Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Monday, December 31, 2012

Does anyone really KNOW? Well after some thorough investigation (Wikipedia), I've learned that "the song begins by posing a rhetorical question as to whether it is right that old times be forgotten, and is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships."

So, NO, auld acquaintances should NOT be forgot(ten). Whew! I'm glad we cleared THAT up before ringing in the new year!


Want to hear something else that may blow your mind? 2013 will be the first year since 1987 to have four different numbers in it. Go ahead, I will wait whilst you go through every year since 1987. (I did it too.)

Now, I know that I have dropped a lot of New Year's knowledge on you in this one post, so I will leave it at that. On to more important things like making sure the black eyed peas and greens are queued up for tomorrow!

From our family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

Paula Deen's Gorilla Bread

Sunday, December 30, 2012

THIS is the recipe that I make for my family's Christmas morning breakfast every year. It is so delicious that I don't have one complaint from even the most picky eater in the group, and I have never changed one ingredient from the original recipe.



Gorilla Bread
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.
  5. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. 
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts.
  8. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.
Notes:
One of our Christmas Eve traditions is to assemble this in its entirety. We then cover it in foil and it is ready to bake on Christmas morning.

Based on the recommendations of several reviewers on Paula Deen's site, I bake this for 30 minutes covered in foil and then another 15 minutes uncovered.

Also, because I only make this for Christmas morning breakfast and we are generally not ready to eat when it is finished baking (still opening presents and such), I have found that you can turn off the oven and leave this in the oven until you are ready to plate it. That keeps it warm and also prevents the caramel sauce from cooling and sticking to the pan (which would make it nearly impossible to plate).

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours does. It is truly easy enough for a child to make. Observe:


Linking to My Salvaged Treasures Christmas in July Link Party,


Oh, Mickey, You're So Fine

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The boys' big Christmas present from us this year is a trip to Walt Disney World. And since that is kind of abstract (considering we are not exactly whisking them away the day after Christmas - it will be our family vacation NEXT year), we wanted to give them Disney-themed presents to unwrap at Christmas as a way of announcing the trip.

So, I put together these Disney-themed Christmas gifts:


Each boy got his own suitcase to use for the trip filled with Disney goodies that he could use now.

We didn't put these gifts under the tree, however. To build the excitement even more, we created clues that would lead the boys around the house (from clue to clue), with the final clue leading the boys to the presents. We figured this would make it seem even more special - like a treasure hunt - and it did!

Technically, their first "clue" was the remote control to our Christmas train! We put the first written clue in one of the train's compartments and then drove it around to the back of the tree. We then wrapped the remote and put it under the tree with a tag that read "To: Aidyn and Jaxon" like any other gift. When they opened the gift, they knew exactly what it was and drove the train around to the front of the tree to see what was in the train. The hunt was on!



The written clues were:

Clue 1:
Piggy and Pluto are hiding, oh where, oh where can they be?
Maybe try looking in the stack of movies that we have yet to see!

Clue 2:
Well, that one was easy. This one is too, but here’s the rub . . .
The next one will be the toughest you’ve ever done; now go look in a tub.

Clue 3:
Ok, ok, these are way too easy, enough with the gimmies,
This next one is hidden inside of your chimney!

Clue 4:
What, I had the answer inside the clue, just who is writing these?
I know, oh this one is good; the next clue is soon to freeze!

Clue 5:
HA! I thought I had you, but don’t get too smug, this last one is a skunk.
Piggy and Pluto, and the biggest gift of them all, are hidden inside a trunk. (trunk of my Jeep)



According to Ryan Barrett Walkush (clue writer extraordinaire), the trick to writing clues for these types of adventures is misdirection. For example, we set them up for success on the first clue (we only have one stack of movies they have not seen), but after that it got a bit more tricky. You might think that we gave all of the answers away, but in fact, we have three tubs, two chimneys, two freezers, and two car trunks to look in. The picture of them looking in the freezer was actually the first one they looked in, which was the wrong one!


