I Really Dont’ Want to be a Grinch

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I’m not sure when it happens, exactly. But, one by one we all grow up and the magic seems to slip away just a bit. Why is that?

While I was sweeping up the sugar granules crunching under my feet on the kitchen floor, Connor decorated Christmas cookies this past Saturday.  It made me recall how delighted my own daughters, nieces and nephews were “way-back-when” as they participated in Cousin Cookie Day. As I put everything away later that night I realized how beautiful his over-decorated, bumpy cookies were.

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Sunday, we attended my husband’s family holiday gathering held at a meeting hall. Afterwards, in my haste to clean up and get home, I threw out my car keys. Without complaint, George and my brother-in-law went on a dumpster-diving rescue mission. 

I was in a hurry to get to school on Monday as there was a lot to do. School-wide Advent wreath lighting. Carol Night and Live Nativity rehearsal. Santa Sale. Tic-Toc! I rationalized as I cut in front of another driver in the fast food drive-thru lane on my way to work. 

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I was late for the second time this week, when our neighborhood lost electrical power during the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I threw on clothes in the dark, cold silence and raced off to work. Because of my rude behavior on Monday, I chose a different drive-thru on the way to school. ;) “Are you ready for the holidays?” asked the cashier. “Nope.” She responded with, “Well, I’m asking everyone today. I’m letting them know that I’m not and that’s ok.” She admonished me to have a great day and genuinely wished me a wonderful holiday.  

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Then, it hit me – this stranger’s wisdom was exactly what I needed. Slow down. Be kind. Why rush? What’s the point of it all? I needed to slow down. It’s not about checking off lists. It’s about wonder and dreams and enjoying what we have. With wonder sparkling in their eyes, the little ones help keep us focused on what’s important.

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Children, sleeping.
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling,
Like bells in the distance.
We were dreamers,
Not so long ago.
But one by one, we
All had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away…
We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that’s playing.
There’s no time to waste,
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just believe.

-Believe, Polar Express. Written by written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri

I’m reminded to slow down and enjoy my family’s health and happiness. Have a great holiday (whichever holiday you choose to celebrate)! – – Joanne

Family Room: Fireplace Built-ins

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The second set of built-ins are in! Yay! To help control and hide toys, games and other “stuff” we ordered two  Barker cabinet sets. Located in Oregon, Barker builds customizable wood cabinets with high quality hardware at reasonable prices. We ordered two-door sink base cabinets.

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George cut and routed tops for each, which I stained a dark red mahogany, then added three coats of polyurethane.

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In order to fit the built-ins snug against the fireplace brick, George had to cut both mantel ends off.

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Talk about trepidation! But, as usual, he did a fantastic job! 

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With Thanksgiving and a business trip looming, George put together the cabinets and built the upper shelves. While he was out of town, I painted the cabinets, shelves and trim with two coats Glidden Gripper Primer & Sealer (love this primer) and three coats Behr Premium Ultra White, sanding between coats.

A fireplace surround and TV mount are our next projects – but after the holidays. ;) We found many DIY ideas online, but really liked the simplicity of Cameras & Chaos‘ wall mount plans. George got an early start on the wood “wainscot-like” TV cable channels.

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Family is coming to our home for Thanksgiving, and I wanted this room available for overflow. We screwed the last screw, pulled off painter’s tape and stowed the tools, paints and hardware this past Sunday.  We moved the furniture back in and filled the shelves. Just to see how far we’ve come, we started with this . . . 

BEFORE

BEFORE

. . . And have updated to this . . . 

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DURING

Whew! Just in time for turkey!

Have a great Thanksgiving! – – Joanne 

 Family Room: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

 

 

Upcycled Jean Quilt and This & That

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First, This & That:

So much crammed into one month.  Are your weekends busy, too? LOL . . . We are all so very proud of our son-in-law on his recent graduation. I marvel at those who balance their lives with work, raising a family, keeping house, the reserves AND complete university.  

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We celebrated our daughter’s and sister’s birthdays at a fav Mexican restaurant. The waiters presented my sister with a flan dessert and my daughter a shot of tequila. :)   #agediscrimination?  

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source: foodily.com


On a recent Saturday, I tagged along to a modern quilt club meeting with friends. Some amazing quilts were collected for the ALS Foundation. Very cool . . .  

 

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And now, on to the Upcycled Jean Quilt:

I’m stoked. I just completed my second quilt; a lap quilt for my grandson. Keeping to a simple pattern, I reused old jeans and added patriotic fabrics. I wanted to make a “boy” quilt for him to use on a cold winter evening while snuggling on the sofa.

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I’m still in the learning phase. Made plenty of mistakes.

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I learned that all jeans are not created equal; especially stretch denim. ;)  Who knew?

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I am fascinated by modern quilts. Getting ready to start my third quilt project. :)

Have a good week! – – Joanne

 

Ceiling Tile Works of Art

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I love to visit my school’s art room to see what the students are working on under the encouragement of our fantabulous art teacher. A recent project was painting ceiling tiles for the art room and hallways.

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I’m ah-mazed at the vibrancy, depth and skill these young people displayed in their works. I just had to share a few close-ups of the tiles with you.

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Can you recognize the budding Mondrian, Warhol or Lichtenstein?

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I wonder if I can sweet talk a few into my classroom domain? ;)

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I hope you enjoyed the mini-gallery display. :)

Have a good week! — Joanne

Bedroom Revamp Reveal

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Finally!  Our bedroom revamp is a reality! I’m still looking for door hooks and one chest needs a few replacement knobs. But, basically we are d.o.n.e! :) Thanks for stopping by to take a look.

 

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Happy Birthday Phoebe Darling!

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Phoebe Darling is such a little brat, but she’s MY little brat.

 

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Would you please just look at the camera?


This tiny spitfire is always busy. Her day consists of chasing her brudder pup, Douley, stealing borrowing Miss Pearl’s toys and bones and hiding them in her crate and burrowing behind the sofa cushions to nap.

 

Phoebe Darling, 2005, its cold..

All in a day’s work . . .


It can’t have been ten years ago that she wiggled her way into our hearts?!?

 

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5-week-old Phoebe Darling (far left)


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Happy 10th birthday sweet Phoebe Darling!