Friday, December 31, 2010

Have A Happy New Year!

To celebrate the close of 2010, I decided to pull a photo from each month of blogging from the past year.












December (OK, I am actually cheating with this one--it was from our Christmas card and I didn't want to spoil it for my family and friends that were getting one!)

Looking back thru posts from this past year, I realize that I am absolutely BLESSED to be living a life so rich and full with love and friendship. I never take that for granted. Never.

And to you my friends, I wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year!

All the best,


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

The kids loved their presents!

This was the first time that Ella was really able to unwrap presents and she had a great time.

Digging into her stocking . . .

James had told Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was the Mario Galaxy Wii game, and that's what Santa left for him!

Ella sitting in the bath tub of her new baby care center. Too funny!

Look at this gorgeous face . . .

All dressed up in the Christmas outfit that her Great Grandfather picked out for her! She looked like a little doll. Thanks Papa Okie and Jane!

My Dad and sister Amy arrived from Maine at about noon. What a treat! Here is Ella opening a Victorian ornament from her Peepaw (as she calls Grandpa).

Dad was able to get a sleigh bell for James to coincide with the Polar Express story. James loved it and the handmade box that Dad made so much that he said "Grandpa! I'm going to put this in my collection!" He was referring to the collection of fossils, shells and feathers that Dad has been helping him to grow. The look of pride on my Dad's face was unforgettable.

Dad brought Ella this dollhouse for Christmas. We had seen it at an indoor flea market a few months back and Ella had fallen in love with it. It comes with people and furniture and everything! She calls it "My dollhouse" and she won't let James near it. It is the first thing she plays with every morning and the last thing she plays with before bed.

Dad gave James a whole box of vintage stamps, art supplies and puzzles. Each box is a work of art in itself.

Ella opening a box with all of the dollhouse furniture . . .

A little later in the day, everyone was playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii. James was in HEAVEN as playing the Wii is a very special treat and his Auntie Amy and Grandpa and his Dad were playing with him!

One of the best shots of the day:

Amy brought a red bean bag for Ella. James already had one and the two of them squabble over it constantly, so this present was really for me I think! Thanks Amy!

A photo of Amy, Ella, James and Dad right before they left to drive back to Maine. Dad brought Beezus, his Beagle. She was exhausted from the day's excitement!

This was our second Christmas without Mom. I know she was in the back of everyone's mind as we celebrated together. I so wish she was there with us to share in the warmth and joy that our little family shared together that day. But instead of feeling sad, I am smiling, thinking that she watched all of the fun we had being together and was happy for us.

Merry Christmas, everyone.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ready for Christmas!

So this is our tree this year and I have one word: HUGE!!!!

Our new home has great ceilings for a tree of this height--so we decided to go for it. I did forget that a tree of this size requires a little more work, a much larger tree stand lots of water!

It looks great, especially now that our new sectional has finally arrived and we can sit in this room and enjoy the tree and the fireplace!

Has your jaw dropped yet? I know--mine did when I first saw this fireplace--and I am in love with it! See those feet? That is Chris enjoying our first fire in the new place, after having hung all of the lights on the house!

We have always done traditional candles in the windows, but James was beginning to ask when we were going to put lights on the house. Plus, the roof line is so perfect for lights that we decided to do it. These are the new LED lights and they require very little energy. James and Ella are THRILLED!

Here is the wreath from Maine that my Dad made. He makes one for me every year (and for my sister, all of our family and his friends and neighbors, too.) Nice bow, Dad!

Here's a shot from outside:

The mantle was fun to decorate--it is just a little narrower than I would like. I can't do greens and anything else. Maybe next year it will just be greens, and my favorite tree candle will find another location in the house.

Rocco enjoying the fire on his brand new dog bed (aka the sectional).

Ella loves the fire too--we are teaching her to respect it, but for the most part she is pretty sensible about it. Here she is with James' DS--she doesn't know how to play it, she just turns it off and on. The penguin on the left? I have had that for years! Another great gift from Mom and Dad.

Here are a few of the fun cards we have received--the one in the middle is from 2008 from my parents, and the last one before my Mom passed away. They usually always gave (and my dad still does) vintage cards for every occasion. The one on the left is from my sister. It was fun that she wrote in it because James was able to read all of it!

Amy and Dad are coming for Christmas from Maine and that will be the best present EVER!

Love the tree this year! OK, gotta go, I am making Chocolate Bark, Candied Orange Peels and my Mom's Snowballs today!

Whatever you are doing to get ready for the big day, I am sending you thoughts of peace and warmth and happiness for Christmas!



Monday, December 20, 2010

Decorating the Tree

This post is short and sweet! Just pics--I have to run back to getting ready for Saturday! ;-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Picking a Beautiful Tree for Christmas

Every year since we have been back in New England we have gone to Dzen Tree Farm to find our tree. This year, we decided to get an 11 footer since we have such high ceilings in the living room. Measuring . . . (this ultimately is not the tree we picked.)I remember there always being more snow on the ground than there was on this morning last week, but it was still pretty!

I had told James that we were getting a really big tree this year, but I don't think he realized how BIG until he saw it! (I did not realize how tall 11 feet was until I carried it, put the lights on it, and decorated it!!!)

Ella was not that interested in the whole game of find a tree. She preferred playing with this stick:

Getting ready to shout "TIMBER!" (Hint: tall trees have thicker trunks, too.)

I snapped this shot quickly and was really pleased with it:

A close up of Ella, still not all that interested. That will change in the next post--she pretty much directed the tree trimming this year!

My men, hauling in the tree:

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!