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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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