{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} The September Catch-Up Edition

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I am sorry to have neglected ye Olde Blog, but honestly, if I had to sit and write out my thoughts over this past month in something long enough to count (not a Facebook update, for instance), it’d have gone something like this:

Oh please let this house sale go through. Please let this house sale go through. Please don’t let the house inspector go bonkers because the house is 60yrs old.  Please let the buyer’s FHA appraisal pass. What if none of this happens? Please let this go through.

In other words, I still have much to work in the Faith and Trust Department. By the grace of God and no doubt the intercession of a few saints, the Old Haus will likely close next week.  It could have been tomorrow, but the flood insurance transfer got stuck in paper limbo.  The house inspector was pretty merciful (there were a couple of lines that had Haus Meister and I laughing–like how the railing attached to the house next to the back steps might fall off and hit a car?!). The appraisal passed with no repairs needed.  The buyer still wants the house and didn’t ask for additional repairs beyond a few small things recommended in the inspection. A far cry from the offer we had to reject in 2014– Mr.-You’re-paying-my-closing-but-I-also-want-you-to-pay-15K-in-upgrades-and-while-I’m-at-it-let’s-give-you-4k-less-than-the-previously-agreed-price. I’m sure he has a name, but that’s how I recall him, bless his heart.

I need to work on Charity, too….

So I’m relieved mixed with anxious (we still have six days til closing) mixed with a little sad.  We will never call that place home again now, really. It won’t be ours.  It will be someone else’s cobbled walkway and someone else’s yellow elm tree and someone else’s familiar creaks in the old floor.  On the other hand, it will be someone else’s mortgage. And we can return to fixing up the lovely house we live in now. Not a bad plan, that.

Pretty

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Our pretty little girl on her 7th Birthday.  She picked out the dress, the tiara, and the boots.  It is good to be 7, and a Princess.

Happy

Everyone in the family who is kindergarten age on up participated in the Mudstache Run, an obstacle course/race benefiting our Trail Life troop here in the area.  IMG_3601

Princess and Dino were in the first race, a 0.5mile course.  Princess is ahead of Dino, her bright flowered headband blending into the shirt of the person in front of her.  Dino is running in his John Deere boots.  We couldn’t find his sneakers before the race.  Keeping it real, here!

Rascal was too fast for me to take a picture.  He and his best friend ran the 1 mile course.

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Here I am, huffing and puffing behind Sunshine who ran the Adaptive Race (also 0.5 mi).  She enjoyed herself so much that she ran the course two and a half more times. I also need some work in the Running Department.

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Haus Meister ran with Trooper in the Adaptive Race, too. Trooper and Sunshine both came in first for their groups.  Princess came in second in her age group, and the other two boys did a fine job and are already planning to medal next year. 😉

Funny

Ben Hatke’s latest, Little Robot, is a huge hit around here.  I kept finding children reading it at various times in various places.

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Real

Well, we did something bold last month.  We signed up to have our picture taken for the parish directory.  I’m pleased to say it turned out well, and here’s a picture of a picture of the family!

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So in this year’s installment, Dino ISN’T wearing a hat, everyone is FACING FORWARD, and mostly smiling.  Miss M did not like the way the photographer was trying to get her to smile and the only way to convince her not to jump on my lap was to hold her as I was doing. Sunshine insisted on bringing her ragged “BabyDoll” inside and we decided not to fight that battle as we didn’t know how she’d do with the picture taking anyway. Fortunately she’s holding the doll’s face against her and that’s good because the week before she’d colored it purple and the last thing I wanted to do in my Christmas letter is to explain that my daughter is not in the habit of asphyxiating her dolls.  Just coloring them.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} at August’s End

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Another month hurtles by. They don’t seem to be slowing down much in their passing, do they?  This blog should be renamed “Time Flies.” 😉

Pretty

A Cinderella birthday leads to dresses and shoes.  I found a charming pair of sparkly pink Mary Janes for her, and a new set of her favorite dress up clothes.

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Links to the dresses, and the tiaras, as well as the shoes that you can’t see. 🙂

Happy

This adorable fellow

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turned ten last week.

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He’s going (dove) hunting soon, and loves mountain biking and kayaking. I just shake my head and know as I did back then that the elderly ladies in the grocery stores were right when they told me it would go by too fast.

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Sniff. Way too fast.

Wait–Why is Dino wearing such huge shorts? What was I thinking?

