Friday, December 31, 2010

Nice way...

to end the year sharing a meal with dear friends!
Went to dinner with some dear friends and came back here for coffee
and "good" conversation!
All our Christmas lights are on for the last time this year and we will start taking down decorations tomorrow. But all the snowmen stay! They'll hang around through February or the early part of March.

Here's to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
May the generous blessings of our Father God overtake and saturate each and everyone!
And may He be truly glorified in all we think, do and say!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

6th day ...the "royal" treatment!

Went to my friend's home for luncheon and we were treated like royalty!
The food was delicious and the presentation 5 Star+!
Her home is so cozy and inviting and her Christmas lights made perfect the ambience.
It was so special that we had a hard time leaving!
I knew I should have taken my camera! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the 5th day of Christmas...

I watched a Christmas movie that I had wanted to see all season! Okay....I know that's not unusual but this was a bit different for me.
The movie came on at 8 AM! I don't ever remember watching a movie that early in the day!
And actually it was quite enjoyable!
Sat in my PJs sipping coffee and just enjoying the "fire" and the Christmas tree and really enjoying the movie...a Hallmark one...had several good "messages".

Now I've retreated to our bedroom to "do something" to change things up a bit, shifting furniture around if I can. Oh how Mike loves it when I do that! (not!)
Hopefully the vision I have in my head will materialize in the room!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On the 4th day of Christmas...

as the snow begins to melt, I am grateful for the visit to my friend's lovely home and the delicious Earl Grey and great conversation. What a special treat!
Don't you love it when you can enter someone's home and feel such a presence of peace and happiness! Ah....selah! It sure does a "body" good!

Enjoyed the beautiful drive up 485 and back again...listening to music and enjoying the sunshine!

Then off to Harris Teeter for groceries. Got those collards that I will probably cook tomorrow
and stick in the fridge for Saturday's lunch. It's going to be a delicious New Year's lunch!
And yes, cornbread's on the menu. It will definitely be a v-e-r-y Southern New Year's day!

Love being home with my hubby on this beautiful day four afternoon!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day 3

What is it about SNOW that makes me want to clean? Oh, not on the day it's actually snowing but on the next day when it's so crisp and cold and the sun's bursting on the scene!
I was planning on leaving up the decorations through January 7 but somehow I've got the "put-away and clean-up" bug that is also tugging at the little grey cells to redo, refresh, makeover!
So far today I've rested quite a bit and did put away some Christmas things. Just wanted to simplify the winter decor. I'm liking what I've done so far but hopefully I'll be able to do a bit more each day.
My social calendar has a few plans this week and these are things I also want to do.
Am visiting a friend tomorrow for tea and then maybe I'll be inspired to come home and tackle a few things. Lunch out with some of my friends another day and I must shop for the New Year's Day meal...gotta get those collards! Oh yea and the black-eyed peas which I may already have some that I froze over the summer from the Farmer's Market. Not sure about the other fare...cornbread is a possiblity and .........ummm,... I'll figure it out later on! Still have time!
In the meantime I'm flitting around, getting makeover ideas from HGTV and deciding what winter items I want to leave out.
Chick Fil-A salads will be our supper so maybe after a movie with Mike I can coerce him into helping me clear things out! Or by that time we may just want to read!
Oh yea, back to the Snow's clean and white and bright and that's how I want our house to look and feel...kind of how I'm feeling too so it's definitely a good thing!
Just makes me want to smile!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The second day of Christmas and ...

all through the house, everything was quiet and we looked forward to the rest.

And all of a sudden the telephone rang and it was Anna with news of an alarming kind-

they had no power and the cold was setting in... so... you guessed it...they came, with snow gear in tow and four excited munchkins eager to play in the snow.

They ate their McDonald's and curled up to watch Rudolph a bit while their food did digest.

Out came the Leggos, the teaset and more, the play dough and cars and figures galore!

They were here! They were there! And everywhere I went a leggo, a car, shoes, socks, and coats

and then the time came for the great outdoors!

And while they were preparing and I was making zip-lock "boots", they quickly discovered and to their chagrin...the keys to their van were locked, yes, inside...another challenge for them!

Thank goodness for AAA who came with great speed and rescued the keys from their vehicle domain and on to the snow here they came!

Papa was there to encourage the fun, the walk through the woods and slippery runs!

As for me...ah...I sat, all alone by the fire, sipping my coffee and getting renewed, ready for the "snowbunnies" as they came one by one and fixing hot cocoa with marshmellow fun!

Out came the Leapsters, Papa's puzzle and Kellan's trains- you know the ones that have all the names- like Thomas and Toby and Rosie and Percy and that's about all I remember in the mind that serves me!

We all piled in the living room to sit by the fire and we cuddled and snuggled and laughed and we yawned...and then was the phone call...the power was ON!

