Friday, December 13, 2013

December Daily - Week Two: Tree and Tea

What a cold, COLD week we've had! Yesterday and today were a true relief, because we were in the positive temps once again after a long stretch of sub-zero. It's amazing how good 17 degrees F can feel after crazy-cold subs zero days! It's early for this kind of cold. We usually are enjoying 30's and 20's through most of December. January and February have visited us early this year it seems. All is well and warm inside, however! We are cozy and I am thankful for that and we remember those who are not so blessed in our prayers regularly.

The Christmas season got well underway in our home this week as we purchased our tree at our local Lion's Club tree sale after church this past Sunday. It was snowing regularly at the end of last week and the beginning of this one, so we brought a bit of that snow in with the tree and she had to drip dry on some sheets for a day along with waiting for her branches to fall.

But then it was finally time to decorate and Eve was thrilled to find "Bendy Santa" in amongst the ornaments (and Maia was thrilled to photo bomb this picture which seems to be one of her favorite things to do of late, so there you go, sweetheart - doesn't she look cute??).


Eve has invented a "Hide the Santa" game that has evolved over a couple of years into the completed version last year which is, she hides Bendy Santa somewhere in the living room or kitchen and when one of us finds him, we have to put him on the rocking chair that she keeps on the shelf in her room. If no one finds him after three days, she puts him in a new hiding place. The thing is, she's gotten very good at hiding him; our cottage is pretty small and still it is a challenge!

Eve could almost reach the top of the tree this year without any help, but she did need to grab the footstool. My baby is the tallest girl in the family now - almost 5'6 - and we don't know if she's done growing yet or not!




And now for a little Christmas Tree Love:



There's that beautiful, blue morning light! And see the candy dish there on my side table next to my mug of tea? Guess where "Bendy Santa" was?! Maia was contemplating taking a piece (there were fewer in it than in the picture below) and she saw a little face peeking out at her! I told you she was good at hiding him! The funny thing is that she says he's always somewhere we'd naturally run across him, so he's not under the couch or tucked into cushions or anything like that.


And here's the sweet, cheerful tree in the daytime. Don't they look so different in the daylight? Such a different kind of friendly charm from the deep magic they cast at night. Isn't it a lovely tradition?

Mid-week brought a wonderful treat! My dear, childhood friend, Susan, sent me this gorgeous, little quilt for my dollhouse! I hope to get a little bed to put it on for Christmas! She did such an amazing job; I love all the soft colors. It is just perfect!


 Eve made cookies for a cookie exchange she is hosting tomorrow. But before that...


It's time for a Christmas Tea!

Won't you join us? Last year the girls and I joined up with two other homeschooling families (who are also our FRIENDS!) and did an Anne of Green Gables study over the course of the year. Tea parties take place in the book and so we had a few of them ourselves, including one at Christmas. We also invited another friend last year - Susie. Susie was homeschooling too, but she has three boys, so she doesn't get to do tea parties too often. Last year we had it at Laura's house, but this year, Susie hosted and, as Laura did the year before, she pulled out all the stops. We all brought goodies to share and Susie provided us with the delightful atmosphere of her home and all her beautiful dishes. I contributed Butternut Tea Bread, Lemon Scones with Blueberry Sauce, and of course, Cucumber Sandwiches!

Susie had a fun collection of hats that she willingly shared with anyone who wanted to wear one.




Susie has only been in her house a few months, but the whole of her top floor has been, what Laura called, "Suzified!" It is so charming and fun; you would hardly guess that this is a split-level home in the suburbs.






Downstairs is the boys domain. They stayed away from all the frippery happening upstairs! Check out the hat Eve wore! It looks like a wedding cake atop her head!



Here is our hostess, Susie, on the left, bringing around a choice of sparkling cranberry juice or alcohol-free Moscato.




This was SUCH a fun day and we did it all ourselves! Everyone helped to do dishes at the end and clean everything up. It's amazing what a difference a little bit of porcelain, silver, and lace can do. :) We capped off our day by stopping at Simply Vintage on the way home... carrying the mood of beautiful, old, and cherished things into the evening. I hope we can make this a tradition for our Christmases to come; it's a wonderful addition to the season!

I hope all of you are enjoying some special moments this Advent Season too. I know many of you are as I look around the blogosphere! I'm wishing you all a very happy week to come. We've got good thing in store: Grandma Jeanette and Jerry arrive next week and there's so much more to come!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December Daily - Week One

My friend, Marianna, at Cardinal Acre told me that she is doing a "December Daily" journal. It's paper and is lovely with lots of pretty scrapbooking paper and other ephemera. This month is always so unlike the others... and yet so like the Decembers before it... in a way, but of course changing every year too. I don't have time to manage a paper journal this year, but I did think I'd try to take at least one picture a day to capture the essence and rhythm of our month.


My Granny's Creche: It's one of my very favorite of the things she left me.






We've spent a delightful year with Susan Branch! She makes every month fun, so we're
doing it again for 2014!



Decking the Halls begins. I selected the lights in the kitchen to stay after everything 
else is wrapped up and put away.



Our own snow over our table as it begins to fall outside...




Eve made the first snowman of the year with the dusting that we got!




Then it starts to add up for real...


Meanwhile, inside where it's cozy, my sweet neighbor, Margo, and her son, Matthew
sent over this wreath (the larger one on top) to decorate my dollhouse!
There's more work to be done and I'll finally get some time
to work on it, as we are officially on winter break!!




I love the very quiet mornings with my tea, Bible, a ticking clock...


...and the blue and blue and blue.



Our little guardian has gotten buried, but continues at his loyal post.

 And the Christmas cactus is blooming right on time! Yes, December, we're off to a great start!


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