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Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category

Christmas is quickly approaching.  I think I’m done (OK, to be honest I have a couple of presents to wrap for sister and BIL).  I boxed up all the cookie tins and they are ready for delivery.


I still have to clean up all the nonpareils that are coating my floor.  But I’m happy that I had Ella’s help with the cookies this year.

I’ve missed her help these last few years.

 

As usual, Ella did a great job on the tree.  It’s nice not to have to climb up and down on the chair any more.

And of course, with Merry here for her Christmas visit, we never know what we’re going to find.

The night before we got the tree, the elves thought Ella missed a spot when we moved the cubby.

Then hanging out with Ella’s new gnome decoration that we found at the Pakenham General Store on the way home from the tree farm.  By the way, if you watch the Halmark Christmas Scavenger Hunt movie, you’ll see ‘our’ tree farm a number of times (including their covered bridge).

Then last Saturday while Ella was at a sleepover with her girlfriends in Arnprior, the elves had a serious looking meeting with all the stuffies!

And finally, last week we FINALLY got some snow.  It looks like Christmas.  Everywhere looks like a Christmas card.  Though we didn’t need the sudden drop to -32C (-25F) windchill that we had the other day.

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The Christmas cookies are all done (as many as I’m doing this year anyway) and 3 of the tins are already delivered.  The kitchen is nearly put back in order (ran out of drying space).  I need to start wrapping this afternoon.  It looks like Mom’s sweater is not going to be finished on time (I hate doing sleeves).  Good thing she’s understanding.  I need to work out my cooking menus/schedule for the 24th and 25th.  I wish I had a bigger fridge.  Belinda and Stefan arrive on Sunday.

I thought I’d give you a tour around today…

Our tree just isn’t right until I find a nice strong branch for my Christmas house.  My best friend’s mom made it back in 1977 when we were 6 and had just met.   Hopefully, we’ll get to hang out when I’m back in Bowmanville during Christmas.

This is another one made by Charlynne’s mom, but for Belinda.  Yeah, I know, it should be on Belinda’s tree or Mom’s.  The first Christmas we were married I was feeling alone and missed seeing my sister’s ornaments on the tree. So Mom let me have a couple of these ones.  My sister’s not as sentimental as me, so it works out.

Dad gave us this one after Colin’s Mom died.  It’s an old tin ornament that once belonged to Ella’s great-great-Grandma Fletcher.

This is another one from Charlynne, but is rather special.  It’s made from the leftover candle stubs from our church in Bowmanville!  I thought that was really cool.

This is a new tradition I’ve started.  This is our ‘memory angel’.  I made her for Isobel.

The Advent tree continues to get more festive.

Our Little People nativity.  I think I will miss this once I get my knitted one finished (or started TBH).  Merry’s checking things out too.  What else has she and Faith been up to?

We caught them in the tree one morning.  Also checking out Ella’s stocking -maybe taking measurements?

This morning we found them nibbling on Ella’s gingerbread house.  Yesterday they were getting ready to use cookie cutters on the fruitcake!  Oh what mischief these elves get into when we’re asleep.

Ella’s funny, the older she gets the more shy she acts around Santa.  They had a good chat.  The mall lets you take your own pictures, which I appreciate.

This one is better, but I’m back on my darn inhalers, so it’s blurry  😦

Guess that’s about it.  Time to quit procrastinating and get back to work.  Hope your holiday preparations are going well.  Don’t forget to enjoy the last days of Advent.

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This is why farmers don’t make plans (Colin comes up with ideas, not plans).  Colin bought a ‘new to him’ cultivator and it was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday.  So we planned thought we’d go get our tree on Thursday, before the cold weather arrived on Friday.  We had decided to get our tree a little earlier this year.  The firs last so long and look so pretty, I hate to take them down after the Christmas holiday.  Some years our tree stays up well into January -even though it takes up valuable living room space.   Monday we still hadn’t had confirmation from the trucker so Colin called the salesman.  Well, it seems the trucker didn’t pick up the cultivator until last Friday.  There was no way it was getting to our house for Tuesday, ‘probably Thursday’.  So quick change of plans and we headed out for our tree on Tuesday.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.  The temperature was perfect (-1C) , just a nice bit of snow on the ground, and picture perfect flakes falling down.

