Monday, December 28, 2009

A Beautiful White Christmas Wish Come True!

I hope that you all had a beautiful Christmas!  We sure did, but phewwwwy! Boy, I am plum tuckered out! I tried to get one more post in before the big day but life got the better of me and the clock ticked on much too quickly. 

The holiday ultimately came and I decided to celebrate with a relaxed state of mind so that I could absorb all that it had to offer with very little stress......I simplified and it was beautiful.  I let go of trying to make things perfect and exact as I had usually stressed about in previous years and instead I focused on only what is important and I really, truly enjoyed myself.  I also had alot of help from my family before hand which of course made that possible. 
Hugs and kisses to them for that!


I had a wonderful time surrounded by family and friends.  With all of the work that it takes to celebrate such a joyous occasion I am always surprised at how quickly it is over! 

I did finish up my last minute decorating and have to warn you this post is picture heavy and word heavy even more so than usual! That is what happens when I go weeks in between posts. 

By the way, the beautiful illustrations in this post are Holly Hobbie...a favorite of mine when I was a child.  In fact my Holly Hobbie oven was one of my most favorite-tist (my word) Christmas gifts ever.  I baked many a cake for my daddy in that lil ol' oven!  Oh...and sorry about the pictures...I dislike using a flash but my camera wasn't being too cooperative in the dimly lit rooms. I actually thought I was funny though and broke it all down into chapters in case you get sick of reading and want to come back, clever right? {wink}!

Chapter 1:
Christmas Preparations at the Farmhouse
I finished making snowflakes that are entangled in the garland    on the staircase.  Painted, sanded, distressed and glittered with mica....a handmade country snowflake.

 I ended up with a few days to work on some crafts that I had started, I love to add a few handcrafted items to my decor each year.  Here's a Santa I made, he still needs his boots painted on, but you get the idea.  


and after.

My daughters and I made jewelry for their friends too, they get so excited and want to join in the gift giving.  We beaded up some necklaces, bracelets and earings and made a card to hold them, their friends all loved their gifts and my girls were so proud of themselves.

We finished up our holiday baking...
This is the recipe (idea) that was published in the Merry Christmas book from Gooseberry Patch...a quicker (if you can believe it) version easy to do with little ones...chocolate covered marshmallows....
my son put the M&M touch on top.


The week before Christmas my neck of the woods was hit with a beautiful snowstorm that washed our landscape in a fresh and sparkly clean blanket of white. 

Two feet of snow to be exact!  It is not too often that we get this type of snow storm here anymore. 

When I was a child there are quite a few that I can recall, tromping through the snow with my brothers and this storm reminded me of those childhood winters.  

It stayed with us long enough to have a
White Christmas....
it was such a wonderful Christmas gift!

The view out our front sitting room windows of the pretty children were sleeping when the snow began to fall, I awoke early in the morning to this beautiful view and quietly tip-toed downstairs to snap a few pictures while my hubs made a warm fire in the wood stove.

Here is what the kids saw when they awoke the next you remember how exiciting a snowfall was when you were a child?  I loved that!  Waking up to a white winter wonderland (say that 10x fast)!


Here is my hubs shovling us a path to the driveway!  Looks like he's having fun?  Hmmm, Not sure....poor fella, he got a warm mug of coffee and some Christmas Cookies for that!

You just cannot have snow without hot cocoa! Right?

 My little guy didn't last as long as the others and came in for warm cocoa with lots of marshmallows.

and left as Clark Gable with a chocolate mustache!  LOL, soo ca-ute!

Of course, there's always time for snugglin on the couch on a wintery day for a Christmas story!

Soon his sisters and friends followed......and this was the farmhouse winter porch
 Covered in snow gear.

The sun set on the paths left in the snow from a fun snow day,
only a few days before Christmas!

CHAPTER 3:  Santa Journeys to the Farmhouse,
in Spite of all the Snow!

Then came Christmas Eve.....Church service after dinner and then just before bed, my children are each given a present to open.  Each year they have to guess what is in the package before them!  Their responses get funnier each year!  Always new P.J.'s!  Same thing each year, but they still guess for fun anyway!

Santa's Sack filled with surprises for Christmas Morning.....

  Then On Christmas Morning.....
the children awoke hubs and I and down the dimly lit stairs we all went.....

The first view of the tree after Santa has visited!  Oh glory, the joy of being a child on Christmas morning! 

Standing in awe for the those first few moments....THE EXCITEMENT!

I have always explained the meaning of Christmas to my children as
Baby Jesus' Birthday Party when they were younger....

I am not sure my son fully understood what that meant in terms of gifts....getting gifts for Jesus' birthday he asked?  Boy was he surprised and pleased! 