Funny

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I didn’t make any cakes “from scratch” this year, but no one seemed to mind.  Here’s what was left of Miss M’s after the party.

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Littlest loves piggy-back rides and begs for them from her big siblings…

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….who always oblige.  Privilege of being the youngest, as well as adorable. 😉

Real

Our Old Haus went back on the market on the 18th.  We’ve already received an offer and are holding our breath that everything goes smoothly to closing next month. Please pray!

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It always was a charming little place, and I don’t like it standing empty. Hopefully in 28 days, it will no longer be so.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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Summer’s over… don’t I wish? Hereabouts we’re still in our summer hibernation.  This is our last week of summer “break” and while some of the kids attended the “Totus Tuus” religious education event at Church this week, I took advantage of the free time to firm up the lesson plans for the first quarter of school that begins Monday.  Oh yes, Monday. I am determined that no matter how flexible homeschooling is, barring any unforeseen colds/croups/coughs/epidemics, I will not be teaching after December 14th until January 5th.  So we start early, as besides, no one really wants to be outside right now, anyway. 🙂

Pretty

IMG_3349She’s the unsung beauty of the family, sandwiched between two dynamic redheads.  Hers is the only straight hair of the female side of the family, and she’s not helped it much by intermittently chopping parts of it off in the last two years. 😉 She begins her day with a burst and a sparkle and sets off zooming through the rest of it. If she doesn’t often grace the “pretty” part of this page, it’s because she doesn’t often hold still enough to want her picture taken.  She is, and always will be, our Sunshine.

After much reluctance, not the least part of which being Trooper’s negative experience with a much different medication, we agreed to try an ADHD medicine for our impulsive little ball of Sunshine. I confess that the day before her developmental pediatrician appointment, I had been chasing her around the parish hall during Mass–in heels, no less–which made me just that much more receptive to the idea. 😉 The good news is that it has already made a huge difference in her life this past month. She sits down to write and draw, which I was barely able to get her to do before.  She plays dolls with Miss M and sits to “read” books.  It’s just been amazing for her and we have all enjoyed watching this blossom of ours branch out just that much more.  On the downside, it’s affecting her sleep habits. Oy vey. Please pray we can help her get that all worked out.

Pretty Happy

Haus Meister was recently way out West on business and while there, had the chance to go hiking on Mt. Hood.

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If I wasn’t already planning on going there with him someday, the pictures he got of nighttime at Mt. Timberline Lodge absolutely sold me.  It does not do much justice to the area, he told me.  The glowing lights on the mountainside are the machines out grooming the ski area for the next day. Yes, there is snow.

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Someday I will see those stars myself, and with him.  It’s going on the 20yr plan. Like England. And sleeping without toddlers in the bed.

Happy

Going back a ways, on the 4th of July we were thrilled to host a number of family members, including my parents, my sister and her family, and Haus Meister’s youngest sister. We did crazy things like have a Sisters’ Morning Out where we amused a Dunkin Donuts employee by my trying to relay three orders at the drive-thru, went thrift store shopping (I got a new leatherish purse for $2!) and then of course went to the grocery store because I almost never go out without getting a gallon of milk. In Americana news, most of the assembled family went to a baseball game intown the night before (I stayed home and after the littles were in bed, watched the last part of Gettysburg with my parents, a pleasure I hadn’t had in a long time.  It’s funny how often we quote that movie in entirely unrelated circumstances).

On Independence Day proper, we attended a cannon firing done by park rangers and volunteers at a nearby Civil War battlefield.  It was incredible.

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Funny

In the department of “Then and Now…”

July 2014

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Grandpa’s little Sweetie, our Posey Pie… who (sniff) looks so small here.

July 2015

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Bossing him around (I was just a second too late to get a repeat–she still puts those fingers in her mouth).

July 2014

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Miss M doesn’t like the fireworks.

July 2015

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Miss M doesn’t like the cannon.

(Oh my, she’s in the same dress, and I have the same expression on my face!)

Real

The baby of the family is GETTING INTO THINGS.

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For reasons unexplained, Posey took the tea pitcher out and left it on the floor.  Littlest then decided it was the perfect place to go fishing with a pinecone.

Because every house has pinecones tied to string just lying around, right?

And if that wasn’t bad enough…

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Mercy me, she’s climbing.  She got up there all by herself, and wasn’t she proud.  I should have known this phase was coming–she’ll be 15mos on Sunday–but it still took me by surprise.  Littlest now even has a special cry for the times when “Oh help, I’ve gotten myself up here and have no idea how to get myself back down.”

