Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in Dubuque

We spent Christmas in Dubuque with my inlaws, complete with ham and drama. Isn't there a person in all our family trees that just can't help but cause trouble? We managed to celebrate anyway, and a mostly good time was had by all.

After seeing the gorgeous light displays in Dubuque (just off Grandview Ave, was a luminaria display you wouldn't believe, streets lined with thousands of the pretty bags glowing in the cold night), I have decided to name Iowa City Scroogetown USA. I would guess less than 30 percent of houses have any Christmas lights, something I credited to the cold snap we had at the first of the month, but now I think it is a bad excuse. Dubuque is way colder than here, and I would say lights were on about 80 percent of the houses. Happy to say, even my husband, who works an 80 to 100 hour work week, put up lights on our house. Bah, humbug Iowa City!

I have been busy and more busy finishing projects, just took 350 photographs, so you can imagine what I have to list! Here are just a few...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Little Blue and White

Things have slowed down, giving me some time to indulge myself with painting stuff. I took my favorites, blue and white and prettied up a few old kitchenwares. I still love my dry milk paint bowls, will send them out for another try to sell them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Greetings

My first Christmas cards arrived this week, the first all the way from England--Thank you Karen, and Merry Christmas (it will probably be a New Years surprise, but the girls are working like elves making a little surprise for you)--the second card came from one of our China group families. These women work as nurses in intensive care units, one for burn victims, one for critically ill infants. Besides that, they have adopted 3 children, and still they get a card full of photos and a lovely letter sent out before I do! Man, if that wasn't enough to make me sit down and address cards, I don't know what will--it is definitely no excuses time.

I took a few photos of things on my wish list at Gatherings while I was there, if Santa brings me a check, that little rocker may be going home with me! I absolutely fell in love with the leather book display, and thinking that might be the next thing I need to collect...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspired by Homesteaders and Gatherers

Well, if you haven't checked the blog for Homestead Deppen, Teresa has about the most beautiful house ever. After looking over her wonderful Christmas displays, I decided I needed to get my house in order! I went to Anamosa to Gatherings for a little more inspiration, came home and cleaned and decorated all over again. The blue pie safe has sat at the top of my stairs in the way, moving ropes attached and stuff piled on top. I took the ropes off, moved it to the front entry and put the church pew that used to be there around the corner. Now why didn't I do that 6 months ago? It looks very nice. When I was cleaning, I stuck this bread board in an old dough bowl just to put it out of the way and voila, another why didn't I do this before? I put the garland on the pie safe, it fell off, I put it on the chair as temporary, then again decided it needed to stay. Add a sampler and a snowguy from Gatherings and it is a display. It actually looks like Christmas here for real now. Oh, I just won the reinder needlepunch from ebay, he is sooo cute with my blue Santas. Thanks to the homesteader and the gatherer for all the inspiration!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Political Kids

I've seen lots of videos on the internet where parents coach their kids to ask a politician a question, which just makes me sigh, but also very curious about what a real kid would really like to ask a politician. So, I did my own home survey and asked the girls if they could ask the president any question, what would it be, and must say I love the results. Anna "Mom, I would not want to ask the president anything." Me "It's only make believe, so just think about it." Anna, pauses and thinks, and finally "I guess I'd want to know what is the best thing about being the president, but really, I think it would be a lot more interesting to talk with his kids." Grace had no hesitation, she wants to ask "Do you have a hamster?" Now that is a great question that I would adore seeing at a town hall meeting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Decorating the Tiny House

Back home in Iowa City and finally got the tree decorated last night, had to move Anna's desk to find room for the tree, so she is squished in the corner for the season. I've had so much fun getting the girls Christmas presents, actually found some of Grace's impossible requests. When she was little, she swore all she wanted was a bucket of rubber fish to feed her stuffed penguins. Do you know buckets of rubber fish are rather hard to come by? This year, all she wants is Tom Riddle's diary, and I about screamed when I found a replica from Warner Brothers. Anna used to be so easy, just get anything with Princess Jasmine on it and you are set, but she has outgrown the princesses., Fortunately she has found Alice in Wonderland, so I got a really cool Mad Hatters tea party clock that runs backwards and a White Rabbit necklace. I think I may be more anxious now for Christmas to get here, can hardly wait to see their faces!

Tree up, Santas displayed and Christmas farm assembled. Note the very prim tree that still got the Princess treatment!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rooms with a View The Clarinda Version

I worked like crazy getting the house cleaned and rearranged into a two day store, and think the results were good. The shoppers were a bit few and far between, but it was nice to catch up with those that did come, there were new babies and grown up babies, mine included! I'm not sure I'll continue with the shows, we'll just have to see how next year progresses...