Welcome to Anybody Home!

Here you will find scattered pictures from my point and shoot camera, random thoughts from my little world, treasured memories of days gone by, hopeful dreams of the days yet to come, and a bunch of ideas - because I've always got ideas!

Monday, December 05, 2016

St Nicholas Party Part Two

Not only did we enjoy our gift baskets and taco bar, we watched the Claymations Christmas special from 1987 (it still seems new to me!) and the Garfield Christmas special.  These have become St. Nicholas traditions.
AND it was the first time this season we have had measurable snow here, so that REALLY added to the Christmas-y feeling.
But that still isn't all!
We decorated Christmas cookies too.
Daughter made them earlier, so all we needed to do was fancy them up!
I think this may be the favorite tradition to those under the age of eleven.
And they were DELICOUS!
Sometimes the "boys" got a bit crazy punching each other, but all in good fun.
Cookie decorating is SERIOUS work.
Seriously FUN work!
 Some people even got their cookies PERSONALIZED with their very own name.
Oh yes, this is a GREAT tradition.
I suggest you start it too.
Even if it is just you and one other person.
Because I said so. 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

St Nicholas Party!

Every year, as close as we can get to St. Nicholas Eve we have a family party.
It started when our kids were young and THGGM worked in retail.
It gave our family a chance to celebrate BEFORE the  traditional holiday craziness set in.
Today we had a fabulous taco bar.
And for dessert, an Oreo ice cream dessert made with peppermint stick ice cream.
There were gift baskets filled to running over with Christmas themed items to enjoy in the three weeks leading up to Christmas day.

And there was family.
All fourteen of us!

Friday, December 02, 2016

Busy At Work

Yesterday morning I dug into the depths of my basement and brought up a picnic basket FULL of Christmas-y rubber stamps.
I wasn't sure if Hertsje would enjoy doing this as much as I do, so was pleasantly surprised that she LOVED it!

Were I to put out ALL of the rubber stamps it would have been overwhelming even for me, so I just put a few between us and we went to work!
This girl barely needs my help with ANYTHING anymore!
And I found some old favorite stamps of mine from days of yore!
We did all of this "work" while listening to Christmas music and reading Christmas stories.
Hertsje also decorated a few "gift bags" for use a little later in the season.
I found an extra tree in my basement too.
It even had lights on it that worked!
So, I brought that upstairs and put it in front of the window in the guest room.
It's a very sparsely branched tree, so we shall continue to make ornaments to hang on it.
Obviously, we have a loooong way to go!

Let the Christmas Crafting Begin!

Or, should I say.., continue?
Because we are ALWAYS crafting around here.
This particular ornament was made on Monday, but lately it isn't just on Monday that we make things.
My Pinterest Board is FULL of things I WANT to make.
This one we just came up with on our own.

 And this one is TOTALLY from Hertsje's fabulous imagination.
If you can't tell, it is a monster snowman with A LOT of eyes.
Do notice that the monster maker has THREE eyes.
I'm always thrilled when children can easily follow directions and make something recognizable.
I'm also equally thrilled to see children come up with their own ideas for things and have the freedom to do it!
The two of us have a great time creating things, but I'm guessing that is obvious.

Thanksgiving Was Over a Week Ago?

I am finding it impossible to believe that Thanksgiving 2016 has already come and gone.
It was an exceptionally wonderful Thanksgiving too!
My Up-North sister and brother-in-law have been our hosts for decades.
As always, the food and the company were amazing!
We all looked pretty much like this after we ate, and while we waited for pie.
It was a bit misty from time to time, but still an okay day for playing outside.
That's my baby dunking the basketball.  And my youngest nephew, whom we refer to as "Uncle Cousin" looking on.
This is my baby's baby playing in the mud. He LOVED it!
Pake played Four Square with whomever wanted to play.
Inside there were video games and football on TV. 
The Lion's won!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Birthday Cake!

Hertsje did not have pre-school today, so we got to spend the whole day together!
Today is also her Mommy's birthday, so Hertsje made a cake for her.
A yellow cake with cocoa fudge frosting.
This girl is GOOD at baking.
She can even crack the eggs without getting little bits of shell into the mix.
I still struggle with that.

She got to lick the spoon too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let the Decorating Begin!