Jaxon got in his suitcase:
  1. Two Disney workbooks (Dollar Store purchase)
  2. Two Disney storybooks
  3. Mickey Mouse Watch (Dollar Store purchase)
  4. Cars Gummies (Dollar Store purchase)
  5. Disney Stickers (Dollar Store purchase)
  6. 11 Disney PEZ (the boys collect PEZ, and these will last them ALL YEAR)
Aidyn got in his suitcase:
  1. Two Disney workbooks (Dollar Store purchase)
  2. Two Disney storybooks
  3. Mickey Mouse Watch (Dollar Store purchase)
  4. Cars Gummies (Dollar Store purchase)
  5. Disney Stickers (Dollar Store purchase)
  6. 11 Star Wars PEZ (thankfully, the Star Wars franchise was JUST purchased by Disney)
The boys are super excited about their upcoming trip (almost as excited as having rescued Piggy and Pluto, whew!).

This little adventure was a success!

This post contains affiliate links.

'Twas the Site by Three Sisters

Monday, December 24, 2012

I'd like to start this post by saying that we Harrises have always favored a parody. I can remember as a child Mama singing to us "The Great Procrastinator" to the tune of "The Great Pretender" whenever we tried to put things off. Apparently, that's just how we Harrises roll.

And as Deanna has mentioned, I used to pen the annual family Christmas parody, so without further ado, back by popular demand (and by popular demand, I mean several requests by Deanna specifically), it's the Harris Family 2012 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Parody:


'Twas the Site by Three Sisters - 2012

‘Twas the site by three sisters that was started this year.
Who knew by December we’d have so much to cheer?
If your stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
I hope that you’ve done it with Deanna’s decorating flair.


And if your children who are nestled all snug in their beds,
Have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
I bet they’re really dreaming of the recipes on GirlTalk.
They’re tried and they’re true and will surely rock your socks!


And between Misty’s funnies, and Donna’s crocheted caps,
We girls don’t have time for long winter's naps.
As we gather ourselves ‘round the old Yule log,
We’re busily planning swell things for the blog.

‘Cause in 2013, you’ll hear more from these girls,
We promise to give it our very best whirl,
More Recipes! More Music!
More Holidays and Decor!
More Family! More Funnies!
More Nostalgia! More MORE!

Whatever the topic,
No matter how small,
We’ll blog away! Blog away!
Blog away all!


And as 2012 winds down with ballyhoo,
We want to offer a sincere thank you
To all those who have followed and supported our site,
“Harris Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Merry Christmas from Donna, Deanna, and Misty.

We hope you've managed to stay off of Santa's naughty list. Please feel free to comment below if you DO end up with socks and underwears; it will make Ryan Barrett Walkush feel like he's in good company. ;-)

Granny Striped Bag

Well, apparently I like striped bags even more than I knew! Here's another one for you in a cool colorway:


Here's the link to the free crochet pattern: Pierrot Striped Bag. It was super easy, considering the majority of the bag is a large granny square, which at the very end is taken in so that it fits around the handles.

I happened to own a polka-dot bandanna that was the exact colors of the yarn I used for this bag, and I wanted to use that as the bag lining. So, instead of completing the pattern exactly as written, I only completed the pattern plus one round of HDC until it was the same size as the bandanna, and then started the edging. The bag is still quite large, so no worse for wear. In fact, I don't know that I would have wanted this bag to be any larger.

If I were to make this bag again, I think I would take in the sides a bit more than the pattern calls for so that the mouth isn't so wide. But, otherwise, no complaints about this pattern. Easy and cute as can be!

The Lucy Bag

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I have found a wonderful blog via Ravelry and she posts quite a bit about crochet. And most of her crochet is really colorful. I have never been one to use every color in the rainbow in my projects. This was the first project like that for me.

And now, I'm making our dog Smitty a sweater that looks very similar to this bag. (Considering I put my projects down all the time to do other things, you'll likely see that finished up long about next July!) Anyhootle, THAT is what reminded me that I had not shown off this gem to the world.

The Lucy Bag (named after Lucy of Attic 24 Blog):







As you can see, it really does have probably every color of yarn I have ever collected since the beginning of time. (Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration - I purposefully did not use white or black.) But, that still makes it a great stash busting project!

The free crochet pattern can be found here: Lucy Bag Pattern

I only modified the pattern slightly to include a scalloped edging at the top of the bag as follows: 7dc in same st, skip 2 st, 7dc in same st, skip 2 st; repeat all the way around.

Also, rather than putting small flowers at the tops by the handles as the original pattern called for, I made larger flowers, layered them in different color schemes, and sewed them to the front of the bag as decoration. (You can choose your favorite flower pattern or one that you're familiar with.) I sewed large colorful buttons to the centers of the flowers and to the end of each handle.

I lined the bag, which the original pattern did not call for. This was the first bag that I had ever lined, and that took longer than actually crocheting the bag (because I kept putting off the task)!

