The wonders of grandchildren

Thanksgiving was a special day with my family gathered at the house. My daughter had a new camera so she was "Kodak" moment happy all day. As I looked at the pictures she had taken, I realized how blessed I am to have such beautiful grandchildren. They each have developed their own little personalities. They have much in common but at the same time are very different from each other. I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos of the day of some of my favorite little people.


Top 10 Tuesday

I'm riding the Tuesday Train

My favorite top 10 Christmas things.

1. Putting icicles on the Christmas tree - If you saw my post last week, I am one of a dying breed...a lover of icicles. My tree is not complete unless I have icicles. They evoke such strong childhood memories. Not to mention they can cover a lot of flaws and gaps on the tree.

2. Setting out my little basket of poinsettias that Mamaw Eden bought me when I was five. This little basket is 50 years old this Christmas and it is still one of my most cherished keepsake items. It was special because Mamaw got it for me, but even more special because she had taken me shopping and we were together when she bought it at McCroys.

3. Letting the grandchildren help decorate a little tree for my home office. Shelby was a little too gung ho and hung everything on the bottom limbs. Colby was more interested in taking them off instead of putting them on. Alexis and Garret did a very good job, but Caleb wasn't feeling well so he didn't feel like helping.

4. Creme drops for a litte snack. These were one of our favorite Christmas candies growing up. I don't know why we only bought them at Christmas but we did. I do the same thing. The best ones are in the produce department with the nuts and dried fruit at Krogers. Not sure why they are there, but I need to go get some for this year.

5. My little mice from Home Interior. I have had these since the my children were little.

6. My nativity collection. I love nativity sets. My favorite one is the childlike Mary and Joseph on the donkey. I've had it for years.

7. My Santa collection. I have Santa's all over the living room and snowmen all over the kitchen.

8. Having something new for decor each year. This year it is my placemats and my bowl for the dining room table. Thanks to Kohl's and their great sales and to my daughter who bought me the matching bowl.

9. My reindeer and Christmas tree. My deer is very special because my mother painted it and gave it to me. The tree is very special because my oldest grandson, Garret, painted it for me when he was just a little thing.

10. Christmas Bears. I love teddy bears. These two guys normally sit on the trunk at the end of my bed. But every Christmas, they get to put on a Christmas sweater and ride in the little red wagon.

What is YOUR favorite Christmas item at your house?


Christmas Crafting

It's that time of year when everybody likes to get crafty and create something new for Christmas decor or Christmas gifts. I love doing crafts but just never seem to have the time and not even sure I have much talent. But it is fun. I used to think that making crafts meant spending hours cutting, sewing, gluing, trimming, etc. But now I realize that you can be crafty simply by picking up a few items and putting them together for home decor. That's what I did this weekend.

Hobby Lobby (one of my favorite places to go) had a 50% off sale on most of their Christmas decor. I got these two Santa's and the snowman for under $8.00 total. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Then when we were at Walmart I bought this plate because I liked it and it was only .98 cents. But I had no idea what to do with it.

When I was showing them to hubby, I sat the figurines on the plate to carry them easier and liked the way it looked.

Then I remembered the plate my daughter had fixed with candles and Christmas picks and stuff so I dug in my old Christmas stuff and found this little bucket from years ago that was smooshed up and hadn't been used in a while.

So I disassembled it and used some of the picks on the new decorations and here is the finished product. I thought it turned out pretty good.



Officially in Christmas Mode

This weekend has really put me in the Christmas spirit. I love this time of year. It is a time of jubilation and celebration for the birth of our King.

No matter how much I love the giving of gifts, the thrill of shopping for that special item, the happiness in decorating for the holidays, I still have that awe and joy that at this time of year, all those centuries ago, Mary gave birth to her precious baby boy and called his name Jesus.

I love that story. It is one that touches my heart over and over again. Every December, I read the words recorded by Matthew and Luke and listen to Mary Did You Know.

God's plan is amazing when you think about it. Jesus could have just "shown up" on earth as a man. The stories could have just started about Him when He was fully grown. His existance could have been kept quiet until He began His miraculous works.

But God, in His infinite wisdom gave Him to us as a tiny baby boy. Someone we could ooo and ahhh over. A story that would humble us that this poor young lady would be with child when she wasn't much more than a child herself. And this wonderful, loving husband Joseph who married her anyway and watched over her and loved the child as his own.

God gave us this tiny baby because He knew we would fall in love with Him and watch Him grow. We would take pride in what He accomplished and all the miracles He would perform. We would accept Him, simply because we knew of Him from His birth. But most of all, we would grow to love Him. We would feel like He was ours and we were His. We would be horrified by the brutal crucifixion to this beloved Son we had watched grow up.

And then God delivered His final message. This was all done just for us. For you and for me.

So never, ever forget the Reason for the Season.


