navygreen: (Christmas: cookie cutter)
It's that time of year, folks! The time when families come together that can't get away during the school/work/winter months, and when I bring out a warm recipe just for "the holidays!"

Well, it sounds nice, right? I mean, it wasn't necessarily my plan, but it sure does SOUND like a great idea. I once visited some extended family in a gorgeous Adobe-style home, and I remember most that they were celebrating 'Christmas in July.' I'd never heard of such things at the tender age of 11, but they assured me it was the only time of year they could all get away to meet. Hey, any time I see a Christmas tree bedecked with presents, I'm willing to believe WHATEVER YOU SAY!

And so, I present you with a lovely piece of Christmas bread on this hot July day. I promise your tastebuds will thank you for the seasonal mistake. ;-)

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread.


(If nothing else, my pals in Australia appreciate this timely winter recipe, right?!)

After you drag your dripping self out of the pool, you sit back in a cabana chair. If you're like me, sitting still is a rarity, and instead of relaxing thoughts, you're hit with ideas at mind-whizzing speed. In one particular case, it was, "What should I make with the leftover pie filling?" ... followed by, "How should I use up the leftover sour cream?" Next up, "Hey, I wonder if I can use 'em both at the SAME TIME?"

Fast-forward to typing ingredients at AllRecipes.com, and finding this recipe among the yielded results. It sounded perfect, but I was ever-so-stumped. When/where was I to use the sour cream, egg, sugar, and almond extract? Was I supposed to combine it with the pie filling? Was I just too dumb to make this bread??

So I asked friends for advice. Almost unanimously, my friends suggested they would combine with the pie filling. I was all set to bake, yet something distracted me, and I'm forever thankful for it. In the time where I was away, my friend Miriam suggested that the recipe sounded like a German pastry she'd made several times before, and that I was to combine the sour cream, etc. and DRIZZLE it over the pie filling. She even researched further and found the same recipe (by the same baker!) on a different website here!

Hooray! The day was saved, and so was my Christmas Bread! I don't know why I didn't think to look further for the same recipe elsewhere, but I wasn't surprised in the least that it showed up at Taste of Home. Me & ToH are practically best friends, after all. We work together every night in the kitchen, and sometimes even more often! ;-)

Recipe and more pictures. )
navygreen: (Christmas: cookie cutter)
w00t! Today was great, and tomorrow is forecast to be even better. Our high today should've been 11° or so, but instead, we were hanging out at 16° when I checked this afternoon. Even now, we're currently 14°.

Even better than THAT, however, is that we're in the mid-30's tomorrow! And for the next day! And upper 20's the day after that! What a great weekend!

I was so thankful for the 5-6 days of 30-40° weather we had last week, even if it did dip back into the negatives again over the weekend. I mean, it's winter, after all. Once the snow comes, I expect it to be there nonstop until spring. However, that huge warm-up caused all the roads/sidewalks to be not just clear, not just wet, but down to DRY PAVEMENT. That is a huge plus in my book. I love a fresh start!

I received a great box in the mail today. Philip surprised me with a set of lights I'd found after the season and been drooling over: Williams-Sonoma Cookie Cutter Lights. I found the item one night, and intended to order it the next day (they were on clearance). However, the next day, they were sold out and gone!. He contacted his sister-in-law to see if they had them in her local store in Greensboro, and then she found a set on eBay later. He created a new account and bought them for me! They will be perfect on my kitchen Christmas tree next year!

I've got about 48 hours' worth of baking in front of me. Four cookie requests, plus a cheesecake. I've got to get to the kitchen!
navygreen: (Christmas: cookie cutter)
I didn't finish posting all of my Christmas cookies from this year, so I'm going to back-track and get a few more posts up. I know, I know - everyone is ready to move on in the new year. I promise that I am, too!

But you love me enough to humor me, don't you? *holds breath*

I should probably save these for last, but that's just not the way organization works in my head. The reason I want to share these so badly is simple: they contain my favorite cookie of the season.

Reason for the Season.
The Reason for the Season.


CHRISTmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord, and the idea for these sweet, simple cookies came to me in an afternoon nap. It was a divine sleep (ha! You see what I did there?!), and I'm sure it means that I am to nap each and every day. *wink*

I only made just a few of these delicate crosses for that very reason - they are delicate. They are large cookies, but the shape is very frail - too long and skinny for much handling. I didn't make any of these for shipped holiday cookies, knowing they wouldn't make the trip. Instead, I made these as part of a set that I gave to my doctor at my last appointment during the first week of December.

