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Showing posts from 2011

Top Ten Most Visited Posts of 2011

Thanks to each of you who has visited my humble blog throughout 2011.  You have made it a fantastic year of creativity and connection for me!   Looking back on my first year of blogging, I was interested in the variety of the most popular posts with my readers.   Here is the list in case you missed them the first time around. #10  Worldwide Wednesday and My First Linky Party {Easter} Maybe I will revisit hosting a party in 2012? #9                     Summer Opportunities List {Mom's Day Out} #8 Pretty Happy Funny Real {A Day in the Mountains} #7  Four Under $10 at Target for Christmas #6                             The Birthday Zone  #5   31 Days of My Favorite Links #4   Simple Summer Schedule {Bucket Lists?} People love bucket lists... #3   Summer Unplugged {simple summer cleaning schedule} and helpful cleaning ideas... #2   Creating an Autumn Rhythm {four steps to a cleaning schedule} in every season! #1 Most Popular Post of 2011              

Wordless Wednesday {gingerbread houses}

Sharing here Wordless Wednesday Outdoor Wednesday

Stressed Out? Try the four-S solution {Catholic Mothers Online}

Please join me over at Catholic Mothers Online where I am sharing my solution to holiday stress.  I would love to hear your stress-busting ideas as well.

Waiting {Wordless Wednesday}

  Sharing here Wordless Wednesdays

The Kids' Tree Tradition {Christmas Tour of Homes 2}

One of my favorite childhood memories of Christmas was the multi-colored lighted tree just for kids.  It's a tradition I am continuing this year in our house.  I wrote about our family tree here , where each ornament tells a story.  Looking through our kids' tree, I see that these ornaments also tell their own Christmas tales. Thomas the Train.  Each of my three sons has been a huge fan of the train set and the movies. This Thomas movie is hands-down our all time favorite .  KC, our youngest, spends half his playtime carrying on conversations between the various trains.  The train table definitely goes to him in the will. Another tradition I started early on was to buy each child a new ornament every year. Usually they represent a favorite interest of each person.  Sometimes they're simply cute. This jingle bell snowman arrived with the birth of our third son in 2008. I also buy a new ornament for my husband and myself.  Guess which one

When Your Tree Tells a Story {Christmas Home Tour}

Our red and gold family tree My late Grandfather's ornament.  He loved birds and I think of him each time a cardinal pays me a visit. Crystal cross from an ornament exchange trade with my Mom's group years ago. For the coffee lover in the family ~me! The peacock reminds me of my mother who always had one on her tree.  I loved to run my palm across the feather. My boys at ages three and four.  Were they ever that small?   The house to symbolize the first home we bought.  My best friend gave me a new ornament every year from the Bride's Tree set similar to this one .  It was a lovely tradition  and each ornament is full of sentiment. Do you know the pickle ornament tradition ?  You should! A hand-painted Santa made for me by my babysitter in 1979.    Our wedding ball ornament.  A gift from my mother that recalls my wedding gown perfectly. A wooden carved reindeer found in a quaint village shop near Chi

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real {my Christmas Bucket List}

~PRETTY~ I have finally gotten the Advent candles burning at our house and I must say, they are such a beautiful sight at the dinner table.  Doesn't candlelight make everything lovelier? ~HAPPY~   KC (3 1/2)  is really understanding Christmas this year.  He loves to see "his" ornaments on the tree and loves reading all our favorite  Christmas stories .  Having young children keeps the magic of Christmas alive. ~FUNNY~ ZJ (8 1/2) , our middle son, is so full of humor and wit.  He is always making us laugh and bringing joy into our lives.  We are  thankful for his unique spirit. ~REAL~ I am a little embarrassed to share these doodles with you.  I joined an on-line class for December called Doodle 12.31 in which we are guided through making a holiday doodle journal.  As could have been predicted, I have had little to no time to doodle lately.  This page is the best I could do one night, my Christmas Bucket list.   What's on your holiday buc

Watercolor Sunset

Sharing here: Wordless Wednesdays Outdoor Wednesdays  

Peace In Your Heart

      "While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart." St. Francis of Assisi Small Steps for Catholic Moms by Elizabeth Foss and Danielle Bean

Multitudes on Mondays {alphabet for Christmas}

advent bare branches bearing berries Christmas carols donning decorations early evenings friends, family, fun generous giving hosts and hostesses innocent infants joyful jinglebells kris kringle lounging lazily making memories nesting opening our homes packing presents quiet  royal radiance silence, solitude, simplicity twinkling tree lights underneath the mistletoe vacation days, vocation days wise men x-cited children yummy yule  zeal and zest Sharing here...

Christmas Storytime {and a Sunday Soup Night recipe link}

See that smiling face right there? That little boy ripped through the entire cache of wrapped Christmas storybooks I wrote about here .  Graciously, my older boys didn't mind and now we are simply enjoying all our Christmas stories in one huge bunch.   The above scene occurred spontaneously while I was making lentil-mushroom soup for Sunday Soup Night (on Monday!).  It has been so rewarding to hear my older boys reading to their little brother.  I know that these snuggly storytimes will be a big part of their memories of Christmas at home.  I wonder which books will be the ones they must pass on to their own little ones someday saying, Grandma Mimi always read this book to me when I was your age .   The most requested books right now are the following: Note: Click on the picture to go to the link for each book. #1   Jan Brett's books:    *In the Gingerbread Friends book there is a recipe for making gingerbread boys.   We tried it and