Monday, December 31, 2012

12-31-2012 Happy New Year!!!

DH & I popped the cork
on a bottle of bubbly
and toasted the 3 babies born
into our family this year ~ 
2012 ~ the Year of the Dragon!
It' been a good year!

...Our first grandchild/ a granddaughter...

...Our second grandchild/ a grandson...

...and our nephew's son... our great nephew!

Wishing all our loved ones
and you and yours
happiness, health and prosperity
in the New Year 2013
(as we dive over the "Fiscal Cliff!").
We love you all.

12-30-2012 Seal

My seal of approval.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12-29-2012 Ten Stitch Blanket

Tonight I started my "10 Stitch Blanket"
to use up yarn scraps/leftovers from other projects.
It will henceforth be known as
"My Ugly Blanket!"

I also finished JP's amigurumi tiger.
Isn't it fierce?!?!? 

12-28-2012 Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday dear brother!  Love you!

And Happy birthday to my dear Niece-In-Law!!!
Hope you both have a wonderful
celebration of YOU!

We went out to dinner at SensAsian
to help you celebrate!   :*)
Whose birthday can we celebrate next?!?!?!
Dear Son's is coming up soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12-27-2012 Mutant Ninja Turtle?

Yesterday I finished up 
for my gd...
it looks more like a
mutant ninja turtle, ha.

12-26-2012 It's Time

It's time to start dreaming of next summer's garden...
when those darn seed companies 
send you their catalogues
in the dead of winter!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12-25-2012 Dresden Stollen

I baked some Dresden Stollen
for Christmas Day breakfast.
It was the first time I have tried this recipe
and I really love it...
will be using it again!
Half the recipe
made one HUGE loaf.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

12-24-2012 Away In A Manger

In case you missed it...
check out this wonderful blog post (below)
about the Christmas Carol "Away In A Manger"
by Rev. Ed Hird
from Dec. 2010.
I just found it today...
better late than never!
- - - - - - - 
Childhood memories inescapably come to my mind each Christmas.  One of my favorite Christmas Carols as a child was ‘Away in a Manger’.  This delightful lullaby still soothes my soul in unexpected ways.  The term ‘lullaby’ comes from the Swedish term ‘lulla’, meaning ‘an intermission or lull in the storm’.  With three lively sons in our family, my wife and I have always been grateful for any lull in the storm.  My parents have often reminded me of what a lovely son I was when I was sleeping!

The inescapable season of Christmas is intended to be a lullaby, a lull in the storm of life.  So often we wear ourselves out trying to do Christmas right.  Without intending to, we spend too much, eat too much, and drink too much.  I am more and more convinced that the real key to a joyful Christmas is less, not more; slower, not faster.  The heart of Christmas is simplicity.  The heart of Christmas is a manger.

When you think about the first Christmas, there was ‘no crib for a bed’.  The cattle were LOWING, which is an ancient term for mooing and making a racket!  No wonder ‘the Baby awakes’.  I wonder how many mothers reading this article have had to give birth in a barn?  I wonder how many modern-day Moms ever used a feeding trough as a baby crib?  Yet that is what ‘Away in A Manger/Feeding Trough’ meant on the very first Christmas day.

No one actually knows who wrote the words to this delightful carol.  I wonder if it was written by a stressed-out parent with several children under the age of three.  Personal experience has taught me that sleep is a rare commodity for parents with babies.  You just have to snatch a couple of hours in-between feeding, cleaning and crying times.  In my early twenties, I said that I would never have children until scientists had solved the problem of children crying!  After being stuck in an hour-long traffic jam with my wailing baby nephew Boyd, I started to fantasize about creating a mechanism that would switch Boyd’s screaming into a flashing light on his forehead.  My hunch is that the author of ‘Away in a Manger’ may have had the same desires when he wrote ‘But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes’.
The amazing thing about raising three boys is that after a while the crying and wailing doesn’t traumatize you in the same way.  I am not sure if that is because you suffer from hearing loss along the way.  Either way I am convinced that baby Jesus, being fully human as well as fully God, wailed and cried with the best of them.  And mother Mary and Joseph probably suffered from sleep deprivation, but loved the little Lord Jesus regardless.

There is something so amazing about being parents looking at one’s sleeping baby.  As our babies lay down their sweet heads, as the stars in the bright sky look down where they lay, something stirs within the most hardened workaholic heart.  Babies are worth the sacrifice.  Babies are worth the investment.  No wonder God became a baby at Christmas.  God stole our hearts by turning up ‘away in a manger’.  Who cannot love God as a helpless baby?

As a young child I sincerely sang in Sunday School: ‘I love you Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my bedside till morning is nigh’.  I meant it when I sang: ‘Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.’  But as I became older, my heart hardened.  I became cynical and jaded towards Christmas and Church.  Jesus to me became little more than a swear word.  The miracle is that Jesus cracked through my cold distracted heart and showed me real love.  My prayer for those reading this article is that the Reason for this Season, Jesus, may ‘fit us for heaven, to live with thee there’.
- - - - - - -
Merry Christmas (Eve)!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12-23-2012 At last!