I was tickled to hear the nurses all exclaim over the beautiful crosses, despite the others in the basket. My message had been simple and sweet, but they "got" it all the same.

See more from this batch. )



Merry Christmas to you!
navygreen: (Christmas - Robbie)
I'm taking just a moment from un-decorating the house for Christmas to post a little bit. I realized I had not used this icon this holiday season, and well... to let such an opportunity pass would be a shame. If nothing else, I know [livejournal.com profile] mostcurious will love it. *wink*

The boys and I were treated to lunch today in town by our sweet friends, the Paini family. They had "booked" us for lunch, wanting to thank us for everything we do for them. It was so very non-necessary, but we were so touched! We ate at Mi Mexico, and it was wonderful as usual. Philip worked last night and so was sleeping through lunch today, but he's not fond of Mexican food, either. He appreciates the gesture but considers the food a non-loss. Silly boy - Mexican fare is *always* a treasure!

A.J. and Jack helped me with un-decorating all afternoon and evening, and then we had leftovers from the parties two nights ago for dinner. It was nice to have our dining room table back in the center of the room again for this meal (we had pushed it to a far wall to make room for the boys' full-size tree this year), even if it was just leftovers. The only thing I have left to do myself at this point is strip the family tree of its lights and tuck it away. I've stacked all of the bins/tubs of decorations in the hallway by the garage for Philip to stow in the shed room tomorrow when he gets home from work. He will be very pleased to have missed all of these parts, though!

I've been deep-cleaning while I take things down, and it feels so vastly different to me already. I absolutely adore my Christmas things, but there are so many trinkets and statuary that I can't really dust around, so I enjoy a massive dust-and-clean session while re-decorating with our regular home decor.

For dessert tonight, the dear Painis blessed us again - with fresh "Snow Cream" they had just made! It was our first time having snow cream, but it definitely won't be the last this winter season. We've got plenty of fresh snow at all times, it seems, and this was just too tasty of a treat. From the "recipe" they gave me, it should be quite easy to make, too. I'm very jazzed about it!

Well, it's time to return to the task at hand and get those lights down. I think I'm going to plop down with a nice movie as my reward tonight, too. :-)
navygreen: (Popcorn)
Well, I've finally seen Elf. Seriously, I think it was almost non-stop chatter about this movie this whole month, and none of us had seen it. Philip recorded it about two weeks ago, and we sat down last night to watch it. Halfway through, the boys fizzled and wanted to continue playing with new Christmas toys, so Philip and I stopped it as well. (Truth be told, I didn't mind the break either!)

Tonight, the boys and I finished it at their request. We saved it in the DVR for Philip to finish on his next night off, too. My thoughts? It was okay. Nothing great, nothing terrible. Just a movie to have watched for the sake of watching, I suppose. I don't think I expected a whole lot more, despite the hype. I'm just not a great Will Ferrell fan.

In other movie news, Philip introduced the boys to A Christmas Story last night while I cleaned house. I think they enjoyed it, but I enjoyed cleaning more. I've just got NO interest in watching that one, thank you!
navygreen: (Christmas - blue)
I just love-love-love the holidays! I love how everyone is perfectly content to buzz about in their kitchens, measuring and mixing, baking and tasting. I love the floured aprons and pants, the smudge of chocolate on a cheek, and sprinkle glitter all over. I love the magic that transforms from such simple things, and I wish I could bottle the smell of freshly creamed butter and sugar - magnificent!

Best of all, I love turning out treats like these for my family during the holiday season:

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.


I bake so often. I'm almost true when I laugh and tell folks, "I bake every day." It really is that much, that often! There's something special, something "warm-and-fuzzy" around the edges about holiday baking, though. It just tastes better, and I think it's because there's a little bit of the season's hope and joy tucked in. :-)

More pictures of our holiday cookies. )

I never got the Snickerdoodles made before Christmas Eve, but I still have all the ingredients on-hand. I'm sure they'll turn up here before New Year's, and maybe we'll set them out overnight for Auld Lang Syne. *wink*
navygreen: (Christmas - socks)
It's such a wonderful, warm day out today! It's about 37° right now, and consider that is almost 70° warmer than we were last week - wow! The boys are out playing in the snow with friends, and Philip is carving away a bit more snow at the end of the driveway, to make it easier to manage pulling in. You have to take advantage of the warmer days to clear extra snow as much as you can!

