Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Bijou, our family jewel!

Bijou, our dear beloved Boxer, is 5 years old today! She is such a big part of our family and we have so much fun with her. This year I was able to find a present for her that she would not destroy in 5 minutes. She loves toys that squeak and usually kills them quickly. The toy that I found is make from fire hydrant material and has two squeakers! I am happy to say that they toy is still intact! That is a major feat for a boxer with incredible jaws!

A Merry Christmas it was

A merry Christmas it was for our family! My kids and I started off by making cookies together, Jam Thumbprints and Black Forest Cookies. They are both very good in the kitchen but did not enjoy rolling all the cookies into balls. The end result was yummy!

It was requested that I make Baklava. Remembering how my Nana made it, making the phyllo dough from scratch, something I would never do. Making Baklava is a family tradition that I love to carry on. Only one of my sons eats it so I hope that he will continue the tradition.

We are fortunate that all our extended family lives in the same state, within a 90 minute drive. Christmas Eve was spent with my husband's family. The Swedish tradition is to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. My kids always ask to open all their gifts then but I make them wait. We alternate opening gifts, youngest first. It is funny to see the bunch of us trying to remember who is older! It gets worse every year!!!

Christmas Morning is not an early one at our house. With teenagers in the house, morning wake ups are usually at a reasonable hour and there is time to take a shower and have a cup of coffee. There were a few surprise gifts for all - it gets harder every year. It was so much easier when a trip to Toys 'R Us would be all that was needed for my sons. Clothes, games, gadgets and books were the highlights this year. I was able to surprise my husband with a few things which is usually pretty hard to do. He has specific things he likes (triathlon related items) and most often I cannot pick them out on my own. But the tickets to see Fleetwood Mac and a new iPod Nano Chromatic were hits! I received a Cricut Expression which I cannot wait to use. My husband got creative with the tags, each one having a little story which was very sweet. It is the little things...

Christmas Day was spent with my side of the family. We had a Yankee Swap which is always a fun time! The gift that went around the most was a bunch of fuzzy socks that my 4 year old nephew desperately wanted for his 6 year old sister. It was very cute! He was not happy when his cousin took the socks but eventually he ended up with them. He is such a sweetie and really loves his sister.

Kids on both sides have changed so much this past year. My nephew Justin left for Marine boot camp before the holidays so we were missing him! Every year we feel the loss of loved ones who are no longer with us.

Now that Christmas is over it is time to look forward to the new year. 2009 will be a big year for us as a family. It is time to start looking at colleges something that I have a hard time grasping that my kids are that old already! Time flies!

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Countdown

I'm not ready yet. Are you?

I have a lot of little things left to do. You know the last minute stocking stuffers and gifts that you just have to have! Of course nothing is wrapped. I am the queen of gift bags! I LOVE THEM! They save me every year.
For the past few years my husband, my kids and I give each other scratch tickets in our stockings. It is the only time of year that we play the lottery. We don't usually win much, the state definitely gets the better end of the deal. But we have a great time and we like to see how long it can last. Whatever we win buys more tickets. Obviously if we won anything more than a few dollars we would keep it but such has not been an issue.
I will be taking some time off from work over the holidays and will spend a fair amount of time in my craft room. My stamps and scrapbooks are calling me!
Now if the snow storms would not interfere with my shopping I would be all done by now!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Storm UPDATE

We were extremely lucky to not lose our power. That cannot be said for the majority of my town and many of the surrounding towns! My friend Karen, who lives a few towns away, was not so lucky! She lost power during the first night of the ice storm! She lives in a very wooded area which caused trees to fall onto the lines. I do not know why we were spared this time, until 1998! The damage around town in incredible. Our town common looks like a tornado came through. I will take some pictures when I can. We doubt that school will be held for at least the next few days since one of our schools is being used as a shelter.

The towns that the rest of my siblings live in do not have power, though my sister got hers back yesterday, her power lines are underground so they were lucky. My father and one brother in the same town may possibly have to wait for a few more days. My other two brothers in the next town over may not have power back for weeks! I pray that power is restored soon.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday ATC Swap Update

Holiday ATC Swap Update:
The ATCs have been arriving by mail and I must say what creative women you all are! I am really glad that I am in both groups!!! I cannot wait for you all to be able to get yours back in the mail soon. They are all so cute!
If there is anyone whose ATCs won't make it to me by the December 15th deadline, please let me know.
Group 1
1. Pamela - *received*
2. Karen - *received*
3. Tracy O. - *received*
4. Jenny - *received*
5. Kim R - *received*
6. Tinla - *received*
7. Tracy C. - *received*
8. Penny - *received*
9. Liz - *received*
10. Amy - *received*
Group 2:
1. Pamela - *received*
2. Karen - *received*
3. Jenn
- *received*
4. Connie - *received*
5. Tinla - *received*
6. Lynnette - *received*
7. Lyndsay - *received*
8. Dawn - *received*
9. Jenny - *received*
10. Livia - *received*
12/19/08 UPDATE - All ATCs are postal. I hope everyone enjoys them!

Merry Christmas and Happy New!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Storm!

The day started out with lots of rain. By night time it had gotten a lot colder. There was an awesome light show of lightning that turned the sky a blueish-green. This was the makings of a huge ice storm!

All night we could hear trees cracking, hoping that it was none of the many that surround our house. I was woken up by the phone ringing - it was a state of emergency call from our town advising residents to stay home. School was of course canceled. When we looked outside, we saw the damage that had occurred during the night and there was more to come. Once we were able to venture outside, all we could hear was the sound of branches and trees falling.

Many areas of our town are without power and it could be days before it is restored. My father, sister and at least one of my brothers are without power. It will also be days for them before it is restored. We may have house guests!

We could not believe the foolish people who traveled down our road! Our street is very wooded with many, many trees overhanging the roadway. There were branches in the road and cars had to maneuver to avoid them.

The sun peaked out early afternoon and brought the melting we desperately need to avoid what is expected to be a windy, very cold night. With so much ice on the trees, wind would be devastating. I know hear the sound of chainsaws doing their job. I expect it will be a long night for many.
Ah! Life in New England!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Baubles

Last weekend a few friends came over to make Christmas ornaments. I realized that I had a few too many glass ornaments in my stash and it was time to use them up! These ornaments are very simple to make and came out beautiful.

With all that is going on with the economy this year, you hear a lot about making gifts instead of buying, especially all the swapping of gift certificates that goes on. I love this idea! I plan on making a few things for family members, like those triangle treat boxes. Fill them with goodies and what a great gift! Lots of awesome things can fit in those boxes.

For instructions on making these ornaments, click here.