Monday, December 26, 2011

The day after Christmas...

It's the day after Christmas, and all the hoopla is over.  The dust has settled, and things are getting back to normal.  It's a federal holiday here in the states, so DH and DS were both home, and though the store was open today, I asked for the day off and was graciously given it.  What do you do on the day after Christmas when you live close to Washington, DC?  You pack up the boys and head to the National Mall and the Eclipse and visit the National Christmas tree!

We rode in on the Metro...

But first, you must wait for it to get dark, so we visited our pals at  Madame Tussauds.


I had a little chat with George Clooney..*ladylike drool*...

The boys had a game of hockey with Alexander Ovechkin....guess who won?  LOL


I had Hoover give DS a little interrogation...LOL
 We looked through some windows and saw this Gingerbread house...later when we walked by after dark there were lights in the house...cute eh?

Then we decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe....what fun!  And the food wasn't bad either!  Then it was time to head over to the National Mall.

I was impressed this year to see a Nativity.  It's hard to tell from the picture but it was life size.  I'm glad to see we can still observe all religions freely.

Each year there are 50 + trees decked out for Christmas.  One for each state and for the US territories.  School children from the different states are chosen to make ornaments to decorate their tree.  
Then there is one tree larger than all the others that is designated as the "National Tree".  
It was a beautiful night, and there were tons of people there...but despite the crowds, it was fun visiting all the trees and seeing their decorations.  I'm thankful to live in such a wonderful place!!

So we saw the trees, the Menorah, and the White House with it's outdoor decorations.  What a beautiful sight!  I love the decorations along the streets in DC as well. 

It was a great night out with my boys!  Tomorrow will be back to the old grind, but today was the perfect ending to our little holiday.  I hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas!

The last thing, but certainly not the least, is a picture of the gift Mouse sent me for Christmas.  What a thoughtful thing to send, Mouse, I love them both!  I feel very spoiled!  I can't wait to take a soak in the tub with the lavender tea bags for the tub.  And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the little pin cushion!  Thank you so much!  I hope your package arrives soon!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Hi cross stitch fans!!  I hate to disappoint you, but there won't be any pictures today either.  I have great news though!!  For those of you who have been praying for my son's friend T, your prayers have been answered.  Looks like T will be going home in a day or two, just in time to spend Christmas at home.  The Lord is sooooo good!  Thank you all for praying for him!!

I have a couple of other fun things to tell you.  Did I happen to mention how much I love my job?  Well...I find the things we frame so interesting, and it's kinda neat living in this area because we do tend to get some interesting pieces to frame.  The other day we had a rush order (which had a less than 24 hour turn around) from "The Washington Post".  They had the newspaper proof (it's a metal tin type that is what they use to print off the newspaper) with an article about George Bush.  AND...I later found out that it was a gift for George H W Bush himself!!  Something I framed might be hanging in the former president's house!!  How cool is that?  There was an Air Force Doctor who used to come frequently to the store, he was the private doctor for George W.  He had a few stories to tell!!  LOL  He brought in the licens plates of the presidential limo from inauguration day along with the flags that fly on the front of the car.  That was a cool project too!  I've met some secret service fellas, and all kinds of interesting folks.  Yep, my job may seem dull most of the time, but now and's kinda fun the things we see pass through our doors.  Right now it's crunch time at the store I'm working some long hours, and then I'm too tired to sleep.  I need to find some time to wrap presents too.  I need a few extra hours in the day.  LOL  Anyone want to be my elf and come clean my house and wrap my gifts?  Nah, didn't think so...LOL  I'm off to hit the hay, tomorrow promises to be another exhausting day.  *Hugs*

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a find!

I clicked on the "home" of one of the people who commented on my blog and found a lovely surprise! Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore is a lovely blog to visit, with lots of beautiful photos, interesting information, lovely stitching and she is hosting a giveaway!  If you want a treat, stop by and take a look at this lovely blog, you won't be disappointed!  Just click on the name and you'll be directed there.  Enjoy!! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just need to write....

I was so looking forward to Christmas this year, I had planned to keep my mind focused on the true meaning of Christmas.  I was hoping to attend some Christmas events, to spend time with people I care about and do special things for them, but it never fails that someone switches the treadmill I'm on up to full speed and before you know it, I'm running full tilt in the wrong direction.  I know I must sound like a wimp, but I worked the past three days and I'm completely wiped brain is on overload.  I am beginning to realize the toll the chemo took on my brain.  If I'm distracted for a moment, I completely forget what I was about to do and I feel I'm useless at work.  There are so many distractions at work at the moment and I end up spending the time there running in circles, trying to remember what I should be doing.  I was so tired last night I tried to watch TV but absolutely nothing soaked in.  And then the phone rang...