The pattern makes a very large bag. We used it last summer as a beach bag, which is why it is pictured here with beach toys and on the line with the boys' swimsuits.


Three More Days!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Around here the excitement is palpable. Ever since Aidyn was old enough to participate, we have done an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. Now, ours isn't as fancy pants as this one (cough, Christmas Vacation Advent House, cough):


But it serves the same purpose, and because the boys get treats with ours, they might even like it a little bit more. I thought I'd post a few advent calendar ideas that you can use next year.



Daily Advent Ideas

day 1 Pennies – The Twelve Days of Christmas (On the FIRST day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.) 

day 2 Jolly Ranchers – Deck the Halls (‘Tis the season to be JOLLY.) 

day 3 Pop Rocks – ROCKIN’ Around the Christmas Tree 

day 4 Hershey Kisses – I Saw Mommy KISSING Santa Claus 

day 5 Nickels – The Twelve Days of Christmas (On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, FIVE golden rings.) 

day 6 Popcorn – Let It Snow (I brought some corn for POPPIN’.) 

day 7 Hot Chocolate – Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (Have a CUP OF CHEER.) 

day 8 Bell Shaped Chocolate (Nestle usually makes these at Christmas) – Silver BELLS 

day 9 Lollipops – The Little Drummer Boy (these represent drum sticks) 

day 10 Dimes – The Twelve Days of Christmas (On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, TEN lords a’leaping.) 

day 11 Your Children’s Favorite Candy – My Favorite Things 

day 12 Life Savers – The Chipmunk Song (these represent hula-hoops) 

day 13 Mr. Goodbars – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (He knows if you’ve been bad or GOOD so be good for goodness sake.) 

day 14 Christmas Peeps – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (There’ll be parties for hosting, MARSHMALLOWS for toasting.) 

day 15 Ring Pops – Santa Baby (Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a RING. I don’t mean on the phone.) 

day 16 Red M&Ms – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (these represent Rudolph’s nose) 

day 17 Pet Treats – to teach that it is more important to give than to receive 

day 18 Cow Tales (these represent the animals in the manger) – Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a MANGER; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

day 19 Candy Canes (these represent shepherds’ hooks) - Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country SHEPHERDS abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. 

day 20 Almond Joys - Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great JOY, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 

day 21 Reese’s Pieces – Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, good will toward men. 

day 22 Double Bubble Gum (these have a crown on the wrapper) – Matthew 2:1-2 there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born KING of the ​‌‍‍Jews? 

day 23 Starbursts – Matthew 2:2 For we have seen his STAR in the east, and are come to worship him. 

day 24 Chocolate “Coin” Candy – Matthew 2:11 When they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; GOLD, and frankincense and myrrh. 

day 25 (CHRISTMAS DAY) – Quarters – Christmas is on December 25.




Here's the link to the printable document shown above if you'd like to print it for reference:

Many of these are related to popular Christmas songs. To get the kids in the Christmas spirit, I would suggest playing the song first and then having them guess what the matching treat might be. (That way, they really have to listen to the song.) If your advent calendar is like ours (small pockets), you can put just the song title on a small strip of paper in the pocket itself and then give the treat out separately after you've played the song.

The last seven days leading to Christmas contain Bible verses that tell the Christmas story.

Linking to My Salvaged Treasures Christmas in July Link Party.

 

Christmas Card Outtakes

Friday, December 21, 2012

Is it just me, or are the outtakes to your formal Christmas photos often better than the ones that actually make the cut?  If not better, at least funnier. 

For the Harris Sisters' Christmas photos, we actually took them back in mid-September since we were all together at that time.  It was HOT outside, and it definitely looked more like summer/ early fall outside than a wintery white background.  No bother.  That didn't stop us at all.  That's what editing is for.  :)

But before we show you the finals, here are some photos of us "readying" ourselves for this Christmas in September shoot.  Notice all the green trees and grass in the park.  

 Here we are starting to bundle up for the afternoon. 





I think we were already working up a pretty good sweat by this point in the afternoon.  Notice the heavy coats and scarves.  And heavens, Misty was brave enough to 
don a hat on top of everything else. 


Just a little more fixing...


And TA-DA!  We look ready for a Christmas photo!


Thanks to some creative backdrops- in this case, a barn full of hay- we found a few ways to make this otherwise summery setting into something fitting for a Christmas photo. 



