12/30/10

Holiday Recap 2010

I can’t believe Christmas 2010 is behind us! It came and went in a whirlwind of snowstorms and family celebrations. We were luckier than many this year because we were able to stick with our travel plans. We visited my folks on Christmas eve (they live a couple hours south) and then drove a few hours north to visit Hubby’s family on Christmas Day. We had uneventful drives and are very thankful for getting to and fro safely.

We were showered with love and gifts and enjoyed the precious fellowship of family. We ate yummy food till we thought we might burst, and took time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Other than a few toddler meltdowns (we haven’t yet mastered why we should take turns opening presents) all went well.

As I reviewed the stacks of fun and thoughtful gifts I received this year from family, I was reminded of just how much they care, and how well they know the real me.

Some of my favorite 2010 Christmas gifts…a tee shirt with Little Guy’s picture on the front, an old-time silhouette of Little Guy in a lovely oval frame, an antique sewing box, a huge collection of quilting magazines and books, Superman memorabilia, gift cards to my favorite craft stores, an audio CD of the newest Tom Clancy novel, playful socks for every major holiday, and the most lovely necklace (from Hubby) that has Little Guy’s name inscribed on it. **sigh**

The gift I’m a bit intimidated by is a Bible, of all things. Not just any Bible, this one is a King James version that is split into daily readings so that by years’ end…I will have (hopefully) read the whole thing! My Mom, Dad and Brother and doing it too. It should be an interesting adventure for us as we journey through God’s Word together. Though I have been in church my whole life, graduated from a Baptist high school, and have memorized many verses over the years – I’ve never tackled reading the whole Bible before. I feel challenged, and also excited. I think it will help that I’ll have daily reminders from my family to keep on top of the current readings.

This weekend the weather is supposed to be nasty-cold, so it will be a perfect time for us to stay inside where its warm and cozy. We’ll tackle taking down the Tree and all the decorations – storing them away until next year. That’s always a bittersweet endeavor for me. I love the holiday d├ęcor, but on the other hand – I’m always glad to have my house back to normal too. I think Little Guy will be the most disappointed. He’s grown quite attached to the tree lights.

So, how was your Christmas?

12/24/10

The Night Before Christmas (A more spiritual version)

The Night Before Christmas
A more spiritual version of the famous Christmas story

By: Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N
(a variation of the beloved classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore)

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;
Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,
While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child.

The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,
The grown-ups wouldn't bother, there's no room they said;
When even the innkeeper sent them away,
Joseph was wondering, where they would stay.

He thought of the caves in the side of the hills,
Lets go there said Mary, it's silent and still;
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go.

And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,
Our Savior was born on that first Christmas Day!
The Father was watching in heaven above,
He sent for His angels, His couriers of love.

More rapid than eagles God's bright angels came;
Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;
Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,
Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel.

Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,
Announce the glad tiding My Son comes to give;
The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,
And saw in the heavens and unearthly light.

The Angels assured them, they'd nothing to fear,
It's Christmas they said, the Savior is here!
They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,
Till Mary invited them in to adore.

He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,
Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!
He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,
He was telling them secrets and blessing them too.

Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay,
And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;
Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,
Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!

12/21/10

A Child's Joy at Christmas


Christmas 1976:  My cousins, Grandma H and me posing
for a little holiday photo.  That's me on the far right, staring
into the tree (dreamily, I'm sure).  
 Every year, the calendar tells me I’m a year older, but when Christmas rolls around I turn into a giggly little girl again. My heart still flutters with the anticipation of Christmas morning…of holiday dinners.... of presents to open….of special church services and precious time with family.

When I recall holidays of my childhood, I am reminded of trees decorated with home-made ornaments, of snowstorms and sled rides, of family gatherings and Christmas carols. As the 25th approaches, I find myself tempted to cut snowflakes from notebook paper and make red and green paper chains. I want to eat frosted sugar cookies shaped like stars and go shopping for that perfect gift. I want to hug every member of my family and wish them a Happy New Year.

It’s a magical season full of wonder and surprise. Now that I’m a parent, I find that all of this Christmas excitement has magnified even more (not that I ever would have believed it possible). Watching my toddler’s gleeful expression every time we turn on the tree lights brings me joy. Seeing him eye the presents under the tree with curiosity and eagerness makes me wish for Christmas morning. Helping him shape sugar cookies with his chubby little fingers makes me melt inside. Sharing with him the Christmas Story and holiday traditions we hold dear, brings to mind loved ones who we miss dearly.

