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October 2008
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December 2008

12 entries from November 2008

Holiday Decorating? Done. Well, one thing is.

nativity set by you.

There you have it.  That's all the Christmas decorating we've done so far. 

setting up the nativity set by you.

Okay, it's all the Christmas decorating she's done so far.  I mean, we haven't done any, either, but I can't take credit for the nativity setup.  She wouldn't allow it.  She sets it up just so each day (or whenever a little person or animal is out of place) and then...

belle with nativity set by you.

...she folds her hands and smiles every-so-slightly, just like Mary.  They both gaze at Baby Jesus.  And when I'm there to see it, I sigh.  Contentedly.  I like seeing her show a bit of reverence to Baby Jesus, even if it is just a copycat move (how else do these little ones learn?).  And I'm glad that she can put everyone in the right places now.  When the set came in the mail, people and animals were all over the place, more like Fisher Price Little People than a One to Believe nativity set.  We had to read the (included) little booklet to remind her of the Christmas story. 

Monday, we'll go to the local tree farm and select our Christmas tree. We're waiting until the blue skies return and when everyone else will be in school and at work (unemployment has its advantages).  Besides, Monday will be 50 degrees, not 70.   We need a cold (-ish) day to choose our tree. 

Until then, we'll enjoy our little gal's nativity set as our only Christmas decoration.  Have you decorated yet?

p.s. If you want a nativity set like this, too, click on One to Believe's photo of it below, to visit their online store.  They also have other neat toys, most are Fisher Price or Papo -like, but with a Biblical theme, like Jonah and Samson figurines)...

Tales of Glory Nativity Set

p.s.s. The little deer isn't in the set.  Our little gal added that from her own animals-in-a-tube set. You know the ones?  I'm glad she didn't add a few creatures from the boys' dinosaurs-in-a-tube set.  Maybe deer saw Baby Jesus that night, too.  But dinosaurs?? 

Handmade Holidays

Thanks to the "current economic crisis" (a phrase which has been repeated so often, it has become just as annoying as Obama and McCain ads were at the end of October).....anyway, thanks to the current economic crisis, which hit home hard a few weeks ago when my man lost his job when a certain electronics superstore went South (yes, the very one he just got hired to help improve the image of, by opening an exciting 'new concept' store for them, a building that is 100% constructed and 100% ready to open - save the merchandise stock - but is now closed, before opening, thanks to the current econ...never mind), and thanks also to the tremendous amount of clutter I've decluttered over the past years and the fact that our children find sticks and bugs more entertaining than toys, we're participating in handmade holidays...

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I haven't mentioned all that - the losing the job thing - on the blog, because it's kind of hard to mention "current economic crisis" (great.  now I'm saying it all the time, too) and "lay off" on a "just, pure, lovely" blog.  But, it's life.  We're not worried; we've been on more shaky ground before, and have learned over the years how to count our blessings no.matter.what.  Still, it stinks, it's a blow, it's not fun, but it's also not the worst thing that could happen and we did learn - the hard way - to prepare for rainy days.  The sky does fall occasionally.

Okay, anyway, back to the Handmade Pledge, and off the run-on sentences...

We have so many crafty things in our closets/drawers/shelves that we can go crafty shopping at home.  Seriously.  I make the kids pay for what they take. 

Okay, no, I don't make them pay.  But we do have a big stash.  So, for this holiday season, because money is an issue this year, because the landfill has too many of our previous castoffs and we don't need to contribute more broken toys to it, and because creativity is good for the soul..we have a goal of not buying anything for holiday gift-giving.  We're still giving  away gifts; we just have to make them.  We're going to work with what we have, as much as possible, allowing for a run for glue or tape, if needed. 

If you'd like to join the Handmade Holidays pledge, click on the above graphic link.  You don't have to say you'll make all your gifts for this pledge, like we're doing.  The pledge actually says you'll buy handmade this holiday season. 

