"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hmm, last year we got doubles of many gifts and I was gonna call a post Copycat Christmas... But this year I really do feel like a copy cat after planning much of my Christmas by repinning! From decor to food and even some gifts, I sure got my mojo from fellow pinners. After I catch my breath tomorrow (we're travelling early and hosting a late dinner) I'll try to post some more pics of my knock-offs!
My photo skills still need lots of help from here, but I also did this (used BHG's better pic tho)!

We made several different cookies but these easy peasy Reindeer cookies were the most popular!

Our breakfast will be gluten free with new traditions at the table... Already made these elf hats and will prepare these red n green frittatas, sausage w/goat cheese and pretty north pole smoothies w/jumbo red n white straws that I found at the dollar store. 

Also have these cute candy canes on the menu! Gotta do something to counteract all the sugar Santa tempts with... 

Jack had a great party at preschool and told Santa what he'd written on the list we printed
The night we did it Jack had been in a bit of trouble but he insisted on checking the "very nice" box not the "pretty nice" or "a bit naughty." I about bust a gut at his "nope, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it" line!
I'm not sure how I felt watching him whack Santa minutes later!
But capturing him trying to read the book his sweet teacher gave him made me melt.

Sarah also had a surprise "early birthday party" when I showed up at school with a Hello Kitty themed lunch (including sandwich she's showing) and cupcakes for everyone. Alas, I didn't get these Hello Kitty cake pops made as I hoped, but the school only allows store bought due to allergies!

We counted down the days by printing out this bright Santa and adding cotton to his beard.

Our little red friend seemed to be a copycat then too...
He glued on a cotton beard one day,
and left us a big reminder on another!

But we appreciated how he showed where his heart is as well.
In honor of the Elf we also printed out some coloring fun.

But one thing that wasn't copied...
Sarah made me cry when she brought an original writing project home from school. The kids were asked to write anything about Christmas. 
Sarah wrote;
Christmas first came from Jesus being born. Christmas is his birthday Dec. 25th. He was God's only son and God gave him to us. That's why Christmas is about giving. God gave us his only son so we give love and joy to other people. I love going to church Christmas Eve with my family to celebrate.

Hope your heart is bursting with love & joy this Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Home for the holidaze

Merry Christmas friends!
We're really feelin' it this year...
My goal is to enjoy my home and family to the max
 and avoid the holidaze!
It can happen in a blink;
the stores
the cards
the parties
the performances,
the runnin round....

We're trying to enjoy the simple pleasures and stay close to home more.
My training business has continued to grow, and while I feel blessed,
I'm fighting feeling stressed...
I'm trying to scale back my expectations for myself 
and simply EnJoY the gift's God given me.

We cut our tree at our local tree farm again this year.
The Farmer preferred to show me his best side... ;-P

The kids are doing penance for growing too fast!
They helped saw and drag the tree.
They even lugged stuff down our two flights of 200 yo twisty stairs.
And crawled under to tighten the tree base.

I offered less chores for less growing, but I can't seem to slow 'em down...
After seeing this shot of Jack in his new pj's n robe, my BFF remarked that either our tree was smaller this year, or Jack much bigger...I said BOTH!

Last weekend we attended a great horse parade again.
Followed by a lunch and stop at the local firehall to admire the train garden.

 We were pleased to see Jesus (young and old) a part of this celebration.

And amused by the clean-up brigade

We were also delighted to find our little red friend had snuck into the parade...

The Elf On A Shelf has been making us giggle many mornings
 He spelled out I (heart) Sarah + Jack in marshmallows
(They ate 'em before I could even get a pic so we recreated it!)
The Elf also crawled into the fridge and dyed the milk red!
We caught him catching goldfish in the pantry,

and having a tea party w/the fresh gingerbread cookies we'd decorated!

Most decor looks the same as last year.
You can see more by clicking "Christmas" or our tree details here.
I did add a bit more bling to our bedroom and master bath for myself.

Nothing beats a hot bath after a long cold day outside -
especially with candles flickering against vintage shiny brite n crystal...
Followed by slipping into a bed warmed by heated mattress pad n fleece sheets and reading the perfect book sent by a perfect blogging friend.
Dear Janette sent us Christmas Cheer in a box!!!
Please go visit her for a soul soothing pick me up.

Friday after lessons, Sarah attends a birthday party...
Saturday after early lessons, we go into DC to enjoy a concert at the Kennedy Center followed by an early Christmas with my Aunt and Uncle...  Sunday some fun client friends are coming over to watch "Fresh" and  celebrate a bit... Monday is Jack's school party...
Sheesh, what did I start out by saying?!

