Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Puppies

Everyone wishes they would get a puppy for Christmas, don't they?  Well, I know I would!

This year, I'm happy to say, that I'll be able to grant that wish to my two sweet nieces.  Merry Christmas, Emmy and Anna!  I can't wait to find out what they name these 9-inch cuties.
Heaps of Hugs,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gingerbread Ahoy!

As some of you may remember, one of our holiday traditions is visiting the local Gingerbread Gallery.  And this year, as usual, we were not disappointed by either the artistry or the amazing aroma.
This year we were greeted by a tall mast ship.

A lovely mill.

The North Pole. 

And of course, gingerbread houses.

However does one choose a favorite!  There were SO many beautiful creations to see--I wish my camera's batteries hadn't pooped out right in the middle of our tour so I could have shown you some more.  But at least you get the idea AND I still got photos of my absolute favorites this year.
Anyhoo, it was a difficult choice, but the spaghetti "rope," fondant "sails," and jumping dolphins clinched the deal for me--the ship got my vote!

I think in the end my family was split. Two votes for the ship and two votes for the lovely green gingerbread house!  And, of course, after smelling all of these sweet creations we got hungry.  So we left with two BIG gingerbread men to split between the four of us and savor with our mid-afternoon tea (although we just skipped the tea yesterday and enjoyed the gingerbread!).
Heaps of Hugs,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my friends in the US and everywhere else!  I'm so thankful to have you in my life.

Heaps of Hugs,

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I received a call from England yesterday evening.  Quite an unusual occurance in this house!  And it was Susan from the Excellence in Bear Artistry competition again!  She called me last summer to let me know that Thaddeus had won a Judges Choice Award, and NOW she was calling me to let me know that the voting was in and Thaddeus had won the People's Choice in his category, too!  Unbelievable!  I'm still absolutely flabbergasted and amazed!

If you want to see all the category winners check out the Excellence in Bear Artistry website by clicking HERE.

Heaps of Hugs,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Advance Planning--Perhaps a Bit TOO Advance!

So, Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I'm wondering if any of you are as goofy as I am.
Unlike the woman above, I'm basically finished with my Christmas shopping--just a few little stocking stuffers left.  Yes, you read that right.  It's crazy!  I even have most of the gifts for the girls' teachers taken care of (!).  Right after Halloween I start making sure I have all my ducks in a row.  AND if I don't have most of my shopping done by Thanksgiving, I start getting really nervous.  Silliness! 
But there you have it--it's the way I am and have been for years.  When I'm out and about visiting arts and crafts shows during the summer, I pick up gifts for my mom and mother-in-law.  I have a little stash in my closet.  So earlier this week I rummaged through what I had and chose what they will get for Christmas leaving the remaining items for birthdays and Mother's Day.  I wish I could say that I have a stash for my dad as well, but, alas, no.  He's a tricky one!
So next weekend, right after Thanksgiving, Matt will tote the boxes of Christmas decorations out of storage and the girls and I will spend a day decorating (after a day of cleaning first!).  It's hard to believe, but Christmas is just about here!
Heaps of Hugs,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rudolph is on His Way!

Well, I know Christmas is coming because the ballet, "The Adventures of Rudolph," is less than a month away!  I know it sounds like a corny ballet (well, at least that is what I thought when I first heard about it!). However, it truly is a lovely, lovely production with a wonderful story. No wonder it's been loved by so many generations here.
Yesterday, Matt did a photo shoot with all of the elves, Christmas dolls, and the two Rudolphs and two Witches to publicize this much-beloved annual Central New York event (alas, the soldiers and reindeer couldn't take part this year for the photos).  Of course he did a great job, so I had to show you some photos of our "Witch."

At the ripe old age of 14, Claire was cast in the leading and most difficult role of the ballet, Witch Winter Gray!  It's a role that is coveted by the high school seniors and only the most advanced juniors--we were really shocked when Claire got the part as a freshman in high school.  Her instructor, Ms. Deborah Boughton, takes pride that people who see this ballet often think a professional company came in to do it when it really is just the students from her studio.  She has incredibly high standands for the girls.  So...congratulations, Claire!!
I can't wait to see her dance December 5th through 8th.
Heaps of Hugs,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Votes for Women!

Our eldest daughter turned 18 late this September.  When we asked whether she was going to register to vote in this election, her initial response was, "I'm not sure."  Boy, did I have to hold my tongue and keep myself from jumping out of my seat!  Thankfully, she decided on her own to register and is now excited to vote for the first time today.  I think the two of us are going together this afternoon when she returns from her college classes.

I'm always surprised by some women's lack of enthusiasm about voting.  It's something we take for granted today.  But we, as women, only got the vote in the U.S. in 1920 and our fore-mothers had to work hard and long for that victory.  So, I try to make sure I remind myself and my daughters how important that victory was.  Some may disagree with what I'm about to say, but I'm going to put myself out on a limb.  I think, and my husband agrees and helps to teach this to the girls, that the vote is of critical importance to women because we, as women, are still not treated equally to men.  Unfortunately, there is still a long, hard road to be travelled until we get there.  But I'm willing to travel it!

Happy Election Day!
Heaps of Hugs,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Creative Times

You may not have seen it, but I have been keeping creative lately as our Halloween pumpkin testifies!  I wish I could take credit for the idea for this teddy bear pumpkin.  However, our youngest and I found this idea on Pinterest and decided that we HAD to try it.  Thankfully, it turned out pretty cute!

I also helped our youngest with her Halloween costume.  Unfortunately, my in-house photographer (aka, my husband) left his amazing camera next to the door.  BUT he did have his iPod with him so we have some quasi-photos of Claire as "Winter."  Four of the girls from her dance class dressed as the seasons and they looked quite lovely.  "Fall" was actually dressed in a lovely green print dress, but the iPod just couldn't handle the light.

It was QUITE a scream when their dance instructor turned up as "Lurch" from the "Addams Family."  I SO wish the iPod could have captured his white face, the hand in his pocket, and his crazy teeth! 

I'm also about finished with a secret project that I'll be able to reveal in a little over a month--just have one final touch to figure out!

And lastly, our girls have both requested bears for Christmas this year.  Our oldest has chosen hers, but I'm just finishing up our youngest's.  It's turning out very cute and I'll share it with you soon.  I just have to make her headband and shoes.

I know you've seen a lot of photos of our youngest and hardly any of our oldest.  She does exist--honestly!  I've been promised some photos of Corinne after Christmas when her fall term is finished.  I guess being a second-year engineering student doesn't lend itself to a lot of interesting photos to share with you!

Take good care of  yourself!!
Heaps of Hugs,