Drowning in Pictures

After we got home from visiting family on Easter, I pulled all the pictures off my camera. All 600 of them. On my computer is a folder labeled 1st for Sorting. As always, I just transferred the pictures off my memory stick and was about to walk away and tackle the many household chores when I noticed that the pictures in the album totaled close to 2,000.

So, I sat right back down and started the long task of sifting out the gems and deleting the rest.

I tackled Easter first.



Then, I started at the earliest picture in the folder. I was shocked to see it was from Christmas!




I need to sort through pictures more often.


Or take fewer pictures.


How does everybody else do it? I feel like I used to have a handle on it when I was only taking pictures of Elly. But with 3 kids, I take many more pictures and have considerable less time on my hands.

On a less whiny note, I did finish sorting all the Christmas pictures.


Next to tackle Elly’s birthday pictures.

A Christmas Gift 11 Days Late

Poor Dan.

For Christmas, I made Elly a handknit flower hat, 3 lace cards, a hero mask and a jewelry box.

Heck, I even made hero masks for 3 of Elly’s cousins and 2 of Elly’s friends.

Dan got to open a half-finished Phillies blanket with the pins still in it.

Thankfully, Dan just laughed at the pins and thought the blanket was a great gift.

On the 11th day of Christmas, I finally gave Dan the finished blanket, which he promptly put to use.

It is super warm, being made of 2 layers of fleece. If I hadn’t opted to use one of the fancy stitches for the border, the blanket would have been finished on time. Those fancy stitches are pretty, but they take three times as long to sew as a simple straight stitch.

Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas trees)

We have put up our Christmas trees.

Why yes, we do have multiple Christmas trees. 5 to be exact. Three are outside. Two are inside.

The artificial tree in our guest bedroom

The real Christmas tree in our living room

My first memory of picking out a Christmas tree was walking outside in our front yard and picking an evergreen tree. If Elly’s memory stretches back far enough, her first Christmas tree memory will be similar. The tree in our living room came from our backyard. Here is a shot of Elly when she was 2 years old standing in front of it. It was too big for the spot it was in and rather than just cut it down and throw it out, I thought we would get a little more life out of it by making it our Christmas tree.

Despite chopping it down, I still had a handful of evergreen trees to choose from when decorating.


I suppose I shouldn’t count the last tree, since it only has a single ornament on it. I am waiting for it to get a bit bigger before I start stringing lights on it. Until then, it can sport the Charlie Brown look.

The reason for so many trees: I just love Christmas trees. I love decorating them. I love looking at them. It is the best Christmas decoration. I would be happy if it were the only Christmas decoration we had.

Plus, by having more than one Christmas tree, I don’t care when the day after Christmas Dan is glaring at our real tree inside because it is now dry as a bone and dropping needles like mad. It can be tossed at will. I have 4 others to keep me company until the Wise Men Day.

Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas Decorations)

How I hate decking for Christmas when it is frigid outside. So with temperatures in the 60’s this weekend, it was the perfect time to hang the outdoor Christmas decorations.

One day this tree will be as tall as me. Until then, it is our Charlie Brown tree.

Elly has helped deck our home for Christmas.

She made an ornament out of Crayola model magic clay. It’s a funny face, in case you were stumped. 

She filled our hand knit stockings (no, not by me. These were knit many years ago by my neighbor) with pinwheels.

She made a Christmas themed angel house.

Our local garden store, Achin Back, taught a fairy garden class today. Elly was the youngest at the class. Though I helped, Elly called all the shots. She picked the pot, the plants, the decorations and, of course, the angel. The end result is gorgeous and now sits on our dining room table.

Sunday Snapshots (of dim sum)

It was Elly’s first trip into Philly’s China Town and her first experience eating dim sum.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t her first experience in a China Town for we had visited the one in New York City when her aunt and uncle married in September.

She was fantastic at dim sum!

She ate great from shimp and pork dumplings to sweet pork rolls and fried egg rolls. Her favorite was a sweet bun stuffed with pineapple.

After dinner she started getting a bit bored and wanted to go outside to run and play. We solved that problem with presents!

Christmas can never start too early.

All Elly Wants for Christmas is a Ball

It is true. Every time I ask Elly what she wants for Christmas, she tells me that she wants a ball. She also wants to buy everybody else a ball. Mind you, she has a collection of balls and we always have at least one balloon blown up for her. Yet, Elly is consistent; she wants another ball. They are great for playing catch, soccer, baseball and tennis.

Thankfully, Elly doesn’t want any toys that her friends have or that she has seen in the stores we frequent. I don’t think it has occurred to her that a toy she likes playing with elsewhere could be purchased and brought home. It’s a good thing because I imagine the first discussion we would have is why a train table could not fit into our small house. Oh how she loves to put the tracks together and run the trains along them.

I am actually surprised that another baby doll wasn’t on Elly’s Christmas list. She went through a phase just a few weeks ago where we couldn’t leave the house without a baby.

Even today we had to take Baby Pearl to the garden store. Her favorite thing to do with her baby dolls is to pile them all up on the couch or the chair and cuddle with them. So more is merrier.

Occasionally, Elly asks for wings to help fly around the house or to pretend she is a bird. She had a pair, but they were damaged several months ago. She hasn’t forgotten.

As mentioned on Monday, Elly’s love for books as increased lately. Even after unpacking all the books I had in storage for her, I didn’t feel that Elly had too many books. Is there such a thing? So naturally, I bought her a book for Christmas. It’s not your typical picture book. It’s a picture book about knitting called Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf. How perfect is that?

What else did I get Elly for Christmas? As you can guess, I didn’t get her a train table. I didn’t even get her a new pair of wings, mainly because she gnawed on the last pair. Perhaps when she outgrows her need to put inedible things in her mouth. Instead I got her a dollhouse, a Lite Brite, a toddler laptop with mouse, and stocking stuffers. Shopping for kids are so much fun. Basically, I buy them whatever I loved playing with as a kid. I adored my dollhouse and Lite Brite.

Missing Santa

Elly still talks about Santa and presents.

She was upset that we put away the Christmas decorations yesterday. She’s not the only one missing Santa.

I have an assembly line of stockings being made in my sewing room.
I found this fabric in my stash and it told me that it wanted to be a stocking.

When fabric talks, I try to listen.
Once I started cutting out the fabric for one stocking, I found more fabric that would look perfect hanging on a mantle.

Dan was surprised to learn that I was making stockings. We each have one. Elly has 2 stockings. My neighbor gave me 3 handknit stockings this year. What will I do with these stockings once they are complete? I don’t know. I refuse to worry about such trivial details.

A Prettier Ornament

This time we used homemade play dough to make a Christmas ornament.

It was remarkably simple. I rolled out the dough with an old rolling pin. Elly pressed a star cookie cutter into the dough. We both pulled away the excess dough. The ornament was then left to dry for a week. Before hanging it on the tree, I coated it with a spray acrylic gloss. I read somewhere that the gloss would help preserve it.

While it was still wet, I scratched in the words “Elly” and “2011” with a toothpick. Unfortunately, it is hard to read them now.