Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Today has been such a nice relaxing, fun day! I toted a bunch of my scrapping stuff into the living room so that I could scrap while Ashley & I watched the all day 'I Love Lucy' marathon. I actually got four LOs done today! Chris had to go to work this afternoon. I hate that he had to miss out on our traditional NYE dinner of grilled steak & shrimp. But, we did fix enough so he could have some tomorrow for his lunch. Not quite the same, I know, but it was the best we could do. ;-)Ashley was such a big help tonight in fixing supper. Clay taught her how to do the blackened shrimp that we put on the grill, so she worked on that while I did the fried ones & Clay manned the grill.
Here is one of the layouts I did today. Just some of those everyday moments that you want to remember. Michael had gone out & picked his okra one morning & was sitting at the table cutting them up getting them ready to put in the freezer.

Just a picture I snapped one afternoon to go along with a journal entry I ran across. 'It's not a BIG chore, but it sure does help me out in the a BIG way! I didn't realize what a big deal it was til Ashley started doing the dishes for me after almost every meal. It's one small way in which I really appreciate her help & the young lady she's growing into. -written-4/28/08-

The rest of my Christmas card pics from friends & family.
Pictures from Daniel's 4th birthday party. He had a fun-filled day with lots of friends & all his NC relatives.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crocheted Stocking Ornament

When I was putting the decorations away yesterday, I held onto this little crocheted stocking ornament that I've had for years....don't even know where it came from....but was thinking how cute it was & that I could do that. So, I sat down today with some yarn scraps today while I was watching 'I Love Lucy' to see what I could come up with. Piddled for a bit, but was really not happy with the squared off, boxy look & wondered if I couldn't find a better pattern online. So, I googled & this is what I came up with............
I was really tickled with how it turned out. And it didn't take any time at all to do & best of all....all you need is some scraps. I'm working on my second one right now using green & hot pink. Think I'm gonna make up a bunch to put away & have for treats to give away next Christmas. ;-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Well, I finally MADE myself sit down last night with the pictures I had received in my Christmas cards. I couldn't fit them all on one spread....will have to do one more layout with all the little odd-sized pics, but I was really pleased with how this turned out...especially since I didn't have any 'true' Christmas papers. Have no clue where the patterned paper came from, but that, along with all the other little punch-outs came together nicely.

Today has been a nice relaxing day. After church & lunch I spent some time watching TV with the girls, a little knitting & a little piddling on the computer looking at crochet patterns. Will definitely be heading to bed EARLY tonight. I'm pooped!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a really nice Christmas....still haven't gotten all the pictures uploaded & resized, but thought I'd share this one taken at Maw's Christmas evening. It was such a gorgeous day Thursday...unseasonably warm. But that was perfect for the boys......they both got guns for Christmas along with a box of skeets. So, they were able to go out in the field with Clay after lunch & they had a blast learning how to shoot skeets. Of course, Clay is so sore now because he was the chief skeet-flinger. ;-) Christmas evening we headed to Maw's house for our Christmas dinner & gift-opening there with her, Sarah & family.The girls & I ventured out yesterday out of was day.....but even though is was terribly, crazy busy....we still enjoyed our day & I was able to snag a few bargains along the way too. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel & I was able to pick up a couple of ornaments for 70% off PLUS I got a couple fo Christmas present too to put away for NEXT year. Just hope I can remember that. ;-) At Target, I picked up another Christmas gift for NEXT year along with some gift tags, Chrismtas Thank You notes & a little pack of Valentines. That was all 50% off & I spent exactly $5 there. At AC Moore we picked up some new acrylic Christmas stamps for .50 each. And last but not least, I got one of those big Martha Stewart snowflake punches from Walmart for $4. I was really tickled with all my bargain kind of shopping!!
Today is totally low-key. Clay drove the van, so I have no choice but to stay in today. Gave thought to taking down the decorations & cleaning up, but I think I really need a down day. Will just do laundry & watch the 'I Love Lucy' marathon that's on now til 2 this afternoon. I also want to scrap some.....NEED to find my's got to be around here somewhere. ;-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Griswald Christmas

