This blog is basically just a collection of my "random thoughts". I must warn you, though. I have been told that "I write like I talk", so if you don't understand what you are reading... chances are, if you met me... I wouldn't make much sense to you! Feel free to comment if you care to. Or not. I'm good either way!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

It's hard to believe that another year has ticked away. I am sure that you will agree with me that as we get older, the years seem to go by faster and faster. I can't help but wonder why that is.

Here's a look back at my 2010. It is full of some great and some "not-so-great" memories.


January -
  • I started my new teaching assistant job at my church preschool.
  • I attended a beginners quilting class and "briefly" caught the quilting bug.
  • I went to Atlanta for a fun get-together with some friends from high school.
February -
  • I attended and helped lead a Women's Retreat for the ladies of my church. We met and stayed overnight in a historic hotel in Warm Springs, Georgia.
  • I watched the New Orleans Saints win the Superbowl.
  • David and I had a trip to Savannah, Georgia planned for Valentine's weekend, but had to cancel it because South Georgia got a big snow storm! (Well.... it was big for us, anyway!)
  • We drove, north, to Atlanta and enjoyed a fun evening there instead.
  • I watched the 2010 Daytona 500. (Can't remember who won!)
March -
  • We celebrated David's 47th birthday on the 10th of March.
  • Along with our church family, Ashley and I participated in and walked 6 miles for a fundraiser for our local homeless shelter. Our church won the prize for the most walkers.
  • I saw a ear, nose & throat doctor about my terrible sinus problems and thought I might have to have surgery. Luckily, a CTscan ruled that out.
April -
  • David and I went to the National Grits Festival in Warwick, Georgia with some friends. Saw the largest bowl of grits EVER! It was a really fun day!
  • David and I attended a friends HUGE 50th birthday bash. The setting was pool-side and they had live music by a local musician that was WONDERFUL! What a fun evening!
  • On April 19th, David and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary by spending the day together and biking at Callaway Gardens.
  • We followed that by spending a relaxing weekend at a Spa Resort at Stone Mountain Park. It was wonderful!!!
  • We celebrated Ashley's 23rd birthday on April 22nd.
May -
  • On May 1st, we picked out and brought home our new 6 week old puppy, Chester!
  • On May 21st, we celebrated Miranda's 19th birthday.
  • We went hiking at FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
  • The girls and I went with our College Sunday School Class to the Wild Animal Park in Pine Mountian, Georgia. We rode thru the park in a rented open-window van and laughed hysterically as we fed the many HUGE animals with VERY large tongues!
  • The preschool year ended for the summer.
  • I watched the final episode of the TV series, LOST.
June -
  • David and I went to Panama City Beach to enjoy a weekend with friends at their condo that they have there. What a fun time we had!
  • The girls and I participated in Vacation Bible School Week at our church. We were "Crew Leaders". Each day, we were each in charge of about 8 kids as we guided them to the various parts of VBS. It was a fun, but EXHAUSTING week!
  • I took the girls and Rory (Miranda's b/f) to Orlando to visit Univeral Studios and especially Harry Potter World! It was only the 2nd week that this new section of the park was open. We had a BLAST!!
July -
  • We spent July 4th up at FDR State Park at the campground, visiting our friends who were camping.
  • We bought a new (well, it is "new" to us!) pop-up camper!! YAY!! We had sold our other camper last Fall and were missing camping very much!
  • We spent lots of time hanging out with our friends, swimming and grilling at each other's houses.
  • David and I hosted a pool party for the College Class that I lead at church. We all had a great time and the "kids" made up a really fun game of "Pool Baseball"!
  • July 31st marked the beginning of my gallbladder issuses that I would deal with for the next 2 months!
August -
  • The first three days of August I was sick with abdominal pain. At this time, I didn't know what the problem was.
  • On August 4th, I had an ultrasound and bloodwork done that didn't show anything wrong.
  • On August 13th, I had a HIDA scan done to test my gallbladder function. This came to prove that my gallbladder was NOT functioning properly.
  • I began my training to become a Stephen Minister.
  • David took me to a shooting range where I learned how to shoot a gun. That was crazy, but fun!
  • A new year of preschool began.
  • I helped and participated in "Get in the Game Day" at my church. This was a HUGE event that was to target people that are not involved in church. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!
  • Football season started again!! YAY!
September -
  • On September 3rd, I had my gallbladder removed by lyproscopic surgery. It went well, but the anaesthesia made me SO sick for 24 hours! This was NOT fun!
  • We went to St. Joseph's Pennisula (Beach) in Florida as a family. This was a GREAT place to recooperate and the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen!!
October -
  • We went camping with our new camper twice!! The weather was PERFECT both times!!
  • Ashley and I attended "Family Day" with my mom at her nusring home.
  • On October 31st, I finished my training and was presented to the church as one of only 8 Stephen Ministers!! This was a very special day!
November -
  • I drove to Newnan, Georgia and spent the day with my very good friend, Diana.
  • We went camping again at FDR State Park.
  • I joined a new gym! YAY!
  • On Thanksgiving Day, David and I celebrated 28 years of being together!
  • We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with some great friends, at their house.
  • The day after Thanksgiving... my mom went into the hospital with Congestive Heart Failure. She was in the hospital for almost a week. I was really worried that she would lose her room at the nursing home, but thankfully... it all worked out.
December -
  • I went to Atlanta and met up with my high school friends. We had lunch and then went to a play that another classmate was in. It was a lot of fun!
  • The girls took me to see the latest Harry Potter movie for my birthday!
  • David treated us to a dinner at the Olive Garden. YUM!
  • I celebrated my 46th birthday on December 9th.
  • David and I attended a Christmas party at the home of my preschool director.
  • Ashey and I attended the grand opening of the new Carmike Theatre here in town. We got free food, popcorn & drinks and then got to see a movie for free. We saw SALT with Angelina Jolie. It was very good!
  • David and I attended a fun Christmas party hosted by some friends of ours.
  • David's mom arrives from Philadelphia to spend Christmas with us.
  • We had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ and enjoying time together as a family!!
I pray that you can look back at your 2010 and reflect on some great memories, as well. I also pray that your 2011 will be a year full of fun and celebrations and that God blesses you in ways that you can not even imagine!

