Dec 27, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 12/27/10

My parents announced this year that they won't be hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays anymore, so it's up to us kids to take turns. This year, my oldest brother hosted both holidays. I missed Thanksgiving due to being sick, but made it for Christmas.

It was a lot of fun. :) Much to my surprise, I was able to get my ENTIRE family involved in playing a game where participants had to use a crayon to draw a Christmas picture according to my verbal directions. Easy enough, right? Well... the trick was that they could NOT look at their papers while doing so!

We decided to draw names this year... adults drew adult names and kids (cousins) drew kids names. We all sat in a circle and took turns opening our gifts. My oldest brother couldn't wait until our niece (who is going to be 20 soon) got to the house so she could be the "featured gift opener". He made a point of telling her that basically he felt sorry for her over the years because she always got crappy gifts (lol), so he got her something really good. As she was opening her gift, one of the youngest cousins squealed in delight when she saw the box: a zhu zhu pet! (If you don't know what a zhu zhu pet is, click HERE.) She excitedly told her cousin how she had one JUST like it, and proceeded to ask if she had the zhu zhu pet cities... LOL! My niece opened the box to find....


I'm talking at least 4x6x1". It was way too funny. The good sport that she was, she suggested my youngest brother (her step-dad) use his high pressure tools and turn it into a diamond for her. Someone else suggested she put it under a stack of books, and in a few million years she'd have a great diamond.

She did get a real present, though. My brother finally handed over a gift card which technically was from her cousin.

And now, the family photos:

Aside from a wedding or funeral, this is about as dressed up as you will ever see my Dad. And yes, his shirt is *always* unbuttoned! My Mom, on the other hand, she always wears something fushia and sparkly for the holidays.

This is the featured gift opener, my oldest niece, along with the newest niece in the family. The baby slept through most of Christmas. She was sleeping when everyone got there, and when she woke up there were TONS of people. The look on her face was precious... kind of like: 'Holy Crap. Where did all these people come from?'

My nephew and his Dad decided to travel by snowmobile to the Christmas celebration. On the way, he crashed his sled and smashed his thumb. Obviously, the injury didn't hinder his video game playing ability!

Two more nieces. The older one has moved away from home and goes to college. The younger one complained that she doesn't know how to smile for photos, lol.

This is another of my oldest nieces, along with her BF. Both are sporting Christmas presents -- hers, a pink plaid hoodie, and his the 49er's cap.


My niece, the princess. She was excited to tell everyone she got a Princess Ariel Styling Salon from Santa. Then when she opened her Christmas gifts, she got a Princess Ariel crown and jewelry, and a Princess Baby Ariel who also had a crown!

I've been using the Gingerbread House as my travel stitching for quite awhile. It's almost finished, so I decided I'd get this one finished up by the end of this year. I did a bit more stitching on it after finishing TMQ:

Other WIP pics can be seen HERE.

Both Nancy and Vickie have been prodding me to get moving on JG. In 2011, I will be devoting more time to it.

Rene of Rene la Frog's Ramblings is one of my online buddies and co-moderator of the i-love-cross-stitch group. We have "known" each other for the past 6 years. I recently found out she is gravely ill, and may not be with us much longer.

A virtual candle lighting has been started for her at Please send good thoughts for her and her family. In addition, many stitchers have been participating in a week-long SAL dedicated to Rene.

Also, I am dedicating my TMQ finish to Rene. ((Hugs)) to you, my friend. You are in my thoughts.

Nina at Between Crosses with Nina is hosting a New Year's Giveaway. Go check out her beautiful stitching and the details about the giveaway.


Anonymous said...


The family photos are great! Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas.

On a sadder note, I'm very sorry about Rene. Please pass along my thoughts to her family & let them know I'm praying for them. Even though we haven't spoken in a couple of years, I am still saddened by her illness.


Kay said...

Looks like a great Christmas everyone had! I am sorry to hear about Rene, my thoughts are prayers are with her family and Rene.

Anonymous said...

Looks like your Christmas was full of fun and much love. Have a great new year.


EvalinaMaria said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely photos and congrats on the finish. I hope that Rene will get better - the doctors are not always right... A while ago I had a giveaway and she really like it. She was not a winner so I'm stitching it for her. And while stitching it I remember that she was stitching for a couple of years "Gift of the Eagle Feather". She really wanted to finish that project last year - it was a gift for Tracy. I think it would be so nice if a few of us both that kit and finish it for her. If she get better - she would love it, if she leaves us - I think that Tracy would love it... I do not know, just a thought...

Shari said...

it looks like a great time was had by all for Christmas!!!!
Love the gingerbread house.
I can honestly say I have no idea who Rene is, but I have seen posts about her on the 123 board.

Carol's Stitching said...

Pics are great and I love it when my family draws names too. The gingerbread house is so cute. Looking forward to seeing your Japanese Garden in 2011.