Repeat, Repeat

Did you go shopping yesterday? Did you score any good bargains. My daughter-in-law helped me snag a great deal on a new Christmas tree. I was going to go the real route this year. But as I was going through my decorations, I found the strings of lights I would need for a real tree. Lights that ,despite my packing safely away, had managned to get hopelessly tangled. Lights that would need untangled and checked. Lights that would need to be trimmed around a real tree. That's when it hit me. I got excited about the thought of a good deal on an artificial tree. And I found one I wanted at a great buy.
Had an awesome lunch with my daughter-in-law at Applebees. Thanks, Jamie for all your help yesterday.
This morning, I'm heading out with my daughter to repeat the process and see what I might find today.


Black Friday Bravery


It's here. It's official. The top sales day of the year. I must admit that the onset of more and more stores opening at midnight or even 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving takes some of the charm away from the day. Now you are not one of the brave who get up at 3:00 to be in line by 4:00 for a store that opens at 5:00. You are now the person in line who is behind the person bragging about all the great bargains they snagged at midnight.

But you know what, I don't really care. I just love being in the crowd. Jostling along, looking for treasures. I usually have a list of things I kinda might maybe want to get while the price is right. But I normally am not there for the big ticket items that everybody is pushing to get. The items I am after are usually the ones they hold back until 5:00 Friday anyway so it works out good.

Living in a tourist town, our Walmart is insane on Black Friday so obviously that is where I choose to start my trek. I have found that it is best to be patient as you go from area to area. If you are by yourself, you can stay under the radar and snake through the sea of humanity and capture some great buys if you are diligent and don't get impatient.

I have several items on my list this year that are going to be great deals, but I can't share them for fear of who may be on my list that reads my blog.

However, there are a few items I need or want for myself that I won't hesitate to pick up if I can find the right one. My birthday rolls around mid-December so I always get a little birthday cash in advance in case a Black Friday sale hits my fancy. Here are the things on my wish list:

I love watches. I love them with assorted types of bands, different styles, anything. I just love to change them out based on my outfit. I fell in love with this bangle one and for $5.00, what watch fanatic could resist. That is if it fits. I have such skinny wrists that I can't wear most bangle type jewelry.

I wear a lot of hoodies in the winter when I'm going to the store or shopping. I am not a heavy coat person, though I keep one in the car. I prefer warm sweaters, sweatshirts or fleece with a hoodie over it. I also love Mickey Mouse and my favorite color is red and "under $10" is one of my favorite phrases so I can't pass this up.

I keep checking out the memory foam bath mats every time I see them. They range anywhere from $12.97 to $19.97. I just can't seem to pay that much for a rug that is designed to get wet. But I keep dreaming of having one for my master bath. It's all part of my "pamper yourself" personality. Well, at this price, if I can find the right color, I'll be snatching one up for myself.

I looked all last year for warm fuzzy comfy boots for everyday wear. I wanted something with fur or sweater like material so they would be good and warm. I hate cold feet. These are hideous, but I have fallen in love with them. They are by Crocs. I didn't see them on sale anywhere, but I'm going to keep my eyesopen for a pair of these or some knock off that resembles them. Just fell in love with the fur/sweater/shoe look.

I have a long list of things to check out for the family and three things on my list for hubby are on sale today. One of the items I have been eyeballing for $29.99 for him at Kohl's for the past three weeks. Kohl's has it on sale for $19.99 Friday. But then I found a similar item that I liked even better that will be on sale at Kmart for $7.99 Friday. So I'm very excited about that. That will be my main goal on Friday is to get that one item for hubby at a reasonable price. If I do, my day will be a success.

I have quite a few items I want to look at for the kids and grandkids after listening to everyones comments last night when they looked over the Black Friday ads.

One of my favorite parts of the early morning rush is standing in the checkout line and socializing with those around me. I love learning where they are from, what brought them to our neck of the woods. I have been doing Black Friday for 7 years. And one thing that amazes me every year is that we don't seem to have the hateful, grabbing, "I gotta have that" type people around here. Everybody seems to be having a great time. Stopping complete strangers and asking if you no where an item is.

But the absolute most amazing thing that I adore when standing in those long lines is that at some point, at some moment, someone starts talking about God and blessings. So even amidst the hubbub and rush, even the craziest most insane Black Friday addicts still realize that this is a time for giving Thanks. It's so cool.

So if you head out today be cautious, stay safe and snag some great bargains!


Happy Thanksgiving!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.


The Icicle Story

You might think that I was going to have some profound historical remarks to educate you on the common Christmas icicle. But no, this will be a story of my love affair with icicles for over 50 years.

When I was small, Mom always decorated the Christmas tree by draping icicles over it as the last thing to go on. I loved those shining little strips of silver. I thought they made the tree even more special and beautiful. I have such fond memories of her letting us kids hang the icicles. We were each given a handful and she guided us where to hang them.

