Monday, January 3, 2011

A Few Christmas and New Year Memories In Pictures

Greetings and Holykisses!

Although this will be a long post, I'd like to share some of the happenings at our house through the holidays this year.

About a month or so before Christmas, a few of my friends came over for a "Stampin Up" party.
The demonstrator provided everything for us to each make two handmade cards. Then, we sent them to American soldiers in Afghanistan. A friend of mine's son is stationed there and he handed them out for us. (Please keep him and all our soldiers in your prayers!!!) -- We had a lot of fun that night and learned new stamping techniques to boot!
Our Pastor's wife at church asked if I'd like to then make all the handmade cards that went inside handmade stockings that our church ladies made for another project. My friend Maxi came over and we made 72 cards together. I shared those here at the potting shed, but I'll always look back on that night so happily.

When my new stamps came in that I'd ordered from the stampin up party; I then was anxious to make my own Christmas cards.
This is my new stamp: and what most of my cards resembled.

Most of you know we have a little small group bible study at my house on Tuesday nights. Our last Tuesday together of the month, instead of having bible study we just brought projects that we'd been working on and had a craft night instead. It was alot of fun! Mostly it was spent eating, making jewelry and learning knitting and crochet. So far; the knitting and crochet thing isn't my forte'. lol

Two nights later my Mil and Fil were coming for Christmas.
Yeah you guessed it: it was time to clean the house! heeheehaahaahoohoo. You know how it is: when company is coming you don't want to clean til right until they come, otherwise you just have to do it all over again. Someone tell me I'm not alone in that thinking.* At any rate; things were whipped into shape pretty quickly and it was so good to see them! We had alot of fun together. My dear Mil helped make, bake, and decorate homegoodies like a true elf!
She took this picture of me when I opened a gift from my friend Char. I wasn't going to share it because it looks like I wet my pants. lol We'd been delivering cookies to a neighbor who's dog got me all muddy. When we got home, I decided to scrub mud instead of change. lol Real life is.... well; it's REAL and usually funny. -- Oh ... and Char... I love how big pecans grow in Texas... and the peanut brittle rocked! Thankyou!!! Think I'll hang the bandana in the 66 chevy!
One thing you discover blogging is new recipes!!! This is my friend Jackie's cranberry salad.
It's one of my very new favorite salads EVER! If you twist my arm, I'll share the recipe. You'll love it!! And Sue... I love the new apron!!! Thankyou with all my shabby heart- holykisses xoxo!
And Char's bran muffins..... YUM! We ate them warmed with butter n honey!
If Dollar General has any buttermilk today, I think I'll make another batch this evening. I love em!
My Mil was such a trooper in the kitchen. We made lots of m&m cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, peanut clusters, candied pretzels, chocolate chip cookies... and pumpkin bread by the panfuls. Then spent time making platters, and decorating it all. Thankyou for all your help Mil!! (And Janie I adore the snowman apron with all the beautiful red rickrock!! You know how much I love redrickrock! whooHoOo! Thankyou and holykisses xoxo!!!)
This is what the little Jesus birthday cakes turned out like.
I used the pumpkin spice recipe this year and every jar sealed!! Isn't it music to your ears to count "pings" when jars are sealing and they all seal?!!! JOY!
This is how some of our baked goodies looked:
Then we loaded into the Xterra and set about delivering.....
all wearing Santa hats. Well; Fil didn't have one yet, so we stopped at Dollar General and found him one. Ho Ho Ho!
My Mil took this picture when we stopped at a friends house and Mike and I were trying to figure out what went to who.... lol Goofy picture but it was still such fun. My favorite picture is actually of my Mil but she didn't seem to like it very much so I better not show it.

Our favorite stop was the nursing home. My Mil took photos there as well but since I don't have permission to show faces, I won't put them on here at the potting shed. But you can't imagine how much fun we had. I'd say it will forever be one of my most favorite memories. We gifted with fuzzy Christmas blankets and sang carols. One of the residents that I wanted my Mil to meet absolutely blew me away. We got to her room, and she had a headache and was lying down. The nurse came in and gave her some tylenol and when I asked the resident before leaving if there was anything we could do for her she said, "Just pray for me." I asked her if she wanted me to pray for her "right then," and she said, "Yes." I got down to pray and instead, Miss "I"- the resident went to praying. I'm here to tell you the woman can pray!!!!!!!!! She prayed for her own headache to go away in the name of Jesus and that by Jesus' stripes she was healed. Then she went to praying for me and my Mil. Even laid her hands on both our heads. Yall... I don't think I've ever been so blessed in my life as well as surprised!!!! I stand amazed. We went... hoping to be a blessing to someone.... and walked away so very blessed instead. That's God.

Miss "I" has come to my mind so many times since that day. I know we're not to compare ourselves to others... but her bold and very open and genuine prayer has inspired to the point that one of my new Year's desires is to learn to pray like Miss "I." (Teach me to pray Lord!)

