Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Welcome to the neighborhood... so glad you stopped by. What's that you say? You are only here because your car is stuck and you followed the smoke from our chimney looking for shelter? That's what I was afraid of... For a second there, I thought I might finally be able to escape the mountain!

Maybe if I pick up enough momentum, I can roll right through the pasture, and snowball into town.

There is just something about Cows in a Blizzard that mooooves me so! (sorry, its my Dad's fault, that "Whitty" streak still leaks out now and then).

Now where did that darn firepit go? I know it's around here somewhere...

See? There's the picnic table. I knew I was in the right spot!

A merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night, said the girl out wading through snow drifts in her flannel pajamas and red snow boots...

(I am seriously lo-si-ng it! Going looney... koo-koo! Apparently, I'm only a hermit when I have the option to leave.)

A New Sampler in the Works

Much to my delight, I discovered that I can still stitch a sampler, even with a cumbersome bandaged index finger (which is healing nicely). I had chosen to stitch my next large-scale sampler model on a pretty loosely woven 28 count linen, so I don't have to be quite so nimble with my fingers to accomplish something. Whew! So, although I will be falling a bit short on hand-made Christmas gifts for the year, I can give you a sneak peek at my next design...

I jumbled it all up with my photo program...tee hee!

It will measure roughly 12 by 15 inches, and is a charmingly naive motif sampler based loosely on an antique sampler which I fell in love with because it featured, of all things, CAKES!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oy Vey...

We lost power for about 45 minutes last night around 9pm. We had already shut most everything down, because the lights had been flickering so much. So when it was restored so quickly, I think we got a little over-confident. We should have instead been filling every empty container with water and pre-brewing our morning coffee.

We lost power once again sometime in the wee hours of the morning, and it was out ALL DAY LONG, as well as our phone line. We have a wood stove as our primary source of heat, so we were warm, and our pantry is relatively well stocked, but try keeping a pre-schooler and pre-toddler AND restless husband happy all day while the snow continues to dump outside. I am bushed!

Now that the power has been restored (I let out a war-whoop that was so loud I am certain the PGE crew heard it from the road!), we once again have filled our containers with water, we have eaten a hot meal, and are trying to get caught up on the other things that matter... like YOU!

Here are some more photos. These I managed to get onto my Facebook page before losing power yesterday, so some of you have seen them already...

Birds of a Feather, flocking Together... Dove, Junco, and Bluejay:

Ice-glazed snow...

The house at night... Beth getting tricky with a tri-pod and time-lapse!

Ice daggers on the pumphouse.

And the snow continues to fall...

We now have 20 inches on the ground (with several more days of snow in the forecast- this is OREGON, people!). You should have seen me on my walk today, forging through the snow, which was up to my knees. I felt like an old battle-axe! But I got some more great photos, and if the power stays on, I will get them posted later tonight. But first, I am going to go finish making some chocolate chip cookies for our neighbor, who had already pulled half a dozen large broken branches off of our driveway before we even knew they had fallen.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are you Tired of my Snow Pictures Yet?

Too bad, because here come some more! :)

I wish I could show Little Mister making his very first snow angel, but my battery drained so quickly in the cold that we didn't get any. Methinks there will be plenty more opportunities in the next several days.

Here I go, kids napping, and I'm off to explore in the tallest boots I own. At this point, we had about 11 inches, and I barely kept my boots from filling with fluffy powder snow...

The waterfall and fish pond are looking a bit Creepy:

I love how lacey the Hemlock branches look all coated with snow.

Anyone for a Hot Dog and S'mores roast? I'm sure the firepit is still there...

Lovely in white.

Chain up, put on your tallest boots, and stop in for a visit!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Special Ornament

In a previous post I mentioned our tradition of letting the kids pick an ornament each year. Well, my Girl has simply not been very interested in the store displays, so I decided to do the searching on her behalf. I was shopping specifically for one with butterflies on it, and found an artist in the UK who had a butterfly ornament on etsy that actually looked Christmas-y. When it arrived a few days ago, I found it to be even prettier in person, and my Little One, who obviously has developed amazing taste already, LOVED it! Now our tree is complete for the year.


The photos I posted last of the snow are starting to look pathetic compared to our current view. We now have 12 inches, and the forecasters are predicting another 9-12. And yet the backyard is chock full of twittering little chickadees, enjoying the snow!

The view through our back doors (through the glass- I'm not opening the doors, nosirree... brrrr!)

I don't think we'll be going anywhere anytime soon...

But we are thankful for John Deere, and the ability to "stay on top" of the snow accumulation on the driveway (plus Matt thinks its fun!).

Someone neglected to bring in the clothesline this Fall...

