Sunday, December 27, 2009

Amy's quilt

I am so proud of how well this quilt turned out! I did EVERYTHING myself, including the actual quilting part. There are things I can do better next time, like my mitered corners. But over all, I am quite pleased.

christmas morning.

And now, the totally unflattering christmas morning pictures. From puffy eyes to frizzy hair, from pajamas to facial hair, we've got it all! Next year, SIMPSON STYLE! No one gets to open presents until they are presentable!


James and I made paper bag puppets to help with the nativity story we read on christmas eve. They were fun to make and fun to play with. Can you tell which one James thought was the best?

Our new stocking!

Behold, my BIG christmas project this year (besides my sister's quilt). Our new stockings. in order:
Drue, Ashley, James, Oliver.
And everyone got to pick out their fabric. Well, they got to pick from what I picked out.
Don't you love the fabric?! It's from Moda fabrics. The collection is called FIGGY PUDDING. They are only missing their Monogram which I will add next year. I jut ran out of steam this year!
Each stocking is actually quilted in diamonds on their points in coordinating thread. Which means, you can see the quilt in person, but not on camera. :(

I'm so happy with them.

The Nativity

Pre James nativity. lovely.
Post James nativity. That's Baby Jesus out of the manger, on the ground. Apparently, it looked like rain that night because the shepherd is checking the weather. And, yes, that's a King of the Orient on the roof, passed out because he had a little too much Martinelli's.

O Tannenbaum...

Behold! The Charlie Brown tree! It's not AS bad, but it's still spindly!
Don't you just love when all your ornaments migrate from the bottom of the tree to the top because some 3 year olds just can't help themselves and take them all off?!
This is just as we got the lights on the tree and turned off the lights for the boys!
Oh Christmas tree! And half-naked boy! Thats my little alpine boy, with no pants on. He just decided he didn't want to wear any and I didn't have the energy to change his mind.
The quilt on the wall is actually covering up the (VERY VERY VER DRAFTY) huge front window.
Next year, a tree skirt!

I lied!

I made cookies this year! Last year I didn't. I think if I add one christmas activity every year, by the time I'm 50, I should be as productive with my family as my parents and relatives were with our family growing up!
Anyways, behold the cookies! In true Simpson style, I used only 3 colors of frosting- white, red and a TINY bit of yellow. Also, since I only own 1 cookie cutter, I made a lot of bells. the other cookies are free handed.
You may notice my head is missing. I do not think this is a coincidence. It actually fell off during the frosting part:) but that night it sure felt like I had no head.
Nebraska Cookies! Go Huskers!
Stars. Bells. "Tree". Strange yellow finger-looking thing. But everything is better with sprinkles!
Bells and circles. I actually made a sand dollar cookie. But then I covered it with frosting- oh well!
The cookies were not tooo bad.. I could do better... but I need my cookie committee for that! (Amy, Mom, Nina...)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Silent Night

Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, all is bright 'round yon virgin,
mother and child,
holy infant so tender and mild
sleep in heavenly peace.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our beloved friends and family. We love you. I shall return in the new year- with many pictures, I promise!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feet eating

Oliver learned how to eat his feet. I tried and tried to catch him chewing on his toes (SO cute) but he was way to interested in the camera. So, I got another photo shoot.

I am pleased to say that his eyes have not (yet) changed to brown.

I honestly think this kid is WAY too cute! He's currently working on getting up into crawling position. I'm sure I get another photo shoot when that happens too:)

Christmas countdown

I have had ONE stoke of brilliance this holiday season. Just one. Because James gets so much time at home, and not at school, I needed to come up with SOMETHING to keep him entertained for long periods of time. And something NEW to do everyday.
So, I made a classic christmas paper chain and added a neat thing (if I do say so myself).
Each link has something to do - bake, color, craft, sing, play... really, just DO- written on the underside. Each countdown day, we take off a link and do the thing written.

