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Christmas Countdown, My Way

December 21, 2009

Somehow, Christmas sneaks up on me every year. I have these visions in my head of perfect evenings snuggled around the fire with my family, doing sweet little yuletide activities…but reality is a lot more frenzied than the peaceful scenes of my imagination. There are gifts to gather, wrap, deliver, programs and parties to attend, work, church, bills to pay, dinner to make, dishes to do, music lessons and practice, homework, house entropy to stay ahead of…augh! Still, I love this holiday season, and have been making efforts to slide some meaningful traditions into the craziness of it all.

It may sound funny, but I’ve struggled with Advent activities in the past. I tried paper rings one year…and lost count somewhere in there (did I mention the days are busy?). The cute little cut-and-pasted Santa, where you glue one cotton ball to his beard each day: too much for me, I mean really– I’m expected to hunt down a cotton ball and glue every night?! Our fabulous Kindergarten teachers send the kids home with a Hershey Kiss version, but there are two problems with this: 1-not enough for every kid in the house! and 2-all chocolate is consumed within 30 minutes of arriving home–it’s an unspoken rule around here. I found a really fun advent idea I wanted to do with my cubby cabinet (it just happens to possess 24 compartments and would be awesome!), but that would require me to find, decorate, and fill 24 containers with some sort of advent treat or activity (in advance!). Maybe next year.

That said, the kids like to have some perspective on how far away the big day is, and I wanted to incorporate more Christmas Spirit into our routine, so I printed up a simple December calendar to keep in the basket of Christmas books parked under our tree and assigned a day to each child. As we gather for our nightly reading and family prayer at bedtime, the designated person chooses which Christmas book we’ll read. So far, it’s gone off without a hitch. If we have a late/busy night and miss our routine, we just read two stories the next evening. I love it!

How do you fit your holiday traditions into the whirlwind that is December?

Ruffles

December 17, 2009
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Couldn’t resist snapping a shot of this pile of ruffles today…shh! Can’t say more!

The Christmas Tea

December 16, 2009

Every holiday season for as long as I can remember, our community comes together to present a “Christmas Tree Fantasy” to benefit local charities, and I was honored to be invited to decorate a table for their first-ever Christmas Tea this year. Let me be clear here…we’re not too fancy about table settings at my house, and after several years of presence in my home, my ‘good’ dishes haven’t seen a lot of use. (I think I’m going to be changing that, though…why not enjoy them now?) Even so, we’ve managed to misplace a few pieces of flatware and nick a plate or two, and I had only eight settings to begin with. So a fancy eight-place-setting table was a bit of a challenge to conjure. The solution? Vintage, layered, and mismatched of course! Here’s how it turned out:

A candle centerpiece featured spunky vintage pixies (inspired by Wendy’s)…I love these old-fashioned-girls more every time I see them:

Mismatched dishes, glassware and flatware:

And for the favors, I attempted a new skill–soldered glass pendants…these were tricky, but a lot of fun to make!

The ‘Tea’ itself was charming–it was fun to sit down and enjoy all the prettiness in the room. Definitely worth hitting next year!

Upward and onward,
Audrey

Coming Up for Air

November 28, 2009
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I don’t even know where to start, I think I might have fallen off the face of the earth…does anyone else ever feel like a hamster on a wheel? So yeah, lots going on, not much to show for it just now, but hopefully next week I can get my mo-jo moving again. In the meantime, here’s a sneak of a project I’m currently frantically pulling together, as my deadline is looming!

I hope everyone had a beautiful, relaxing, grateful day of Thanksgiving. I know I did.

Back to the grindstone,
Audrey

An Announcement, An Invitation, and One Adorable Baby Girl

November 11, 2009

Kaymn CU

This darling niece of mine is growing WAAAY too fast! Isn’t she gorgeous?

I get to make an exciting announcement today: my fabulous sister Kayla is now working with Paisley Studios here in Blackfoot. It’s an adorable boutique photography studio with tons of charm and a lot of great talent. To celebrate, they are having an open house this Saturday, the 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The photographers will be there along with several local crafty vendors (there will be an apron or two…hint, hint), and they’ve got a bunch of tickets to the sold-out “New Moon” premiere to give away. So stop by and say ‘Hi’, we’d love to see you!

Kaymn 6 Months

Baby Kaymn Studio Shoot

Carvin’

October 31, 2009
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Here are a few shots of our quiet afternoon together today..we really had a lovely time!

Guts

Concentration

Girlie

Allinarow

A Special Day

October 30, 2009

It’s been a few weeks ago now (ummm…where did October go?), but I wanted to share a couple images of Miss J’s baptism day. I can’t believe she’s this old…or this beautiful. I so love being her mom.

Of course, we got her dress here. 😉 I tried talking her into a Mom-made dress, and she vehemently declined. She’s loved this one since she laid eyes on it…

MylGirl

Mom&Me

Idaho Harvest

October 29, 2009
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You haven’t heard from me much this last month…I have been helping my husband harvest his efforts of the year. Here are a few snapshots of what we’ve been up to:

Spud Harvest

Harvest1021 web

Harvest1032 web

Harvest1037 web

Harvest1047 web

It was a slow process, but we finally finished!

Sugar Beet Harvest

Defoliator:

Harvest2232 web

Beet Puller dumping into truck

Harvest2217 web

Harvest2226 web

Harvest2284 web

Baby Kay has loved riding in the truck for many weeks now. Thankfully!

HarvestKay2236 web

My view.

Harvest2311 web

Scale house.

Harvest2320 web

Long lines.

Harvest2327 web

Haul on,
Truckin’ Mama (Kayla)

Mission Accomplished: Birthday Dresses

October 16, 2009
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KaitKy

At long last, the birthday dresses are finished and photographed for posterity! These girls picked out their own fabrics and styling, and, if I don’t say so myself…they look beautiful!

Ky

Love,
Auntie Audrey

Turn Tights into Kickin’ Knee-Highs

October 13, 2009

I purchased these tights for little Miss M two years ago, and they’re still in great shape and couldn’t be any cuter. Her legs have grown too long to continue wearing them, but I’m not ready to let go yet! So here’s what happened to them today:

Step 1: cut ’em off!

Cut

Step 2: serge or zig-zag around the cut-edge to prevent unraveling.

SergeTops

Step 3: Cut elastic to desired length (I used 1/4″ elastic cut to 6 1/2″ lengths), then stitch ends together to form a circle.

Elastic

Step 4: Set the elastic into a casing at the top of the sock…just fold it over and stitch it down, being careful to not catch the elastic in your stitching. I used a stretch-stitch, but a zig-zag would work fine.

Casing

Step 5: Put on those cute new socks and wear ’em with pride!

KneeHighs