Friday, December 27, 2013

Candied Christmas Crafts

A highlight of the holiday season for the girls and me was having our sweet friends Stacey, Emma and Lizzy Brown come up for a candy-themed Christmas tea party. I will share our tablescape and easy menu in my next post, but before we sit down for afternoon tea, we have some crafting to do.


My daughters and Stacy's share a love of creative projects, so making glittered ornaments and bracelets was a great way to make some sweet memories together.


I decorated the sitting room for tea, but our kitchen table was set for play.


I provided two clear ornaments for each girl to paint with acrylic craft paints -- one to keep and one to give to her friend. The girls painted ornaments when the Browns arrived so the paint could dry during our visit.


Then at the close of the afternoon, the girls painted over their ornaments with ModPodge and covered them in fine glitter. They turned out so pretty! The younger girls coated their whole ornaments with sparkles, but Emma Brown and Mary Ashley were quite creative in glittering their baubles. The four ornaments we kept will look so sweet on our pastel playroom Christmas tree!


After we sat down to tea, the girls peeked into this candy dish to choose pretty beads for making bracelets.


These shimmering beads from Michaels looked like candies to me. We strung beads on ribbon for a simple token of friendship. Most of the girls made bracelets, but my Emma chose to make a necklace.


We bonded with the Browns when the girls were in preschool, and we are so thankful that our friendship has grown stronger through the years.


It's no secret; best girlfriends are among our most precious gifts!

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Kissmas!

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (1 John 4:11).

Merry Christmas from the Lester Family!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Musical Notes

"Be merry all, be merry all,
With holly dress the festive hall;
Prepare the song, the feast, the ball,
To welcome merry Christmas."
~ William Robert Spencer
We celebrated sixth-grader Christian's first concert with lunch at our house before the show.

Joe's parents joined us for the day, and it was exciting to gather around the table for such a festive occasion.


My mother's Pink Willow added charm to our tablescape.


We kept the menu simple and added a few musical notes to enhance the theme of the day.


To commemorate Christian's first saxophone performance, I wanted to give him a little memento of the day.


This box from Michaels held a little surprise.


I found this sweet little saxophone ornament on Ebay.


Christian was so pleased to have Nana and Pop in attendance at his first concert.


And we were all so proud of how far he has come in learning to play since picking up the instrument for the first time in August. I hope we have a new Christmas tradition!

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Woodwinds & the Willow

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~ Charles Dickens

Sunday afternoon we celebrated 12-year-old Christian's first band concert with lunch at our house before the big event.

This occasion seemed the perfect opportunity to use my late mother's Pink Willow china. I inherited her collection when the house she and my father shared recently sold. Mother loved music, so I think she would smile knowing we incorporated her dinnerware into our celebration.

Mother displayed her collection in a china cabinet, but I don't recall her using it for family dinners. I was so surprised to discover that she had 18 place settings! I was delighted to think about all the entertaining possibilities for this lovely transferware pattern.

We used Pink Willow during our lunch, and throughout the holidays I am enjoying the classic vignette this tea set provides.

Stay tuned for a few musical notes from our party. 

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace." ~ Agnes M. Pahro

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Notes

We rang in the holiday season yesterday with Christian's beginner band concert. What a lovely way to celebrate Christmas! Joe's parents joined us for the event, so I will be sharing photos from our visit in upcoming posts. This teacup of roses is just a little preview of the notes to come this week, so stop in again soon!
"Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words." ~ Robert G. Ingersoll

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Merry Merry

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." ~ W.T. Ellis

We took Christmas pictures over the weekend, and although I won't reveal the winning photos until Christmas Day, I had to at least give you a little peek. I still don't have a working computer, but thanks to two borrowed laptops I can let you see how the children are doing.

Our new home in Birmingham is near Oak Mountain State Park, so we ventured out Sunday afternoon. With opportunities for hiking, biking and boating, this looks like a great park to explore. I hope to plan a picnic there soon.

I am really proud of how well the children are doing in their new schools. The older three have jumped right in and are excelling academically and socially. Surprisingly to me, my little Emma has been the slowest to warm to our new home. She is doing more cartwheels every day, though -- a sure sign that the bubbly girl we know and love is on her way back. (Chevron dresses and Mary Ashley's polka dot ribbon from The Shoppes of My Kids Attic; boots from Rack Room Shoes; and Emma's headband from Little Bit Designs.)

Mary Ashley asked to have her picture taken with Joe. She has an empty frame in her room, and she insists that space is reserved for her daddy.

I think Daddy has a special place in his heart reserved for Mary Ashley, don't you?

He certainly has my heart.

My sweet girls.

My boys were not eager to pose, so I will leave you with this final favorite shot of all four. I hope your Christmas season is off to a great start and look forward to sharing more memories through the holidays!

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

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