Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New Chirstmas Tradition

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend. We sure did! We enjoyed a nice family meal on Thursday evening which consisted of Honey Baked Ham, asparagus, rice stuffing, and fruit salad. We had the kids in bed by 8pm and then the final wrapping, counting, and organizing of presents began. I had to make sure the kids had the same number of presents because I thought there would be hurt feelings if they didn't. EJ ended up with 2 more gifts than Ellie Mae and I was trying so hard to "figure it all out!" I thought about taking a few away and saving them as birthday presents but my really "mean and doesn't know anything" husband wrapped them all up and set them out and said "they shouldn't care and neither should you."

Well for some stupid reason I let that get me all upset and I kind of let it ruin my night (at least for a good hour.) I was just so worried about the imminent tantrum and hurt feelings that my kids were sure to have the next morning. You know what? Mr. PD was sooo right. The kids didn't even notice!!! We just let them take turns back and forth opening presents and we let Ellie Mae open up some of the "family" gifts to make up for her lack of gifts. let me re-iterate.... they DIDN"T care!!! Really I don't know why I even made such a big deal. {sheesh}

On Christmas day we enjoyed watching the kids unwrap their presents and were glad that they were pleased with every one of their gifts. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends that night. There was so much food and it was all soooo good!

We did start a new tradition this year though. I don't remember where I read this, at first I thought it was from a comment I had received but I went back through my comments and could not find it anywhere. It must have come from someones blog {so THANK YOU whoever you were!} The new tradition consists of buying a new ornament for our kids every year. A special thoughtful ornament that represents some achievement in their life for that year. Then when that child is married you give them all of their ornaments as a wedding or Christmas present. How cool is that!? We all know how tight money is that first year without having to worry about buying home decor items. I may have to do this for us (as a couple) and add a new ornament every year that represents something special.

For EJ I wanted to get something that represented his first year of school. For Ellie Mae I wanted something to represent her love of ballerinas. Well we didn't decide to do this until 3 days before Christmas, and those were slim pickins at all the ornament shops! I finally settled on some Alabama football players to represent our move to good ole Alabama. Roll Tide! {I found them Christmas Eve!}

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent Calendar Tutorial

I don't blame you for giving up on me. What can I say? This is usually a pretty busy time for everyone, myself included. Time just has a way of flying by and I have to prioritize my time and family time is always gonna trump blogging {sorry folks, it's just the harsh reality! LOL} I was pretty busy having fun and enjoying my mom on her visit. Sadly I dropped her off at the airport bright and early this morning. Believe it or not my mom's visit wasn't really the hold up on the tutorial, I somehow managed to misplace the dang tutorial a second time! *grins sheepishly* So to make up for it I actually went through and made it all spiffy looking with Illustrator so you wouldn't have to loose your mind trying to decipher my chicken scratch hand writing.

I'll try to post a close up of a few of my stockings as soon as the weather cooperates and the sun peeks through the nasty dark gloomy clouds hanging out covering my bright blue AL skies.

Click to be taken to the file download page. Click "start download" to download the PDF file.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Giveaway Winners

I had such a fun time reading all your comments from the Sew Mama Sew give away. It seems that most of the favorite ornaments are those that have special meaning. It seems like some of the most treasured ornaments are those that some of you made 15-30 years ago when you were little. I've taken note and will be saving some of the ones my children make so I can give them to them when they are grown. I love that some of you display your "ugly" ones proudly front and center. Some of you give them a place of honor in the back of the tree! Still on the tree no less!

I wish I could give each of you a silhouette but I received 144 comments! {a record for me} So I have decided to give away 3 silhouettes instead of the 1 I had originally planned on.

So the winners are (chosen by Random Number Generator):
#70, #6, and #25

Congrats to Kris #6: Those are beautiful! I would love to win!

Melissa #25: My favorite ornaments are the ones my kids make at school and church each year- especially the ones with pictures of them! Those silhouettes are darling- I'd love one!

Tiffany #70: I got your silhouettes for my kids last year! Love them, and would be thrilled to win more ;) Favorite ornament is a hallmark godchild from 1976. Too fragile to hang, but is dearly loved!

In other news, I found the tutorial for the stocking advent calendar so look for it later tonight or early tomorrow morning!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tutorial Delay

I had the tutorial for the stocking advent calendar all written up and ready to be scanned into my computer the night before last. Now I can't find my piece of paper!!! I know I put it somewhere safe {so it would be safe from the kids, dogs, and hubby} yeah well that worked out great cause I can't find it anywhere! Seriously I have a short term memory. I really should have made Mr. PD put it somewhere safe from me! I'm keeping my eyes open through out the day and I'll post as soon as I find it. Although I have a feeling I will need to write it up again!! It also might not be until tomorrow because I get to have my mom over for a visit all the way from sunny California! Yay!

