You would think after a long absence like that I would be all chatty and updatey now... Well the truth is, I'm kind of 'nah'. ;) I don't know if I'm going to keep writing here or not. I have no agendas to promote, no radical ways of thinking to try and convince you of, and no universal answers I've decoded and now need to convert you to believe along with me. Above all, I would hate for you to feel judged by my family's unique choices in lifestyle. I want to affirm people as they are and not make them feel inferior. It's these thoughts that have left me a little tongue tied here, but it's winter now, and after some very busy seasons, I feel like relaxing and getting back to the dusty unvisited hobbies I used to enjoy--writing being primary among them. So who knows? You may be hearing more from me here, or maybe this will be my last post here and after some years of silence, you'll suddenly read about me in your morning paper: "Strange Women Returns After Years Spent in the Wilderness Living With Wildlife." hehe. I'm giggling to myself as I write this, thinking if only I could be so adventurous, when the truth is, I'm a bit of a comfort seeker... okay, maybe even more than 'a bit', but I digress...
This year I tucked abandoned birds' nests and beehives into our tree. Andrew even made me some wooden eggs for the nests, which Liz painted blue. So cute!
I decked the outside with greenery and ribbons. The little kids and I made these neat ice orbs using balloons and food coloring, which I decided to add in the decorating.
And for the handmade gifts...
We had some serious doubts about this year's, since our shops busied us up until 3 days to Christmas! (Most of those days were spent chilling on the ski hill, since everybody was tired of working in the shop.) We didn't fret it too much though, and, as usual, it all came together in the end.
I cleaned up and recovered an old office chair for Steve, embroidering his youtube channel's blender logo onto it. It won the award for biggest present under the tree!
Steven carved Annie a jewelry box with a rose lid and checkered base (which Mom is holding up).
Annie, Lizzy and I made Donna's gift: a 'mini me' Donna doll (knit by Annie) and a book about Donna (illustrated by Lizzy and written by me).
Mom reading the Donna book aloud (we didn't get a chance to color all of it).
Annie knit Johnny a big Spider man doll from the new Amazing Spider-man.
Andrew and Steve made Lizzy a bunch of different frames for her art, including a big, multiple collage one. She was really excited about this gift!
Theresa got a beautiful frame for our bedroom mirror (which had been sitting frame-less on the dresser). It has a little shelf on the bottom and dowels on the sides for holding spools of thread.
Johnny (with a little help from Steve) made Donna a little red mail truck (mimicking our mail lady's vehicle), complete with a road and mail boxes.
Theresa made Michael a fuzzy cow pillow, with eyelashes and everything! ;)
Andrew (always pushing his woodworking abilities to greater achievements) made me a yarn hank winder. It pops open like an umbrella for winding skeins into balls. Could've been useful in my busy knitting season when pausing to wind yarn was a delay. Very impressive, of course!
Annie and I made Andrew a snoopy bedrest for him to relax on while watching movies.
Steve made Mom an adorable log mushroom candle holder, while Andrew and Michael made Dad a walnut Beatle's box with Help silhouettes cut out of it.
Lastly, we had to make the boys a beard hat, cause they're all the rage. ;)
Andrew likes to wear it backwards; long hair without the commitment.
Christmas morning, there was more handmade goodness to be found in our stockings (can't believe what the boys pulled off!). Everybody was so amazing, and yet there was very little stress and such goofy good spirits. Liz and Mom baked enough cookies for us to enjoy into the new year and Donna worked hard to decorate our tree with lots of cute toddler art (with a some help).
On Christmas afternoon, we started talking about what to do for our Christmas card picture. Somebody had the idea to put the camera outside and take it through the window, so we went with that.
Took some experimental photos (no parents or photographer (Steve) in this one, but I like Michael).