Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Been a Merry Week!

Just a few of the scarves/cowls that I made for Christmas gifts this year. I wish I had thought to pile ALL my Hooky Christmas gifts together for a picture like Sarah did before I gave them all away. Oh & learn.
For Clay's birthday (Dec. 20) I gave him Miss Kay's cookbook since he had been looking at it & really wanting it. He was SO tickled & began making a mental (ok, verbal) list of the recipes he wanted to try. His first choice was Egg Custard Pie. He said he remembers eating it at church dinners when he was a kid. I'm proud to say that they turned out awesome. My man was 'Happy, Happy, Happy!'
I didn't have quite the same luck with my pumpkin pies. Ok, maybe I did......maybe it's because they were just so tasty that Charlie couldn't resist sampling one. I tell ya, I about strangled me a cat when I heard that he was up on the table eating my Christmas pie! *sigh*
Now that our kids are older & stay up later than we do......'Santa Clause' had to kind of do things backwards this year. Instead of sending kids upstairs to play video games/go to bed while Santa worked his magic....WE went to bed & figured that since Clay wanted to video opening gifts.....meaning the girls would need time to primp in the morning.....Santa Clause would come while the girls were primping & the guys were still snoozing. Whatever works, right?!
Frederick looked so cute with his red Christmas bow.....though it didn't last very long at all.
This right here was one of the main reasons we were videoing this year. We pulled off a really cool surprise.....along with Brendan & his folks. Ashley had been needing a good camera for her classes & so she can hopefully shoot for the school newspaper this coming Brendan came to us with the idea of all of us going together to get her a good camera for Christmas. He & Clay had been texting/researching since before Thanksgiving. There was alot of texting/messaging/deleting of messages going on.
And even though EVERYONE knew about one slipped up.....& we were able to pull it off!

Just look at that face! It was great!! What made the surprise even better was that several times Ashley had mentioned to me that she & Brendan had decided to start saving all their loose change so they could go together & buy a nice camera. And Clay & I had even given her loose change & a dollar here & there telling her it was for her camera fund. We can be pretty sneaky when we try.
Homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast made by me & Ashley. I think these turned out the best ever. I guess practice makes perfect.
Alli took all these pictures of her goods. She knew MOST of the stuff she was getting, but the ukulele was a total surprise for her.
She was really spoiled by her brothers this year. Chris knows the way to this girl's heart.....a CHOCOLATE cookbook. She says she & Cori MUST have a sleepover soon so they can try out some recipes.
Faith & Purity
And the ipod is from Jon. His room-mate was just going to get rid of it....said the battery was weak & he wanted a new one. So Jon took it & surprised Alli with it. Only Ashley knew about, another great surprise pulled off. I really thought she looked like she might cry when she opened this one. I just love how my kids love each other!
Christmas evening at Maw's house. The lighting was terrible for pictures, but I took them anyway.
Sarah's really 'glowing' there! And just for the record.....Clay & David have on matching flannel shirts. LOL! Totally NOT planned. That's what happens when you find flannel shirts on sale at JCP for $4!
Poor Anna felt so can see it in her eyes.
Sporting her new 'Olivia Owl' hat that made for her.
I love my super-sized Chickfila cup that Sarah gave me!!
David thoroughly enjoyed playing Alli's ukulele all evening. I think that might give Sarah an idea for future gift buying.
I love this painting that Alli did for Clay & I!
Ashley, Jon & I went to meet Brendan at the train station in Charlottesville last night. He spent the night & then I took he & Ashley back & put them on the train this morning going to DC to meet his mom & brother. They were going to spend the day in Baltimore & then I'm not sure what else is on the agenda for the rest of the week.
 And they are off.....Ashley was excited to ride the train for the first time ever & mark yet another thing off her bucket list. From Charlottesville, I headed back to Lynchburg & did my usual Friday grocery shopping, etc. Now as I sit here typing.......I realize just how tired I am!! It's been a busy week & looks to be another busy one coming up as we ring in a new year.
Counting my Blessings--
Birthday dinner with Clay at Macados*coffee*sunshine*hanging clothes out on the line*Ashley's cleaning around the house*Taking Jon Christmas shopping with us to Richmond*Clay shot an 8pt.*homemade cinnamon rolls*celebrating Jesus' birthday*Christmas dinner at Maw's with family*health--last year this time everyone was sick with the flu*Brendan got to come visit*Putting Ashley & Brendan on the train to DC this morning*new flannel sheets on my bed!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Busy-ness

