Friday, January 31, 2020

It's February, So Let's Wrap Up Christmas

My original plan was to post all my cute Whoville decorations BEFORE Christmas, but that did not happen. I did get them all done before Christmas, the grandkids enjoyed them all, and I already have a theme in my mind for next year. 
Let's start with the ten most adorable grandchildren in America. The only decoration on this wall is the "gumdrops" on the valances. 
And let me share how much fun the Christmas bulb light up necklaces were! And how popular the saran wrapped candy ball was with the younger crowd!
Okay, well all the windows ended up with these garlands. I strung my Christmas cards underneath. 
And I had enough to stretch across the bottom of my bookcase where I display all the "grandkids with santa" photos from each year. 
I don't think I ever got a good picture of the tree. Can you see the hook I made on top to make it a "Grinch" tree?

I did manage to take my tree down by mid-January and put all my Christmas decorations away by last week. My husband disagrees with this statement as my village is still up. I am trying to convince him it is a "winter" village. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Welcome to Whoville

After my parents passed, I emptied their attic and my attic and actually donated boxes and boxes of unwanted Christmas decorations. But somehow I still have more Christmas than I ever set up each year and for some unexplained reason I keep purchasing more.  Last year was the year of those cute red trucks and station wagons with trees on top. This year I woke up and decided - It is Whoville!

Eventually and probably fortuitously, the Grinch is not very popular this year. I have not seen much in stores and am trying to blind myself from too much on the internet. 
Four month old Louis is one of my building supervisors. 
I did get lucky at Oriental Trading and ordered some paper products and games for my (gulp) 10 young grandchildren.  
Three year old Lydia is my design assistant
And I decided to create some new outdoor decorations. 
The start of Tree #1
About two and a half years ago I discovered replacement fence boards at my local Home Depot. They are about 6 feet tall and a little narrower than I like, but the cost of about 2.89 each has made them my new favorite craft item.  I have done some Welcome boards, some holiday boards and quite a few political boards since I can't leave the house for protest marches with all the tiny grandchildren I care for.  
Tree #2 and Tree #1
I set out to create my own Whoville decor.  I designed some Christmas trees, traced some patterns and bought all the Grinch Green Apple Barrel paint available. 
I was happy with my first three trees. I decided to outline the decorations with black paint and it really made them pop. 
Here was my first attempt at the Grinch. And tree #3. 
I had to move the art studio to my kitchen counter to move the wet paint away from tiny hands. 
The final five!

I wish I could repaint my bicycle planter white, but my dear husband has it so firmly attached to the tree, I am not sure it can be done. I have the packages secured with miles of string, tied to each other and to the basket.  We used zip ties to attach the Grinch tree to the bike. 
I am pretty darn happy with how it turned out! We attached each tree and the Grinch to my porch posts with the zip ties. Of course our lights did not work after we put them up (yes, we tested them) so there is an elf on the left attaching the new lights for this year. 
This is the right side of the porch. 
And the step up to the porch.
 For my Whoville garland, I just used some red plastic disposable plates, dipped the lid from the craft paint in the white paint and created polka dots!
I punched holes and tied them together with string. I love how they turned out! - from a distance LOL

It was an inexpensive way to update and change our Christmas decorating this year. I spent about $15 on the boards, $6 on the plates, and probably $10 on the paint because I purchased it once, misplaced it when I hid the bag from my grandchildren and had to re-purchase it. I saved packing boxes and bought rolls of gift wrap at Dollar Tree. If only we had not had to replace the lights, the whole yard would have only cost about $34.00 total. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Fall Y'All

A fall recap:
It may have taken 3 separate orders for sizes since kids keep growing and herculian efforts to schedule all ten in one place at one time (a Sunday morning at 8 a.m.), but, by gosh, an updated photo with all ten grandchildren. 

