Monday, December 28, 2009

Not a Creature was Stirring, Not Even a Mouse

The house is much too quiet today and on its way to becoming much too clean. Our family has all left now and we're in the process of putting away the Christmas decorations. Gone are the wrapping paper and ribbons and bows. Now we're left with fantastic memories. We had a wonderful time with our younger son and his family and my brother and his family. The house rang with the laughter and play of two of our grandchildren, Hannah and David. We miss everyone already but are thankful for the time we had with them.

Hannah with her American Girl doll
David opening his Imaginext Batcave

We opened presents with our son and his family on Christmas night and we knew we still had the next day to all look forward to my brother and his family getting here. We ate together and opened more presents. But, aside from the fact that we enjoyed the food and the presents, we mainly just had fun being together as family. There's nothing quite like that.

Hannah and her mom, Jenn, checking out one of Hannah's gifts
Stephanie, our 15 year old niece
David, Jenn, JD, and Ann, our sister-in-law
Steve, my brother, opening one of his gifts

We missed our older son and his family but they were with the other grandparents and we plan to see them soon for a belated Christmas. We also missed our nephew Drew who is a trainer for the Auburn football team and had to be in Orlando for practice and other activities before the Outback Bowl on January 1st. As much as we missed him, we're so excited for him to have this experience. I know he's having a great time getting to be a part of all of the pre-game festivities. War Eagle, Drew!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas to the Farm Animals, Too!

We were ready to get out for a while today and go somewhere other than physical therapy. SO, we took a quick ride up to our Farm to feed the animals. We had four bundles of hay, 4 bags of feed for the cows and the goats, and 2 bags of kitty food plus some canned food. It was a beautiful day for a ride in the country.

Here's Santa's sleigh (AKA Pops' truck) loaded with goodies for the animals.

Two very contented cats

Here's our pond. You can see how the floods throughout the south have affected the pond. It's out of its banks all the way around (note the water line on the tree--the water is going down but more rain is expected on Christmas Eve).
Where is the grub and what's taking so long?

We left to come home knowing that all the animals were taken care of and would be warm and content for Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In Sickness and in Health

Wow, I wonder if my hubby actually knew what he was saying when we spoke our marriage vows over 44 years ago. However, let me just say that I am SO thankful for him these last 10 days following knee replacement surgery. He has had to go above and beyond the "call of duty." When one has this type surgery, one is almost completely dependent on someone else for the first few days. He was there for every move I made. I really felt bad for him to have to be there all the time, but I really wanted him there with me, too. When we came home, he had to be creative in many ways in order for me to take a shower, sleep, eat, and just about every thing else. He came through with all of the above. SO, I thank God for a caring, loving husband who has taken care of me the last few days. Thankfully, I am much better now and can do most things for myself so he's getting a break, but I would not want to go through this without him.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Special Christmas Present/Decoration

Recently I decided to retire at the end of this semester. I've worked with many special people, but one in particular and I have job shared the last twelve years allowing both of us to work part-time. She's been my prayer warrior, encourager, and special friend as we've both been through serious illnesses, family deaths, as well as celebrations of life and large and small victories. There aren't many friends/co-workers like Ramona and I appreciate her very much and will miss her. Yesterday she stopped by my house and left a special present at the door for me---I didn't even know she had come by. As I've mentioned before, everyone in our family has graduated from Auburn University so we bleed orange and blue. Ramona's loyalty is to another team across the state so I REALLY appreciate this gift--it was a supreme sacrifice for her to pay money for this! Take a look at my cute little Auburn Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Christmas Card Carousel

Even knee surgery and physical therapy couldn't keep me from taking part in Faith's Christmas Card Carousel! When she announced on her blog that she planned to host that, I wanted to take part in it. Be sure you go over to her blog to check out the many cute Christmas cards that people have linked there. Ours is a picture of our grandchildren when we went on a "field trip" back in May to Colonial Williamsburg. Since that was such a special trip to us and hopefully to them, I wanted to put their pictures on our Christmas card. They dressed in colonial costumes and walked around Williamsburg all day. What fun we had!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Home for Christmas!

I wrote in a post last week that I found out I needed to have knee replacement surgery before Christmas. Last Wednesday was the day. I had a host of people praying for me and I went into the surgery feeling a peace from all the prayers. The surgery went well and I came home from the hospital yesterday. Tomorrow I will start out patient physical therapy. I have missed out on many of the "blog parties" going on during the holidays, but am thankful to be home and have the surgery behind me. For those of you who were praying for me, thanks so very much. Now I'm home and looking forward to Christmas and being with family. Merry Christmas to all of you and remember-----------Jesus is the reason for the season.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!

On November 13th I found out I needed to have knee surgery. That near the holidays PLUS the birth of our fifth grandchild threw me into overdrive! I immediately went out to buy stocking "stuffers" and Christmas presents, addressed Christmas cards and mailed them the day before Thanksgiving, pulled out all of the Christmas decorations, and got really, really busy. My hubby helped tremendously by putting up the tree, putting the lights on it as well as all of the ornaments. While I don't think I've done EVERYTHING I might have done if surgery hadn't been planned, I have finally gotten everything done that we really wanted to do and decided to take some pictures of our house. I LOVE Christmas and want it to look warm and inviting for our friends and family whether it's a year we can actually entertain or not. I really wanted it to look good for the physical therapists who will be coming in post-surgery! Here are a few pictures of our house ready for Santa!!
I love Santas and have collected them for a few years now. They always grace our mantel at Christmas time and each year I add one or two given to me by some of my friends or family. Also, this year I did something new. I've never had a wreath on the mirror about the fireplace but bought a live wreath from Home Depot this year and, after seeing a picture of a wreath on a mirror, I decided to try that this year. I really like it there.