He was a pro after those first few pedals!

My middle child, the artist.  Give her something creative and she will be busy for hours....
she's alot like her momma!


This is what you get when you drag a teenager out of bed at 7 am.....
even on Christmas morning....

she would be pretty upset if she sees this, he,he! 
Sorry honey, you don't need makeup (maybe a brush, lol, but no makeup).
I think you're beautiful just the way you are!
I know how ridiculously long the post is getting but I had to throw this one in for family members that read my blog. 

Does anyone see my hubs getting into playing with that helicopter? 
Nah, just showing his son the art of flying a toy helicopter, sound effects and all, ha! 


Who doesn't become a child all over again at Christmas?

After gifts, we have a family breakfast with my brother and sister-in-law before our large group of extended family arrives.
Here's the breakfast table all set with the Christmas dishes and a
minature deer in the snow scene centerpiece...
(yes, another minature scene)

My lil man rode his new tricycle around the house all day
until he was exhausted.....

Finally, all tuckered out from the excitement of Christmas, he fell asleep in my arms while I chatted with a few remaining family members Christmas evening before being put to bed. 

And then, as quickly as it all began....
it is over,
until next year.

It was a very nice Christmas we had here at the Farmhouse,
we are blessed beyond measure.  I hope that you and your family made some treasured memories on one of the most important holidays....

Well, it sure was nice of you all to visit me now that everything has settled down!  Hopefully we can have another visit before next year, but if not, I wish you all a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Years! 
May God bless you all in the coming year!

Take care now,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rocking around the Christmas Tree.......

"They're here, momma they're hear", my son is excitedly calling from the front door!

"Oh, Hi gals!"  I see that you have arrived safely at the farmhouse, come one in.  Hubs has lit up the porch so you could find your way! 

Here let me have your coat, you must be freezing I was hoping we would have some snow this evening but no such luck......just brrrr! 

Oh, I love the christmas bulb earings you're wearing, how festiveAnd look she has her bells on!  Well you gals sure do like a party! 

Well head on into the kitchen straight ahead for some warm spiced cider while I get the doorbell....go on, make yourself at home and warm your hands by the fire while we wait for the others! 

I'm so happy you all could make it!  I couldn't think of a better time of the year to get together.  Can you hand me those oven mits on the island there?  Let me get those appys out of the oven, a little someting easy I whipped up to munch on.  There's some veggies and dip for you skinny gals on the table too, he, he!  Nothing against skinny people, you know I love ya'll!  I was one myself not too long ago but temptation has gotten the better of me in the kitchen!

The warm artichoke dip?  I love to serve this at the holidays..... Isn't that good?

here's the recipe...

serve with some crusty bread. 

Yes, that kitchen tree is sitting in an old cracker tin I picked up this past summer.  For many years it sat in an old crock but this is much bigger and keeps it steadied, girls can you belive I picked up those adorable heart ornies at dollar general?  They were the perfect colors for my kitchen tree, and at that price!  Now, I don't know about all of you, but I have 3 kiddos and I prefer not to spend alot on my ornaments or make them myself.  I'll spare you all about the year the tree came down, he, he, we can laugh about it now!

By the way.....Have any of you gals stopped in to see Ms. Joni over at Centenial Farmhouse  Her farmhouse looks like a postcard!   What about Cathy at Cobblestone Farm?  Oh the color that girl uses...amazing!  For some awesome decorating ideas check out my friend Linda's blog and while your there check out her store, she make the most beautiful bags, and there are little kits you can purchase, perfect for a winter's eve project!   Love Cottagey style....go see Cynthias Cottage Design she owns that style!

Just listen to us all carryin' on like a bunch of hens!!!  ((giggle)).  Now ya'll come on into the living room here and make yourself comfy, we're only waiting on 2 more gals.  The fire is roaring in the woodstove to keep the whole farmhouse toasty warm.

Those of you who have read my blog for a while now know that I love my cloche and that I like to change it out for the seasons.  In fact, I love to decorate with miniature vignettes here and there all over my house.  Hmmmm....I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I'm a shorty pants, lol! 

This scene under the cloche reminded me of our farmhouse in the snow with the front porch on it.....

Yes, that is a mason jar, sooo easy.  My little church scene, it looked just like our old fashioned country church so of course I wanted it, I wanted a whole tree's worth but they just didn't have enough! 

This  mason jar was picked up at an antique store about 9 years ago, I loved the rusty bale and chipped glass top, it has held everything, from wild flowers to christmas trees.......soo simple and inexpensive. Scrapbooking supplies are great additions to your displays....not just for scrapbooks!

Short on snow?....use espson salt...very inexpensive and comes in cartons....I think it is much easier to clean up too, since it doesn't fly away!