As we walked the hall to the lobby in the nursing home we then met a group of residents who were getting ready to play a game of Dominoes. One lady fell in love with our leopard print Santa hats. I think my Mil had already taken her picture with a santa hat on, so I asked her if she'd like to have my hat and her eyes totally lit up and she exclaimed "Ohhhh YES!!" Then we could tell her friend sitting next to her wanted one so Mil gave up hers. Next thing I knew Myguy was giving away his hat, and Fil lost his as well. It was hilarious... and so much fun. I can't speak for anyone else but .... I know as I walked out those doors, I'd just experienced Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. There was such a spring in my step and my heart is still overflowing. (happysigh)
Back at the Ponderosa, we cooked more, ate more, and with that came lots of dish washing.
Looky here at Myguy and his Momma doing dishes! Yep; that's Myguy!!! He had dishpan hands a whole lot while everyone was here.
After every meal, he'd jump right in there! Even cooked some breakfasts!
A girl could get used to that huh?!! Ohyeah!!
We were so happy that both our boys had some time off over the weekend.
This is our youngest son Tony and his sweet girlfriend Michelle!
We hung out alot... and even went to the Outback one night for supper.
Time together just "being." :)
Here's our oldest son Trent with his Grama and Bigdaddy.

My Mil got a horrible cold while she was here. I know she didn't feel well but she did her best not to let it get her down; bless her heart.
Trent gives great backrubs. I guess that must be what was goin on here.
I love random shots where the people aren't posing. This is life at our house.
Wish you could hear Tony play his guitar.
Michelle bought this one for him for Christmas!
Hearing him play his guitar and Trent play his drums are two of my most missed things of our boys growing up and moving out of the house. I could never tire of hearing them play.

Trent- our Strongheart, let me take a new profile picture of him for his facebook. ;)
He's now lost well over 30+ pounds and is going strong. Way to go Trent!!!
And here's a family picture of the gang.
You have no idea how hard it is to get this tribe to all keep their eyes open for one photo!
Good memories... -- happy times!

Our Mil and Fil left our house to head to Arizona where they play all winter.
Little did they know they were driving right into snow!!! Can you believe that?? Goofy weather!

Just before new Years, Myguy and I took a drive to Fort Smith.

There was an antique store we'd never stopped in before and since we had time; made it a point to stop. Look what we found!

We'd looked at many hoosier cabinets in the past but they were all out of our price range.
Until this one. ;)

It even has "stars" in the corners of thee etched glass.
Unfortunately, our weather wasn't cooperating to bring it home. So we had to wait to pick it up until New years day.

It was very cold on pickup day but at least it was no longer raining.
And another funny thing: Years before, my stepdad had given me an old porcelain top that he'd found at the recycling place he worked. He said maybe someday I'd find a wooden part to go with it. All this time, it has been waiting up in the rafters of our shed and I remembered it when we carried the hoosier into our house. So now we have a red top, and a white one that we can change out when we tire of one or the other. For now; we'll go with the red.
Myguy worked on the latches a little.
Then I gave it a good scrubbing.
He also made a little wire latch for one of the cabinets on the top piece so it will stay closed.

This is what it looks like at home sweet home.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above.
I knew right away what I wanted to keep inside of it: Our bibles, study books, and things used when the Sisterchicks come!
The bottom has my Grandmother's china etc, a teapot, and some flatware and napkins.
One cabinet on top now houses our bibles, devotionals, and notebooks.
It kind of reminded me of long ago when people used to use those locked boxes for their bibles because they were their most prized possessions.

Everything in this cupboard reminds me in one way or other of God.
Candles I light during study time and the sparrow reminds me that His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me. The blue piece of pottery reminds me that He is my potter, I am the clay, and to be an empty vessel for Him to fill. The picture of the little girl with Jesus was my AngelMother's and the little frame was one my Mom received when she quit smoking after 48 years during First Place. It says New Life In Him.
And another item on the cupboard is my little Siesta Spiral from the LPM website.
Here's my first memory verse for 2011.
If you're interested in memorizing scripture as well, go to Beth Moore's website and you can order your own spiral!
Oh looky here. We have another visitor.
This isn't Merry Pearl but another new potting shed guest.

She's getting friendlier by the day.
And fatter too. (Not sure if that's good or bad.)
And this picture portrays two new things.
Myguy "finally" gave into needing reading glasses.
And can you see what he's reading?
He was studying for his motorcycle test!!
And yep, he passed!
Our new used bike is now legal.
We even bundled up and went for a ride the other day. Couldn't feel my cheeks when we got back but had so much fun!!!!

We've been trying to think of more things that we can do together this year; God willing.
And we'd love to join the Christian Motorcycle Association .... so come Spring, who knows????

Thanks for reading along to the end and sharing in our journey.
This is what happens when you don't blog for weeks on end... there's so much to catch up on!
I'll try to do better!

