December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

December 22, 2014

The Sweetest Thing and Merry Christmas!

Oh the plans I had for sharing the remainder of my so-called "Christmas tour" of the rest of the house....but a phone call at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning cancelled out all my well meaning plans. My daughter, who was due to have her baby on December 30th, called to say they were on the way to the hospital! After getting her settled in her birthing suite, and after a bit of concern it might be a false alarm, baby boy soon made it known he was ready to enter this world. 6:44 a.m. he did!

  He's a big boy....9 pounds 4 ounces!  

 And a head full of hair (like his mama had)!   We couldn't be more thrilled!  

Is there anything sweeter?

Mama and baby are doing great!  

It goes without being said that the next few weeks will be a whirlwind for me....once my daughter goes home I will be helping out for 2-3 weeks at her house.   So this will probably be my last post for the rest of this year.   

Thank you all who follow along on my little blog that I have so neglected this past year, but nevertheless I really do appreciate everyone who leaves such nice comments and e-mails.    I'd love to promise things will be better in 2015 but we shall see.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 16, 2014

Christmas Tour 2014 (Part 1)

Christmas is in full swing around blogland and while I don't have an "official" home blog tour I'd love to share with you some of the little touches I've done this year.

For the past few years we haven't even put up a tree! Now before you give me the ol' "stink eye" let me explain....we don't have anyone here for Christmas and we have a lot going on with family. We have our big family Christmas at the lake with my sister, all her kids and grandkids, and all our kids and grandkids. We go to my daughter's on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought the twins and then on the 26th we travel out of town to my son's to spend time with he and his family. Also, my in-laws are out of town and we have to find time to go there as well. Somewhere during all of this hustle and bustle, I visit with my mom just about every day at her nursing home. And I get the itch to take down everything on the 26th...sometimes on Christmas Day night! Just want a clean pallet to start the New Year...can anyone relate?! And of course, this year, we will be welcoming grandbaby #5 on December 30th! I plan on spending about 3 weeks at my daughter's after the baby comes home to help her and also chauffeur the twins back and forth to school and their activities since she won't be able to drive for a little while.

Okay, on with the tour. We'll start outside. 

This year I chose to use traditional colors of reds, greens and plaids both inside and outside.    I have always loved putting wreaths on my windows and this year I added a little strip of ribbon at the bottom of the wreath as well.

(Please excuse the cords under the bench...I should have hid them better...oh well....this is real life people)!

This was a quick and easy way to add holiday cheer to the outside.   The wreaths are el-cheapos and I used velvet bows you can find just about anywhere (bows are from last year).   Once I hung the wreath on the window I simply cut a piece of ribbon to cover the windowpane above the wreath and a separate one below the wreath....hope that makes sense.    Then I put tape on the back of the ribbon to attach it to the window.   Next year I might switch and use plaid ribbon and bows.

I ordered the black and white buffalo check throw on the bench....who doesn't love buffalo checks?   I added some pillows, and a garland.   

 The stamped jute banner on the wreath was another project from last year.   I stamped the words "Joyeux Noel" onto a piece of jute, punched holes in the ends and tied it onto the wreath.    

I bought two arborvitaes a while back to replace my Kimberly Queen ferns that stay on the porch from early spring until they die a natural death from the heat (plus I get tired of watering them)!   I placed faux wreaths around them and LOVE how this turned out!   I originally planned on putting the arborvitaes in my window box but liked the way this turned out much better. (Yes, that is a huge crack you see on my porch caused by some tree roots....the trees are going to be removed, the porch completely re-done and some much needed front yard landscaping added....all in good time)!

We have up lights highlighting the windows and door at looks very pretty.   I'll try and get a picture of it and post that later.

Now let's go inside to the foyer.

This year I found myself drawn to a woodland theme....with lots of deer and plaid!   

I used this same log slice, book bundles and round bread board as part of my fall vignette so all I did was add the little deer and bottle brush tree and a burlap wrapped pre-lit tree from Wal Mart.   

The dining room is done very simply by adding faux branches, sugar pine cones and another deer to my dough bowl.    

Since taking over my mom's finances and applying for Medicaid for her, the table is usually full of paperwork, etc. that I've been working on since AUGUST (!) and you can see a checkbook in the background....again, just didn't want to commit myself to full out decorating this year....I was lucky to get this much done!

I'll be back later this week (hopefully) to share my den and kitchen.    I hope you'll join me then!

We had our annual family Christmas get together at the lake this past weekend and had such a good time being together with everyone.   

 My sister and I decorate the mantel and add a "skinny" Christmas tree.  

We bring little gifts for all the grandkids just so they will have something under the tree to play with that day.   

My brother-in-law had a warm fire going all day....the weather was gorgeous but it was cold outside!

Looking down toward the brother in law recently had over 20 trees cut down on the property!   Someone is coming to grind the stumps down later.

Its hard to believe when the water's up we can put 2 pontoon boats here!

This is the side where the kids swim.

Every year we do something different for the food.   This year we did bar-b-que, baked beans, cole slaw, marinated vegetable salad (recipe below), chips and all the fixins'.    I think last year we did spaghetti; another year we did 3 different soups and we've also done a traditional Christmas turkey and dressing.   

Here's Taylor holding her little cousin...practicing for her own baby brother that will be here on December 30th!

My daughter Shannon threatened me with bodily harm if I showed her face but here she is just a few weeks ago from giving birth to our grandbaby #5!    We are so excited and can hardly wait to see and love on this angel!

Here's a good recipe I got at a church dinner a few years ago.

Marinated Vegetable Salad

  • 1 - 11 oz. can white shoepeg corn
  • 1 - 16 oz. can French green beans
  • 1 - 16 oz. can green peas
  • 1 Medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup diced pimento
Drain vegetables and mix all ingredients
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Mix all together and heat until sugar dissolves.  Pour over vegetable mixture and keep in refrigerator overnight.

At Publix I found this mixture of onion, celery and green peppers already chopped up....I think it's called the trinity mixture?   Anyway, that's what I used instead of chopping up everything (lazy).

I can't believe December is half-way over....Christmas will be here and gone before we know it!

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