Monday, December 13, 2010

He's Here!

With the help of family and friends, we were able to raise ALL the money we needed to bring Valeriy here to the states for Christmas.  My younger three kids helped me make a welcome poster for him.  I looked how to spell "Welcome" in Ukrainian on google translate, and I hope that's what I put on the poster!  Who knows (besides Valeriy) what it really says.

Nate and Matt had to stay back in town for a band concert so they couldn't go to the airport with us.  I am telling you, I have never seen someone so curious and excited about every little thing around my house.  He would yell from upstairs, "Mommee! Mommee!" and then come show me what he found.  So far he has found my college ID that I haven't seen in 16 years and a cross pendant that I'm not sure I've ever seen.  I think my favorite thing that he brought me was a binder.  He yelled his "Mommee", then sat and showed me how the rings open and close! 

I do believe this will be a very fun 5 weeks, and oh so very hard on January 15 to say goodbye.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Real Tree

We haven't had a real Christmas tree since or first year of marriage.  This year, though, all of the artificial lights were blowing and it was shedding, so we thought we'd let the kids experience the smells of a fresh cut tree throughout the house.  My sinuses aren't loving it, but we knew the kids would.

Through the lovely Internet, I was able to find a tree farm just 10 minutes from our house.  I drive past the road all the time, but I would have never noticed their sign.  After going up and down several rows, we found our perfect tree - 9 1/2 feet tall!

All of the kids had their turn at sawing, although I don't think they got anywhere.

They gave free hayrides (with tree purchase)!  We had the whole trailer to ourselves, so that was fun.

These next few pictures are to show my Mom the tree stand we bought at the farm.  It's pretty cool - maybe they are all like this now and I didn't know since it's been almost 15 years since we've bought a tree stand.  There is this spike coming out of the container; probably about 6 inches long.  They drilled a hole in our tree, so all we had to do was hammer the stand to the hole.  Voila, it just stands there by itself without turning the three screws like in the old stands!

Sadly, we have been so busy with school activities that we've not had a chance to put all of the ornaments on our tree, yet.  I'll post some pics when we finally do get a chance. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flirty Apron Swap

I was part of Shawnee's Frosted Flurries Apron Swap this season.  Not only do we send an apron, but we also include tuck ins to go along with it.  We are supposed to spell out a word that has to do with Christmas or winter, the word I chose was "SNOW", and then send a tuck in for each letter of that word.

I got my package on Monday, and boy, did my partner deliver!  Not only did I get a super cute apron, but she sent A LOT of goodies.  Let's start with the apron - my son couldn't seem to capture a picture with me wearing a smile.  I love the pattern and the fun fabric!  It fits good and it crisscrosses in the back. 

 For the tuck ins, she chose the word "CHILDREN" - since I have so many!  No, she knew that our kids are the focus over the holidays.  This is the "L" that she tacked to the pocket - a Little angel!

The "R" was also included on the apron.  A Recycled vintage brooch.  In the shape of a snowflake, no less.

She sent me a lot of scarves for the kids to play with.  Aren't these pretty?  I know she sent them for imaginative play for the children; but I will admit, I've been wearing a couple of them myself!

The "N" is for Neatness.  She sent me a thread catcher that her mother made!  I must admit, that I am a messy person and I throw my threads and scraps on my table as I'm sewing.  I'm so excited about this thread catcher!  It has a grippy bottom on the flower to stay put on my table and it's also a pin cushion.  As I sew, I'll just be able to throw in my threads in the cute little bag.  How cute!  There was more things that were including that I didn't include pictures with - Candy canes for the kids (they're already gone), a Hand towel with snowflakes on it, Decorative snowflakes all throughout that I will use as ornaments, and snowflake Earrings!  I think that the best surprise of all, though, was that my partner was sweet enough to include a donation to help bring Valeriy to our house!

Thank you so much, partner!  This was most fun I've had opening a package in any swap I've ever been in.  You truly made it special!