    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    New Year, New Calendars!

    I have an obsession with calendars.

    I look forward to getting a new one (well, actually... several!) when the new year rolls around.

    I buy one for my kitchen. I try to look for a "nice" one that matches the colors in my house. On it, I only write the birthdays of our family and friends. This year, I bought this one to hang on my wall ---


    Last year, I had one that was similar, but buy a different artist.

    I also buy one for my office. I gave up on trying to find one that "matches" the room, and just look for one that I like instead. For the past few years I have gone with one that was "cute". This year, I picked one that has pretty photographs, instead. Here's a picture of the one that I picked to hang in my office.


    I love porches and the beauty that comes with them! Like the calendar in my kitchen... I will only write birthday's of my family and friends. I may add a few "other" friends to this calendar, as well.

    I usually don't carry a "pocket calendar", although... I should! I have just never liked having to write in those tiny little boxes that only pocket calendars can provide. This year, I received one from one of my students. We'll see how I do with it!


    My favorite calendar is the one that I write EVERYTHING down on!! I like for it to have big blocks in which to write, but I also like for it to be portable. This past year, I had this one....

    
    I liked how it was "spiral bound" and that it had tabs and big blocks to write in. It also had a beach theme, which was nice. I use this calendar to write down ALL of my appointments and upcoming events. These are the calendars in which I SAVE, because I can look back years later and it is kind of like a "diary" of our family's life for that year. I have calendar's from way back when I was in high school, believe it or not! I can't say that I have one for every year since then, but I have many of them!

    This is the one that I bought for my EVERYTHING CALENDAR for this year.


    I really liked the look of it, (and... it was cheap!) but, I am kinda' wishin' it was spiral bound like last years was. I don't know. We'll have to see how it goes. Last year, I think I bought three before I was finally happy with the one that I actually used! LOL!

