Sunday, December 25, 2011

There is order!

We finished off our Christmas celebrations around 8:00 tonight, returning home from visiting my parents and having dinner with them. Last week we did not have school, do to my lack of "order"! It was a mistake that I count a blessing as you will see in a moment. I think I may be redundant here because I may have lamented about this, er, mentioned it in an earlier post. When discussing our Christmas vacation with the children waaaaaaayyyyy back at Thanksgiving, I inadvertantly counted the weeks between Christmas and Thanksgiving incorrectly. This ended school one week early. I like to be on day 100 by the end of January. The past two years it has not worked out that way. This year, by the grace of God, it should end up that way! If we reach day 80 by Christmas we are good to go. Well, we reached day 80 a week early! So, we had a full week before Christmas to, well, supposedly relax. I did promise the children we would try to find some fun, inexpensive things to do. I can't even remember what we did on Monday, though, I think it was rather busy. We probably cleaned and straightened the house out. I did finish my final two projects for other people. One over the last weekend, and the other at the beginning of the week. What a great feeling that was!! Everything was done on time and to each recipients' satisfaction!

Well, we did go bowling on Monday. Remember last week when I said I was pretty nervous about going bowling with the children on my own? Well, I had good reason to be when I walked into the bowling alley! Mr. Happy was checking us in. YIKES! Was that a bit nerve wracking. He kept staring at our children - who behaved themselves quite well! - and eyeing them suspicously. I figured we were done for when the other Mr. Happy-in-training told the children to pick their shoes up in a not-so-happy voice. Of course, I can't blame him for that. Who wants to trip over ten shoes scattered around their floor? It also didn't help that Kristinie the Great was not happy when she was told they didn't have shoes her size. As soon as she opened her mouth, it was evident someone had to do something. And since I was not the gatekeeper of shoes, all I could do was console her. Then Mr. Happy-in-training handed me a size 8 shoe, which fit her perfectly! Go figure. Oh, he handed me another one so she had two! Catastrophe averted. Before we left the house, I set down some pretty strict ground rules: No running, no yelling, no pushing, shoving, kicking, fighting, etc. I also reminded them that there were probably a lot of older people there practicing and we needed to be careful not to disturb them. I also explained proper bowling etiquette: wait until your neighbor is done to bowl your frame, don't hover around the lane while your neighbor is bowling. Well, Mr. Happy actually gave us a neighbor!! Can you believe it!!???!!! There are 30 lanes, 6 were being used and he gave us a neighbor!! Mr. I-Love-Children was clearly not happy for us to be next to him. And the truth is, I felt bad for him. When you are a laid back, paying for a game, not wanting to be disturbed kind of guy, I would be kind of grumpy with five excited children next to me, too! Anyway, we started our game and about four frames into it, Mr. Happy comes over to talk to me. He thought we were --- say it with me, a DAYCARE! --- I told him that we weren't a daycare and I was the mom of ALL of them!! I love to watch peoples' faces but I'm too busy keeping an eye on my children to notice how people react. I do have one friend who LOVES to watch peoples' faces and she says they are hilarious. I will have to take her word on that. He was very impressed with how well behaved all of the children were, compassionately moved Mr. I-Love-Children, and all was well in the bowling alley that day. The kids had a great time, and Lindsay won! Kristinie the great came in second. Not sure how that happened since I didn't help her but she was pretty excited.

Kristinie the Great with her stylish bowling shoes! Still recovering from the "no shoes her size" incident. Don't ever tell a girl you don't have her shoe size. I am learning prissy and sassy. Not too well, but learning!

Our Robert

The best picture of Lindsay I could get. Everytime I tried to take a photo, Beatrice, who is the blur in the photo, ran across the camera path!! I don't know how she managed to do that! 



