Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meditation for Christmastide

Though our secular culture has largely forgotten this, it is actually still Christmas. Christmas begins on December 25 and continues for twelve days (one for each of the tribes of Israel) until Epiphany, January 6, when we remember God's revelation of salvation to the Gentiles through the story of the wise men. So let this be our prayer this Christmas in the midst of our noisy, warring societies, "Da Pacem Domine, Give us peace, Lord."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas at the Hardings

Here are the stockings and gifts, waiting for Christmas morning.

Oooooh goody goody!

I got more goodies than you!

That's okay. Less is more when you're my age.

We love our new digger from Papa, and Mama's upcycled wool sweater accessories keep us fuzzy and warm.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Catching Up

This was the first time we made real gingerbread houses. Last year we did a kit from the store, but the gingerbread tasted like it was made from powdered cardboard. Then the Thursday before last we visited our friends, the Childers, from Old Paths Farms (see link in sidebar) and made these houses together. It was a lot of fun and the kids all really enjoyed themselves. Needless to say, they didn't last too long. The kids kept picking the candy off, and, well, Stacy's gingerbread was just too good to resist!

On Friday, the day after, we had our very first winter storm of the season. Luke got to stay home. When the ice and sleet stopped Saturday morning, the kids went outside for a little while and built this little man. That's the closest we've come to having a white Christmas in the 12 years I've lived here in South Carolina. It's also been the coolest and wettest year I've experienced here. Hope to get some Christmas pics up soon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Scrubby Tubby Bunny Buddy

This bunny was sort of an accident today. I was trying to figure out a pattern for something else, but I made it too big and decided to try one of those bunnies in Grace's fantastic book, Creative Play For Your Toddler by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol.
The instructions are very simple. The whole bunny, except for the ears, is made from a knitted woolen square, or in my case, a crocheted cotton one. First, the four corners are folded into conical shapes and sewn up into legs. Next, the edge between the front legs is gathered up by weaving the yarn through, pulling gently and securing. Stitching is then continued down the belly. A firm stuffing, especially for the head end, is next in order, after which the bottom edge between the hind legs is stitched shut. To form the head, a piece of yarn is tied tightly where the neck should be. The eyes are made by stitching through both sides of the head and tying firmly to form indentations at the correct spots. For the ears, I did about 4 rows of 2 single crochet, followed by a decrease half double crochet, and one last single crochet at the tip. They are stitched to the head folded in two at their base to give them a little firmness. And lastly, instead of following the directions for a pompom tail, I opted for the same method as the head, weaving yarn in a large circle at the rump end and tying it tightly. I also decided to stuff it with polyester filling instead of wool, partly because the wool I ordered hasn't arrived yet, but mostly because I made it to be used in the tub. I couldn't believe how simple it was, and it was so amazing and fun to see it magically take shape. Try one!