Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking Back - December 2011

Hhhaaaaaaaaahhhhh,  we've made it to the end of the year!
Right off the bat, in the month of December, we celebrated with Caitlin. She finished her novel! In November she took the 'Write a Novel in a Month' Challenge and she did it! Yes she did. And if you look closely at the picture below, you can see the food that fueled her creative little brain while writing. (No, I'm not the one that supplied these little goodies, but I am very happy with the results, none the less). The title is On the Line and it is a treasure hunting adventure story of sorts, with some good character lessons subtly woven throughout. She has been reviewing the proof and will be publishing it soon - copies should be available for sale in just a couple months.

And then it was time to prepare for our Christmas holiday. Family Tradition says Dad must take the kiddos traipsing through the nearby tree farm to find just the right tree on the first Friday of December. 
Yonder, just over the hill, Dad!


The little guys are not so little now. They each took a turn to lend a hand with the saw. Training ground, you know. 

Esther is not so sure it's going to fit.

Maybe it's a tad too tall?

She's a beauty, all decked out in her finery, real festive-like. And with no trimming or cropping - absolutely perfect!

Taking a break from the usual holiday activities, Luke and friend Michael put their sewing skills to the test. 
After all, Paul was a tent-maker, right? With just a little...um...encouragement, shall we say, from Caitlin and friend Rebekah, these manly-men whipped up a couple of super-hero-type capes. For what purpose, I have no idea, but it was fun watching all the goings-on!


Of course, what would December be without our Annual 'Gingerbread' House Extravaganza? With a couple several boxes of graham crackers and a bit of royal icing, we were able to create a sweet little town, all decked out and ready for Christmas.


The young adults in this house attended their first Winter Ball.

We parents kicked up our heels as well.

Later in the month, Mike and the kids gave me a day off and I spent it with some friends doing some last minute Christmas shopping in the big city. Great fun!

Christmas Eve is a special time for us. We light all the candles, turn out the lights, enjoy hot cocoa and Christmas goodies in the living room while we sing hymns remembering the birth of Christ, and then Dad reads the account of Jesus' birth from the book of Luke. Then the kiddos are sent off to bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Ok, maybe not. BUT, they do eventually get to sleep and then in the morning they awaken to gifts and giving and sharing and laughter. And their spirits were soaring high.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Looking Back - November 2011

As we snuggle in and ready ourselves for the colder weather, we also take time to gather and remember and give thanks.  Our annual Thanksgiving gathering is always a special time. I do love having my family around me. As our children grow older, I pray that as the next generation grows we will still find time to gather together and give thanks for all the Lord has done and all that He has given. As I ready the table for our feast, I remember my Mom. I wipe a tear from my cheek as I spread the tablecloth she lovingly passed on to me. I can still hear her voice ringing in the kitchen as she would oversee the preparations. I still have not mastered the art of getting this meal on the table, all piping hot and ready the way she could.

As meal preparations go on in the kitchen, 
the youngsters snuggle up with Grandpa for story time.  

The ladies in our family are very blessed to have such wonderful men in our lives. They jump right in and help wherever needed. Our Thanksgiving celebration is truly a family event!

 My big boys took time out to run into town and pick up some last minute things. They brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me (along with the other items I requested!) and so we were able to make up three lovely arrangements for our  Thanksgiving table. These blossoms lasted another two weeks, bringing a smile to this Mama's face for many days.


The chance to chat with my girl across the ocean, and my sweet grandbabies was another special blessing last Thanksgiving. I am so very thankful for the telephone and other hi-tech means of communication.

After we've all had our fill and the dishes are cleared and the food is put away, it's time for games. We all look forward to play and laugh and enjoy each others' company. 
Good Times!


All the feasting and festivities and fellowshiping makes for one tired puppy.

Just For Fun:
Here you can see our "Potted Cats"
Yes, siree, our resident mouse-catchers plant themselves, literally, right outside the front door, waiting for the opportunity to pounce on whatever tasty morsel might be thrown their way, or to be sure and take advantage of any opportunity they might get to come in out of the cold.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Looking Back - October 2011 (part 2)

 To wrap up the month of October, I have just two words. 'Hello!' and 'Good-bye'. 

We said 'Hello!' to the newest addition to the family. Caitlin is now the proud owner of an 8 week old collie puppy named Blitzen. This not-so-little ball of fluff is full of energy and has brought a lot of fun and joy into our household.

the perfect pose
sitting pretty for my ww bread, his favorite food
But, saying 'hello' to Blitzen reminds us that we did have to say 'good-bye' to Caitlin's first collie, Solo. He had grown into a beautiful, sweet and smart dog. He really was a member of the family and it left a hole in our hearts last summer when he was all of a sudden gone. Accidents happen, especially out here in the open space of country life. We all know that. But still, we miss him.  I've added my 2 favorite pictures in Solo's memory, just because I want to. 

And then there was the Big Good-Bye. We enjoyed having Alyssa and George and the two sweetest, most beautiful grandbabies in all the world nearby for 3 months. It was so hard to see them go. Even today, as I sit at the keyboard tapping my fingers over the keys I get choked up and teary-eyed. Sheesh! I'll let you have another peek at my dear children who are now an ocean away, and you'll understand.

saying good-bye at the airport
Arioch Jude, my little man
Sweet Baby Jemimah Belle

Monday, January 16, 2012

Looking Back - October 2011 (part 1)

It's my favorite time of year. And this past October was a time for special events and making memories. 

beautiful cakes provided by my own sweet Caitlin

At the beginning of the month, we had the pleasure of attending the outdoor wedding of the daughter of long-time friends of ours.

a gorgeous ceremony, joining 2 special people in marriage

We enjoyed a gorgeous Autumn afternoon as we anxiously awaited the start of the ceremony.

is it time, yet?
haybales - a great way to seat a crowd

We also made a trip to Silver Dollar City.

That's the way to keep 'em under control, Pa!

Minin' fer gemstones and posin' for pitchers were just a few of the happenin's that weekend.  Yep, Mama was a bit 'snap-happy' that weekend.

Plenty of time for some whoopin' and hollerin' on those dizzyin' rides, too!

(to be continued)

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