This weekend will be filled with a flurry of activity (and weather permitting) time spent with family in two different parts of the state. We will eat and play and open presents. We will share time with one another and cherish the memories we make.

As you embrace the beauty and wonder of this time of year, I hope that you too can experience the Christmas joy of a child.

12/16/10

Hey Hey Hey


Fat Albert aired on CBS from 1972-1985. 
The image above came from CBS website
We watch a lot of cartoons, and not just because we have a toddler in residence. The truth is Hubby and I enjoyed watching them long before we had a Little Guy to share the experience with.

Last week, we had both had about as much Bob the Builder as we could handle, so Hubby searched NetFlix Instant Watch (best thing ever, by the way) for something different. We were both pleasantly surprised to see that old Fat Albert episodes were available, and we started watching season 1.

We were soon engrossed. Memories of our childhoods (late 70’s and early 80’s) came rushing back. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids were like old friends we hadn’t seen in years. It was fun to see the old style animation and the dated fashions. It was a little surreal to see a very young Bill Cosby introducing each segment – but also very cool. He is, after all, one of those comedians who always stayed classy.

We actually didn’t even realize that Little Guy had been paying attention (as he’d been playing with his train in another part of the family room when we watched the first couple episodes), but Saturday morning he asked his Dad, “I watch more Hey Hey Hey show?”  So, I guess he liked it after all.

We were happy to oblige him, and watched a few more episodes as a family over the weekend.

One thing about the show which I’d forgotten over the years, was that each and every Fat Albert episode has a moral behind the story. “Be kind to people who are different than you”. “Don’t steal”. “Don’t Smoke”. “Your parents may have divorced, but they still love you”. “Respect the police”. “A new baby in the family is not the end of the world.”

You get the idea.

I think the reason I was surprised, is that these days, most children’s programming doesn’t contain any substantive message that I have noticed. Shows for kids are usually silly and entertaining and can even be educational, but they very rarely (if ever) offer moral guidance.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re not letting him learn the difference between right and wrong from the TV. We’re taking care of that ourselves. It’s nice, though when a show he enjoys also reinforces the beliefs we are trying to teach him.

So another generation of our family is getting to know the cool guys in the junk yard, and is maybe picking up some really good lessons along the way.

As Fat Albert would say, “Hey Hey Hey, that’s Okay!”

12/12/10

Christmas Card Wreath (52 Week Challenge - week 12?)

A while back I joined the challenge put forth by the Thrify Mrs. She and a friend concocted a goal of making 52 things in 52 weeks. The guidelines were pretty open. You just need to make things you enjoy, and which aren’t part of your usual repertoire.

Every year I save the Christmas cards we receive from friends and family.  Every year I say that someday I'm going to do something with them...this year I finally followed through with that task.

I decided to use some of my favorites to make a little holiday wreath.  I have not done this before, but it seemed like it might be a fun (and frugal) Christmas craft. 

I cut a large ring out of a cardboard box (making two tiny holes toward the "top" so that I could fashion a hanger with fishing line).  I then picked my favorite old Christmas cards and cut circles from the images on them.  For the circles, I used a couple plastic lids (different sizes) to trace around.  Then I cut out the circles and glued them to the cardboard circle.  Super simple, but I think the end result was cute.


gathering supplies


choosing the pictures to cut out

got lucky that one of our old cards had a big bow on the front


finished product


When Little Guy saw the glue...he felt he needed to do something crafty too.  I cut out pictures for him and he glued them to his paper.  What a sweetheart!

Challenge Summary: Week Twelve?

Ever done this before? Nope
Do I love it? It was pretty fun to make.
Material Cost: $0.00
Time Spent: maybe 30 minutes
Success - Yes or No? yes

12/9/10

I'm Sentimental Like That

I keep things that have little or no monetary value, but which are priceless to me. For example, I still have notes passed to me in Junior High School. They are folded in that silly way young girls fold their notes and they include content such as:

“You love Brad, don’t you? I can tell!!!” and “Mr. Slate is the worst History teacher EVER!!” They are all signed “Friends Forever” or “Longer Letter Later”. There is a lot of unnecessary punctuation and some funny little drawings.

