Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Gingerbread Houses 2012

Thank you for all the sweet wishes for TheSecondChild’s speedy recovery from his cat bite. He’s gone home now and all seems to be back to normal — or so he tells me. It was certainly a memorable Christmas for us — I’ll always remember it for the chaos. I was even so distracted that I forgot the dinner rolls for Christmas dinner. The shame! We got a beautiful snow on the 26th — and to prove that bad luck comes in threes, SweetiePie capped off our string by having a little fenderbender in the storm. All these pesky little inconveniences — but everyone is fine, so we really can’t complain!

How is your between week going? Are you finding any time to relax? This is one of my favorite weeks of the year — we have snow, no work, and I even had time to go take a fun little knitting class — more about that later. In the meantime, I’ve made it through pictures of our 2012 Gingerbread competition.

Team 5: TheSecondChild, CuteNiece2, and BestFriendofFirstandSecondChild. I’m not sure what was going on with this team, but I can say that we had to censor part of their house. Too political for our happy little blog here. As you can see, the topic involved taxes — very timely for the fiscal cliff mayhem going on in Washington now.  They did have some very cute touches — unfortunately, you don’t get to see them all LOL!

Gingerbread

Team 4: TheFirstChild and TheManoftheHouse. What is it with these men? These guys almost had to be censored too. They decided to tease the aforementioned BestFriend about a blurry picture that was taken of him dancing with a girl a few weeks ago. They blew up the picture and recreated the bar — changing the bar name from 8 Seconds Saloon to 8 Sexonds. Naughty Naughty. They did have some fun touches though — a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, a bucking bronco in the corner, a raised “wood” (ahem, shredded wheat) dance floor, and horses hitched outside.

Gingerbread

Team 3: MyDadLovesMeBestSister, CuteNiece1 and BigDaddy. MyDadLovesMeBestSister is always very creative with her candy. They started out by creating a nativity scene with a manger and horses in the center of the house. Then, something happened and they changed their plan. Maybe making a statement not to worry about their house? They created the Don’t Worry Be Happy House. I love the sprinkles on their roof, the dog with his pile of dog bones, and their cute little people with the wild, colorful hair!

Gingerbread

After the first round of voting, there was a tie for the Team1 and Team 2 houses.
Team2: CrazyBIL, CuteNephew, and CuteNephew’sGirl. CrazyBIL always decides to create alternate shapes with his houses and he ends up carving up the gingerbread pieces. They created a prison this time. Where did that come from LOL??? Maybe, everyone is getting tired of trying to think up new themes??? Anyway, they were very clever with the details. Note the spaghetti window bars and rails for the fences.  And orange jumpsuits for the prisoners. They even had an escaped prisoner who ended up in a pool of blood. Very fun!

Gingerbread

Team1: SweetiePie and Me. In honor of our trip to the UK this past summer, it seemed only fitting that we would make a UK house, don’t you think? We briefly thought about crumbling a bunch of gingerbread to make a mountain with exhausted climbers in the snow on the top.  But then, we decided to go more decorative instead. That’s Big Ben in case you can’t tell, LOL. We tried to make The Eye out of pretzels, but it wouldn’t hold, so I piped some frosting on a cookie sheet and baked it at 200 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes. I was quite surprised when it worked.  Anyway, SweetiePie very cleverly created the rows of bobbies and a double decker bus.  Then she created a river and we made a mini London bridge.

Gingerbread

Can you guess which house won in the run-off? It was Big Ben — Yay! I’m starting to think people vote for my houses as a reward for all the time I spend baking the gingerbread parts before Christmas. Either way, it’s very nice of them!
So, that’s it for another year.  Thanks for your visit — I hope you’re ready for New Year’s and that you’re having some fun this week!
XOXO,
Anna

Merry Christmas!

Merry, Merry Christmas! It’s that quiet moment in our morning before everyone is up, so I thought I’d quickly pop in to record our mayhem for posterity. The ovens arrived right on modified schedule — just in time to spend all day the 22nd making cookies. It’s a good thing too — I desperately needed my traditional Christmas Eve morning breakfast!

Cookies

TheSecondChild arrived home on cookie making afternoon, bringing his travel companion, Moofie. The kitties have been having a grand time.

Kitties

Moofie is the naughty kitty in the upper left. He got spooked on Saturday morning and bit TheSecondChild. So, late on Saturday evening, with a swollen hand, there was a visit to the ER for a little IV antibiotic therapy. I waited at home and tried to catch up on all the wrapping and cleaning — I’ve been so terribly behind schedule all fall. We all finally fell into bed at 5:30 a.m. The 23rd kept up busy with the annual Gingerbread Competition and suddenly, Christmas Eve was upon us! We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and managed to open a few presents before sending TheSecondChild back to the ER, that nasty infection seems to be spreading. More IV antibiotics and luckily, due to the holiday, the Dr. said he could come home overnight. We’ve modified our normal Christmas morning schedule while he’s gone again this morning for yet another round of antibiotics. Hopefully, they’ll send that infection packing!
So, it’s been eventful to say the least. Must run and get the traditional breakfast ready. And then Santa can visit!