We bought my husband a new suit and attended two out of three fall weddings. A nephew, a coworker's daughter (I knew her before she was born) and we are off to New Orleans next month for a niece. 
And I chopped off my hair by the second one. You know, went to have bangs cut, went crazy. I am wearing the same dress to all three weddings. A former "mother of the bride" dress and I am getting my money's worth. 
Got #10 baptized (I think I look like a chubby elf)
I had a theme of feminist costumes for my youngest granddaughter. But, because she is an independent woman, she told me this year she wanted to be a peacock princess. 
I have been hanging out at pumpkin patches and Halloween parties
This one was in Stars Hollow (I think, not positive)

I mean, am I right?

We got six back to school and two started school for the first time.  All the mommies finished maternity leaves and the grandparent daycare center, bus stop and preschool carpool is back to work. 

One son sold his home the minute it went on the market and is moving his family of 5 from 3 garages, 2 storage units and an efficiency apartment this weekend with help from grampa and two brothers.  One son-in-law decided family isn't for him, so we have stepped in as pseudo parents to help out, and my oldest granddaughter is in rehearsals for the Nutcracker - I am so excited! 

It's starting to get colder so we are grateful we are all blessed to have warm houses (at least after this weekend) and plenty of food to eat.
I do still carve out some me time (even though it sometimes includes a little person).  My youngest and I went to a book signing with NPR's Sarah Vowell and I am going (alone) with my genealogy group for an after-hours tour of hidden records at our county courthouse next Monday.  I am very excited about the tour! 

I also had an epiphany about Christmas and you know how I like themes! This year I am going to turn my house into Whoville and I am pretty excited about that, too. I hope I have time to take pictures and share. I have been pretty busy in the evenings pinning on Pinterest. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lazy Dayz of Summer

Lazy days of Summer? I wish! It seems like every day is a busy day at our house! 

Celebrated the annual blooming of the day lilies.

We hosted our annual Gramma Mimi's Cousin Camp for nine of our ten grandchildren the last week of June. Number ten was born on the 4th of July! 

I finally talked Grampa Merry into a bucket list vacation to the coast of Maine! We used Diners, Drive Ins and Dives recommendations for restaurants and were pretty disappointed. I guess we are just Red Lobster people. I did check off sitting on the beach, looking at the ocean and eating a (tasteless) lobster roll ($22).  Burger was Grampa's. 
It has been stinking hot and humid here in Northern Ohio which has made summer activities challenging. We let the grandkids play outside first thing in the morning, but by 10:30 it is so humid, that we are concerned about dehydrating. So we bring them inside where they destroy my house. 
(the wrecking crew)

We did take two of the boys to an Ox Roast in a nearby country town. The fire department buries the foil wrapped beef in a trench of burning charcoal and digs it up in time for lunch beginning on Friday. The boys said the beef was delicious and did not taste like dirt at all. Unfortunately we had to use the potty immediately following lunch and preschooler do not use portapots . We were unable to stay and visit the rest of the festival. 
Was asked to resume service to 4-H by helping to construct the fair booth for my three oldest grandchildren. 
I think I actually baked 15 pies for our church festival this year. Halfway through the day. 

I talked Grampa Merry into a trip to a nearby Bratwurst Festival. It was sunny with only a 20% chance of rain. It was a good thing I remembered umbrellas, it was like a typhoon. But the festival was amazing, the food stands plentiful and we had music from TBDBITL. 

We celebrated Grampa's birthday. 
Dyed my hair lavender. On purpose. 
It was my (gulp) 45th class reunion
Had a few picnics. This was a Chicken BBQ for the Senior Center. 
And we even baked some cookies
Hmmm.  After looking at these photos, I think we did an awful lot of eating this summer, too!

Tomorrow is our last picnic; school starts on Thursday! We will have two in the nursery school carpool, one newborn,  three toddlers on alternate days and one first grader that will board the bus at our house at 7:30 a.m.  So much for lazy!

Miss Merry