This front sitting room holds our twiggy tree.  I have alot of homemade ornaments on it.  Frames with quotes and reminders about the purpose of the season, Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!  I made the beeswax flowers about 12 years ago, can you believe they go into a box of decorations each year and are stored in the attic of our storage barn.  Each year they come out perfectly fine!  They won't melt!  When they are next to one of the christmas lights they heat up and give off a faintly sweet smell. 

We used to have a real tree in here and I loved the way it smelled with the pine.  Now we have to just use a yankee candle instead!  How about you all, do you have a real or fake tree?  I will go back to a really real one some day, when my children are older.  The pinecones are from our property I made years ago and dusted in glitter and strung on the tree....simple.  Anyone making or made their own ornies?  Whatcha workin on?

Our mantel in this room is fake greens, snowflakes I painted, distressed and dusted with mica glitter a few years ago.  Small frames holding holiday sayings printed out on the puter' are mixed in amongst the greens. 

My Great, Great, Aunt Ann's nativity set, one of my favorite treasures because she was so dear to me.  I have alot of her vintage ornaments too, like this one on my hutch along with my small

collection of glittered belsnickle Santas.....  Do you have any christmas collections, you add to each year?

Some Dessert?  Oh, come on, it's Christmas, CELEBRATE

Deserts are set out here in my small baking closet.  It was inspired by Aunt Ruthie from Sugarpie Farmhouse, previously known as Warm Pie Happy Home, a sweet woman with the most beautiful farmhouse, I just love her and her style!

  I showed it earlier in the year when I turned it into a pantry closet but it was originally a baking center with matching kitchen cabinets and now I have turned it back!  I have found that keeping my baking stuff all in one place really helps save me time and I can get down to the baking! 

A picture of my girls in front of the tree when they were little.......

I am so pressed for time this holiday season, making signs, christmas shopping, wrapping, parties, three children, you know the deal.  I still wanted to keep with the tradition of baking with my family so I am narrowing down my cookie list to one or two must have family recipes, (homemade sandies are a must).  For the rest I am relying on fast and easy!  We cannot do it all ya know!  When I try  to I burn myself out and the holiday flies by as fast as a feather in the wind!  I have to prioritize what I can get done realistically and stay on track or my mind wanders! 

I found the betty crocker website a wealth of resource for those type of cookie can go to the Betty Crocker website and find the top 20 holiday cookie recipes for delicious and easy recipes.....gotta love Betty, she knows how to help a momma out!  Just look at the virtual cranberry orange cake (from their website) that I made for ya'll!  ((Giggle)) These virtual parties are maybe too easy!

Do you simplify and prioritize your holidays to keep sane during the holidays?  Any changes you made this year from last? 

Gooseberry Patch cookbook and Christmas books also have alot of wonderful fast, easy and creative ideas.  I keep mine handy in this old enamelware pot to peek through while I sip on my morning coffee.  I actually have a recipe (really a simple idea) that I have mentioned before, that was published in one of the Christmas books, let me know if you find it gals!  I'll try to post it up before Christmas....

Have a seat in the dining room with your cake......what's that?  Oh yes, I love the bottle brush trees, you see them everywhere here.  I even popped a few into my tea cups in my china cabinet! 

Here is our Family room, this is where I keep our large tree,and where our family congregates to  watch our Christmas movies by the fire.  It's the unexpected touches that are the always the most fun! 

I have a vintage theme going on this tree, the tinsel reminds me of my childhood Christmas trees, only I use white lights.  What do you girls prefer white or colored lights? 

Another miniature....a village in my hutch.....  I don't go nuts with it but I try to add a small accent piece each year.  I love the old fashioned houses and stick to those mostly.  I'll try not to bring up the houses that were dropped a few years ago.....ugh....a decorating tragedy!

I have these large glass lamps in here that I display things in for the seasons.....vintagey snowmen this year. These can be made from any large jar fitted for a lamp top.


Another mantel decorated with garland lightly dusted with snow and old fashioned candlebulbs.

An old tool chest picked up at another antique show for $5, mmmhmmm thats right $5!  I made it into a holiday arrangement with the addition of green picks a candle lamp and a few accessories.  I made a few of these for gifts one year but I picked up new boxes and painted and distressed them to look old added a few vintage items. 

Anyone else making some handmade gifts this  year?  I am planning on bagging up some of these pails of snowballs I made for a few people among other things! 

I just love handmades, the love and time that goes into them you can enjoy it for years to come.....

Well our little party is almost over, thank you all for stopping by, I sure did enjoy the time with you!  Be sure to stop back into the kitchen and grab a ginerbread man! 

Have a safe trip home and



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