How do I start? It was close to 1am...we had just finished watching 'White Christmas'...Ashley & Jon had gone on up to bed...and I had just sat down on the couch to read while I waited on Chris to get home from work......when C-R-A-S-H...our tree comes tumbling down! Scared the poo-doo out of me!! When I turned around it was like slow motion... I saw the light fixture swinging back & forth & it was like my brain was just waiting for that to fall to! About that time, Jon comes running to the top of the steps & said he knew exactly what had happened! Evidentally one of the little screwy-things didn't do right on the stand....but who knows what caused it to fall when it did?! I'm just very thanful that no one got hurt. There was water spilled & running everywhere, glass/ornaments broken all over the was a MESS! But of course, being the 'Memory Keeper' that I am.....I had to pause in the midst of all this & take a few pictures. ;-) All my broken & slavaged ornaments....along with icicles clinging to EVERYTHING!
Just some of the mess & broken glass

The tree is once again standing in the corner...TIED now to the stair railing! I have managed to untangle all the beads, but still need to untie all the lights & see if they even work. Will get that done after supper & then let the kids decorate the tree AGAIN! And ya want to know the kicker in all this...............Clay SLEPT through the whole episode. Never knew a thing until I came upstairs to bed at almost 2am....he got up to go potty & I told him since he was already up, to go peek down stairs & take a look at our tree. :-P MEN!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Christmas Dinner

We had our annual Family Christmas Dinner at Aunt Linda's house this past Sat. night. Something we all look forward to each year during the Christmas season! Michael, Daniel & Jon

Michelle always does such an excellent job on the decorations. Everything was really beautiful!
Carolyn & Jerry's little Emma.
Katelyn, Alli & Anna

Uncle Skippy with Cal.

Skippy, Kathy & Linda......too bad Vada wasn't here for this shot. Maybe next year?? Hint, Hint ;-)

And the BIG news of the night.......when Philip made the announcement that Josh & Chrissy will be getting married in April! Poor Josh was a brave soul to put up with all the ribbing from Mike, Keith & Bruce all night. If he can put up with those guys, he will fit into the family just fine. And if Mike, Keith or Bruce happen to be reading this...I hope you guys know I love you big bunches!! ;-)

Bruce & David singing 'Christmas in's snowing in the pines...Merry Christmas from everyone tonight.'
Michael, Jon, Ashley & Alli

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Gingerbread House

Clay found this cute ginger bread kit at AC Moore yesterday while we were out shopping & they were marked down to $6.99, so he picked one up because he thought that Ashley & Alli would enjoy making it.I tell ya, these things are definitely NOT edible! Everything was hard as a rock!

I think it turned out pretty cute....especially for out first shot at making a ginger bread house!

It's a Wonderful Life

Buffalo Gals, won't you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight. Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight & dance by the light of the moon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Party

Yesterday we had our Homeschool Christmas party at Maw's house. Several years back we decided to quit exchanging gifts & just do a cookie swap. So everyone bakes about 2-3 dozen of their favorite Christmas cookies & we all share & everyone goes home with LOTS of yummy cookies & goodies!This is my basket of goodies that made for everyone this year. Crocheted mittens for the kiddos & dish cloths for the ladies.
The table spread with all the yummy treats! It's a tradition now that we always take a picture of the table before we dive in.

Shelly's plate of cookies & candy canes.
My Snickerdoodles, Black Walnut & Jelly Cookies.

Me & Ella :-)

Me & My Ashley Girl!

Sarah, Ashley, Maw, Shelly, Dillon & Mike....of course, Ella & I were BEHIND the cameras. LOL

Aren't they the prettiest 'Santa's Helpers' you've ever seen?!
Cori & Alli.....bestest friends. ;-)

The three girlies.....Cori, Anna & Alli

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More projects...

From this............
To this..........Ashley & I gathered up a bunch of old crayons today, peeled them, melted them down & poured them into Christmas candy molds to make these cool new crayons for the kiddos for Christmas. She fixed the crayons in little festive treat bags & is giving each kid some of these nifty crayons along with a little coloring book. I thought they turned out super cute.....& really easy to do too! We will definitely be making some more of these. ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What have we been up to???

