Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tis the Season...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was filled with family and friends. I've noticed recently that I don't take as many photographs as I used to. I don't know if it is just because the kids are getting older or the opportunities are fewer or I'm just lazier. Well, here are a few photos from our day. Everyone had a few surprises on Christmas.

Hey, look. There's actually a picture of me! I'm getting ready to open the gift Nathan bought for me. It's Quilting Arts magazine.

The cat loves sleeping under the tree. He was a little put out with the presents taking up his space.

Nolan bought Nathan the Super Mario 25th anniversary Wii game. It was his ultimate gift.

The boys, Mike's mom and I went together to buy him a bass uke. He was VERY surprised.

We splurged this year and bought the boys each an iPod touch. Nolan couldn't believe it since we told him we absolutely wouldn't get him one!
We spent the day after Christmas with a roaring fire and lazy bones after returning from early Mass. In some ways I enjoyed that day more than Christmas day itself. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Religious Medal Art Quilt

As I've written in the past, I've been slowly making art quilts incorporating Mike's grandmother's old religious medals that I found in her basement in a paper bag after she passed. This one is for Mike's cousin Ellen. I know that Ellen reads this blog so I won't give away the whole quilt. I'll be giving this to her tomorrow night, Christmas.

The medal is Our Lady of Fatima. I had the idea for the quilt a few months ago and asked Ellen what colors she likes. She told me forest greens and reds and tan. I hope I got it right. As with all of these quilts, I need inspiration to begin. This particular pattern was a bit tricky for me. I had quite an idea but putting it in stitches proved to be more difficult. I'm pleased with the result. I hope Ellen is, too.

As I sew these little quilts, I think about Nana. She was so different than my grandmothers. She was a fashionable, unique lady. I hope that she would be pleased that this little bit of her faith is being passed on to her children and grandchildren.

I wish you all the very best Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best Intentions

Our read aloud, prayer cards, Nolan's rosary and Advent candle (getting low).
I had the best intentions of blogging more this Advent season. Time has a way of getting the best of us. Our lives have been full and busy. Here we are a week before Christmas. I decided to give the boys a few extra days off school this year. I've never done that before but we are just shy of 90 days of school (which is half way finished) so I think we have plenty of wiggle room to take a well deserved break. To be honest, I think I'm more excited about the extra time than are the boys!
More on the mantle. The boys like to rearrange the nativity each day. Sometimes it gets pretty wild.
I wanted to share a little of what we've been doing. This year I changed our Advent tradition just a little bit. For many years now, I've had Advent boxes for the boys to open. Each box contains one piece of their nativity. There's plenty of days that also include a little candy. We also usually read The Jesse Tree each day and for many years put up the homemade ornaments the boys created many years ago.
Here is Mary peeking in her basket at a little kitty. Can't you just imagine her really doing this 2000 years ago?
This year I made advent houses that adorn our mantle. I'm really pleased with how much better they look than the boxes did. They don't hide the contents quite as well, though. The boys don't seem to mind. This year I also bought the boys each an advent candle. This is our second year doing this and it is a BIG hit. You know how boys love fire. I changed up our reading this year a little. If the day included a saint's feast, I read the boys a story about that particular saint. If the day did not, I read a story from our St. Nicholas book. Starting on the 16th, I began reading One Wintery Night. I've had this book since the boys were toddlers but sort of forgot about it. It is a longer picture book with beautiful illustrations and tells the story of Christmas from Creation to the Cross.
More of the mantle. St. Nicholas made by Nathan so many years ago and his candle. The snowmen were gifts from my nieces and sister-in law over the years.
I feel fortunate that my boys still love a simple story read to them. They love all of these little traditions that we include in our day. I didn't grow up with the Liturgical Year and as a family we didn't really have many traditions. Perhaps that is why I love them so much now. I would love to hear about your traditions. Leave me a comment or send me a link. And have a wonderful Saturday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Posts, that is. I had no idea I was even close to 400 until I went to post today. I am an on again, off again blogger. I've thought about stopping but then I realized that I really do rely on past posts to see what we've been up to. So, I'll continue, even if my posts are few and far between.
 We've been busy around here. I suppose everyone is this time of year. My boys have had some unique opportunities this December. Nolan has been busy, busy, busy performing at a local theater as an Oompa Loompa in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I need to get some photos up soon. It is so busy and crazy at the theater that I hardly have time to think let alone organize photos. It's all that orange makeup that takes so long. The theater has been a wonderful addition not only to Nolan's school year but to my own. It has really energized me. 
 Nathan was blessed to be a foster parent for a few days. Foster parent to a kitty that is. Nathan and I volunteer at a cat adoption center once a week. We wake up early, schlep through rain and sleet and snow (and sunshine, too) before the pet store opens to clean cages, give fresh food and water and lots of love to the cats waiting for a new home. The above cat, Sally, was adopted by a family but needed a home for what was supposed to be two weeks but ended up being two days. 
Sally was a doll. Our two cats never even knew she was around. We kept her in the boys' room where she was happy as a clam. She really hated the adoption center. Miss Sally loved having her head and ears scratched and would just flop down beside you, belly to the air in contentment. She has silky smooth hair, too. I swear she didn't shed the whole time she was here. Wish our cats had that quality!

As you can see, to get a fabulous photo shoot (especially of Nathan) all I needed was to add one cat. I'll have to remember that for the future. Sally is with her new family as of yesterday. We said our goodbye's and wished her all the happiness in the world. 

Now to get the boys to clean their room....

Friday, December 3, 2010


 It's official. I'm now living in a house full of teenagers. Nolan turned 13 yesterday. It was fun to see how excited he was. Not at all teenager-boy-like. I'm glad about that.
Baking in the early morning.
He wanted to make dark chocolate chips for his friends in his writing class. He was up at 7:30 (unheard of for him without a wake up call) and in the kitchen baking. I'm beginning to think he's got a career as a chef or a baker. He's always dissecting the flavors of our food and giving critiques on the burgers and fries from local restaurants. 
Ruby Tuesdays and a few presents.
 I guess I haven't mentioned it on my blog, but Nolan is deep in rehearsals for a local theater production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He's an Oompa Loompa. Being involved in this production has been really wonderful for him. He loves the theater and has had a ball with his character. The show opens next week so we were unable to plan a party for his 13th due to rehearsal and show schedules. He handled the disappointment very well.
A book full of trivia, just Nolan's style.

He's ready to fry some ants.

So, for his big day, we treated him to his favorite hamburger at Ruby Tuesdays. He told me that he thinks they should bottle the ketsup, mayo and burger grease mixture that makes the hamburger so tasty. I'm not sure I agree with that one but it was an interesting thought.

The Wii classic controller, finally.
 Happy 13th baby boy. I'm so happy with the young man you are turning into.
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