Monday, December 28, 2009

still in my jammies

Yes, we're still in our jammies around here. Have been all week! At least I showered every day...and then put on clean jammie/lounge pants! I did not get nearly as much done as I had wanted to over Christmas break, but I never do! That is what the dreary months of January and February are for. I wanted to include several pictures of everything we did throughout the holiday season, but as you know my camera is pathetic (did NOT get a new one for Christmas), so I am just including some of the decent ones.

My sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and my husband's aunt and two cousins took all the little kids to Boone the weekend of Thanksgiving for the Polar Express train ride.

We did lots of baking during those three snow days in December...
Darth Vader even joined us for some cookie baking!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies: a family favorite!

Ben's job: take all the wrappers of the PB cups!
He loved the shiny red, green, and gold wrappers and wanted to keep all of them! Of course, I talked him out of it!
Showing off his Dale Jr apron and mini silpin...

Another fave from the holiday season... the boys went to a Holiday Fun Day at the high school the first Saturday in December. It was a fundraiser for the Spanish Club. They did crafts, played games and watched Rudolph. They made these fruit loop necklaces. I think that Sam ate part of his and then gave the remaining to his Grandma. Ben gave me his and it hangs on the hutch in our dining room. He asks me to wear it quite often when we are home. I had to wear it every snow day. I am waiting for him to ask me to to wear it to work, which I totally will do!!

Some more decorating...not the greatest pictures. I REALLY NEED A NEW CAMERA!!!!!!

I love these bottle brush trees! They were on the one spot last year at Target. I did not see any this year. I didn't get nearly as many I should have!

Two projects Sam made at school. I love elementary made holiday decorations. I will use these every year!
AND....the after Christmas sales!!! Actually, I picked these up BEFORE Christmas at Hobby Lobby. Peace, Love, Joy. I can't wait to shabby them up a bit, give them a vintage touch.

And, more bling. Picked up several glittery snowflakes, reindeer, etc from Target. Can't wait to get projects started for next year.

Well, it is back to the real world on Monday. I am kind of looking forward to it. I do much better in a regular routine. I have enjoyed being home with my boys. They have been really good most of the time and we have had lots of fun playing the new wii and other games.
I am also really looking forward to everything that 2010 has to bring. I am eagerly anticipating my second trip to Junk Bonanza and my shed shows for May, July, and September. I am also going to put all of my effort into this blog and my etsy site. I am have lots of ideas and changes that I will be sharing with you over the next few months. Can't wait to get started!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmases Past & Winter Weather

So the winter weather just won't give up...the Midwest (or at least Iowa anyway) is expecting another blast of snow, sleet and ice over the next few days. I hate that this will just wreak havoc on everyone's holiday travel plans. I have a feeling that our Christmas program at church is probably in jeopardy as well.

I remember one Christmas Eve program that was postponed to New Year's Eve when I was a child. I think that I was 7 or 8. It was also the Christmas that I got the Barbie Dream Home from my parents. So, I was not so disappointed that our program was not going on as planned because I had just received one of my favorite gifts of all time!

I remember those programs vividly. You see, my family attended an old country church that was absolutely beautiful - especially on Christmas Eve. My brother and I also attended the school that was affiliated with the church. It was a two-room school, built in 1954. My dad and his three sisters and brother also attended the school. It had a little gymnasium, a small kitchen, and a "confirmation" room where the older kids learned the cathechism. The classrooms were divided up kindergarten-4th grade and 5th-8th grade. We never probably had more than 50 kids in k-8 at one time. It was a very different experience...but one I will never forget!

This is also the church that my husband and I got married in. It was and still is amazing. It has all of the original woodwork, tin ceilings, and a gi-normous (teen slang I pick up from teaching high school kids) wrap around balcony and huge old organ. The Christmas Eve program was a HUGE event. We practiced EVERY Sunday in December and we practiced at school, too. Every kid had an individual speaking part and we sang all of the traditional Christmas hymns. And, of course, at the end you received your paper bag full of peanuts, fruit, and candy! The excitement in that church every Christmas Eve was unbelievable....The picture below is NOT that church but it looks something like it

My family still attended that church every Christmas Eve up until two years ago. We decided that we did not want to leave my Grandfather alone on Christmas Eve. He was in his 90s and my mom would pick him up from assisted living around 4 in the afternoon and we just did not feel comfortable leaving him at the house while we went to church 15 miles away. Now, we have a 6-year old that will be in our Christmas program where we attend now. He doesn't have an individual part, rather a group part. And, he attends public school, therefore he is not practicing the songs at school. So, it is a lot different for him than it was for me. 

I think that Christmas is different all around, compared to what it was 25 years ago. I know that I get very caught up in the commercialism and the chaos. I do it every year. I think it gets worse every year. I think that I have do more and more...more baking, decorating, wrapping, shopping...In a weird way, maybe it will be good if we are snowed in...maybe we will get to spend some serious quality time together and remember what Christmas is all about!

