• Family

    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)…


    Bday tp 11

    Huhot tp 2

    Cupcakes tp 6


    Bday tp 18

    Brea game 2


    Brooke tp 6

    Jules email 14

    Game 14 tp


    Love tp 1

    Ski tp 12


    Friday tp 1

    Breanna tp 1


    Tasha tp 5

    Germany tp 7


    4th tp 9

    Sisters tp 15

    Sisters 065 edit email

    Sophie tp 2

    Fifa tp 5


    Sophie and Missy tp

    Unl tp 1

    Sabrina 077 edit


    Race tp 15

    Valas 061 edit small


    Dogs tp 5

    Mom dad email

    Halloween 3

    Senior 133 edit tp

    Senior 059 edit email


    Tp 9

    002 edit


    Downtown 003 tp

    012 tp

    070 edit tp

    Tp 11

    Bday tp

    Bean tp

    Bre tp

    Soph tp

    I wish you the happiest new year!

  • Family,  Good Things,  Holidays

    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.

  • From My Kitchen,  Good Things,  Holidays

    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

  • Good Things,  Holidays

    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.

    Tp 8

  • Crazy Kids


    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!

  • Stitching


    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? 🙂

    Rachel 2

    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!