On Tuesday, we met some dear friends at a park for a picnic and playtime! We took one friends' two boys home with us. Kristinie the Great loves this fella!! They all play so well together and enjoy each others' company. And he loves to watch KK!! Here is one advantage to homeschooling AND having a lot of children. Homeschooling has precluded playing in "age groups". My children are "drawn" to make friends with children their own age, but they, as well as their siblings and their friends, never mind playing with children who are other ages. What a tremendous blessing that is!! 
After my friend picked up her children, two of my sister-friends came to visit. We celebrated a birthday, and Jesus' Birthday!! What a great time we had. I forgot to get a photo of all of us. I will have to do that sometime. I thank the Lord for them. They are such terrific friends. 

Here is Lindsay making breakfast before the nursing home. She is not feeling well now. She very rarely gets sick, but has started running a fever. We are praying it won't last. She is pretty tough and rarely gets ill. 

Robert wanted to celebrate his birthday with our friends at the nursing home. So we made a chocolate chip cookie cake. (It was the simplest one to make!) I forgot to take photos of the party because I left my camera in the van. But he had a great time and our friends were so thrilled we wanted to celebrate with him. We did find out that some of our friends can't use juice boxes because they will accidentally squeeze it too hard and spill it on themselves. We have the same problem!! (Well, not me, but some of the children!!! ha ha ha) We also found out that the third floor of the west wing of the nursing home was stuck on their floor because the elevator wasn't working. We were really sad because one of our favorite friends was stuck up there. So we brought the party to her and her little group of people! We sang Jingle Bells and gave everyone a piece of cake. Mrs. Everett was so thrilled. I hope they have that elevator fixed this week. They seemed pretty frustrated that they couldn't get down to the first or second floor.

Lawn art! We finally got Snoopy put together and he actually works; unlike Bob the dinosaur whose head is supposed to move but doesn't.

Mr. Handsome found out we had a leak in the washing machine. Great. Just great. We cleaned it up, and turned the water off. I am praying it is nothing serious. He is such a terrific man. I love him!! He spoils me beyond measure!! If I say I need something, there is a problem, or something needs to be fixed, he does his best to get 'er done!! (And by "I need something", I mean, "Honey, I need to go out; do you mind watching the children?" Mr. Handsome: "Sure, I will do it for you.") 

We met our friends at the bowling alley again (Mr. Happy and Mr. Happy-in-training were happy to see us. Mrs. I-don't-know-how-to-run-the-cash-register lady, not so much!) on Friday and then went to the park. We had a great time. This park ride is a safety hazard. I am so shocked they even put it in. You're actually supposed to hang onto it and it swings in circles; a reverse merry-go-round, if you will. But everyone loves to sit on TOP of it!! HA!!! (OK, so I am JUST kidding about the safety hazard; If I did not get dizzy just by turning around, I would be up there, too!!)

Mr. Handsome and I went out for a much needed date. We just went up the road to a Mexican place, then went to visit one of my sister-friends and her family. We got to meet her son's hedgehog, Nutmeg. It is very cute but a bit scary. Lots of spiky things all over it! 

Here is Beatrice and Beaker making the cake part of our Happy Birthday, Jesus cake to bring to my brother and sister-in-law's on Christmas Eve. This was not my idea, though I have wanted to have that for a tradition for some years. My sister-in-law (oldest brother's wife - where we went on Christmas Eve) asked if the girls wanted to make it. I also attempted sausage and cheese balls, a southern delicacy. They were a bit dry, and I am thankful that my sister-in-law was honest about it and told me! She said they tasted good (which I thought so too) but were rather dry. 

Here is Maddie making candy clay to make a baby Jesus.

And here is Baby Jesus. His head is on the right. He is wrapped in swaddling clothes, which Taylor and I learned from our Maddie, are rags, hence the "dirt" on the white clothes. It gave me pause to think that the Great God of the Universe was wrapped in dirty rags, while I was born in the lap of luxury with all new things and a clean hospital room!!

The finished cake - with Mommy's lame attempt at lettering. I did better icing the cake, though.

