Jonathan. I love using my "Night Before Christmas" dishes! They come out the day after Thanksgiving and remain in use until Dec. 30. The kids had peanut butter & jelly sandwiches which were reindeer faces (my photo of them didn't turn out at all!).
Wednesday we met a friend at Jump Zone for playtime, pizza and gift exchange. They had been jumping on inflatables about 2 hours when this photo was taken. Talk about sweaty hair!

In the early evening was a karate class, then my older son stopped by to bring and pick up presents before heading to Chicago. Dec. 30th they will be in town for good!
Today has been spent doing last minute grocery shopping for Saturday's guests, baking and making these cute "reindeer noses" for a few special kids. They are eight malted milk balls and a red cherry sour for Rudolph's nose! I may make these for Jonathan's class next year.
 Still lots to do before Saturday! How are your holiday preparations coming along?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Only one more week! Christmas is almost here! It is sure to be a busy week, but hopefully a fun one, too. I will try to post glimpses of our holiday each day.
Jonathan is out of school until next year. He had his party at school on Friday. The kids decorated their own cookies (I baked 5 dozen sugar cookies Thursday night!), had a snowball fight with tissue paper rolled into balls, had a book exchange and more.
With his teacher

Snowball fight!
Hot potato book exchange
 After Jonathan's basketball game yesterday morning, we stayed home. I cleaned all day, then last night we had our Family Room Camp-Out. The couch in there is a sofa bed, so we pull it out, pile it high with quilts and pillows, order pizza, pop popcorn, watch movies, and play games by the glow of the fireplace and the Christmas lights. This is one of Jonathan's favorite traditions. Then we do this:
Here are a few glimpses of the decorated living room. I love this antique Christmas quilt! It is beautifully quilted and is a true work of art. It comes out to hang on the wall each year. The Santas along the ledge were given to me by my cousin when she pared down her collection.
 More Santas and Christmas books, as well as some greetings of the season on the shelf.
 Pictures of Jonathan with Santa each year, it's fun to see how much he has grown each year.
I hope your week is filled with crazy fun as you prepare for Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Junior Achievement

I was asked by Jonathan's teacher if I would be willing to volunteer to teach a Junior Achievement class. It is a series of five 1/2 hour classes, designed to teach children about work ethics and money management. I was a little reluctant at first, because they all had to be done by the end of the semester. That meant a time commitment of several hours during this most busy of months! However, I am so glad I did this and I would do it again if asked!
It was a great opportunity to meet Jonathan's classmates and see how they work together. I truly enjoyed the time I spent with them, they are all so bright and so sweet! Our lessons were pretty basic for kindergarten. We learned about bartering (trading eggs from the farm for flour), earning money by making something to sell, identifying coins, the benefits of saving some of our earnings, and working together to accomplish something for a common good. They took their studies quite seriously!
After our last class, they were awarded Certificates of Achievement for a job well done!
I made lots of new friends and am so happy I was able to spend this time with the children.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Fun Carriage Ride

When I saw a Groupon deal for a carriage ride through historic Covington, Ky, I knew this was a great opportunity for a new experience for Jonathan. It was so much fun! The weather was perfect: sunny but cold, so we bundled up in the fleece throws we brought. As the horse clipped-clopped along the streets, we enjoyed looking at the historic homes and buildings and waving at the folks driving by in their modern cars. Jonathan especially enjoyed that part!
 Jonathan tipped the hard-working horse with a well-deserved apple.
After the ride, we were also treated to cookies, hot chocolate, and a picture with Santa in an antique sleigh. I took this one and it's one of the cutest pictures I have of Jonathan with Santa.
Jonathan loved it and is already asking when we can go again. Perhaps it can become a seasonal tradition.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Little Something For The Elves

We help our kids decorate cookies for Santa, leaving cookies and milk for him on Christmas Eve. We make sparkly reindeer food as a treat for all the reindeer. But what about those forgotten, hard working elves?? I never thought about them, until I saw this post from Six In The Suburbs.
I think we will be doing this Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Winner Is....

Sorry I am late announcing the winner of the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook. Again, I had only one entry and I have notified her via her blog. The winner is....Wendi of My Heart Is Always Home!
Wendi, please email your address to me at so I can get your book out to you!
I'll be back to the blog soon with little glimpses of our crazy, busy, fun December!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Community Christmas Walk

Saturday was our little town's annual Christmas Walk. What fun! The weather co-operated beautifully and there were record crowds in attendance. We had such a fun evening!
The festivities started with a parade thru "downtown" (we don't really have a downtown!). This was the first year for a parade and I was quite impressed with the floats. Jonathan, my parade-loving boy, enjoyed it so much.

There were luminaries lining the streets, fire pits everywhere, hot dogs, hot chocolate, cookies and candies, balloon animals, dance recitals at the local dance academy, hay wagons to ride, a live nativity and so much more! I loved the display of quilts at the bank. This beauty was all hand quilted.
Jonathan loved it all!
Petting zoo at the live nativity

Classic Christmas movies playing all evening

Cracking nuts with the very traditionally dressed St. Nicholas
A Victorian era house was open for a home tour---lovely! I really liked this idea and may have to try it at home. I've never seen these vinyl wall words outside before and they were so neat around the inside of the (beautiful wrap-around) porch. I'm not sure you can see them very well in the photo.
Click picture to enlarge to see the vinyl wall words
We truly enjoyed our evening, even if we were tired from all the walking! Total cost for everything: $0. Memories made: Priceless!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for "Southern Living Christmas Cookbook 2011". winner announced Dec 11!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Giveaway!

It's giveaway time again! Just in time for Christmas, I am giving away a brand new copy "Southern Living Christmas Cookbook 2011". It is full of Christmas recipes and ideas for decorations and celebrations.
Want to win? Follow my blog for one entry, leave a comment for one entry, or mention the giveaway on your blog with a link back to my blog for another entry. Please let me know how many ways you qualify  If you don't have a blog where I can contact you via a comment, please leave your contact info in the comments.
I will mail the book right out to the winner so you will have it in time for Christmas. Keep it for yourself or give as a gift!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kid's Art Fair

I spent the better part of the afternoon framing original works of art, wearing white cotton gloves to protect the masterpieces. Where, you ask? In the hall outside the library of my son's school! This evening they had their first Kid's Art Fair. The kids have been working on their watercolor painting for weeks now, and today they were showcased in style!
I was seriously impressed with how great the kids' art looked when matted and framed. The children's faces just lit up when they saw their work so nicely displayed! Parents and friends were invited to view the works of art and the paintings were for sale.  Rrefreshments were served and fun was had by all! Here's a few photographs:
Kids really are creative!

Art on display in the library

Jonathan's "masterpiece"

More art (taken while we were setting up, art filled all of these tables!)

I loved this one!

Jonathan with his painting

Jon putting the "Sold" tag on his painting

On the wall at home