Monday, December 29, 2008

On the road . . again

Last night after church we loaded up the car and headed down the road . . . . .

To Branson, Missouri which is
one of our favorite places to relax and have some fun.

And . . . what gal wouldn't want to do a little
after Christmas shopping!!??

Branson has very nice shopping. I love to go to The Landing.
Then, there's the Outlet Malls.
Believe it or not, I will start my 2009 Christmas shopping
while we are there. I can get so much more for my money
at all the sales they have after Christmas.

So, since I will be out of town all week, I will not be doing much posting. I will pre-post a
New Year's greeting but that will probably be it for the week (don't know if I will have
I will be back by Sunday, January 4, 2009.

Blessings for the New Year,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How much did Mary know?

I've often wondered how much Mary knew of what was ahead for her little baby. I'm sure there was much more to the announcements and conversations that Gabriel had with Joseph and Mary than was recorded. There is enough, though, to make a curious mind like mine to ponder.

In my Sunday School class today we will be looking at scripture and the lyrics to this song for a time of pondering and trying to put ourselves in their shoes. What must it have been like to be the very young parents of the Son of God? I pray that Jesus will be even more real to us as we review the life of this tiny baby who grew and fulfilled His role in the redemption plan for all mankind!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa came for a visit!

Yes, he did!
Even after his big Christmas Eve night,
he stopped in to spend Christmas Day with us!

I was too busy to realize that I didn't get a good pic of his Santa suit that came complete with belt and boots! He was such a little charmer. Great Grandma enjoyed holding him.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with family and friends that you hold dear. We had a wonderful and fun Christmas! This year, we had a Christmas morning brunch. Our kids and my MIL were all there.

Then it was time to open the presents. The gifts were overflowing out from under the tree. To say the least, we were very blessed.

Breanna's big gift from us was a Grand Doll House with 7 rooms of furniture and accessories. She really enjoyed playing with it -- ever before we got it completely put together.

It has 4 stories.
The doll house came with mom, dad, twins (boy & girl), swing set,
BBQ grill, picnic table, kitchen table & chairs.
We gave her 7 rooms of furniture. She opened two of them to play with and
waited to open the rest when she got home -- lots of pieces.
This is something she will be able to enjoy as she grows.
The rooms are so detailed and fun.
What little girl doesn't like a doll house! ?
Next, we need to find a table for it to sit on.

Bryce's big gift was a Leap Frog driving thingy. It's a lot of fun. He is inheriting some of his sister's babyhood toys such at the Leap Frog learning table we got her when she was a baby. So, not to overload the playroom with duplicates, his gift wasn't as "big". He received two other Leap Frog toys and lots of clothes. (Mommy said he needed them.)

I didn't get any pics of him opening his gifts. I'm going to have to put Hubs in charge of the camera more often. (He took so many when our son was small and during vacations that he has retired from cameras. :) That's what he says anyway. ) Afterward, we had mountains of wrapping paper,bows, boxes and tissue paper to pick up.

Here are a few more pics from December 23 when we had Christmas at my brother's home.

"Hey, Grammie,
I think I like this thing called Christmas!

She's into posing now!

Three loves of my life!

Two of my favorite guys!

Cousin Colton. (My brother's grandson.)
He was getting a guitar for Christmas so he asked Brent to
give him some info such as the name of the strings and chords.
This little guitar was given to him by a friend. There's a big hole
in the back and he has taped some paper over the hole. He really does need a guitar :)

"Let see, a quick overview of the instructions and then it's play time!"

A new form of "paper dolls". This is so neat.
It's made of flexible rubbery material.
Cinderella's shoes are so tiny.

There's nothing like the love of family!
God gives the best gifts of all.
The gift of His Son is the most priceless and one that I have been so grateful to receive.
I trust that you, too, had a blessed Christmas.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Picture Day

Since my Christmas theme is "Toys", our daughter-in-law wanted to take the kids' Christmas picture in front of our tree. Her cousin , Tammy, who does some photography on the side came over to our house and took a lot of pictures for them to choose one for the 2008 Christmas card.

This is the very first picture that was taken
the only one that we got of the baby smiling
wouldn't you know, big sister was looking away.

It isn't difficult to get him to smile, but I think the flash was overwhelming
so he just stared from here on out.

She took a few singles for fun.
"Is this for ME?!"

She still gives us her "cheesy" smile :)

AND . .


Good job, Tammy!
You know what they say about children and pets!

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Big Day

Last Friday Hubs and I picked up our little granddaugther, Breanna, and headed to OKC. We picked up an alteration for Hubs, bought Breanna some Christmas shoes then proceed to see Santa.

