Christmas Is My Favorite!

You will notice a theme throughout this post.  There will be a lot of the use of the word favorite.  But I can't just choose one thing.  I love it all!

New snowflake pillows courtesy of felt and fabric glue:)  I needed something to match my new very warm, very snugly snowflake blanket.

Our pretty Christmas tree.  I love lots of lights, and lots of color.  We don't have a theme.  It's just lots of meaningful ornaments from over the years together.  That's the best kind for us!  Guess how many lights is on that 7 ft. tree!  1400 baby!  I told you I like lights!  And then there's all those brightly wrapped gifts, it was so nice to get done early this year!

A shot with the mantle.  It has a colored lights garland to compliment the tree. 

I used the reindeer burlap picture that I made a few months ago, spread some big pinecones under it, added some red candles and holly sprigs, then topped it with the "no peeking...no sneaking...no shaking" sign.  I bought that specifically for my husband;o)

A pretty framed Santa picture in our guest room.  I love this picture...it was cut from a gift bag!

A few more guest room decorations.

One of my favorites.  A sweet little snowman lamp with a shade that shines different Christmas scenes when turned on.  I inherited it from my Momma.  I adore it.  It warms up this corner in the kitchen perfectly.

Christmas goodies tins, big white poinsettias, pinecones, and snowmen line the high bar in the kitchen.

More poinsettias in my favorite sisal rope vase.

One of my favorite Christmas pictures at a tree lot.  If you look close, my hair was really dark, but I still love the picture even though I'm back to blonde.  On the other side, a cross-stitch Merry Christmas from my Momma.  Half the stuff I have is thanks to her!

Corner by the tv cabinet.  Snowflake plates, and a vase full of sparkly curly thingies.  Such a technical name for them.  There's also a hand stitched primitive letter to Santa on the table in a frame, can't see it too well, but refer to this post to see it better.

Another cozy Christmas blanket to match another pillow that I made.  I stenciled this design on canvas drop cloth and painted it in with red acrylic paint.

A basket full of ornaments, grapevine balls, and jingle bells.  All wrapped in a holly berry swag.

My pencil leg table with some more favorite decorations.

Another primitive letter to Santa, Jingle Bell candle sticks, a small tree with a burlap skirt, and a flocked wreath.  One of my favorite areas to look at this year.

A little tree in the mudroom greets visitors, and our Jason and Christie snowman plaque hangs over our ugly alarm system box, I think I need something there year round now.

My most favorite nativity scene.  I collected these pieces over several Christmases, and finally got them all 2 years ago.  I look forward to setting this up every year now, changing it slightly from year to year.  My mom and I found a branch vase filler with lighted stars on it, and it works nicely as the night sky background when it's dim in this room at night.

Our little centerpiece box redesigned for Christmas with flocked pine branches, pinecones, and holly berry sprigs.  The candles light up the middle.

And lastly, another small tree by the back door with wooden ornaments and a burlap skirt sits atop a little chair.

I love our decorations this year.  It never seems that I get to enjoy them for long enough though.  Our house has felt really warm and cozy this year.  It may get to stay up a little longer than usual...

Merry Christmas everyone!  I wish you a wonderful day filled with love and joy, surrounded by family and friends.  And my most favorite thing about Christmas....remembering the real reason we celebrate Christmas, I am so thankful that we serve such a loving God who sent His son to save us.  Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord today and remember how very blessed we are!


Our Christmas Bedroom

Going with the red already in there, I added a vintage red stocking, red candles, pinecones, and burlap on the dresser.

The headboard got draped with greenery and white lights...so cozy at night:)

A little pillow that I painted.  I made a stencil from an image of the nativity I liked from a google search I did.  Then I traced it on plain ole red cotton fabric with a pencil.  I painted it in with white acrylic paint.  Once dry, I sewed and stuffed.  Easy, but time consuming, it needed 3 coats to not show through to the red!

I made some canvas stockings for our room this year.  I just traced a stocking I already had onto canvas drop cloth, cut out a strip of burlap and frayed the edges a bit, then traced our initials onto it.  Then I flipped 'em inside out and sewed them up.  It was my first run at sewing curved edges.  I don't think I did too horribly.  They hang on either side of our headboard.

Another shot of my pretty little pillow.  I just love that thing.  And it totally looks good with the reds on our bed.


Christmas Around The House

I'll have more pictures of the bigger decorations and displays soon, but even the little things make me smile.  I love me some Christmas time!