Let's see, Wed. Chris had his last exam at 1pm, so Clay & I headed that way about 2pm to help him load up & haul everything home. We loaded down both the van & his's amazing how much extra stuff one can accumulate over a few months. ;-) Anyway, I drove Chris' car & came on home while Clay & Chris went in search of our Christmas tree. They came home with a gorgeous tree & we had our traditional-Chinese-food-on-the-night-we-get-our-Christmas-tree for supper. We got smart this year......I ran out there at lunchtime & got our supper......cut the price practically in HALF by getting the lunchtime price. We just heated it up for supper. ;-)
I just LOVE the excitement in the air when Chris comes home for a break.....the kids just swarm around him....reminds me of John-Boy on the Waltons! They just can't seem to get enough of all the college stories...he had to pull out his Halloween costume that he & Damian had made(Star Wars Jedi knight) & put the whole thing on to show them....complete with the light saber demonstration. And oh my....the shaving cream tales & trying to eat a teaspoon of've never heard such wonderful tales!! Ha! Ha! And such a captive audience to tell it all to!
Thursday was a terrible nasty, rainy day! Perfect for being inside & decorating the tree. Clay braved the nastiness & went out to do some shopping. I got the lights & beads on the tree & then let the kids have at it with the decorations. They really did a nice job. Probably one of the prettiest trees we've had in a long time! Ashley & I also did some baking...we finished up all those oatmeal & jelly cookies. We were wanting to take some to share with some of our Jack & Joyce down here at Shipman Auto, the PO & the library ladies.
These are two empty hot chocolate containers that I saved & cleaned out. Then decorated the outside & lid with goodies from my scrapping stash & voila.....a cute little gift box for the Christmas cookies. I dropped some off to Jack & Joyce yesterday on my way to town....also the PO folks when I went in to mail the last of my cards. We will make some more & take to the library ladies this coming week.

Just playing around with the different settings on my camera. I took these both the other night after they finished decorating. One with just the flash on & one with the night setting. Both are kinda blurry, but still cool!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Teach the Children


Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room, and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. "What are you doing?" I started to ask him.

The words choked in my throat, as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement, TEACH THE CHILDREN! I was puzzled: What did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.

As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that a now-a-day Christmas has forgotten!

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it on the mantle. Teach the Children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven.

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. Teach the Children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of that promise.

He then reached into the bag and pulled out a CANDLE. Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.

Once again he reached into his bag and then removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. Teach the Children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.

He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.

He reached in again and pulled out a HOLLY LEAF. Teach the Children the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled out a GIFT from the bag and said, "Teach the Children that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Teach the Children that the wise men bowed before the holy babe and presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We should give gifts in the same spirit as the wise men."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. Teach the Children that the candy cane represents the shepherd's crook. The crook on the shepherd's staff helps bring back strayed sheep from the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper.

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. Teach the Children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth, peace and good will.'

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. Teach the Children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of a bell, it should bring people to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked at the tree and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas, and not to put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the ONE WHO IS, and I bow down and worship Him, our Lord, our God."

Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jelly Cookies

Ashley & I made up some cookie dough this afternoon. A double batch of oatmeal in the freezer & aslo one batch of Aunt Kitty's Jelly Cookies. We had to bake one pan full of jelly cookies, but the rest went into the freezer until I need it. We did Grape & Strawberry & they were really yummy!Thought I'd share the recipe in case anyone wanted to try it.
3 eggs
3/4 lb. butter (3 sticks)
1 Tbs. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1c. sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Cream butter & sugar together; add eggs & cream thoroughly. Add vanilla & then flour. Roll into small balls & place on ungreased cookie sheet. Dip thumb or pointer finger in flour & make a dent in the top of the ball (do not let the dent go all the way through the cookie). Place grape jelly (or whatever flavor is your fave) in the center using 1/4 tsp. Jelly should be room temp. Bake for about 10 mins. until sides become slightly crunchy. Cookies do not spread during baking. Makes about 120 cookies or more, if not too large.

Jesus is the Reason!

