Saturday, December 27

Little Brother off the Market

My little brother is off the market, finally! Here he is minutes before the wedding ceremony. I am not sure who cried more, me and my Mother or all the girls he left behind.

Here's his bride, patiently waiting before the ceremony.

And finally, here's the happy couple.....

Always a Flower Girl...

Always a Flower Girl, this time a Ring Bearer. Micaela has been a flower girl several times. When my brother announced he was getting married, he wanted Micaela to be the ring bearer.

Micaela took the job very seriously and she was thrilled to carry the actual rings on the pillow. Can you tell she's guarding the rings with her

Thursday, December 25

Got the bug...

I got a Cricut Create for Christmas from my parents. Yippee, I am so excited! Can't wait to craft when we get back home.

Wednesday, December 24

Merry Christmas from us...

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

This was our Christmas card. It was a flat card, and measured 8.5 x 5.5. I had fun making these while watching Christmas movies. Originally I had planned to send out everyone the photocards you get printed at the store but when our portrait package included 32 wallet size photos I decided to design a handmade card instead of just inserting the card with our Christmas letter. I wish I had planned in advance so I could have made all 100+ cards (I always want everyone to get the exact same card) for our family but doing just 32 took long enough.

The Garden Green base was half of an 8.5x11 sheet and inked with Gold Craft Ink. The next layer is Very Vanilla. I printed all the wording on the computer and also inked with Gold. Our picture was matted in Real Red, placed on the the scallopped rectangle and then added to the Very Vanilla layer with dimensionals. The ribbon knotted in the center finished it off.

The scallopped rectangle was done with Spellbinders Nestabilities (I love those things) and punched with the 1/8 inch circle punch. I can't believe I punched out all those circles, it was 32 rectangles and each one had 34 holes. Do the math and it's 1088 holes!! I must admit that I punched the holes while I was driving in traffic to Irma's rehearsal. It took me two hours to cross the whole city of Dallas last Friday night, everytime I was at a stand still on the interstate, I would punch a few holes. By the time I got to Red Oak which is on the other side of the world from McKinney, all the holes were punched. How's that for multi-tasking!

Hope your Christmas was full of the things money can't buy-- friends, family, love and happiness!

Warning: Hole punching while driving on the interstate is not recommended.

Tuesday, December 23

12 hours and 550 miles

Twelve hours and 550+ miles later, we finally made it to Mission. It was nice to watch the temperature rise from the 30's windy drizzle in Dallas to the balmy 70's when we arrived in my hometown. It was a long drive but Micaela was a trooper. She was so excited to see Nana & Papo. We listened to Christmas CD's the whole way, I think I sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Christmas Rock and Feliz Navidad about 50 times each! When Micaela loves a song, she wants to listen to it over and over and over and over. Daddy is flying down to catch up to us in a few days, we'll spend Christmas here, take part in my brother's wedding and celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary. It's going to be four full days of family celebrations, we're excited....

Sunday, December 21

One Wedding down, one to go

My dear friend Irma was married this weekend. She and her daughters were in our wedding four and a half years ago.
I was honored to be her Matron of Honor, here's a quick snapshot we took right before the ceremony and another of the Happy New Family.

Friday, December 19

Decking the Halls at work....

The HR department sponsors a Christmas decorating contest every year. This is my first Christmas with the city but from what I understand the Finance Department has ALWAYS won all the contests. The Public Works department had never even participated. Well, a few of us newbies talked some of the oldies into entering the contests. We decorated a little every day, everyone pitched in and by the time the day of the judging came the halls were decked!

We went with a red and white theme and called our office Peppermint Place. We hung ornaments and candy canes from the 14 foot ceiling, wrapped empty boxes and placed them everywhere, we had the street department make up an actual street sign that said Peppermint Place & Candy Cane Lane and placed it in the middle of our area, resurrected a Christmas tree that had been abandoned in the attic, spread peppermint candies on all the counters, and hung garland everywhere.