Merry Christmas and...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stomach Flu

yes...that's right. Stomach flu. 3 out of the 4 of us in this house have had it. My lucky husband never gets sick! Sam started it off Saturday night and then Ben got it early Tuesday morning, followed by me getting it later on Tuesday morning. I missed work yesterday and today, but am hopefully going back tomorrow!

Soooooo....that's why I didn't get the giveaway announced! Since only two people posted by the deadline...I am giving away two prizes! Julie will get the "CHEERS" Banner and Jill will get another banner - not sure what, I will dig through my pile of banners once I get out of this bed! I hope to have them mailed tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some of my Favorite Things...and a GIVEAWAY

Another snow day!! Tomorrow is not looking very good, either! So, I am keeping busy baking, wrapping, working on grad school assignments, and BLOGGING.Since snow days are one of my favorite things about winter I thougt that I would list some of my favorite things about Christmas...

The reason for the season ~

Shopping - especially at these two places ~

Obviously, as a teacher I love having the 'vacation' off of school, but I also LOVE the movie "Christmas Vacation" as well as the Charlie Brown Christmas. I even have a Charlie Brown tree - they are selling them at Younkers stores. Looks just like the tree from the cartoon!

Who can't resist the excitement of these two??? Especially, Ben, my youngest. His birthday is the 22nd, so he is twice as ready for Christmas. He also likes to brag that he and Jesus almost share a birthday.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE candles - anytime of the year! Christmas candles are the best, though. Frosted Cranberry and Spice from Bath & Body Works...Christmas Eve from Yankee...and ANY pine/evergreen candle...I also love TONS and TONS of various-sized white candles in clusters all over the house!

Of course, Christmas cookies...These are not mine. I will be posting pics of those later! I bake just about every day/night in December. Can't get enough!

ALL the cheesey, completely unrealistic Christmas movies on THIS channel...and the Hallmark channel, too!

The Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. I know that you actually CAN get it year-round, but it just tastes different at Christmas...

AND...the bling, glitter, glitz, shimmer of the holiday!! I love it!!!! Maybe even more since I only have boys and may not ever get to 'glitterfy' a little girl!
Soooooo......speaking of is another one of my banners - all glittered up! It is kind of a Christmas/New Years banner with the word 'CHEERS' on it. Vintage sheet music and scrapbook paper with red/gold/opal glitter, hung with brown organza ribbon. could be yours! Post a comment with at least five of your favorite things about Christmas BY MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY, DEC 13. I will draw from the winners on December 14. Good Luck and

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting Ready for the Parade of Trees

I am particiating in the parade of trees in Williamsburg this weekend. I have decided on a white and blue theme and the title of my tree is "Junkin' Around the Christmas Tree." Here is what I have some up with:

Merry & Bright blingy banners for the shutters that I am using as a back drop. I may also add some paper chains made from old sheet music...

Here is the garland made from tons and tons of vintage white buttons...almost sold some of them at Bonanza ~ glad that I kept them!

Paper mache stars decopauged with pages from an old Bible...

Old spindles...

One of my favorite things - vintage glass ornaments. I can't get enough of them!

This is a creation I am not really sure about...vintage mini tart pans with white checker in the middle. The back side has an old poker chip glittered and a Bible verse cut out...

One of the 'gifts' old paint bucket with a pretty blue bow...

Another gift...old granite pan with pretty tissue and a bow!

If you visit the parade of trees, drop me a comment! I am looking forward to seeing all of the other trees, too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My new love...

As if I didn't have ENOUGH to do...I recently became a consultant for Michele Baratta jewelry! I LOVE this jewelry...It is a relatively new company to the direct selling arena. Michele Baratta jewelry was formerly sold in retail stores and apparael catalogs, but now sells only through consultants, home shows, and online. Check it out at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Starting to Do Some Holiday Decorating...

I started to do some holiday decorating over the weekend. I have found this to be harder and harder the last few years. Everything in my home used to be very primitive and now since I have started crafting and collecting the vintage/shabby chic style items, I am having a little trouble combining all of it! Also, I just don't have as much room as I would like - I would love to have several trees! I have one in about every room, but they are not as big as I would like them to be!

Anyway, here are some pictures of what I have gotten done so far. AGAIN, please excuse the bad photography. I am thinking about going to get that new camera TOMORROW! DH will probably not be in the field (unfortunately) and he can go with me to pick out the 'right' one.

I bought several of these bottle brush trees at Target last year! I love 'em! Here I combined one with a Jingle Bells sign that I made. There is a medium-sized piece of ceiling tin to the left.

A shelf in my living room cupboard. I love the old shiny brite ornaments. I have several boxes of them.

Still working on this display...

Saw a board kind of like this at a friend's house and decided to make one for myself - it's in my bathroom...

More bottle brush trees...

Top of the fridge...kind of cut off the Santas on each side!

In the entry way/breezeway. I LOVE the old cardboard houses. This one, unfortunately, is a reproduction. I still LOVE it!

I still have lots to do. These pictures are just the beginning.


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