Feeling the Holidays

Yesterday I was at JoAnns getting some fabrics, yarn and other things for students in my classes when I saw this:

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Ornament Kit

Immediately I thought … Earrings!!!  This morning I decided to put this thought into action.

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All the buttons and rings lined up.

First I lined up all the supplies.  And then added them to head pins.  Well…it made the earring too long.  I took out all the rings and they are perfect!

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Being worn!

I love these earrings and will be wearing them ALL day!

Christmas Stockings

I meant to share these yesterday as part of the SAL but I completely forgot.  I stitched these a few years ago.  Each one took me a little over a year (mostly because I got distracted and worked on other projects – kind of like the current one I’m working on!)img_4899

This one was made for my oldest child.img_4898

This one is for the second one.  I simply love these stockings!!  I have purchased the kits for all the rest of our kids as well as for my husband and I.  Good thing I like stitching them!

Christmas and Holiday Traditions-part 5-outings

There are several outings that we all take part of during this holiday break from school and activities.  It is so nice to be together and enjoy each other’s company without hurrying at all.

Christmas In The Park-San Jose

Christmas In The Park-San Jose

I have been going to Christmas In The Park every year since I was little and I love sharing it with my kids!

Santa sighting!!

Santa sighting!!

Santa made an appearance – we had to explain that it wouldn’t be practical for Santa to have his sleigh and reindeer on the street.

Natural Bridges State Park-Santa Cruz.

Natural Bridges State Park-Santa Cruz.

This is one of my very favorite places to visit.  I love to go at this time of year to see the Monarch Butterflies that are migrating.  They cluster in the eucalyptus trees and I find it amazing.

Beach Fun-Santa Cruz.

Beach Fun-Santa Cruz.

Beach Fun-Santa Cruz.

Beach Fun-Santa Cruz.

Dinner at West End Tap and Kitchen-Santa Cruz

Dinner at West End Tap and Kitchen-Santa Cruz

This was a new find for us.  The food was fabulous and the ambiance was great!

Hiking at Foothills Park-Los Altos with cousins and friends.

Hiking at Foothills Park-Los Altos with cousins and friends.

Our family loves to get out hiking and there are so many places for us to go around here.  On this day we brought my husband’s younger brother and family and also a friend.  Nothing better than sharing the holidays with family and good friends.

San Francisco Zoo.

San Francisco Zoo.

We have been taking this same photo – the kids with a baby elephant bronze sculpture – for so many years.  I have this same photo from back when we only had one kid!  We can put them all together and watch our family grow!

San Francisco Zoo.

San Francisco Zoo.

This is another one we take every year.  It’s right at the entrance to the Children’s Petting Zoo.

Arastradero Park-Los Altos

Arastradero Park-Los Altos

Obviously the kids are WAY faster than I am!  I really love all these tradition and look forward to them every year!

Christmas Traditions-part 4

Every Night Before Christmas all of us look forward to a few simple traditions:

Putting out food for Santa's reindeer.

Putting out food for Santa’s reindeer.

We all always go outside and put out reindeer food (oatmeal) for Santa’s reindeer.  Because, of course, the reindeer are also hungry after such a long night of work.

Cookies for Santa.

Cookies for Santa.

Milk and cookies left out for Santa.  Tonight we have thumbprint cookies and mint cookies.

The older girls setting out the gifts for the younger kids.

The older girls setting out the gifts for the younger kids.

After the youngers are in bed and asleep, the olders set out all the gifts.  These two big kids are so sweet!  They really look forward to this part of Christmas each and every year and place the gifts “just so”.

Christmas Traditions-Part 3-Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread houses are a huge part of our holiday traditions!!

Just the beginning.

Just the beginning.

It MUST be perfect.

It MUST be perfect.

Cousin Time!

Cousin Time!

Cousin Time!

Cousin Time!

All different sizes and shapes.

All different sizes and shapes.

The biggest house made so far!

The biggest house made so far!

14 year old and 16 year old.

14 year old and 16 year old.

As you can see, we use graham crackers for the buildings – I am seriously gingerbread challenged and cannot make good gingerbread to save my life!  The kids don’t seem to mind :o)

Christmas Traditions-Part 2-Baking

The kids love to bake at Christmas time.   We always bake on the night before Christmas so that we have cookies to leave out for Santa!

All the kids still get into the action.

All the kids still get into the action.

I totally LOVE that all the kids (even the 19 year old) still want to bake for Christmas!

Working so carefully.

Working so carefully.

Thumbprint cookies.

Thumbprint cookies.

I remember these from my childhood.  I would make thumbprint cookies with my grandmother every Christmas Eve – making them with my kids feels so good!

Mint Brownies.

Mint Brownies.

This was a new recipe that turn out FABULOUSLY and only lasted one day.

Christmas Traditions-Part 1 continued

It took us an entire morning to make all the salt dough ornaments that they all wanted to make – including me!  Next we had to bake them and paint them.

Our paint and Modge Podge to seal them and make them shiny.

Our paint and Modge Podge to seal them and make them shiny.

Paint tips.

Paint tips.

This year I bought these tips to make the details easier to paint.

Loving the painting!

Loving the painting!

Such concentration!

Such concentration!

Even 16 year olds still want to participate!

Even 16 year olds still want to participate!

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I made these and attached them to gifts for the kids.

I made these and attached them to gifts for the kids.

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14 year old boy gift to me!

14 year old boy gift to me!

Army of gingerbread men all in uniform.

Army of gingerbread men all in uniform.

Not painted yet.

Not painted yet.

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So much fun!!!  These last ones are ones that I made.  I didn’t have time to paint them, but they will be painted before next Christmas!