Ah, Christmas morning, where you never know how someone in our house will look. We found snorkel, mask, and flipper sets on clearance in Target (I almost never shop there - I don't know why but I did notice that they didn't have a Salvation army bell ringer the day we went during Christmas) in September so we got them for the children to give them for Christmas. They have ALL wanted them, and as you can see, some more than others!! I also fixed Beakers' broken tent pole with about 10 pencils!! She was thrilled. I am so thankful for our children. I was feeling a bit guilty because several people had told me how everyone in their family has to open each present individually and they go around in a circle watching the present being opened. Then they say thank you to the person who gave them the present. I thought, WOW!! That is amazing!! We have always had frenetic present opening! How could I possibly change THAT!! I talked with Mr. Handsome and he said we should just keep it the way we always did it. I separate each childs' presents and put them in a separate spot so they are not all piled together and there is no one climbing over someone or grabbing the wrong present. So, anyway, we got up and Mr. Handsome read the Christmas story out of Luke, then prayed, then told the children they could open their presents. And it was really amazing. As they were opening their presents, they were ALL thanking us, AND each other!! It was such a great blessing!! I thank the Lord for our terrific children and how sweet they were thanking us for their presents!! 

Here is Maddie showing off her "sock" that she made with her knitting machine!! After many failed and frustrating attempts, she figured out the right kind of yarn to use!

My Mom and Dad picked a bike to get for Kristinie the Great. All she wanted was snacks (which she got!!) Here she is standing next to the package. We had given her the bike Lindsay and Beatrice used and she was sooooooo excited. I guess the tires were more worn out than we thought because when it turned cold THEN hot THEN cold THEN hot, the tires must have gotten tired!! ha ha ha ha... They were both flat and cracked and irrepairable. She spent many a day lamenting to me about wanting a bike. And this one even has a basket to put a baby in!!

Here she is riding her new bike at my parents' house!

We had a terrific Christmas and I am so thankful for all that God has done for us this year!! It has been such a privilege to be married to Mr. Handsome, to raise and to homeschool our children, to serve the Lord in our church, to live the life I live!! I hope I will live my life next year to be more of what God wants me to be!! Don't sit on the shelve in 2012!! (I had to make it rhyme with 2012!!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The week flies by!

I am happy to report, and thanking the Lord, that the Christmas banners that my sister-friend and I made for our church turned out pretty good! They were hung last week and I still haven't taken a picture of them. But I will because I used my craftwell e-craft to cut the letters and it did a terrific job. I have been enjoying it a lot.

Let's see: How was my week? Well, on Monday, I took the time to help the girls clean out their rooms - good. I swept out all the corners and they sorted through it and I swept the leftovers into the trash can. On Tuesday, a big exciting day for me, I got the courage up to clean my craft room and set up a spot for the children to sew. I know, I know. Who on earth would cut their children loose on a sewing machine? me. Of course. Why not? They sew at one end of my room and I am at the other. And guess when they want to sew? As soon as I sit down at MY machine!! LOL! It has been a lesson in patience to figure out how to work with them. I need to "act" like I'm going to sew and then just plan on teaching them how to sew something. They have their own drawer with scraps to use, too. My fabric is now officially off limits. Not because I mind them using it. I really don't because a lot of my fabric I have is actually scraps too, but occasionally they have grabbed fabric for a project!! I pick it up and there is a HUGE hole in the center. OH - that reminds me of a hilarious story. (I hope my sister-friends don't read this before Tuesday because I am going to post photos of their Christmas presents! SO - if you are reading this go back to the page you were on before this one and don't read it until AFTER Tuesday afternoon!! hee hee) I was working on their Christmas presents. I am  a lefty and do everything backwards and I really have to concentrate on that too. If you know me, you'll know that this confirms one of the many reasons why they call me Lucy. When I am cutting, the children pretty much know not to interrupt me because I am not good at remembering which side of the ruler I need to cut on, nor am I good at remembering the widths or lengths I need to cut. Anyway, Beatrice came in the sewing room and started like a machine gun asking me questions, I was trying to answer and cut at the same time (bad idea), and after I cut, I realized I cut on the WRONG side of the ruler!! YES! The fabric ended up being 6" too short!! Ack. What to do? I sewed it to the original piece and recut! So, there is a seam on boths sides of the back of one of the gifts. Bleh. I don't like things like that but what can you do? It will be a memory for me and my sister-friends. And y'all guys KNOW how sentimental I am!

