Thursday, December 5, 2013

Are You a Village Person?

No, I'm not going to lead us all in a rousing chorus of YMCA, but you have to admit it's the first thing that comes to mind when I say 
Village People.

Are you one?

I admit, I am not.

My aunt had 2 villages, I think the Dickens and the North Pole and she had many pieces.  I always admired them and whenever I see them all set out in the store I love to look at all of the details.
But I never wanted one.

It requires a lot of space both to set up and to store.
I have lots and lots of other things I collect for Christmas.
And, I don't have the knack for display that is very much needed to make an interesting village.

With all of that being said,
let me introduce you to my village.
{sorry blurry pic, but I couldn't retake as the light got worse as the day wore on and it doesn't really matter as my display actually looks better if you can't see the details.}  

In case you can't tell, it's a Disney village.

My grands love the little villages that they have at their house.
So when I saw this Disney village that was it.  We have taken them to Disney the past 3 Januarys.  We are skipping this year because we weren't sure how Claire would do.  { You have to book so far in advance.  And there is that pesky thing called school too;-( }

But we plan to go in January 2015!!

So far I have 3 houses, with 1 more ordered and the plans are to have 5, one for each grand.  

They are really cute, and all of the accessories are cute too ~ just don't think I like it in my family room.

But it's here for this year and perhaps next year it will get moved upstairs to the kid zone.  With a couple of little kiddos we need to have it where we can keep our eye on it for now.

So, I still don't think I am a village person, but what I won't do to get the grandchildren all excited:-)

I'm almost done with the Christmas decorating.  13 tubs down, 7 to go.

Joining Richella for her Grace at Home Party.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Deck the Mini Halls

I took advantage of our beautiful weather to get my outdoor decorating done.  
The little house is ready for Christmas.

On the outside I have the same greens and wreath I've had for a few years.  They are all getting a little tired so perhaps I will get some new next year.

We talk about actually getting a different house next year, Bob will be retired and I think that would be a great project for him:-)

I love the look of this one though, and we don't have a very big area to expand.  The main problem with this one is the ceiling is too low.  So maybe we would sacrifice the porch and raise the roof.
I do have a lot of projects for him though so we will see where this one lands on the list:-)

The porch is cute, but wasted space.

I do love the heart window and this year I added some battery candles to the chandelier.  

Inside, it remains the same.
My vintage trays and the little tree snow globes I made last year adorn the shelf.
The tree and baking things fill the table.

My grandma's vintage mistletoe and elf hang from the ceiling.

This cute countdown is from the $ bin at Target.
This is the perfect spot for it.

That little peppermint light string that is so cutely hung with masking tape still lights up and plays music after 3 years.  I don't even take the batteries out ~ I can't believe it's not corroded.

How fun to introduce Claire to the playhouse!
It is just her size.

1 tub emptied, 19 to go.

I'm joining Richella for her Grace at Home Party,
and Maria Elena for her Tuesdays at Our Home Party.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Fun Begins

Our season began a little early this year, which suits me just fine.

We always take the grands to a Christmas play.  This year The Grinch was playing the weekend before Thanksgiving and so Bob and I bravely took the oldest 4 to the theatre.

The weather was very dicey that day, and we kept checking the radar to see if the dreaded ice was coming.  Our temperature hovered a few degrees above freezing so their moms let us take them.
{No way we would make that decision!  We always let the parents decide:-) }
And we were happy that it did not get icey and we were able to get there and back easily.  Or as easily as you can with 4 little ones.
The cold did prevent me from getting a good shot of the kids outside the theatre.  By the time we walked there we were all just a bit frozen so we just went into our seats.

You are not allowed to photograph during the show so I was only able to get this shot.
The show was adorable and the sets and costumes were so Dr. Seussish ~ we all loved it.

While we waited for the show to start I tried to get a few shots of the kids. 
This is what you get ~ 3 wiggly boys and 1 quiet girl:-)

Before we went to the show we had a few grinchy treats.

Ben and Elizabeth helped me make green chocolate chip cookies.  YUM

No one quite knew what our fruit was supposed to be ~ can't you tell it's the Grinch with a Santa hat?!

I served their little grinchy snack on these little snack sets I got at GW.  You see them every where at antique malls for about 4 or 5 dollars each, so when I saw a set of 7 for only $7 I had to buy them.
The cups were rimmed in green sugar.

Then for our grinch punch I used this green pop and ice cream.
It doesn't sound very appetizing to me but my gang thought it was delicious!

It's perfect isn't it?

So now with our Thanksgiving feast over, and our first holiday event under our belt we are ready to celebrate in earnest.

Tomorrow the goal is to finish decorating the trees.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 21, 2013

So Many Books, So Little Time ~ 4 ~ The Children's Page

Just because I haven't done a book post since April doesn't mean I haven't been reading:-)  I have, and since I had so many books to share I thought I would do this post on some of the children's books I've enjoyed.

