November 30, 2009

Pusey's Farm

We've been going to the Pusey Farm for our Christmas Tree going on 25 years. When we started our tradition we had three little boys then four. The farm used to have an old Golden Retreiver that would play with the children but he has long since gone. This year it is just Dave and I keeping up the tradition. One year we got tired half way to Pusey's and turned into Pyles Hardware for a tree. It lost half it's needles by Christmas. We have not weakened since. Pusey has well kept trees and he is reasonable. The first year we paid all of $10 and now it is up to $20.
Our first Christmas we did not intend to get a tree but Christmas Eve found us at a tree lot in a sentimental mood. We picked up a Charlie Brown Tree for just $5. Some years later an old Virginia farmer offered us the pick of his field for free. Enticed we came to have a look see at what turned out to be the sorriest lot of pine trees I have ever seen. With the farmer standing beside us we could not be ungrateful and cheerfully took one of the free trees. It was basically a broom handle with a few branches sticking out here and there. There were so many large "bear" spots I decorated it with the kids teddy bears. Oddly enough we left it up till February.
My favorite Christmas Trees are Blue Spruce. I like my tree to look like the old German Christmas Cards with the baby angels and sparkles.

We saw a reindeer track .... can Christmas be far away?

November 26, 2009

Over The River

We had 19 for Thanksgiving Dinner at our house!
All our kids & grand kids except Jesse & Gabrielle (We miss you!)
Jeffrey & Jessica, My parents and the Craigs (my sister's family)

Melissa & Bryce Craig operate Presbyterian & Reformed Books (P&R) I believe the publishing company was begun by Bryce's father or grandfather who also published the magazine Christianity Today. My sister has several degrees in voice and has performed a major supporting role in the opera La Traviata just off Broadway. She has also taught private voice and for Covenant College. She has written her own music and lyrics and once had a piano accompanist who also played for Pavarotti. The Craig's live in Philipsburg, New Jersey.

Their oldest son Charles is a graduate of Messiah College whose expertise is computers. He works for P&R and coaches girl's volleyball at their local Christian School. Everyone in the family calls Charles for computer help.

Their oldest daughter Cherith is at Covenant for Elementary Ed. and could not be with us today. Julia is in her first year of music at Wheaton College, IL. She plays the violin and Sam is in high school and big into sports. Like the Birds all the Craigs are very tall and like basketball ... did you see that coming?
Our family has a lot of ties with Wheaton & Covenant. We are direct descendants form the first two presidents of Wheaton College (Blanchard is a family name). Wheaton was the college where Billy & Ruth Graham graduated. David's mother, Mary Bird was in the graduating class with Ruth Graham. My mother and her parents and my sister attended Wheaton and quite a few other family members. Covenant College is a Presbyterian College supported by our denomination. My uncle Ed Kellogg has taught art there for years. To view his art you can go to Josh and Caelen graduated from Covenant. Josh with a History & English degree and Caelen with a Fine Arts degree.

After turkey we got sleepy.

Wait! Asher had oatmeal.

November 18, 2009

This Week So Far

One day Kim and I made a chocolate souffle. Kim had never made one before and it was on her Bucket List.

I subbed in the art department today (girls gym and computer lab too).

November 15, 2009

Baby Things

I like finding vintage fabrics at flea markets and yard sales. I decided to make a crib quilt out of this piece with some embroidery. I took the fabric to Staples to get an enlarged copy of the teddies to use as an embroidery pattern. I will use my light box to trace the pattern onto my muslin.

Speaking of baby things ..... Caelen & Samantha are expecting in June! Samantha has already rooted through my stash to find fabric for the baby quilt. Next time they are over she will look through my stash of baby clothes ..... little things that my kids wore and even some that were worn by me. I have a few sweet little nightshirts & blankies .... a layette that was made by my Gram (Great Grandmother, Lydia Clements) when I was born.

Santa's Work Shoppe

Friday I spent almost all day getting Jesse's Christmas In A Box put together and in the mail. I can't tell you what all is in the box because he might read the blog before launch. Jesse will be out to sea for a couple of months over Christmas. He and Gabs were making plans to be home with us for Christmas but Gabs will have to come back to Delaware by herself. As of now we hope to meet up with both of them in May for a family wedding in San Diego.
Also I will have to wait to blog about some Christmas Preparations so as not to spoil any surprises.

Christmas Quilts

This is a my Christmas Quilt featuring Minnie & Mickey Mouse. The poetry & graphics came from a Christmas card: You're the sprinkles on the cookies, the sparkle on the snow, the twinkle in the starlit sky, the fires cozy glow, you're the whipped cream on the cocoa, the tinsel on the tree, You're everything that's wonderful at Christmas time to me. I thought it was charming.

This little quilt is a miniature Baltimore Album Quilt. The pattern I used was compiled by the woman who taught me to quilt 31 years ago. Her name is Anna Holland and the pattern was called Mini Madness. The individual blocks are about five inches square.
My first attempt at quilting was in high school for a history project. At the time I could only find one book with quilt patterns in black and white graphics. And there were no quilt shops. And I learned to type on a manual typewriter too. And I studied Latin. I never walked to school in a snowstorm or otherwise but a good bit of my life was spent living upstairs of the old school house. My parents rented a large Victorian Mansion in Leesburg, VA known as Waverly to start a small private Christian School. Some day I'll blog on that in more detail.
But my teacher Anna lived in a nearby town called Waterford in a small log cabin with a fireplace in the kitchen that was once used for cooking. It was at her home that she introduced a special class to advertise her new pattern and teach the applique method using freezer paper. I was pregnant with my first child, Joshua when I took the class and also made my first baby quilt. Since then I have made quilt for all my babies and grandbabies.

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