This week, I hope to start bloghopping and catching up with all of you.
Have a great day today!
Holykisses xoxo


Rebecca said...

Wow! I'm tired just IMAGINING all the activity in and out of your house and home! What a wonderful holiday and beautiful family!

katie said...

Wow, what a great post. Your Holiday with in laws and your boys looked great. Congratulations to your son on his 30 lb weight loss. Way to go .
I did a double take when I saw your grandmothers pink rose dishes. I have about 8 plates but my roses are yellow. My mother bought them for Easter when she was pregnant with my brother. My brother turned 63 in June of 2010.
My memory verse is Matt 28:19-20
Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever, I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always even unto the end of the world.

Lisa said...

What a fun post. You were a busy girl. I love the Christmas card you made. I love Stampin up. I love the idea of sending card to the soldiers. I have been thinking it would be nice to send cookies each month to some soldiers. I think I need to look into that. Everyone like a gift of cookies from back home. The cabinet is wonderful. What a great find. It looks nice with your little treasures on it. Thanks for sharing what you have been up to. Lisa

Barbara Jean said...

what a great post sweetie!!
You have been buuuuusy!!
LOVE your new cabinet.

I have not been able to visit as many blogs of late either what with Christmas and now inventory at the store. Sure miss creating!!!

Blessings in the New Year.
barbara jean

Simple Southern Happiness said...

You sure were blessed with many wonderful memories this holiday. I so enjoyed reading all about it. Amazing lady at the nursing home, she started to pray for you all.

Then to find a special cabinet and to have the perfect top for it. To be blessed with family and friends to share your live with is so important.

Nothing like a bike ride on a crisp day, I remember those days.

I love your card! You have quite the artistic eye. I love stamping.

Take care of that new furry family member, you know she has found a good home.

God's Blessing of peace and his grace to you and your family this coming year.

MidniteScrapper said...

What a wonderfully blessed time you had. Just beautiful from beginning to end. I loved all the pictures to go along with the details. God bless you Lea. A very happy new year to you and your whole family!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

What a joyus time you had, I love the red top on the hoosier, perfect! You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to milk and let it sit for a few mins. I never buy buttermilk, I make it!

Sunnyside Up said...

Oh...Lea!!! Thanks for sharing your WONDERFUL Christmas pics with us...NOW we know why you took a little bloggy break! You have been a BusyBeeee!! Oh how I would have LOVED to come & hang out with you and your MIL in your kitchen...whippin up all those treats! How FUN would that have been?! :) You are just so darn adorable in your leopard santa hat! You rocked it! A girl can never have too much animal print I say! So tickled that you & your family had such a wonderful Christmas together! Beautiful family picture!

Tell your very proud we are of his weight loss!! WTGT!!! (wayyytogoooo Trent!) KEEP going STONG! You can do it!

That hoosier cabinet looks like it is saying "Im home!" It was just ment to be YOURS! So lovely how you are using it to store your MOST prized possessions!

Thanks again for opening up your heart and your home with us! Pictures are just priceless & they tell the story so much better!

We ALL love us some Lea!!! I sure do!

Dreaming of PaCon Pralines,

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVED all your pics!! Makes me miss you guys and mom and dad even more! So glad they got to do Christmas with you! Thank you Lea... for all you do! You are an inspiration to women like me... who want to do more, but haven't figured out how yet. I love you Lea... and my bro too! Wish so often that we lived cloer! Hope you have a blessed new year! Love... your SIL...

Pinkshoelady said...

Sounds like you had a blast!
Wish I lived nearer to be a part of some of that crafting and goodie making! Yes, I do love the plinks as the jar seals of the best sounds ever!
Love ya

irene said...

Lea...loved sharing your Christmas with you, looks like it was just about a perfect one for the Stars!! Thank you for visiting the nursing home, having my folks in this kind of situation I know just how much your visit meant to all those precious ones there. I love how God blesses us when we set out to be a blessing to other. Love to you ♥

Alleluiabelle said...

Lea...What a beautiful and amazing time you had with your family and friends over the holidays. I LOVED reading and looking at all of your pictures here. You look GOOD girl!

You are a BEAUTIFUL soul and I love your precious heart for Jesus and all who have come to know you.

You are a BLESSING to me and so many.

Love you,

Trace4J said...

Great post! So enjoy your blog. Love your new cabinet..The sharing and sweet photos. Please post the recipe for cranberry salad and bran muffins. Looks yummo!!
Hugs Granny Trace

Mecky said...

I just found your blog and have been enjoying it so much!
What a great find on the Hoosier!! I love the red! Great idea!
As I was looking through your blog, I chuckled at all the things you have in your yard. I have so much of the same things!! (I need to put one of my possum-bellies in my(shabby) potting shed!) Then I see that your DH was taking his test to ride his bike! Mine just bought a Harley and has taken a class and his test, too! TooFunny!