EnJoY your many blessings friends!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Smitten by a kitten

Hello Kitty was very, very special, but I must confess...
This is may be my personal most favorite cat...
Time will tell.
She has some big pawprints to fill.
I named her "Ugg" for ugly.
AKA "Runt."
She was the smallest, ugliest, goopy eyed kitten.
I did not like her looks.
She was kinda icky.
I did not really care for, her compared to her prettier sisters.
Then I realized how tiny, sickly n pushed around she was...
She became my passion.
She has thrived.
She's tough. And brave. And playful. And appreciative. And gentle...

And adorable (to my newly appreciative eyes.) 

She enjoys(?) even more grabbing, lugging n playing than Hello Kitty.

And best of all,

she and Olivia are fast friends!

Sure, there's almost nothin' cuter than a basket full of kittens...

But I got the best one!

Wishing you a cuddly friend to snuggle with... 
No lie, as I was putting this together, Jack was *dragging* Ugg around the living room hardwoods using a puppy collar and leash! 
(She looked content, like she was lounging!!!)
Gotta really love a cat you can use as a swiffer ! ;-)
Please don't report me to PETA.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Be. an autumnal novel

 Hello friends
Seems I'm not around blogland much these days,
but I AM so THANKFUL for YOU!
Here's my novel.
Life on our farm has been very busy and immensely blessed lately.
(Guess I'm well on my way to 1000 gifts!)

I thought I'd share a few of my fav pics from the last few months...
  I went on field trips with both Jack and Sarah's classes.
Jack to the pumpkin patch and zoo, Sarah to the nature center.
Some poor little girl threw up on the bus w/us to the center...
Although she had already been sick that morning, her mommy had said she could go if she felt up to it...
Thus began our TEN DAYS of gross sickness here.
NOT thankful to that mom.
Except maybe that it gave me a chance to just  veg on the couch watching Harry Potter movies with the kids? :-)

 We went to a paint your own pottery place.
Contrary to their dying expressions, it was fun.
Sarah made a pink n purple unicorn to match her pillow pet.
Jack made me a black cat for my Halloween collection.
I made a plate with their handprints that reads;
You are my sunshine.
Sadly, it didn't turn out as bright and clear as I'd hoped.
As I often mention; I am a frustrated, wanna be artiste!

But more in keeping with my strengths...
I took several of my students to a cross country course to practice.
 Much fun was had by all. 
Especially with the wine n cheese party in the barn afterwards! 
 I rode a 4 yo ex racehorse new to life off the track. Sarah rode Piglet.
I was thrilled with everybody's efforts.
Especially 7 yo Sarah and 5 yo Piglet!

The Farmer was thrilled to finally get all his corn harvested and rye planted between rains.
He worked  l o n g  days n nights with just us family "helping!"
I was a proud farmer's wife driving this!
Guess not too many farmers take pictures of themselves with a pink phone in the tractor cab...
Oh well, I was so excited to be planting.
Until I learned that I hadn't...
A chain had broken and the seed hadn't gone in.
I was a sad farmer's wife then.

But our kids were happy (scary?) children of the corn!

Sarah really does wear her "Laura Ingalls" costume from last Halloween around the farm.
 all. the. time.
I wore that gingham dress nearly 20 years ago at my cousins country wedding.
yes. I am a hoarder who resists fashion change.
I just knew that sweet gingham would find another use. 

 After the early SNOW we played at Halloween parties dressed as
Winnie the Pooh n Kanga too.
 Can you believe several people thought she was Scooby Do?! 
So much for my costume design!  ;-P

Then Sarah got to wear Jack's old costume as a duck in her school performance...
"Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that type."

There is nothing cuter than 70 second graders.
 Each in their own unique homemade farm animal costume.

Jack initiated, completed and transported his own awesome craft.
He told me he had made a letter J out of wood up at Daddy's shop
(that's up a long drive).
He really wanted me to see it early the next morning.
I finally caved and allowed him to run up to the shop n bring it down before school...
I had no idea how H U G E it was.
I can't believe he wrestled it out and all the way down the drive by himself!
A piece broke off but that didn't deter him from painting it as soon as he returned from preschool.
My boy is determined and focused.

My family joined me to watch The Blessing of the Hunt performed by our own Pastor Helen.
It was a perfect day.
The Farmer volunteered that he'd really enjoyed it and could see himself hunting with me one day...
Praise be!

 The kids (big n small?) enjoyed using the manlift to remove a big bird's nest from the chimney.
The Farmer bought this used off Ebay 10 years ago and I must admit it's a very handy toy that has paid for itself more than once over!
We're now full into woodstove mode.

Both kids help us keep track of the temp and load firewood.
And make cocoa. And pudding.
We are snug. We are messy. 
We have zu zu pets n real pets. But apparently no matching PJs.
We are so blessed.

Wishing you all a glad Thanksgiving!