Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Christmas Surprise!

After our morning gift giving on Christmas Day, my parents had us clear away the massive mess on the floor (we could not see much of the floor) for the "big gift." We did so, then my mom sent me and the sister after me to our rooms. Something was brought in from outside, and everyone else was allowed to come into the family room. My sister and I were instructed to come downstairs with our eyes closed. When Mom let us open our eyes, this is what we saw:

This is mine; it is made of sassafras wood, so it has more grain lines and is more brown toned.

The dividing shelf/bottom is made of cedar, and we had some extra cedar blocks to use to keep the scent on our items.

This is my sister's; it is cherry, so it has less strong grain patterns (I think the pattern is like stone, marble particularly) and is more red toned.

These chests are made in the Shaker style. The dimensions are approximately 18x40x27 inches

My sisters have taken piano lessons from our parents' high school chemistry teacher's wife for years because Mom randomly met her teacher and mentioned lessons without knowing his wife's degree was music. He took up woodworking, and Mom had asked him during lessons if he could make us something, and they decided on these which he had also made for his daughters. Hearing this story gave a few previous comments more significance. Mom had asked us if we had a particular gift we were excited to give...well, now we know what hers was!

I had seen cedar chests in November when the ladies of Mom's extended family went shopping, and I seriously considered going back and getting one. I am glad I didn't, but it is funny that I had this item in mind so recently! I am so glad I can have a brand new hope chest which larger than most I have seen and made for me particularly!

I have wanted a Hope Chest for years, but I could never find the perfect one at the right time, and they cost sooo much! I could probably fill mine now with all the "hope family and future" stuff in my room ranging from our old baby clothes and stuffed animals to tea paraphernalia and sterling silver utensils from Peddler's Mall. I want to save most of the space for new and special stuff though, perhaps I could even collect things for my wedding such as vases and tablecloths. I think I might put my tea stuff in the bottom drawer, we shall see. I think I need to make a cushion to put on top of the chest both to protect it and make it into a seat.

Happy New Years! I am stuffing myself with my dad's homemade doughnuts (an Alton Brown recipe) and hiding from the crowd of our party for now.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas to Me ;/

Some/all of this is what I got to come home to and open on Christmas Eve. The flat iron was $20 at Sally's, half inch curling iron-should be good for regency styles, three jars of Bentonite clay, Bible memory software, a pamphlet, and a book. I have a shopping problem...I am even buying stuff for myself during the Christmas holidays...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Chronology

We started off our Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve by seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as a family. I loved it as did several/all of my sisters. My parents not so much, not sure about my brother. Anyway, us girls left on a handsomeness high pretty much.

After The Hobbit, we went to my mom's extended family gathering. Every adult draws a name during our Thanksgiving celebration and buys a $15-$20 gift for that person. 18 and under receive gifts from every family. The adults put a $1 gift in the stocking belonging to his/her sex, and then we draw names to see who wins the men's and women's stockings; this is usually a hilarious, competitive proceeding. The first year I was in the adults I won, I was allowed in at 17 with my 18 year old cousin (since he was only nine months older), and this year he won for his first time, and it is always fun when someone wins for the first time or after a dry spell. We decided to add another exchange next year. Everyone buys two $5 dollar gifts for his/her sex, they will be numbered, and then numbers will be drawn. I love games and such like this. Anyway, I received Les Mis here.

When I got home, I found several packages I had ordered for myself which made me happy.

On Christmas morning our grandparents watched us open presents as a family because they had never seen us do that, and we have reached the period in which most of us buy gifts for each other as well as receiving them from our parents. We had our usual homemade cinnamon rolls thanks to Dad.

My grandparents left to prepare Christmas dinner, and a few hours later we followed. We had dinner, played Scattergories Catagories, and opened gifts. We then watched the short film Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas which my grandparents had recorded; it was hilarious. We came home and watched Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. 

Some friends came over on Thursday. Friday after a home-school volleyball league family night, we watched The Amazing Spider Man which my brother received from one of my sisters. Today is a major game day. Monday our family is going bowling and out to eat and us girls and Mom may be meeting with some friends. Our festivities continue with our annual New Year's celebration on New Year's Eve with Dad's homemade donuts.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Here is the smallish Christmas gift list. The wonderful one deserves a post of its own. All my gifts are nice, but you will understand what I mean when I quit taunting and actually show the loveliest gift.

Practical (okay, so the grey gloves are elegant...touchscreen gloves CAN be elegant; my littlest sister picked them out, what a good job!).

 Workout clothes, two pairs of gloves (one pair touchscreen), and pajamas.


 A warming mask, plenty of chocolate, a pomegranate, and shampoo. I used the mask that very day and it was lovely.


One can never have too many makeup bags and these are cute, durable, and roomy. The hair comb is silvery and elegant. The sweater style matches (unintentionally as the gifts were given by different people) a sweater one of my little sisters received.

 Lovely, from my brother...I think with help from one of my sisters, but still, he did an excellent job giving his sisters and girlfriend gifts this year.

 These kitties even look like our newest kitty. Kitties and books, now how could that arrangement go wrong?

I am trying to obtain all the titles I like from the Barnes and Noble elegant hardback collection and was thrilled to receive this one. I haven't had the chance to watch Les Mis, and I adore Ramin Karimloo. A nerd's dream collection pretty much.

I have several Christmas posts to go. I love Christmas. I think when I have my own family I want to have the 12 days of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone! We started off our Christmas celebration marvelously as we watched the Hobbit on Christmas Eve before going to an extended family Christmas. I have had a lovely Christmas with plenty of fun gifts and one really exciting gift! My sisters, mom, and I watched Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue (a gift from one sister to another; I love that we often can enjoy each other's gifts!) this evening; the movie was adorable and refreshing with its message of imagination and belief after semesters of "logic," "evidence," etc. The movie was also especially fun for me since I had recently finished the Peter and the Starcatchers series and watched the 2003 live action Peter Pan film (and to extend this subject one of my sisters received the Disney animated Peter Pan, and I gave one of my sisters the Disney fairy drawing book). I think I really need to attempt the original Peter Pan again.

P.S. I will post more Christmas posts later.