Monday, December 21, 2009


Good morning! Mackenzie, Shannon, and I have been busy bees! Kenz beaded herself a lovely Christmas necklace, while Shannon was a craft maniac. She has created an adorable gift tag, a Navy-themed picture frame for her grandfather, and an AMAZING cut-paper piece for her sister.. which I can't post until after Christmas. No peeking! I spent last night working on a framed layout of our most recent trip to Tucson on December 12. All the papers are from the Wonderful Winter pad by My Mind's Eye. I found it at Michael's a few weeks back and I'm using it for everything! Love it!

The annual trip has become a beloved tradition over the past 9 years and we wouldn't miss it for the world. We spend the day light hours slowly shopping the 4th Avenue Street Fair, where other artisans and small businesses set up booths facing both sides of the almost-mile-long boulevard. There's jewelry, clothing, artwork, crafts, food, music... you name it. This year's purchases include a print of a pop-style Wicked Witch, a lovely pearl and beaded necklace and bracelet set, and some of the most delicious kettle korn ever!
After the Fair, we always dine at Mandarin Grill Chinese restaurant - by no means fancy, but special to us nonetheless. And the Sesame Chicken is to die for!
We wrapped up the evening hayriding through Winterhaven, a long standing neighborhood where nearly all the homes decorate extravagantly for the holidays and the HOA decks out all the common areas. Admission is free, although the local food banks graciously request canned good donations. You can walk, carriage ride, hayride (our usual method), or even drive through on specified nights. This year the weather was perfection, the crowd jovial, and it definitely put us in the Christmas spirit.
For now, housework is calling, then wrapping all of Shanni's Christmas gifts. Harry Connick, Jr. and Karen Carpenter are crooning carols on the radio, there's a fresh batch of noel pecan balls in the kitchen, and the tree is aglow. It doesn't get any better than this. Hope you find your Christmas spirit too!

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