A Very Good Year

This evening I looked through the photos from these past twelve months, remembering all the blessings throughout the year… the changes, good and bad… the way the girls have grown… the love and the loss (but mostly the love)…


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Brea game 2


Brooke tp 6

Jules email 14

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Love tp 1

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Friday tp 1

Breanna tp 1


Tasha tp 5

Germany tp 7


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Sisters tp 15

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Fifa tp 5


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Dogs tp 5

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Halloween 3

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I wish you the happiest new year!

Santa Baby

Would you believe I'm still trying to clean up the house from all the Christmas spirit? It was a wonderfully happy time we all had, despite having to accomodate Sabrina's work schedule (she had to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas day!).

In years past, Mike has always surprised me with the most wonderful gifts. And this year was no different… not only did he get me the new camera I've been pining for (the Canon 7D), but I just have to show you these adorable Betsy Johnson earrings he got for me!

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I've been wearing them constantly. 🙂

I got Mike an iPad, which has worked out very well for me: if he says he wants dinner, I just tell him there's an app for that.

Same with the laundry.

I truly hope your Christmas, no matter how it was spent, was a joyous occasion. We celebrated Christmas with my family, and we learned to adjust to new traditions as we celebrated in our hearts with Mike's.

Happy Birthday, Lord

Luke 2:10 – "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

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Holiday Baking

The shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped, and I've decided to spend the remaining hours before Christmas Eve baking to my heart's content! Here's what I have on the menu…

Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce
Honeybaked Ham
Sweet Potato Casserole
Summer Sausage
Jack Cheese
Sugar Cookies
Reindeer Eyes
Peanut Clusters
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Cinnamon Rolls
Zucchini Bread
Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Fleur de Sel Caramels
Savory Meatballs

I think that's it, but I can't guarantee it. I have no idea why I'm making so much food, bc much of it will end up in the freezer or taken to Mike's office. But I do love it all, and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it. (Plus, some of Frieda's staples every Christmas Eve were shrimp, sausage, crackers, and cheese, and I'd like to keep her tradition going for Mike and the girls.) I'll also be taking quite a bit of it over to my parents' house on Christmas Night, where I feel sure my brother will polish off the reindeer eyes!

Here's what I have so far (most of it baked while listening to Christmas movies)…

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I clearly have a long way to go. 🙂 I did bake gingerbread cookies as well, but I've eaten every last one of them. Sorry, Mom. I'll make more.

Btw, I've been making the Reindeer Eyes ever since my good friend Chris sent them to me in the mail several years ago. Get yourself some round pretzels (I got mine at WalMart) and almond bark and Christmas M&M's. Melt the bark, drizzle it in the middle of each pretzel, and drop an M&M down into it before it hardens. Voila! They're sooo good!

I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas Eve. We're expecting snow, for which I'm happy. I do love a good snowfall…puts me in the mood to bake!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. For those of you who wanted to learn how to make the snowflakes that Sophie made, she posted the video on her blog! Have fun! Paper Snowflakes

Wooly Snowman

I received the loveliest gift recently from a very dear friend.  She asked Judy Bielec of Mosey 'n Me to create this needle-felted snowman, and it's truly one of the sweetest things I've ever seen!

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I'd heard of felted wool before, but never really knew what it was. According to Judy, "felt making predates spinning, weaving or knitting." I had no idea! Here I thought it was a brand-new invention.

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I love the details…

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Breanna was the lucky recipient of one as well! She liked hers so much in the bag, she kept it there…

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This made both snowmen very sad…

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What a lovely surprise! Breanna and I thank you, dear friend.

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The weather was perfect for ice skating this week, so we decided to head downtown to visit Mike, who was working off-duty at the ConAgra Park ice rink. Since Sabrina's boyfriend is back from college, she convinced him to come along, despite his protests that he could not skate. But he was a very good sport about it, and he and Sabrina and Sophie all had a great time…

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It was so much fun to watch them slowly gain confidence on their skates, and then eventually start racing each other. I'm not sure what was going on in this picture, but I thought it was funny…

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Mike brought Sophie some hot chocolate, but as soon as he approached the railing, another child decided to strike up a conversation. This is never a good idea if one wants Sophie to stay in a good mood; she is very possessive of her dad, and she would prefer other children go talk to their own dads.

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As far as Sophie is concerned, she feels that if her dad isn't going to be busy bringing her hot chocolate refills, then he needs to stay back with the other cop, away from curious children…

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Even though the focus is in the wrong place in this photo, I still found it amusing… poor, unsuspecting little sister!

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Bre watched from the sidelines…

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Sabrina and Nate posed for a picture, but we found that Nate turns into quite a ham when he's got a camera pointed at him…

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Sabrina scolded him, and then demanded that he pose properly…

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My favorite thing about the night was watching Sabrina's face. She was so animated, exactly like she was when she was 4 years old, and we'd ask her if she wanted to go to the zoo…

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Although I coughed my way through most of the night, these three hooligans made it a fun time…

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Happy Winter!

A Special Day

My oldest baby girl turns 20 today. She's grown into such a lovely, sophisticated young woman.

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Well, she could be sophisticated, if she wanted to be.

Happy Birthday, Breanna! I love you so much.


This is from Becky in Rhode Island, whose friend got married on Halloween, so she stitched Halloween Hornbook as a wedding sampler…


The couple's initials were J and L, so she adapted that block. And I love the date on the bottom!

This one is from Conny, who finished Autumn Blessings into a box.. she stitched it on a 32 ct. vintage orange linen… What a great idea! Love that sunflower yellow ric-rac…


Here is the latest freebie, Adore Him, which was stitched by Noelle and sent to me the day after I posted it. Fast work, Noelle! I LOVE the variegated thread…


My cousin, Rachel, just started stitching, and she chose one of my earlier freebies for her first piece. I'm sooooo proud of you, Rachel!!! Your stitching is perfect! How come you aren't stitching my models for me? 🙂

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And finally, here is Carole's version of The Queen's Sampler – Elizabeth I. She used a metallic for the gold, and Caron's "Snow" for Elizabeth's collar. Then she had the fabulous Jill Rensel frame it! It's gorgeous, Carole!


Thank you so much for sharing your finishes with me. I'm honored!

It’s a Wrap!

Friday is here, and I'm spending it drinking hot cranberry tea and wrapping presents while the kids are at school.

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Hopefully this one won't leave me any unexpected "presents" on the carpet today.