We just finished up the leftovers from Christmas Day dinner with our friends, Jennifer and Dennis and their family. We had Jennifer and her kids (they're actually 20 and 17!) over for Thanksgiving, and they returned the favor for Christmas since Dennis had returned home. We met another couple - Clint and Alicia - and they were so charming as well. I think we all had a great time, and we laughed for hours on end. As we said our goodbyes at the end of the night, the guys had ranked three wins on Wii Pictionary over the girls... even though we had tougher/better drawings! Oh, and that Wii tablet is really difficult to work with compared to a pencil and paper! So yeah, we'll blame our losses on the equipment. *wink*

I made my first lasagna as my contribution to the Christmas feast, and it turned out wonderful. I didn't take a picture for "food porn" purposes, as I thought it would be rude to show up with a casserole with a piece missing! I also made a new cheesecake for dessert - Peppermint Chip Cheesecake - and I didn't take a photo of it either, for the same reasons. I guess I'll have to make both again sometime so that I can document them in pictures. Such is the life of a food blogger!

I worked a bit last night on cookie pictures, getting up several from the last month or so. I uploaded over 40 cookies just from December, and I still have two Christmas sets left to do! I'm so desperate behind in journaling them, though. So many cookies seem to never see the light of the internet! Currently, I can't work on pictures during the day because the desktop monitor faces the large window in the office. Normally, I would just shut the window and proceed, but the large family Christmas tree is in that window, and shutting the blinds is not an option. I've not decided yet whether I'll take my decorations down this week or wait until after New Year's... but for now, I can't see my screen well enough during the day for pictures.

I need to run a few things to the post office for now, so I'm off!

*whistles*

Nov. 15th, 2010 09:15 pm
navygreen: (Christmas: candy canes)
I began addressing my Christmas cards last night. Philip and I had run a few errands in town, including picking up the holiday stationery and envelopes. I've been buying a book or two of holiday stamps each time I'm in the post office (it seems to sting a bit less that way, you know?), so I'm getting there in the preparation. I need to process the boys' fall portraits I took in September (yes, I know!) so that I can print a picture to pop in the cards, and then I'll be set.

Well... except for actually writing the newsletter, that is. I'll have to crank that one out by this weekend or so. I always feel so dorky, yet folks continually tell me how much they adore my "newsy" newsletters. Oh, what I do for the people I love! *wink*

This afternoon, Philip and I finished up all the outdoor holiday lights and decorations. There is currently no snow on the ground, but there is a dusting in the forecast this week, and we got about 5" a couple weeks ago (which melted in 60° the following two days), so now is the time to beat the true cold and wind. Also, tonight is the first night you can officially have holiday lights on in base housing, so we were ready for that. The icicle lights on the roof were up during October as part of our Halloween decorations, so we only added the train on the roof, the moving deer (a doe and buck), and the yard stakes with red-white-green lights. We'll put our indoor decorations up on the 28th, and then the two full-size trees will shine brightly out both of our large front windows.

We completely finished our holiday shopping almost two weeks ago, and then I finished wrapping everything over that next week. I mailed out our first boxes of holiday gifts last week, and I hear that both have been received already. I still need to mail two more big boxes of gifts, and then the shipping part is done. I can't wait to have our trees up and decorated because I'm tired of storing all of our gifts in the closet! Even though they are already wrapped, I still don't want them out until the tree is ready. (It makes sense in my mind, I swear.)

Last year, we waited on all gift-shopping for our family because we were moving on Dec. 7th. We didn't want the movers hauling gifts, but we didn't have room in our vehicles for them, either. We finished up our friends and extended family before the move, but waited on our own things. This year, however, it feels nice to be ready ahead of the game. Two years ago, I took a picture on Nov. 4th of everything wrapped and ready, and this year we were on par with that. It sure makes for a sigh of relief as we head into the busy holiday season!

