Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Around the House

After my daughter was determined to make my 'Noel' into 'No Elf' on my secretary, I decided to change the word to 'grace' appropriate, isn't it?
Here 'grace' is written on a little chalk board in this herb box centerpiece in my kitchen.

...and again, on the tree made from old blocks for the playroom. 
His grace and mercy abound...
The little lamb was placed under the tree to keep Christmas in perspective...
I purchased the typewriter stamp set from Restoration Hardware.  The children made Christmas tags for our gifts.
My youngest daughter received this lovely tea set and doll (Cath Kidston) along with a stroller from Santa. 
Hats and scarves seem to grow on my chairs.  My daughter tied this one to the chair as a little spoof on me for all my decorating...I think it was very clever! 

Thank you all for your kind words about our yellow Lab, Toby.  My whole family found comfort from your kindness.  He is sorely missed!

  I will be posting the rest of 'Christmas Around the House' throughout the week, with a few projects I did during the holiday.   Time slipped away, despite my best efforts.

(I made the 'G' in the first photo with modge podge and a wooden letter from Hobby Lobby.  One of the Christmas cards we received had the polka dot liner in the envelop.  I loved it, so traced and cut the letter out and glued...simple, but cute!)
Best Wishes to you in the New Year!
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Three Barks from Heaven

No lazy day to play with toys the day after Christmas.  No meandering around in our jammies all day eating leftovers or sitting by the fire relaxing after guests had all gone home.
 The day after Christmas was a sad day for us.  Our beloved Toby passed away.  With great big holes in all of our hearts, we grieved.  For those of you who are pet owners, you understand.  It is like losing a family member.  It hurts.  It hurts deeply.  Our pets love us so much.  They love unconditionally.  They listen.  They comfort.  When you have tears, they lick the pain away.  When you are happy, they rejoice with you.  Our pets are faithful.  Toby was the best.  He was all of our best friend.   

Toby had been in a great deal of pain for several weeks.  We thought it was arthritis.  We went to the vet three times to get more medication.  By Christmas, he couldn't walk at all.  He cried at night.  We took him to the vet the day after Christmas hoping that maybe he had a broken leg that was misdiagnosed and could be fixed.  X-rays showed bone cancer.  A cancer that had caused his hip bones to completely deteriorate.  We had the difficult choice to make to put him to sleep and out of the pain he was experiencing.  If you have not had to confront this, it is one of the most difficult choices.  And then there is explaining that to your children...

I don't think I have ever seen my children cry so hard.  It pained me to watch them.  It was difficult to be strong, when my own heart was hurting.  Later that day, when I thought we had no more tears left, my son was cutting fruit for our dinner.  He turned around with the bowl in his hand and with eyes full of tears said, "I know I am crying again, but I thought I heard three barks from heaven."

I believe him.  I don't pretend to know what happens to our pets when they die.  I like to think that they will be in heaven.  After all, God created them, too.  I can't recite it, but somewhere in the Bible it says that the animals will all live in harmony; the lion and the lamb... There are no tears in heaven.  I think it would be sad not to see our pets.  I choose to believe they are there, and that we will see them again.

I told my children that Toby couldn't walk anymore here on earth and that he was suffering.   That day after Christmas, I pictured Jesus balancing on one knee and yelling, "Come here, boy!  Come on Toby!"  I like to think Toby ran into his Maker's arms at the moment he closed his eyes here on earth.  I like to picture him running in the fields of flowers and swimming in the ponds in heaven.  I think this picture gave my children some comfort.

Three barks from heaven...I think I hear them, too.

I have written about Toby before.  We adopted him two years ago from Rob's great uncle who passed away at the age of 93.  Toby didn't have anywhere to go, and we had recently lost our yellow lab of 15 years.  We had known Toby and were thrilled to welcome him, but were a little unsure how he would be with the children; he hadn't been around kids much.  Rob's parents drove and met family from Pennsylvania to bring Toby to us.  He loved our children and played endlessly with them.  After six months, Toby swallowed a McDonald's pink flamingo toy and almost died.  He had surgery and survived the fifty/fifty chance that was given.  We were so blessed by Toby.  He will be sorely missed.

I apologize to so many of you, whom I wanted to visit and wish a Merry Christmas or to respond to questions you had.  I will be back soon.   Enjoy your time and hug your loved ones and your pets.  As one blogger wrote to me, "Love them way more than you think possible!"

Much love to all of you,
Pin It Now!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

There is No Santa Claus

My sister-in-law forwarded this to me and I think it is so sweet. 
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumour has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbours, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumours about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Author Unkown

Merry Christmas!
Pin It Now!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Pixie Lane Christmas 2011

This truck in my son's room is haulin' my grandmother's vintage Christmas tree lights.
The other side of the mudroom; a laundry room. 
Laundry Room
Family Room
Family Room
A Playroom
My son's room (ready for guests.)
Son's room
Master bath
Master bath

Thanks for stopping by to see my tour!  If I don't have a link to a room, it is because I haven't posted it yet.  I will be showing some Christmas, even after Christmas!  It sneaked up on little time!

Merry Christmas !
Linking to Funky Junk Interiors for Home Tour 2011.
Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Swedish Country

My daughter's room becomes a guest room for Christmas.  It looks pretty much the same as last Christmas, except for a few changes.  The red gingham heart pillow was in the 'As Is' section at IKEA for $1.99.  I bought three, because if you are going to save money, save it on more than one, right?  My husband says I sure do save a lot of money this way.  Valentine's is coming...
I tried to simplify this space, since Swedish Country really is simple with clean lines.  I love details, but sometimes I overdo it!
The deer head was a real find and I gave it a makeover.  Will share soon, but for now, he hangs in this room to add some whimsy.
I love quilts.  They have such personality.  Antique and vintage ones are so lovely, but they cost a pretty penny.  I found this one at Tuesday Morning.  Quilts by Ralph Lauren are well-made and beautiful; however, I would not pay full price.  These were another great find and lend to the 'country' feel of the room.  My sister bought one, too!
A side view...the wreath is covering up some extra holes I put in the wall, and the nest is masking where the paint began to chip...I made the wreath last year by wrapping some stems together.
This year, I added a tiny tree to the Dutch secretary.  Otherwise, nothing new here!  Click the link, if you want to see this makeover.
I think it would be great to sleep in here with this little tree as your night light!
You can see the sock garland and how I made it here.
I purchased this nativity last Christmas at the Maxx.  Can you tell it is one of my favorite stores?
These are a few of our favorite Christmastime reads.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas belonged to my husband when he was little.
Big Betty (the bunny) has seen a lot of lovin' from my kids.  She is a keeper.  I just look at her and can picture one of them dragging her around.  The little mouse came from IKEA.

Thanks for stopping by on the eve of Christmas Eve!

If you are still looking for gift ideas, see my post here!

Merry Christmas!
Pin It Now!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...