And so they were gone as quickly as they'd come and Papa and I...well, we did succomb to the sofa and blankets and just settled down...back to the quiet while sweet memories did abound!

Christmas Snow!

One the first evening of Christmas and into the second day, the Father gave us snow!!!!
What a beautiful gift!
Thank You Father God!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before...

Christmas Eve...just love to say it!
Ours has been a productive one...straightening up the house, preparing for family coming tomorrow for lunch (before the know, our White Christmas!).
Mike worked outside and I, inside. The tables are set, the stockings stuffed for the Grands-- well actually I used zip- lock Christmas bags this year, but they are stuffed! (Had to go back out for a few more items for the younger ones.) Food is ready for tomorrow's oven. The Yule log is burning for 24 hours on Directv's GMC with Christmas music and we just finished watching The Nativity. Thoughts of Mary and Joseph, their struggles and the birth of our Savior are whirring around in my mind.
It's not even 9 pm and I'm ready for sweet sleep.
It is a Holy night...a night for remembering...just what this special season is all about.

Merry Christmas and may the blessings of our Father God overtake you and draw you even closer to Himself in the new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For the record!

Our grandson no longer has "battery included"!
Thank you God!

Christmas countdown!

Love the commercial with the little girl and the "countdown" ornament! She's so cute!
While on our Christmas Lights ventures we've seen several in yards. Kind of makes that excited anticipation kick in!
It isn't about the gifts for Mike and I don't do gifts for each other...remember though I have at least 15 Christmases a year. It's just about the reason for the season and being together with family in a "magical" world of Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, candles, holiday smells, joy and laughter! It isn't even about the food, well maybe the Christmas fudge that April makes! Oh my!
In a little while we will travel across town for that good ole Southern BBQ and stop off to see my parents. We'll sit by their fire and enjoy good, quiet conversation and then head home.
Tomorrow will be a cleaning day for me and Mike will work most of the day. Christmas morning after reading the Christmas story, we'll head over to April and Lee's for breakfast that I don't have to cook! Then since SNOW is coming, we'll have lunch rather than dinner with our kids, grands and Mike's parents and his sister that's in town and her family. That's so everyone can beat the SNOW and get back to their cozy warm homes.
A white that's ANTICIPATION!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh my gosh!

Just when you think "things" may be calming down a bit-wham!
Well we aren't the ones getting "whammed" exactly but our kids and grands.
Actually now one of our "grands" comes complete with batteries or I should say, battery,
included! He was playing around and accidently swallowed a lithium battery which led him and the family on an ER spree, countless phone calls with the Drs. and xrays.
We believe "this too shall pass" and very soon as our prayers have petitioned!

Then, another "grand" shot his BB gun and it ricocheted breaking a van window! (It's fixed now.)
That happened over the weekend.

And then Anna got attacked with a migraine while driving us and I had to take over. She had some grocery shopping to do before Christmas. Made it to one store and then we had to get Dan to leave work and come home to work while she went to bed.
Mike and I took some groceries over and dinner tonight and had a great time with the kids and Anna was much better!
We let the kids open their gifts from us and they were precious! They so enjoyed their interactive Buzz, Woody and Jessie and Kellan, his Toy Story Leggo train.

Actually it has turned out to be a very good day for all...even our grand with "battery included"!
We saw them today and all were in great moods, accompanied by smiles and laughter!
"A merry heart is good medicine!"

On to Christmas! A white one???? Could be!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas musings.....

Our daughter Anna just posted "O Holy Night" sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford and Gordan McCrae. Beautiful...just beautiful....
The birth of our Savior was just that...a Holy night...a Divine night.
How I love to hear the carols of His birth, but...I am so thankful that He no longer is the child in the manger but that He is the Son of God...The Word made flesh...The King of Kings...the Savior of the world for those who want and accept Him as that!
He came to pay a "debt" we couldn't pay. He came to put us in right relationship with the Father.
He came to give us new life...abundant life...victorious life. Everything we need we have through and in Him...healing- spiritual and physical, everything that pertains to life and godliness.
We now can live through Him, empowered by Him, strengthened by Him. We are now in a "win-win" situation...joint heirs with Christ! How awesome is that!
Jesus is Christmas...sacrificial giving, unconditional love. What a Gift!
"What a Gift " is right but for us to benefit from that precious Gift, we must receive Him, allow Him to come into our hearts and live through us...Emmanuel, God with us!

Monday, December 20, 2010

"As stars in heaven"

"Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her...
...The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven."
-Hans Christian Anderson

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A bit of Christmas at my parents...

Our Family Christmas!

