December 15, 2008

Christmas Is Coming!

And here's our decor to prove it!

1. My camera was not sitting level on the
tripod, so please tilt your head slightly to the left. Thank you.

2. Our home has small rooms. Really small rooms. My family
room is the size of some closets. No kidding. It is also incredibly difficult to
photograph due to lighting issues. I apologize in advance for any eye
disturbance this may cause.

I've never done a home tour either virtually or in person, but since my Auntie Em had inquired about our decorations this year and BooMama has her tour up, I figured I'd give it a shot.

We don't have a fireplace, but we do have this entertainment center.

I was inspired by all the great garlands popping up all over blog land (you can find a ton here if you haven't already) so I decided to add a garland this year. Complete with fake greenery, berries and even fake ornaments-plastic ones left over from our child & puppy friendly tree.

On the left are J's and my stockings hanging from a LOVE stocking holder; on the right is Pickle's stocking hanging from a snowflake. I made these from felt for Pickle's first Christmas. Her stocking is as long as she was that Christmas!

The manger scene pieces are actually bisque candle holders from Party Lite about 10 years ago. I love them, but don't burn candles in them anymore, so that's what the twinkle lights are for! I got that idea here.

Everything else on the top shelves are things that normally grace those areas--I've just added a bow here and there along with more fake poinsettias. The photo of Pickle in the center was taken when she was about nine months old in my Great Grandad Zern's christening gown. I love that photo.

The JOY nativity in front of the TV is from my friend Jessica a few years back. It is one of my favorite decorations of all time! Jesus = JOY! How perfect!

J made this table for me when we were in high school. What a romantic! The book holds Pickle's Christmas photos with Santa and the little sled has some picks I bought 10-15 years ago that Pickle decided to destroy the little packages on last week, sweet child that she is.

The frame was a gift from my Aunt Max five or six years ago and has our Christmas photo from that year to prove it! The snowmen music player was a gift from my Secret Santa about six years ago when I was still teaching--she did a whole week-long snowman theme for me. She is the best Secret Santa ever!

This little table was part of the first bedroom set my Great Grandparents ever bought themselves. I also have the slipper bench. I love it! The little tree on top is our Advent Jesse Tree. We use this book along with handmade ornaments. Pickle doesn't get it yet, but really loves putting the ornament on every night after we do our 'Bible Study' and pray.

This table is one I bought at an antique store in my hometown of Chickenburg when I was in high school. It is one of my two favorite pieces of antique furniture. It is handmade with pegged joints. The shelf below is held in place with hand carved horse head pegs. I call it the horse table.

The photo above the table was from last Christmas's family photos. Pickle's Daddy is a sucker for big photos. The rose bowl has some simple fake poinsettias and the metal bucket is filled with picks I bought along with those other oldies years ago. Pickle tore apart the packages on these ones too (I don't think she'll have any trouble opening gifts this year!). The little nativity set came from my mom and the candle/stand is from Party Lite.

Finally, here is our tall, skinny tree. I love it so much more than our first tree which was just as tall and at least three times as wide at the bottom. It literally took up 1/3 of our tiny family room.

J and I have bought an ornament together every year since we've been married (11) and we've bought Pickle one every year since the Christmas I was carrying her (4). These are at the top of the tree and the bottom only has the plastic balls to keep things child and puppy friendly.

Speaking of Lucy, her first night in once the tree was up, she kept taking the balls off the tree and dropping them (all slobbery, I might add) around the family room. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm so thankful we went with the plastic!

There are bits and pieces sprinkled throughout the kitchen and in the hall bath, but I'd had it with the bad lighting and didn't take any more photos!

Have fun touring all the homes on the list!


I forgot all about the recipe! Here is one that is super easy and SO GOOD! You make these six-layer cookie bars in the micro.

Six Layer Bars

1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg. (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (about one cup)
1 c. flaked coconut
1 c. finely chopped nuts (any work, but I love walnuts for this)

1. In each of 2 (8 inch) square baking dishes, pour 1/2 butter. Sprinkle each with 1/2 crumbs, pour 1/2 can of milk equally over each dish.

2. Top each dish with 1/2 of chocolate, coconut & nuts; press down slightly.

3. Heat one dish at a time, 5-6 minutes on 70% power. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes; chill. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 32 bars.

I don't have a photo of these because I just got the recipe from my Auntie Em--we made these at her house on vacation all the time when I was a kid--and I haven't made them yet!