With 3 weeks before Christmas REMEMBER:
Jesus is Better than Santa in so Many Ways...
Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
JESUS stands at your door and knocks..
And then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future and He
even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly
JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me
for I care for you.
Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.
Jesus is still the reason for the season.

May the Lord Bless and Watch over you and
your loved ones this Christmas 2008.
And may He prosper and bless the work
of your hands in the New Year 2009.

Love in HIS HOLY Name, The Name of Jesus !
Keep CHRIST in Christmas this Season !

As For Me and My House, We Will Serve The LORD !


Have a great day ladies....keep a smile on your face, remember you might be somebody's only contact with Jesus today! Be a blessing on purpose!
***Just HAD to share this quote from my friend, Robin this morning! Hope you all have a great day!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

I've been scrapping...

I've managed to get a few things checked off my list today. The main thing is that my Christmas cards went out in this afternoon's mail. Yay!! Ashley & I ran out to the library & Food Lion after lunch. I tell ya...I am having a time getting my hands on a copy of 'Little Women' for Ashley. What is up with that?? And forget about trying to snag a copy of the second Twilight book.....guess that will just have to be a Christmas present for Ashley & me. ;-) Came home & sent the boys outside to stack wood on the porch before the rain/sleet/snow gets here. In the mean time I finished two layouts that I've been working on.....done for a mini class over at 'Got Sketch?' which you can check out here:'Silent Night' is pics from last year's family Christmas dinner at Aunt Linda's house. BIL, David on the accordion & my cousins, Bruce & David on the guitars.
This one is of Michael's very first deer. I love how that older BG paper really complimented the orange hunting hats in the pics.
Trying to work on a few Christmas ornaments now. Will post pics when I am done.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

'The Snow Came Down'

He stared into the night no expectations
He watched the world go by without a sound
He saw the city lights arrive and fade away
While all that night
All that night
The snow came down...........from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This is what it looked like outside at about 4:30 this afternoon. Clay said it was a mess getting home. Several near the mall. Our roads out here are usually in excellent condition, but for once, he said Nelson County roads were terrible this evening. I guess maybe this caught them off guard or something.

It's snowing!

It's been looking like it was going to snow all afternoon & I just looked out a little bit ago & realized that it's just a-coming down. Really, really fine....but it's actually sticking to the wood pile & on the ground, so who knows. Makes it all the more Christmasy.....watching the snow, being cozied up inside by the wood stove, listening to Christmas music, sipping hot tea & working on my Christmas cards. Well, they are actually all done...I'm just writing in them now & stuffing envies as I go (they've BEEN addressed for weeks now). My plan was to get them in this afternoon's mail, but I guess I missed that deadline. Oh well, they'll be good to go on Monday & then I can check that one off my list.Jon got another doe yesterday afternoon. I've actually lost count now. With both boys AND Clay all begins to blur together.
So proud of myself with my cards this year.....The only thing I bought was the actual cards/envies them at Michael's a while back on sale for $4.99/50. Everything else is made totally from my scrap bag using stamps I already had & buttons/embellies from my stash. It was pretty fun taking stuff that wasn't necessarily 'Christmas' & making it work for Christmas cards!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What I'm listening to right now..........

Been busy doing 'Stuff' the past few days. Lots of little things on my 'To Do' finishing up my Christmas cards. Just need to write in them & put pics inside then they will be good to go.Another thing on my list was reading....I have a stack of books that I want to be reading. I finally finished The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis & am waiting now to get The Longing from the library. Am also in the middle of Twilight & one of Tracie Peterson's Alaskan books (can't remember the title). And sitting here waiting to be read, I have The Miracle by Gilbert Morris & The Winding Ways Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini.
Along with finishing up my Christmas cards, I made this card today for a friend at church whose grandfather recently passed away. And Ashley & I made special cards for her son that's serving in the military this Christmas Korea. Have those ready to be dropped at the PO tomorrow. I've also managed to work on some of my crochet projects too...Ashley's beret, in particular today. Hoping to maybe work on my afghan tonight while I watch some TV.

And as to what I'm listening to right now.....Manheim Steamroller. Absolutely LOVE them & the Trans Siberian Orchestra!!