    I have tried using "daily" and "weekly" calendars, but always go back to the "monthly" ones.

    What about you???
    Do you enjoy buying a new calendar each year?
    Do you buy or use more than one?
    Which kind do you prefer?

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

    Oh my goodness!!! It has been a busy few days! I have been going pretty much non-stop since December 23rd! Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas and the busyness that comes with it, but...... WHEW!! I'm glad things are finally settling down a bit!

    Here's a condensed version of my Christmas ---

    Thursday, December 23rd ~ Cleaned house ~ Baked a "Happy Birthday Jesus Cake" ~ Cake stuck to pans ~ Not happy! ~ Pieced it together with lots of frosting ~ Threw out cake pans ~ Plan to get new ones ~ Made "White Trash" (Chex Mix dessert) ~ Yum! ~ Mother-n-law arrived from Philadelphia ~ Yay! ~ Dinner and visiting at home.  

    Yes. I know. It looks pretty sad. It tastes yummy, though!


    Friday, December 24th ~ Up early ~ Coffee & bagels, at home ~ Spent morning at nursing home with "my" mom ~ Visiting & presents ~ Santa came while we were there ~ More presents ~ Lunch at Cracker Barrel ~ Ashley's sandwich was a smile ~ Funny! ~ Great food! ~ Christmas Eve service at church ~ Beautiful! ~ Clam Chowder at home ~ Yum! ~ Warmth by the fireplace ~ Christmas movie ~ Precious time with family.

    Santa visits my mom...


    and gives her a hug and a gift.


    "Three Generations" photo


    Ashley & Grandma (David's mom) at Cracker Barrel


    Me & Miranda


    Ashley's "smiling" sandwich!
    This is the way that it arrived!! LOL!


    Saturday, December 25th ~ Up early ~ Filled stockings with goodies ~ Warm fire in the fireplace ~ Breakfast casserole ~ Yum! ~ Waited for Rory (Miranda's boyfriend) to arrive ~ Viewed, "Our Year in Pictures", while waiting ~ Stockings are unloaded ~ Rory arrives ~ Presents opened, in turn ~ Wrapping paper, everywhere! ~ Chester eats the bows ~ Clean up the mess ~ Christmas dinner with all the trimmings ~ Yum! ~ Christmas movies ~ Games are played ~ Dessert ~ Yum! ~ Snowflakes fall ~ A "dusting" of snow is enjoyed in the darkness ~ Pretty! ~ White Christmas!

    The stockings...


    and the tree.


    Ashley and her University of Georgia "Snuggie"
    that Nick gave her for Christmas.


    Rory opens one of his gifts, while Jackson
     looks for another gift to open.


    Miranda opens her "Mad Gab" game that she got for Christmas.


    The table is set for a delicious Christmas dinner.


    Pretty!


    The turkey was cooked in David's "oil-less fryer".
    YUM!!


    Turkey, ham, corn casserole, stuffing,
    cheesy green bean casserole, & gravy = YUM!!


    By nightfall, it started to SNOW!!!!
    This is a rare thing to happen in Georgia on Christmas!
    How fun!


    Sunday, December 26th ~ Up early ~ Snow on ground is gone ~ Boo hoo! ~ Breakfast at I-Hop ~ Yum!! ~ Snowflakes fall again! ~ Yay! ~ Church ~ Wonderful! ~ Cold temps ~ Trip to Best Buy ~ New Laptop for me!! ~ YAY!!! ~ No time to play on it! ~ Boo! ~ Home again ~ Warm fire in fireplace ~ Bake Gingerbread men ~ First time! ~ Messed up! ~ Started over! ~ UGH! ~ Ashley's new boyfriend (Nick) comes over for the day ~ Sweet guy! ~ Happy for her! ~ Games are played ~ "Leftovers" are served ~ Yum! ~ Christmas movie is watched ~ Weather Channel is watched ~ Snow in Northeast ~ Philadelphia Eagles game is cancelled ~ Sad faces ~ Find out that Mother-n-law's flight is cancelled for the next day! ~ Uh Oh! ~ Call airline ~ Can't get through ~ Frustration.

