{pretty, happy, funny, real} Beginning to look a lot like the end of Advent!

 

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Oh my, it seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a chance to sit and post. The calendar is speeding forward faster than light (it seems) while I feel like we’re plodding slowly through our Advent to-do list like we’re in waterlogged boots.  In a swamp.  But not these boots:

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I got a great deal on these (read: 65% off retail!) and I am wearing them all the time.  In fact, the first time I went out to get the mail in them I stopped at the door, thinking I must be in my slippers because they were just that comfortable. Sorry, I digress.

I was going to get the pictures for this post and was puzzled to see about thirty blank or blurry photos saved, until I saw this one:
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And knew from the curl that Miss M was at it again! I love that blog nickname for her. Somehow it just fits.  Miss Spunkitude is another name I affectionately call her but it doesn’t look as good in print. With Miss M it can go so many ways, like Miss Mischief, Miss Marvelous, Miss Messy.  It all just depends.  And here I go again digressing–this is supposed to be an Advent catch-up post!

Ahem.

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I took a gamble and put my St. Nicholas candleholder out in the kitchen.  Yes, in reach of the kids. He’s tucked in a nook between a utensil jug and my oven, and save once I haven’t seen Sunshine near him. I’m kind of fond of this fellow; I am pretty sure I acquired him the year we married (or at least the year after) and I love the starry lights he casts. I didn’t want to hide him somewhere I couldn’t see those lights often.

Meanwhile, the Jesse Tree is up and smells wonderfully piney. With our Bible ornaments (laminated) and the felt ornaments from another countdown calendar, it’s looking pretty decorated.photo 4It’s my favorite kind of tree, too: the imperfect “Charlie Brown” variety. This one leans.

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My kitchen windowsill in December. I opted not to keep buying flowers during Advent and instead got these little trees.

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Looks rather cheerful from the upper deck.

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A new acquisition for our room was this Christmas cactus. It sits perfectly on our bedroom sill and adds a lot to the room. I have been forgetting just how much a small touch can improve things.

photo 1Back to the kitchen for a moment. My two Tasha Tudor Advent calendars flank my Susan Branch yearly calendar. The bare part of the wall is being filled with the kids’ British Christmas Village building-a-day countdown. I took this picture on Sunday but we haven’t gotten much farther, mainly because although they keep coloring, we haven’t taped them up yet.

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I have hardly knitted a stitch since Thanksgiving break. :( I tried to finish the second washcloth I began on the drive home only to have it unravelled twice when I left my knitting out in the open. Grr. So these skeins wait for me to have a second or two and begin again. This photo kind of reminds me of one of those “Need a Gift for the Knitter in your Life?” ads. The little bowl I found at Wal-Mart in their Hallmark “North Pole” display. That makes one other good thing to come from Wal-Mart besides the mulled cider candles.

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My Christmas goat collection! Haus Meister found the red fellow at IKEA (our new favorite store), the Annalee one came from my Mom (sorry it’s missing it’s saddle, Mom–Someone got to it when it was on the mantel last Christmas, which is why they are in my room this year), and the straw one came from my cousin. :)

The Gavlebocken still stands, by the way, as of time of post.

The LEGOs are beginning to show the spirit of things around here.  On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, St. Nick’s workshop appeared.

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But because we never seem to leave a design the same for two or three days running, by the weekend it was The Caballero’s Christmas Hacienda.

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Then Rascal made me a LEGO goat, which would have been displayed with my Christmas goat collection only it got assimilated into some other design shortly after this.

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Ok, that’s enough for now. I’m going to try and get more Christmas cards ready for the mail before I generally resemble the sweetheart below.  Hope you all have a happy rest-of-your-Advent!

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Pause for a prayer or two

Oh there’s so much I want to write about here. Trooper’s improvements over the year…. our Advent decorations…. Littlest’s first tooth…. but tonight those things fell into the background when I read the news that the Lenaburgs need our prayers.

Mary and Jerry and their son Jonathan have been caring for their Courtney for 22 years.  Courtney’s time with them can “now be measured in days.” Mary’s blog has been a real inspiration for me these past four or five years as I’ve followed her stories of the ups and downs, the joys, light, sorrows, and glories of being a special needs mom.

Courtney took a turn for the worse around September, not long after her 22nd birthday.  Her parents hosted a big bash for the birthday and asked all the blog readers and Facebook followers to send a card.  Rascal and Princess complied and ever since we’ve been keeping them in our prayers before school.

