Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

The last few weeks have been a blur to me and Christmas is right around the corner. I apologize for my lack of computer time, but the time has been spent on more immediate needs.

My mother has not been doing well and I have been staying with her much of the time. I will get back to blogging when time allows, but I wanted to wish every one of you a blessed Christmas.

Enjoy your families and please remember the reason for the season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

2008 Christmas Tour of Homes

Boomama is hosting a tour of blogger homes for Christmas. It is such a great idea and I have had so much fun checking out the incredible decorating of the different homes. If you get a chance to visit some of them you, too, will be amazed at how talented people are in the blogging world.

Since I have already posted photos of some of my Nativity sets, I will show you some of the other decorations that are finally up around my home.

I did show pictures of my kitchen cupboards, but I wanted to show you that this is where I also display our Christmas cards that we receive. It's a great way to enjoy them throughout the season. Each cupboard door is actually wrapped like a package with one LONG piece of wired ribbon and tied in the front. After Christmas I will just roll the ribbons back up and use them again the following year.

The "real" tree in the family room.

My kitchen table display.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus smokers.

My smoker men. I love this collection. Placing a piece of lit incense inside will make them appear to be smoking as the smoke comes from their mouths.

My soldier nutcrackers that stand guard in the entry.

The mantle that displays Christmas paper ornaments made by my little sister.

Greeters on the sofa table.

Santa awaiting children in search of candy canes in his bag.

The living room with my in-laws Christmas tree and the Christmas train under the tree. I love all the colored lights that are already on the tree.

The upper windows in the sunroom.

Now you need to go over and check out some of the other decorations. You will be glad that you did. You will not have the crowds that one normally finds if doing a Christmas home tour!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10th already?

Please tell me that it isn't December 10th already. How can that be? I see that my last post was December 1st. Yikes! I do have a good reason, I hope.

There are so many delightful commitments at this time of the year and it does seem as though we are on the go all the time. As well, there are lots of projects that I have been trying to finish up for Christmas gifts. I know....I always say that I will start these in January. Does anyone else do the same thing? I guess I work better under stress.

Last week I was without my DSL connection and it was a frustrating week. It amazes me at how dependent I have become on this computer. I am shocked at how often I will go to the internet to check out a recipe, shop, communicate or research each day. It is only when it is down that you become aware of how addicting it can be. The modem failed on Monday and it wasn't until Friday that things were up and running again. I do have to say that it did allow me a lot of time to accomplish other things.

Although it was terrible timing, we had a painter in doing a lot of work that needed it badly. He finished up last Friday after two weeks of work. I think I have finally gotten the bedroom out of the living room and can now proceed with decorating for Christmas. Yeah!

The first thing that goes up in our home is our collection of Nativity sets. We have close to thirty sets that we have picked up through our travels and as gifts. The pictures that I will show you will include all the pieces, however, in reality there are no kings and infant in our sets until Christmas day. It gives us more of a sense of anticipation during the Advent season.

We will have two trees this year - a first for us. We "inherited" my in-laws Christmas tree after my FIL passed away last spring. My husband and I would always go over fix dinner and decorate their tree for them during the holidays. It will be a special tree for us this year and I like the idea of being able to have the tree up early and not worry about it drying out. My husband really wants a "real" tree with the smell filling the house so we will have two trees up.

We were at my mother's last weekend with my sister and BIL while we put her tree up, decorated her home and had dinner together. It, too, is another yearly tradition. Her tree is covered with mauve roses and small satin packages.

We have Christmas parties today and tomorrow. The office party is on Friday and Saturday is our big family dinner here.

Each year we have a lovely Christmas dinner party for our children, their spouses, and my husband's five brothers and their wives. It will be a little smaller this year without my FIL and his caretaker, but it is still a group of twenty two. It has always been a great way to celebrate the season as a family. Everyone lives close by so no one will have to travel too far to attend. My kitchen is ready for the cooking to begin.

In my next post I will show some of the projects that I have been working on while I was internet-less. Until then, continue to enjoy this beautiful season.

Monday, December 1, 2008

On Into December

In reading different blogs today, I definitely see that we are now into the Christmas mood. I am just a tad behind as we just celebrated our Thanksgiving on Saturday. We have done it that way for years as it allows our children to celebrate Thanksgivings with their in-laws and families. My folks always did it that way and we have followed their lead.

It was truly a gorgeous, warm day filled with many wonderful memories. We have been so very blessed in our lives and it is nice to pause and show appreciation for all that we have been given.

Three of the grandchildren came over to help me set up and do a little prep work. It was wonderful to have them help. They have really become good helpers over the years and now see what needs to be done. Of course that was all lost once the babies started arriving. Somehow those precious little individuals were much more interesting.
An added Thanksgiving decoration made by the grands with styrofoam balls.

Ms. M and A playing with A.J.

A.J. cleaned tray after his turkey dinner. He doesn't miss a meal.

Loved this "little boy" picture with a car tucked in his pocket! Don't let anyone ever tell you there is no difference between boys and girls at this young age.

Ms. A and the newest grandson. The shirt has a turkey on it which says "I'm stuffed." From the looks of those cheeks, I'd have to agree.

This is our family - our children and their children.

#3 son, his wife, daughter and #2 son's wife.

#4 son's wife, #4 son, my mother, #1 son's wife

The guys retiring after dinner for a little football.

Mr. J,B and P decorating my metal tree with magnets. I'm thinking it might work for a Christmas tree instead of the partridge and pears that I normally put on it. What do you think?

# 2 son and his wife.

Girls entertaining Great Grandma.

Thanksgiving day we watched four of our grandchildren while their parents ran a 5K race to provide funds for a local CHP officer who was struck by a driver last December. The kids (both males and females) love to use the sewing machines while they are here and asked if they could make some Christmas gifts. My granddaughter informed me that my sewing room was "full of wonders." I couldn't agree more. I'm glad she also feels that way.

Ms. M

Mr. N (also known as Mr. Tech-y). He can thread the machine faster than I can and loves all the computerized buttons.

The weekend was simply gorgeous as far as the weather was concerned. Yesterday the space shuttle landing was cancelled in Florida due to weather and sent to the desert in California. Edwards Air Force base is about an hour from us and with proper advance knowledge, one can go and watch the shuttle's return to earth. Such was the opportunity yesterday. Our #3 son took all of his children out to watch it land. It was a picture perfect day for it with temps in the upper 80s and crystal clear. Everyone loved it. I was so glad that it was a day when there was no work and no school for the kids to experience it. There was a time after September 11th that the base was closed to all visitors which was disappointing.

We always have the sonic booms here about 20 minutes before touchdown. Yesterday was no different. Although we were expecting them, the sound always startles me. The whole house shakes with two rapid, thunderous sounds. The indoor birds go crazy, the dogs bark and my heart skips a beat each time.

I took all of my children out for the very first landing -- way back in the "old" days. It was such a fabulous experience and to this day I am amazed when I see it land with such precision. To think of where it has been and realize that it can land on a sand runway in the middle of a desert, millions of miles from where it started still awes me. Since the Columbia was the first shuttle that we saw land, we took it's disaster even harder.

I have to share one more thing before I put you all to sleep. I have a dear friend, L, who is a graphic artist. Her rep recently had a piece put into a tapestry and L sent one to me. I have it hanging on the wall in my living room and absolutely love it. The colors are perfect and it is such a wonderful reminder of all the special moments that we have enjoyed together.

Now.....onto decorating for Christmas or at least getting my Thanksgiving things down and packed away. I will probably not start decorating until the end of the week when the painter finishes up. Meanwhile, I will check out all of your blogs and get in the mood. Have a wonderful week.