Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pinned It

I use pinterest, a lot. It is an awesome resource for DIY Projects of which I am recently very fond. I made quite a few things for Christmas using pinterest, but could not share them with you... until now!

1. Mugs: I bought a ceramic pen (DecoArt glass paint marker in black at Michaels for about $4) to ensure staying power of what I wrote. The mugs I found from frequent trips to Goodwill, they were about $.99 a piece. I found cute and annoying sayings on pinterest and wrote them on the mugs.

2. Menu Board: My SIL had this pinned on one of her boards so I thought I ought to make it for her. I printed the menu off using word then had Stomper paint it pink (her favorite color).

 3. Penguin: My SIL has been asking me to knit her one, but my list this year was too long. Thankfully there is more than one way to make a penguin. Since I don't know how to use a sewing machine I stitched it all by hand.

4. I know I saw this art idea on pinterest, I just don't remember by who. You write a word in painters tape, have your munchkin paint over it, and then remove the tape to reveal the word. It didn't come out perfect, but everyone like it.  We did three: Mimi, Love, and Grandma. They came out really cute!

 5. Awhile back Stomper did some painting at daycare on giant pieces of paper. I saved them and cut them into 8x10 squares. At Christmastime I signed his name in the corner with the date and gave them out as presents. He was really pleased when we gave them away at Christmas he kept saying his name and pointing to the art when someone would open them. In these photos you can tell he is sick, he's such a trooper to let me take the photos!!


How about you? Did you make any gifts this year?

Friday, December 28, 2012


enjoyed:: the snow falling down
snuggled :: a sick boy
thanked :: God for medication that makes us feel well
watched :: too much TV
drank :: tea and felt grown-up
knitted :: one final Christmas project
sewed :: other Christmas projects
napped and rested :: so we are healthy for Christmas
finished :: a few art projects
unwrapped :: our fake Christmas tree and thanked God for the kindness of co-workers
celebrated :: the birth of our Savior with many parties, gatherings, and family
started :: new traditions with Grandma
hoped :: for a bright and beautiful new year

Friday, December 14, 2012

Just Breathe

Its a little funny, ok maybe not so funny, that during this time of hectic running around I am reminded every four hours to just sit and breathe.

My asthma has reared its ugly head and looks like it will be here for the foreseeable future. Every four hours my breathing is labored and coughing makes it impossible to do most activities. 

I have an awesome husband. Yesterday morning, as I sat on the couch with the Dragon Machine by my side he looked at me and said: "I'm staying home to take the tree down, you aren't well." Despite his massive head cold he spent the morning yesterday finding every bit of cloth in our rooms and doing laundry. He washed the walls of our bedroom and purchased covers for our mattress and pillows to give me a better sleeping environment.

Our Christmas tree we lovingly brought home is sitting outside forlorn and discarded. Our living-room looks bare and un-festive. 

I didn't cry when I saw our empty living-room. I love Christmas, it's my favorite holiday and the tree is my favorite tradition. For me the tree is a memory. It is a visual reminder of the day we went out and chopped it down. The fun we had together as a family of three. I didn't cry because I know what really matters. Not the tree or decorations, but the God that gave us Christmas and the love we have for each other.

We are what matters most this Christmas. 

Today I printed off some gift tags and the three of us sat around the coffee table coloring. Later in the afternoon I made Christmas treats and the boys painted ornaments. There is no tree or pretty lights, but we have each other and we have our few stolen moments together each day.

Take a moment, look at your loved ones, take a deep breath, and know at the very least you have each other.

Oh, and take a big whiff of your tree for me and tell me how it smells ;)

P.S. I started this post yesterday. Yesterday afternoon Stompers Mimi stopped by with a gift from a co-worker because: "No two year old should go with out a tree for Christmas." I am so thankful, blessed, and floored at this gift. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yarn Along: Bits and Pieces

I am so excited to be finally finished the Christmas Stocking I was commissioned to make. It was a huge undertaking. I have learned a lot in the process. First, never under any circumstances knit a sock flat with the seam going up the middle of the heel flap. Looking back what I should have done was knit both sides of the heel flap at the same time, ensuring that I had the same amount of rows and tension on both sides. Finally, never knit a commissioned piece so close to Christmas. My list of to knit for Christmas has not shortened since starting the Christmas Stocking. Thankfully, I have an understanding family. My husband will be getting half a pair of socks, the second to be knit in January.

Other Christmas knitting is coming a long great. I have one mitten minus the thumb knit, a hat started, and a second mitten started. Stompers farmer is nearly done, I'll be finishing the final touch (eyes) and his mittens are missing one thumb (so I wouldn't give it to him early) so I will be doing those first thing next week.

I have been devouring the Rangers Apprentice series. Luckily my sister has all of them so as soon as I finish one I can start straight away on the next. It took me a little bit to get used to the writers style of writing. He bounces the point of view from one character to another and at first I found it jarring. Either I am used to his writing, or as he writes he improves because I haven't noticed it at much as the first book. The books are fast paced, but not at the expense of losing depth of the characters. My asthma has given me plenty of time to read as I sit with my Dragon Machine several times a day so I expect to read the last three books quickly!