Monday was spent cleaning but Tuesday we went on a field trip! Did I just say that? Why yes, yes I did! I know that sounds funny, but we don't normally go on field trips. It's not because I don't like them, I really do. We can rarely find one where the age range reaches all or most of our children. This one was for 4 and up!! So I jumped on it. We went to the Cape Fear Museum (a museum about the Cape Fear region) to learn about Native Indians. Everyone enjoyed it. Even Beaker!! That's what made it even better: Beaker could come. So here is Beatrice holding up a REALLY OLD artifact. 

Doesn't Robert look like he's having fun? He is so excited about digging into the box in front of him he doesn't care about anything else. And Beaker, as usual, is interested in being a part of the fun.

Robert is on the right holding up a photo of the ocean. I forget why! HA! I learned a lot!! 

Robert wearing a WWII jacket.

The Cape Fear Museum has REALLY REALLY OLD artifacts: A TELEPHONE BOOTH!! Kristine and Beatrice LOVED this. In fact, Kristine really thought she was talking to people and was holding a conversation with the recording!! HA HA!!

She is in her practicing a teenager habit now!

Tuesday afternoon, I got the sewing room cleaned (nee, craft room) and as soon as school was over, guess who wanted to play?? On the ironing board is Lindsay's project: a bib for one of our favorite babies in the world!! She used a pattern, pinned it, cut it out, and sewed it. I helped her turn it and sew on the velcro. Our baby's mommy LOVED it!! :) Important info here: From late in the afternoon on Tuesday my health went downhill fast. I am trying to decide whether I am going to clean ever again! I did not realize how much dust I stirred up(or how little I NEED to stir up) but my allergies went into overdrive and I have been suffering ever since! AND poor Mr. Handsome has been feeling bad since Wednesday. I went to the dr on Friday and he confirmed that it was in fact my allergies. He gave me a shot that I think is finally working, switched my antihistamine, and even though I am still stuffy, and my eyes are minimally itchy, it is NOTHING like it was. On Friday, my eyes were like water faucets open full throttle!! I couldn't wipe the water away fast enough!! Mr. Handsome came home yesterday after lunch and slept from early afternoon through lunchtime today!! The dr told me what to get him over the counter to help him feel better. I am glad we didn't need an anitbiotic. 

The nursing home people gave us a Christmas present of candy corn and taffy. Beaker is wearing the bow looking so chic!! :) We had a fun day there this past week. I am so proud of the children because ALL of them got up and sang. We have two that suffer from stage fright, one who has it severely, so I try not to "force" them up there. But I asked them to go up, and both of them jumped up and sang. They did great! And our friends loved to see them up there. Our friend Mrs. Everett was not there and we were a bit concerned but Robert happened to see her coming in from an outing after the service. This Sunday I go to the actual nursing home to play. It is a lot of fun. 

Look carefully at the top slat in this blind and you will see a black spot. That, my readers, is a superball!! Never one to entertain boredom, Lindsay had to wait what I considered an interminable (is that the correct word) amount of time just to get her stitches out, and then have the PA "look" at them! I reached in my pocketbook and found a superball. We had a good deal of fun with it. Then I had to go and bounce it on the floor and it got stuck in the blind. I got it down though. I ran and jumped - NO, I'm just kidding - I pulled the cord a tad and it came down! I am sure Floor 2 was happy when we left!