Seriously, it is ridiculous to keep these – I know that. I don’t remember Mr. Slate and I have no idea who Brad was….but these bits of folded up notepaper evoke in me memories of a time and place long gone. They remind me of friends who I thought I’d never ever grow apart from, but grow apart we did. These little notes make me smile.

I’m sentimental like that.

You’ll find evidence of my sentimentality in every room of our home.

I have an ancient vegetable strainer that belonged to my dear Grandmother who passed away long ago. It’s battered and dented and the little knob is gone. I still drain my veggie pan with it and every time I do, my mind wanders (however briefly) to memories of her. Could I buy a new strainer that is not dented and has all knobs intact? Yes, but I won’t.

I still snuggle up with the soft yellow blanket that covered me in my first twin bed as a very young child. That blanket sat in the corner with me when I was in trouble and went with me to a college dorm. Now it serves as a perfect TV-watching blanket, and even though it has patches and is worn almost out – I can’t bear to replace it.

So you see, I’m sentimental like that.

That sentimentality goes into overdrive at Christmas. Every ornament has a story. Every decoration has a history. Our home becomes a hodge-podge of color and festive decor and lights. Nothing matches per se. Our tree is not color-coordinated, and we don’t really have a theme. Everything you see is there because we love it, or because we love whoever gave it to us. It’s there because it stirs up holiday happiness in our hearts.

The ornaments on our tree are dated (either by the manufacturer or by me with a fine line sharpie). I love being able to pick up the red and green rocking horse and read on the bottom that it came from my Dad in 1995. I get a kick out of the God’s Eye ornament my little brother made for me when he was six (1989), or the first Santa ornament that Hubby got me when we first started dating (2003), or the sweet angel that came from my Mom in 2000. When we decorate the tree, it’s like a living scrapbook. Now that we have Little Guy, there are even more fun ornaments to arrange on the tree. The big white ball with his hand print from last year, and the small red hanging frame that has a picture of his tiny baby face from his first Christmas. I envision decorating together as a family as he gets older. As each ornament goes on the tree we can tell a story of a person, or a time or a place that we are fondly reminded of.

It will be sweet. It will be sentimental. And, as you know…that’s how I like it.

12/8/10

Christmas Card Drama

One thing I’ve prided myself on, over the years – has been the precision timing of my Christmas card mailings. Friends and family know that the card from our house is usually one of the first to start off the holiday.

But this year, my Christmas card magic has failed me. It isn’t that we aren’t prepared. We bought our cards last year on clearance. The fresh boxes of greeting cards are sitting at the ready, as are sheets of holiday stickers, pre-printed address labels, and a stack of newly written and printed Christmas letters.

The cards sit there and mock me…untouched, unsigned, and unsent.

On Sunday I decided we needed a photo of Little Guy to pop in with the letter. So all day, we tried to take some holiday themed pictures. We posed him in front of the Christmas tree, with his Nativity Scene, and in a red and white Santa hat.

What were our end results? Well, he’s two. So, the photos we did get were: “Blur of Boy”, “Back of Boy –as he runs away”, “Boy adding Thomas the Train to his Nativity set”, and “Boy yanking off his Santa hat with Distaste”. There were several cute pictures, but none that were just right. I was running out of time though, so I settled on one that will work. I went on-line Sunday night and placed the order to be picked up Monday.

Monday night Hubby, Little Guy and I were out running errands. I took our tiny fellow into one store, and Hubby went to get the pictures at another. When we met up a bit later, he told me that there were no pictures for us. Clearly they had made some mistake and I should give them a good talking to when I picked up the pictures eventually.

I appreciated his defense of me, but in my mind…. I began to have a little suspicion that I’d probably messed up the order myself. When we got home, I went to the website, and sure enough I hadn’t hit the final “confirm transaction” button.

Argh!

I apologized to Hubby (who being the sweet spouse that he is, took it in stride), and then completed the order. Today I went to the store again (over my lunch hour) and have to admit I wasn’t terribly surprised when they said the machines had broken down and all orders were delayed by at least a day.

So tomorrow I should have the pictures. I stress the word “should”. We’ll see.

Tonight I will get off this computer (in just a minute, I promise) and become a signing, folding, and stamping machine. If I need inspiration, I’ll listen to Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra singing Christmas carols. The current version of our list has 87 names on it, so I might even need to break out some Nat King Cole and Deam Martin albums.  Can't beat the old stuff in my book...