And what we couldn't fix with a wintry looking setting, we were able to edit into looking like it might have been mid December out.  In this shot, we left the focal point (us) in color, but made the background black and white to get rid of all those pesky green trees.

And to leave you with the best outtake of the day, all I can say is that we were clearly amusing ourselves here.  It was probably the heat making us delirious, but still, most Christmas card photos really are that funny.  Better to laugh than cry.


Happy Holidays from the Harris Sisters- Donna, Deanna, and Misty


Elf Yourself!

Charlotte made this little number featuring all of the Harris girls:


It seems very appropriate.  Even though the positioning of the "elves" was random, it seemed only fitting that Donna was the frontman in this hip hop set and Baby Emmers was her wingman, since Emma Lola loves to dance!

You can create your own at www.elfyourself.com.  You can make up to 5 elves dance in a variety of ways inclucing Hip hop, Classic, 80s, Soul, and Charleston.  Just import the pics from facebook, and then, you can also share your completed vid to facebook (and embarass all your friends and family members!)  I can't think of a better way to say Merry Christmas.

I, personally, could not stop laughing at this one.  (Sorry, Donna)


Christmas in Dixie

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This year for Christmas, we painstakingly made Daddy a photo book that features our family Christmases through the years.  For this little undertaking, I scanned countless old family photos and then collected digital photos from  my own collection as well as from Donna and Misty.  What I ended up with was over 400 family photos from Christmases since we were mere kiddos until present day.  That's a lot of family photos to weed through and make into a book.  












But what we ended up with was a new family treasure, if I do say so myself.   It also gave us a chance to take a walk down memory lane.  Here are some of my fondest memories of our Christmases in Dixie. 

1.  Baking goodies with Mama at Christmas- orange balls, fudge, no-bake choc oats, and Grandma's applesauce raisin cake (which I'm making this year)

2.  Visits from friends and family all day on Christmas Day

3.  Waking up early to see what Santa brought us.   One year I left a note for Santa asking him for his autograph, and I got it!  It was especially fancy- just like I thought it would be. 

4.  Hanging tinsel on the tree.  I was always really excited for that job, and no one ever contested my abilities. 

5.  Watching the Christmas classics on TV.  We were always glued to our seats for Rudolph and Frosty each year.  Since that time, the Lampoon's Christmas Vacation has become a new Christmas classic in our family.  In fact, for the past 10 years or so, Daddy always wears a Blackhawks hockey jersey on Christmas Day each year, a la Clark W. Griswold. 

6.  Checking our stockings for goodies.  I had a Mickey Mouse stocking.  Donna had Donald Duck.  I now have custody of both.  :)

7.  Donna's parodies of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  For several years, Donna created our own Harris Family versions of this familiar verse.  We've been lobbying lately to have her resurrect this tradition. 

8.  Helping wrap presents. There was no such thing as gift bags back in the day.  Everything was wrapped, even if it turned into Mission Impossible.  We all learned our expert wrapping abilities from our Mom.  Daddy wasn't too shabby either.  Stick on bows and curling ribbons were about the extent of our package decorations. 

9.  Christmas service at church.  There were always hymns to sing and a play to watch (or participate in).  One year, Mama was enlisted to draw all the barnyard animals for church's Nativity production.   She created the templates, and our uncle cut the wood to match them.   She was a wonderful artist, and they turned out beautifully.  Oh, and there were always goody bags to take home filled with apples, oranges, nuts and candy. 

10.  The love and laughter we shared.  Our family is MUCH bigger now.  And we have found ways to incorporate so many of these wonderful traditions into our own Christmases now.  


Christmas in Dixie, its snowing in the pines.
Merry Christmas from Dixie, to everyone tonight.
And from Roxboro, North Carolina..Merry Christmas tonight.



Someone's Been Naughty

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

For those of you who don't know her yet, this is Isabel Lucille, also known as Izzie the Wonder Pup.   She's a cocker spanial- almost 2 years old (born on Christmas Day!), and usually she's a little on the rambunctious side, let's just say. But she makes up for it with an extra measure of preciousness.  Just look at that face.



Well, let me just tell you what she did today.

Izzie had her grooming appointment this morning.  We have a wonderful mobile groomer who lets herself in, collects Ms. Iz, and grooms her onsite, then deposits her back inside our house once she's done.  It works really well.  Sure saves us a lot of running around to take her to and from her beauty appointments.  :)  Anyway, our groomer thoughtfully left us a package of Christmas candy and nuts.  Well, apparently, little Iz must have surely thought they were for her, and since they were in reach, the little stinker had at it.  I came home to a well groomed pup and a pile of peanuts and candy wrappers all over the floor.