Guess what?  I'm going to send something crafty to one of you this holiday season, too!  I'm not sure what yet, but on December 3rd (Wednesday), come back to this blog at some point in the day to see what I gathered together to give away to one of you.  It'll be either some craft items from our overflowing stash, or it might be something I made.  You'll see on Wednesday. So will I. :)

Give-Away Day Dec. 3rd, 2008

p.s. If you'd like to have a crafty giveaway on your blog, too, please join us!  Click on the above graphic link for more information. 

I'm Thankful for at Least 4 Things

our gang

I'm thankful for a few more than just 4 things this Thanksgiving, but I'm especially thankful for these 4 things.  And I'm particularly thankful to God for keeping these 4 things so healthy and happy that they fill our lives to the brim every single day.  And I'm thankful for my man, husband, their daddy, who fills our lives to the brim every single day, too, although not quite so boisterously.

Remember this shot, below, taken in January?

Our Gang by you.

Well, here's the gang about 10 months later, just a few days ago, in November...

family, fort barrancas 027 by you.

10 months later, lots of frustrating and fun, silly and sad, motivating and mumbling, gross and great, boring and beautiful, hard and heart-filled, lovely and loud moments later...when we all hold hands on Thursday and say what we're thankful for this year, I'm going to say "these kids," even before I say "all this food."  

What are you most thankful for?

 (or... the more stuffy way to ask the question:  for what are you most thankful?)

The Days are Just Packed

No time to blog this week...

feet by you., I mean, I've not been taking the time to blog this week because we're busy doing things like...

  • going to the beach
  • going to the Civil War-era fort
  • going to the airplane museum
  • kayaking into the sunset on the bay
  • going to the library/toy shop / ballet studio
  • eating ice cream (brr) and sipping hot chocolate while roaming our little town
  • visiting my parents who are visiting us

But things haven't been all fun and games.  We've also been...

  • baking things with apples (yes, still)
  • schooling in the late mornings
  • preparing the winter garden
  • putting a new roof on the house
  • and while we're at it, putting a big porch on the house, too
  • the last two aren't really "we" jobs, 'cuz I haven't helped much any there, except for...
  • feeding the menfolk (my man, my dad, assorted Very Kind & Helpful friends) who are putting on the porch/roof

It makes me feel domesticky and like a ranch wife to serve the guys a big old farm breakfast after they've worked a couple of hours in the early morning.   Ham, cottage potatoes, hash-browned potatoes, bacon, pancakes, grits, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, omelets, biscuits, applesauce, orange slices, apple slices, cinnamon rolls, breakfast casserole....oh, heavens, no, not on the same day.  That's just some of what we've been eating in the mornings when I'm feeling domesticky and ranch-wife-like.

I really should help the fellas haul lumber or slap on shingles.  It might do me some good to exercise off this cooking I've been doing.

An Apron to Sew

Fall weather makes me want to do things.  Does it you?  I want to Do Things like bake bread, stir stew, sew an apron...

my ruffled apron

And if I'm going to sew an apron, why not a ruffled apron for baking that bread and stirring those stews?  This apron was an easy one to make, even for me - a straight-lines-only amateur seamstress.  Want to sew one, too?  I'll try to help get you started. Here's how I did it...

First, a piece of muslin cut to the size of the apron (but a few inches less than the length desired):

strips on muslin by you.

Cut fabric choices into folded strips the width (horizontally) of your muslin, and twice the length (vertically) you prefer each strip to be. 

strips cut by you.

Fold the strips in half (into one long strip).  Sew the strips closed along the long side.  The strips will then have one raw, long side (with sewing stitches shown) and one folded long side.

strips by you.

Turn under the raw edges of the shorter ends and sew shut.


Sew the strips onto the apron, along the raw, long side of each strip.  I found it easiest to sew from the bottom of the apron up, allowing the last ruffle to hang over the bottom edge of the apron.

sewing ruffles by you.

For the tie, I sewed an extra long strip of fabric, folded it over the top edge of the muslin, and sewed along its length.  It looks like this...

tie by you.

And, viola!, an apron!  A ruffled apron, no less!

finished apron by you.