On Thursday, we have knitting and crocheting. At this time, we ripped out seams in a skirt I made for a friend, with whom I am in hot water because I HAVE to get that skirt altered!! Then we had a Happy Birthday Jesus party with one of our favorite babies in the world and her big brother. His favorite part? The dots! He took them from everyone else and they were not happy! It was sooooo funny. When his Mom saw what he was doing, she told him to give them back, and he stuffed ALL of them in his mouth. His Mom made him spit them out, and she threw them out!! What a great Mom!! And poor little fella! The bottle on the left, just so you know we DO NOT tip the bottle, is Torani flavored syrup. We used it in our tea. It was better than honey!

See?!! Look, Robert still has his dots!! Not for long!! ha ha ahhaaaa...

Thursday was also, our last day of school before break. I can't believe I did this, but I made an error in judgment (For those of you who are NOT surprised by this, raspberries to you!! :)) in my schedule. I thought Christmas was THIS Sunday, so two weeks ago I told the children that we would be done with school on Thursday! Well, when I realized my error, I decided I wasn't going to take it back. I could have with some whining but they would have acquiesced. My goal every year is to reach Day 80 by Christmas, so we finish Day 100 by the end of January. Well, this year, we were AHEAD!! We reached day 80 on Thursday. Next week, we are going bowling and ice skating. If I am alive to tell about it, you will hear much about that I am sure! (I don't have a phobia about field trips and going out, I just don't like doing things where the children are able to roam a lot. I am really not a nervous nelly either, but when you have to keep up with five still rather young children, it's a bit nerve wracking to keep up with all of them calmly!)

Here are the presents for my sister friends. They are casserole carriers. They are really easy and fun to make. You can find the pattern here:   One thing I changed was this: For the rounded corners, I used a small dessert plate instead of a pattern. Made things a lot easier. I hope they like them. This is one of many projects (including the banners) that I had to finish before I could work on the skirt!! I just realized I forgot to pick up the giftcard for our AWANA commander and do some treasurer stuff!! I wonder if God would put a few more hours in my day?! 

Here is the final project I need to finish BEFORE the skirt! One of my longtime friends asked me to make Hello Kitty towels for her youngest daughter. I didn't "make" the towels, just the Hello Kitty. And I really didn't "make" the Hello Kitty, either. My e-craft did it for me. BOY, did that save my hand a lot of work! I satin stitched everything though. And my machine told me it is time to get tuned up. So, after THE SKIRT, I will send it to the shop. I had to fix it tonight (don't tell my Mom I did that! It was her machine and she might not like that I took it apart) and I fixed my old machine this week too. But I need to put the screws in the baseplate. I just remembered I forgot to do THAT too!! AND I was going to make something for all the kids' teachers this year for Christmas (just a snack mix sort of thingy) but I guess that won't happen now. Bleh. Oh, by teachers, I mean, their Church teachers!!

By the grace of God, there were no injuries this week. I have gone back to our "good eating habits" diet with a vengance this week too, so hopefully, by the grace of God again, everyone will stay healthy. I am working on Christmas presents for the girls using my e-craft but not sure they will be done. It is going to be a Scripture verse in vinyl put on a painted canvas. I can't decide what to put for Bea and Lindsay's room. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know! Maddie and Kristine have "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." That's Maddie's favorite verse.

Maddie and Robert had their games today. They both did great. They didn't win but I don't care. WHAT?!! Did I just say that???? Am I my Dad's child?!! Yes! I am but I am a CHANGED child!! Ha ha ha ha!! My Dad was at the game today and he shouted over everyone and I told him we don't do that here. He was pretty mad and then grumbled about how the girls didn't know what they were doing, blah, blah, blah. I am not sure I will be inviting him to their games anymore!! HA HA! I'm just kidding. He really enjoyed it. He has several nicknames, one of which is AAAArchie Bunker! And he really enjoyed seeing Maddie have a good time. I am so thankful they enjoy playing. Robert is the littlest on his team. He is so cute. He could practically run between the other teams' legs he's so small!! And Maddie is the tallest AND thinnest. She runs just like me, too! Beatrice, Kristine, and Lindsay somewhat enjoy the games but they would rather play on the bleachers! 