But I digress.  I’ll leave the cards unsealed so that the pictures can be inserted right before we mail them out.

With any luck, I’ll have the stack mailed by the end of the week. If luck fails me, maybe I’ll have them out by Valentine’s Day.

12/7/10

New Boots

I had a rare “Girls Night Out” recently. A few of us left hubbies and kiddos behind for a bit of much needed girl talk and fun. Specifically, we went out to dinner and then to a local hockey game.

Since hockey games are played in an ice arena, the bleachers aren’t usually much warmer than the parking lot outside. I wore an old hockey sweater under my heavy coat and was happily ringing my cowbell (for good plays, goals scored and the occasional fight). We all chatted when we could over the noise and were generally a smiling happy bunch of gals.

Then some younger ladies walked by us, and I had to take notice because one of them was wearing boots like this:


My two friends and I are all ladies of a certain age (somewhere between 30 and 30something) and we dressed accordingly. Comfortable clothes, warm coats, gloves and most importantly flat soled shoes. I chuckled a little as this very fashionable gal walked by. “That’s silly”, I thought. “Who wears something like that to a hockey game?”

As if in answer to my silent question, within minutes several more pairs of fancy high heeled boots walked past. And I began to realize that, though not a uniform, the fancy boots were far more prevalent than my own simple brown leather shoes at this event.

Clearly, even at a hockey game, some folks put fashion high above their need for comfort. And, maybe that’s the way it should be – who am I to judge?

Regardless of our spiky heeled boot deficiency, we three gals still had a fun night. Our team lost, and there was only one decent fight (half the fun for many hockey fans), but it was still a fun night out.

The next day Hubby, Little Guy and I were out doing some Christmas shopping. I turned to my significant other, and said, “I want some new boots”.

So we went to the shoe section of the department store we were in, and I perused the shelves. There were lovely boots made of the softest leathers. There were boots with spiky heels, and ones that went thigh high. There were boots in every color and some even with fur.

So, which ones did I choose? These, of course!


Luckily for me, one of the many benefits to getting older (and wiser) is that I no longer feel the pull of following trends. I tend to be much more aware of comfort. When it came to winter footwear, I wanted boots that would keep my feet warm (check!) that would keep my feet dry (check!) that would have good traction on icy driveways and sidewalks in the coming winter months (check!) and in which I could play in the snow with Little Guy without worrying about cold wet feet (check!).

Also, as an added bonus – they were on a very good sale so I was able to feel frugal as well.

My awesome new boots will never grace the cover of Cosmo, but then neither will I – so that works out quite well I think. I’ll definitely be wearing these the next time I go to a hockey game. Other ladies might pretend that they enjoy their fancy boots more, but I bet secretly they’ll wish their toes were toasty warm with room to wiggle (just like mine will be).

12/6/10

Holiday Little People - Bargain!!

Over the weekend, we went to a nearby flea market to browse a bit.  We came upon a large cardboard box full of Christmas Fisher Price Little People.  The box was marked $5 for all, so of course we snapped it up.  Here are all the goodies the box contained.  (Everything needed a nice wash down with Clorox wipes, but otherwise all was in working order - batteries were even included!).



Little Guy played with his new toys all weekend!

12/4/10

One Year of Blogging!

One year ago today I introduced myself to the blogging community with this post.

Here are the five biggest things I’ve learned about blogging in the past year:

1. Comments make me happy.
2. Followers come and followers go.
3. I should proofread more carefully before I publish posts.
4. I’ve met some truly lovely ladies who blog, and though I may never meet them in person, they have made a positive impact on my life. Thank you.
5. I have a lot more to learn.

It’s been a really fun year, and I have discovered that I enjoy writing in this format even more than I’d anticipated. I have a full-time day job as a technical writer - a good job to be sure (and I am thankful for it), but it is not a wonderful outlet for creativity. This blog has allowed me to express myself in a way I did not have before. I am very thankful for that.

In addition to my first anniversary today, this post happens to mark another milestone: it’s my 200th!

In celebration of one year and 200 posts, I’ll soon be hosting a give-away. Details will be coming soon, I promise.

In the mean time, thank you. Thank you for popping by on occasion and letting me share my life with you. You are always welcome, so come back as often as you’d like.