My Momma

My mom is the best.  For many reasons.  But, I was going through some pictures that had been overlooked, and I found this one.  It was from my last visit home.  She always has our room set up so nicely.  There are always comfy sheets and feather comforters with old quilts, and big fluffy pillows on our bed, a yummy candle burning with some low lighting  to make it feel extra super cozy, and being as awesome as she it, she always remembers the little things.  Like this.  It's a basket full of treats, complete with a spoon and napkins.  Even a water.  She is always one step ahead of me, still looking out for her girl (even if her girl is...gasp...30), making sure I have what I need if a middle-of-the-night low blood sugar strikes.  She's pretty neat.  And she's mine:)


Christmas Cookies

A few nights ago, we decided to squeeze in some Christmas cookie time:)  J's schedule is terrible this week, so that night was about the only time we could do it, so we could at least enjoy the fruits of our labor.  I used a new recipe that I had tried a few weeks ago, that produced delightfully tasty sugar cookies that had lots of the chewy factor.  Turns out, that recipe was not good for making shapes.  It spreads.  A lot.  You can see in the first picture, we came out with several blob cookies.  Jason even decorated one with a big "?", another one just got lots of green frosting and sprinkles.  Still tasty, just not very pretty!
A view of our finished cookies, while drying.
Jason's puffy angel.  He even gave her little sprinkle eyes:)  I must say, he salvaged this one.  It was huge, and we could barely tell what it was.  He pulled it out.

Some of my creations.  We did what we could.

So, we got wise.  Or, so we thought.  We figured that if we just left the metal cookie cutters around the cookies and let them bake, that they would hold their shape.  They did, but we ended up with "cookie biscuits".  They have the thickness of biscuits with the taste of sugar cookies.  Hey, we may have hit on something new ;)  (Note: the cookie cutters stay hot.  For a while.  I have a mark on my finger to prove it.)
See our thicky-thick cookies:

I must say though, they are extra chewy, and when the middles sunk, it left a nice little rim to hold the frosting in place.  Once they were set, I put them in my new Christmas tin.  Walmart is carrying a whole line of Thomas Kinkade Christmas stuff this year (mabye in memory?).  I found this tin, and it looked so vintage to me.  I can remember old tins of my mom's that she inherited or had had for years looking a lot like this.  So, it came home with me for about 4.00.  If I didn't already have tins running out of my ears, I would have brought the other 2 designs home too.

It was fun, it always is with J.  He is creative and thinks out of the box, while I try to make each cookie a work of art.  It makes for interesting conversations and lots of laughs.  Definitely one of my favorite traditions.


Mike's Farm 2012

Ok, I really did have good intentions to do lots of Christmas posts, and again, I'm starting later than I wanted.  But thanks to blogger, I am apparently out of photo storage and can only upload through Google+, so that took me a hot minute to figure out.  Plus, I've been battling the worst kidney stone EVER.  2 weeks and it hasn't passed.  Urologist can't see me until January 3rd.  Nice.  Thank heavens for good meds.  I'm telling you, never had pain like this ever (if you've had one, you know what I'm talking about, I though I was dying, apparently my body did too because I couldn't stop throwing up from the pain).  The first week, I was so doped up, I couldn't even drive.  But thankfully, this week hasn't been as bad.  Praying it's on it's way out.  Ash, Matt, Austin, and Alaina were here when it happened, I don't know what I would have done, they were AWESOME!  Jason's wonderful command wouldn't let him come right away, go figure.  God was looking out for me, for sure!  Anyways, enough of that.
So, this year will probably be our last for Mike's Farm.  It is and has been one of our favorite Christmas traditions for years.  We started going with our original (and first) group of friends here in Jacksonville.  Sadly, they are all gone, and J and I are the only ones left here.  This year, we invited our new friends, Chris and Ashley (and baby Lilli) to go with us.  They had never been, and I think they had a good time.  Who wouldn't love Mike's Farm!?  Country dining with a rustic farm atmosphere, and Christmas lights hayrides!
Waiting for the restaurant to call us:
There's always a wait, so we snacked on chocolate covered marshmallows and hot chocolate.  Oh. my.

Sweet little lanterns with wreaths are all over the place giving a warm glow.

Lotsa lights everywhere!
He's so handsome.  He is a trooper too..this was after 24 hour duty, you can tell he's beat.
The start of the hayride with Chris, Ashley, and Lilli.  Isn't Lilli precious!?

The light show..every year it gets bigger.  I didn't even get some of my favorites, my phone died before the hayride was over.

An old gas station and car (got this one for my Austin).

Sweet little forest with a bridge over the "creek".

I'm pretty sure this is a moonshine setup...

And, no, the live nativity was not next to the moonshiners, lol!

We had a really good time, it was chilly and clear out..perfect seasonal weather.  They even have a snow machine at the end.  REALLY got me in the mood for a good snow.  I so hope we see some this year!  Today is near 70 degrees out though.  Makes me sad.  I sure hope it turns cold fast, I don't like tropical Christmases.  I have it chilly in my house, and I'm pretending it is cold.  It's raining today, so that helps me feel like it is not as warm as it is.  I'm working on taking pictures of all the Christmas decorations at our house, and hope to get them up soon.  I just have to get a few of the lights at night because it's so much cozier:)