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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This week is brought to you by the blurry iPhone camera. This iPhone came back from the dead after an aquatic dunking so it was to be expected that something wouldn’t work.  In this case, the focus on the camera. One of these days I’ll carry the nice camera around with me.

Pretty

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My Mother’s Day roses in my room. 🙂

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Note the pun above the picture. Haus Meister did some homebrewing the other night and thought the hop oils were pretty fun.  We quipped that they were “essential oils for guys.”

Funny

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T-K 42-Miss M. Facebook friends please forgive the repeat picture.  It’s one of my favorites from the week.

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Littlest fell asleep in the kids’ Poang chair from IKEA (dangerous store). So Rascal gently removed the cover and let her nap on the floor, and so she did until Posey Pie arrived. Posey’s saying “CHEESE.”

Real

I had two requests for Mother’s Day.  I wanted time to use my sewing machine, which I was given on Sunday, and I wanted time to go to the buy/sell/trade used bookstore. Last night a dear friend and I headed out together to the bookstore, having to explain to our eager children, respectively, that it was MOM’s Night Out. 🙂 Our crew awaited the arrival of the new (to us) treasures and having been quite successful, we’re ready to start some summer reading! 🙂

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{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Girls in white dresses

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Wow, this month has sped by! I think I say that about this time every month.  But then I’m running on three hours’ sleep so please bear with me, please. 🙂10959348_1561876947393265_3389925203748655840_n

Pretty

Someone had the final fitting for her First Communion dress a couple of weeks ago.  My mother-in-law made it from this vintage pattern that I found on Etsy.  As she poured her love and efforts into this dress, I dared not ask for new handmade Easter dresses this year, but that was fine because the big girls still fit in the ones she made them last year. 🙂  She did a fabulous job, and on a gorgeous April day had our Princess over for her last fitting and pictures.

Both Princess and Dino make their First Communion this coming Sunday.  What a grace for our family!

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I remember when I was expecting her, I had a dream about a First Communion class, and my daughter was in it (although I couldn’t see her face).  She was walking in a line with other girls and she had long light hair.  The rest of the details of the dream were irrelevant:  We don’t attend a parish church in Michigan, and Fr. Mastroeni from our days at Christendom is not our parish priest. 😉

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Princess is thrilled with her lovely dress, to say the least.  I had intended her to wear my bridal veil, which wasn’t long, and was attached to a comb so she could wear whatever headpiece she liked with it.  However, when the time came to get it out…. I couldn’t find my veil.  Gulp.  I’m praying it wasn’t lost in the move.  But the veil she is wearing was worn by her aunts at their First Communion and also her older cousin.  The headpiece was the flower girl wreath from my wedding, again worn by one of her aunts. 🙂

Happy

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Getting ready for the First Communion party was the best excuse to finally tackle the backyard landscaping project.  That’s what we’ve been up to this week besides work and school.

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Yummy dinner, happy kids.  And a stormtrooper.

Funny

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Posey came into the boys’ room one evening and decided it was time for her to go to school…. in my chapel veil.

Real Funny

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{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Contentment

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So this poor blog has been sparse but I’m going to quickly discuss what else we’ve been up to besides homeschooling, working, knitting, and occasionally rowing…interspersed with current pictures. 🙂

Need some Spring?
Need some Spring?

I have always liked this Thursday link-up series because it challenges us to find contentment in our everyday lives.  The little things that are, heh, pretty, happy, funny, and real.  I’ve struggled a lot over the years with being content in some of these areas–mainly in being content with the house we’re in.  Raising five toddlers/small kids in the Old Haus challenged that to the nth degree! And just when we finally found contentment in our little cottage, we found out that Miss M was coming and bam–we moved. 🙂

The lovely Miss M, a mover and a shaker since 2011.
The lovely Miss M, a mover and a shaker since 2011.

Ostensibly the instant we moved into a house with twice the living area you’d think we’d have contentment, right?  And there was a lot less stress. But there was the niggling reminder as well that we couldn’t seem to find a buyer for the Old Haus.  The market isn’t kind to starter homes of a certain vintage that need flood insurance. In fact, we still haven’t found a buyer. The Old Haus is on it’s second set of tenants in four years, and from August ’13 to August ’14 it stood empty.