12/3/10

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama to share one moment.... via a single photo – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember…”


12/2/10

Frugal Gift Giving Ideas

For so many families the holidays bring both excitement and dread. When we see the list of family and friends to buy for, we are often faced with a true challenge. How do we stretch the holiday budget far enough to cover everyone on that list?

I love making home-made gifts and over the years have had some luck with very little (or NO!!) expense. These ideas might not work for you, but maybe something here will jiggle your creativity a bit and inspire you to try something new. I’ve listed some of my favorites below, but will do a follow-up post with more soon. (Sorry I have no photos. These projects predated my blogging endeavors).


Heirloom Recipe Box
A few years ago, I decided to collect all the family recipes that I could find and put them on recipe cards for my Mom. Between the two of us, we had a lot. Many were written on full size sheets of paper or on cards yellow with age. They were still legible, but certainly due an overhaul.

I picked my favorites recipes from my personal collection, and from both of my Grandmothers, my Mom, and various Aunts. My theme was “women of the family and what they cook”. I carefully transcribed these old (and not so old) recipes onto 3x5” cards which I had on hand. I made sure to title each one with the name of the woman who was known for that particular dish:
  • Christy’s Potato Soup
  • Jenny’s Famous Biscuits
  • Grandma Faith’s Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Grandma Laura’s Jelly Roll 
You get the idea… Then I went to the Local Goodwill store and found a sturdy little wooden recipe box for 99cents. I rummaged through boxes of old family photos, until I found images of each of the ladies whose recipes were represented within the box. I then made copies (spent less than $3 on those) and trimmed the copied photos, arranging them into a collage that fit the top of the wooden box. I used Mod Podge to adhere the photos. This project was a bit time-consuming, but only because of all the writing. The rest was a breeze, and aside from the time it took – I spent less than $5.

My Mom loved her recipe box, and it was something fun for us both to look through and enjoy. I still get a kick of pulling it from her cupboard for a look when I visit.

Hidden Compartment Book
My Dad is one of those guys who is fascinated by the idea of hidden compartments and secret hidey-holes. One year, I decided to modify an old book for him that he could put on the shelf, but in which he could hide something fun (or just enjoy knowing he could).

I went to our local used bookstore and hit the clearance section. I found a large hard bound dictionary for $1. Once I had the book home, I paged into the volume to about page twenty and than used glue to carefully glue the pages of the rest of the book together (leaving those first twenty free). I glued only around the edges. I did the glue first as I wasn’t sure how well the shape would hold up if I cut first. Once the glue was dry, I used an exacto knife to carefully cut down through the layers of pages, making a square hole in the center of the book (the cutting took some time – be patient). If you want a large hidey-hole, obviously you’d need a large book. The opening I made was maybe the size of a man’s wallet, but a little deeper. The edges were pretty ugly, so I cut some old vintage looking pictures from magazines and again got out that Mod Podge, with which I covered the rough edges paper mache style. It smoothed out nicely, leaving a clean opening. It looked pretty good if I do say so myself.

When closed, the book did not look to have been altered at all. It sat on the shelf squarely, and in fact when my Dad opened the gift, he was a bit confused. He read the inscription and just looked at me blankly. Why was I giving him a dictionary for Christmas? Then he thumbed through the first few pages and found his surprise. And he liked it a lot, so I marked this as another success.

Total expense of $1 (I had the Mod Podge on hand).

Children’s Book
Luckily I had this idea early, which gave me the time I needed to complete it. I decided to make a children’s book about my own childhood – for my parents. I know – that may seem weird, but it was actually pretty cute, and kind of a thank you to them for being such awesome parents to begin with.

The book was titled “Little Christy on the Farm”. It showed glimpses into the life of our little family during a five year period (late 70s/early 80s). The story was very simple and the illustrations were fairly simple too. I did try to bring real items from those years into the pictures. The toboggan we used for sledding, my faithful dog Lucky, the toys in my room, the holiday decorations and the furniture in our house. Whatever I could remember, got in there somewhere. I drew it all out by hand, colored the images in with colored pencils and put the pages in clear plastic sleeves. The sleeves had binder holes on one end, and I used a ring (like a large key ring) to hold them all together.

