Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

Another Christmas has come and gone. For me, this Christmas was very different because it comes just weeks after my mom died. After her surgery and release from the rehab center, we had planned on Megan and I flying down to help care for Mom and her hubby, Jimmy. Phil and the boys would then drive down and we’d spend Christmas there, my first Christmas with my mom in 14 years.

But that was not to be. Mom passed away December 2nd, and our hearts, barely beginning mending from my beloved brother Steven’s death in 2014, were shattered into even more pieces. My battered heart seeks comfort and refuge in my Savior, as I remind myself that Mom’s death passed through the hands of God...he allowed it for reasons we may never know. But knowing he is on the throne soothes the deep bruises on my heart.

Even with our ever-present grief, we had a nice relaxing Christmas. The kids decorated gingerbread cookies, as per our annual tradition. That was so much fun!

Ryan and Timmy had each asked for one high price item, which we were able to finagle, with the help of my lovely daughter Caitlin. Ryan’s is an iPhone that unfortunately won’t arrive until the 27th. But he’s being a good sport about that. :-)

Timmy’s big ticket item is an Xbox One S with Minecraft on it. He’s been playing it ever since. ;-)

Megan, of course, wanted puzzles and new dollhouse people. We got her an entire Hispanic family and then a set of differently abled people! There are a man in a wheelchair, a deaf woman, and about 4 more people with various special needs.

Megan was especially thrilled with the man in a wheelchair, so I tried to get a photo…..

Then I said, “Megan, smile this time.” And this is what I got….

She looks like Grumpy Cat. Seriously, doesn’t she? Hahaha

I hope everyone else had a nice Christmas too. Whether you’re in the midst of change, a difficult situation, or grieving the loss of a loved one, Christmas is a time for families to gather and remember the birth of the Savior, God’s own gift of hope for us all. Be blessed! ♥ 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornament

This is a very simple craft project that you can do with your children of almost any age and end up with ornaments for the Christmas tree. If they are able to perform the first step of tying shoes, then they will be able to make this. And if not, maybe this will help them learn how!

What you’ll need are:

a twig for each ornament, about 8 inches long and about ¼ inch in circumference

ribbon in several complimentary colors (cloth or silky varieties, wide or narrow)


twine for hanging (optional)

Cut the ribbon into 6-7 inch strips. I chose to arrange them in an eye-pleasing order so the kids could use them in that order, but they ended up just choosing them randomly as they saw fit, and then I realized that was even better. They truly used their own creativity in making them. ;)

Start from the bottom, wrapping a ribbon around the twig in the fashion of the first step in tying shoes, about 1 ½ inches from the bottom of the twig.

Megan is shown in the middle photo working on hers, and Angela is on the right, adjusting the placement of the ribbons on hers.

Add on strips of ribbon until you get within about ½ -¾ inch from the top. Adjust the ribbon and flatten as needed or as desired.

Now it’s time to trim the ribbon so it takes on the shape of a Christmas tree. I found it easiest to turn it upside down, with the top towards me, and trim that way. Cut diagonally, closer to the twig, and gradually getting further away from the twig as you go down, so the bottom ribbons will be wider across.

Turn it around, and tie on a hanger. We used some simple twine, but you could use a piece of ribbon if you desire. The twine seemed to hold good.

Your children now have their own handmade ornament for your Christmas tree!