Now. . . . she has never allowed Santa to come near her, but she wanted to see him this year and give him her Christmas list which consisted of one thing for herself and one thing for her baby brother. Aww :) She's such a sweet girl!

This is her first ever pic with Santa.
We were so proud of her! (She's very shy.)

We gave her a choice of where to eat.
Then, we headed to the area of downtown OKC called Bricktown.

We all bundled up and headed to ride water taxi.
This is a mini version of San Antonio's canal boats.

This is one of the boats that tours through downtown.
There are a few Christmas lights but with the boat moving,
it was difficult to get clear pics.
The ride weaves around through the businesses of downtown OKC.
It's a nice ride.

After the water taxi ride, we walked to Santaland.

We bought our tickets and rode a train like car through Santa's workshop
at the North Pole. You can see the little passenger "cars" in this pic.
Santa was waiting for us in his sleigh at the end of the ride.

After all this, we went to Midwest City and and
drove through their city park. It was really pretty.

An igloo.

Santa's Candy Cane Company.

Way to go Midwest City!
They aren't afraid to proclaim the real meaning of Christmas!
There was a several Nativity scenes and this . . . .

We exited through the arches of lights.

We headed home for some hot cocoa!


She had one more request. She wanted to go see this . . .

It was 8:30 p.m. when we started home. The next showing was at 9:30 p.m.
The theme is honor, courage and forgiveness.
Since she's a night owl, we took her and she stayed awake for the whole movie.

It was a big day for a little girl!

The movie theater is only about 10 miles from our house . . .
just long enough for her to fall to sleep.
She was sleeping over at Grammie and PaPas house
so there was more fun to come!

Hopefully, she will remember this day and it will be
a special Christmas memory for her in the years to come!

Merry Christmas,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sense a Christmas Memory

Hubs and I went Christmas shopping this week. We had just about finished and were on our way out of the mall and I happened to see this . . . .

See's Candies !!!
Have you ever tasted their candies? They are wonderful! The only candy I have ever tasted that was better was the chocolate we bought in Belgium -- the absolute best. This is America's "Belgium" chocolate.

Just the sight of the See's box brings back Christmas memories from my childhood. My aunt, who lives in California, used to send my parents a box for Christmas every year. It was so special to receive the package in the mail. Also, when we would visit them in California (every other year) we would get a box as well.

So, to keep the memory alive, we bought a box. :-) (Didn't have to twist Hubs arm -- at all. He has experienced this stuff before.) They gave us a sample as a thank you for our purchase. It was a sucker. Oh - my - word! It tasted like fudge made the old fashioned way, but harder -- sooo good.

It's always fun to have a "sweet" memory take me by surprise. Christmas is full of special memories that come popping up and giving pleasure. I thank God for my parents, who themselves are now a memory -- a memory that is a part of my everyday life. They were the most loving and wonderful parent I could have ever asked to have.

I hope that you can "sense" a pleasant memory at Christmas this year, whether by way of sight, smell, touch or hearing. I hope that you can "sense" something that will bring you back to a special and happy moment in your life.

Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I just love to do Christmas baking! Do you? It fills the house with wonderful aromas and makes it seems so cozy.

Yesterday I prepared for a Christmas party in my Toddler's Class at church. I made Christmas cookies for them. I took a homemade shortcut and made shaped cookies with my cookie press. The kids actually eat this type better than the cut out cookies frosted and decorated. Here's the kind I served at the party.

Trees and wreaths. They liked the wreaths best :)
Must have tasted better ;)

A close up.
Very simple and much quicker.

I have more baking to do. I will be making my grocery list and checking it twice. Then, off to the store I must go.


P.S. I changed the background after all. The other Christmas one didn't house my text and was hard to read. This one allows it all to fit. Much better!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's blogger's fault

I had been planning on changing my template to a Christmas theme and had not had the time until now. I've changed it before but have never run into to such a mess as this time. I will say, I have certainly learned a thing or two. :-) It's not exactly as I wanted, but I'm going to leave it. In a few days it will be time to change it again anyway.

So, if the post doesn't make any sense and is full of typos, it's bloggers fault. ;-)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wrap it up

Today I wrapped up the Christmas shopping and now .. .
it's time to get out the supplies and
wrap up the presents and put them under the tree.