This is a picture from our first time at Cedar Hill Tree Farm, back in 2012.  Look how young Ella looks!

And here’s the picture from this year!  Sigh…

The scenic route to the tree field.

Future Christmas trees.

Apparently it was exhausting finding the perfect tree.  That’s Ella on the sled.

Though, she found energy for tubing.

She’s still moving in this one.  She got a great distance.

And the long hike back up the hill.

Back inside for a hot lunch.

Ella had to be patted-down for bunnies before we left.  The one bunny was adorable.  It would hop over and reach up to Ella, just like a cat!  I’ve never seen one want to be picked up and snuggled.

 

As usual, it’s hard to get the whole tree in the picture because my living room is so small.  The trunk has a bit of a dip which makes the tree look like it’s leaning towards the corner a bit.  It’s not too noticeable in person.  I think we need more lights.  I also wish they wouldn’t trim the trees so much.  They are getting a bit thick for my taste.

Thursday was St. Nicholas’ day and Merry decided that would be a good day to finally arrive.  She brought a bag of ‘gold’ too.  So far there hasn’t been too much mischief.

 

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O Christmas Tree

The days are whirling by a mile a minute and I just realized I forgot to share our tree.  We had to wait for Daddy to be finished combining corn so we were a little later than I hoped.  Also, it was a bitterly cold day -20C plus windchill.

Cedar Hill Christmas Tree farm has new wagons this year.  They have a very low step so now I can get in without a helpful ‘shove’ from Colin.

As usual, we decided on the first one Ella picked out -after traipsing around looking at a bunch of other trees.  Colin had a hard time cutting the tree down this year because the trunk was frozen (the saw might not have been the sharpest either, but no one listens when I say to bring ours!).

Back inside to warm up with some lunch and hot cocoa.  Ella and Daddy went out and did some sledding too.

The tree seemed bigger out in the field.  Oh well, Ella did a fabulous job like always just with fewer decorations.  I like my new garland for the door way.  I got it at Michaels for 50%.  It’s holly leaves and berries.

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Crafting On this week is my poor scarf with yet another pattern.  I really wasn’t ‘digging’ the Versailles pattern.  Looked around and actually found a pattern that I had purchased a long time ago but never used.

The elves have been up to their usual mischief.

Though one day they tried to help dust.

And just when you think they’ll be helpful this Advent…

They get into Daddy’s Turtles!

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Christmas is Coming!!!

Well, Christmas is still a while away, but do you know what is fast approaching?  Stir-up Sunday!!  November 26 we’ll be busy chopping and mixing.  I’ve shared the Christmas pudding recipe before but a reader has pointed out that I didn’t share the Christmas cake one.

This is my Great Grandma’s recipe.  People love it, it’s a nice mix of cake and fruit and nuts.

Christmas Cake

1 cup butter                                                 1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup                                    2 1/4 cup flour

4 eggs, beaten                                             1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup strawberry jam                            1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon                                       1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp mace                                                1 cup currants

All the following need to be chopped fairly fine:

1 cup raisins                                                 1/4 cup candied lemon peel

1/2 cup citron                                              1/4 cup candied orange peel

1/2 cup glace cherries                              1/2 cup nuts (I usually use walnut)

* there was a time I could buy all the peel separately at Bulk Barn, but now they only seem to carry ‘mixed peel’ which ticks me off.  So now I buy 1 cup mixed peel.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the corn syrup and eggs and give it a good mix.  Stir in the jam.  Mix the dry ingredients (sprinkle a little of the flour on the chopped fruit to keep them from clumping) and add to the wet.  Stir in the chopped fruit/nuts.  Pour into a greased & lined 9×9″ cake pan.  Cover with brown paper after the first hour.

Bake 275F for 3 hours.

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yarnalong_gsheller_aqua

Wow, it’s been a busy week.

Off to get our tree last Tuesday.  Had to stop for our annual height chart picture.

Ella found a great tree.

Just a nice amount of snow this year -so much better than last year’s rain.

Ella loved the snugly bunnies in the cafe.  This one is named licorice.

Before we left they hit the hill a couple of times.  Ella thinks they need an escalator.