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Did I mention Posey turned 2 on Pi Day? 😉

That was a low point.  We poured our energy and money into repairs to the Old Haus, as much as we could reasonably do, during that year,  We put off things that we wanted to do with this house, the one we’re living in. It got frustrating that at last the Old Haus looked as I had wanted it to while we were in it, but we weren’t going to be in it.  We had three more children (Littlest on the way at the time)! There wasn’t room! And we had the house we’re in!

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Add to that the fact that the summer failed at being very restoring. It felt like we were still in “survival mode” from the baby coming, and the plans for extra help had a hiccup.  Haus Meister worked a lot of overtime toward the end of summer, all the way through Christmas.  The Old Haus had a renter, but our house looked tired and as if we’d been in “survival mode.” 😉 I walked down to the mailbox one day in September and looked back at our house and thought: Why do I still feel more as if the old place is “home” when THIS is my home now? We’ve been here three years; why doesn’t it feel like home?

I made her the pillowcase and duvet cover. Now all the girls want a custom one! :)
I made her the pillowcase and duvet cover for her birthday. Now all the kids want a custom one! 🙂

It may have been the next day, or the next week, when Haus Meister–who rarely complains–confessed to me that he felt tired (as in physically drained). Now all wives know there’s two responses to this: the “how can I help?” response or the “You think YOU’RE tired, well, that’s nothing to MY tired…” martyr rant.  Thankfully I did the former–this time. 😉 But instead of asking I began to think of ways to improve the looks of the house.  After all, don’t we all like to find rest at home? And as I said, it was time to get out of survival mode.

I started in our room.  The day he left on a two-week outage trip I whipped out some paints.  I painted over the Sharpie marker “art” that Sunshine had attacked our closet doors with shortly after we moved in.  I tore out the ugly wallpaper in our bathroom, rendered even less appealing due to pen marks from the same daughter around the same time.  Do not ask me why it took me three years to do this; suffice to say there was always something else to do.  But amazingly, not seeing that wallpaper or those penmarks immediately improved morale. 😉 I also discovered that a lamp behind the bed for nighttime reading/knitting surely improved the ambience.

Our room as of yesterday. He finished laying the floor this weekend.
Our room as of yesterday. He finished laying the floor this weekend (trim coming soon). Like my yarn mountain?

I grew bold.  I tore out the wallpaper–even uglier–in the main bathroom. I painted it a reddish/rust tone.  Admittedly I didn’t do as well of a job in this bathroom, perhaps because the hours of 11pm-2am was my best painting window. Yet I was determined to finish, as I knew his work schedule wasn’t slowing and the last thing he needed was to come home to my unfinished project.  Luckily he was very pleased when I skyped him and showed him the finished product. I was too proud to wait and surprise him.

The piece d' resistance was the sign I found on Etsy.
The piece d’ resistance was the sign I found on Etsy.

This was the thing we both needed.  From then to now we’ve been busy working on this house.  We’ve torn up all the carpet except what is on the stairs.  We figured out new ways to organize things from the plates on the sideboard to the laundry bins in closets.  We discovered IKEA (so glad we live too far to visit the store often–it’d be too dangerous).  We fixed the old light fixtures and replaced the basement bulbs to brighten the area. The puppy-chewed, toddler bounced & stained thrift store furniture finally made it out the door. There’s a bare spot in our upstairs that is waiting for just the right couch but this time I am waiting for just the right couch instead of buying a junk one in an effort to feel frugal (the frugality is questioned when you consider I did this twice over the period of three years).  Outside, we potted mums in the Fall and this early Spring we planted apple trees.

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Why is Sunshine helping in the dirt in such a dress? Only she knows. 😉

 Meanwhile life goes on and there are, of course, still days where we fall into bed exhausted.  The kids keep us on our toes and there’s still the chance that the renters will move out in August and we’ll be back playing the market game again.  But we do not regret the time and effort we chose to put into our house at last.  And came the day that we stood in our front lawn and he said, “You know, I could stay in this house till I died.”

And I knew I could too, and that at last, we were content again.

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{P, h, f, r} Blogaversary Edition

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Good evening, dear reader!  The cyberfolk at WordPress remind me that today is my blogaversary.  I’ve been blogging six years! It’s hard to believe in a way, but then, Princess was a mere five months old at the time, so there we have it.  Goodness, that means half the children have “grown up” on the blog.  You’ll see the announcement for Sunshine’s arrival on down.  I seriously need to back up the information here on print or something.  Any clues how?