Elizabeth loves to read and I like to pre read the books I give her.  I don't read each and every book I give, but I have been reading more lately just because I love to read children's literature.  I've always agreed with this quote from my favorite C.S. Lewis. 

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” 

Here are a few I've read.

These finish off the series of the Penderwick sisters for now.  I hear there will be 2 more titles in the series.  This is such a fun series about a family of sisters.  Elizabeth loved the first one and I know she will like these as well.  If you are looking for strong female characters these books are for you. 

These next 2 books were ones I saved from my girls.  I think I may have read them years ago, but decided to reread them.  

I am going to give Elizabeth Peppermints in the Parlor now.  It's an old fashioned mystery with lots of quirky characters.

This book was wonderful, but for a little older child.  It's about WW2 in England and a little abused boy who is sent to the countryside to escape the London bombings.  
Sweet, sweet story.

A fun book about the hunger of the children of a remote Alaska village to learn and of the teacher they loved. 

Another World War 2 book, this one set in France and it is about a small school hiding some Jewish children.  It's a short book and very good.

Elizabeth loved this sweet old fashioned book and I did too.  There are a few others in the series and I know we also read The Middle Moffat. 

This is supposed to be J. K. Rowlings favorite children's book.  It is an adult author that I really enjoy.

Another book from my girls' past.

Elizabeth likes many different series of children's books.  When your child  or grandchild is a voracious reader, series are your best friend!   Her mom has started her on many different series, but I have started her on a few of my old favorites.
 The first 2 are favorites from my era.

She really likes The Happy Hollisters.  There are about 40 books in the series and I have found lots of them in second hand stores "up north."  
{That's what we call the area our cabin is in ~ northern Wisconsin}  
The rest I bought on ebay.  I think I am missing 1 or 2.

This series was a favorite of my girls and she likes it a lot too, but as she is in 3rd grade now, we are steering her to more challenging books.
If you have a child just starting chapter books these are great ones for boys and girls.  

I use many sources for finding children's books.  I remember many books from my childhood, or from my girls'.  Of course now you can find all kinds of book ideas on pinterest too.  And then I use several books about books that have great suggestions.

My favorite is:  

I also use 

This is just a small sampling of the books I have for Elizabeth.  I haven't even touched on all of the picture books I have for the boys!  I'll save that for another day.

We love to read!

How 'bout you?

I am joining the GRAND Social over at Grandma's Briefs.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back to School

September is past the half way mark and 4 of my grands are off to school.
Where did the summer go?

Even though I was not ready to say goodbye to summer, I knew that I had to get ready so I put a few goodies on the kitchen hutch to mark the special occasion.
{I see that next year I need bigger ABC's.}  
When I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some letters to paint, this was the only size available.  I think lots of people had the same idea because they were sold out in all of the larger letters.

The open book is an old reader from the 50's.
I was pretty excited when I acquired it because it is the same book I used in first grade.  I still remember those pictures that accompany the ABC's hanging above the chalkboard in my first grade classroom.
{I have a good memory for some things:-) }

The kitchen table got a few special things too.  The picture is of my girls on their first day of first grade.
{seems like yesterday :-( }

We like to take the kids on a little outing to celebrate the beginning of the new school year.
We took Cooper and Ben to Legoland last year and they wanted to go again this year.
Jackson got to go this year as he is beginning preschool.
Cooper and Ben are in first grade, and I can hardly believe I am typing that!
Last year was super crowded, and this year it was so much nicer with no line and not too many people inside.

This picture would break my heart if I didn't know the story behind it.
Jackson is peering through the fence to watch Cooper and Ben ride a swing type ride.

He looks like he's missing out, but in reality he did not want to go on it.  We tried and tried to coax him.
As he has gotten older he is getting fussy about rides.
So pitiful!

Ben is thumbs up on the little car ride.

Cooper and Jackson are ready too.

The boys loved the playland, and with fewer kids, I didn't mind them being in there.
Normally I get so nervous when there are so many kids and I can't keep track of mine but this was fine. 

And this year, because of the less crowded conditions, the boys were able to play at this lego table.  You build a big tower and then you push a button and the table jiggles, like an earthquake.
Building things and knocking them down, what could be more fun for a little boy?

For my TV addict boys the 3D movies were a big hit.  They had 3 or 4 different short lego cartoons and they thought it was great.

After a pizza dinner, and a quick trip through the gift shop we were finished.
Jackson loves his choices.

I think this is our 4th back to school trip with Elizabeth to the American Girl Store.
I love that she loves to go there, and I am already wondering when she will make a different choice.  She's growing so quickly.
She is off to 3rd grade this year.

I thought the flower ceiling was pretty.

Elizabeth loved this dessert! 
{She shared with us!}


The trip was a success.

I pray that all 4 of my grands have a wonderful year of learning!

We sure had a great time celebrating with them.