Let's see....over the past week we have.......enjoyed some cozy snuggle time with Frederick.
Spending the afternoon baking cookies for our Homeschool Christmas party....
Enjoying all the yummy goodies at our party.....
Enjoying friends & family....Alec, Donna, Lora & Taylor....
Maw, Anna, Alli, Jesse & Aunt Linda.....Maw was reading to us from Isaiah about the names of Jesus. 'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.'
Ashley, Ella, Sarah, Mike.....
Jesse & Daniel looked so handsome in their matching sweaters!
And what can I say about Ella?
Three beautiful girls!
Our party was this past Monday & on Tuesday, Clay & I headed out to do our usual Christmas shopping day with a BD dinner thrown in there for good measure. Clay's BD is the we always celebrate while we're out. Don't you just love that T-shirt I found in Target on the clearance rack?!
The sunset over Liberty University when we came out of Target was just breathtaking!!
Having a little fun in Walmart. Clay said we needed to get these footy pajamas for Michael. Yeah, right!
Wednesday found me wrapping all the goodies we have so far.....Charlie thought he'd help. Isn't it funny how cats LOVE a matter the size. LOL! This one was a VERY cozy fit for Charlie.
So, there ya have it. My busy week. What have you been up this Christmas season?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Around the House......

I've been really slack with my blogging over the past month & decided this morning that I would try & spark my creative writing juices by doing a repeat of a journaling prompt that I've used before.

*Outside my window-- The sun is shining, the cows are out in the field & there's a fine sheet of ice on our swimming pool. Love watching the cardinals 'walk on water' ;-)

*I'm thinking-- that I need to get up from here & go get a shower & get buys with my chores for the day.


*I am thankful for-- That both my college kiddos are home now!


*In the kitchen-- There is a sink full of dirty dishes that need attention. How does all that multiply AFTER supper time when everything has been cleaned up & put away??


*I'm wearing-- Red flannel pj pants, a red LU t-shirt & a black hoodie.

*I'm creating-- some crocheted dishcloths today.


*I'm hoping-- that maybe I can get my Christmas cards mailed today.


*I'm hearing-- the blower on the woodstove & Matt Redman singing 'Here for You'


*Around the house-- I have boxes & bags piled everywhere, it mentioned two college kids just came they are still getting stuff unpacked & put away.
Counting My Blessings:
*The smell of our Christmas tree*watching all the cardinals outside*Hand-me-down-clothes*Lunch with my girlie yesterday*Having ALL my kiddos home*Sunny weather for moving the kids back home*Getting to visit with Judy, Dan & Brendan before they left*Compliment from Donna---you made my heart smile!*Music*looking at old scrapbook & recalling special memories*Alli's twinkly Christmas lights upstairs---such a cozy glow*Laughter---it's such a good medicine!*

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Daily Learning

Here's a peek at what my days have been looking like this past week. Clay has been off for the past 9 days & he & Michael have been doing ALOT of hunting! And while they are out in the woods, Alli & I have been enjoying our quiet, lazy afternoons. She has been on a Harry Potter kick here lately. She wanted to start at the beginning & see if we could watch one movie each afternoon while they hunted. So, that's what we've been doing.
Frederick is becoming quite accustomed to being INDOORS. He thoroughly enjoys his snuggle time in the afternoons with us girls.
Granted, we DO get a bit of 'book' learning in here & there. I was just musing the other day over how things have gradually changed/evolved in our home learning. I used to try & get everything done in the morning hours....before lunch. If it didn't get done before lunch, then it most likely rolled over to the next day because we 'played' in the afternoons. The kids would be outside or doing whatever & I could be found at my scrap table working on Design Team projects & what-not. But now....we don't even think of cracking a book til later in the afternoon or into the evening now. Especially when it's prime hunting time & Clay is off. He & Michael are up & out in the woods before daylight. Come home to grab a quick bite of lunch & then head back again until dark. And that's all ok. That's the beauty of learning at home. We can roll with the seasons.