Here we are minus me and a niece and nephew and our daughter-in-law, but the rest of us are all there!
We met at my parents' home next door to my sister for lots of goodies, good ole Southern BBQ with all the fixings
and the most wonderful fellowship!
We laughed so much and just enjoyed the "entertainment" of being all together with countless conversations going on...all at once!
It was practically perfect and the snow was the "icing on the cake"! It snowed two different times and was sticking on the grass and cars for a while! All us "kids" were going crazy over it!
What a special little treat from God!
Christmas is especially special when you can share it with dear family and friends!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Golden Moment

Yesterday our home was graced with the presence of three of my "Treasures". It was truly a "golden moment". They had not been able to attend the Weddington Park Christmas party so I brought them home for a small party here. Mike was here to help them in and out while I held onto Miss Darcy, who was chomping at the bits to just run up and "greet" them.
It was a wonderful "golden" time. They were so sweet telling me how beautiful our home was and one of my friends said that she so wished she could see it. She's been blind for many years now. That was a bit of an emotional challenge for me but it didn't dampen our festive spirits!
They even had gone shopping for me the day before with one of their daughters and bought me a lovely unique vase. I never expected that.
We feasted on various Christmas cookies and petit fours and sipped cranbery gingerale from fancy glasses. We sat by the fire and visited; it was a lovely couple of hours!
Now they want to come back when the weather turns warm and sit on the porch! Of course we will do that!
This was just one of my many Christmas blessings I've experienced this blessed Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"{Christmas is} the season for kindling the fire
of hospitality in the hall,
the genial flame of charity in the heart."

Washington Irving

Monday, December 13, 2010

A must ...

for any fans of McAlister's tea. They have an ornament just for you and here it is!
Even with a"lemon wedge" floating in the "tea"!
Very clever, I say!
And only $4.99.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Childlike Weekend"

Many of our Christmas "things" are for the Grands...for the children and for the child-in-me!
So love this Mickey Mouse arrangement my friend's sister made! Reminds me a bit when my college roommate and I wore Mickey Mouse ears to all our classes one day! Ah, those were the days! :)
Christmas really brings out the childlikeness in me and it certainly did last Friday night when Mike and I went as elves to our church Christmas party! (Sorry I didn't get a picture to share)
Was it dress up? No! Did Mike want to do it? Heck no! But he did it for me! Our church family loved it and we endured their laughter and teasing, especially Mike! That's why we did bring a bit more laughter and just because I wanted to do something a bit different!
I dearly love to laugh! And I dearly love this Christmas season!

Of Nutcrackers, Dancing Flowers and such...

The stage lights darkened, costumes being put away, the Union County Youth Ballet has now finished their 19th annual Nutcracker performance.
We entered the magical land of dancing snowflakes and flowers, Queens of snow and sugarplum
fairies, scurrying mice and fighting rats, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Arabian dancers, and a host of heavenly angels of all shapes and sizes!
And I must say that each year , the performances have brought tears to my eyes. To see these youth from ages 4/5 to 18 years, dancing their hearts out with such spirit and skill touches me beyond words. It's a beautiful ballet and so beautifully done!
How I wished I could have hugged each and every dancer and told them how wonderfully they performed. Instead I just hugged our granddaughter and let her represent the others!
This is always a special part of our Christmas celebration ; Mike and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nutcracker countdown!

Two down and four more to go...
performances that is!
Here's Makenna with the Nutcracker...he's so handsome and she's beautiful!
School performances were today and there's one more performance tonight and three tomorrow.
Mike and I will go tomorrow night and hopefully Mike won't fall asleep...Ballet seems to have that effect on him...don't know why!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the serious side...

Just finished a Christmas novella, "The Face of Mary". Even though it was a bit predictable in places, the Lord used it to "speak" to me...actually "correct" me.
At the beginning of the novella, there was a scripture opposite the page of the first chapter and it said, " For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Read this last night and it began to tug at my heart. Didn't realize how hard it "tugged" until this morning.
You see, at age 58, it has been too easy getting caught up in my "outward" appearance...."wrinklely" neck, face, etc. I found myself becoming too concerned about getting older, well actually with looking older....hmmmm.
I've told God that I want to age the way He wants and no other way. Hey! Moses was 120 and his "natural forces were not abated"; Caleb led an army, fought and won at age 80 and Sarah, in her nineties was so beautiful that a king desired her!

I do believe in taking care of ourselves. The Bible tells us that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit and yes, I want to be the best temple I can be but there is a balance to all this!
Rather than getting so caught up in our personal appearance, we should be working on our hearts! And the way to do that is by feeding daily on the Word, meditating on it, choosing to reflect the heart of Christ, showing his love to all who come across our paths. Several other scriptures went along with this...Proverbs 29:25..."The fear of man brings a snare..." being afraid of how people look at me, receive me...that attitude ensnares me, traps me and I could never be "good enough or pretty enough" for man. That's a "no win" situation!
Galatians 1:10b " I seek to please men?"
All I need to do is please God and how do I do that? By first receiving His most precious Gift-Jesus and developing a relationship with Him, by taking Him at His Word, spending time with Him, spending time in the Word allowing it to transform me, changing me into the image of Christ.

