Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From The Bear Family!

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Twenty Five

Today is the final day of the series and like the last time I posted 25 ornaments, I'm ending with a nativity ornament. Both the older kids received these ornaments that they Sunday school kids put together. We are so blessed by the children's program in our church and will treasure this ornament forever.
Happy Birthday Jesus!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Twenty Four

Tonight we hang our stockings by the fireplace at Grandma and Grandpas house in hopes that St. Nick will soon be here. In honor of this, I'm sharing the very first ornament Julia stitched by herself - Santa's boot. She loved doing the blanket stitch, but that particular needle is REALLY sharp so we turned a stocking into a boot and continued stitching with a smaller needle. 
Santa is bringing exactly what the kids asked for this year. I can't wait!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Elsa Louise at 25 Weeks

This week for Elsa was all about reaching, grabbing, and holding. Her favorite thing to grab is my hair unfortunately but she does enjoy grabbing a hold of toys too which makes her much more content when I put her on her boppy under her gym. I love watching her eyes take in all around her. She's been practicing her sitting and is showing great improvement. I'd be surprised if she was sitting up completely on her own by six months like her siblings, but that's because I'm not helping her practice much. Shame on me!

I wore her on my back in the Kozy Carrier for the first time yesterday and if it weren't for her pulling those little hairs at the bottom of my pony tail I'd be sold on that style of babywearing. She's got the head control for it now and is content to play with my Mommy Necklace while I'm busy in the kitchen.

Before we headed to see PapaBear's brother who flew in from Alaska today I snapped the last basket photos of the year. On the porch in December. Who would have thought it would be warm enough this long? It's gonna be 40+ on Monday!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Twenty Three

This ornament is one of the first Julia sewed by herself. She LOVES to stitch/sew and is constantly asking to make more ornaments. She made five in a week. Not too shabby for a five year old!

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Twenty Two

We had our annual get together with the friends we go camping with last night. As part of our gift we gave every family an owl ornament.

The inspiration came from an Etsy shop that of course I can't find now. If you go to Etsy and search owl ornament thousands of choices come up. Who knew?

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Twenty One

This homemade ornament I made a couple of days ago, but I can't take credit for the design. That can be found here. I'm giving this to Julia on Christmas Eve as her ornament for 2011. She had a gingerbread house making playdate a few days ago and also made a gingerbread church at a Christmas VBS last Sunday. She loved it and was very detailed in her decorations. No surprise there!

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Twenty

Another homemade ornament for our tree...This one I created as I went along and so happy with how it turned out. Pink blanket like the one that Sam picked out for her. Purple string because of all the purple outfits she wore as a baby. Pearl beads like the ones on her stocking, and of course The Basket. Elsa's first of many ornaments made with love by her mama.

Elsa Louise at 24 Weeks

This week Elsa experience the fun of picking out our Christmas tree for the first time. See how excited she was about it?

We'd considered trying a cut your own place again, but it's just so easy to go to our local wild balsam guy. And much cheaper this year too! We got our 9ft beauty for only $30!

Elsa doesn't know how lucky she is that this has been a mild winter so far. This is only one of a handful of times she's had to wear her snowsuit. I'm trying to make it as far into winter as I can without having to abandon the infant car seat so I can avoid the whole squirmy, heavy baby in a coat and since she is much more content in the carseat and can work some of her toys by herself I'm not in any hurry.

She visited another Santa this week and wasn't scared a bit (I think it helped to have these two to distract her.) I can't say that for other people though as she's still very much timid around anyone except Mommy, Daddy, Sam, & Julia.

Her sleeping at night isn't any better - she still wants to be attached to me mostof the time but she wakes up happy and sometimes even sleeps until 8am which of course makes us late for school. I hate having to wake a sleeping baby so I wait until the last possible second. Her hair continues to come in but is nowhere near as thick as her siblings at this age.

I've noticed her eyes are getting lighter in the middle but are still dark around the edges - a pretty combination if you ask me! We are approaching the six month mark - her half birthday falls on New Year's Day which is kinda fun.  Speaking of fun...all the Christmas festivities are in full force and I still don't have her stocking done. oops!

For this week's basket photo I chose the one that shows her talking because she is SUCH a chatterbox now. She loves it when we repeat the sounds she makes. She brings so much joy to our family and is more and more fun every day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Nineteen

Continuing the homemade theme of this week I'm sharing this ornament fresh from the oven...or at least it's fresh from my hands! I decided rather than buying the kids ornaments this year I would make them.

First up was this felt slice of pepperoni for Sam. The kid would eat pizza every single day if we let him. Maybe that will change, maybe not, but it's a fitting ornament for his tastes this year for sure!  Tomorrow I'll tackle Julia's ornament in between shopping and stitching Elsa's stocking. Have I mentioned I'm even sewing in my dreams? I enjoy sitting by the tree, watching a movie on Netflix, and creating something from nothing.   Have you made any ornaments this year?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day 18

It's time to share those homemade ornaments folks! All this week that's what I'll be posting. They aren't all going to be one's I've made personally though. Sometimes they will be ones relatives have made for me or that the kids have made.

