Art by Rozanne

My mother-in-law, Rozanne Priebe, is an amazing artist.  I’m so lucky because I have many of her original pieces of art.  My favorites are her Santas.  Please take a few moments to look at the pictures below.  These are just a few of the Santas from her artistic imagination.  I love each one equally.  A couple of the paintings are not Santa, but are still part of my Christmas collection.












The Dickens Village

Displaying our Dickens Village each year is quite a chore.  A few years ago we decided that it should be displayed above our kitchen cabinets. It looks beautiful there, but it’s no easy feat to get it there.  The one good thing that comes of all of this work is that the tops of my cabinets get a good cleaning at least once a year.  Judging from how dusty and grimy everything is I could probably do it more that once a year, but I doubt that’s going to happen!


Scott & Cameron are vacuuming and getting the top of the cabinet ready.  I get to wash all the grimy stuff!



Christmas Trees

I know most sane people have one, possibly two Christmas trees in their homes.  I think we all know that I am not sane when it comes to Christmas.  I HAVE FIVE TREES!!!  The tree here is the tree in my family room, the one I look at the most.  It holds my dearest ornaments, the ones that have years of memories attached.



The tree in my sunroom has a pine cone theme.  These beautiful glass ornaments are magical to me.annalee-tree-2

My Annalee tree holds the my collection of grey Annalee mice.  My Aunt Sue started this collection for me when I was in high school.  I now look for grey Annalees to add to my collection.


The tree in my foyer is decked with ornaments I made with mirrors, beads and crystals.  Bright and shiny!


I have a bay window in my dining room that is the perfect spot for a small tree.  This little tree sits on my Gran’s tea cart and brightens up this space.

So, if you only have one tree, maybe you should think about upping the ante!!

Santa’s Lap

For all of you who have taken their children to see Santa, you know that it can be a blessing or a curse.  For us it was a curse more that it was a blessing.  Cameron wasn’t sure about sitting on Santa’s lap.  This picture is when Cameron was four – this was a success!

This picture was taken right before Cameron’s first birthday.  If you look closely Cameron is NOT happy.  What you can’t see is that Santa is his dad!  It was truly hilarious!


When Cameron was two we had a successful trip to see Santa.


Since year two was so successful, we thought we would have another good year.  Here we were at Zoo Lights at the amazing Brookfield Zoo.  While we were waiting in the long, long line, Cameron was SO EXCITED.  He couldn’t wait to see Santa.  That all disappeared when we finally got to the room with Santa.  Total meltdown!  Me being “mother of the year” made my screaming son sit on Santa’s lcameron-santa

On Cameron’s 5th birthday he decided that he was done with Santa’s lap!  Which selfishly was fine with me.  The long lines are crazy and I never knew what was going to happen when we finally got to Santa!  Santa was very faithful and still showed up at the Priebe home each year!

The picture below is of my husband Scott and his brother Craig sitting on Santa’s lap.  Santa is their grandfather Priebe.  This picture is another gem that I pull out each year!


Advent Wreath

I LOVE Advent.  It is such a special time of the year.  The Advent Wreath originated with German Lutherans in the 19th century.  With the last name of Scholta and growing up in the Lutheran church it’s no wonder it has such a special place in my heart.  Each candle has a meaning.  #1 HOPE  #2 LOVE  #3 JOY  #4 PEACE   Each Sunday I try to reflect on the meaning of the candle of the week.


Here I’m getting the Advent Wreath in my church ready for the first Sunday in Advent.


This is the Advent Wreath we have at home.  My dad made it for us and is a duplicate of the one I grew up with – which he also made.  So many special memories of lighting the candles each Sunday as we prepared for the coming of the Christ child.

Even with the hustle and bustle of my family life, I still try to stop and continue this tradition in my home.

Annalee Tree

Do you have a collection that you’re not sure how to display?  How about dedicating a tree to your collection.

My Aunt Sue started giving me Annalee mice when I was in high school.  You can find Annalee figures everywhere now, but that was not the case in the late 1970s.  Sue had to order them directly from the factory in New Hampshire.  They were incredible special then.  She always got me the grey mice.  Over the years I have continued to add to my collection, but only the grey mice – I am very finicky when it comes to my Annalees.






As my collection grew, I was running out of places to put them.  I saw a display of Dickens Village houses on a wooden tree and I came up with the idea of putting all of my Annalee mice on their own Christmas tree.  Genius!  It is such a fun tree and a great conversation starter.

Try it out with your favorite collection that is getting to big to display!

These caroling Annalee’s were my Gran’s.


Ornaments, Ornaments, Ornaments

Each year as I pull out ornaments to decorate my Christmas tree I relive so many memories.  I’m sure each of you go through the same thing.  Please be patient with me as I walk you through some of my memories.


My mother-in-law, who is an amazing artist painted this beautiful bulb.


My grandma Grace knitted this sweet mitten for me.  At one time it had a mate, but like most children I lost it.  I’m so glad that I still have this one.  Many years ago I came up with the ingenious idea to hang it on my tree every year.  Instead of being tucked away in a box, I am able to pull it out each year.  It is one of my most precious possessions.


I have had this little ornament since I was in Kindergarten.  I got it from my Sunday School teacher and it was filled with CANDY!


I gave this beautiful ornament to my grandma Grace and a couple of years before she died she gave it back to me.  She loved it so much that she displayed it all year long.  I lovingly pull this ornament out each year and remember the love that was my grandma.


Another ornament from my grandma Grace.  She had made for her each of her grandchildren.  They hung on her tree for years.  Another thing she made sure I got.


The German pickle!  It is supposed to be the last ornament
on the tree and whoever finds it first on Christmas morning gets a prize.  We have never done that since there is only one child in our family.  My Aunt Sue gave me this special ornament.


Another beautiful ornament painted by my mother-in-law Rozanne.  This is a painting of my Cocker Spaniel Casey.  He was our first baby and then became Cameron’s protector.  We had this sweet boy for 16 years.  He could be a pickle, but he was loving and loyal.


My sissy, Amy, gave me this bee hive.  My name means bee.  If I wasn’t The Domesticated Maven, I’d be the Queen Bee!  Amy is always on the lookout for bee themed ornaments.  I just love this one




These two ornaments are from Dublin, Ireland.  I took a group of high school students on a mission trip to work in a youth camp.  I loved being a youth leader.  The relationships and memories I have from this trip will be with me forever!


Christmas Foyer

It took me awhile to find the perfect tree for my foyer. I wanted a tall, skinny tree.  I’ve had a couple of different versions.  Meet Foyer Tree 3.0 – it’s finally the right one!  I handmade all of the pretty ornaments using beads, mirrors, crystals and bells.


These ornaments are very difficult to photograph, so take a close look.


I have all kinds of treasures in the secretary.  Treasures from my mom, my Gran and my Aunt Sue.


When we built our house ten years ago, I was so excited to have a banister!  I couldn’t wait for our first Christmas so I could decorate it.