Won’t you please join us now as we keep vigil with them as their dear girl prepares to pass to Heaven?

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} in the first week of Advent

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Advent is here; I am now listening to Christmas music with abandon (shame on me) although I did download a new version of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” by two talented artists called “The Piano Guys” which is amusing because one of them is playing the cello.

So what’s new in these parts…

Pretty

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I turned my front door wreath into a perpetual Advent wreath! Or just until Epiphany, anyway. The banner above it was made by my sister and yes, it does read “Joy.” The “y” was blurred.

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In our little oratory corner I was able to put out our German Advent wreath. I am so happy to have this out again.  I promise it is not about to burn the ceiling. In fact, these candles are rather quick melting. Remind me next year not to order the Amazon.com special no matter how on top of it I feel. It’s five days into Advent and just lighting it for our family rosary has shortened that candle by half.

Happy

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While in my old hometown for Thanksgiving, we got to see our first snow of the season. It was nothing to the locals, who had already seen some, but to us it was amazing.

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We also enjoyed a trip to the Children’s Museum, with it’s “Jolly Days” in full swing.

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Cousins enjoying the slide in the Snow Castle.

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Checking out a mastodon skeleton.

Real

Switching “real” and “funny” here. I already told you what we found when we got to the parking lot of the Museum.

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Nota bene: if ever you’re visiting the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and they tell you there’s no room in their parking garage, avoid parking in their Waterclock lot. It may look safe being right next to the parking garage, but there’s no security camera on it, and anyone can drive in and out quickly.

To add insult to injury, it looks as though the thieves also rummaged around and found our nice camera.   And while looking through pictures on my phone, I found one with my knitting bag on our last afternoon together.

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Good bye, Armas. Good-bye, knitting bag.

I haven’t cast on a new sweater for my husband yet, although the needles are ready and I fished out some of the remaining balls of Istex Alafoss. Plus he spoiled me by having me google yarn shop locations on our way back home, and dropped me off at one that was 10 minutes from our route. Providentially there was a Chick-Fil-A at that exit so he drove around and got food for the crew while I shopped. On the way home I finished 1.25 washcloths.  I love using the “unavoidable delay” of travel like that.

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My helper. :)

Funny

Let’s end on a goofy note. Sunshine’s hair is starting to do this cute flip at the ends if you get it just right.

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Then I realized we were pretty much at the “Episode IV” stage again. Sigh.

Thank you, Google Images

Thank you, Google Images

Sweet Sunshine-girl, I don’t care if we keep your hair at your shoulders… just don’t cut it again when it gets there, please! ;)  And no, I don’t think I trust you with a lightsaber, either.

Alas, poor Armas….

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So today on the third day of our Thanksgiving break, I grabbed my knitting as we headed out the door, hoping to take advantage of a thirty minute trip to make progress on chart row 42 of this fun sweater. Why did I ever fear it?! Part of my concentration went toward enjoying my first peppermint mocha of the season, but then I did get a little farther through the round.

When we arrived at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for their Jolly Days, it was already crowded although it was thirty minutes after opening. We were told our van wouldn’t fit in the garage today so to use one of the outside lots. We chose the one closest to the parking garage and within sight of the attendants and went in.

This is related, stay with me.

We enjoyed our trip to the Museum. Dino had a blast (predictably) in the dinosaur exhibit. Trooper loved Scienceworks. Everyone enjoyed the Jolly Days and really just everything. Sunshine enjoyed the water play in Scienceworks so much that she got a new shirt in the gift shop because her dress was soaked. After four hours we returned to the van tired but triumphant.

To find a window busted out.

My passenger side window, to be precise. And before I looked I knew what I wouldn’t find, and didn’t. They stole my knitting bag! I suppose at a glance it looked like a purse. It had handles, it was up front. So was Haus Meister’s coat but they left it, and so was a grocery sack full of snack food. Our stereo was fine!

So on the one hand, the looks on their faces when they learned what they took the effort to break in and steal is pretty amusing to imagine… I’m betting they didn’t intend to steal my w.i.p., including Jane Austen themed stitch markers, and three more balls of Istex Alafoss Lopi.

But then I want to cry, because all that is sitting in a dumpster now somewhere in downtown Indianapolis. I’ll never see it again. And now we’re sleeping in a hotel with our van slated for an early morning repair.

And Sunday or Monday night I’ll pick up the balls of yarn I have at home and cast on the collar of Armas for the fourth time.

Blast. I would actually have been less hurt if they took the stereo.