Almost There

Since Wednesday is Christmas Eve, let’s skip Yarn Along this week.  Next week, why don’t we do something different?  If you would like, share a post featuring photos of your finished knitted gifts from this holiday season in the Yarn Along link up.  Of course, regular Yarn Along posts are welcome too, but I thought it might be fun to share a collective bunch of finished objects!

I’ve been a little slow to get with the program this Advent.  I spent the first half sick along with various other members of the family.  I’ve had such a bad cough that I couldn’t read aloud until last week.  We weren’t well enough to even attend Mass until the third Sunday of Advent.  But, right this second we’re all healthy, and I’m grateful.

The kitchen has been very busy.  I started by recovering the little bit of beeswax from this year’s honey harvest.  (I followed advice from this post.)  The girls and I went on to make some simple beeswax ornaments using candy molds, though not with our own beeswax.  I’m saving that to make a few small candles.

I also made Moosewood calzones, a favorite of many of my children, though not something I make often.

Jonny picked up another van load of bagged leaves from the same house as the last ones.  I’m gearing up for next year’s garden, feeling very ambitious.  The boys worked to remove the fence between our original property and the lot we just purchased next door.  I am making plans to extend my garden there.

The most fun this week was creating ornaments from Sculpey clay, inspired by dear Sarah, and this tutorial I came across on Pinterest.  The tutorial suggested using rubber stamps to make imprints on the clay, but I because I don’t have many of those-and nothing Christmas-y, I opted to purchase some less expensive presses intended for making fondant.  (I found them randomly while wandering Hobby Lobby in search of something suitable.)  In the end, I shouldn’t have bought anything because the prettiest ornaments were made using cedar branches, fresh leaves, and even the edge of an old butter knife.  I cut each block of clay into four pieces and then let the kids shape and make what they wished.  Of course Silas and Beatrix needed some guidance, but they were still able to really enjoy this.  After making the imprints we added holes for hanging with a knitting needle and then baked them.  Once they were baked and cooled we painted them with metallic gold and silver paint and then rubbed most of it off to accentuate the impressions.

Today I did my last before Christmas grocery shopping trip.  We are doing all homemade candy in the stockings this year and while I thought that this would be not only special, but less expensive, I realize now that only the special part is true.

I also stopped and reserved a Christmas tree at the farm stand, thinking that I chose a smaller tree than usual, though one with character.  Later, when Jonny brought it home, I exclaimed, “You got the wrong one!” because the tree he carried from the van is huge.  Given the giant flag wrapped around it with our name on it, it would have been hard to mess it up.  I guess I’m not good at gauging size.  Jonny says that he’ll have to cut a foot off the top and the bottom to fit it in the house.  I was afraid that the kids were going to be upset with me for choosing a tiny tree.  I guess not!

We’ve been having a little treat each evening of the O Antiphons.  Tonight I’m making eggnog!

p.s.  I became friends with a former Lost Boy of Sudan this year and read at least four books on South Sudan and what he and thousands of others suffered (My favorite was What is the What.)  A mutual friend took him to the theater last fall to see The Good Lie, a movie about the Lost Boys, and he really enjoyed it.  I rarely watch Hollywood movies myself anymore, they just aren’t my thing, but I did want to see The Good Lie.  Coincidentally, Grace Hill Media emailed me asking if I would like a copy of it, along with a second to give away here.  (It’s being released on DVD on the 23rd.) So, I said “Yes, please!”  I enjoyed the movie, though there is just enough “inappropriateness” that we didn’t let our older boys watch it.  As far as Hollywood goes though, it’s pretty tame, and it is a nice “feel good” story.  I’m happy to see awareness being raised for South Sudan and the former Lost Boys.  So many of them are still struggling.  If you would like me to mail you a copy of The Good Lie, just leave me a comment and I will randomly select someone this week.  I used, and the winner is Tracey.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Honestly, that was just about the best pre-Christmas photo-essay I can even imagine. Wonderful, Ginny. Merry (belated) Christmas to you dear friend. xoxo

  2. Just popping in to say Merry Christmas, Ginny. I hope your day is filled with warm memories!

  3. I’d love to see this movie!

  4. Merry Christmas to you & your lovely family! I enjoy reading your blog throughout the year and thank you for all you write & share…it is inspiring!

