Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas

We're still celebrating around here.

my TX crew


Tomorrow night we open more presents.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Presents

Santa and his helpers were good to me this year. When I unwrapped my gifts, here are a few of the things I found.


pretty necklace

dangley earrings

warm gloves

make-up and a new bag

a pretty scarf

I hope your Christmas was a nice as mine.

Now, please sit back and relax today!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sending a Christmas Blessing Your Way

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ.
-Wilda English



If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!
-John F. MacArthur, Jr.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas....

He gave Santa his list.

He helped wrap the gifts.

He's ready for his first Christmas.

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

10 Christmas Gifts I'll Never Forget

1. the Popsicle wagon (a much used and beloved riding toy)
2. the Barbie canopy bed that my parents made (which featured my outgrown pink satin dance recital costume for the canopy and bedding)
3. the overnight case filled with Trixie Belden books
4. my sister's life size Shirley Temple paper doll
5. our Chatty Cathy dolls
6. the small silver jewelry box I bought my mother with saved lunch money (I bought my daddy a present that year too but I don't remember what it was)
7. the paper cutouts my sister made me (which I didn't appreciate at the time)
8. the used car my ex-husband gave me (which I guessed from the clue that it was small enough to fit into his pocket....I had been telling him not to give me clues because I always guessed what it was...after that he took me for my word and never gave me another clue)
9. the happy smiles on my children's faces every Christmas morning

10. Of course, the real gift of Christmas is not like the ones we give others. The gifts we give to our loved ones are only a dim reflection of the one our heavenly Father sent to us through his Son. God's gift to humanity was the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Let us never forget the real meaning of the season.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What to Do When the Weather is Frightful


Let It Snow!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
And I brought some corn for popping;
The lights are turned way down low,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

When we finally say good night,
How I'll hate going out in the storm;
But if you really hold me tight,
All the way home I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we're still good-bye-ing,
But as long as you love me so.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.


This song was written, on a hot California day in July of 1945, by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. It' s thought of as a Christmas song even though the holiday is never mentioned.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm Determined to Have a White Christmas


Last night while watching this movie
for the millionth time, Rachel and I decided to make decorations Elf style.

I grabbed some scissors and printer paper and we started cutting paper snowflakes. I've got to admit...it is a lot harder than I thought it was.

Once finished we were stumped on how to hang them to advantage. Finally, I grabbed the tape and stuck them to my front windows.

tiny snippets of paper everywhere

Bye Rachel, it was fun!

lacy designs frame the tree

This morning I ran out in my pjs to see what it looked like in the daylight

Best of all....magic shadows on the floor. I think these snowflakes are keepers.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

He's In Town

As I drove up to the stop light, I noticed Santa sitting beside the soda fountain shop looking a little bored.

But not for long.

Someone else had the same thought as me. Santa needed some children to have his picture made with. This mom provided hers.


Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list,
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry.
Better not pout, I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. It was first sung on Eddie Cantor's radio show in November 1934, becoming an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and over 400,000 copies sold by Christmas.

A Christmas classic was born.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yuletide Greetings PPF Style

The notation on this faded postcard front is Christmas Eve 1930 ______ Conn.
(for the life of me, I cannot decipher the name of the town) Look closely and you'll see a two story home and the faint outline of a street and sidewalk.


The back of the card is addressed to Mrs. Evelyn Fee who lived in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.



As a bonus, I'm tossing in another of my vintage Christmas cards.

This one has a note inside to my mother's mother and her youngest brother. (I have no idea how I wound up with a card of theirs in my collection) This one is probably from the late 60s or very early 70s as my uncle moved away from home and married in the mid 70s.

"Dear Vera & Don hope you are well I'm doing better lately which I'm so thankful my children will all be here sunday week I'm really looking forward to it sure is good day for me I always have a tree & put the presents under it I know you are busy getting ready for yours best wishes to you and yours Write me sometime Love Mellie Irvin"

(no punctuation was used)

Do you try to write a personal note inside each Christmas card you send? Or do you type up a newsy letter detailing the past year? Or are you doing good to remember to sign each card and put stamps on them before dropping them in the mailbox?

Drop by The French Factrice to see more Postcard Friendship Friday posts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pencil in Time to Enjoy the Season

Are you one of those super organized people? You know the type. They start planning in August or September and are completely finished with all holiday preparations by early November. Or are you like me, in a count down with the clock to get it all done?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cherry Tassies

Last weekend, I tried this recipe and it was a hit with everyone who had one. If you are looking for a last minute holiday treat to bake, here's the recipe for your consideration.

