30 November 2011

The Great Christmas Book Countdown

Christmas books and advent calendars are two of my Christmas favorites. They always have been, ever since I was a child. I am hoping to pass these loves onto my daughter. Last year I made Lola a felt Christmas tree with twenty four ornaments, one for each day.

Of course we will be bringing the tree out again this year. But in addition to the calendar, there is a great big pile of gift wrapped books waiting for Lola. Every night, before she goes to bed, she can pick a Christmas book to read that night.


I spent all afternoon gift wrapping the books because, let's be honest, it's just more fun to tear off the paper and be surprised. And I did number the books because a) I am that type of person and b) I like reading "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve.

Twenty five books I compiled, half of them found at garage sales this summer. Some we already had and the rest was picked up at bookstores and thrift stores. It is an eclectic collection of titles. This is what we will be reading the next three and a half weeks:

1. The Christmas Story
2. The littlest Christmas Elf
3. A Sesame Street Christmas
4. Madeline's Christmas
5. Frosty the Snowman
6. Little Fairy's Christmas
7. Kleine Muis viert Kerst (a Dutch book about a little mouse looking for the meaning of Christmas)
8. Merry Christmas Splat
9. Stories of Santa Claus
10. The Wild Christmas Reindeer
11. The Twelve Days of Christmas
12. The Nutcracker
13. A Letter to Santa
14. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
15. The Christmas Blizzard
16. Jingle Bells
17. Pooh's Christmas Gifts
18. Barbie: A Perfect Christmas (Don't judge, Barbie is cool! Especially since she underwent a breast reduction and took up acting.)
19. Snow Dance
20. Timmy's Gift
21. A Christmas Carol
22. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer shines again
23. Christmas Trolls
24. The Night before Christmas
25. The First Christmas

This idea is not mine, by the way. You can read more about it here. I don't think Lola and I will do a craft every day as well but I am thankful for the reading inspiration. If you know of a title we should add to the list, please tell me. This is a tradition we will be keeping for years to come, I'm sure.

My Gift

My Handmade Gift Exchange partner Heather surprised me with this beautiful vintage paper wreath. I love wreaths, especially around the holidays, but lack the patience to make them. It looks just lovely on the hutch in the living room. Thank you, Heather! And Merry Christmas.


22 November 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange

For Heather

Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous hosts a Handmade Gift Exchange twice a year. Last Christmas was my first time participating. I enjoyed it so much, I signed up again this year. I hope my gift exchange partner likes the felt heart garland I made for her. It was made with love.

I am sharing this on A Little Birdie Told Me at Rook No. 17.

Update: I wrote a simple tutorial that you can find on my other blog Dutch Girl Originals.

21 November 2011

Number One

Biggest buck he ever got

10 November 2011

Number Two

On my very first visit to my parents-in-law, I held and shot a gun for the first time in my life. Where I come from guns are illegal and public hunting is limited and considered elitist, to be honest.

I shocked quite a few people back home when I included in my newsletter this picture of a five month pregnant me, wearing camouflage and sporting a magnum. Surprisingly I was a very good shot. I even out-shot my husband.

Opening day of hunting season is coming up soon and this year I “chopped the knot” to use a Dutch expression and decided to join my husband, his dad, and his brother in the woods. Not to keep them company, no, I will have a stand of my own and a loaded gun by my side. Naturally I needed to practice shooting. Being a good shot five years ago with a handgun doesn’t mean I am a good shot today with a rifle. For all I know, it was the hormones controlling my aim.


I needn’t have worried. I am still a good shot. Apparently it comes naturally to me. But this time Ryan out-shot me by half an inch. And we found out that being out-shot all those years ago by a pregnant woman with no experience stung a little. He is very pleased to have righted this wrong and now lovingly refers to me as “Number Two”. But I know deep down inside he is very proud of me.

Of course, only time will tell if I can actually shoot a deer.

09 November 2011

Let It Snow

Inspired by a pin on Pinterest (which I could not trace to its creator - I'm sorry, I tried), I recreated Frosty the Snowman out of three grapevine wreaths, some burlap, and a piece of plywood cut in the shape of a top hat on the side of the garage. Lola looked on from the upstairs window, giving me the thumbs up when I finished assembling him.

For two days we have been promised snow, and contrary to what I said in my previous post, I was actually looking forward to it. It seemed a little unlikely with Monday being a gorgeous and sunny day with temperatures in the low sixties. And, even though it was a dreary and cold day, it didn't really surprise me that we didn't see a single snowflake all day yesterday or last night.

This morning the temperature had dropped even further but all it did was rain. Until thirty minutes ago...

Frosty the Snowman
I am sharing this on A Little Birdie Told Me... at Rook No. 17.

Update: a very basic How To can be found at Dutch Girl Originals.

03 November 2011

Winter Prep

I read on a fellow Wisconsinite's blog this morning that it snowed last night in her neck of the woods. [Gulp] Snow! I am not quite ready for it. I may be in full Thanksgiving preparation mode and Christmas is only 50 something days away, but I like the sunny fall weather we're having. I want it to stick around for awhile.

Reading about her snowfall sent me into a little cleaning frenzy. The bird feeders have been cleaned and filled. The last of the window screens have been taken down and brought in. The outside faucet has been shut off and drained, and the garden hose is safely stored inside the garage. Lola's wading pool has also been stored away. And as soon as I bring in the last of my garden herbs (I just don't know where to put them right now), the outside is done.

And since it was such a lovely day, and I was busy cleaning anyway, I washed most of the windows as well. Martha would be very proud, I'm sure.

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