Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas in the Thumb 2015

First off, I am having a hard time believing Christmas was here already...where has this year gone?!  Our family has definitely had a whirlwind last 6 months, with the spur-of-the-moment decision to put an offer in on this house BEFORE we were even ready to sell the house we were living in. But as we have said repeatedly these past few months it was God's plan since all fell into place fairly easily. I feel like I lost the last 4 months of 2015 with packing/moving/unpacking/reno. Still quite a few projects up our sleeves but can wait until Spring.

I did get a few projects in over the Christmas weekend.  I had bought 2 Billy Jacobs canvas prints at this little place down by my sister's on the "mountain" as she calls it (she lives next to the Blue Ridge Parkway) and hung them on one of the walls in the guest room entry.  Well, the other wall was looking bare so knew I needed to find some more Billy prints.  I scoured Ebay and found 4 smaller canvas prints with different barn quilts and hung them up as soon as they arrived:

My super professional way of hanging multiples ;)

These prints make me happy.

The oak trim around the doorway into living room did get filled plus more with all of the lovely Christmas cards we blessed!

Christmas day began with the traditional opening of presents...had to wake M up so we could get r done...we had food to start preparing!  With our deer processing this year, Tom chose to have a couple of hams made.  He Googled how to bake venison ham and decided to wrap it in bacon. Everything is BETTER with bacon, am I right? Well, it sure was when it came to these hams! Of course we baked both hams and I made an entire large crock full of cheesy we were cooking for FIFTY instead of just six. Sure was nice to have more counter space and room to dine...makes me want to entertain more!

Money to start the gaming computer build

That was a fun box to wrap NOT

Along with a very fluffy throw and new electric blanket,
I think Hubs is trying to tell me we're going to be cutting
off the heat and no more buying of baked goods!

Not sure why we thought this hunk of meat wasn't going to be
enough for 6 people. 

At least Hubs and MIL smiled for me.

Aren't they cute?!

Went over to BIL's place the day after to get the stove we gave the in-laws out of our house (it ended up in BIL's barn instead of at their house) and I got to see his refinished floors for the first time. He bought a circa 1920 small farmhouse that came with a gigantic barn and many acres of land for his cattle back in the spring and has been slowly working on it to get it to where he could live in it...doors, windows, plumbing, floors, paint, appliances. He still has quite a bit to do but it is getting there. He still has fencing to put up so his "girlfriends" (cows) will join him in the spring.

Gorgeous white pine floor was hidden under nasty carpet and
vinyl flooring.

Love love LOVE the corner built-ins!

Today the weather has turned terrible, winter storm warning with ice.  So I put on my Martha Cap and made bean soup with all of the leftover ham plus a loaf of beer bread.  Hate to brag but it was pretty darned good!

Tom decided to work on indoor projects today (except for the part where he has to go out to the barn to cut the flooring in the horrible weather)...electrical in the basement and laying floor that was left over from downstairs in M's closet (was only sub floor).

We head to Iowa to visit friends that are family later this week to ring in the New Year (you know there will be photos to come!)...haven't visited for 2 years so it is definitely time.  Looking forward to hosting the entire family mid-January as well as a couple of good friends plus get some projects ticked off of the list.

The Thumb life is good! Happy New Year everyone and see you in 2016!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The countdown is on!

Although when it looks like this outside the past week...'s hard to feel in the Christmas spirit.  It was 60+ Michigan...mid-December!  I know many people are very happy we have had such a mild winter so far (it's coming at some point...sorry to bust their bubble) but it is really hurting our business owners up north that rely on the downstater's to spend their hard-earned cash enjoying the winter sports.  And that snow pack is needed to keep our lakes and rivers filled for the summer sports.  So I've been secretly doing the snow dance.

So the countdown is on to Christmas and this past week has been a busy one with getting together with some of my high school friends and making their gifts.  I chose a Pinterest craft (duh!) and it was easier than I thought being as I am no artist.  Involved white mugs, letter stickers, Sharpie oil paint pens and the oven (DON'T LOOK KIM):

Added a few decorations to the small trees and some more to the thrift store tree to spark her up:

I love this chubby little gourd Santa

Doing my best to cover up the old brass light.

Went to the Sandusky Lighted Christmas parade...if I had a big tractor, I would have it lit like this ALL year long. How fun would that me?!  Was not freezing the toosh off this year (although still chilly):

Ordered a 24"x36" poster, a 1677 Map of London, for the wall space between the closet and master bath doors, found a frame and hung it along with the 4 antique ornithology prints I found on eBay on my side of the bed. Have another map coming for another of the walls, an 1863 map of Cambridgeshire (think I've found a new addiction):


Added some red gingham check scrapbook paper to the back of the open cabinet in the kitchen to give it a little interest. Just used my scrapbooking supplies of a 12" paper trimmer and adhesive:

Also bought a new poster for M's room and hung that up along with his metal Route 66 sign:

We spent the weekend at our church taking part in the 10th annual Journey to Bethlehem live walk-through play.  100 cast members, as authentic as possible costumes and sets...hard work but everyone does such a wonderful job.  I've taken part in the last 7 of 10 years, with the last 2 being a part of the organization of the event.  Here are my boys, the big bad Roman Guard and Herod's poor harassed Beggar Boy (my hubs is 6'4" but because of the camera angle he looks shorter...felt I needed to point that out):

Today I've had to bake...baking terrifies me.  I am NO Betty Crocker.  I can mess up ready-made cookie dough!  But I have a cookie exchange party with a bunch of lovely super mom's so I swallowed my fear and went for it, Butter Pecan cookies.  A few of the recipes I found (Pinterest of course) were quite involved with the dough needing to be refrigerated overnight, and with all we had going on this past weekend (we put approximately 600 miles on the car Friday thru Sunday!) I needed a recipe that didn't require 2 days worth of prep.  AND THERE IT WAS!  A simple no-egg, 6-ingredient recipe for Butter Pecan cookies!  They were easy (and fun!) to make although I found out quickly what a P.O.S. my hand mixer is...hubs has already been informed that if he'd like me to up my baking game then I MUST have a good mixer. :)

Hope the girls like them...I did have to taste test of course and they passed my test.  More like a shortbread cookie, very yummy with my coffee.

So now this new week will be filled with finishing up the Christmas shopping and wrapping all of the gifts stuffed under the bed (and open them to remind myself of what I've bought again), getting my mom's gift out in the mail (she is in a nursing home in Virginia near my sister), singing at church, another high school friend get together plus shopping on Friday, sing at church again Saturday and church youth group Christmas party on Sunday.

Next Monday, I will be hibernating in my pajamas the entire day while reading books and napping.  Or maybe just napping.

'Tis the season!