Thursday, December 30, 2010

hanging out

~perler beads

~making a star

~basket by the couch

We've been hanging out at home these last couple of days, just relaxing-eating easy meals. Next week we will be back to our regular schedule plus I will be starting Master Gardening classes. The class meets once a week (for about three months) and will cover all aspects of botany, horticulture, and other key aspects of gardening. I'm excited about this class and hopefully can keep up with the weekly reading and class work, but really I think this challenge will be a good one for me. In the meantime we'll enjoy the last few days of just hanging out at home, being lazy, and bringing in the New Year.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

makin' something for Christmas

Remember this post, about wanting to make small knitted gifts for the family? Well I got around to it and knitted these for the girls~

slippers, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

The pattern is found in Knit Simple.I like to think of them as "peppermint slippers" because of course they are colors of peppermints. For my youngest daughter I used smaller needles and decreased the number of rounds knitted-also a crocheted draw sting was also added so that the fit could be a bit more snug. The girls tell me that the slippers are cozy, which of course makes me happy.

I also did a little sewing for the small pillows on the couch~

patchwork style, my seaming could have been a bit more precise, but I still think they add a colorful touch to the living area.

In the kitchen~

Swedish fruitcake, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

fruitcake-Swedish style, I made this last year-I love it, it's light and not as dense as the traditional fruitcake. I didn't have all the dried fruit that was listed in the recipe, so I just used what dried fruit I had in the cupboard, which included dried cranberries, dried apricots, candied ginger, and raisins.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to all the new possibilities of the New Year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

originally uploaded by *nichole*.

Merry Christmas friends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

festive lights

Two days till Christmas! I could ask how did that happen, but really what's the point now, I still need a tree! The girls are out of school and have been getting their fill of the Wii and computer games. Today however, they took a little time out from all that electronic entertainment to do a little crafting with me~

~recycled glass jars and tissue paper

~tissue papers all cut up (into strips and squares) and put through a gluey water bath

~strips of tissue paper placed on jars, overlapping the tissue paper is a good things! Smooth papers down along countour of the glass.

~Allow the tissue paper to dry completely (which most likely will take overnight or longer). For extra shine add a extra coat of Modge Podge, and let jars dry again. Add a small candle or a flamless tea light (which is what I used for these jars) and now you have a festive candle display.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday talk

small house, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

well lets see what we did this Sunday~

~realized that making my bed at the beginning of the day gives me the feeling that the rest of the day may possibly be organized, (possibly of course is the key word).

~got a little more Christmas decorating done, however I'm looking for a particular set of ornaments that I just can't find- maybe I'll continue the search tomorrow.

~did some knitting while watching football, the 49er's beat the Seahawks!

~ate waffles for dinner, including some curry onion waffles made by my hubby.

~washed and twisted my youngest daughter's hair-the tangles were aided by this product, so glad I found it at the local co-op.

~got some of these water globes for my plants from Ross. In all actuality I think they are a little silly, but I like the colors of the globes and they were of sale, I mean deep discount.

~realized that tomorrow needs to be my down day, because the rest of the week is going to be hectic-tutoring,piano practices, school Christmas play (two performances in the same day), church Christmas program, and some baking to do (or maybe buying-just depends).

The busyness of this time of year can catch me up in a whirlwind, but really this year my perspective is that what gets done will get done and what doesn't, doesn't- (or it can wait) because in the grand scheme of things I know I should be focusing on my loved ones and not on my expectations of what the "right" holiday should entail. Letting go (which isn't necessarily easy for me and my control freak tendencies) is perhaps the biggest gift we can give to ourselves and to others.