Some of Michael's learning over this past week has included cooking. One morning, Clay was in the kitchen cutting up some of their recently harvested deer meat & decided they'd fry up a bit to go with some eggs for their brunch. So, while he cut on the meat, he put Michael over at the stove & taught him how to cook the meat. I stayed out of the way & just kind of quietly listened from the other room. Thinking to myself what a great learning experience between father & son.

Last night, Michael came to me asking for his math to do & since I was talking to someone online, he grabbed his telescope & headed outside to check out the stars & planets, etc. while he waited on me. Instant science. Then, when he came back inside, he got off doing another project with Clay (never got to the math last night, by the way, but again.....that's ok). They were going to make deer jerky with one of their hams & so Michael's job was to cut all the meat off the bone while I mixed up the brine to marinate the meat in. He got so tickled once he got all the meat off the bone....because he was showing me how the joint was still intact & hinging. He said it was like it was 'spring-loaded'. What a great example of Biology! Who knew late-night learning could be so much fun?!
A little arts & crafts going on here. I couldn't help myself after Ella told me about their coloring book time around the table. We now have a stack of Christmas coloring books sitting on our table along with the crayons. What fun! In the above photo, you can also see one of my hooky projects that I NEED to finish up. Notice I said ONE of my many hooky projects. That's a little cowl that's meant to be a Christmas gift.
Remember back to the beginning of this post when I said Alli was on a Harry Potter kick. Clay & I came home from a date night last week & she showed me this awesome wand she had made. When I asked how she did it, she proceeded to tell me that she had found these little wooden craft spools in my supplies & an old paint brush & just went from there. She hot-glued the spools together. Broke the brush part off the end of the old paint brush & glued it down into the spool handle. Then came the fun part of painting/decorating her wand. On the far left, you can see the first one she made. Then she got fancier/more intricate in her detailing the more she made. My very favorite is the one in the middle. She used hot glue to give the texture & then painted/inked over it to give it the aged look.
I tell ya....she could do props, make-up for the theater or something. That girl's got talent!
She even went online & found these cool labels to print out & put on her wand boxes. And Yes...she's making her very own wand boxes complete with the Ollivanders label & wand number.
One of her wands along with the scarf that I made for her a few years ago.
And, here she is sporting her new 'Sly Fox' hat that I crochetd for her. I wanted to do it as a surprise for Christmas, but the pattern I had was for a child with edits at the end to make it fit a larger head....& I just wanted to make sure it fit. So, I had her try it on at different stages as I went along. Really pleased with how it turned out & I'm glad she likes it!! So funny.....she put it on & got down on all fours & scared the living daylights out of Charlie. It was SO funny! He still doesn't like it when she wears her hat. LOL!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Just a couple of Thanksgiving cards that I made yesterday.
And I've been doodling in my art journal again. So relaxing & just plain old fun!
I enjoyed my walk down to the mailbox today. Was mailing a birthday card to a sweet friend. ;-)
After a little drizzle earlier in the day, the afternoon turned out to be absolutely gorgeous! So much so, that I grabbed my tea & my crochet bag & headed out to soak up some vitamin D in the afternoon sunshine. It was great!!
This is another one of those 'Redneck Moments' might be a redneck if you have a deer blind in your front yard. Now mind you, the boys aren't hunting from the yard......they just set this up to let it air out some.
When I took Rocky out to potty late this afternoon I just couldn't get over how pretty the sunlight was.....making the sky such a gorgeous blue!
Look at the moss on the's gold just like Gibbs.
Love that one red tree up on the hill. It always stands out.


Counting my blessings:

*New yarn for Christmas projects * Outside hooky time in the afternoon sun * Fire in the wood stove--so cozy * Halloween sales * The new 'Duck the Halls' Christmas cd *home made chocolate chip cookies * morning art journal time * Frito Lay company store & the yummy treats Clay got * the Smell of Fall * Clay brought me a Dr. Pepper * Peppermint chocolate covered pretzels *