Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Basket for January...just a little late!

January's pickings are somewhat slim in our personal library. I very easily could have added to it with help from the library but it's just been so busy lately. (Hence the reason why I am just now posting this at the end of the month! Oh, well.)

My first picks for January are snow and ice themed. Living in Georgia, we don't always get snow/ice every year but on occasion we do. I then decided to pick a theme to couple with this so that we would have more books to pull from. For Christmas, we gave AG Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems...he had been wanting it for awhile so from that I spring boarded in to doing a fractured fairy tale theme. Since I'm so slow moving this month I'll probably just leave these books out and add our Valentine's titles to it for the month of February. Then in March we'll move on to spring themes coupled with Easter.

White Snow Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
Somebody and the Three Blairs by Marilyn Tolhurst
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf as told to John Scieszka
The Frog Prince Continued by John Scieszka
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China by Ed Young

What are you reading this month?

In other news I've been making AG some after school materials because he wants to have some activities to do when Avi-Kate is sleeping. This time is actually perfect because we can work one on one while she is sleeping and use materials that she's not ready for yet. I'm still trying to map this out and how it will work in my head...I plan to do a post on this soon once I figure it out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas Catchup #4...House Decor.

I always love looking back each year at the pictures of how we decorated the house. Due to both kids being sick and the usual holiday chaos I didn't get to photograph everything and I have to be okay with that...that's life, right? Anyways, here's some of what I was able to capture at random points over the holidays. Goal next year: To do a full house tour and a link up party...actually, that was the goal this year and it didn't happen. We'll see if I can get it together later this year. :)

Our master bedroom furniture is a mixture of pieces that we've slowly refinished over the years. Our headboard is an old fireplace mantle. (I thought I had blogged about it years ago and went back to find the post on it but can't seem to find one. Note to self: blog about refinishing the mantle.) I love the mantle because I can change out what's on it whenever I feel like it and decorating it at Christmas is my favorite. Every year I put fresh greens on it and lights. I love laying in bed reading with the lights glowing above my head. Anyways, here's a few pictures of the mantle. 

Our tree is a Virginia Pine and we cut it down at the tree farm 5 minutes from out house. I have to say I think this was probably my favorite tree out of all the ones we have had to date. Like always, we wrap everything in brown paper. We started this tradition the first year we were married and have done it every year since. All of the gifts have the same ribbon...a red with white stitching. The children each have their own ribbon that they picked out in addition to Andy and I having our own ribbons. It works well for us and is wonderfully simple.

A few of the ornaments on the tree this year...Disney did a series of ornaments known as 'Sketchbook Ornaments' and there was a Peter Pan ornament in the collection which we had to buy for AG because he is obsessed with all things Pan. It is, by far, his most favorite movie, ever. We bought Avi-Kate a sweet Alice ornament for her collection since she hasn't really become to particular yet about her favorite movies/characters. AG's favorite Christmas movie is Charlie Brown and one of my childhood friends, Jonathan, sent AG a surprise Charlie Brown ornament for the tree. Jonathan--The ornament is safely packed away but AG made off with the box and I couldn't find it when packing up the decorations...a few days ago I discovered that he had been sleeping with the box and it was nestled amongst his pillows. Thanks again! He absolutely adores it...and the box.

Our friend and neighbor, Cabell, designs ceramic pottery that you may have seen. We have several of her pieces including this sweet ornament that my sister gave me a few years ago and our Santa plate/cup are also designed by Cabell.
Williamsburg ornaments are everywhere on our tree. It continues to be one of my favorite places in all the world and I am so excited that we are going back later this year for Edwards Family Vacation. Last time we were there AG was not quite two and I was pregnant with Avi-Kate but didn't know it. Needless to say, it's been a few years and we are ready to be back in the historic triangle.
My grandmother loved all things Waterford and was quite the collector. She left each of the granddaughters a collection of ornaments. They are some of my most treasured possessions. My grandmother had an entire full size tree decorated in just Waterford ornaments. At the moment mine fit perfectly on this small faux tree. In addition to the collection of my grandmother's I've started collecting two new series of ornaments. I love how the crystal looks with white lights and I think about my grandmother every time I look at it.
Thanks to mom for giving us this Cabell's Too plate and mug several years is now firmly part of our Christmas traditions.
(Sigh) My goal was to get one of the photos we had taken this fall blown up and in to the frame above the fireplace before I decorated for the holidays...clearly that didn't happen and needs to be at the top of my to do list for the new year.