ChristmasBoard

If there’s anyone out there, I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday! We sure are — even with the crazy schedule and manic disorganization!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
XOXO,
Anna

Oven, Oven, Who’s Got the …

Like many of you, I’ve found this last week to be a blitz of sadness, hope and busy busy. And can’t keep up-ed-ness. If normal holiday madness wasn’t enough, it appears we’re getting new ovens this week. It’s the last step of the kitchen update. Finally. Last week was the big week so we removed our old ovens. (Well, ok, the week before Thanksgiving was the big week. And then it was the week after Thanksgiving. And then the week after that.) See my new ovens?

Oven Hole

What? You can’t see them??? Yeah. The cabinet people screwed up the cabinet and got the measurements wrong. So now it’s a big rush job. And hopefully the new ovens will be here on Friday.  Four Three days before Christmas. It’s Cookie Baking Week with no cookies!  So, I entertain myself by wistfully reading about the cookies I would be making if I had an oven. And, of course, now I’m kicking myself that I’ve never posted about the Christmas turkey. You know, just in case the ovens don’t make it again, and I need to console myself by reading another old post!

Moving on, I’m making good use of that gap in the kitchen.

Soldered Ornament

I’ve made the annual little soldered ornaments.

Soldered Ornament

They’re always fun to play around with and they make good package tie-ons.

Soldered Ornament

Also…
I’ve been learning a little bit about Ami Sims Art Quilt Initiative. She’s been working hard since 2006 to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. If you’re looking for a charity at this giving time of year, this looks like a great choice.
And…
I’ve been included in a list of 40 homemade gift ideas. I’m in great company — have fun reading some of the fun ideas!
Have a stress-free week. “It” will happen whether you’re ready or not, so you might as well have a wonderful, fun time of it.  And bake some cookies for me!!!
XOXO,
Anna

Merry, Merry

WooHoo! Are you out there Making Merry? You’ve probably been shopping or something, huh? It seems like everyone is having an open house or a sale this weekend. I’ve been holed up having fun and decorating today. I’ve got the Christmas music cranked up and this house looks like a tornado hit it. Not to worry though, I’ll soon start to clean boxes and things up. Just taking a little break to pop in and say hi!

Several years ago I gave MyDadLovesMeBestSister a little mug rack, but she hasn’t had room for it in her house so I stole it back this week and it’s now the happy home for my Santa mugs. I love it!

Santa Mugs

After I took a few pictures and sat down to write a post, I saw those mushroom thimbles up in my blog header and decided it was time for a merry little change. So, I threw a few thimbles into the santa mug scene and ta-dah — new masthead!

I’ve also been playing a little with paper. I saw a fun garland that Susan Branch posted a few weeks ago. Then, a few days later, I saw a cute little deer on the Cath Kidston website and knew it had to be mine. Awwww, look at that little honeycomb bow-tie!

Deer

So, combine Susan Branch and Cath Kidston and we have a happy little Christmas window.

Deer

Now, it’s back to work for me. Hope you’re having a good weekend — lots to do for everyone!
XOXO,
Anna
P.S. I forgot to tell you that the last month of the Aurifil quilt block blog hop  is up. The Lizzy B Girls have done a great job and created a super cute little skier. Check it out!

Stop the Merry-Go-Round…

How does that merry-go-round saying go? Sheesh! It was another crazy week here with no time for posting. Big Daddy is FINALLY home — Yipee! So, it was a busy, busy week of work and helping him re-adjust to the homefront. I’m ready for things to get back to normal — I’ll go back to my regular work schedule tomorrow (no more 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. for me – WooHoo!) AND I can get back to my workout classes at the end of the day. Who knew I’d miss all that aerobic torture???

So, a little random after the crazy stuff:

– I was browsing Country Living magazine one afternoon in the hospital and came across this cute Thimble necklace project. This is right up the ThimbleannaLand alley!

Thimble Necklace

– The last six weeks have been so hectic, we haven’t even been able to mourn the end of the Hostess company. Everyone is bemoaning the loss the The Twinkie. Hello??? Who cares about twinkies??? What about the Ding Dong??? Nature’s most perfect food. I can’t even buy a Ding Dong to take a memorial picture. I’ll have to live with my Ding Dong picture where I defiled her beauty with a dollop of pesto. Clearly I wasn’t thinking.  Please.  Can we have a moment of silence?

Pesto Ding Dong

– When I said I’m ready for things to get back to normal, were you laughing hysterically? As if that could happen with the holidays coming. Have you “started” yet? I dipped my toe into shopping yesterday and did just a wee bit of decorating today. There’s no way I’ll get everything done that I want to do and it makes me a little (ok, a lot) sad.

Santa

– We have a Hamburger on our tree and it makes me happy. ;-D

Hamburger

– I started a pair of socks that I forgot to show you. So, I hung them on the tree. What would you think about having a tree of UFO’s? Do you think we’d get them finished any faster???

SocksinTree

Have a great week!
XOXO,
Anna

P.S. Oooh, I didn’t make it here to post last week, but don’t forget that the last 3 Aurifil Christmas ornaments are available!  Bari made some super cute ice skates, Roseanne has an adorable God Jul Tompte, and Sarah has a fun little Summer Santa (’cause she’s down under!)