The day of the judging, we had one of the superintendents to dress up as Santa and one of the office ladies to dress up as Mrs. Claus, we played Christmas carols and shared Christmas cookies, hot apple cider and egg nog. It was really wonderful.

Needless to say, the place was festive and there was alot of excitement in the office. The best part was not only did we have a great time but we WON both contests!!!
Here are a few pictures...

Hope you've decked the halls at your work....

Thursday, December 18

Holiday party favor

Here's a cute little bag made by Denise Sullivan, my upline. She had one for each of us at our Christmas party. To make this, she used a plain paper bag, cut it down to 3 inches, then used the Top Note Die for the front and back. She used the Oval Punch to create a handle.

Sunday, December 14

Do you know...

Do you know....what happens when a 3 year old squeezes a dog's neck? It's eyes turn blue!
Here's a cute picture of Maxi and Micaela by the tree. Hope you are having a good day! Please no letters from animal activists-- I am just kidding...

Saturday, December 13

40 Years of Love....

I am very blessed to have wonderful parents. This December 28th, my Mom and Dad will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. We're planning a small reception for about 125 people.

I made the invitations.... My Mom wanted to order them but I wouldn't have it! After much discussion about color schemes we went with Ruby Red because Ruby is the tradional color for a 40th anniversary. The invitation is pretty simple, just a simple white card in a petal sleeve.

I have to admit that I sorta cheated on these. These are half handmade. The Ruby Red sleeve was premade, I printed the white card myself and just added the gold scallopped circle and plain circles in the center. I really wanted to pierce each scallop petal but when I calculated 70 times 15 petals per card I went the simple route.

Here are all 70-something inviations on our dining room table!

Coming Up for Air....

Oh my goodness have we been busy. It seems like Thanksgiving was ages ago. We have alot going on in our family. Not only are we juggling the usual stuff like work, preschool, etc; It's a little more hectic than usual since DH works for UPS. It's kinda like I am a single parent during the month of December every year. Be nice to UPS men, they work hard to get your packages to you. On top of all the regular holiday stuff, we have two weddings in the next two weeks, one of my dearest friends Irma is getting married on Dec. 20th and I am the Matron of Honor and the day after Christmas my brother is getting married PLUS my parents are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a reception on the 27th. Just finding the perfect outfit for each event has been a difficult task... not to mention the regular Christmas shopping and task of doing work for KA.

I'll be happy when Jan 1st gets here!

Andes Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We've been so busy lately and I haven't had much time to bake like I usually do this time of the year. Needless to say, I am playing catch up. I am a big fan of chocolate mint so this afternoon Micaela and I experimented by making some cookies using the Andes Mint chips. I've had this bag for a while and everytime I opened the pantry, they were screaming "bake me, try me".
Micaela is always happy to "help me" in the kitchen, here she is proudly holding a sheet full of cookies before we put them in the oven.
I am happy to report, these cookies got a thumbs up from the whole family. Micaela even let Maxi sample them.

The recipe can be found on the package, here it is for your reference.

Andes Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 sticks of butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Andes Baking Chips

Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla in bowl with mixer. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in Andes Baking Chips. Drop by spoonful, 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes-- til golden brown. Makes 5-6 dozen.

I hope you will take time out of your schedule to try these! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 5

Another Festive Project

Here's another project from the exchange at our Upline's Christmas Party.

This fabulous box was by Mary Gardina. Mary needs to start her own blog to share all her wonderful projects.

This is what it looks like when you take off the lid....

And then you can flatten the box and have a 12x12 scrapbook page!

Thursday, December 4

Festive Projects

My upline Denise Sullivan had a Holiday Party for her downline. It was a wonderful evening, we all brought dishes to share and exchanged projects. There were six different desserts and they were all delicious. I plan to share some of the recipes here soon. In the meantime, here are some of the projects, I will upload a few at a time.