PS I get my forgetfulness from my lovely mother who has been known to be frantically looking for her keys while they are in her hand, or for her cell phone when she is on it talking to me! I'm not that bad {yet.}

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Paper Stocking Advent Calendar

I love having an advent calendar in my home. It helps to keep the "is it Christmas tomorrow?" questions to a minimum. I made my little calendar 2-3 years ago and it is one of my favorite things to get out for Christmas. It was super simple to make and looks awesome. I've gotten tons of compliments on my calendar.

Sometimes I display it like a garland on some ribbon, or on a dead tree branch as you can see in the picture below. This picture was taken on Thanksgiving and there it is next to the TV and my little guy. Well it kept falling over and I just couldn't get it to stay put. Usually when I opt to display it like this I put it in a really tall vase then fill the base with those floral gems. Well I apparently left my really tall vase in storage in TN.

I was getting pretty fed up with stockings falling off any time my kids went near it. So I looked around for another idea and realized I had some extra garlands {because I don't have any banisters, or columns in AL, sad} so I strung one up across the living room/dining room cased opening. I then used ornament hooks to hang up each of the little stockings.

{and just so you know we keep it real over here in the PD household I didn't bother to clean up the toys, backpack, or the bag of trash the dog is finding really interesting!}

At first I started to hang up the stockings in numerical order but then I realized that it would look odd half way through the month with stockings on only on half of the garland. So I took them down and then put them back up in a random order. Each little stocking holds 2 little Hershey's Kisses (one for each of my kiddos) and a little slip of paper with an activity to do that day. The activities are little things and things already in our calendar {hey, it's not like my kids know!} such as color Christmas pictures, make gingerbread houses, church Christmas party, and picking up Grandma from the airport.

I'm working on the pattern to post tomorrow so you can make your own stocking calendar. I love advent calendars so if you've got one posted on your blog share the link with me, I'd love to see it.

It's here, It's finally here!

Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day 2009!

I'm giving away one of my custom Digital Portrait Silhouettes. Like these:

My giveaway is open to international entrants as well!

I'll even give you 2 chances to win!

Post a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas ornament is for one entry.

Follow my blog (or if you already do) and post a second comment telling me you do.

I'll pick a winner on Sunday December 6th!

In case you are wondering, my favorite Christmas ornament is the 2002 Swarovski Annual Christmas ornament.

It was given to us on the year we got married by a very special friend of mine (my German, social studies, and Seminary teacher - all in one!) We then started the tradition of buying that year's ornament every Christmas. We will be getting ornament #8 shortly in the mail. I can't wait to Have my tree decked out with 25, or maybe even 50 ornaments someday! It's just a lovely visual reminder of our time together as a family.

Don't forget to visit Sew Mama Sew for the master list of giveaways!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The worst Christmas tree EVER!

Last year we decided to have make a wonderful Christmas memory and cut down our own Christmas tree {all Mr. PD's big idea.} We even went to a tree farm in TN were we lived. We were all excited until we got there and they told us that the only trees they had for cutting down were Leyland Cypresses or White Pine trees. Once I took a look at the selections I tried my hardest to convince Mr. PD to buy me one of my favoritest already pre-cut Frasier Firs. {Love!}

But NO! Mr. PD would have none of that. So between the two available selections I chose the lesser of the "ugly" trees. Ugly trees! not real Christmas trees at all. {no offense if they happen to be your choice of Christmas tree.} There was no talking my hubby into buying the already cut Frasier Firs, NO we were going to create a tradition! So we ended up with a Leyland Cypress.

Fast forward to when we start decorating the tree. My arms broke out in little red bumps and itched like crazy! I was allergic to the stupid thing! So Mr. PD and the kids got to do all the decorating while I supervised and gave constructive criticism.

Fast forward to when it was time to take it down. The stupid tree dried up so much that the needles were super poky like thorns! We managed to get all the ornaments off and most of the lights as well. Our arms were scratched up and bleeding from the tiny paper cut like scratches the tree decided to give us. Then I just looked at Mr. PD and said, "it can keep the lights!" We then took it outside light and all and dumped it in the back yard where we let it really dry out before burning the dang thing!

Never again! This year we got a nice Douglas fir and I tested it on my arms before bringing it home! Mr. PD definitely created a Christmas memory that we will never forget!

Do you have any "fun" {after the fact} holiday memories?