Dec 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

It's been a tough month for me since my Mom's birthday was this month and it's the first Christmas without my parents. Mom always made holidays special for us kids. Her joy in it offset Dad's grumpiness, lol.  What's warmed my heart: Receiving Christmas cards from people I didn't expect, and their thoughtful expressions regarding this first season without my parents.

I managed to get one of my little trees up and decorated on Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately, that's the only decorating I was able to get done this year. This year it was only decorated stitched ornaments -- ones that I've done and some that others have stitched for me.

I can't remember the last time we did not have a white Christmas. Here's the front of The Homestead on Christmas Day.

My brother hosted Christmas... everyone brought a dish to pass and there was so much food: Smoked turkey, smoked beef brisket, baked ham, hot and cold appetizers, mac and cheese, fried rice, shrimp, and the list goes on.  Everything was so good!

Giving the thumbs up on cheesecake
We hadn't done a family photo for at least 4 years.
The little ones weren't having any part of it!

Hanging out in the garage - Can you tell he's a gearhead?

Opening his gift

My sister-in-law presented my brothers, sister, and I with a frame she made after seeing one in a floral shop. She put a photo I had taken of my parents back in 2008. Even though they're no longer with us, their spirits and values live through us.

Time to say Bye-Bye
This is my great nephew and my niece.

I hope my readers and their families had a wonderful Christmas filled with laughter, good food, and love.

Dec 25, 2014

Santa Sack Exchange 2014

This was the first year I participated in the Santa Sack Exchange. I signed up for it in June... little did I know that I would soon be losing both parents... and thus I scrambled to get my exchange gifts made.  You can read about the specifics HERE.

I truly feel spoiled by Anne. She made such beautiful gifts.

Thank you, Anne!

Secret Santa at Work

Last year was my first time and I was not too pleased with receiving gifts that were clearly "re-gifted" or "second-handed" (maybe "third-handed"?).  Don't get me wrong.... I don't mind re-gifted or second-hand gifts if they are something on my wishlist or things that are clearly "me".  Last year's gifts were clearly not tailored towards me.

How it works: Participants fill out a generic survey of things they like -- hot/cold drinks, Christmas type items, scents, things we collect.  Then for four days, we give our Secret Santa recipient a small gift worth $1-2.  On Day 5, we all get together to give a $10 gift and try to guess who our Secret Santa is.

So this year, even though I was a bit iffy... I decided to bite the bullet and I once again participated in the Secret Santa Exchange at work.

My partner paid attention to my questionaire
and gave me things along those themes.
I liked everything :)
I will probably do this again next year!

It's Time! 12 Days of Christmas

This year I participated in a private 12 Days of Christmas exchange.  Shelley drew my name and she put my wrapping abilities to shame. ;-)  I don't have my tree up yet, the sofa doubled as a display shelf.

Aren't they beautiful?!
The participants decided that today would be the starting date for opening gifts.  So here goes:

Almost too pretty to open...
A cute little Santa snowglobe!  I love snowglobes!!  This one is going to work with me to put at my desk.  Also included in the adorable snowman box was Lindor chocolates.  Mmmm...  Yummo!

Wonder what it could be?

I use highlighters when working on BAPs so these will definitely come in handy!


More candy!!  Oh, and adorable holiday socks  :)
I think I'll save these to wear on Christmas.
Ohhh, it's the BIG box!  Should I shake it?
All right!  Velveeta Shells & Cheese!!  Waaiiit a minute....
It's an adorable snoman mug!  It's huge, too.  I'm going to use it to hold all the candy I've been getting.


Yummo!!  Hot cocoa :)

Woo Hoo!  A chart from my wishlist.

 I tried to be good and not feel it up.  It was heavy.
I thought it was a chocolate bar, LOL!

Not chocolate, but I do love the saying!
It fits right in with my theory of life.
"Make Happy Happen!"

A jungle bell place card holder.
Very cute!
 Oooh! Love Burt's Bees stuff!  :)

 Cute candy ornament to go with all the candy!
 Shelley actually made the ornament.
It looks so professional, I thought it was store bought!

I was in such a hurry to open my present this morning,
I forgot to take a photo of the package. As you can
see it's a pair of Christmas towels. :) 
There was candy, too.  I forgot to include it.
DAY 12
Shelly really spoiled me on Day 12!
Not only did she get me a chart from my wishlist,
she also gave me the fabric and threads to go with it!
I so want to start this!
Must. Hold. Off.
(or maybe not...)
This concludes the 2014 Twelve Days of Christmas exchange. A big thank you goes out to Shelley for all the wonderful gifts she's given me... and more importantly, the online friendship and support she's shared with me over the many years we've "known" each other.

Dec 19, 2014

Stitch From Stash - December

The end of the Stitch From Stash Challenge for 2014 has arrived.  SFS is coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea of SFS is to stitch from our stash to reduce spending. 

I did pretty good in December.  I was able to keep my spending under control.  I did buy a few things, however I received and $8 refund for some November purchases, so it resulted in my spending only $16.

New Starts from Stash: Festive Owl, Sugarplum Express Wizzer
WIPs or UFOs worked on: Midnight Watch
Finishes: Festive Owl
Until next time,