Meanwhile, we spent our nights this weekend while Philip was off watching movies. While doing that, I crafted tons more ornaments, and I'm over halfway done with the sets for the boys' teachers. I really had to step up my game this year since A.J. is in middle school and now has seven teachers instead of just one - eep! I will probably tuck some cookies into their gifts as well. (Naturally!)

And that's that. It's not just "beginning to feel a lot like Christmas" around here... it's practically in full-swing already!
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
So. Much. Unpacking.

It feels like it will never end! Realistically, however, it will be done late tomorrow or Tuesday - I can't tell just yet. I am so very much looking forward to calling the moving company and asking them to come back and pick up all their boxes and packing material! (I'll have space in my garage again - whee!)

My dining room is just gorgeous and huge. I still cannot get over all the space in there. That, to me, is the most drastic difference between our old house and this one. I love the fact that it's not situated off the main garage entrance into the house, and it's not near a television of any sorts. It's awesome, truly.

The plan tomorrow is for Philip and I to move/unpack all the stuff in the garage. See, the movers unloaded all our shed and garage items directly into the garage, so we've got to unpack everything and get it moved into its proper place in the storage room in the back. Philip already took apart our shed, and we'll put the pieces in our "renovation space." (When they renovated this house, they built on an extra room along the basement wall, and they entered through there, bringing all their equipment with them. Once they finished, they closed off the room and left a large access flap. We can easily open it via the flap, and it's an 8x10' space, at least.) While we're doing that, the boys will be playing hard in the snow. Once we're done, we'll have all our space back in the garage, and we'll move all the boxes and packing material to the breezeway until pick-up. Trash Day is also on Tuesday, and it'll be great to have all that gone, too. (Gosh, but moving creates a lot of excess trash!)

Depending on how long we're out in the garage tomorrow, we'll work on the office afterwards. It's the only room left, and that's because I considered it the lowest priority of all the rooms. I mean, *I* love this room, and I practically live in it sometimes... but everything I really need (computer, bills, filing cabinet, etc.), I can already reach, and we brought with us ahead of time. What needs to be unpacked are the bookshelves and lots of Philip's military memorabilia and knick-knacks. He heads back to work on Tuesday, and I can finish this room by myself, if needed.

As a reward once ALL of the unpacking is done, we plan to go see Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. The boys are dying to see it, and I think it looks pretty cute, too. I thought the first one was good, and I'm sure this one will be about the same. The boys are also anxious to spend some of their Christmas cash at the mall, too. *wink*

Speaking of movies, we all went to see New Moon last Friday. It was the boys' first time seeing it, Philip' second time, and my seventh time. I probably won't see it again in the theatre, but it was just as good this time again. A quick rundown of the showings I've been to:

1st - with Marissa as my 'date' to Amy's midnight premiere party (11/20)
2nd - with Marissa again on Sunday afternoon (11/22)
3rd - with Liz on Sunday night (11/22)
4th - with Philip the following Tuesday (11/24)
5th - with Cheyenne on Thanksgiving night (11/26)
6th - with Aimée on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (11/28)
7th - with the family (12/21)

We also recently saw The Princess and the Frog (on opening day!), and we all loved it. I cried a little near the end, but it was wonderful to see the old-style animation again. And - I was so surprised when the first song began! I'd almost forgotten how the older Disney movies always had original songs - how sad is that?! I thought the characters were very charming, and I really hope the movie does well enough that Disney will do another one in this style again soon.

We saw Disney's A Christmas Carol in 3D, too. I found it to be much darker than I'd imagined, but the effects were amazing. Honestly, though, there were parts of it that unsettled even me, and I don't think I'd let younger children see it yet (though the Disney Channel promotes it constantly). We were late to the game on this one, having been planning on seeing it ever since we rode the official movie train back in August (what a neat experience, too!). After seeing the movie, we bought my favorite as a young girl: Mickey's Christmas Carol. I didn't have the movie growing up, but I had a record of it, and I played that over and over all year long. I still have most of it memorized. :-)

I'm hoping to have mail tomorrow, but I'm not terribly optimistic. There was, of course, no mail yesterday in the face of this major blizzard, and then today was Sunday. Philip and I did watch some lady trudge through all the snow with her key, falling down in the deep drifts and then crawling on her knees atop them to get to the box, only to open it and find it empty, of course. We learned long ago (in both Alaska and Nebraska, actually) that even though the post office's motto is, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," that isn't always the case. We've had numerous times with no mail delivery due to inclement weather, and on a day where no travel is advised, I'm surprised that anyone would think there would be mail.