Tomorrow evening is the adult Christmas cantata. We are looking forward to that! I love Christmas time. I love the fun, I love the reverence, I love the lightheartedness and solemness of the season. I love Christmas morning when we get up and drrrraaggggg Mr. Handsome out of bed, he reads the Christmas story, we thank God for His Many blessings, and the children open their gifts. And of course, the ONE blessing is His only begotten Son! What a way to end a year and begin a new one! I am not very good at self-reflection but I can say without a doubt, that everyday of this Christmas season, God has shown me more and more, how blessed I am. It's not because of the things I have or the amount I have, it's because of what He's done for me, He's blessed me with my wonderful husband, our terrific children, our families, my friends, my church, my homeschool group!! But most of all, He's given me eternal life! :) What a better way to celebrate this Christmas season! Knowing I have eternal life!  I hope everyone has a blessed and Merry CHRISTmas this year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I live my life in technicolor!!

Where has the time gone?!! I have gotten off track of posting every week. So, this will probably be a rather long post. But that's OK! I have had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season. I think it's the best yet. Our Thanksgiving began with a regular old Thanksgiving dinner. We ate our "dinner" at lunch. Mr. Handsome wanted to do it this way and it was a terrific idea!! We had the whole kitchen all cleaned up by 1:00. That left the rest of the afternoon for sewing and relaxing. For dinner we had a Snoopy Thanksgiving. Robert was so excited over this!! He was making me laugh. He took out our fold up table, put up the chairs, and I put on a tablecloth. Our dinner was complete with popcorn, jelly beans, pretzel sticks, and toast of sorts. I made tiny hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls. We had a terrific time. Robert declared it the best Thanksgiving EVER! Around 8:00pm my sister-in-law came over and we started our Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping Adventure. We started at Walmart. We crossed Toys-R-Us off of our list because it wasn't worth the savings to go there with police officers in the parking lot and extremely rude people. We will be crossing Walmart off of our list the next time we go. After Walmart, we went to Game Stop. Then we went to Waffle House to have an after midnight snack. From there, we headed over to CVS, then to Belk. Belk was a little bit dicey, too. people were jumping the line! Finally, some Belk workers came out and kept an eye on the line to keep line jumpers from succeeding. After Belk, we headed over to Michael's then Brilliant Sky Toys and Gifts. From there, we went to Big Lots, then World Market. The internet said Barnes and Noble was open at 8:00am but they didn't open until 9:00am. So we went home and I slept from about 8:30am until 1:30 in the afternoon. Did I get some good deals? Oh yes! And it was a great  time with my sister-in-law and Maddie. This was her first Black Friday shopping experience. She fell asleep about midnight and did not wake up until we got home. I definitely saved a lot of money and am thankful for that.

After the Thanksgiving weekend, my goal was to finish my mother-in-laws' napkins. I finally settled on a present for my mom but knew I needed to give it to her early because it was a Christmas-themed gift. I found a pattern for a woven basket. Cotton cording is wrapped in fabric strips then sewn together to make a basket. It is really easy to make and I had fun putting it together. We started this week at one of my friends' houses showing her how to make a bear costume. She did great!! And she helped me to finally get over being sick. I have to take claritin in the morning and zyrtec at night. While we were there, Robert stepped on a nail. By God's grace, there was no serious damage. I also had to prepare for my sister-in-law's cookie exchange at the end of the week. I made neapolitan cookies. They are one of my favorites!! :) We had a fun time until I heard one of the children (mine, of course!) screaming. Erin, and our two friends jumped up and I just said it was Beatrice yelling at Lindsay. Well, after about 10 seconds, I realized it was LINDSAY yelling; no, SCREAMING in agony and pain. Nothing curdles a mom's blood like a child screaming in pain. I knew it was serious because Lindsay never screams. She was holding her hand and clearly there was some type of cut. I looked in her hand and saw it, ran her to the kitchen sink to rinse it off, and realized she needed stitches. Erin thought she lost her finger so she was outside looking for it. I grabbed Tom, he grabbed a towel, and we got to the Medac as fast as we could. I had to call one of my sister-friends and have her husband go to our house to tell Taylor to call me because Robert had put Taylor's cell phone in a tissue box! And the phone was on vibrate!! Taylor had two kids and Erin had two so I was relieve the other four were taken care of. We waited about 30 minutes before they took us back. Then another hour because some man came in who was having a heart attack! Yup. So it was pretty much a comedy of errors. Lindsay's hand got fixed up, we got home, missed our church Christmas party, put everyone to bed, and I sat down to rest.