I was beside myself.  Just knowing she was a goner for eating a bunch of chocolate, which I know is poisonous to dogs, I frantically called the vet's office and explained what happened.  The vet told me to try to induce vomiting by administering a tablespoon of peroxide and then shake well.  Shake well?  Shake WHAT well?  The vet calmly explained I was to shake the dog well!!!  Oh dear heavens!  I got lucky and she actually lapped up the peroxide thinking this was some sort of surprise treat.  Then I scooped her up and trotted her outside where I proceeded to bounce her for a solid 15 minutes.  Trust me, she wasn't happy.  Did she ever throw up?  Heck no.

So I called the vet back.  They told me to repeat the process. Let me just say, she was on to me at this point.  She wasn't coming near any peroxide for a second dose.  So I doused a dog biscuit in it and feed that to her.  Then I chased her around for another 15 minutes trying to catch her to "shake" her again.  Well, she wasn't falling for that either.

I called the vet back one final time to report on this round of "treatment".  They just snickered at my crazy story and said to just be on the lookout for things like hyperactivity or lethargy this afternoon.   Really?  Izzie only has two speeds, and those are it.  If my dog isn't into some sort of bouncing off the wall trouble, she's asleep.  Lord have mercy; how will I ever know if something is wrong?

Well, this little stinker has been prancing around all afternoon.  I'm sure she is snickering to herself for my stress-induced day.  I think we are in the clear.  Incidentally, dark chocolate and bitter chocolate is far more poisonous than milk chocolate to dogs.  Either way, we certainly won't plan on a repeat performance.

She sure made Santa's naughty list with this little incident.  But two things are for sure- 1)  It probably won't be the last time she makes her way onto the naughty list, and 2) I won't be surprised if all that peroxide and shaking makes it's way up sometime around 3 am.  That's just how it goes with Izzie, the Wonder Pup.  She'd better be glad she's cute.  ;)

Liar Liar Chex Mix

This holiday snack mix is sure to please. Truth be told, we vegetarians tend to steer clear of homemade Chex Mix simply because they usually have Worcestershire sauce in them. (Made from anchovies - true story!)

This recipe is one that I've fiddled with until it is just spicy enough to make the kids think their pants are on fire. ;-) (It's not really that spicy, mind; they keep coming back for more.)


Liar Liar Chex Mix
4 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
4 1/2 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite sized pretzels
1 cup Cheezits
6 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce, Sriracha, or hot sauce of choice
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion flakes
  1. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine cereal, nuts, pretzels, and Cheezits. Set aside.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave butter until melted, about 40 seconds. Stir in seasonings.
  3. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated.
  4. Microwave uncovered on High 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
  5. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.
Note: I have a 6 quart bowl that fits in my microwave that allows me to easily double this recipe.

Let There Be Peace on Earth

Monday, December 17, 2012

And Let It Begin With Me:


Boy, I bet you haven't heard those words in a while, and yet, I bet you've heard them. Those words were what came to me today when Jaxon made his way upstairs with a balloon flower that happened to match the Peace on Earth shirt he was wearing. It was all very reminiscent of the 1960s Peace Movement.

According to www.jan-leemusic.com, this song has been recorded many times over by the likes of such folks as Tennessee Ernie Ford, Andy Williams, Danny Kaye, Nat King Cole, the Smothers Brothers, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Placido Domingo, Gladys Knight, Mahalia Jackson, Liberace, the International Children’s Choir, the Young Americans, Pat Boone, Crystal Gayle, Vince Gill, Harry Connick Jr., and Johnny Mathis, among others.

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
Let there be peace on Earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on Earth,
And let it begin with me.

(child)
Let there be peace on Earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on Earth
And let it begin with me.
♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

Have Yourself a Pinteresting Christmas

This year, we decided to go a little "out there" with our Christmas card photos. They were inspired by Pinterest.

I'm sure you've all seen this photo (or versions of it) floating around Pinterest:


And, we realized that there wasn't much we could do with that what with us having already been married for 13+ years by the time I joined Pinterest.

And then there's this little bit of hilarity. What's not to like about a Venn diagram comparing Santa to a superhero? (For what it's worth, Elvis is ALSO like a superhero . . . sparkly costumes, cape, karate moves . . . but I digress.)