    Our beautiful church


    The gingerbread men are finally getting made!


    The kids enjoy a fun game on the Wii


    David had a good time watching them!


    Time to decorate the gingerbread men.



    I think Nick's first time meeting us went well.
    Yay!


    So cute and yummy!


    Monday, December 27th ~ Up early ~ Coffee & bagels for breakfast ~ Still can't get ahold of airline! ~ Frustrated, still ~ Watched news about snow ~ Airports closed ~ Uh oh! ~ Go to airport ~ Got a new flight for mother-n-law for TOMORROW night with a possibility to fly stand-by earlier in the day ~ Cleaned house ~ Dishwasher started leaking! ~ Uh oh! ~ David took it apart ~ Part is ordered ~ Ugh! ~ Leftover's for dinner again ~ Yum! ~ Falcons football game! ~ YAY!! ~ Stayed up late ~ They lost ~ Sad faces.

    Tuesday, December 28th ~ Slept in ~ Oops! ~ Should've been up early! ~ Took mother-n-law to airport shuttle ~ Said good-bye ~ Sad face ~ Starbucks with Miranda ~ Carmel Brulee ~ Yum! ~ Shopping at Target ~ Great deals! ~ Shopping at Khol's ~ Nothing bought ~ Shopping at Old Navy ~ New pants found on clearance! ~ Shopping at Game Stop ~ New Wii controller ~ BBQ sandwiches for lunch ~ Home ~ Mother-n-law is on her way to Philadelphia ~ Yay!! ~ FINALLY time to play on my new computer!! ~ Yay!

    I hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas as I did!

    

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    "These are a few of my favorite things"

    You know the song... "My Favorite Things"... from The Sound of Music?? For some reason, that song comes into my mind when I look at my favorite Christmas decorations.

    Here are the lyrics ---

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
    Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
    Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
    Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
    Silver white winters that melt into springs
    These are a few of my favorite things

    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I'm feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things

    And then I don't feel so bad

    Are you singing it in your head now??   I am!! **Smile**

    Anyway.... Here are a few of MY favorite things ~

    This is the Manger Scene that was displayed at my house as a child. It is VERY special to me. I am not sure where my mother got the figures. The donkey and lamb are plastic and the other pieces are some sort of plaster. I can still remember "playing" with the figures. When I got married, my mom gave it to me. My kids weren't not allowed to touch it!! Hahaaa! I did buy another one for my kids later, when Miranda was little. It's made FOR kids! I'm saving it for my grandchildren, so they won't touch this one!! My daddy made the stable.
    

    Anyone recognize this??? It's a small version of the Leg Lamp in the movie "A Christmas Story". My family LOVES this movie!! (Well, Miranda doesn't... but, that doesn't matter! She HAS to be different!)
    My brother-n-law loves to send us crazy gifts, like this one, from this movie and also from the movie, "Christmas Vacation". Too funny!! We never know what we are going to get in the mail each year!


    I love this snowman. He is so cute and cuddly!
    The flowers are from David's father's memorial service. He passed away right before Christmas, about 8 years ago. I kept this decoration and use it every year. The cross is something that I keep out all year long. I love it!


    Isn't this Santa & Rudolph cute??
    One of the teachers that I used to work with, gave this to me as a gift one year.


    This cute snowman was a gift from a student, several years ago. I think he is beautiful and so unusual!


    THIS was a VERY special gift to us from my mother-n-law. Last year, she visited The Holy Land. (Lucky lady!!) This came from THE actual town (city) of Bethlehem!!!! I can't remember for sure what wood it is carved out of, but I "think" it is from the olive tree. Isn't it beautiful?? This is normally displayed on my mantle, all year long. I just can't put it away.


    This was a gift from my friend Cindy, last year. I just love the art from Jim Shore! This is actually an ornament, but I think it is too beautiful to be hidden on my tree, so I set it out.


