It has been a busy but fun weekend at our house. We put up our tree last night which is always a good time. We had hot, spiced cider, cranked the holiday music, got silly and pulled out the boxes. Our theme tends to be 'overkill'. We have LOTS of ornaments, more than will fit on the tree, but few are commercially produced ones that we have purchased. Most of them are ones that have been made, either by me or by the children, or were gifts from others. We love sharing the stories as we hang them. "Remember ____, who gave this one to us?" or "You made this one when you were __" or even better yet "This is one of the ornaments that Dad and I had on our very first tree together". That is half the fun. We do have an artificial tree, one that we have had for over 12 years. It has seen better days but we're not about to get a new one. Maybe someday we'll go back to having a real tree. We got an artificial one when we had a cat that kept knocking the tree over by trying to climb it every year. That's why we have very few of the original glass ornaments that V and I got for our first tree together.
I11 had his band concert at church this morning. They sounded fabulous and he is quite proud of himself for taking the risk to play in with a group that is comprised mostly of adults or high school students. They ended up with 42 people playing in the band and played versions of holiday music by Mannheim Steamroller.
J14 and her friends sold freshly baked cinnamon rolls between services as a fundraiser since 10 of them are going to the national youth gathering in New Orleans in July. Everyone at church this morning was energized and in good spirits.
When we got home J14 and I worked to hem her dress for the winter formal. It was a thrift store find but was a bit too long. Hemming the underskirt wasn't the problem. My Mom did that quickly when we were down for Thanksgiving and she was helping us problem solve the dress. The issue was the sheer, floaty overskirt. It needed to be cut since it has a very tiny hem. I was quite nervous about cutting the fabric- once it's cut you can't put it back. But we took the plunge, cut an inch off the bottom and re-hemmed it. Luckily my sewing machine has a specialized foot that will do those tiny rolled hems automatically- although with fabric that sheer and slippery it wasn't a picnic. But it's done. For $20 and a half hour of swearing under my breath she looks lovely. It also has a matching wrap that goes with it and is from a leading designer of wedding gowns. My thought is that it was probably someone's bridesmaids dress that they didn't want so that's how it ended up at the thrift store. The really nice thing is, if she decides she doesn't want to wear it as a formal again, it is a simple and classic enough design that we could cut it shorter and she could wear it as a shorter dress.
In other news, I reported in my comments on yesterday's post that we did put down a deposit on a side of beef that we will receive toward the end of January. Now we just need to make space in the freezer. We have planned all our meals this week around what we can use out of the freezer to make space. Now I almost wish I hadn't bought turkeys- but variety is nice, too. I'm glad I only processed one of them since the stock takes more room in the freezer than the whole bird. Maybe after Santa brings me my canner I will can some to get it out of the freezer. That can be my learning project. I'm going to be pushing oatmeal for breakfast since I store my stash of oatmeal in the freezer and I've currently got about 12 lbs in there taking up lots of space. If worse comes to worst, the oatmeal and my stash of 15 lbs of unbleached flour can live out of the freezer for a while.
Our penchant for picking stuff out of dumpsters paid off this morning as well. As we were on our way to church we noticed that someone had put an old snowshovel and a pitchfork out by a dumpster down the alley. By the time we came home the snow shovel was already gone but the fork was there. It has a broken handle but it is a great old fork...and I mean, OLD. It doesn't look like a garden fork but an actual old-fashioned hay fork. I'm thinking compost aeration this spring....
This has been rather rambling hasn't it. But then, I'm avoiding laundry.