Thursday, December 8, 2016

Into December

 It's December! A month of excitement and fun things to look forward to and of course lots of work for the "keepers of Christmas" which usually happen to be the wife or mother in the picture.

I always enjoy Sally Clarkson's podcasts but her recent ones on the holiday season have been particularly fun and encouraging.

Pace Yourself and

Christmas Traditions

I am thankful that this year I've been able to downsize our schedule a bit and that helps keep stress down.

This fall has been so long and wonderful. I think I'd take it any year. It was strange to have the beautiful orange glow of the leaves coming in my bedroom window when with the red coverlet and plaid of winter decorating my room.

I think the last of our leaves have finally fallen and the street looks like the beginning of November with lots of dead brown leaves littering everyone's yards. I should probably send the kids out to rake.....

 I love the red and green of Christmas and the holly and plaid that comes with it.

I buy wrapping paper once a year at Hobby Lobby in November when it is on sale for half price. I buy a few Christmas specific rolls and then a few rolls that could be for anytime of the year.
 The kids are so into their Santa hats. I think they would wear them round the clock if they could!

This is David's favorite place to sit. I can count on finding him here with plenty of schoolwork or chores yet to be done!

I keep all our Christmas books inside the coffee table and they've been pulled out now for easy access!

Some of our favorites we've been reading this week include: Becky's Christmas by Tasha Tudor and Lucy and Tom's Christmas by Shirley Hughes.

Last year I first saw this china pattern when I was antique shopping with a friend. I decided that maybe this year I would keep my eyes out and get myself a teacup because I LOVE the bright green and Christmas red of this set and the 3D berries that are part of it. Well, I looked through nearly an entire antique mall without seeing one piece and then low and behold I saw this whole set for about the price of two teacups. I was so thrilled to come home with it. This china just makes me so happy! It's vintage Lefton Christmas china.
It's become my tradition to spend the night at my mom's house near to my birthday. I headed there last Friday and found the guest bed welcoming me.

There was also a roaring fire to sit next to. We needed a Christmas program to watch and finally decided on the Gilmore Girls because I keep hearing about that show and have never seen an episode. It definitely made us laugh! And now I know what the show is like.

Mom cooked a delicious apricot chicken for me for dinner. Yum yum!

In the morning we went out for breakfast and took along our sketchbooks. I'm getting more comfortable at painting and not worrying about how badly it will turn out.

We had good food: egg, avocado, potatoes, bacon. Mom had an amazing gluten free waffle.
 We both love the style of Liz Steel who paints what she eats.
 Goodwill was 50% off last Saturday so Rachel and I headed out for lots and lots of shopping. We wore matching outfits. :) We made it back home shortly after 8 p.m. quite exhausted.

 Laura decided she would try to dress up like Santa Claus -- very cute! She's getting old too fast to which there are both pros and cons.

We are still shopping buddies and spend several hours by ourselves on Wednesdays getting the household shopping done.

 It's nice that the kids are able to do so much of the tree trimming these days. It took me so long to get the Thanksgiving stuff put away and the house was in a state of extra big chaos for a lot longer than I wanted. I think we've finally finished the Christmas decorating.
I like my lantern with the candle in it. It makes sitting on the couch feel so cozy.

Here's our front door all pretty with greens and red ribbons.

And then here's a picture of the top of the fridge which looks so pretty from my viewpoint where you can't see any of the dust that appears to be up there! ha ha!

 I love plaid/tartan so much. It makes me happy to wear it. I'm sure I look like one of those elementary teachers that wears garish clothes and crazy earrings because its fun for kids. I can't believe I do it too. But it's so much more fun.

And see how well the holly cups go with plaid?!
I love our advent calendars. They make me smile too, especially this one because I know what is behind each door.

 My birthday fell on Wednesday. I made pancakes with berries and bacon for breakfast on the Friendly Village china. yum yum! We also enjoyed the very last leaves of our very favorite tea which came all the way from china via a friend. We are trying to figure out how to get more. Michael is thinking it might take making a trip.
 Planning our lessons around Christmas in different countries this December has given me focus and excitement not to mention lots of festivity. I'm going to do this every year!!! We've been sewing ornaments from those countries, reading picture books, watching youtube videos, eating ethnic foods, and generally having a great time.

We are also reading another favorite for our read-aloud: Sleigh Bells for Windy Foot by Frances Frost.
 Since my birthday fell on our weekly shopping, Laura and I stopped at Panera for a little coffee and treat to make it extra special.

Can't believe Rachel and I used to have Christmas tea like this so long ago.
 All the kids managed to be around the table for some birthday cake and tea yesterday! That was so special. We had a delicious Dundee Cake and used the new china. And we started into Becky's Christmas.
 Michael took me to dinner in the evening. This salad with butternut squash and Manchego cheese was delicious.
And we got to see the lights in downtown Indianapolis. Very festive!!

I'm reading Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher as one of my "Christmas Reads" this year. I love this book and I can't wait to post about it on my Reading Scotland blog.

I'm also really enjoying Ann Voskamp's latest book The Broken Way.

Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying good books and festive moments!


elizabeth said...

so fun to read this update!! such a fun beautiful but busy time of year!

Amy Marie said...

So beautiful and festive, Heather. I love your photos, posts, and it's so encouraging to find people in the world the love beauty, old things, books, traditions...and most of all, family. <3

Karen Sue said...

I enjoy reading your posts. I read the Winter Soltice a long time ago, in a book club, but I remember that I enjoyed it very much.
When my second hubby and I started our shopping for our first Christmas together, we started buying some Pfaltzgraff Winterberry sets. We have enough for our family now and I use it from Thanksgiving, all through the winter. It helps to brighten things up through all those gray months.
Goodwill shopping sounds like fun! Especially with a partner in crime!
I like plaid and flannel and curling up inside in the winter...
Have a great week!