Friday, December 10, 2010

bringing in Christmas color with plants

forcing paperwhites, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

Christmas cactus, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

poinsettia, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

These plants really brighten my day, especially when most days are a bit rainy and chilly. Hope you are finding ways to brighten your winter days as well.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 3, 2010

this moment

~inspired by soulemama~

have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Three years of celebrating Advent

We have been officially celebrating Advent for three years now, in which I have actually put together a calendar for the family. Now today as I meet December 1st, I'm totally unprepared. Ideas have been floating in my head, but nothing is sticking. I think I may use the same calendar from last year, with a couple adjustments (gotta look in some more boxes). The holiday season finds me at this moment in not such a festive mood, but I've got Christmas music in my car, on my i-pod so hopefully the cheer of the season will get to me soon!
In the mean time I thought I would share with you our Advent calendars/crafts from the three past years~


Advent Calendar, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

I think I purchased most of the materials of this calendar from Hobby Lobby. I glued those wooden stars on that felt material (glue gun, love) and wrote the dates on the wooden stars with a marker-very homey!


Advent calendar 2008, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

What I like most about this calendar are the girls drawings and the wooden clothespins that we generously dipped in glitter.


Advent Calendar 2009, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

The story behind this calendar is here.

Crafts we've enjoyed doing....

for the tree (eventually), originally uploaded by *nichole*.

Button wreath, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

popsicle sticks, construction paper, glue, beads, buttons, random pieces of fabric makes for great Christmas crafting.

Tell me what are you crafting, making, cooking up for this holiday season?
Happy first day of Advent!

Monday, November 29, 2010

this evening

Our Monday night consisted of the usual-homework, dinner (squash soup with turkey salad sandwiches-yes still eating turkey), showers and chores.
I did however find a couple of moments to sit on the couch to look at a Josh Groban dvd (checked out from the library), knit a few rows-really just a few, and browse thru a couple of magazines~

~aren't these slippers so festive, maybe I could knit two pair, for the girls knitted gifts

~look at those cute animals and owls!

Josh on stage singing (I'm kinda silly to take a picture of my tv :)

~ribbed hat in progress, can you see my copy of MSL magazine peeking in there? I somehow just can't resist her Christmas/Holiday issues

~sweater, coming along slowly

so from now until Christmas, I'll get in one stitch at a time (hopefully more) whenever I can, wherever I can-because realistically I'm no jack rabbit when it comes to knitting, I'm more of a "tortoise" speed (perhaps tortoise and speed shouldn't be in the same sentence, huh?)
Have a wonderful evening!

Friday, November 26, 2010

giving thanks

~making biscuits

~pear bundt cake,recipe in this book

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. Although we didn't make it out to visit our extended family (on the East Coast and in the South), we had a nice time with new friends. Really I have so much to be thankful for, and I want to embrace this thankfulness not only on Thanksgiving, but daily.

I'm not looking to do any major shopping today (I may go to Jo-Ann's and Borders, and we need two bedside table lamps (maybe shop online for the lamps) but that's about it. After viewing this it really puts in perspective about how we engage in the consumerism cycle (and I find it amazing that Thanksgiving is now so closely associated with Black Friday). Lots of times I think all of these "new gadgets" keep us conveniently distracted-distracted from others and mostly from ourselves. Now don't get me wrong I think technology can be a good thing-in small doses. Just the other day we were all home- I was sitting on the couch looking at television with my youngest daughter, my oldest daughter was upstairs on the computer, and my husband was downstairs on his computer. We were all home, together-but really were we together? Something for me to think about.

On to other things, I have an ambitious plan of knitting something for my husband and my girls for Christmas. Right now I'm working on a ribbed hat for my husband, I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to knit for the girls yet. These knits are not going to be long and involved-just things that are short and sweet.
So hopefully today I'll get some knitting in and then tonight we are going to our towns Christmas Parade.

