Jack had his Christmas concert at school this week. As I sat there (or stood since Bennett had zero desire to sit still that far past his bedtime), I couldn’t help but think “I have no idea what these kids are saying”. What is it about little voices all shouting the same words that just creates a white noise to my ears? It very likely makes me a terrible person to say this, but I’m glad it only lasted 45 minutes.
I’m learning more and more to appreciate any little things that come our way. Mini wins throughout the day, week or month are to be celebrated and enjoyed. So I say with joy in my heart, it was a good week this week. It was a great Tuesday.
I ended up taking Jack out of school about 25 minutes early to go see Wonder. He was so surprised when I showed up in his classroom and told him to grab his backpack. Oh, my Wonder. It was so good. SO good. Jack was disappointed at first to not see Coco, but halfway through the movie he leaned over and said “thanks for bringing me, mom”. The movie is extremely well-done, and all the actors are perfect for their roles. The kids all really shine. I bought Jack the book for Christmas the next day. It brought up such a wonderful opportunity for Jack and I to talk about bullying and treating others with kindness.
To continue our date, I let Jack pick the restaurant where we’d eat. Troy and Bennett were at a diner up the road, and Jack chose to meet up with them. I had one of the best veggie burgers I have ever had. With a slice of cheddar and bacon added, naturally. We then went home and anxiously watched the news that evening. As I said, it was a great Tuesday.
I finished up all our holiday shopping on Tuesday. Thank you, Amazon.
Hands down the best present of the year is for our giving tree kid at church. Jack picks a giving tree tag at school, and we always choose another at church. The options at church range from toddlers to teens. I always feel drawn to the older kids because I feel like everyone else wants to get presents for the littles. I cashed in all our earnings from Ibotta this year and we made the choice to spend it all on our giving tree kids. With $140 to work with, it was a go big or go home kinda year.
My mother-in-law had asked me to make her cloth bags this year. She bought the fabric, cut it, and even pressed the hem herself. I just had to sew it. She wanted to pay me, but obviously, I said hell no. That punk still shoved cash into the bag of fabric. After a few back and forth texts of me refusing the money, we settled on using it to buy a helmet for our church kid. It seemed kinda scary to send a 13-year-old boy out with a bike and no helmet.
Like I said, the best present of the year. My only sadness with the whole thing is we don’t get to be there on Christmas morning to experience the excitement. If only joy could be bottled and given out to the masses.
On Thursday I finished up the quilt for Bennett’s best friend. Over 90% of the front of the quilt is made of scraps from previous quilts and even cloth bags. All the pieces of batting were also leftovers from other quilts. I only had to buy a few small strips of fabric and the back fabric. It is a log cabin quilt from the book Patchwork Style. I’ve talked about the weirdness of this book before. The woman in the photos has her eyes closed in almost every picture and there is always some random piece of fruit involved. Like eating apples with a spoon involved. It’s weird. That’s all I’m saying.
But the quilt pattern is easy and once you get going it comes together pretty quickly. Previous examples of me making this quilt are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. <—-I clearly have a type. If you’re interested in learning a super easy way to make a fast quilt, check out my Cheater Quilt tutorial.
I received a custom gift bag order this week from a returning customer. She wanted a mix of Christmas fabrics…specifically Christmas cats. I took Jack, Bennett, and my nephew to the fabric store and told Jack and Parker to not come back until they had found Christmas cats. And wouldn’t you know it, they took a break from their constant fighting, worked together, and proudly presented me with this.
My client was so excited! At first, I was kinda meh about the cats, but as the night wore on and I spent more time with those kitties, they grew on me. By the end of the night, that fabric was cracking me up. Might have been the lack of sleep.
The holiday goodie/baking bug finally crawled up my butt and I have been on a roll this week. Christmas cookies (recipe coming this week!), more of my Nana’s Almond Roca, Mint Bark (this did not turn out for me the first time I made it. I couldn’t find mint chocolate chips anywhere and tried candy melts. Way too sweet and such a weird texture. I finally found a mint and chocolate mix at Safeway and had to pick all the mint chips out of it. The second time I made it, everything went well and it was delicious.), and something called S’more Bark. Stay tuned tomorrow for that recipe! It’s going to want to get in your face.
With all the goodies and sweets swirling around, I needed a nice and healthy meal for balance. I threw together a lentil soup in the Instant Pot, and it turned into one of the best soups I have ever made. Chocked full of vegetables and a really fun ingredient that took it to the next level. Bennett gobbled it up, Troy had two bowls, and even Jack said he really liked it. It was a total soup win for everyone. But mostly me.
We’re headed to Ocean Shores later this week once school lets out. My in-laws have a house there and it’s always such a calming influence on my heart. Now, being in a house with breakables and two small kids isn’t the most relaxing thing ever, but we still look forward to going. This past year we weren’t able to get to the house and are excited to have a few quiet days down there before the holiday rush. Of course, it means a lot of pre-loading of wrapping and cooking ahead of time.
Recap of posts this week!
Easy Homemade Chapstick – one of my favorite posts from the archives.
Best Stocking Stuffers – fun little gifts for anyone in your life.
Three Ingredient Lotion Bars – I love these bars and love how well they work. I received multiple emails and messages about selling these in my Etsy shop. I’m going to try to make that happen, but it won’t be before Christmas.
Homemade Marshmallows – delicious and sweetened only with honey, these homemade marshmallows are easy and fun gifts. Given the long time in the mixer, this is something you can get started and walk away from for a bit. It’s fairly hands-off once you get it into the stand mixer.
Meal plan time!
Monday:: I found a bag of salmon cakes in the freezer. I’ll make some tots and a salad. Nothing better than old frozen rand-o fish! Jack will love it.
Tuesday:: Going to see Santa (Bennett needs more material for therapy) and then my in-laws are feeding us dinner. Because I literally texted them and said “please make us dinner on Tuesday”.
Wednesday:: Chicken Gnocchi soup. Week three of this being on the menu. This time it is actually WILL be made. Write that in the record books. It’s happening. I’m making it during the day on Tuesday to take to the beach house.
Thursday:: Grilling on vacation – organic hot dogs (we love this brand), onion rings (we love this brand), and salad. And then a butt-ton of salt water taffy, because who needs teeth when they’re 50?!
Friday:: Out at the ocean. We always like to go to Bennett’s Fish Shack. The irony is lost on no one. Troy loves their burger. I get the clam chowder.
Saturday:: Popcorn and movie night.
Sunday:: Christmas Eve at my in-law’s.
Smith Brother’s Farms – $19.90. That eggnog was absolutely delicious. They donate a quart for every quart purchased and it was so tasty.
Fred Meyer – $67.59
Costco – $66.32. I feel like my Costco spending has been really out of balance lately. Something to look at for the new year. And yes, I did just buy Nutella last week. Thanks for Nutella-shaming me. It’s on an instant rebate right now and I’m stocking up. So help me God, if the zombies attack, I will have some Nutella while I fight off those walkers.
What are you having this week?
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