Thus my love of icicles began. When I got married and moved out on my own, Christmas rolled around and I went to buy my own Christmas decorations. The first thing I bought was two boxes of icicles for my Christmas tree.

Every year, it is the same thing. As soon as the Christmas decor hits the shelves, I purchase two boxes of icicles. As I have gotten older, they have become harder and harder to find. When I take my tree down each year, I painstakingly pull the icicles off and store them in a plastic bag. Everybody laughs at me, but I live in fear that they will become an item that is no longer manufactured. Then where would I be. I figure if I pull them off each year, and add to them with the new stock. I should have enough to last me till I die if they become obsolete.

Don't get me wrong, they are very annoying little creatures. You walk by the tree and the static of your passing causes them to reach out like little fingers and latch onto your legs, feet, arms, where ever they can find. The 17 years we had K.C. (short for Kitty Cat), she never bothered the trees much except to lay under them. I could always tell when she had been laying behind the tree because she would be walking through the house with 5 or 6 icicles attached to her. I always called her Christmas Kitty when that happened.

When we moved last month, as I was going through closets and packing, a stray icicle would turn up here and there. So, yes they can be aggravating. But I love them and they bring back such fond memories of my childhood and that of my children when they used to like to help hang the icicles on the tree. Now, I let the grandchildren decorate a tree in my home office and they love hanging the icicles. Although I must admit they get as much on them as they do on the tree.


Miscellaneous Monday

This week kicks off the offcial holiday season for me. I get a five day weekend starting Wednesday. That is our big "prep" day. Getting ready for the family to come over for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. I'll be baking desserts and hubby will be doing his prep work and fixing his potato salad and macaroni salad.
Then Black Friday will be here and I'll join the mess heading out early that morning, armed with my list and sale papers. This year, I'm adding "scouting for a live tree" to my list. We need a new tree, but I'm going with a real one for the first time in about 15 years or more.
One of my friends is downsizing her Christmas decorations so she had me stop by to see if there was anything I wanted. I got a gorgeous new afghan and some cute litte Christmas tree salt and pepper shakers. They are so adorable.

My daughter is getting into the crafting Christmas spirit. She created a new centerpiece from a platter, a few candles and some stuff from AC Moore. I love it. She posted on Facebook, "For all my crafty relatives, I did not inherit the gene like everybody else but I'm quite proud of my little centerpiece."

I have to disagree. I think she did get the craft gene, she just doesn't bring it out to play very often. I think she did a great job.

On a recent trip to SC, I was making some coasters and I tried a new yarn I had and made my sister a new coaster for her desk at work. It's her favorite colors and I think it turned out pretty good. The picture is a little blurry, but we were traveling down the road and it was gloomy but this gives you an idea.


When did these become those?

Last night was one of those moments that made my husband and I look at each other and wonder "Where did the time go?"

I had just put the grandchildren to bed and walked back into the living room. I noticed the three pairs of shoes, all lined up against the wall. My mind raced back in time when my first grandchild was born. He is 12 now and growing more and more every day.

I aked Hubby "When did these.....

Become those?

They grow up so fast. They are not babies for long. Garret is our oldest and we couldn't be prouder of the way he is turning out. At 12, he is already respectful and courteous. You can see glimpses of the adult he will become. His parents are doing an amazing job raising him.

Yet, as we looked at Colby's (the baby) little baby shoes, we couldn't help but wonder where the years had gone. We watched Colby as he played and toddled all over the house.We listened to those little giggles and his precious laughter. Colby is the youngest and last grandbaby. It won't be long till his tiny little feet will be wearing shoes the size of his brothers. It won't be long before he will, too, be talking about fishing and hunting and learning to drive. They grow up so fast. We can do nothing but sit back and enjoy the years.

Their sweet little sister, the middle one, is growing up as well. At 7, she is developing her own little habits and personality. Keeping them tihis weekend has kept me in stitches. Things have been so intense with my computer tearing up, my car breaking down, and the holidays approaching that I've been pulled in a lot of directions lately. Nothing like some time with my grandbabies to get things back on track.

Of course, I never should have interruped Thomas the Train and expected smiles.

Everyone of the grandchildren have always loved sitting in Papaw's chair on Saturday morning. Don't know what it is about that chair.

Even with bed head, Alexis is still one of the cutest little Princesses on the face of the earth.

Garret had Colby laughing so hard that we were all cracking up.

I still can't believe he is growing up so fast. You can tell your grandchildren are growing up when you slip their tennis shoe on and it's too big for you!

A rare moment when a nearly teenage brother let's his little sister snuggle on him.

He kept finding it funny that since he's 5 years older, she fits under his arm.

Colby and his ever present car. Have you ever tried to dress a squirmy little one year old when he's clutching a Matchbox car. It's quite an accomplishment if you can master it.

Hope everybody has a blessed Sunday.