Growing Out On A Limb

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Merry Christmas!

To everyone we love … from those close to us to those who aren’t so close … Merry Christmas!



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Christmas preamble

Every year I say I’m going to scale back.  I’m going to buy less and make more.  I’m not going to stress about gifts or menus or baking or getting here or there.  I’m going to slow down and enjoy the boys and feed off their excitement.

Well, I haven’t made any homemade gifts this year but I have bought a bit less I think.  I put up fewer decorations.  The only baking I’ve done is for the get together we’re having tonight and I’m even (gasp!) stopping at the bakery on the way home to pick up one more thing for the sweets plate.  No shame here.  And we’ve spent lots of time at home together and some time out visiting family too.

But I still feel like I didn’t have time to get everything done.  Maybe that’s just the way it’s going to be, no matter how much I pull back.

Oliver is really excited about Christmas this year and has been counting down the sleeps for the last few days.  This morning he woke up and said, “It’s only one more now, isn’t it mommy?”.


Since October I have been using the “ask Santa for one for Christmas!” line when we’re in the store and he sees something he likes.  The first time I used it he was looking at a Ferdinand train (Thomas’s friend).  Now, I thought he would change his mind a hundred times before Christmas but even today, if you ask him what Santa is going to bring him, it’s “Ferginand”.  We’ll see what Santa brings (* wink wink *).

We didn’t write a letter to Santa this year but I told Oliver that I wrote one for him and sent it.  Then I made them both the Portable North Pole videos that we did last year.  These are so cute… you fill in a few blanks and Santa talks right to them.  I’m not sure why but Oliver didn’t seem as taken by it this year; he kept asking to watch Thomas videos instead.

Emery is too young to get it but he knows Santa and Rudolph and Frosty to see them.  And of course he feeds off of Oliver’s energy.  I’m quite looking forward to them opening their presents tomorrow morning.  I want it to be as relaxed and fun as possible and if it takes us all morning, that’s fine with me.

We’re dying for snow here but instead we’ve got hard crusty snow, ice, and cold temps.  Not very fun playing outdoors weather.  The up side to this is that I see Oliver’s imagination come out more and more while watching him play.

I love this shot of our little techies.


Lately Oliver wants to get up in the stool at the kitchen island and watch videos on daddy’s computer (which translates to Thomas on youtube).  We plug the mouse in and he clicks around, even clicks the ‘skip ad’ link to get by the commercials.  Atta boy.

We setup our teddies to have a nap on this day.  Guess how long the nap lasted??


Only one more sleep now!

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Christmas Crafts

I said in my previous post that I never seem to get everything done that I wanted to and this is no different with our Christmas crafts.

Oh well… as long as we’re having fun.

Every year I say I’m going to make an advent calendar that we will have and use for years and years.  We can put chocolate and candy in it, as well as little notes about fun thing Christmas-y family things to do.  But every year December 1st rolls around and it just hasn’t happened.

Enter the Santa beard countdown.  I found it here and simply backed it with cardstock.  Oliver has enjoyed counting down the days and is REALLY excited now that we’re at the end!


We’ve been painting a lot lately so our Christmas crafts have been centered around that.


I love the little hand print animals that you see all over the internet.  Now, you would think that getting a kid to put paint all over their hands would be a no brainer, right?  Not in our house.  Oliver didn’t want anything to do with this when I first asked him but once he saw Emery doing it he was game.  

I’ve been wanting to try these masking tape void paintings for a while.  I love how colorful this Christmas tree is.  I think I’ll spray paint a couple of my old frames for this tree and the reindeer… Christmas decor for years to come!


We did another void painting with little snowflakes all over it.  I really didn’t have a plan for it in the beginning but then thought I could make ornaments out of it if I cut it into little blocks.  I first tried mod podg’ing onto cardstock but the cardstock wasn’t heavy enough and curled a bit when it dried.  I was thinking about what else I could use and came across this cork board in my craft room.  I think it will look pretty cute with a little ribbon on it (and hanging vertically)!


I love the idea of having a tree full of homemade ornaments.  I hope my boys like to craft with me for many years to come!  IMG_0703



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Santa Claus Parade

This past weekend was our town’s Christmas parade.

Town events like this remind me why I love living in a small town.  It’s just so heartwarming to see so many people come together, all bundled up, to celebrate the holiday season.  And nothing beats a small town parade either… tractors, fire trucks, ATVs, half tons, all decked out in ribbons and bows and Christmas lights.  I love it.

Oliver spent most of the parade like this, due to the sirens and all.


Biggest.  Tractor.  Ever.  Seriously – it wouldn’t have fit down the street if it had been any wider.  IMG_3555And there was the big guy himself, of course, which they both liked.     IMG_3560

I must admit I prefer the lights of an evening parade but it doesn’t really matter when the boys’ faces are full of smiles.