1 1/4 cups softened butter
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely crushed striped round peppermint candies (about 18)
48 red maraschino cherries with stems, drained
Coarse sugar

1. preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat 1 3/4" muffin cups with cooking spray

2. In large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat in peppermint extract, vanilla and egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Using a spoon, stir in any remaining flour and candies.

3. Place remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar in a shallow dish. Shape dough in 1-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar. Press each ball into bottom and up sides of prepared muffin cups.

4. Place cherry, stem side up, in each cup. Bake about 12 minutes or until pastry is browned. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cool 10 minutes in pan.

5. Using sharp knife, loosen tassies from cups. Makes about 48.

This is what they are supposed to look like. Festive don't you think?

This is what mine looked like....strange muffin thingys with sticks poking out of them. Learn from me...don't use too much pastry dough...it will just eat the cherry.

I took the left overs to work on Monday. They didn't last long.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gingerbread Time

...maybe I should say faux gingerbread instead. Last weekend it was time to break out the graham crackers and whip up 4 or 5 mixers of Royal Icing.

The weekend action began when my parents dropped the girls off Saturday afternoon. The night before they had taken Aubrey, Avery and their cousin Morgan to see the Nutcracker Ballet...something that has been a family tradition since 1977 when they began taken the girl's daddy, my oldest son.

Saturday night the girl's painted their own Nutcrackers with only a little help from me.

They dubbed me the crafty gramma a couple of years ago, so I have a reputation to keep up.

Sunday, after a hearty lunch of Lasagna (put together by my sweet Rachel - thankfully they arrived early because I needed the help) it was time to paper over the kitchen table and dump out the candy. TJ was recruited to make the icing. I volunteered to hold the baby and just watch....there was no more room at the table.

It's a big ole candy free for all.

Looks like the boys prefer cars and trucks.

Avery with her Nutcracker and gingerbread house. Notice her red tree and the fire hydrant out front. See the doghouse on the left? It's all in the details folks.

Here's Aubrey with her 3 story house. Believe you me, it's not easy constructing a multiple story house out of graham crackers. She started the second floor over a couple of times. The big bad wolf of The Three Little Pigs fame would have loved graham cracker houses. You don't even have to huff and puff to blow them down if you haven't constructed them oh-so-carefully.

It's been a long day. This little one is ready for bed. He will fall asleep on the way home.

Once again, a good time was had by all. Hope you enjoyed your window into our messy, loud, happy family tradition.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Awards and Challenges

Recently, Kat at Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes challenged me to tell you Seven Things You May Or May Not Know About Me. So here goes.

1. I'm a night owl. True confession...I let my granddaughters stay up to 12 am last night. The younger one fell asleep quickly, but her sister read while I finished baking the last batch of Cherry Tassies. Once I got in bed and we turned the lights out, I had to tell her 2 stories. Then we talked about something. I have to confess I don't remember what we were talking about because at that point it was 1 am and I was pooped. They are still asleep this morning and I hope they stay that way a few more hours.

2. I'm a born klutz. I stumble. I slip. I'm afraid I'll fall in front of people. Once I didn't see that a walkway had a step up. I tripped and slid into a plate glass window. There were people on the other side mixing and mingling. And looking down at the crazy woman who had just banged into the window at their feet. Can you say embarrassing?

3. I'm an introvert who finally learned how to start conversations with strangers in her 40s. I've had far few tension headaches since then.

4. I find electronics and mechanical things a huge challenge...in fact I think I might be retarded in that way.

5. I don't cry as often as I used to. I think I have menopause and no longer living with my ex husband to thank for that.

6. I haven't been going to church for the past couple of years. This is not good. I left my former church a few years ago for good reasons at the time, but it is where my friends are. I visited other churches, even found one that I like, but I don't know anyone there and I hate going alone. I'm thinking about going back to my old church. I surprised friends when I told them that I'm coming to the Christmas program next Sunday night.

7. My fondest wish is to be able to quit work. I'm not cut out for the 8 to 5 lifestyle. I don't think that way. I don't have enough education to get the kind of jobs that would be challenging and interesting to me. Whine, whine, whine.....

Diahn challenged me, on her blog Ottwork, to answer these questions with one word only....a near impossible task for me.



