Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baby Brother's College Graduation

A busy week and weekend here as Baby Brother graduated from college. Congrats to him!  The graduation itself was on Friday, so I took the day off work to go into Chicago to attend the ceremony and to help him pack up his stuff. He'll be storing some of his things back at our house until he moves into a new apartment to start his JOB on January 4!! Woohoo!!

Momcat and Daddo were quite proud of their little boy!

Baby brother was just happy to be done with college.

I was helpful as always.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Decorations, Advent and a Student Party

A busy week here, as the semester wraps up and we celebrate the end of another successful semester. This Sunday we held a Christmas party of our new house with students from one of our new programs this year. 
We had both international and domestic students over, baking and decorating Christmas cookies, drinking hot chocolate and hot apple cider and listening to Christmas music. 

Some of the men also watched some football (Go Bears!)

It was a great opportunity for our international students to experience some aspects of Christmas in America-a new cultural experience for some of them. As our house is all decorated for Christmas, I 'm joining Kim over at her great blog Kim's Big Quilting Adventure for a holiday tour of my home:

The N-boy and I purchased a fresh evergreen wreath for our front door at the Farmer's Market. 
It smells just heavenly every time we open the door!

Along the staircase we have the Christmas Carol Rubber Ducks-Scrooge, Marley, Tiny Tim and the three ghosts. 

Christmas cards are lined up on the built in cabinet. 

Our Christmas tree is in the front room in front of our window. We already have presents underneath it!!

And on our buffet table (really used to store DVDs, CDs and extra linens), we have what the N-boy refers to as the "Marriage Tree" (a wedding gift), with some shiny Christmas baubles and candles. 

We decorate this sculpture for each season with appropriate things-Christmas ornaments, Easter eggs, Paper mache pumpkins, etc. 

We're sticking with our current decorations for this year, and will look for things to decorate the house more next year at the after Christmas sales. 

On the festive Advent front, my wonderful swap partner has been so kind to me! I've unwrapped a bag that can be used to make baked potatoes in the microwave. 

I can't wait to try it out!

Cute cupcake liners. I love baking cupcakes!

And an adorable pink keychain with a sewing machine charm attached to a yoyo. So cute!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

And on the fourth day of Advent, holidayelf gave to me....

Today's Advent present is super cute! It's a little silver Chinese fortune cookie set. The cookie open up, and you can put little fortunes inside of it to give to someone! It even comes with a book of "love fortunes" that I can tear out to use.

I think I know what DH has in his future.....

One reason this is a super great gift for me is that this is one of those things that I'd see in a store, but would never buy for myself. And so I love that someone took the time to choose gifts that she'd thought I'd like, and she was right!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jingle Jog and Advent Day 3

Today we celebrated the third day of December with a luxurious bath mitt and two yummy smelling bars of special soap. I can't wait to try them out this weekend!

They fit in perfectly with the December Mission on flylady.net of pampering. Woohoo!

Tonight was also the Jingle Jog on campus. My friend E from work did this last year, and invited me to go with her this year. It's a 5k run (well, we walked it) around campus at night, with Christmas music and lights. The best part is that the students all dress up in costumes to run it. There were some super costumes, like the three magi, angels, lots of santas, and my personal favorite, a santa on the top half, with a reindeer suit that hung down from around his waist so it looked like the santa was riding it! So creative.

E and I had a great time...

And ended up with adorable T-shirts.

This was my first race EVER! I'm very proud that we did it, especially given that its is pretty cold outside. We even had a snow flurry today. I'm looking forward to more events in the spring, where I hope to be able to RUN a 5k outside.

When the N-boy picked me up from Jingle Jog and we got home, he managed to get ahold of my camera. He tends to take lots of self portraits when he has unrestricted access to the camera;

this is my favorite picture from tonight.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


A very brief post tonight, as I've stopped home for about ten minutes before I head back to work to run a student training tonight. Today's advent gift from my wonderful swap partner....


These are my favorites! I usually manage to convince myself that the raisins make them a healthy candy. Yes. And again the wrapping paper was cute Christmas fabric, with an ornament for my little tree!!!

I love Christmas!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yay for December!

Today's post marks the first of what will (hopefully) be 25 posts for the advent season! Something new I did this year was participate in an advent swap through the Christmas message board I belong to (Our Home for the Holidays). I've done a few other swaps before, but have always limited myself to the cards only swaps. This one was my first with actual gifts.

I've been a member of this Christmas board for a few years, and always enjoyed reading the posts from people participating in this particular swap. And today is only the first day of the swap, but I understand why they love it so much! First, I've had a GREAT time getting to know my swap partner. It's been so much fun to build a friendship with someone from another part of the country, especially someone who loves Christmas as much as I do. We've all been working on this swap for months now (maybe as far back as August???), and I hope that our friendship continues after this Christmas season.

The basic idea of this particular swap is that you send some kind of advent calendar (being as creative as you'd like) and then one present to open for each day between December 1 and 24th. You could choose which price range you wanted to be in, which made it a good option for those of us who are watching our pennies a bit.

So without further ado... here's the first gift I opened today!

They're two beautifully embroidered linen napkins! I can't wait to use them on our holiday table. AND my partner wrapped all of my gifts with Christmas fabric (she knows I love to sew), so I can make something with the wrapping paper! Even the N-boy was excited, and insisted on watching me open the package. Each package also has a cute little ornament that I can hang on the mini tree she sent me for the calendar!

And now for a few Thanksgiving pictures. Thanksgiving this year was also my sister-in-law-in-law (Brother in law's wife) 29th Birthday, so we celebrated with cake!

The N-boy made it from scratch, and put on all 29 candles!!!

In addition to the cake, the N-boy and I enjoyed some pie. Yay for the Holiday Season!