Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you a.....

I hope your weekend is filled with love and laughter and time with those you LOVE!

But most of all, I pray for all of my readers, that you will know the One Who Came:


 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!

We have been given blessing upon blessing through Christ.

Merry CHRISTmas!

~april

Monday, December 19, 2011

More December Fun

We have been having so much fun all month, it's been hard to blog, so today I decided to just do a chronicle starting right after Thanksgiving. Bear with me, please?

Of course, we were in Mississippi with my parents for Thanksgiving. Right after we came home, the kids began clamoring to get the Christmas decorations "going." C even volunteered to decorate the dining table:

 With a palm tree. (cough, cough!)
It did lend a lovely green glow to everything around it, as it nearly touched the ceiling fan light above when it was on the table! She finally put it back in her room, and the cat has been having fun knocking it over. :)


Of course, next up comes the Christmas tree. The girls were impatient  with me once again, and decided to do it themselves. It was exciting   confusing to discover I had purchased PINK lights at the end of season sales last year...I normally wouldn't have wanted pink lights on the main tree, but since they were doing it, I let it go. Can you tell THEY liked the lights?

The finished tree:
Daytime.

At night.
(The tiny tree topper was a joke, but then it got left up there. So this will be the year of the tiny pink tree topper!)



Now, of course with all the excitement floating around here, we had to have an Advent calendar to count down the DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS...have you ever tried to find one of these things LARGE ENOUGH to hold a daily treat for FOUR kids? (Here's a hint: they DON'T sell them anywhere!). SO on the last day of November, I got desperate motivated and pulled an idea out of my hat and some craft supplies from the school area. . .

It isn't GORGEOUS, but for a last-minute-frantic effort, it works GREAT! 
Please excuse the fuzzy picture(and the branches of our Jesse tree sticking up in front!).  To make this monster I used Dover clip art, printed and run through the "stickyator" cartridge on my laminator, and then we stuck and trimmed the pictures to fit index cards and manila tags I had left over from another project. I clipped them to this classroom pocket chart with mini clothespins, filled the pockets, and we were READY! (Can I say enough how much I LOVE THE STICKER MAKER CARTRIDGE???)

One of the Advent treats was a new popcorn popper. We love popcorn. Our BIRDS love popcorn. My dad's DOG loves popcorn...the microwave stuff gets pricey FAST. This little gem gets the job done.

And as you can see, it ADDED to the EXCITEMENT.

The Boy has been a literal "blur" ALL MONTH.

I did my traditional treatment on the chandelier. It makes me smile!


There are candles scattered about.


I have nativity scenes here and there.

 This one in particular helps us remember the Reason for the season. 
I love the Scripture imprinted on each figure.


The entryway was the last area decorated this year.My little white tree sits in a vintage suitcase, snuggled up to an old Coleman snowflake cooler. Frosty is helping keep them cool, I suppose!
Frosty is OLD and cannot stay outside in winter anymore. :) 


 A few of my miniature churches. Grouping them like this made me think of Ruston, where we used to live. They have a church on every other corner, and a bank on the rest! :)


I just decided to pile vintage balls on a tray this year, rather than hanging them all.
And this little guy was on my kitchen window the other night! It was December 15! Apparently he was enjoying a bug feast before the weather changed again. Yep, that's Christmas in Louisiana!

May you and yours be merry this week!

~april
Linking to Rednesday at A Very Cherry World, and Vintage Thingie Thursday at Coloradolady!





Christmas Mantel

I decided to go with a bird theme this year, based on some cute little Christmas postcards I purchased last year. They made a cute little garland to hang below the mantel, and it was fun to dress the iron birdfeeders and such for Christmas.

Enjoy!
























I also spiffed up the top of my china cabinet; it was formerly the home of the "birdy" items, but I decided it would be a great spot for some of my milk glass. My Redhead made the snowman garland.

It's beginning to look Christmassy!

~april

Linking to Tabletop Tuesday. Thanks, Marty! :)

Too Cute to Keep to Myself!

My sweet little nephew went to see Santa this weekend. He had already had a FULL day and was needing a nap, but he put on a brave face and sat in Santa's lap anyway. His mom tells me he did it because they told him Santa would give him a present(which he did!).

Love little ones during the holidays! :)

It's kind of hard not to be jealous of the guy in the red suit, though! I'd love to get some baby cheeks kisses for myself!

Merry Christmas, little guy! We love you!

~aunt april

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Didn't I say that when it got to November, HOLD ON?

Wow. I really have been missing in action lately, haven't I? It seems to happen with the coming of each new Christmas season! I get overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done for the season piled on top of the normal daily things that usually DON'T get done, and I stop doing ANYTHING "fun". I guess it's probably not a good way to handle the stress, because the fun stuff of Christmastime is some of the best part. This year, however, the doldrums have been particularly deep. *smile*

That said, I decided to dust off the photo files and show you some of what we've been "doing".

For starters, we were with my parents in Mississippi for Thanksgiving. That meant we had the pick of the local countryside on Black Friday. Here's my C, at her favorite Mississippi greenhouse.

Happy as a lark! Aren't those snapdragons GORGEOUS?
More flowers from that day:
 The poinsettias were AMAZING. HUGE!
Even the petunias were dressed in their Christmas finery!
Look at all the hips on this rose bush!
We had so much fun there!

Later that night the girls helped Mom get the Christmas tree up, while I sat by and took pictures!
Not sure if they're angels or statues of liberty?!?

 Mom loves Christmas. :)
Sweet ornaments are all mostly gifts from close friends and family. She has a story for each of them.
 I made this little girl YEARS ago.
This little Santa was my Mamaw's.
 Hard at work. Doodle-bird  too!

Doesn't this little house just make you want to knock on the door?
 Continual motion!
Another pretty little house.
The dog was FINISHED. Sweet with his head on his gingerbread doll. 
Ah, the Christmas maiden, wearing the tree skirt. I had to convince her NOT to wear the Christmas balls on her ears--or braces!(she was by far the most energetic at this point in the late evening!)
That old Woolworth's tree is always SO pretty when it's finished.

I hope your Christmas preparations are moving along beautifully, and that you truly have PEACE and JOY in your heart!

~april