Perhaps she didn't check her box on Christmas Eve, then? *nods* We'll go with that. :-)
navygreen: (Snowflake)
Snowed in, for sure.

On Christmas Eve day, the snow started falling. And blowing. And falling and blowing some more. By 4:30pm, we knew that a Christmas Eve church service wasn't possible. By 11pm, travel warnings were issued everywhere.

Christmas Day the snow fell nonstop - from midnight to midnight. It didn't stop snowing until yesterday around noon, and thankfully, the winds let up a bit then too. The accumulation wasn't nearly as crazy as the DRIFTS. Philip shoveled twice during the snowstorm, but by the time we woke yesterday morning, you couldn't tell he'd done a thing!

The TV channels turned to static in the morning, along with a message alerting us that the road conditions were RED. No travel was allowed on base at all, and everything was closed. Fine by us, as we didn't need to be anywhere, either!

He shoveled for hours and hours yesterday. We had much higher drifts than our next-door neighbor, and when he was done with his own house, he helped Philip for another hour-and-a-half, at least. I still can't much see out of my windows, but I expect that's just how it's gonna be for a while. ;-)

The pictures. )

Last night, Philip and I glanced out the dining room window just before I was going to start dinner. A beautiful dog was leaping through the snow, looking lost. Philip went to the front door and called, and the dog ran right to him. The dog had no collar, and Philip pulled him into the mud room for warmth. He had snow on his little nose, but he was just gorgeous. Philip and the boys sat in the mud room for over half an hour and loved on the dog. Finally, the police arrived to take him back to the squadron to read for a microchip, and they let him go.

And pictures of the doggie. )
navygreen: (Christmas - blue)
Philip woke early this morning, and he ran to the Shoppette to get a copy of the base newspaper**.

**Side tangent: the base paper is an awesome one here. It reminds me of the hey-days of the great paper at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska. It's chock-full of stories, happenings on base, etc. It even has a TV guide in it for the upcoming week!

/tangent

He got a copy of the paper, and he also picked up some grape and apple juice for breakfast. We looked at the church directory, and we decided on a Lutheran church (Missouri Synod). Services started at 11am, and so I went back to snoozeville while the boys ate breakfast and Philip showered. Once he was out, we all got ready for church.

We left in plenty of time, and thank goodness for that! Philip had thought it would be about six minutes away, but it ended up being closer to sixteen. He dropped me and the boys off at the door, and we walked in at 11 on the nose. I noticed a guest book to sign, but as soon as I picked up the pen, the organ began playing. I told the boys we'd sign it afterwards, and I ushered them inside... down to the first few rows. You know, folks always joke that Baptists sit in the back, but let me tell you - those Lutherans had left 3-4 rows empty at the front of each of the three sections, too! We sat in the third row, and Philip joined us a moment later.

The church was much larger than we'd imagined, and they were presenting their childrens' program today. It was cute, and the congregation sang along here and there. Jack got a kick out of using a hymnal again (we usually attended the Contemporary service in Nebraska), and I enjoyed singing the alto harmonies of several of my favorite Christmas hymns. The church was extensively and beautifully decorated, and I couldn't help commenting on it. A very nice couple then introduced themselves, and we chatted with them for over an HOUR after the service...

... but that was because today was Jesus's birthday party, too! The fellowship hall of the church had been decorated with balloon centerpieces on every table, and each child received a birthday goodie bag. The younger children received red plastic mugs, and the older children received white stone mugs. They were filled with cocoa, candy, and stickers, and everyone munched on cupcakes, frosted brownies, and ice cream. The couple we had been talking with in the sanctuary introduced us to many, many folks (there is no way I can remember all those names correctly!), and one of the youth directors joked with A.J. for a while. He was grinning from ear-to-ear, and then she introduced him to a handful of other sixth graders, too.

It was a wonderful experience, and now we'll have to decide whether we want to try a few more churches, or go ahead and commit to this warm, welcoming congregation. Even if we don't end up joining this church, I feel very blessed that God has led us to what will be a wonderful congregation to share our Christmas Eve together.