Meanwhile life goes on around here. 🙂 I have made terrific progress with the Armas sweater, now being on row 18.  I was on row 37 when the first sweater disappeared so I seem to be less plagued with gremlins this time around.  But yesterday the main thing on my mind was the fact that I had a dentist appointment, and that rather threw a pall over things until it was over, and it was quite late when I recalled it was Yarn Along day, so I’ll have to post progress next week.

Pretty

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The oratory corner dressed back up for Ordinary Time.

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Different outfits, different hairdos, but they all love Sleeping Beauty.  And probably still Prince Philip, too.

Happy

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Trooper at the indoor climbing gym.  This guy is amazing.  I say that all the time, but dang it, he is.  Still surpassing the doctors’ expectations at 11.  “He’ll probably always be slower than his brothers,” we were warned.  In some physical ways, that’s true.  That’s the cerebral palsy.  But academically…. academically… HE HAS CAUGHT UP WITH RASCAL. Do you see that? He’s only a year behind his chronological peers.  DO YOU SEE THAT?  I’m about to cry. We’re so proud of this boy.

Funny

Whew.  Getting emotional there.

Ok, so total subject change.  Here’s some things I found on the Internet.

I wanted to upgrade our repertoire of classical music so I sat down in the iTunes store and hunted out some of the composers we’ve studied this semester (Bach and Handel. Mozart starts next week followed by Haydn, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky).  In my perusal I came across this album cover, and I confess it amused me.

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Then we recently downloaded an extension of the My Playhouse app that the little kids enjoy, called My Playhouse School.  Of course, it’s a model of a public school, and the kids have fun playing school in a different setting. Particularly the chemistry room, where you can “add” liquids to a beaker with interesting effect.  What I noticed, almost disturbingly, was that the default chemistry teacher looks like that guy from ‘Breaking Bad.’ Not that I’ve seen any episodes–I haven’t, but I’ve seen enough posters on Netflix and etc.  But do you see it, too?

photo 4  Oh hi there, photobombing Sunshine! 😉  Anyway, I know not all bald guys with goatees resemble Mr. Breaking Bad, but maybe it’s that gloomy furrowed brow.  Anyway….

Real

I had the dishes done, the sink scrubbed, then turned to make sure the table had been cleared…

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Big nope.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Wrapping up Christmas

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January 9th? What?! I have to catch up on Christmas before we launch into next week, the Birthday Week.  This year we are celebrating three days in a row.  Dino and Sunshine share a birthday but we learned last year that it isn’t always a good idea for them to share a birthday party.  In fact, it still rankles apparently because Dino has been reminding me all week that Sunshine has a tendency to open everyone’s presents (meaning his).  So, he gets his birthday, she gets the next day, and my birthday rounds out the three (very low key. And probably low sugar by that point just by default).

But stepping back a moment….

Haus Meister took some of the kids out after Mass on the 4th Sunday of Advent to find a tree to be our formal Christmas tree in the basement family room.  This was a good thing this year since our real Jesse tree upstairs had probably been cut in mid-October since it was mostly dead (that is, slightly alive) by Christmas Day.  It was down before Epiphany.  Well, our intrepid explorers could not find a grand 8-10 ft tree to be had anywhere, so they came home with two trees from Lowes.  The taller one cost $7.50. The shorter, only $5.  I was cringing to think I’d paid full price for our dead Advent tree. 😉

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I loved the look of the trees next to the hearth.  I think we may be decorating like this every year now.  Rather pretty, no?  They are still lovely and I’m going to hate taking them down this weekend.

The gift theme this Christmas was books, costumes (since the kids love to play dress-up no matter what time of year) and by happy chance we were able to find a kitchen set for the girls, which has already seen many tea parties and “cake” or “cookie” baking.  Here, a happy Sunshine is modeling her “princess-dreams-come-true” dress (that’s what she calls it) and wielding a wooden knife, no doubt for the wooden pats-of-butter that are for some reason in the sink. 🙂

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Happy 

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My baby sitting in my new rocking chair, an early Christmas present from Haus Meister, when the reupholstery project on my armchair proved to be too big a project for us to start right now.  I regretted that for a while, until this chair arrived.  Oh my, it’s so niiiiiiice…..

Happy Funny

We “tag teamed” Christmas Masses this year.  As Rascal was serving at the Midnight Mass, and Haus Meister was taking him, I took Dino and Princess to the Children’s Mass.  There they were able to dress up as a Wise Man and an Angel and participate in the procession at the beginning of Mass where the Child Jesus statue is placed in the creche.  I am glad to have had a chance to snap a picture of them in their costumes…

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Because this is what the procession shots looked like:

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Funny 

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Posey was enamored of all the beautiful clearance items at Lowes! I find this funny because I could hardly drag her away. I’d hear her little voice chirping “Look!” “Look!” as she meandered around the displays.