Not only is the snow providing an obstacle to our mobility (we live on a slightly steep rural road, and there are already a few abandoned cars at the bottom of our hill), but now I have gone and done something completely idiotic and careless. I sliced my index finger on a tin can last night, and apparently quite deeply. It is throbbing, and when I tried to take the bandage off this morning, the bleeding was still prolific. Did I mention that it was my index finger on my RIGHT hand? So much for getting the last of my Christmas stitching and papercutting done; there is at least one person who will be getting a gift certificate instead of a completed gift. And typing with only 9 fingers isn't the easiest either! *sigh*

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Snow Has Finally Arrived

A strange winter pattern has been giving snow, ice, and freezing temperatures to the lowlands around Portland for the last few days, and here, where you would think the snow would be piling up... nothing. Much to Jack's (and my!) consternation. But finally, this morning, we awoke to a world of white.

Matt has been very good about keeping the bird feeder full of seed this winter. These little birds were grateful!

Our old barn always looks so pretty with a coat of new fallen snow.

The winter garden...

Maybe it will be a White Christmas again this year...

The colored lights on the back deck covered in snow. I think they look good enough to eat!

Can it Be??? My Baby is THREE!!!

It has gone by so very fast and yet it seems like he has been a part of our life for so much longer.Our Firstborn surprised us by arriving 3 weeks early, born at 9:45 in the morning on December 17, 2005. We didn't even have time to pack our bags for the hospital stay, and he was born during an ice storm! We should have known back then what an energetic, talkative, persistent, little man he would become. He is a delight to us... such a sweet and caring little person while also having the usual incorrigible quality of a preschool aged boy!

Here he is at 1 week, 1 year, and 2 years old:

Having a birthday so close to Christmas can be a bit tricky. I don't want him to ever feel like his special day was "lost" in all of the holiday festivity, so we made it a big deal all day long. We started out by sneaking into his room the night before and hanging a big banner, so that it was the first thing he saw in the morning. His first words, "Mama! There's LETTERS in my ROOM!"

His Daddy took the day off of work, so we were all home together. He played with new toys...

Got to pick out all of his meals (salami, pepperoni, bacon and pineapple pizza for dinner!)

I had to sneak in a picture of Little Sister. Anyone who has followed this blog for the last 11 months will recognize the pose:

This is my attempt at a "Toby" cake. See the little die-cast figure that I used as a model?

Don't let that number 7 confuse you... He is indeed only 3... the number 7 is Toby's particular number, and it has nothing to do with the birthday boy, other than had I left it off, a certain someone would have noticed and been a little upset at the inaccuracy.

He wanted to eat Toby's face first...

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy... I am SO very glad that you are ours!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Language of a Preschooler

Says the Boy, "Mama, my ning-nail is bloken. Could you get the Snappers?"

11 Months Old!

Our little sweetie is showing her personality more every day. She loves to give hugs and kisses, follows her Big Brother around the house, and is even starting to talk... when she feels like it, that is!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Trimming the Tree

For the first time, our Boy got to hang his own ornaments on the tree this year! Note the burlap coffee bags under the tree stand. We are a coffee family through and through...

Followed by a mug of hot cocoa with Daddy...

After Jack was asleep, Matt and I finished decorating the tree.

This one is for all of my fellow sampler-lovers out there...

This had us cracking up! It was completely un-planned, honest! I hung the reindeer in a low hole on the side of the tree, and he later hung the feed sack not realizing that he hung it so strategically. I'm afraid this will be a new tree tradition...

Now I am going to share some of my favorite tree ornaments with you:

The circa 1970's Angel-with-Bell ornament that so many children from that era were given. It was always my most favorite to hang on the tree, because it had MY NAME on it!

Anyone remember Shrinky-Dinks? Wish I knew how old I was when I made this... it has hung on my tree every year since.

The blown glass ornament made from Mt. St. Helens ash that Matt and I picked out together the day he proposed to me (I said YES!). Our first official date was an all-day visit to the mountain, so he picked it as the site for our engagement as well. (Maybe that's why our First was born during an ice storm, and our Second's birth was commemorated with a tornado... Note to self: volcanoes may not be the best place to accept marriage proposals)!

The resin penguin ornament hand-painted by my cousin Holly when she was just 12 (such talent!). Three years later, she lost her decade long battle with leukemia. I miss her.

The old pineapple colored ornament I found at an antique mall several years ago...

My very first attempt at cross-stitch. This one has been hidden away for years, because it really isn't all that pretty, but it has become priceless to me this year in light of my new venture of selling my cross stitch designs.

A pretty glass ornament that my Grandmother picked out for me a few years ago...

And last but not least, the ornament that our Boy picked out when he was just shy of 1 year old. It is silly and sparkly, and he just couldn't take his eyes off of it!
Because of this ornament, each year not only will the kids get one special ornament from their parents, they will also get to pick one out themselves for their collection. I will be dating each one to add to the yearly joy of unpacking and trimming the tree.