My husband's Grandmother passed away yesterday.  It totally came out of the blue.  She was 93.  I feel so badly for my husband.  His family is slowly slipping away and each parting gets more difficult for him.  Please pray for him and his family during this time.  The funeral is next week...and the timing is such that he and my son can travel up there, but I'm torn between feeling needed by my family, and feeling needed at my job.  The problem is the drive over the mountains in PA and we worry about the weather this time of year.  We've been stranded in bad weather before.  We don't want to appear calloused and really when this happens you WANT to be with your family, but....  It's such a dilemma and caused a rather sleepless night last night.  I'm waiting on my husband, ultimately I'll do whatever he feels he would like to do.

I haven't had much time (or desire...sadly) to cross stitch lately, but with the crazy January challenge nearly upon us I am beginning to feel the pangs of "startitis".  I thought I had my list whittled down, but found some SAL's I'd like to partake hopefully I'll find a moment or two to firm up a list and get the needed supplies soon.  Wish me luck...

On a lighter note, I've been enjoying a plant that we bought a while back.  They were selling one Amaryllis bulb with some of the proceeds going to Susan G. of course I couldn't resist.  We chose the pink flower and then in the hustle and bustle we lost track of it.  Two weeks ago, DH finally planted it.  I wish I had taken a picture of it each day.  I swear it has grown an inch a day and today there are two blossoms opened.  If you ever want to have a fun project for a child, plant one of these beauties, you won't be disappointed.  These are the pictures  I took this morning.  I love the color!!  Each blossom is bigger than my hand!

I have today off, and later tonight DS has a date with his youth group for laser tag.  That leaves a free evening for DH and I to have a little date night.  I will probably head back to bed soon for a little more sleep so I can stay awake for whatever he has planned tonight.  I feel better for having written things down, somehow that always seems to clear my mind and help me organize my thoughts.  Thanks for reading, if you made it this far, and for praying for our family.  *Hugs*

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's a good day!!

Hi Cross Stitch Fans, wherever you may be!  Hope the sun is shining and the Christmas Carols are playing wherever you are today!  It's a pretty day here in Maryland, a good day to meet up with a friend and spend a little time stitching...and so I've done!

Astrid and I met up today for a little relaxing time of stitching and sharing our experiences lately.  Who knew, when we met in bbinteractive yahoo group a little over a year ago, that we would become such good friends?  I hope you enjoy my company as much as I enjoy yours, Astrid!

If you've ever been to Astrid's blog, you would see she's a multi-talented person.  She makes cards, stitches, and makes jewelry.  She's already made a few bracelets for me, and just last week, she made me these earrings.  I wish I had a portion of her talent!!  And, Astrid, I would love to make jewelry, so maybe after Christmas maybe we can plan a day for a lesson?  Aren't these the cutest earrings?  I LOVE them!!  Thanks so much.

AND..if you've ever been to Astrid's blog, you would see that she likes dragons.  For the PIF that she won earlier this year I stitched a dragon for her, and then the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue came out guessed it...there was a dragon ornament.  It had her name all over it!!  I stitched it a few weeks ago, before I lost my mojo....and ran out of time...and began to feel the pressure of Christmas drawing near at the speed of light.  So, just in case I didn't see her again before Christmas, I stayed up till the wee hours and assembled this into an ornament this morning...and gave it to her when we met up.  I THINK she liked it.  I thought it came out quite nice!

We attended our Church's annual Christmas performance last night.  It was a play/musical called "The Christmas Post".  They did a wonderful job!!  It also reminded me what Christmas is all about, a life changing experience when we get to know our Lord and Savior on a personal level.  Now if I can just keep that thought in my frontal lobe during the holidays...Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men...I'll have a bright and Merry Christmas.  I wanted to leave you with the words from my favorite Christmas song.  Evie had this on her Christmas Memories album back in the 80's.  I played the cassette tape so many times, it finally broke in the tape player and after many years of searching for the CD, I finally mentioned it to a coworker one year.  He found it on ebay and gave it to me for Christmas that year, it reduced me to tears, and I still play this song over and over again at Christmas time.  I just love the words...

Twas the night before Christmas,
And my only desire
Was peace among kids, and to rest by the fire.
I had just settled down in my favorite chair;
When I heard a small voice, and a cry of despair.
As I stared at the hearth I saw a strange sight!
Our nativity scene, in the flickering light
Seemed almost alive!
And how could this be!
One lonely shepherd was calling to me.

Move me closer, move me closer
Move me closer to the Child.
Let me see Him, let me hold His hand.
Move me closer to the Child.

As you can well imagine, I was a bit surprised.
So with a shake of the head and a rub of the eyes
I took another look, and what did I see,
Without a doubt he was looking at me.

It seems in the hustle and bustle of things
In the wrapping of gifts, and the building of swings,
In assembling his scene, I'd been a bit hurried,
And understandably so, He was a little bit worried.