Joining Ginny for the first time in a long time today.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Tale of Two Trees

On Saturday we went out in the woods behind our house to cut down a Christmas Tree. Jason and I had found it a few weeks ago when we were scouting for trees for the bed that he is making me. Like most Christmas Trees we Hambergs cut down in the forest, it was huge. 

Just like my childhood trees, we would take the top and use the rest in the wood stove (or in  this case for our bed).

Jason cut it down the "manly" way with nothing but his strength and a sharp ax.

And, like a tree from my childhood, it fell and got promptly stuck. I turned to Stomper, who was in my arms, and told him my favorite Christmas Tree story:

When Uncle Ben was your age he was too little to take out in the woods (well, he was probably younger because he wasn't quite two and you already are two). Grandfather and I had found a perfect tree, it was even bigger than this tree because we needed sixteen feet of Christmas Tree! Grandfather cut it down with a chainsaw and down it fell, about four feet. It was stuck in the trees, just like this one is!

I asked Grandfather, "Dad, should we find another tree?"

He said to me, "No, we need to take this one down, or it will fall down and maybe hurt someone."

I asked, "How will we get it down?"

He answered, "Well, I'm going to have to cut down a few more trees."

An hour and five trees later Grandfather had the tree safely on the ground. We gave a shout of triumph and went to check out our tree. But when we examined our beautiful tree we found it had a huge problem. It had two tops! What looked like one giant tree growing out of the ground, was actually two trees at the top. Grandfather cut the tree to the size we wanted and we dragged it out of the woods.

We stood staring at our tree for a few moments and I asked, "Do we separate them? Should we find a new tree?"

Grandfather shook his head, "No. I cut it down, we are using it."

When we got the tree in front of the house Grandfather had to use the chainsaw to whittle down the trunk so that it would fit in the five gallon bucket we used as a tree stand. He also had to wire the top and bottom together so that it would look like one solid tree.

It wasn't a perfect tree. But that's not what cutting a tree down is all about, it's about spending time together.
So, when we tell the story of the first Christmas Tree you cut down, Stomper, we will remember the time we spent together:

how you hated being in my arms and wanted to get down and run around, how the snow fell all around us, and that it was freezing cold and Papa was worried that you wouldn't be warm enough. We will remember you bouncing on the end of the tree while Papa chopped the top off with his Bowie Knife. 

We will remember how you helped pull the tree out of the woods and how proud you were to be part of the work.

Of course we won't forget to mention that Papa dropped the tree into the arms of many other trees and had to cut it down a second time. But even that didn't get the tree to fall. Papa then picked the end of the tree up and pulled it and pulled it again until finally it fell!

I am so happy to share this memory with you, Stomper, and I look forward to telling it again and again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent Calendar

"My Aunty Anne, Aunt Jane, and Grandma Blidberg collaborated in 1982 to make me an advent calendar. Each Christmas growing up I looked forward every year to pulling it out of the Christmas box, having my Mom re-fill the pockets with the ornaments, and then every day adding an ornament to my tree. Sometimes my Dad would slip a fifty cent piece into a pocket and I would get an extra surprise that day. I still have many of those fifty cent pieces and I probably will pass them down to Stomper some day". ~ Advent


For the past year I have been dreaming and planning on re-working the Advent Calendar from when I was a kid. Over the past few months I have knit two ornaments, some garland, and an angel for the top. I bought some simple hooks at the craft store to hang to the ornaments from and filled the pockets with ornaments for his tree and our actual tree, prizes, and activities to do together. 

The ornaments for his tree are a selection from the old tree, some store bought by my sister years ago, and a few made by me. The sweater, bell, and angel are all ornaments I found on Ravely. There are still a few details left to put on the calendar including a way to pay tribute to the three kids who have used the calendar before him, but that can wait until later.

We are also going to use Adorenaments (It was bought years ago from and may be out of print), which define 12 names of Jesus, in an effort to keep the focus of Christmas where it needs to be. The Adorenaments will go on our actual tree so that when we look at our tree we will be further reminded of the Savior the little baby grew up to be.

In addition to all that I have made little cards to put in some of the pockets with Christmas activities to do with Stomper. I got the idea a few years ago when one of the blogs I read mentioned that in the advent she uses for her son she puts in little activities for them to do like: go for a walk, make biscuits, to name a few. 

Ohh, tragedy, there are typos! Gah!
(Made the cards with Microsoft Word)
With that list in mind I  looked through this list that I found via pinterest for some ideas and then came up with a few of my own. They are: Deck the Halls, Look at Christmas Lights, Go Shopping, Go to a Play or Musical, Make Gifts, Make Cookies, Read Christmas Books, Operation Family Photo, Wrap Gifts, go to Mimi's House, Grandma Day, Make Ornaments, Read a Book or Watch a Movie About Jesus, Make a Treat and Give it to Someone, and Christmas Movie Night.

I am so excited to start this tradition with my little guy!

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