Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Annual family selfie time as we close out 2015.
Grant was only in for one photo, so you get what you get with these things!

Happy New Year to you!

P.S.  Remember to email me to sign up for the heart to heart swap!~

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hourglass quilt finish, floods and heart to heart

First up - if you were asking about yardage on the herringbone quilt there is no email for you! I used three yards of prints, five yards of kona solids and a queen flat sheet for that quilt.

Second - if there is interest I will run the heart to heart swap again this year, please email me at to let me know you'd like to participate. I will put up a more formal post if there is enough interest this year. (Basically you will send me approximately 14 valentines by feb 1 and you will receive 14 different valentines in return. Search heart to heart in the search bar to see examples.)

Third - it started raining here on Christmas night. It rained and rained and rained. Something like ten inches of rain. We are having historic flooding. This used to be a very small recreational lake In our neighborhood. It turned into a river when it joined up with the creek. I woke up sure I could see the lake from our house and indeed, I could. It covered the interstate, flooded many of the roads in town and marooned us on a little neighborhood island for a bit. Not even in 1993 was there water like this. 

It has receded now, but the rivers are still rising. It was completely surreal how quickly it happened. 
I also managed to finish my 14th quilt in 2015. This pattern is hourglass from a book called scrap basket beauties. It was a bit of a bugger, but I love the result.
Not great photo, ugh.

I used a large zig zag stitch to quilt it.

I think my favorite part is the variety of color I got from using a jelly roll. I'm not really into precuts but this has given me some new color ideas!

Back tomorrow with the annual family photo for New Years!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

All Aboard the Polar Express

We happened to have a little extra money this year, so we bought tickets to take the kids on the Polar Express. It's worth nothing that 1) the tickets are crazy ass expensive and 2) the tickets are crazy ass hard to get! I remember the day after they went on sale and it still took Dave and I hours to find 5 tickets together. The cheapest tickets were long gone by then, so we had to buy pricier ones too.
AND the only day we could get them was Christmas Eve!
I was skeptical. A train ride at 6 30 on Christmas Eve? Wouldn't the kids be insane? Would it be too much the day before Christmas? We were going to miss church too.
The polar express in St Louis runs out of the historic Union Station. My only little complaint is they don't do nearly as good as the Thomas people do with activities to do before you get on the train.
As it turns out it was AWESOME. And perfect timing. We got on the train, rode to the north pole and then said goodbye to santa just as it was time for him to get on his sled and start making deliveries!
This was so much fun. I really don't think my kids have ever enjoyed anything as much as this, Jack included. There was hot chocolate and a cookie, a reading of the book, singing and dancing (loads of singing of dancing).  There were actors playing the parts (even the little boy and the hobo). The actors on our train were all in. Seriously. They gave it 120%. They quickly learned our kids' names and had them joining in on everything. Grant was the most involved - dancing in a line with them up and down the train, playing frozen, mimicking their every move. The kids laughed and laughed and sang and just ate up every single minute of it.
Each train had two hot chocolate people, a Santa, a conductor, and an elf.
It's one of the few times when I would say worth every single very expensive penny.
There are very few decent photos. Moving train, low light and kids moving a million miles a minute, but that's totally okay, because we will all remember it forever. (And maybe do it again another year? At least one more time for sure, but next year Jack is keen to see the trans Siberian orchestra).

 The conductor punches an E into the kids' tickets raining down the punches like glitter on their heads.

 I didn't spot the engine, but the train cars were perfect.

 The kids got to visit with Santa and tell him what they were wishing for.

Somehow I don't have a single photo of the hot chocolate entertainers! They were awesome!

Seriously though, AWESOME. This was a very happy Christmas present to myself!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas 2015

I'm clearly losing the will to blog as I've blogged nothing this season.

Santa visited.

All dressed up for the preschool service.
The little kids sang at the preschool Christmas service. I know in my brain that Sammi is very small, but when I see her with the other kids my eyes fall out of my head. Goodness she is little.

Grant was nervous but once he got up there he was fine.
We did the annoying gingerbread. I put the houses together the day before which helped. And we made awesome gingerbread cookies the day before so they kids would have something to eat and stop asking me to eat nasty very hard old gingerbread houses. I still say I should just let them eat 10 lbs of candy and skip these blasted houses.
Sammi tore through her presents like a Texas tornado. She was CRAZY this year!
The magic is gone for Jack this year, which is sniff, but also? A LOT EASIER on Santa. Ahem.
Grant took his time.

Now the house has thrown up a toy store and I am ready for a nap.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Card Photos, Merry Christmas

Taking the Christmas card photo is always an adventure over here! (And I've just realized I had a better photo than the one I used on the card. Ooops!)

Merry Christmas to you!