With His help I can change. I can enjoy the "journey" that I am on and work on what's truly important!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just a few pics!

Here's just a few pictures!
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens Christmas Lights!

A "Magical" Winter Wonderland

"Sleigh bells ring"...well, it wasn't really sleigh bells; it was bells the carolers had.
"Are you listening? In the lane snow is glistening"...okay, it wasn't snow either...but
it was thousands of "merry Christmas" lights!
"A beautiful sight, happy tonight...walking in a winter wonderland!" And it was!!!
A beautiful sight and a winter wonderland....and it is at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in
Belmont, NC...not too far from here!

It's a "must see"! It does cost...$12 a person but it was worth it! You can walk around outside and inside. You ride a tram through much of the gardens and it's just plain FUN!

Delicious hot cider, cocoa, or coffee and Christmas cookies and other treats are available and it's perfect after being out in the cold, freezing weather.

Check it out on the web and GO!

PS...didn't have my camera...bummer! But our friend took some pics on his Iphone but I'm having difficulty getting them to my blog! Am such a computer wiz here...maybe I can figure it out later!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Now I almost feel as though I can sit back and relax a bit since my main Christmas "responsibilities" are done! I mean the things I was in charge of....still have PLENTY of activities coming up but it seems all "down hill" now!
Nutcracker stuff next week, church Christmas party, get-to-gethers with friends and family...
all good fellowship.
Tomorrow I'll have a special time with "my" girls...our daughters/daughter by marriage too, while Mike will do something with our son. Just "all us girls" will be a first having our daughter by marriage join us and we are SO looking forward to our time! (Have wonderful daughters AND sons for that matter!)
Sunday after church we decorate Mike's parents' house and then meet friends for the Stowe Botanical Gardens' Christmas tour and dinner at Sammy's in Belmont!
Just gets better and better!
It's a "Merry Christmas..Merry, Merry Christmas" time!

What a Thursday!

Yesterday was one "fun-filled" day! It was the Weddington Park Assisted Living Christmas party hosted by our church and then book club last night!

It all went very well and the residents were so appreciative. We had Christmas goodies, stockings, candies and then they made Christmas crafts. Twelve of us from church served them, encouraged them and helped them with their crafts. It was wonderful to see them all just jump in and really love on the Treasures. Had three teens to come and I was so proud of their mingling and their eagerness to serve. It couldn't have been better!

Sharing a few pictures....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Nativity

For years I wanted a special Nativity. I could see it in my mind and heart but just never could actually find it. Oh, we've had several over the years that found their way to other homes but never the one I envisioned.
A few years ago I read Jan Karon's Shepherds Abiding from the Mitford series and all the talk of the Nativity Father Tim was restoring for Cynthia, his wife, (read it! the whole series is great!) just awakened my "dream" Nativity.
One day a couple of years ago I was out and about and running low on time, I decided to quickly run in a Family Christian Bookstore to pick up a few small gifts. Actually I really just wanted to go on home but something or Someone was "tugging" on me so I went inside. As I entered the door my eyes quickly went to the right and there it was! "My dream Nativity"!
I practically ran to it and could hardly believe my eyes. I didn't see another like it and found a sales clerk, only to discover that was the very last one...the VERY LAST one! He packed it ever so carefully for me and I brought it home and immediately set it out.
This isn't a very good picture and one day I'll get a better one but here is some of it. It's on the sofa table at the front window in our livingroom. I have tiny white lights around it hidden by fresh pine and cedar. The first year I put it up, it came down with all the other Christmas decorations but for some reason last year I left it out...all year.
Had a preacher long ago who said that we should leave something "Christmas" out all through the year to remind us of the Spirit of Christmas...the true meaning. You know, like Ebeneezer Scrooge,
who promised to keep the spirit of Christmas in his heart all year and according to Dickens, he did!
So our nativity no longer gets put away but stays in a place of honor all year through. It reminds me of God's unconditonal love for all mankind and that I should aspire to show that kind of love to all who come across my path...and especially to my family, who sometimes, unfortunately see the worst of me but are also growing in that unconditonal love.
We all need to be reminded.
Well then, what part of Christmas will you leave out?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Reflections Day 2

Two of our Christmas trees this year, the bigger one in our den and the other in our livingroom.
I turn them on every morning when I first get up and usually keep the den one on all day.
It's geared to the Grands with the Peanuts gang on a sled, a stuffed Santa and reindeer, Charlie Brown and Snoopy with the famous "Charlie Brown" tree and a piano that plays the theme from Charlie's Christmas show and my favorite musical bears...all under and around the tree.
And yes, that's exactly where all the Grands head when they come. Christmas trees have a "magnetic presence" about them, I do believe. At least they do on me!