Move me closer, move me closer
Move me closer to the Child.
Let me see Him, let me hold His hand.
Move me closer to the Child.

You see, candy canes and holly trim
Didn't mean a thing to him.
If it kept him from his post
Beside the child he loved the most.

So as strange as it must seem,
Whether it was, or wasn't, a dream.
I placed him back where he belonged
As he sang again his simple song.
And now when we at Christmas share,
We sing his song:
A Shepherd's Prayer.

Move me closer, move me closer
Move me closer to the Child.
Let me see Him, let me hold His hand.
Move me closer to the Child.
Move me closer to the Child.

I hope in the hustle and bustle of the season you find time to move closer to the Child.  *Hugs* 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Great Joy and Great Sadness...

Where to begin?  First, I want to wish my best buddy, Sonya, a very Happy Birthday!  I drove to my LNS where she works today to bring her her present.  I have been planning and plotting this present for almost a year, and I couldn't wait another day to give it to her.  Here is a picture.


Just a little background for you, Sonya loves tea, so at the beginning of the year I started looking for a tea cup.  I had seen tea cup pincushions all over the place on the internet, so decided this would be the perfect gift for her.  I finally found one on my trip to Virginia during the summer.  If you know me, you know how hard it is for me to keep a secret.  I have been dying to tell Sonya of this gift for ages.  The  next part was to search for the perfect pattern for the that incorporated the colors of the tea cup along with her favorite things.  I finally decided on the swan from the Castles in the air pattern offered on Papillon Creations, as the swan is another of her favorite things.  


Now, her gift had all her favorite things wrapped into one, a swan, tea and her love of needlework.  Lastly, I mixed some lavender with the stuffing of her pincushion, so it also includes her favorite scent.  I hope you have a very Happy Birthday my dear friend, you deserve the best!  Sonya helped me in so many ways as I struggled through my cancer treatment.  You truly are a gift from God!  Where would we be without our girlfriends, right ladies?

I have to mention here the sadness I feel today too.  Remember I've asked for prayers for DS's friend, T.  T is going through his third round of chemotherapy.  His last round was very difficult, he lost a lot of weight and had terrible issues with things too graphic to post here.  He even stayed a few nights in the ICU.  The last report from his Mom that was posted on Caring Bridge today was not good.  T has developed an infection.  His temperature is bouncing up and down, and so is his blood pressure.  He hasn't been able to keep any food down and any medical procedures they have tried recently to give him nourishment have failed.  They are praying he doesn't have to go back into the ICU.  Because it is cold and flu season, no one under the age of 16 can visit T and that means the majority of his friends.  He is missing his greatest supporters.  Along with the bad news, there is good news.  They have found a bone marrow donor for him, in fact they found two, who were willing to donate to him.  They are in Europe, so they will extract the bone marrow in Europe and fly it to the US where he will receive the transplant.  He has one more round of chemo to prepare his body for this after the first of the year.  If he can overcome the current issues and his numbers go back up he will be able to spend Christmas at home with his family.  He was able to spend his birthday (the same day as mine!) and Thanksgiving at home and it is our prayer that he will be able to spend Christmas at home as well.  Please pray for this strong, courageous young man.  It is breaking my heart to see this humorous, talented, big-hearted young man go through such trials.  And his family could use the prayers too.  Thank you.
This week has been a very difficult and stressful week.  Murphy's Law reigns supreme (did I mention that was my maiden name?  I SWEAR they wrote it about my family!!)  With trials coming from all corners of my life, work, family, church and even my internet family I have lost my stitching mojo.  I am struggling with a number of issues I think are from a medication I must take for another 4 years, forgetfulness, severe headaches and swelling in my arm, legs and feet.  It's just not fun to be me right now...I don't know what I will do, but if you don't hear from me for a while, sit tight, I'll be back soon.  You can't keep an addicted stitcher down for long.  In the meanwhile, try to remember the Reason for the Season and be kind to one another.  A little kindness goes a long way!  *Hugs*

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hanging of the greens...

I have heard this expression many times, and never realized what it meant until recently.  It's usually a church service that includes everyone of all ages, and you decorate the church the first Sunday of Advent,  using evergreens that symbolize everlasting life, holly that symbolizes the death of Jesus on the Cross and Ivy that symbolizes his resurrection.  What a lovely way to begin the Christmas season with a reinforcement of our belief along with the anticipation of celebrating the birth of Jesus.  I LOVE Christmas for this reason, to celebrate the gift we were given and the hope of salvation and the promise of eternal life for those who believe.

So, with that in mind, we decorated our house.  Just a few pictures here, as people have been hinting they wanted to see our decorations.  I don't have any updated stitching pictures, with the craziness at work, the bustle of shopping and parties and church services I have lost my mojo, but hope to have it back soon as I still have Christmas gifts to stitch!  Enjoy the greenery!