Saturday, December 31, 2011

Falvia de Luce entertains me

I first blogged about Flavia de Luce here. I was entranced with 11-year-old Flavia and her unusual skills and ability in solving mysteries while having adventures. Time passed by and I was unaware that Alan Bradley was busy writing sequel after sequel after sequel. That meant catch up reading time during the month of December after I became aware that there was more Flavia de Luce.

I read them in order and realized that Flavia was living out her 11th year book by book and season by season.

So it seemed appropriate that as Christmas approached that I was back in time with Flavia while snow was falling and Christmas was coming to the ancient country house of Buckshaw, home of the de Luce family for centuries. Yes, there was a murder to solve and tense moments, but Flavia made it all so entertaining.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas projects

Christmas isn't Christmas for me unless there are a few hand created Christmas projects. This year I made "fancy" dresses for my granddaughters and their American Girl dolls. I used the sewing patterns which were sold 20+ years ago when the American Girl dolls were first introduced by Pleasant Company. Fortunately, these patterns have been converted to a PDF format and are available on the Internet. This dress was adapted from Addy's tartan plaid fancy dress pattern.

I found the beautiful blue duponi silk in a remnant bin and had just enough for three dresses. I used a different color silver edged ribbon in the galloon lace to differentiate each dress. Each girl also received a pair of dressy black doll shoes and a Christmas accessory AG kit which included a miniature version of "The Night Before Christmas" by Jan Brett, a purse, a necklace, and some earrings.

The pattern directed that the sleeves be gathered with elastic. I've found that the elastic stretches out over time, so I adapted the sleeves to have a narrow band lined with ribbon trim.

I also found some silver fringe to add to the ribbon sash, just like the one on Addy's dress.

My son-in-law, Andrew, and daughter, Janae, also made the girls American Girl doll beds.

The garage workshop was a busy place as they cut, sanded and sanded some more, and then painted these adorable stacking beds. They can easily sit on each other to form bunk beds. So cute! My daughter also sewed together mattress pads and pillows.

This is my special "just for me" project. The wool nativity is large, about 12 X 30 inches. I used this pattern from Under the Garden Moon to create it from wool pieces. My son-in-law made me a custom frame while he had the miter saw going in the garage. My daughter painted the frame with Martha Stewart gold paint with a darker wipe off glaze. It will look beautiful on my golden wheat hued living room wall next Christmas.

Next step? Vacuum and sweep up all that sawdust!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Christmas highlights

Here are some last pictures of Christmas 2011. Julianna gives a "thumbs up" for Christmas dinner.

Glen, Raymond, and Henry deliver cookies to our immediate neighborhood on Christmas Eve.

Last minute painting in the garage. More about this project later.

Henry was a careful helper.

TJ sans braces and sporting his new elf hat.

New board games to play.

Toby spending time with Oscar before his new move.

Christmas is family time. Christmas is love. I thought it so appropriate that this sabbath Christmas, the wrapping paper and gifts were set aside as we attended church services and pondered our relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Lights

Last night I took pictures of the "high-lights" about the house. The lights of Christmas are one of my favorite parts of this season.

Husband, Glen, went all out this year. He passed on a few things and purchased some new.

The dog stayed, but the lime tree got new LED twinkle lights.

The big multi-pointed stars and cascading icicles are new.

He added to his "gum drop" Christmas tree collection. They also twinkle.

Together we looked on the internet until we found a special, simple nativity.

Perfect! I love how Mary is cuddling the baby Jesus.

I also love how Mary cuddles her baby in this video. This is one of several short videos being produced. Eventually the series will cover the entire life of Jesus Christ as depicted in the King James version of the Bible. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Henry as baby Jesus.

Raymond as Joseph and Sadie as Mary.

Julianna and Toby as wise men.

Janae was a manger for the baby Jesus.

Reverence to all.

Heather and Ruby as angels.

Oscar was a shepherd and Mabel was a camel. They were elusive.

Merry Christmas! I hope that your Nativity reenactment was as entertaining and joyous as the one we enjoyed. And too all a good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Doughnut Day 2011 and the first annual Jensen Family Olympics

Doughnut Day 2011 was much like Doughnut Day 2010 except that these two loving brothers decided that we needed some physical activity before making and eating calorie laden doughnuts. Nathan and David also wanted to race one another, so we met at Red Mountain High School track for the First Annual Jensen Family Olympics before traveling the additional couple of miles to Eric's house and kitchen for doughnut making. (Notice how David is dressed for the season?)

There was a variety of events for both young and old.

Fast and slow.

Boys and girls.

Cute cousins.

Best buds.

The oldest of them all.

And the BFFs.

They threw paper airplanes from the bleachers.

And threw sand on the track until the track coach told them to "stop it!"

A fun, fast day

for all kinds of footwear.

Then the children played, just like last year, while the adults rolled, cut, and fried dough.

David was the first fryer. Notice the towel covered pans in the background. We soon figured out the the doughnuts raised faster in the sun.

We were occasionally joined by reinforcements.

Really cute reinforcements.

This year the babies were walking.

Our three youngest grand children are growing up too fast.

Again, there was the bagging of fresh, hot doughnuts which were then delivered throughout Mesa and Gilbert.

Grandpa took over the second shift of frying after a nap on the living room couch. Nate was everywhere, and finished up with glazing.

This year we did follow last year's final decision and made one additional Bosch Mixer full of dough. It was a great decision! Each family also took home their own large pan of doughnuts.