DH & I have tried and tried
on several occasions
to purchase these whiskey glasses...
to no avail.
Today, our dear S-I-L and his brother
made it happen!
Thank you sooooooo much guys!
You were able to get for us
what we could not get for ourselves.
Cheers to you and having friends in high places!  :-)

Love you!  Merry Christmas.

12-22-2012 A Few More...

A few more Christmas cookies
fresh from the oven...
the house smells good!

Friday, December 21, 2012

12-21-2012 Winter Solstice

...brought with it our first sleet & snow for this winter...
covering everything with a wash of white
crunchy ice and snow.

After digging out the front door and driveway
I decided to stay inside
throw together a pot of turkey noodle soup
start a batch of Christmas cookies
babysit the granddaughter

and do some needlework!
I just finished this ami lion for her:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12-20-2012 First Winter Sleet/Snow

...accompanied by 50 mph winds...
...we may have a white Christmas after all...
~inside my warm kitchen
you can smell
the mincemeat (pot)pie 
that I baked 
for a new friend I've met this year!
I was able to deliver it to her this morning
before the roads got too bad.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2-19-2012 It's Beginning...

It's beginning to smell alot like Christmas...
my German Springerle went into the oven this morning!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12-18-2012 Aidan Mugs

WOWZA... We love them/him!!!!!!
Thank you so much!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12-16-2012 Remembering

Remembering Mom's passing
3 years ago today.
Nothing can replace a mother's love.
Not a day goes by
that I don't miss you!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12-15-2012 LEGO Robots @ IMAX

Today DH & I went to the Putnum IMAX theatre
to see "The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey" in 3D...
and found the parking lot completely full.
We thought since it was opening weekend for the movie
that all the cars were for the movie
and it may be sold out. 
We came to find out the Putnum was having 
teams of up to 10 people had to make LEGO robots
that assist Senior Citizens in some way...
and most of the people and cars in the lot
were for this competition, and not the movie.
The movie was quite an adrenaline rush
but we both thought the volume was WAY too loud!!!
Wish I had brought some earplugs!
- - - - - - -
Tonight we attended our favorite 
annual Christmas concert
and I'm hoping my eardrums weren't blow out 
by the Hobbit movie!

12-14-2012 Eagles & Options

The eagles have started arriving in our neck of the woods.
(Time to keep my cat indoors!)

Also, finished this pair of Options Slippers
for my dear D-I-L.
Hope they keep her feet toasty warm this winter!

Friday, December 14, 2012

12-13-2012 Happy 5 Months!

My son's smirk lives on
in my 5 month old grandson...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-11-2012 Going Rogue

A happy ~ sad day...
saying goodbye to my 2002 Subaru Outback was sad...
saying hello to my new ride was happy.
After test driving half a dozen crossover vehicles
I'm going Rogue...Nissan Rogue!
Here's a pix of my new wheels:

Monday, December 10, 2012

12-10-2012 Flats

DH had yet another flat tire this morning
so I drove him to work and will pick him up.
I never get flats.
I wonder where he is driving that I am not?!?!?

12-9-2012 sans pigtails

DH tried on and loved my warm up hat
and asked if I would make him one too...
sans the pigtails.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

12-8-2012 Misc

The guys who installed our new deck
came and put on a safety gate
at the top of the stairs
this past week.

My first "Granny Square"

After breakfasting on bagels
with DD & family,
DH & I took a bunch of cars out for test drives today.
As much as I LOVE my Subaru,
it is now 10 years old and going on 170,000 miles,
so I may be saying goodbye to my old friend
and hello to a new one
one of these days soon!

12-7-2012 Eye Exam

Today I drove to LeClaire,  IA
for my annual eye exam.
My eye doc has a view
of the Mississippi River from her office.
I was surprised (and delighted!)
that she did NOT dilate my eyes this year,
so after my appt. I did some shopping
up and down main street...

...stopped in this wine and coffee emporium
for a cuppa foo-foo java
and sat at this table (above) to write a note to my 
dear sister-in-law in California...

... then on my way out of town
I drove past the Antique Archeology bldg.
made famous by the TV show "American Pickers."

It was actually a fun and relaxing morning!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

12-6-2012 Smiles

My Christmas Pookie
(see 12-2-2012 post)
went with me to
"Sit & Knit" at the LYS
last night...
and brought smiles
around the table.
Here is Pookie 
with the youngest member
of our "Sit & Knit" group.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12-5-2012 Cup o' Cheer

Today DH & I mixed up our egg nog
for Christmas Eve.

12-4-2012 Crocodile

Learned a new stitch today...
Crocodile Stitch...
to make these fingerless gloves.

Monday, December 3, 2012

12-3-2012 Four Hours After Sundown

record breaking 
high temps today (72-73*F) 
for December 3rd!
I think the previous record was 65*F.
I took this pix 4 hours after sundown
while we were driving around town.

12-2-2012 Emerged

Today this Christmas Pookie
emerged from the sticks
and decided to sit on the front entry table
(see photo below)
to greet people who come visit our house!

I wonder if it will play with my cat
during the night?!?!?
It will have to stay VERY quiet and still
to remain undetected by kitty!