Kitchen chalk art leftover from the church Christmas party that I ended up just reusing for the rest of the month.
One of the things I love about our house is the huge window ledge in the den and the similar one in the master bathroom. I enjoy decorating them over the course of the year. This year we went with fresh greens, pine cones from Berry, fresh finds from the farm (peanuts, pecans, dried corn), and some faux fruit.

There is something so peaceful about a quiet house late at night with Christmas lights all aglow. One of my favorite things during the holidays. I love to sit and soak it all in around the house.

Almost done with Christmas posts! All I have left is Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Edwards Family Christmas which will most likely all get rolled in to one long post. After that it'll be on to running the half, life right now, projects I'm working on, etc.

Christmas Catchup #3...

The weekend before Christmas we joined my family at our mountain house for GFC aka Gettis Family Christmas. We had to wait till Andy was finished with work before heading out on Friday and by the time we got on the road we received a phone call that the power was out at the mtn. house due to extreme winds. Long story short we ended up staying Friday night at my parents house and then driving the rest of the way to the mtn. house on Saturday morning. We spent the day hanging out and AG learned how to prep green beans with Aunt Mis in the kitchen. That evening we had a big meal and then opened presents. The biggest gifts of the year were a tractor and a corn hole set. 

My dad has been waiting since AG was born to give him a John Deere tractor ride-on like the one he had as a child since AG was born. My mom has been making him wait because he wasn't big enough for it till now. G-Daddy was quite excited about it and AG was beside himself with it. He's all about being a farmer and his tractor is identical to the ones at Andy's family farm. Of course, he immediately noticed that it would hold a trailer and informed us he needed a trailer to haul his fruits and vegetables. (Good thing someone has a birthday three weeks after Christmas.) I have a feeling there will be lots of happy memories made with this tractor in the years to come. 

The other big gift was a surprise for my dad. Andy has taken to making corn hole sets and he's INCREDIBLE at it. They are gorgeous...hand painted and stained. Anyways, my dad is all about homemade gifts and things that the whole family can use. Andy decided to make my dad a set and my sisters all chipped in on the cost. For this set we went with an Atlanta Braves theme since my dad has been a life long Braves fan and has many memories with the Braves...from watching the games with my Granddad on Sunday afternoons, to ushering the playoffs and World Series games in the early 90's, to family games and tailgating. My dad was completely shocked and caught off guard by it. And he loved it. Christmas surprise success! 

We left the mountains on Sunday and headed home to get ready for Christmas with the Edwards family. At this point both of the kids were both snotty but we didn't think much of it because they were acting normal. Little did we know about what was to come...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Christmas Catchup #2...

AG's last day of school was the Thursday before Christmas. His class had a party that morning and the week before they had requested that each family send a $5 gift wrapped for their child. We brought the gifts and they placed them under the class Christmas tree. AG loved his party and Avi-Kate loved being included in the festivities. I think she'd go to school tomorrow if they would let her. After they enjoyed their treats each child got to take a turn unwrapping their gift. It was pretty neat and all their friends 'ooohed and ahhhhhed' over their treasures. Afterwards we were free to take our children but AG wanted to stay and play so I left him and returned later for him. 

 That afternoon among the things that AG came home with were this collection of homemade ornaments that he had been working on all month. I absolutely adore them. AG enjoyed finding spots to hang them on our tree in the dining room.

That evening we made our family gingerbread houses and AG was beside himself with excitement. Avi-Kate played with the tool bench while I prepped everything but alas, she did not stay up to join us. She was quite tired and ready for bed. This was probably the last day she felt good till January because over the weekend she got sick and spent the next two and a half weeks sick, sick, sick. 
 AG, Andy, and I had fun making and decorating houses. AG and Andy worked on one and I worked on the other since AKs left me for her bed. :) I am hoping that next year I can make our own gingerbread and we can maybe do some sort of decorating party with our college students. (Thanks for advice, Grace!) Hopefully, I'll get my act together and have things organized enough to be able to do it before they leave for the holidays. We'll see! Regardless, we had a great evening decorating and making memories with AG. He was quite proud of his creation and I have a feeling that next year Avi-Kate will be right in the middle of it all at 2.5 years old.