After leaving the church around 1pm, we grabbed a bite for lunch. We stopped at Barnes&Noble for a quick return, and then we headed home. With a full tummy and in the warm car, I was dozing before we reached the base again. Once home, Philip set up the air mattress for me, and I was down for a nap (around 3:30 or so).

I didn't wake until 6:30! Baby kitty had joined me for sleeps, and I think we both needed it. We had easy dinners tonight, and then after the boys went to bed, I began the wrap-fest of Christmas presents. I had intended to do it tomorrow, but I got a jump on it instead tonight. I'll run some errands tomorrow instead because I ended up finishing all the wrapping in one go - yay!

And now, it's 2am, and I'm back to bed. Here's hoping we hear from our moving company about our household goods tomorrow... *fingers crossed*
navygreen: (Rock: bring it)
As a Christmas/housewarming gift, Philip's parents have ordered us a new TV. Mind you, our current TV is still in excellent condition (it was a Christmas gift from my parents a few years ago when we did not have a working one at all), but his parents have been introduced to the HDTV age, and they insisted that we must have one as well.

The day after we took keys to the new house, the new TV was ordered, and it is still on its way. A 52" RCA LCD flat-panel TV that is so flippin' huge that it didn't have a chance on fitting in our current entertainment center. Soooo...

... the current entertainment center will go downstairs (when our household goods arrive, that is), along with the 32" TV from my parents. We have been carpeting the basement (in a tiled pattern, and I'm doing it slowly - I keep taking breaks!), and one half of the basement will be a relaxing area for the boys (entertainment center, TV, carpet, couch, and several of their toys). The other half will be my scrap/craft room, complete with the sink and all those lovely, lovely built-in cabinets.

We bought and built a beautiful new entertainment center to house our new TV in the living room. We subscribed to digital cable again, but for the first time, we joined a new club: those with DVR. We never really felt we needed it before, but it was only a couple bucks more with our internet/cable packaging, so we sprung for it. It's only been a day now, but I think Philip loves it already. ;-)

Merry Christmas to us, indeed! Now we just wait for the TV to arrive!
navygreen: (CSI: Wolfe - I see you)
I have been working, working, working, and working some more lately - craziness! This week, I should pull into overtime again, too.

I've gotten back into the beta'ing bug again for my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] kataclysmic. Even if just for one story, it's been fun, and I've realized how much I've missed this in the last couple years. Dramione, how I still love you. ♥ ♥ ♥

I bit the fingernails on both of my ring fingers much too short yesterday morning, and they were both SO SORE all day yesterday. Today, they're not as sore, but they do feel awful funky as I click away on this keyboard. My poor left middle finger should be worried, as he's the next to go.

** Yes, I bite my fingernails. I always have. I could care less whether you find that disgusting because I find it to be the best way to cut as very, very, VERY close as possible, and I loathe taking care of my nails, so I prefer to do it the least often possible... meaning it needs to be TO.THE.SKIN.**

I need to begin my Christmas shopping. Last year, I was on top of things. In fact, last year, I was sickeningly jolly in my holidayness. I had all our gifts purchased and/or made, already gift-wrapped and stacked decoratively in a corner, and photographed (for PROOF!) on this day, November 4th. And then I sent it out to most everyone I knew. After all, how can you properly hate me without knowing the full extent of my awesomesauce? ;-)

This year, I've got diddly-squat done so far. Okay, okay - that's not entirely true. A couple gifts have already trekked out to AnnieMcFranniePants ([livejournal.com profile] the_mommy_in_me), but that's it. There are, however, a few in the later stages of being made, so I suppose that's something. But I desperately need to get out there, get shopping, get back here, get wrapping, and get shipping. QUICK!

We got the boys' school portraits a couple weeks ago. I should probably share those, right? I know, I know... "this post is useless without pictures" is ready and waiting in the wings of the comments, so I'll just cut to the chase and share 'em:

A.J. Jack.


Eh? Love 'em? I'm think they are both good pictures, but I also know that neither of those smiles are genuine for my boys. I guess I'm happiest that they save up their very best true smiles for me! ;-)

(It DOES make you wonder though, doesn't it, if the photographer even CAN center a child for their picture. I mean, GAH.)
navygreen: (Coca~Cola: bottles)
About a million years ago, I received a ginormous surprise box from [livejournal.com profile] chelelev. (Okay, okay - it was around Christmastime... but really? Wasn't that about a million years ago, too?) In said surprise box, there were CRAZY amounts of assorted Coca-Cola® goodies: a decorative metal tray, several years of collectible tin playing cards, frisbees for the boys, a wooden crate, and more. There were also several antique issues of Workbasket, a discontinued crafting magazine that used to feature tatting patterns every so often, and a holiday card.

