Saturday, December 31, 2011


Yesterday I put the borders on my Christmas quilt. It's amazing what a difference a good border makes on a quilt.

Well, it didn't get done for use on the rocking chair this Christmas season, but now I have eleven whole months to get it quilted and bound for next Christmas! Even I should be able to handle that!
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Friday, December 30, 2011


I decided to try out Bubber, a modeling compound I read about in homeschool magazines. So I gave some to the kids for Christmas. It is really strange stuff-- it feels different than anything else Iv'e ever played with. It's not anything like Play-doh. I'm not sure what I think of it, since it's hard to make realistic shapes out of like you can with Play-doh. But the kids are having a ball with it and it will be easier to clean up than Play-doh, since it's so dry. They already want me to buy more colors, but I told them that it is a lot more expensive than Play-doh. But I'm glad I bought it and I'm glad the kids are getting to experience something new and interesting.
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Thursday, December 29, 2011


Even though we keep trying to be healthier in our lives, we still haven't given up the family tradition of "pigs in blankets" on Christmas morning. The Badger does such a good job with them and we thoroughly enjoy them, along with eggs, hashbrowns, and orange juice.

Merry Christmas from Toad Hall!

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What a Christmas we had here at Toad Hall!

There were so many fun presents! Slingshots for the boys, colorful links for Peanut, plenty of tangerines for everyone...

The Rabbit is now old enough to really get into present unwrapping. And she was thrilled with whatever was in the package, thank goodness!

Fish was happier about his Tintin book than anything else.

I had to get Bean a raccoon hat because he loves raccoons so much. He was pleased.

This is that the Badger wanted. He was very very happy that I got it for him.

Here's Fish with one of the homemade presents that actually made it to fruition: a leather pouch that Roo made him from a kit. We didn't get as many homemade presents completed as we originally dreamed up, but there were some nifty ones like these pouches that the kids were really excited about. I should do a separate post just about the homemade stuff.

There were plenty of hair accessories for the girls.

And my mother sent me the most beautiful quilt ever. This picture does not do it justice. It is such a treasure. I am thrilled!

I usually try to get a picture of each person with all their presents. I did not do that this year-- bad me! But these were some of the highlights.

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Christmas Morning Lineup

Here's our classic "on the stairs" picture Christmas morning...

... I love the "tired but excited" Christmas morning faces!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Stories

Here the Badger reads Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck (beautifully illustrated!)

Here I read a wonderful little book a cousin of mine wrote about Hee Haw, the little Christmas donkey.

I know I am going to look back at these pictures years hence and sigh and say "oh, those were the days..." What could be better that having a pile of cute, sweet kids all over you while you read a book on the couch?

Peanut doesn't sit still for the stories, but she still wanted to say "Hi!"

Hooray for Christmas stories!
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Puppet Pageant

On Christmas Eve, we always have a family program where we read stories and sing songs and act out the Nativity. A couple of years ago, my dear friend gave us a set of felt puppets for the Nativity story that she made for us. Wow. These work great with a bunch of kids!

Here Fish and the shepherds are in the fields...

...Here Roo is wrapping Baby Jesus in a pillowcase to keep him extra warm...

...and here is the Rabbit being an extremely enthusiastic angel!

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Christmas Eve Angels

We love the nighties, Grandma! Thank you so much!

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After Sitting in a Box for Twelve Years....

As part of the observance of our wedding anniversary, I decided to get out my wedding dress and let the girls try it on. They, of course, LOVED this and the pictures I got were absolutely priceless. My only regret is that we did this first thing in the morning when my bed was still unmade and my room was a mess, but I guess seeing that in the pictures is part of our family history. This is what a house with five kids looks like. And that's what my wedding was all about, after all!

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A Dress For Roo

Last fall I realized that Roo was running a little short on dresses. I decided I was too busy to try and make a dress, so I started looking at girls' dresses in every store I went in (which isn't terribly many, given our location and my lack of time for serious shopping.) I was rather dismayed at what I found. Either they were really fancy special occasion dresses made from satin and taffeta, or they were ultra-casual outfits of a fashion that I felt was sloppy, sometimes bordering on sleazy. Whatever happened to just plain old Sunday dresses for church? I guess the market for that is dying out.

Well, anyway, I decided I'd better make one. One day last autumn I found some corduroy fabric I really liked and I already knew the pattern I wanted to use: a little wrap jumper from Ottobre Design.

But, for Pete's sake, it took me clear until Christmas to get the thing done! I don't know why I keep thinking I can get more done than I can...

I am pleased with it, though.

I am thinking I maybe should put the pocket a little higher. I didn't want it to get in the way of the darling gathers on the sides, but I think it looks a little weird over her belly like that. Here is the back-- the pattern called for it to be in two pieces and I thought "that's silly-- I can just cut it on the fold and have it be one piece." But then I realized that the back seam is part of the style of the dress and it looks really cute.

She really loves it, and I'm so glad!

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Catching Up After Christmas

Okay, now that Christmas is over and things have calmed down to "puree" instead of "liquify" I can finally go through all the photos on my camera and blog about everything I've got stacked up on there.

Like this picture of my completed quilt top. Don't look too close, but I really like the way the pattern turned out. Then I realized yesterday that I still haven't sewn the border on it. Oh well, hopefully it will be quilted and ready to go for next Christmas season!

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