Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Making Merry

My most favorite time of the year is here... It's here in all it's splendor. 
Moments of thankfulness
Red
Green
Twinkle lights
Quiet 
Christmas Trees
Hopes for snowy days
Presents 
Evenings with only the light of the tree
Holiday making
Gosh... I LOVE IT!
This year is no different. I began my Christmas decorating right before my birthday, Nov 6th. So I could enjoy my tree... this year, TREES! on my actual birth-day.
I've added touches here and there since then, but the main things were up early. 

Bessie the suburban gets adorned for the season as well with a wreath and some garland on the luggage rack! 
These are a few of my favorite things. 
For several years I have been wanting to have a smallish second tree in the kitchen area. I was given this little skinny tree and it is a perfect fit! 
I decided to go with colored lights for a different look. Then the decorations were ones that were a bit more 'rustic'. Wooden, outdoorsy, and red burlap bows. 

This is Leon. Shannon made him for me and he sits on my windowsill above the sink. So as I am washing dishes he is there to make me smile. 
It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 


Monday, November 28, 2016

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is such a sweet time for us. We are so grateful to have a large family and plenty of meals to share with them. We have several Thanksgivings that we go to... but only one Thanksgiving at home. And our traditions are not traditional. Since we normally have big, traditional meals every other place we go, we opt for a yummy meal that we don't often have for our day at home. Most often, lasagna wins out. It's a big hit with the whole family and once it's made... it's a one pan wonder! So that means I get to spend time doing things with the family too. 

This year, Eli went to his first ever ham shoot during the day of Thanksgiving. Although there were no prizes for 2nd place, he took home that title and the enjoyment of doing very well at his first ever shoot!

While he was busy, the younger kids and I played games. 
Sorry, The Allowance Game, and Operation.

Operation is a stressful game for me. I get so focused on trying to remove those pieces that the buzzer panics me when it sounds. Not a fan... haha, but the kids thought it was hilarious and we all laughed at my nervousness. 

I'm so thankful for time with my family. It is the most precious thing we have. I hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving week as well!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ornaments 2016

Each year, the family gets new ornaments for the tree. I usually let them pick anything they want. I will admit there are a few times I've straight up said, "No." haha 
But for the most part, I am usually very pleased with the choices from everyone and I love our tradition. 
The first ornament is Abram's. A red truck with a red present, and a Christmas tree. I think it is SO cute. It's probably one of my favorite ornaments right now. And almost every single year he picks a very RED ornament. 
Shannon's ornament is the manger scene. I will admit, it wasn't a color choice that I was crazy about, but it looks really pretty on the tree since our tree has so many varieties of color and shapes.
The chevron striped ornament is Cameo's. This one is a bit unusual for her, she seems to choose a reindeer of some sorts most years... but I really like this ornament. Cute choice!
Carlie's ornament is the cupcake. Which I think is totally adorable. Carlie almost always picks the most glittered ornament she can find... but when she found this cupcake at Eddie's earlier this season she was crazy about it and decided to stray from the glitter love and go for the cupcake. She loves texture too, and this is really soft and squishy and that appealed to her also. 
Eli chose a more primitive looking ornament and I really like it. A big elk inside a shadowbox Christmas tree. It looks like wood, but it is super light. We put his and my ornaments on the "Country Kitchen" Christmas tree. I'll show some pics of the whole thing a little later. 
And here's mine. Wooden yarn spools, gingham, jingly bells, and joy all shaped in a snowflake?!?! Love this ornament! It was so cute. I was tickled when I saw this one. 

So there you go... so many varieties and so many personalities.. but all one family and I love them all.

Have a wonderful day, friends!!!

By the way...
 ONE WEEK til THANKSGIVING!!! YAY!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Helpfulness

Last weekend we had a very busy time. We went to our cousins wedding reception and then had to get home to cook for our Thanksgiving meal at church the next day. Alone, this could have taken me hours and hours... but thankfully my sweet family came alongside and asked to take over certain dishes. So with my general instructions, they set out to work and we all worked alongside together to make the rather hefty task much more manageable! 
We had chicken stock to be jarred up.
Chicken to de-bone
Macaroni and cheese to be made.
Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
Rice to be cooked in the instant pot
Ham
Deviled eggs
Gorilla bread

It was a lot of work.
We washed and put away a lot of dishes... but the sweet time of having *almost* the whole family together was so precious. (Cameo was out of town :( *sad face )
The kitchen was cleaned up and we had time to do other things once we were all finished! 


The food turned out great! And everyone practiced or learned new skills. 
Carlie Jean is determined there is nothing more fun than kneading dough, and thinks maybe she wants to be a baker. 

I'm so blessed. My heart is full! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It's Shoebox Time

Every year my family and I head up the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox drive at our church. We begin with a kick-off in July. A "Christmas in July" theme to remind everyone that just a little here and there can go a long way to fill these boxes. So we begin taking up donations from all over. And here we are at delivery week! 
Yesterday, we went to the local distribution site and were blessed to drop off 44 boxes! 
Our AHG and Trail Life troops helped by putting together some boxes as well! It was such a blessing to see so many involved! 

We set up a few displays around our church to remind people to bring in donations when they were able. 

Our youth department at church always helps with this ministry. They help fill boxes and stack them. A couple of times we went to the store and bought supplies to help fill boxes. They even made some tic-tac-toe bags to put in the shoeboxes as well. I love Operation Christmas Child and I love seeing everyone take part! A big THANKS to everyone who donated, gave money, or helped pack boxes! Your generosity doesn't go unnoticed! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Celebrating Family

Over the weekend we went down to my Uncle's barn to celebrate the marriage of my cousin. They got married last month but the reception was Saturday.
It was a great day. The decorations were absolutely gorgeous. The food was wonderful. And the fellowship was even better! 

It's always a treat to be together with family. There was music, corn hole, the kids played football and  of course when our bunch gets together, there was plenty of laughter.

The adorable sign... the food was a big taco/burrito bar! Love it!




It was such a fun day. It makes me think of my Nannie Red who would have LOVED to see the family all together! I sure do miss her... but she lives on in our memories and our family, and we are not without hope. She belonged to Jesus, so we will see her again one day! 

Have a wonderful day!



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Recognition Sunday

Recognition Sunday
Last Sunday our troop took part in a Youth service at the church we meet at on Monday nights. We wanted to make sure to tell the church that we appreciated them for allowing us to use the facility and to show honor for what our troops stand for. 
Eli and Abram were part of the color guard. They presented the Christian flag. It was very special.
Here's Carlie and the rest of her troop of American Heritage Girls. 
Aren't they sweet? They recited their creed and oath and they all did the pledge of Allegiance. 
From where I was sitting, I didn't get a good vantage point to take pictures. But there is the color guard. And that handsome bald chaplain too. ;) 
The boys reciting their creed and pledge also. 

It was a special day, and the fact that it happened on my birthday made it even more special. 

Have a great day!