Now we are on this past week. Lindsay is healing nicely. Monday and Tuesday were spent making new banners for Christmas for our church sanctuary with one of my sister-friends who doesn't mind my adventures. By God's grace, they came out great! Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were spent getting ready for my inlaws visit today. We also went on Friday to the nursing home with our homeschool group to sing Christmas carols and then had a big party at a church nearby. The children had a great time. One of my dear friends gave me an orange tea kettle for Christmas that matches my kitchen fabulously. I guess the proper term is, "complements" because it is the color orange in my curtains!

Kristinie the Great, Rachel, and Beatrice. These three LOVE each other!! Can you tell? Rachel is my brother's daughter. (Tom)

Beatrice was the LONE winner in our family this year at our AWANA Thanksgiving dinner. 

Mr. Handsome carving the turkey. He did a great job!

Our table setting!

The Snoopy Thanksgiving food!

Happy Thanksgiving!

OH! And one of my friends' won the turkey I made - at the request of one of OUR friends!

I woke up to this cutie pie! She is waving an American flag!

At the mall on one of Taylors' days off.

Here is the Snoopy Thanksgiving food table. I didn't throw the food though.

At the nursing home. Beatrice and her baby Sara reading the Bible.

Maddie and one of our nursing home friends, Mrs. Everett. She is good friends with C. Everett Koop. Remember him? America's Doctor? He was the surgeon general during Reagan's administration. (Aunt Betty Jean, you bought me his autobiography. I still have it and it is one of my favorite books!)

Preacher and Mr. Jerry helping Beaker get her shoe back on. 

My mil's finished napkin.

My reupholstered kitchen chairs. The green matches my walls.

The pink matches my curtains and complements my walls! :)

My mom's basket - from right after fabric is wrapped around cotton cord.

The bottom of the basket. 

Almost done!

Trim added - finito!

The finished basket with a bread quilt. My sil made a matching table runner for Mom's table. She loved both of them.

Here is one of the banners not sewn out. The other one says, "God with us" which is what Emmanuel means.

One of my sister-friends made this scarf for our Ladies Christmas party gift exchange. I loved it and in a round about, trade-off way, ended up with it! :)

Neapolitan cookies.

Beatrice and her furry vest.

Poor Lindsay waiting for the doctor to come in and stitch her up.

Can we get out of here already!!!

They brought her food which made her happy.

Lindsay watching the Wisconsin game with us. Wisconsin won! Yay!!

John, Rachel, and Beaker! We are eating at the new McDonald's in Hampstead. That place was hopping!

I end with this: my Christmas skirt. A long time ago, I would make a Christmas skirt or jumper every year. I haven't done it in a long time, and saw this fabric. I knew I needed to make one. I know, I know, it's not very reverent. But I love flamingoes and my Christmas attire has never been serious natured anyway. I am thankful for Christmas. It is a great reminder of what Jesus did for me. And the children and I spend our morning Bible lesson studying verses that talk about Jesus' coming to earth as a baby. I am a rather silly person and the people who know me best call me Lucy. This skirt is me to a tee! :) Especially the pink rick rack. I live my life in technicolor!