Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Stockings and more!

The first year we were married I made my hubby and I stockings from Vogue Pattern 1312, which is no longer in print. I embroidered our names on the stockings' cuffs, from the iron-on letters which came in the pattern. At the time I didn't consider that these stockings are extra large and would need to be filled with lots of goodies. We still fill each other's stocking every Christmas, and sometimes those stocking stuffers have been quite interesting, including, socks, toothpaste, candy, cd's, dvd's, shaving cream, or you name it!!

When our kids were born my mom made stockings for them, but we decided to make them smaller than the original pattern size with embellishments of applique, lace and ricrac, and of course, their names embroidered on the cuffs! Fast forward 25 years, the tradition continues: I made stockings for our Nicole and David, to hang at their home.
A few years later, I made a stocking for our daughter-in-law, Angelina. Amazingly, the letter iron-ons still imprint more than 30 years later! Our kids' original stockings and their spouses' stockings hang along with ours from our mantel.

In 2010 I then made a set of stockings for Alex, Angelina, and my grandson, Micah.
I varied the pattern by making their family stockings out of red minkee and flannel.

Back in 2007, I made a stocking for our first granddaughter, Gigi, with an appliques angel, similar to the one her mom's grandma made for her. Last year, I also made a stocking for my grandson, Brody, embellished with baseball bats and a ball!
This year I made a stocking for our newest granddaughter, Hallee. The Bennett family's stockings are all made from Christmas Batiks!

The tissue pattern pieces are well worth and getting thin, and a few of the letters don't imprint as dark as they used to, but that hasn't stopped me from using it over and over. It's a shame this pattern isn't available anymore because it has so many cute Christmas projects I have made through the years (pictured above): ornaments, wreaths, our Advent Calendar and I still decorate with these projects every year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Glory to God

Our Christmas Letter

2011 was a busy first year of retirement for Nick! He doesn’t know how he ever found time to work he is so busy everyday! We’ve done quite a bit of traveling, too. So much, that my job at the quilt shop was getting in the way of more travel, so I “retired” in May.

We went on two cruises: in January, we cruised the Panama Canal (which was a spectacular sight to see), and spent a few days in Florida, driving down to the Keys with friends; and in September, we took a New England/Canada cruise with friends, my sister and my mom, after which we took a train from Newark, NJ, to spend a couple of days in Philly. In March, we visited many American Historic sites in Washington DC and spent time in Virginia with friends. We have discovered we really like the East, seeing all the history that is there, and we hope to go back in the near future.

We hit Spring Training again with Nicole, David and family as well as David’s parents, staying at a really nice Resort in Surprise, Arizona. Alex also joined us for a couple of days, which was nice. In April, we met our friends, the Nances, for an Abalone Dive Trip in Fort Bragg, CA. In October, we headed north again to spend a few days with our friends (the Nances) in Redding, then continued north to Bend, Oregon, for a week. What a gorgeous area! We saw the vivid fall colors we had missed in New England, having been there too early in the fall! On our return trip home, we stopped in Yreka to spend a wonderful evening with Nick’s sister, Sibbie and her family.

We rounded out the year with a couple of weekends RVing at Newport Dunes, a couple of RV trips to Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton for Quilt Retreats for me, and, of course, our annual beach camping trip for Thanksgiving week at San Elijo St Beach, Cardiff; it poured rain the first night, and then we had a beautiful week with family and friends.

While we love RVing, traveling and cruising, the highlight of the year was the birth of our youngest granddaughter, Hallee Hope Bennett, born on June 7 !!!

It’s hard to believe she is already 6 months old. Needless to say, Nicole and David’s house is never silent with Gigi, 4.5 yrs, Brody, 20 months, and now little Hallee, and often things are a bit chaotic!

Alex and Angelina are constantly running after Micah, 19 months. Micah didn’t just start walking one day, he ran, and he hasn’t stopped. We love seeing all the kids together as they interact more and more.

Our lives are rich with the love of family and friends. We’ve learned we can’t take life for granted and we are so thankful. We are blessed to have 4 adorable grandchildren to hug and squeeze and spoil with love. We enjoy every minute we are with them, even though we are sometimes exhausted after spending hours with them. The best sound in the world is when one of them yells, “Yaya!” or “Papa!” as they enter the house or RV; it

warms our hearts every single time!

May your holidays be filled with special memories as we celebrate

the true reason for this day, the birth of Christ.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year!

With love,

Karen and Nick