Ranae said...

Meari, you have a great looking family there.
I am sorry to hear about Rene, I think I have seen her comment on your post.
The gingerbread house is adorable, love the colors

Donna said...

Love the pics and the gingerbread house.
But I can hardly write this through my tears for Rene. Since I was away from my Yahoo groups and my blogging, this is the first I have heard of it. I knew she had gotten very ill a few months ago, but I had no idea.
Please email me privately if you know if she is still able to talk and if you know how to get in touch with her.

Kathy said...

Fabulosu family photos. It sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas.

I know I am not alone in sending heartfelt prayers and healing thoughts to Rene. I also pray for a miracle. That makes it back to us in the stitchy world.

Shelleen said...

Looks like everyone had fun. I think I have that Gingerbread House kit.

Shelley said...

Looks like you had a great holiday gathering. Wow! Your Mom has one fantastic head of hair.

Your stitching is looking great.

Happy Holidays!!

Nancy M said...

My sister and I share having Christmas, my mom still wants Thanksgiving. Amberlyn came to our house sleeping and when she woke up we had 22 people here!
I lost a dear stitching friend at Christmas last year and offered her husband to finish one of her pieces. As of now, he still can't imagine sending anything that she worked on away from his house. Maybe with time. I don't know if Tracy would feel the same way. But Evalina has the same idea I had for him. It bothers me that they have her on a vent if the end is inevitable. Especially if she is in pain and not be able to communicate because of it.

Lana said...

Looks and sounds like you had a lot of fun with family on Christmas!! Loved all the photos! Love the gingerbread house piece, it's adorable! And I will definitely be keeping Rene in my thoughts and prayers!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your family photos, everyone looks like they had a wonderful time.

Keeping Rene in my prayers.


Gabi said...

Fantastic family pictures.

I too think a lot about Rene and feel devastated about the sad news.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Christmas was fun! TMQ is huge! I had no idea! Congrats on the finish!!

Karin in CA

Anonymous said...

Congratulation for finished your TMQ. It looks gorgeous, great work and that gingerbead house is so cute too


Anonymous said...

Great pictures of your family Meari!

I love your Gingerbread House - it's so pretty! Also I hadn't seen your entry about your afghan before. What can I say - it's absolutely beautiful. You must be so thrilled with it.

That's really sad news about your online friend - I'm so sorry.


Akila said...

Lovely family pics :) You should'v taken a pic of your niece's expression on seeing the coal :)
Congrats on finishing TMQ. It looks stunning.
Am very sorry to hear about your friend. I would definitely pray for her and her family.

Anonymous said...

What a great looking family you have. Sounds like you all had a great Christmas. Love the Gingerbread House. I am so sorry to hear about Rene. I will keep her family in my prayers. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Katrien said...

Looks like you had a great christmas.

Gingerbread-house is really cute.

I had justed lighted another candle at greatfulness for Rene.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meari,

Sounds like you have a good Christmas with your family. I did also. Your afghan is beautiful, I've been seeing it being stitched through your blog all along and it sure was worth all those knots! It's beautiful.

Sandy P

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed all your family Christmas photos Meari, thanks for sharing. I'm going to try to get some of mine put up soon, but this new Window's 7 is keeping me confused to say the least!

Keep warm, hugs, Shirley

Lucy said...

Great family photos for the holidays!!! Always need that traveling cross stitch project too!!!

Srinity said...

Looks like you had a great Christmas with your family. :)
I love that gingerbread house! It's so cute!

Carol said...

Hmmm...I wonder when I can announce to my kids that I no longer want to host Thanksgiving or Christmas!? Probably not ever :(

Loved seeing your family photos, Meari--think that is so cute that your dad doesn't dress up--sounds just like mine. He'll wear the same shirt all week and change it on Sundays!

Your gingerbread house is darling, Meari--looks good enough to eat :)

I'll keep Rene and her family in my thoughts--what a sad piece of news to hear...

chrisstitches said...

Love the pics of the family. I love fushia too. The lump of dad got some one year too. Gingerbread is looking good. I would like to see progress on JG too....huge project though. Sorry to hear about friend...heard name on other blog but was confused. Sad time. Happy New Year!

Mel said...

Family looks great!
We gave my nephew a Zhu Zhu this year and he too was crazy excited about it. :)

Gingerbread House is so cute!

I love that you have dedicated TMQ to Rene, she would love it.

too_busy_to_stitch said...

Looks like a great time was had by all :) How lovely to dedicate TMQ to Rene.

Kristin said...

Meari, it looks and sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope your New Year's celebration was just as wonderful. I love your little Gingerbread House cute.

CJ said...

Hi Meari -

Happy 2011!! Love the picture of your parents, I was so happy to see them again on your blog.

So sad to hear about Renee. I will keep her in my prayers.