Friday, December 31, 2010

Sunshine!

Yesterday was a rare day.  The sun was shining AND it was warm enough to play outside for a bit! 





 
 







Thursday, December 30, 2010

Playing With Dolls

Yesterday, the little girls spent the day with us again.  We love it when they come over!  It gives the big girls the chance to play with toys that they seldom pull out as well as giving me the opportunity to teach a bit.  I never realized FigNewTon didn't know how to swaddle a baby.  Butterfly has known most of her life and I never realized FigNewTon hadn't picked up on it.  It is so fun to watch them play and learn! 







Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Abundantly Blessed

On Christmas Eve, the girls worked hard all day to clean the house and organize their personal space.  At the start of the day, I wrote down all of the jobs that needed to be completed and put them in a jar.  As each girl finished a task, she would pick another slip of paper.  I had put a few fun things in the jar like play a game with me or take 15 minutes time for yourself.  The girls were much less resistant to the unpopular jobs and excited to choose something from the jar, especially after they knew there were prizes included.  The reward for having accumulated the most strips of paper was to choose the first evening activity.  FigNewTon chose opening gifts from other people.  That's what we all wanted to do. 

Both girls volunteer at the library throughout the year.  They received scarves and gloves from their favorite librarian.  I didn't realize until just now that I didn't get a good picture of Butterfly. 


Then they each got to open a box from Autumn.  Check out the boxes.   



Inside were quilts that Autumn had made.  Butterfly has described hers as "perfect" and "it fits me."  You can get a better look at the quilt here.   


FigNewTon's quilt is also a perfect fit.  She is a bit less expressive, but goes into her room just to look at it throughout the day and is the first one to grab her quilt whenever we sit down to read or watch TV.   Autumn shows much better pictures of the quilt here.


Pictures of me and my gifts are harder to come by since I am always on the wrong side of the camera. 

Autumn sent my gift to me early, so that I would have it while I was recovering.  You cannot imagine how hard it was to not reveal the secret about the girls' quilts after receiving mine.  I cannot count how many times I stopped myself from comparing pieces of my quilt to theirs.  I am so glad the cat is finally out of the bag! 

Days before Christmas, we were surprised with boxes at our door from Debbie.  I opened them to find gifts inside and peeked at the invoice just enough to know who they were from.  Now that they are open, I can tell you that Fluxx is our new favorite game!  The package also included Mexican Train Dominoes which we haven't had the chance to play yet.  FigNewTon is especially excited about that one. 

Then Natalie stopped by and brought us all gifts.  I am quite excited about the devotional book she gave me.  I don't usually like devotionals and yet I can hardly wait till Saturday so that I can begin reading this one!  She also gave me a wall plaque that looks beautiful hanging in my room.  On it is the verse that is the cry of my heart right now and yet I hadn't told anyone. 

Yesterday, my friend Julie took me shopping for a bed.  I have never had a new bed before.  My twin bed was in horrid condition.  The box spring was busted so I was sleeping on my mattress on the floor.  I could feel the springs inside and knew it wouldn't be long until one of them pushed through the fabric.  Now I have a full size box spring and mattress!  I had a gift card to Wal-Mart so I was able to go out today and pick up sheets and a mattress cover for the bed.  I need to get a bed skirt, too; but they didn't have any that I liked in stock so that will have to wait.  

There have also been monetary gifts this past month.  Each one came with instructions from the giver.  The first was to buy gifts.  For that I am thankful.  It relieves so much pressure when I know I can give the girls some gifts from me.  They are always so blessed, but it blesses me to be able to purchase things for them.  Then there was the Wal-Mart card to buy things for the house and that allowed me to pick up things we have been needing for a while like a new shower curtain and a mixer as well as the freedom to choose a larger bed because I knew I could buy sheets.  Then a little more money arrived Christmas Eve designated for whatever we need after the holidays. 

God always provides for our needs, often more extravagantly than I could imagine.  This year we were truly and abundantly blessed. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


May your celebrations be filled with love and peace!  Blessings to you, my friends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fire Engine


FigNewTon went through a stage that lasted from the time she was four until she was six and a half that she wanted to be a fire fighter.  Being a fire fighter consumed her every conversation and thought.  The year she was six, she entered a competition to disguise a turkey to keep it safe on Thanksgiving  and she dressed it up as a fire fighter.  She had a fire fighter doll, a fire fighter coat and many other things.  Her obsession started when she went along on a Daisy field trip with her sister.  She told the fire fighters that day that she wanted to be a fire fighter and they laughed at her and told her girls couldn't be fire fighters.  She set her mind on doing exactly what they had told her she could not do.  If you look closely, the ladder on this side of the picture is broken.  She played with it and had it set on her dresser for the longest time; sometimes even carrying it around with her.  This ornament reminds me of all that and more. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Handcrafted Favorites

One of my favorite parts of decorating for any holiday is the excuse it gives me to display things the girls have made throughout their childhoods. 


FigNewTon painted this when she was three. 


Both girls made one of these in 2006.  Butterfly was 11, FigNewTon 10. 


This is one of my most cherished possessions.  Butterfly gave it to me the year she was four.  In case you cannot read what is written, it says the box "is filled with love and hugs and kisses and tickles.  But it doesn't really have anything in it."   She was so unsure of herself, giving me an "empty" box for a gift.  I told her it was the best present in the world. 


Butterfly made this the year she was four.


Again, Butterfly made this when she was four. 
Nothing else looks quite right on top of my tree. 


FigNewTon made this when she was seven. 
She has always loved the way it reflects the light from the tree.


Butterfly made this when she was five. 
She said it was a light for the tree.


Both girls made these last year.
  

In case you can't tell, this is Santa Claus. 
Butterfly made this when she was seven. 


FigNewTon made this for school last year.  She was reading The Family Under the Bridge and one of the assignments in her literature book was to make a Christmas display for a store window. 


FigNewTon made this when she was six. 
It is a Rapunzel snowman. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Angels

Angels are not my thing. Angel figures have always bothered me because the way angels are represented in modern culture is not at all scripturally correct. In the Bible, angels are almost always very powerful creatures that elicit a response of fear. Their first admonition to the humans they come into contact with is often, "Do not be afraid." They are also typically given male names in scripture. So, for this reason, angel figurines are not my thing. They are, however, FigNewTon's. She loves them. So we have a lot of them. There are only three in her collection that I really like. This first one she made from pasta and paint when she was seven. It always makes me smile.


This second one, she made when she was five. She was so proud. She cut out three angel shapes by herself and glued them together and then painted on them a bit. I actually had to photograph the least deocrative side because the other two sides have her name on them.


This third one, FigNewTon made from a kit when she was eleven. 


Here are the rest. Some are nice simply because they are so very old. We picked them up at thrift shops, so they have no significant meaning in that way, but they are special just because they are handmade and old.

    
  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

On Friday, the girls made gingerbread houses. It sounded like they were having tons of fun in the kitchen.  The younger girls had the name of their school on their t-shirts and I didn't notice until after I took most of the pictures.