    This was made by my Miranda sometime when she was little. I'm sure that it was made at church.
    Can you tell what it is??? -- It's Baby Jesus, laying in his manger. **Smile**
    It really looks kinda' like a finger wrapped in burlap!! Haaaha!
    I love it so very much, tho!!


    This is Santa Mouse. He is an ornament from my childhood. I have a book (somewhere in my attic, that I can't find!!!) about him. He is Santa's helper. He brings little gifts, wrapped in white paper with a gold ribbon, and leaves them on a branch, on the tree. Every Christmas, Santa Mouse would leave a gift for me and my children have grown up getting gifts from Santa Mouse, as well. --- They still do!!!


    This ornament is special because it was bought when we had our first Golden Retriever. His name was Archie. He passed away suddenly, 8 years ago, of kidney failure. We call this our "Archie Ornament".
    (I guess I need to find ornaments for Jackson & Chester, as well!)


    Thank you for letting me share some of "my favorite things" with you! What are some of your favorite Christmas things??
    

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    My Christmas Tablescape

    My friend Cindy introduced me to the world of Tablescapes early this Fall and I have since then, focused much of my decorating on "dressing up" my own table! I have always loved dishes and glassware, so this should be fun!

    I love Fall decorations almost as much as I love Christmas decorations, so coming up with a Fall Tablescape was FUN! You can read about that HERE.

    When I started decorating for Christmas, the wheels in my pretty little head started turning, trying to plan a beautiful Christmas Tablescape for my table. I knew that I wanted to use my mother's china, that I now have. It is kind of an off-white/ivory color with silver trimmings.



    I knew that I wanted to incorporate the color silver into my color pallet, but my other Christmas decorations are mostly green, red & gold. Coming up with a workable tablescape, was going to be a challenge!

    My first purchase was to buy some silver chargers. (There's a funny story behind the idea of me using "chargers" that I'll have to blog about at another time! You'll love it!) I thought they would go perfect with my mother's china.

    I also have my mother's Candlewick Crystal.


    I, of course, wanted to incorporate these dishes into my decor as well.

    I also have these green dishes that I inherited from my grandmother.


    Aren't they the perfect Christmas color??

    I really wanted to find some red salad plates and had been searching the stores for the right ones. I saw the ones that I wanted at Target, but didn't buy them right away.

    Then... when I received that $50 gift card for Target, from my class.... BINGO!!! I knew exactly what I would spend it on!! THOSE DISHES!! They were only $16 for two sets of four, so I still have money left on my card! YAY!



    After working for over two hours on it, here's my final design... drum roll, please.....



    Yes. I am missing a few things like... silverware & napkins. I had bought some white napkins with silver snowflakes on them, but then decided that I didn't like them. So, I took them back and got some green ones. They match the green PERFECTLY! (I took these photo's before I bought them)

    And, of course, I HAVE silverware. I just haven't decided which set to use. I have two sets of REAL silver, but they both need to be polished. I'm not sure if I'll get around to that or not, so I may just use my everyday set.

    The other thing that you probably see that is missing are my silver CHARGERS!! Yep. I got my table completely done. Took pictures of it. Then, realized that I forgot the chargers! Oops!! (They are now on my table and look great!)

    Here are a "few" other views of my tablescape. You'll have to forgive my photography skills. I'm still working on those! **Smile**

    The colors all came together so nicely!


    Remember the beautiful candle that I recieved as a gift
    from one of my students??
    It looks so beautiful on the table!!


    It took me FOREVER to get the "snow" right and the tree to stand up in the middle!! The tree was my mother's and I already had the snow.
    See the "HO" candle? There are two other's there, too! Those were the gift from the teacher that I work with. They look great on the table! The snowflake candle was a gift, as well. "Mr. & Mrs. Santa" are from my childhood.
    I love them!


    I can't remember where I got this angel,
    but she looks so beautiful on the table!


    I just noticed that Mrs. Santa missed Santa's lips!!! LOL!!
    I'll have to fix that!





    I am so pleased with the way my tablescape turned out!


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