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We were able to replace the camera stolen by the thieves in Indy on the day after Thanksgiving. So why are all my pictures the grainy cell phone ones?

Figuratively hitting my head on my desk right now.

Of course, Haus Meister has taken 98% of the pictures on the new camera, and I was in a hurry so I uploaded the ones from my phone. As always, filtering through 30 variations on this:

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or this:

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as the Mischief Squad attack.  But one day Miss M managed to actually get a picture of me holding Littlest, which was a pleasant surprise.

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Of course, it looks like I need more sleep.  And I do.  Signing off…. 😉

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Beginning to look a lot like the end of Advent!

 

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Oh my, it seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a chance to sit and post. The calendar is speeding forward faster than light (it seems) while I feel like we’re plodding slowly through our Advent to-do list like we’re in waterlogged boots.  In a swamp.  But not these boots:

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I got a great deal on these (read: 65% off retail!) and I am wearing them all the time.  In fact, the first time I went out to get the mail in them I stopped at the door, thinking I must be in my slippers because they were just that comfortable. Sorry, I digress.

I was going to get the pictures for this post and was puzzled to see about thirty blank or blurry photos saved, until I saw this one:
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And knew from the curl that Miss M was at it again! I love that blog nickname for her. Somehow it just fits.  Miss Spunkitude is another name I affectionately call her but it doesn’t look as good in print. With Miss M it can go so many ways, like Miss Mischief, Miss Marvelous, Miss Messy.  It all just depends.  And here I go again digressing–this is supposed to be an Advent catch-up post!

Ahem.

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I took a gamble and put my St. Nicholas candleholder out in the kitchen.  Yes, in reach of the kids. He’s tucked in a nook between a utensil jug and my oven, and save once I haven’t seen Sunshine near him. I’m kind of fond of this fellow; I am pretty sure I acquired him the year we married (or at least the year after) and I love the starry lights he casts. I didn’t want to hide him somewhere I couldn’t see those lights often.

Meanwhile, the Jesse Tree is up and smells wonderfully piney. With our Bible ornaments (laminated) and the felt ornaments from another countdown calendar, it’s looking pretty decorated.photo 4It’s my favorite kind of tree, too: the imperfect “Charlie Brown” variety. This one leans.

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My kitchen windowsill in December. I opted not to keep buying flowers during Advent and instead got these little trees.

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Looks rather cheerful from the upper deck.

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A new acquisition for our room was this Christmas cactus. It sits perfectly on our bedroom sill and adds a lot to the room. I have been forgetting just how much a small touch can improve things.

photo 1Back to the kitchen for a moment. My two Tasha Tudor Advent calendars flank my Susan Branch yearly calendar. The bare part of the wall is being filled with the kids’ British Christmas Village building-a-day countdown. I took this picture on Sunday but we haven’t gotten much farther, mainly because although they keep coloring, we haven’t taped them up yet.

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I have hardly knitted a stitch since Thanksgiving break. 😦 I tried to finish the second washcloth I began on the drive home only to have it unravelled twice when I left my knitting out in the open. Grr. So these skeins wait for me to have a second or two and begin again. This photo kind of reminds me of one of those “Need a Gift for the Knitter in your Life?” ads. The little bowl I found at Wal-Mart in their Hallmark “North Pole” display. That makes one other good thing to come from Wal-Mart besides the mulled cider candles.

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My Christmas goat collection! Haus Meister found the red fellow at IKEA (our new favorite store), the Annalee one came from my Mom (sorry it’s missing it’s saddle, Mom–Someone got to it when it was on the mantel last Christmas, which is why they are in my room this year), and the straw one came from my cousin. 🙂

The Gavlebocken still stands, by the way, as of time of post.

The LEGOs are beginning to show the spirit of things around here.  On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, St. Nick’s workshop appeared.

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But because we never seem to leave a design the same for two or three days running, by the weekend it was The Caballero’s Christmas Hacienda.

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Then Rascal made me a LEGO goat, which would have been displayed with my Christmas goat collection only it got assimilated into some other design shortly after this.

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Ok, that’s enough for now. I’m going to try and get more Christmas cards ready for the mail before I generally resemble the sweetheart below.  Hope you all have a happy rest-of-your-Advent!

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