I still need to get some iron plate hangers for the tray, plus two more that I have of my own, so I can display them on the wall, but just last week, Philip helped me to finally get the wooden crate up and displayed. I put tons of tiny knicknacks in the crate, including eleven tiny Coca-Cola trucks that [livejournal.com profile] mix3d3m0ti0n5 mailed me over a year ago - I hadn't displayed them previously because I couldn't figure out a good way to do so... and then along came Chele's crate!

Here's a pic of the crate in place on my dining room wall:

Coca-Cola crate from Chele


And here's another, of both the crate, and the adjacent wall:

More of the display in the dining room


There is more Coke stuff in the room, but I didn't feel like photographing the other walls. I might, later, when I get those other trays up and displayed as well. (And, let's be honest, I might never get around to it. *wink*)

Related, I received another surprise box in the mail a couple weeks ago - this time from [livejournal.com profile] mostcurious. It did not fall into a postal black hole, as she might've feared, but it did land in my hands... and these are hands that are awful delayed in letting folks know I've received their box!

-- tangent: I just remembered, [livejournal.com profile] redwink, that I never let you know I did receive my books back and your sweet card. Thanks! --

Back to the box I'm currently discussing, though: it contained a SURPRISE knit hat from Catherine herself, made to match the Slytherin scarf she made me many months ago. And, I just (as in, two seconds ago), took a pic to prove the existence of both great items:

Me, modeling.
Slytherin scarf and hat


Also, she FILLED the rest of the box with Coca-Cola caps and box ends with codes on them. Over the past couple years, she would save them up and email me a bunch - sometimes 50 or more at a time - but this was unreal! I counted, and there were over 200+ codes! It is taking me FOREVER to enter them all (and Philip has been helping me, sitting on the office floor and calling out the numbers and letters while I type), but I'm so grateful!

-- another tangent: [livejournal.com profile] maryjo once mailed me a box with about 50+ codes too, as well as huge bags of candy for the boys. If I haven't already said thank you for that, then THANK YOU, too! --

So the point of this post is that I'm actually very grateful to all those mentioned, and I'm so sorry that I'm so remiss in thanking you!
navygreen: (Christmas - Coke Santa)
I've got to go finish up ornaments, and I'm so tired of making them.

*sigh*
navygreen: (Christmas: cookie cutter)
As we have done each of the past two years, we traipsed over to the Mormon Trail Center to see their annual Gingerbread House display. And, as always, we were significantly wowed at so many, many of the entries.

And so, I share some pics. :-)

Checkers, anyone?
Checkers, anyone?


As the sign says, 'Have a Peek' at several more! )
navygreen: (Christmas - blue)
I'm ornament'd out. Really. The boys and I have made so, so many ornaments over the past few days, and I'm beaded, painted, markered, folded, and glittered OUT.

The boys are done with all their parts. Too bad I'm not yet done. I still have more to finish up, but hopefully I'll be done with the folding, markering, and gluing by tomorrow night.

*crosses fingers*
navygreen: (Christmas - socks)
I'm gonna have to go on a computer strike to get anything done for the holidays in this house.

*sigh*
navygreen: (Christmas - Coke Santa)
Our holiday shopping is right about 92% complete (yeah, I made up that figure, but it's really really really close)! We're almost entirely done, and it feels SO GOOD. I mean, it's the 1st of December, and we only have to go pick up two more items before sticking a fork in - w00t!

So... how 'bout you? ;-)
navygreen: (Christmas - socks)
I am so happy, and I have been so blessed. I have also been extremely spoiled this year! I am in awe of the promises that December kept to me, and I thank God with every breath for bringing such hope and happiness.

If you're curious, read on. If you're uninterested in the Christmas gifts, feel free to skip the rest of this post. :-)

A list I could never have dreamed! )

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. This new year feels very promising to me, and I wish such warm feelings for each and every one of you, my friends. Here's to 2008! *clinks*

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