Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Creations

This gives you a fuzzy idea of our Christmas card this year...
Due to my lack of planning and a tight schedule it's not quite what I had anticipated but it works :)
I did my first head swap in photoshop on Ben and Honey

When all was said and done, I ended up buying about 20 of these amaryllis kits.  
I hope they're not like fruitcake and people smile and say "thank you" while inwardly they are thinking
"This will go straight to the garbage!"
I love them because of their huge, bright blooms in the dead of cheery!
I made a little tag trying to express that sentiment and then tied them up with baker's twine.
Most of them were teacher gifts...

...Ben alone has 11 teachers :)

This isn't Christmas, but it's something I did the other day and I love how they turned out...
The secretary in the primary and I got together and made around 70 of these little chocolate scriptures as part of the kids' birthday presents for the coming year.

Every year as my neighbor gift, I make an ornament.
This year, in November, I was scouring Pinterest and found several beautiful hand painted spoons.  I knew I couldn't duplicate the art but I loved the idea of spoons!
My mom helped me deplete the local thrift store of their supply and she willingly shared her camping utensil box with me.  All together, we ended up with over 80 spoons.
I toyed with different ideas, mainly vinyl cut with my silhouette but finally landed on mod podging free, vintage pictures from online.  

First, I painted the spoon white and let it dry.  Then, I mod podged the picture and let that dry.  Next, I bent the handle back...some were super easy and others not so much.  Only one was broken in the process :)  Then I put glue all around the edge of the spoon and sprinkled epsom salt on.  It gave it a fun sparkly, snowy look.  Finally, I glued a bow on and a ribbon with which to hang them.

Here they are taking turns drying the hanging ribbon on my dowel.

I stamped plain index cards and cut a slit in them to put the spoon through and put them in cellophane bags.  I love how they turned out...definitely one of my favorite ornaments I've made.

Here is my earliest batch all ready to be taken to an ornament exchange I participate in every year.

It is always so fun to see what everyone ends up making.

My other favorite creation this year was a mini quilt.
Thankfully it came together quickly since I was late getting started on it.
I love the colors and prints on the fabrics!  
They make me think of a nordic Christmas :)

I had the intention of straight line quilting it but very quickly ended up realizing that is a skill I need to work on...didn't look to great :(  So I unpicked, because what would a sewing project be without a little unpicking :) and ended up with something else...

I love it!  
It was hard for me to let go of it :)
But it was going to a very special friend and I was excited to give it to her.
Also,  I have plenty of fabric left over so I can make a twin if I want :)


Christmas Happenings

I have to start with a couple of purchases I've made recently with which I am very pleased :)
Aren't these little gnomes adorable?!
I'm usually not a santa collector but these guys were just too cute to resist.  They are in a set of about 12 but these four were my favorite.  I debated whether or not I should just get one or two but finally just splurged and bought all four.

Also, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably know how much of a sucker I am for seasonal candy.  These kisses are plain milk chocolate but packaged as santa hats...again, too fun to pass up :)

Matt made a cute Olaf snowman a few days ago.  He even had sticks coming out the top of his head for his hair :)

We had some things happen at school before it was let out for the break...
The fifth graders participate in a program called NOVA which is kind of like the DARE program from when I was younger.  It seems to be a much bigger thing now though and is taken very seriously...
At the end of the program, they all write their own constitution about things they've learned.  Abby was one of six students in the three fifth grade classes chosen to read hers at graduation.
She did a great job!

The fifth graders also all had to create a "house" with functioning lights powered by a battery they made in science.  Abby wanted to do a snoopy dog house :)  It had one, little green light at the top.

Abby and Matt also both received reading counts awards the last day of school.
Matt's in the top picture in a navy blue shirt and black snow pants.  (I'm still figuring out my zoom on my new phone)

Josh had a Christmas orchestra concert.
We have learned that taking Ben to things like this usually ends up disastrous so we usually take turns attending the kids' things.  Andy took Josh that night and I forced him to take the camera :)

Josh always makes some great faces during performances :)

Abby and Matt sang with the primary kids at our ward Christmas party...
I really struggled getting pictures because they both hid on the back row.  Most of the time Matt was covered up completely but here you can see his blurry face between two girls' heads.  Abby's face was often covered up too but I could always spot her topknot that she seems to wear 24/7 these days :)

The kids had their Christmas recital which, because of scheduling conflicts, was held in a local Episcopalian church.  It was beautiful and lent such a neat atmosphere to the occasion.

The students all were paired up and played duets.

Again, excuse my non-zoomed-iness and the poor lighting...

Josh played "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch".
It was super fun and I think he really enjoyed learning it.

Abby and her partner played a cute version of "Jingle Bells"...

and Matt's duo performed "Little Drummer Boy".

They all had worked really hard learning their pieces and did a fantastic job that night.

So much fun!
I'm so grateful for this sweet, patient teacher.
She's wonderful and I hope we can keep her for many years!

I was able to get together with several of my high school girlfriends last week.  Some of these ladies I haven't seen in years.  I seriously had THE best high school friends!  They are relationships I will forever cherish wrapped up in memories that will never be forgotten.

And finally, we had our annual Kidd Family Christmas party (This is my mom's side of the her parents and siblings and all of their kids)
My dad is always so willing and happy to feed Ben when we have get togethers of any kind.  Ben loves any time he gets to spend with "Bapa".

After dinner we played bingo.  Two missionaries were in the church building and joined us for that part of the evening.  It turns out that one of them is from Franklin Tennessee...the very place Andy's sister and her family live.  Turns out they know each other!  What a small world it is :)

Two Matthews :)

Josh and Matt both wanted to perform their duets for the talent show...I guess we only got a picture of Josh though...

To close out the evening, the kids did their nativity...
I love this picture...even if it is pretty dark :(
(We used to try and get Ben to participate in this and other such activities but it was never a pleasant experience...he fought it so we don't even try any more.)

Ahhh...traditions...I should find an old picture of me and my siblings participating in this same nativity and post it :)  The years go by so fast, every year more swiftly than the last.
I'm so grateful for my family, immediate and extended and the unity and closeness we enjoy.
What a blessing that is, especially at this joyous time of year!