Oh, p.s., if you don't have a fancy machine, don't worry.  We don't need a fancy machine to sew things!  Mine is an old ugly thing after 16 years of sewing.  It was my first Christmas gift from that handsome man I married and still peek my eyes open to every morning.  It's humble, but it can still sew.  That's what matters to a sewing machine anyway.

my old sewing machine

Free Coffee Sample from Dunkin' Donuts

This really isn't true...

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

..I mean, the part about Dunkin' keeping me blogging.  That's not true, since I haven't yet tried their coffee, and there isn't a Dunkin' Donuts within I-don't-even-know-how-far from home.  And, besides, I'm more of a bagel gal than a doughnut gal.

But it is true that Dunkin' Donuts is giving away free coffee.  I accidentally stumbled on that while visiting a sponsor ad on my other blog and thought you'd like to know about it, too.  Click the above for your free sample of coffee.

Our Ballerina (the taller one)

Monday, I shared some photos of our Little Ballerina.  Today, here are some photos of the one who started the ballet craze in our house.  She's the one I usually call "Ballerina" on this blog and the one our Little Gal looks up to.  

Our Ballerina is a natural at this art form ( I'm her mama.  I get to brag about her).  She loves ballet and dances throughout the house every day.  Sometimes, that gets her into trouble, as she balances a plate of dinner and glass of water in one hand while delivering it with a one-legged twirl to the table.  She hasn't spilled yet, but believe me, it's scary to watch.

ballerina by you.

our ballerina  our ballerina

our ballerina by you.


Little Ballerina

Our little gal was So Very excited to have us watch her on Parent Day at the ballet studio a few days ago. 

little ballerina by you.

For two years, she watched her big sister go to ballet, and wavered in wanting to go, not wanting to go, until this year, when she decided with 100% certainty that she wants to take ballet lessons because "I want to wear those pretty dresses, too." 

Daddy was easy to convince.  When our two gals join up in a cause and ask him for something, he is most often unable to resist.  He is so smitten that he searched for, and purchased, a purple tutu because our little gal sweetly requested a "purple - not pink - one." That was a sight that made my mama heart smile - seeing my tough man with a tiny purple tutu in his hand at the cash register.

Good thing these gals have a mama!

But I couldn't say no this time, either.  Ballet has improved the poise of our formerly-quite-clumsy 11-year-old.  She improves with each year of ballet, in strength and in balance.  Still, it was hard for me to let our little gal go.  For the past two years, ballet hour has been our hour, when we'd roam our quaint little town, oooing over the flowers on the walkways (and picking just a couple), browsing the toy shop, eating ice cream (her) and sipping coffee (me) at the tiny coffee shop, or visiting the ducks and geese at the Bay.  Sigh.  I miss our ballet hour together. 

I think she's happy she chose ballet.  We can roam another day.

Our Little Ballerina by you.

A curtsy, if you please.

little ballerina by you.

Oh, by the way, in case you ever wondered...coiled braids, even when insisted upon by a five-year-old ballerina, are not able to make it through an  hour-long class.

Neither are five-year-old ballerinas.

little ballerina by you.



I really love spiders, but this...

yipes by you.

...that, is a bit too close to our gal for my comfort! 

Still, she's a beaut!, as the late Crocodile Hunter would say of the spider. 

A beaut...yes, maybe if it was a little more distance from my daughter's face!


Ooopsie! I fixed the email subscription now...

My cousin let me know that when you put in your email address (psst, over there, right sidebar, halfway down or so), you're getting a subscription to my other blog, FreelyEducate, and not to this one, Just Pure Lovely.

That's not cool!

I want you to get whatever you want, so I fixed it.  If you put your email address in the box, which looks like the one below, you'll get the posts in your email inbox instead of having to come to the site to read the blog.  But! I'll miss you if you do that and never-ever visit, so please do visit occasionally.  Your comments are never-ending encouraging.

Okay, that was boring.  But what's more boring is getting educational posts when you'd rather the silly stuff of this blog.  Sorry about that!

~ Lori Seaborg

p.s.  This one below works, too

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