Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!!

As I write this post, I am acutely aware that those of you in Australia/New Zealand have already celebrated and are probably fast asleep in bed. We still have 8 hours of the old year here in the Pacific Northwest. Amazingly, we have had sunshine today, which has been a very welcome break from all the nasty winter weather we have been having!!

So, to those of us yet to do the countdown, Happy New Year!

We had a very nice Christmas. It seemed like a long holiday with the three day weekend, but it was a very enjoyable time. Here is a picture of John and I opening gifts Christmas afternoon at my parent's house. (That is a movie camera in my hand!) This week I had to work, so I tried in the evenings to clean up the mess around here and put all the Christmas decor away. Yesterday I boiled up the turkey carcass for soup and ended up with two large pots of turkey vegetable soup. We ate one for dinner and then I put the other one in the freezer for another day.
I also spent quite a bit of time catching up on everyone's blog posts this week. Ann had some wonderful links to blogs with finishing, thanks Ann for these links! I have enjoyed them so much. In fact, I found one project that I absolutely love (see picture) on a blog from France....isn't this fantastic? Please check out the website here for more pictures. I wish I could have one of these...but I am not sure when I would find the time to do it. I hope this dear person doesn't mind that I "borrowed" her picture to post here. I give all credit to this stitcher for a beautiful project.
I have been jotting down a few goals for myself...I decided just setting some goals for January was enough for now. I know I would be overwhelmed and never finish if I tried to do the whole year!!! My stitching goals are to finish two small stitching projects, and begin charting my newest design. If I can get going on that I will be so happy with myself!!! The charting program I have is fairly unstable, and so I may be forced to invest in an upgrade before I can get very far with this one!
I am very impressed with Von's 21 finishes for 2006. I didn't think I can count that many at all, but when I went back and looked, I think I have 19. Granted, most of them are VERY small, but finishes none the less! If I can manage two smalls a month for 2007 I should be able to surpass that number easily. I do have another dress I need to get smocked for my granddaughter before she outgrows it.....maybe I better revise that goals list a little bit, LOL!!!

For some reason I am having troubles getting this post to double space the paragraphs...does anyone have the blogger fix for this?

Happy New Year all my friends and family.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twas the Night before Christmas...

and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. (well, thankfully, no mice, but the cats are bouncing around, Lizzie is taking a shower, John is cleaning the turkey, and I have been baking all day!) The stockings were hung by the chimney with care (well, actually, this year, they are laying on the dining room table, I am too tired to put nails in the wall to hold them as we have no chimney in this house!!), with the hopes that Saint Nicolas soon would be there (well, by the looks of the pile of presents under our tree, he has been here twice over!!!). The children were nestled all snug in their beds (are you kidding me? Not in this house!) while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads....

Well, so much for the story book Christmas here in the Dunton Household. Actually, it is quite a lovely Christmas Eve. The rain is pouring down in true Northwest Christmas tradition (having only seen 2 white Christmases in all my years, this rain is the norm). The pies are baked and ready for tomorrow. John and I will bake the turkey and do the potatoes and dressing, and take them over to Mom and Dad's for dinner. This is our gift to them this year, doing the dinner for the 20 of us. Our house is not big enough for all of us, hence the turkey will go with us. Our married daughters are with their in-laws this evening, and tomorrow morning bright and early we will gather here for the immediate family Christmas...presents!!!!! It promises to be a lovely day with our loved ones.

So to all of you, my blogging friends, I hope your Christmas is full of blessings, family and love! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Enough with the weather already!!

We thought November was bad weather wise. But this takes the cake!! I don't suppose that the international news has picked it up and probably was just a tiny blurb on the national news, but we were hit very hard Thursday night with the wind storm of the decade. No, the wind storm of the century would be more like it. We had winds of 70 miles per hour for several hours. Trees and limbs are down everywhere in Western Washington, and here are pictures of a couple of them very close to my house. Our kids heard the crack and crash of the tree in the top picture, and were quite freaked out by the noise...this was only 1 block away. It thankfully missed the house where a large family lives, but it took down all the power lines for the neighborhood. We were without power for over 24 hours, and thankfully it has been restored now, but the news reports say there are still over a million people without power just in Washington alone, not counting Oregon. Of course, the fact that this happened a week before Christmas has put a huge damper on celebrations. Stores are closed all over town, traffic lights are on only here and there, causing major traffic jams as people venture out trying to find a place to get warm and eat some hot food. We have had two Christmas parties cancelled. Shopping for presents will not happen this weekend as I had planned. We are still alive with no damage to our house and cars, so we are blessed!!! Suddenly shopping doesn't seem very important anymore! I didn't have to go to work Friday, as the whole town where my job is at is in the dark, and it is still uncertain if the power will be restored before Monday. I am thankful for a warm house now and a full tank of gas in the car, and plenty of food to eat. Life is good, and not to be taken for granted!!!
I managed to finish Snow Faces by Just Nan this week before the storm hit, and I am pleased with the way it turned out. I need to work on my granddaughter's Christmas stocking, since I only managed to get her name on it last year, and nothing else...and I will hopefully find some time to work on the newest Shepherd's Bush ornament from 2006 JCS.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Another week closer to Christmas!

It's been a busy week at our house. I have started a little Christmas shopping and decorating, but just haven't felt like putting much time into it yet. I did have two quick finishes this week...the Santa design I showed partially finished two weeks ago, and another sweet design. I found it in the online magazine, the December issue of The Gift of Stitching had some free ornaments, and this one called Catch a Falling Flake caught my eye. I put a silver snowflake charm on it instead of stitching the big snowflakes. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. We are having a cubicle decorating contest at work, so I have decorated my cubicle in snowflakes and snowbabies, and this ornament fit perfectly with my theme. It now graces my

computer monitor! I need to remember to take a picture!

I am working on a small ornament for a Christmas gift called Snow Faces by Just Nan...I'll post a picture next time..I don't have enough finished yet to look at!!!

Another busy week awaits...tomorrow all the ladies from church are meeting at Olive Garden for a Christmas celebration. Tuesday Lizzie has piano lessons, and my holiday party at work. Thursday is my hubby's company party, and Friday I will babysit Alana while Amy and Max are at Max's company party. Then Saturday is a party at church...and on it goes. And sometime in there I need to finish my shopping!!! Thank goodness the weather has mellowed out, and is not being an obstacle like last month!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A gift to the community

Every year the church we attend lovingly maintains and presents to the community a life size nativity scene that is called Christmas Island. This beautiful creation was the handwork of a man in Olympia who created and maintained these figures. Each year they were floated on an island (actually a barge) in the middle of Capital Lake near the Washington State Capitol Bldg. People came from miles around to view this marvelous display.

Several years ago, the family of the man who created this masterpiece were unable to continue with the cost and time of maintaining this display, and so offered it to our church. We now set it up outside our building the first weekend of December and it is lit every night until the weekend after Christmas. People still come from miles around to enjoy the scene, and lovingly reminisce with their children.."I remember when Christmas Island was really an island..."

Last night we had the official lighting of Christmas Island, and while it is not nearly so wonderful as in person, I hope you enjoy the glimpse of our gift to the community, preserving the past, and presenting the good news of the Nativity.
Later Note: As Amy Sue reminded me, Christmas Island was on display for many years in the corner of the parking lot at a local mall. I believe the owners of the mall helped pay the expenses of maintainence and the electricity. Then the mall was closed, and it was after that the family of the man who created it offered it to our church.