I love to wrap presents.
To me, a beautifully wrapped package says, "I really wanted to give this to you and I have put thought and time into this gift." In a way, it's a gift around the gift.
However, no matter how humbly wrapped, it's really all about the heart of the giver . .
but still . . . I love beautifully wrapped gifts. :)

True story: I have actually given demonstrations on wrapping and embellishing gifts for various women's groups. One year, just before I was to give one at a party for one of the local school's nutritional department, I received a birthday gift from a dear elderly lady. Words cannot accurately describe the condition of the package or the wrapping to allow to you visualize it but I'll try. The box was old, smashed and torn and had once held a Bible. The color of the lid was burgundy and was repaired with cream colored masking tape. It was not wrapped and there was no bow -- just the box in the raw. I had to chuckle because I was on my way to give a class on gift wrapping! What a contrast!

Now, before you get upset with me and think I am making fun of this dear little lady, I'm not! I so appreciated all the effort and time she put into getting this together. Even though she had nothing nice to put the gift in, that didn't stop her from giving. Just the fact that she remembered my birthday and took the time to get something to me was touching! It came from her heart and I will always cherish that.

My favorite Christmas wrapping paper comes from Hobby Lobby. It is a nice quality paper with a lot of paper in each roll. Most rolls come with a grid on the backside for measuring and cutting ... and is usually 50% off this time of year making them approximately $3.50 per roll - beats Wal-Mart all the way around.

I like to use bolts of ribbon for the finishing touch on each package.
Sometimes I also add an ornament, winter foliage, or something that goes
with the theme of the package, the gender or age of the receiver as an
extra little gift.

Breanna plays with these little skier ornaments.
I just noticed she has hung them right by each other and down low so she can find them
when she visits again :)

This is my favorite type of bow partly because it's quick to make.
I prefer wired ribbon because it keeps the gift looking fresh and perky.
If it gets smashed, it can be quickly fluffed back to life.

I still have many more gifts to wrap. If I get tired, I will pull out the trusty gift bags and tissue paper. I'm not too proud!
After all, not all gifts can be wrapped in a box.

Do you have any favorite ways to embellish gifts? If so, I would love to hear about them.

Merry Christmas!


P.S. I wonder if the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus were wrapped in any w

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

This post is linked with Boo Mama's Christmas Tour of Homes. If you would like to see other homes AFTER you have looked at mine ;) ,
just click on the highlighted text above for more places to visit.

The 2008 Christmas Decorating
around our house started off by

calling in the "Troops"!

The "Troops"

From the hats they came up with (designed by one 4 yr. old) they seem
to be more ready for a party than for work!
FYI: The silver and blue hats are the bottoms of drum boxes I use for decor!??
The cardboard thingy on the baby's head is a packing cushion for a cookie jar.
Classy, aren't they!

It turns out that one of them is a mighty good helper!

The really short one. . . . . no so much! He can't quite hang'um high enough :)
and the tallest one does the outdoor decorating.

So, let's begin and see how it all turned out, shall we?


This is a little blurry but I think you can get an idea of how it looks.
The driveway is a circle drive so cars drive around the nativity scene.

The front door.

The tree.

A shot that shows the lights a little better.
The theme is "toys". There are toy ornaments on the tree and
toys under the tree for the children.

A close up of the tree. The soldier bear is animated.

The dining table and hutch.

The kitchen window.

A little touch of Christmas in the bathroom.

"What Jesus Wants for Christmas"
This little nativity set came with 7 gift boxes. Six boxes contain a part of the
story of Christ's birth. The 7th box has a mirror in the bottom and when
the child opens it they see themselves and you explain that they are what Jesus really wants for Christmas. It's a sweet way to share the plan of salvation with a child and teach them the real meaning of Christmas.

Would you care for some refreshments?

If you were really at my house we would sit down for a nice chat over some Christmas,
goodies, but since this is a virtual-type tour, I will share two recipes that you might like to try.

Here is a very EASY recipe for candy that always seems to be a hit.
All you need is:

2 1/2 cups Captain Crunch cereal (plain)
2 cups Rice Crispies cereal
2 lbs. white chocolate
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Melt chocolate. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper.

Note: I melt the chocolate by making a double boiler out of a large bowl placed on a pan on simmering water. Stir chocolate frequently until smooth.
If you can't find white chocolate, vanilla bark works well, too.

Apple cider anyone?

Here's a simple and festive cider for Christmas.
(It tastes good, too!)

1 gallon apple juice
1 small bag of red hots

Heat apple juice. Add red hots and stir until melted. You can adjust the amount of red hots according to your own taste.
This can be made in and served from a crockpot it you like.

Come back soon and I will show you some on my favorite Christmas ornaments,
many of which come from my travels.

Thank you for stopping by today.
Let me wish you a Merry Christmas
and a blessed New Year!

Come back soon for another visit!