No, I haven't gone crazy decorating for Christmas.
Our house actually works the best with fall colors, so we do not like to rush that on out of here.
But, since it is very likely that after an unseasonably warm Friday this week, snow will be headed our way for Saturday.
That means I must be ready for winter things.
And if I must be ready for that, how could I NOT do so with my decorating also?
I found these itsy bitsy skaters this summer.
I have itsy bitsy plans for them too!
The four actual figures are metal.
They are already skating on a new rink made from a tiny mirror.
It's also time that I brought up my snowmen mugs and dishes.
That always makes me sooo excited.
I have no idea why that is, but it's true.
And see that bottle brush tree below, the one with the tiny bead ornaments on it?
I found that on sale at an antique mall for a great price.
The very same mall had newer bottle brush trees for sale for a whole lot more than I paid for this one, and the tag even told me that the star on top was a recent addition.
So, once the grand kids have their fill of playing with these trees, I'll be putting them all around to make the inside a winter wonderland too.
And joy of joys!
I found the Dutch boy cookie jar to match the Dutch girl cookie jar that I have had for a few years now.
I had to wait for him to go on sale, so I wasn't sure he would still be there when I went back for him.
But he waited!  He waited for ME!

He is my Christmas present.
My very own Dutch boy said that I could have him for Christmas if I wanted him that badly.
And I did.
I'll put a bow on him or something.
So everyone will know.
Next up I shall be filling a wooden bowl with Christmas stamps so I can make tags and things as I go.
I say this every year.
It rarely happens.
But, I don't let little things like that stop me from being hopeful for this season.
You just never know.
Someday it may happen, and if it ever does, I'll be ready for it.
You don't know either.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Broeder Sings for You

Broeder was enthusiastically singing the ABC's for Pake and me all evening.  When we asked if he knew any other songs, he began singing "I'm a little pumpkin orange and round", to our obvious delight!

Monday, November 14, 2016

On Monday We Make Things!

We almost did NOT make things today.
I woke up feeling icky and cold-ish.
But Famke reminded me late in the afternoon that we still hadn't make anything yet.
I sort of felt like we HAD made things, because we had filled the dining room table with bottle brush trees, deer, snowmen, and a few cottages, BUT, she pointed out, she could not take those home with her.
So we went to Pinterest where we found these cute angles made from scrapbook paper and a wooden bead.

Not so sure about the halos, but I needed something to keep the heads from rolling off every time we set them down.
Over the weekend I picked up a couple of Christmas rubber stamps, so I see a bit of stamping in our Christmas crafting future too!

This Is SOOO Embarrassing to Admit

Isn't this an adorable picture of Feintje and Broeder?
I cannot take credit for it, as it was taken by Jonge, who has a great eye.
After trudging through the woods at John Ball Park for our annual Fall Family Photo, we trudge back out to a play ground in the park where we also celebrated Daughter-in-law2's 30th birthday!
So what is so embarrassing about that, you might ask?
Well, it has to do with the CAMERA that Jonge used to catch this fabulous shot of his little brother and his cousin sailing down a twisty slide together.
Not this past summer, but the summer before I was sitting in my driveway with my up north sister while we watched the kids all playing happily together. A few of them where watching a cicada shed its skin on a nearby tree.
I had my GOOD camera on my lap when I made the ridicules decision to stand up.  My camera fell straight down onto its lens on the cement driveway.
From that moment on I could never get it to focus again.
After monkeying around with it for a few days I started to believe that what I have always thought was indeed true.
I just cannot have nice things.
So, I put my camera into its case like a body wrapped in a shroud and closed it into a drawer-like crypt.
Then, fast forward nearly a year and a half and my computer catches a virus which wipes out all my picture files. I'm not happy about this, but I remember that I just cannot have nice things.
Daughter asked if I wanted her to take my computer to Son-in-law to see if he could wipe it clean and maybe attempt to save the files.
As she left she said she might as well take my camera too and he could also look at that.
He did those things.
He eliminated the virus from my computer, but could not get beyond the encryption.
But the camera?
There wasn't anything wrong with it.
Nothing at all.
It had just slipped into a setting I had never used before when it fell.
So there you have it.  I am a blooming idiot.
This comes as no surprise to Son-in-law, but he is a good man and didn't say that.  At least not to my face.
So, YAY, I have my camera back!
But I'm feeling like my fragile self-esteem has been encrypted with the "blooming idiot" virus, which may also be difficult if not impossible to remove.