We made a batch of homemade ornaments for gifts this year and I had to make an extra one for our own tree because I loved them so much. I'm not going to show those though until after I've given them away later this week.  In the meantime, this ceramic moose is the one I wanted to write about tonight. I made him in 2003 when I was part of a pottery guild. I used to make wheel thrown pottery but don't have the time anymore. It's a shame because I loved it! One year I took cookie cutters into the studio and made a bunch of ornaments out of rolled out clay. The moose were my favorites.

Friday, December 16, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Sixteen

Believe it or not one of the top keyword search that brings people to my blog is related to the movie Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York. It's because of this post I wrote two years ago about the significance of two turtle doves.

Years ago I had shared that story with my aunt Lori and come Christmas this turtle dove ornament was under the tree for me from her daughter, Elsie. I was Elsie's nanny for almost five years so we share a very special bond. Today happens to be Elsie's 12th birthday. Where does the time go?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Fifteen

A preschool ornament compliments of Sam's teachers when he was in the 4 year old class.

They are so generous with their talents, time, and love. Mrs. W & Mrs. S are like guardian angels watching out for our kids in their first years of school.

Alphabitty Moments - The Letter D is for...

Dinosaur. I used this same word for Sam a couple of years ago and I thought it was high time I recorded Julia's love of dinosaurs as well. She might not know as many facts about them as Sam but she's always been able to hold her own and can identify at least twenty different kinds.


or Winter - makes no difference to her!

What Alphabitty Moment do YOU want to remember this week?

Photos filed under :FMSC and favorite things

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments Day Twelve & Thirteen

We're in homemade ornament making mode in BearCountry, but since I'm not sharing homemade ornaments until next week, I'm sharing the next best thing - an ornament made for me by my grandma. Sequins & felt. Both a familiar sight in our house at Christmastime.

Another felt ornament, but purchased as far as I know is this angel my parents gave me when I was two years old. Those are dried flowers in her hands that I can't believe have survived 30+ years!

I try my best to pick out ornaments for my kids each year that they too can have for at least that long. What criteria do you use when choosing ornaments for your kids?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Eleven

When I was a junior in high school the Badgers won the Rose Bowl. I grew up 20 minutes from Madison and attended a game once with my high school band. This ornament rarely gets a spot in the front our tree because PapaBear is NOT a Badger fan. He still shakes his head in disbelief that I would drive to California to see them play in the '99 Rose Bowl. To be honest I went because it was a fun road trip and the price was right.

This ornament reminds me of the carefree days of driving cross country on a whim and the stories I brought home after a week in a car with three friends.

Do you and your significant other disagree about which ornaments get top billing in your house?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It was one of those days

and I don't mean that in a bad way. It was one of those days I don't want to forget. We had our chores done by 8:00am so the rest of the morning was spent fluffing a Christmas tree for the living room, creating paper chains, watching Sam's birthday DVD from when he was 2 and 3, playing battleship, gazing at a napping Julia, making cookies and letting Julia help despite the extra clean up that involves, playing Risk, playing monopoly, eating cookies fresh from the oven, unwrapping Christmas books, listening to Sam read two beginner books as well as a few pages in his first attempt at a chapter book, dancing to Christmas music, teaching Julia how to sew, tearing up at seeing the joy on her face when she could maneuver the needle all on her own, teaching Julia how to sew sequins onto an ornament she designed, wearing Elsa in the Sleepy Wrap, being thanked by PapaBear for making the house look nice, listening to Elsa giggle because of her brother's antics, watching Daddy & the big kids have a tackle fight before bed, doing our "thankfuls" with Sam, Sam telling me he said a prayer before he settled down for our sleepover, hearing Elsa sigh in her sleep,

It was a day that didn't involve a single trip to town, a day where I didn't spend a penny, and a day that didn't require stepping foot outside other than to open the gate to the park. As I prepared dinner this evening I pondered why a simple day at home put me more in Christmas Spirit than a day of shopping for gifts, visiting the Big Guy, or making Christmas crafts/Christmas gifts. I'm still mulling it over as I write this post. Obviously not being in a hurry to get somewhere on time makes a big difference in my stress level. I think another part of it is that last year we barely had a Christmas. It wasn't until the week before Christmas that I was able to be downstairs for any length of time.  Whatever the reason, I want to bottle this feeling up! 

How was your day?

25 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day Ten

Another ornament from my travels, but this time from South America. We saw lots and lots of Inca ruins in the month I spent in Peru and I turned this piece I purchased from a kid at one of them into an ornament. If I remember right, I paid for it with a pencil and a few crackers.

Beginner Knit Hat Pattern

I've been asked so many times if there is a pattern for the hats I make,  but I was too busy filling Christmas orders...