Have a delightful weekend, and enjoy the leftovers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Unpacking is long work. I just dropped off more boxes today at the recycling center that have been in our garage. Really since we are renting I don't want to completely unpack everything. It's crazy though, last week I needed batteries for my camera, so I bought some from WinCo. Okay so now today, just looking in a basket at the top of my closet I realized that I had purchased a whole pack of batteries before we moved. This can be a little tricky, a lot of my craft stuff is still in boxes too, so I have to talk to myself-really and say "Now, do I need another of yard of fabric? (apparently I did, I purchased some from Jo-Ann's last week), or another skein of yarn? I did unpack the sewing machine yesterday-no need for a new one, at least not yet. I'm currently using this, and it's really an awesome little machine. It's my oldest daughter's machine, a gift from Nana, but my daughter graciously lets me use it. I also have an old Singer machine that my husband got me from the Goodwill couple of years ago. That machine is heavy duty, but when I use it I just can't get the thread tension right, so for now I'm sticking with Hello Kitty.
Anyway I found an old photo memory stick (circa 2008) in my closet too, and I just wanted to share a few photos from it~

~thrifted afghan, on the bed



~apple haul

~ my youngest scooping up snow (oh,how I'm going to miss those Midwest winters, seriously)

It's kinda weird but looking at some of these old photos totally reminds me of myself. See, sometimes I feel like perhaps a little part of me got lost in the move, but looking back helps me to look forward, which helps me to find my new footing, on this new ground.
Have a great Tuesday evening!

Friday, November 12, 2010

for the love of knitting

knitting can be found on~

my arm, an i-cord bracelet

on my phone

my cup of coffee (a decaf mocha), both the cell phone case and coffee sleeve were given as gifts to me, thanks Tara!

my neck, keeping me warm

Hopefully this upcoming winter, with the rain coming down and winds whipping, I'll be found on my couch-blanket covering my legs, a warm cup of tea at my side with some yarn and needles in my hand, making more knitted things to love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Parade

The girls school took the day off so all the students could attend the Veterans Day Parade in the neighboring town

At a point in the parade, I found myself getting a little emotional, unexpectedly.
Despite differences that may exist either politically, racially, spiritually-we are all humans. Humans that can hopefully remember that our humanness connects us more than anything else.
Wishing you a blessed Veteran's Day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

this week so far....

breakfast, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

The above picture is one of our breakfast on Sunday, waffles with homemade applesauce, a good way to start the week-don't you think?
We've also been working on fifth grade math (the distributive property). My oldest daughter and I worked on that Monday night- it took me back to my own grade school years and my lack of love for the subject, but I think by 9:30 pm it started to click- for the both of us.
Today the girls and I ate an early dinner right after school at Baja Fresh, then we visited the bookstore, and then decided it would be a good idea to get a sweet treat. Now its time to get ready for bed-I feel like night comes so early now with daylight savings time being over.
Other things I need to do this week include getting us some rain coats and some socks (the manager at Baja Fresh told me there are three seasons here, which are" rain, rain, and more rain-which somewhere in between is broken up with about fifty days of sunshine", oh boy, no wonder there is a coffee shop on every corner in town). The girls will start up piano lessons tomorrow. I found someone who teaches lessons in her home and she can teach the lessons back to back (before I was taking the girls on different days, but at that time my youngest had only half days in school). I'm hoping to get some more knitting done on my sweater this week too-I worked on it a little bit on Sunday. I don't want this new project to become a ufo!
You know, we've been in our new home for a little over two months and some days it seems more like home here than others. Change is very hard for me, I accept this, and I also realize that in the process I am growing, learning, and understanding that now matter where I am, God continues to bless us and gives us the grace we need.

Friday, November 5, 2010

at home....

~by the sink

~in my lap

I've got a little knitting going on, the pattern is here.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

roses and pumpkins

My mom is here visiting and I am so glad. To see her familiar face, to have her visit our new home "out West" is very comforting. The girls are also so excited to see their "Nana". On Sunday we decided to take her to the Rose Garden. Even this late in the season, the roses are beautiful. We absolutely loved it, although it was a bit chilly as we strolled through the garden.

On Monday we went on a field trip (with the girls school) to the pumpkin patch. We had a fun time and my mom got us an apple pie from the farm store that was out there-after dinner last night we ate that pie right up .

~corn maze at the pumpkin patch

~look at that huge pumpkin!

Mom leaves on Friday, and I'll be sad when she goes back to the East Coast, but glad that we both have in our hearts the memories that we've made here in our new home.
Today we are going shopping, she's a shopper for sure-Happy Monday!