  5. I spent hours looking for a smaller tree. Either had to pay over $20 more for a slightly smaller tree or just get the “normal” ones for cheaper. and LOVE the clay ornaments. My 4 year old is sitting on my lap and said that we “need” to make those!

  6. Katharine Whitmore says:

    As always, I love your seasonal posts – thank you!

    Here’s a non-seasonal comment: It occurs to me that you will enjoy the other books by David Eggers, such as A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He truly “gets” — and conveys — tragedy like no other writer, but you do have to hold on for the ride.

  7. Ginny,
    I love this art idea for making Christmas ornaments out of sculpey with the children! I will keep this in mind for next Advent season for sure. Thanks for this.

  8. the ornaments turned out so pretty. and yes, i would love to see the movie!

  9. I LOVE the ornaments you all made. Great work! And the movie sounds intriguing!

  10. Your pictures remind me of my household- 15 years ago. Treasure each moment….those babes will grow up and all too soon……Merry Christmas from Vermont!

  11. I have heard of this movie and would actually like to see it.

  12. I’d like to see this movie. I’m also looking forward to reading What is the What. I put it on my kindle list after you mentioned it on one of your posts.

  13. It’s our third year celebrating together. With the thid tree, and I love this tradition more and more. We just put ours up and I wonder how our little daughter will like it when she get’s up. So much fun.
    I’d too love to see the movie, too, thanks for that!

  14. maine grammy says:

    My niece married a “lost boy,” and they are currently living in South Sudan. Theirs is an amazing story.

  15. I would like to see this movie.

  16. I would like to try this movie! Thanks!

  17. Goodness, I love reading your blog for so many reasons. Thanks for sharing your stories and amazing pictures! The ornaments are beautiful. My kids would love doing that too. The lost boys…such sombering stories. I’ve read Lopez Lomong’s, Running For My Life. Hard realities to even grasp. The movie looks interesting & I keep meaning to see it. Merry Christmas!

  18. Thank you and a happy holy christmas to you all!

  19. I would love a chance at the movie, please! 🙂

  20. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  21. You inspire me to get some molds and make beeswax ornaments! I would also love a chance at the movie!

  22. Hello. I’m relatively new to your blog. Love those ornaments. Have a great holiday!

  23. That looks like a good one, would love to see it!

  24. Mele Kalikimaka,

    I always enjoy your blog and learn something new every time.

    In your pictures Chrismas-prep-8302.jpg and Chrismas-prep-8306.jpg there is a red handled implement displayed. I’m always on the prowl for kitchen gadgets and wondered what it was and where it could be obtained.


  25. kim schildbach says:

    I thought this documentary was eye opening:

    We have been doing a lot of reading about the Lost Boys for years. There is a children’s book that isn’t too scary we got out of the library (can’t remember the title).

    Merry Christmas friend!

  26. I ordered the books you mentioned from our library….i had to only read in the day as bedtime reading of these incredible boys lead to sleepless night a-plenty (we have 4 sons). Would certainly like to watch the film.

  27. That looks like a good movie. I like stuff that are actual stories, instead of fiction.

  28. Would love the movie. Reese Witherspoon is one of my favorite actresses and I am so glad she is making these movies.

  29. ornaments are so adorable….. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  30. My family’s favorite tree ever was the one we bought on Dec 23rd, it was the best looking one on the lot at the time (there were approximately 3). We got it home and my Dad proceeded to cut some off the top, and the bottom. The branches were so spare we ended up drilling holes into the center and then putting some of the extra branches from top and bottom into the holes. They didn’t fit exactly, so we commondeered some paper towels to fill in the space. The branches kept falling out, and simply added to the hilarity of the moment. Sweet memories!

  31. This one looks good.

  32. Our time for watching movies is limited (two full time jobs + 3 kids and their activities = falling asleep at night instead of movies!), but this is one I would make time for. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. thanks for the chance.
    i really enjoyed the book “hope runs”, maybe you’d like it too.

  34. Looks like a great movie!

  35. I rarely watch movies, but this one looks good!

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