To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Loved by all.

I love homemade, I really do, but you never know if the recipient is going to be as fond of a homemade gift as the giver. In this case the concern was unwarranted.

The crayon wraps were loved by all the kids. Was it the crayons? The festive colors of the boys wraps? The princess material of the girls? Was it because I was the maker as well as the giver? (I'm sure this was really the case, yep) Whatever the reason, as soon as their gifts were opened the babes were clamoring for paper to do some drawing. Happiness for me. Happiness for them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Long time in the making

Snow days are fabulous for lists. I started this wreath a while ago and it's been stuck on my list for weeks now. I finally was able to finish it this weekend (along with all my Christmas sewing and baking.) All of these shells were collected in the 90's and came from both oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, and maybe a clam shell or two from a river or lake in Michigan. I love beach combing and collecting shells and such, but what was I supposed to do with them once I got them home? I've kept them in a basket which was later relegated to the basement when I moved, but I really wanted them displayed somehow. I bought the press board (?) wreath from the craft store and hot glued all the shells to it until I couldn't see the backing any more. Now it's hanging in the bathroom. Cliche, I know, but I'm so not hanging it in the kitchen.

Seriously, it's a great way to get all the shells out of the basement and on display.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh, so that's a blizzard!

Lots of snow, lots of wind, below 0 degrees - I get it. The blizzard started early Friday morning gave us a break on Saturday and hit hard again on Sunday. Seriously though, I stayed home all weekend so it wasn't so bad for me. And, someone had graciously plowed my driveway on Friday. I went out to shovel and it was plowed. I have no idea who did it, but I love them! What a treat that was. I figure they saved me about 4 hours of shoveling.
Once the wind died down Sunday evening I ventured out to try to shovel the driveway again. While I was digging out of drifts up to my thighs I heard people laughing and looked down the street to see this:
Of course I made them stop so I could get pictures. What fun they were having and what a great use of the roads since they weren't fit to travel on. I like the guy wearing a Santa hat. Crazy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Simple, Fun, Traditional

They never made Christmas chains? Really? Well, we made them last night. I thought it might be difficult for Maris to get the hang of it since she's only 3, but she caught on to the alternating colors and how to link them together right away. Can it get any easier than construction paper and glue? Oh, and once they hung the chain on the tree......well, they thought it was the most beautiful creation ever. And it was, of course.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All you ladies ROCK my world!

My coworker told me about a single mom who had to tell her kids that Santa had no money for gas this year so there wouldn't be any presents. That's just sad....and being a mom myself I couldn't let that happen. It's a 5 y/o boy and a 7 y/o girl and I was trying to come up with ideas that would help make their holiday merry. Being the homemade crafty sort of person I am, I started prowling around Blogland to see what I could find. Holy Cow! You ladies have way too many cool ideas out there. I'm telling you now, you could keep me in projects for years. Seriously. Years! My gosh, I get the best ideas from all of you. Thank you.

So, I found these and I've been working on them the last couple of days now. I found them via Sew Mama Sew for the November 2007 ideas. (Told you I was prowling)

I have another with all princessy materials, but no pic yet. Perhaps I'll add the pics tomorrow. For now, I'm sending them off to the mom. I bet they love them. I sure do.

Thanks again ladies. You rock!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seeing Green

What a weekend for weather! It was classic Michigan in that if you don't like what it's doing outside, wait 5 minutes and it will change. It rained and changed to sleet, then it snowed and quickly started melting as the weather climbed into the 40's. The wind blew and it rained again, and then the temp plummeted back into the 20's overnight bringing with it more lovely snow. Really, I think snow is lovely.
I didn't sleep my whole weekend away either. Friday evening I went to a holiday party . Saturday, I visited my sister so we could work on a book we're making for our brother, stopped at the grocery store on the way home and I managed a walk during a break in the weather. Sunday, I attended my granddaughter's Christmas concert. The blustery weather really put me in the mood to be crafty though and since the warmest spot inside the house was under the afghan, I picked up the needles and some spare yarn and made between naps.

Just a little something to tide me over until I can get the boat home and in the water. I thought I might need a hat to match. It's my first time editing a pattern to fit the yarn. It fits so I did it right. Cool!
Oooh, I just got an email from my friends saying we're scheduled for a Boxing Day paddle (I'll borrow a boat). Woo Hoo!! 3 hours north on the Jordan River. We winter paddled there 4 years ago and it was beautiful. Huge, fluffy snowflakes coming down. It's a beautiful river all the time, but especially in the winter. Here's a picture from back then. Sorry about the quality - I didn't have digital yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pondering hibernation.

My body tells me winter is officially here. This happens every year for about a month around the winter solstice when all I want to do is sleep. It's pretty annoying because I feel like I'm missing out on all the fun outside activities but the sleep feels so good. Just a few more days and we start on the other side with the days getting longer so all will be well again.
Yes, it's been snowing - beautiful, fluffy, lovely snow, which makes me itchy to get back on the water. Those of us who are year-round paddlers are like that. KL and I went prowling around Kalamazoo on Saturday and ended up in the boat shop looking at kayaks. What?? Isn't that what you would do in the snow?
I'm officially in love - seriously - with this pretty little thing. I can't demo it until the water opens up, but I did sit in it and it fits like a glove. I swear, it's the best feeling boat I've tried. According to what I've read it tracks great and has superb maneuverability. If that's true then it's going home with me. Oh, and that soft lime green? It's just beautiful in person.
K, going back to sleep now.