1. Where is your cell phone?… purse

2. Your hair?… bedhead

3. Your mother?… collector

4. Your father?… cancer

5. Your favorite food?… Mexican

6. Your dream last night?… neighborlookinginwindow?

7. Your favorite drink?… water

8. Your dream/goal?… retired

9. What room are you in?… computer

10. Your hobby?… blogging

11. Your fear?… lost

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?… wealthyandnotworking

13. Where were you last night?… here

14. Something that you aren’t?… thin

15. Muffins?… please

16. Wish list item?… sofa
17. Where did you grow up?… Alabama

18. Last thing you did?… nibble

19. What are you wearing?… pajamas

20. Your TV?… on

21. Your Pets?… none

22. Friends?… many

23. Your life?… blessed

24. Your mood?… anticipatory

25. Missing Someone?… yep

26. Vehicle?… Corolla

27. Something you're not wearing?… socks

28. Your favorite store?… IKEA

29. Your favorite colour?… all

30. When was the last time you laughed?… lastnight

31. Last time you cried?… dunno

32. Your best friend?… multiple

33. One place that I go to over and over?… work

34. Facebook?… sortof

35. Favorite place to eat?… somany


Okay....I know I cheated, but you try to answer all these questions with only one word!

I'm supposed to pass both awards along. I know everyone is busy, busy at this time of the year, but I would love to hear how some of my faraway friends would answer these. So I'm challenging Protege, Soulbrush, Carmen, Trish and Denise to pick either one or both of these to answer. Check out their blogs by clicking their names. I'm sure you'll find something to love at each of their blogs.

Come on guys! I want to know more about you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Naughty or Nice

Look who I saw today. He was gassing up his sleigh at the Shell station. I gave him my list. He says since I've been good, he's sure he has some presents for me in his bag of goodies. : )

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

I've said it before....I have a paper fetish. I save all kinds of bits and pieces. Tonight, I dug into 35 years of birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards to bring you today's PFF post.

Christmas postcard from my aunt and uncle in 1981.

This card was sent to my family from a neighbor when I still lived at home with my parents...so my best guess is that it is from the early to mid 60s. What you can't see is the clear glitter which makes the whole card sparkle.

This one was taken from my mother's stash as well. I've always loved the colorful simplicity of this scene.

Holly Hobbie from the late 80s.

This one is probably circa late 80s or early 90s. I love this gentle, busy Santa.

My parents bought a box of vintage cards at an estate sale and my mother sent each one of us one of these old cards in 1999. It was already yellowing then, now it is more so.


I'm sad that the high price of stamps and cards have influenced many to stop the time honored practice of mailing cards to their friends and family. So tonight, I'm sending all of my PFF and bloggy friends my wishes for a very Merry Christmas with 6 virtual cards!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm a Waylaid Cleaner

This is what always happens to me. I take the day off to clean the house...this weekend the family is coming for our annual Gingerbread House making party/competition...instead I wind up going through the stacked up unread newspapers for stories I missed and the coupons for Rachel. Now I've moved on to clearing out old magazines. There is no way that I am physically able to just toss a old magazine without flipping through it to tear out pages to stash away.

Thought I would share this with you. It was torn from a 1981 issue of Country Living.

If you enlarge the plans you'll be able to read the room diagrams. The shocker about this old beauty was that in its heyday (1894) the cost to build this home was only $7,000. That price includes the third-floor servants quarters, five bedrooms for the family and a library (I've always dreamed of having one of those). There are 6 fireplaces pictured, but I suppose the servants quarters had them as well. The master bedroom measures 12 x 20 1/2. The smallest bedroom was 11 1/2 x 12 1/2. Only one bathroom for all of those people, but at least there was indoor plumbing.

The cute country store and apartment above could be built in 1887 for only $3,800. The apartment has only 2 bedrooms, but the parlor and the kitchen were huge. I do have to point out one downside to the store/apt.....there was no indoor plumbing and only closets for the pots and the china.

In my defense, I don't have magazines going back to 1981, my mother gave this one recently along with some newer issues. Also, I actually have done some cleaning...dishes, bed made..okay, not much is done yet.

Now, back to the real job at hand....keeping myself on track...there are the rest of the decorations to put in place, the kitchen floor to sweep, groceries to purchase, clothes to wash and dry.........I've got Christmas CDs playing to encourage me to keep cleaning. Like the little train...I just need to keep chanting....I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....I know I can....if I get off this computer...now! See ya later!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby Face

Got to visit with my fellow this weekend.

video

He has to taste all the furniture at least once a visit to my house.

video

He loved the way the sack of Christmas garland sounded when he hit on it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mail Art

Those of you who enjoy sending and receiving mail art...have you seen the 2009 Graceful Envelope winners? The contest's theme this year was Address the Environment. Judging was done on the basis of skill in lettering, use of color and design and interpretation of the theme.

Some of my favorite work was submitted by students. In the grades 1-6 category:


Julianna Lewis

Eva Lewis

In grades 7-12:


Abbie Tingle

Stephanie Lamb

My favorite in the Adult Winner category was:

Margaret Kubisch

In the Honorable Mention category my favorite was:

Karen Dilbeck

As for fellow bloggers who make amazing mail art, are you familiar with Dave Dube's work? If not, check out his blog sometime.