The buffet has an assortment of Christmas items on it including Christmas plates and Santa pictures.

These stuffed animals sit on the stairs and wait patiently for Santa's arrival. I started putting them out when our grandchildren were born. They enjoyed seeing and playing with the bears and mouse so I still put them there.

The stairs have a simple garland draped on the banister with the addition of red bows. If I had more time, I would probably add a few things to the garland but this will have to do this year.

I love lighthouses and have one that I use at Christmas along with some other houses that people have given me. It's difficult to see them clearly in this picture, but they're on a table in our living room.

Finally, here's our Christmas tree this year. It's waiting and ready for some grandchildren to get here and shake the presents under the tree while trying to guess what's in each one. My mother made the Christmas tree skirt for us years ago (not too many years before she died) and every year I look at it and think of her love when I see all the stitches she put into that tree skirt. It's a special treasure because she made it especially for us.

Be sure to visit Thoughts From Over the Rainbow to see more Christmas decorations.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Mosaic of Our Weekend

In the previous post, I mentioned our full weekend of birthday and basketball. I decided to just make a mosaic of the very full and fun weekend!

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see more mosaics!

Happy 11th Birthday, Ashlyn!

Last weekend we visited our children and grandchildren. It was a fun weekend filled with a birthday party and basketball games where we saw two of our granddaughters play, our grandson played his first basketball game ever, and our oldest granddaughter cheered for her very first time. They play and cheer for Upwards Basketball which is a really great Christian basketball league for children. However, this post is about the birthday girl so here are some pictures of the party. We thank God for a healthy, happy eleven years for Ashlyn!! We love you, Ash!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving at the FARM

We decided to spend Thanksgiving Day at The Farm. I've eaten many holiday dinners there that were cooked by my grandmother. Ours wasn't nearly as good as the ones she prepared, but we still had fun. I counted the generations and our grandchildren are the fifth generation of people who have either lived on that land or at least have been able to enjoy it. As soon as we drove up, our grandchildren quickly hopped out of the car and immediately went to the gate outside the barn to see the animals. I've posted some pictures of our day at the Farm including a NEW animal that we have now.
Here we are in the kitchen enjoying our Thanksgiving Dinner.
Aubrey is hand feeding the cows, and, by the end of the day, she had all of the goats and cows eating out of her hand. She also gave every one of them a name.
They had the animals eating out of their SHIRT as well!!
Ashlyn loves to fish and immediately caught this HUGE bass on her little Scooby Doo rod and reel! She pulled it in all by herself and I believe that's the largest bass caught in that pond in MANY years. We were all so excited for her.
Isn't that the cutest face on a goat? This goat is my favorite!
Here's the newest member of our animal family--a Black Angus bull that the girls named Big Daddy. I agree and wouldn't argue with him (but he's not aggressive at all).
Apparently the fish were ready for their Thanksgiving Dinner as well. Here's our younger son with the nice bass he caught.
The bass weren't the only fish biting. The little bream were having a feast on the bait. I guess they like earthworms for Thanksgiving Dinner because they were busy biting!!! Here's Keely with one of her prize (???) catches.
Here are all four of our grandchildren doing what all children do best! They were playing in the loft of the barn and made a playhouse out of scrap lumber and wooden blocks. They had a table and chairs up there that they made out of the lumber by stacking it.
I don't know when I've had a better Thanksgiving. They're all good but this year I was reminded of Thanksgivings past and present. I'm thankful for the family I had who have gone on but left good memories as well as values, morals, and spirituality that are influencing our family in a positive way still today. And, I'm thankful for the family I have with me now that I love and enjoy. I'm thankful for good health to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. And, above all, I'm thankful for the hope I have because of my relationship with Jesus.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fall Fun in Florida

We have a couple of trees in our yard and our neighbor's yard that look like fall. That's about as close as we get to fall in Florida. However, they're really pretty and today two of our granddaughters and the neighbor's daughters raked leaves and had fun jumping into the pile. They took turns covering each other up and jumping out of the pile of leaves. It was refreshing to watch them having fun outside doing something as simple as jumping in the leaves.

Also, the Confederate Rose is still in full bloom in our yard. Our three granddaughters enjoyed picking the blooms and making bouquets and decorations for their hair. They looked so pretty with the flowers in their hair. The girls were pretending they were living as orphans on a plantation and somehow the flowers played into their pretend play. It's nice to see them still enjoying make-believe.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I have so much to be thankful for today and always---not the least of which are these three granddaughters in the pictures and our grandson who wasn't in any of the pictures. It's been a fun week having family here with us.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Christmas Wreath

Some of you may have read Amanda's post on making a Christmas wreath with ornaments. Two of our grandchildren are here this week and they love crafts. I thought that would be something fun for them to do so we went to Hobby Lobby. We found red, green, gold, white, and bronze ornaments to put on the green styrofoam form. When we came home they were ready to make the wreath so we set up a table and the hot glue gun and they started. Here are some pictures of the wreath as it progressed through the afternoon.

Finally, the finished project---Didn't they do a great job? Thanks for sharing your wreath on your blog, Amanda.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving in Many Languages

с днём благодарения
Bonne Action de grâce!
Bonne Appetie
Boldog Halaadas Napot Kivanok!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Turkey Day, Y'all!
I've mentioned before that our Small Group Bible Study is comprised of people from Canada, Russia, Hungary, and the United States. We're very multi-cultural which makes it even more interesting. We can thank the Lord in many languages. Tonight we shared a Thanksgiving meal together. Also, we were celebrating the baptism of one of our newest members, Chris. We have so very much to be thankful for--in whatever language! All of these people bless me in ways they'll never know. So, at Thanksgiving 2009, to all of our small group members, you are a blessing to me and to many. May God bless you always.