This one did take a while to complete. I’d say I used the better part of a month’s free time on the illustrations. Cost was $0 though, as I had all the supplies on hand. It’s a fun book and if I remember I’ll read it to Little Guy when we visit my folks for Christmas.
Family Board Game
I made this for an anniversary gift (My parents’ 30th I think), but it could be easily modified to work for Christmas. Have you noticed a theme? My folks tend to be my guinea pigs when it comes to home-made gifts. Luckily they don’t mind!

First I made a ‘game board’ using poster board. I colored little squares all over the plain white space in a winding road pattern. Then I wrote out trivia questions about my family. The categories were “Home Sweet Home”, “Vacations”, “Family Lore”, “Pets” and “Holidays”. Each of the categories had a corresponding hand-drawn picture on the game board (A house, A dog, A mini-van, etc.) Each player took turns answering the trivia questions (topic determined by a roll of the dice).  I found some discarded pawns from an old game that we no longer used, as well as the dice. It was silly fun, and only something my immediate family ever could have played, but the cost was minimal (69cents for poster board) and everyone enjoyed it!

Framed Poetry and Illustration
Another one for my folks. I think I did this the first year I was living on my own and was feeling a bit home-sick. I wrote two poems. One for Mom, one for Dad. I carefully printed them on parchment paper (which I had left over from an art class). Next to each poem I drew a picture of the appropriate parent with me. I framed each using frames purchased at Dollar General.
Since they still hang in my parents’ living room, I’m pretty sure this one was a hit too, and at a cost of $2 for the frames.

What are some fun ways you have found to make affordable gifts?

12/1/10

Toy Stories (My Friend Mandy & My Friend Jenny)


My Friend Mandy
                                                   
Christmas 1978: My Friend Mandy
I was four, and frankly a typical tom boy. My hair was cropped short. I usually played outside with my faithful canine companion Lucky. We were almost always dirty, and almost always in trouble. You’d be hard pressed to get me into a dress unless it was Sunday morning. You get the idea – I was not the girly-girl which doll manufacturers might consider their target audience.

However, my sweet Mama was determined to bring out the lace and sweetness and clean fingernails she had envisioned when first she heard, “It’s a Girl!” So, she looked around for the perfect doll, and found “My Friend Mandy”. Made by Fisher Price, and the first of the “My Friend” series, Mandy stood 16” tall. She had silky blond hair and lovely blue eyes. Mine came wearing a pink dress with tiny white polka dots. She had a white hat, tights and shoes. She was just wonderful. Even a rough and tumble tomboy like me couldn’t resist such a sweet doll. I loved her. I loved her hair which was easy to style. I loved her clothes. In addition to the outfit she came in, I received a little fur coat and hat and a big pile of home-made clothes (each “My Friend” doll came with free patterns and Mom had several outfits made for my doll).

Another bonus was that Mandy was machine washable, so when she and I came in from a long day climbing trees and chasing Lucky…she could be popped in the washer and was soon as good as new!


My Friend Jenny

Christmas 1979: My Friend Jenny

Jump ahead one year, and imagine my surprise when I opened a Christmas package which held a brunette version of Mandy. “My Friend Jenny” had hair as dark as mine, and big brown eyes. She was dressed in a fluffy white shirt, a brown jumper and a straw hat. She was the same size as Mandy and could share all of her outfits. She was a wonderful doll, and together she and Mandy remain my favorites thirty-plus years later.

Back when I first found out I was pregnant with our son, I was so convinced that our baby was going to be a girl, that I dug my Mandy and Jenny dolls out of storage. I ordered more outfits and also a pattern book to make even more myself. I enlisted my sweet Dad to make the gals a little wooden bed (He did a wonderful job - it even has clothing storage under the “mattress”). I made a little blanket and pillow for the bed. Then I decided I should also find the doll I never had as a child, but wanted: “My Friend Becky”.


My Friend Becky



So then there were three.

They are now back in storage of course, as I don’t think Little Guy would have much use for them. Maybe if we are ever blessed with a little girl, she’ll someday enjoy these dolls as much as I did. If not, I’ll someday find a different little girl to pass them too. Regardless, I love them and they are easily two of my fondest Christmas presents from childhood.

Maybe someday I'll track down Mikey and Nicky too, but for now these three make me happy.

I don't have pics of my own dolls for some reason (need to raid the old family albums or get my gals out of storage again).  The images you see within this post are from the following sites:





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