And then remember, dressing up like superheroes (read: any character AT ALL) is not a foreign concept to the Walkushes.

Ryan Barrett Walkush and Baby Aidyn in 2005 (pre-Pinterest, might I add):


Entire Walkush family in 2009 (also pre-Pinterest):


And, when you mix all of this information together in my somewhat creative mind, you get the Walkush family 2012 Christmas photo:


Which then turned into this Christmas card, complete with "superhero" themed Christmas greetings:


Some interesting factoids for you:
  • RBW is sporting the very same Superman T-shirt and glasses from 2005 (because I meticulously catalog and store all of our Halloween costumes for just such occasions).
  • The cost for these "costumes" rang in at a whopping $2.00 for two sets of Dollar Store reading glasses that I popped the lenses out of for the boys.
  • We all owned white dress shirts, ties, and jeans. Aidyn somehow owned a small and a medium Superman T-shirt (and he was nice enough to let Mama borrow the larger one).
  • If you are looking for Superman T-shirts, Old Navy is your friend. I have also seen them at Target.
Methinks Superman would approve of our Pinteresting choice of cards this year:

What in the World to Buy the Menfolk in Your Life

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I truly struggle with this sometimes. Ryan Barrett Walkush is a difficult one to buy for (and that statement is generous). I often joke that I buy him the finest socks and underwears that money can buy . . . and THAT is because his "hobby" is one that I am completely inept at supporting - technology.

But, I have had bright spots of gift giving - perhaps my brightest being this commissioned piece of artwork from good friend and super-talented artist J.J. Rudisill:


This was actually a Father's Day gift when we had no other children than these three fluffy babies: Jasper, Randy, and Geordi, who I referred to as my "angels" (hence the halos). Note: Jasper was as mischievous as all get out and Geordi was only really nice to me and maybe a few other people, so Jasper's halo is cocked to the side and Geordi's is broken and taped back together - what fun details that J.J. added!

And even though these boys are no longer with us, we cherish this piece so much.

So, if you're stumped for an original gift, I would encourage you to surprise that hard-to-buy-for person with a piece of commissioned artwork. J.J. is a super-cool cat to work with, and he gets it right every time. He works in many different art styles (not just the one pictured here) and will find one to suit your needs.

Check out his other hip, funky, straight-laced, and completely-out-there styles at www.jjrudisill.com. (And, yes, even though he is a former skateboard shop owner with lots of funky skateboard art, you'll see he's even drawn Strawberry Shortcake and Dora - he's THAT good!)

I Love a Parade

We recently went to see the Lewisville Annual Christmas Parade. (Clemmons does not have a Christmas Parade, so we visit the nearby small town of Lewisville to get our parade "fix" and it never disappoints!) And while I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of 76 trombones, there were AT LEAST that many vintage cars in the parade. I'll only post the highlights, lest ye be here all day.

This fire truck led off the parade, ushering in the first band (which may or may not have had 76 trombones as I have already mentioned - they did have flag twirlers, although I don't think that is the official name for them).


This one caught my attention for two reasons. One, Daddy has an old truck that we always say he should doll up for the Roxboro Christmas Parade. And, two, check out what the sign says: "Old Timers Racing Club: Legends of the Past" - Awesome! Daddy needs to apply for membership and then run for El Presidente. He would win in a landslide. Everybody loves Daddy.


This was the best photo I got of this classic car without some parade-goers' shenanigans in the background (thus ruining the photo of said lovely car). Look at the chrome! It ALMOST makes me want to wash my Jeep . . . almost.


And, this, THIS, was the BEST car in the whole parade. And you could tell that the car even knew it (its front bumper looks like it's smiling to me). The little boy inside the car certainly knew it (he could not stop grinning the whole time he was riding in it).


Now, right about now you might be thinking "Sheesh, this woman is not awares that she really went to a car show under the guise of a Christmas parade." However, these were just some of the more memorable moments according to someone who was raised by someone who loves classic cars. Some other highlights included:

Sheep that were dressed as reindeer. (These guys come out every year, and I STILL have no idea how they manage to keep those reindeer antlers on those sheep!):


A dancing gingerbread man - "Not my gumdrop buttons!"


An entire fleet of dogs dressed as Santa's helpers. These are just two of them:


And, of course, the Big Man himself:


The boys had a blast and collected more candy at this parade than they did on Halloween night. They do it up right in Lewisville!