Ella did a great job decorating the tree (Daddy did lights and garland).  My job is unwrapping the ornaments.

The Elf mischief continues.  Who knows where we’ll find them every morning.  Luckily we caught Faith before she stared to nibble Ella’s gingerbread house.

And now for the reason you’re reading this, my knitting for Yarn Along this week:

Some Christmas socks for Colin.

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Busy this week so I guess I’ll do a Yarn Along/Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real combo post.

I whipped up some snowflakes for Ella’s 2 skating coaches.  They haven’t been starched in this picture yet.  I love making snowflakes.

Decided to make another Christmas present after all.  I’ve seen this style of sock in a lot of the old pattern books I collect.  They are usually called bed socks.  Very fast, no heels like a tube sock.  I think it’s cool the way the pattern makes it look twisted.

Tuesday we gave up waiting for snow and headed out to the tree farm for our Christmas tree.  Cedar Hill is one of the few places that have their own fir trees.  Most tree places bring in firs.  It was a bit drizzly and windy.  Actually at times the wind was blowing the rain sideways and made it almost look like snow.

This is NOT what it should look like waiting for the tractor.

Got to have our annual picture.  I’m not getting taller, same can’t be said for Ella!

Look who needed measured too?

Waiting for our hot dogs and chili while sipping on our hot cocoa.

My Pretty girl -just because.

Stopped in Pakenham to check out their cool general store.  It’s been in operation since the 1840’s.  It’s very cool inside.  Not much has changed (except the products).  Upstairs is all sorts of decorative things.

Boy cranking your machine by hand would be a hard way to work.  Especially since I like to use two hands to guide the material.

Deliberately picked a little smaller and less full tree this year.  Tim’s still very much a kitten and we didn’t know how he would behave.  Ella decorated the tree this year.  We kept the bottom fairly bare so we wouldn’t tease Tim too much.

What does Tim think of it all?  Well most of the time he thinks it’s a great place for a cat nap.  Figaro loved to sleep at the back side of the Christmas tree too.

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Friday we headed out for Pakenham to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.  We love going to the Cedar Hill Christmas tree farm.  It’s the best place around.  Daddy always takes this picture to see if ‘Momma has grown’.  As we can see, I’m still the same.

We got a bit of snow on Wednesday (and Pakenham got a bit more than we did).  So conditions were beautiful.  Though the trees were really loaded with snow.

Patiently waiting for Daddy to cut down the tree.  The temperature was great, just a bit of a breeze.

Hauling the tree up to the pick-up spot.

Ella and her souvenir snowball.  I convinced her to leave it at the farm.

The farm was settled in the 1820’s.  This is the original farmhouse.  I love all the windows.

Sledding was a bit slow with the deep snow.

But after a few Daddy passes, they were flying.

Lunch -hot dogs (chili for Momma) and hot cocoa.  Perfect after all the snow fun.

Then back outside for a bit more fun.

This is Ella ‘stuck’ in the drainage pipe.

While watching the fun, I caught an almost perfect snowflake on my mitten:

Ready to head home…

All tuckered out.

Saturday after the tree had rested and melted.  Daddy put on the lights and garland and then Ella did everything else.  I think I literally put on 2-3 decorations.  She does such a nice job.

Oh yeah,

Merry has already been caught fooling around in the tree!

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Advent Reading

I forgot to share our Advent reading with you.  Since last week we’ve been reading:

The Snow Princess

Let It Snow

Night Before Christmas

Gnome’s Christmas

Santa Mouse

Santa’s Surprise

Christmas Trolls

The Christmas Baby

This week we finish up our reading with:

Littlest Snowman

Madeline’s Christmas

Raggedy Ann’s Christmas

Christmas with the Mousekins

Littlest Angel

Polly’s Christmas Present

Little Women (little kid version)

Berenstain Bears -Old Fashioned Christmas

Reindeer’s First Christmas

Berenstain Bears -The Nutcracker

A Magical Christmas

The Christmas Story

Merry Christmas, Emily

Bruno in the Snow

Jingle Bells

Pioneer Christmas

The Christmas Stocking

Listen, Said the Donkey

Splendiferous Christmas

Rudolph

Mary Englebret -Night Before Christmas

Santa’s Key

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