Here is the Gingerbread house. James really didn't do much more than eat the candy. In fact, I had to keep the candy moving away from him as I decorated so I could finnish the thing. But I think it was fun!

You might notice that each side of the roof is different. One is a lattice-top punctuated with candies, and the other is a garland top OF candies. Neither of these things is an original idea, I just wanted to see if I could be as crafty as the box:)
Added bonus: I got the ice-sickles to work! Next year had better watch out- I'm getting ready...

Messy face!

Oliver has begun eating solid foods. Actually, he's ben very interested for a LONG time. Tonight, for example, he tried to eat my lasagna and not his yummy pears. Anyways, he LOVES eating. So much so, that he tries to share the food of his mouth with the rest of his face:
And he thinks his hands need to have some too. And we should probably think about naming his clothing- because, in the immortal words of my father, "if you feed it, you might as well name it".
But he's so happy about it all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A child's prayer

Tonight, James said our family prayer all by himself without any cues from Drue. This is how it came out:
Dear Heavenly Father
Thank you for juice
Thank you for Thomas
Thank you for James number 5
Thank you for Gordon
Thank you for Henry
Thank you for Mavis
Thank you for Duck
Thank you for Oliver
Thank you for Mommy and Daddy
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

In case you are wondering about all those names before Oliver, Mommy and Daddy, they all belong to the many working trains in the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

We thought this was so sweet and just had to share!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ward Party 2009

I'm sorry this post doesn't have any pictures. I took my camera with every intention of taking pics, but I was working HARD, on my broken foot, ALL DAY. Not even exaggerating on this one. I woke up at 7:30 and it was GO GO GO until 10pm last night. I'm sure you have had a day like that- they are just hard to remember how incredibly exhausting they are. So, yesterday plus my non-sleeping 6 month old and my non-sleeping 3 year old make for one VERY tired mommy- and forgetful. Sorry.

Just to recap:
last year's ward party in Salt Lake was terrible for me.
Food: soggy potato bar with mystery meat in meat sauce with frozen lettuce salad and cold, over-cooked cross cut green beans, and hard roll.
Entertainment: well, when the accordion music began, we left.

This year, I was in charge so we did things Concord style! And it was GREAT!
Food: Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, glazed carrots, homemade rolls (yum!).
Entertainment: nice ward choir program centered on the scriptural story of the Advent.

The story:
I knew what I wanted to do for this party since I got called to the Activities chair in August
I remember my mom and dad cooking (seemingly neverending) turkeys for the ward christmas party every year. I remember assembling salads, serving, working in the kitchen, cleaning up, singing in the choir and generally being involved with every aspect of the Ward christmas party for Concord 2nd ward, pretty much every year. And I loved it. So, when it came my turn to plan the christmas party, I just did what I'd ben trained to do- I threw a ward christmas party like the one's I grew up working in. There must be a gospel parallel here but I'm still recuperating, so don't ask me to think quite yet.

Everything went off without a hitch- thanks to my ARMY of volunteers, because I didn't get a committee that could help me until last sunday.

There was only one thing that didn't happen and that was the background music during dinner- amongst all the things I was thinking about and remembering, I forgot to pick up my ipod which I had loaded with great christmas music. Oh well. NEXT YEAR!

And we added one thing: FAMILY PICTURES! Since we have 3 professional photogs in our ward, I got one to volunteer to take family pictures, since folks were all dressed up anyways, I thought it might be a nice thing for them. They seemed to like it.

We did have one kid that threw up, but he did it at his family's table and not by the food (thank you!) and I don't think it was because of the food.

So, really, it was a success.

Lesson for next time: reduce stress levels by evaluating the tools in the kitchen BEFORE the day to cook. Also, it would be nice to be in the kitchen the WHOLE time, and not have to leave to play for the ward choir. And while I guess I had control over where I would be- since I was in charge- I'll just think a bit about that before hand.

And we came in UNDER budget.

(contented sigh and smile)