Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend recap

It's been fifteen days since my last post...
That almost sounds like a confessional eh!?
And yes, I do confess, I've been a slacker on here. However, in real life, I've been pretty darn productive!
So please forgive me...

A few years ago I made Mexican food for Thanksgiving. We weren't having any company that year (this rarely happens) and we weren't going anywhere either. So I thought "what the heck", "why not something different?"
My kids were beyond upset! There were tantrums and looks of disgust. There were even some tears. Two of them down-right refused to eat.
They made me promise to never, ever do it again. I had to cross my heart and hope to die, then they stuck a needle in my eye.
Well, they didn't actually stick me with a needle, but I'm pretty positive they would have liked to! I'm sure you get the picture. It was ugly around here for a week. Every time someone went to the refrigerator to find something to eat, they'd moan about "if we only had turkey leftovers..."

I didn't realize as young as they were, that my kids were already set in tradition. It never occurred to me when making the Carnitas, beans, rice and what not that year, that I would be upsetting the way the whole day felt for them!
So I'm careful to ask them now what they are looking forward to most on Thanksgiving.
These were the "must-haves" they requested for the day:

Well, this last one is a must for me! Mmmm...Pecan Pie!

I usually have the table done up with place settings for everyone, but I didn't have a final head-count and it was possible I wouldn't have enough settings. So I didn't bother at all!
Then the girls thought it looked a little plain, so they cut out all these leaves, and then strung them into a garland to hang above the table!

We chose to spend "Black Friday" at home where we decorated for Christmas.

(Good ol' Santa. My momma made him for me years ago in her ceramics class.)

I think I'll post the other two days in the next entry. There are too many pictures to upload and re-size.
But it will contain the progress I've made on my handmade Christmas gifts!

How about you? Do you have any traditions you HAVE to stick with each year? Have you ever destroyed Thanksgiving by not keeping them?

Whatever your tradition, I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving full of new memories!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Making Christmas Time

For the past three years we've done "Homemade Christmas" for our family. Most of the gifts are handmade by myself. My Mr. even gets his creative juices flowing and has contributed such things as puppet theaters and marshmallow guns.
Some of the gifts might be purchased from handmade venues like Etsy or local craft fairs. If there is a store bought item, it is usually there to accompany the handmade item (think books to go in a handmade book tote).
I've only five weekends to work on Christmas gifts before the big day.
And so the count down begins.

Last year I was working up until the day before and this year I'm getting off to a rocky start thanks to this lovely flu virus that has been making itself cozy in my house. (The hubby is all better now and I'm about two days behind him so I'm sure I'm on the mend!)

I have most of the materials gathered to start. The fabrics have now been washed and pressed for a week and are waiting to be pinned to their patterns. PJ pants will be back by request. Last years are ready for the rag bin they're so worn through!

Why my children are obsessed with those "snuggies" I'll never know. But I found a pattern and JoAnns was having 40% off of anti pill fleece, so what the heck, snuggies all around!

Have you seen the gorgeous bib necklaces that seem to be all the rage? I'm so excited to make those! And some big artsy fartsy headbands and hair pins too!

I've got more, but I gotta start somewhere and here looks good.

Now I'm off to bed with hopefully my last dose of Nyquil!

So what about you guys? How do you prep for Christmas? Are you a Black Friday kinda person? Or a "wait until the Eve of" sort of person? Or are you completely insane like me?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Putting MORE food by...

I keep telling myself I'm done canning for the winter. But then the co-op tempts me with such things as fresh green beans and pickling cucumbers!
I caved and bought a thirty pound case of green beans this week and my great friend Anne and I put them by this weekend.

Anne also purchased thirty pounds and so between the sixty pounds of green beans, we canned thirty-two quarts, and blanched/froze (six) one pound bags.

Here are about thirty pounds.

Anne chose the method of snapping the ends off the beans. I chose to cut em off.

I'm still not sure which way was quicker. I think it's about the same, just preference.

We did have a little help in the beginning.

Until they figured out how much work it was!

Here is some of the finished product.

We sampled a jar and YUMM! They were so good, we ate the whole thing!

It sure helps to have a friend in the kitchen with you while canning, but it is still an all day process!
I need to get out of the kitchen and into the craft room! Christmas is only a month and a half away!

I kinda hope they don't have those pickling cucumbers next week. I'm not sure I can pass them up, even though I should!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Weekend

This Halloween...

This little Miss won her school costume contest.

This little Miss perfected her "Man in a Box".

And this little Miss chose her first "evil" costume.

Some of the goodies they chose to bring to their school celebrations were these:

And these:

They had a Halloween slumber party with a few good friends.

They all helped to make this for dinner.

And chose to make these for their dessert.

Then snacked on these:

While watching this:

The next day, they carved these:

And after a long night of trunk & trick or treating, they came home and I made this for them.

(That would be Halloween colored farfalle!)

I didn't have to sew elaborate costumes this year, or throw a big Halloween party, or heck, I didn't even decorate the outside of the house!
Regardless, the girls had a wonderful Halloween!
And really folks, that's what it is all about!