Monday, December 31, 2012


All to Jesus I surrender;
all to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
in His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
(J. W. VanDeventer)
A simple song running through my head today - we sang it yesterday in church but I just can't shake it. Loving the simple lyrics and message. Blessings to you as you contemplate the new year and new goals and changes you want to make in your life! Thanks for being my blog buddies and friends!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


We just got in from Nashville, where we got to attend our nephew and his sweet wife's wedding!  It was kind of a wild trip, leaving the day after Christmas and then moving slowly through Arkansas, who had record snowfall on Christmas day.  We counted 60 vehicles in the ditch or stuck in the median!  But onto the fun stuff:

They got married at a really unique place called the "Factory" in Franklin.  
I was excited to get to help out a little the afternoon before by working on this table.  My pics aren't that great, but you get the idea...really "pinteresty"- my daughter's new adjective. 

This was a really neat divider - made of old doors and windows hanging from the ceiling.  They put a table for gifts by it and lots of pics hanging clothesline style in front of it.  
Then I helped my nieces do the table centerpieces. I love it when everybody pitches in to make it a great occasion! You can see the room divider better in this one.

Yes, I did actually stick my camera up in the air and take it...for all the family members who couldn't attend to see... btw my college son is on the bottom left - his first time to be a groomsman!
One of my favorites!  HA!
One of the things I loved was that they had some home-made sweets in addition to the wedding cakes.  Both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom made goodies - beautiful sugar cookies and cake balls.  The guests didn't have to wait for the cake to be cut to get a bite of something sweet.  I'm loving this new trend!
Handsome men in our family!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


 I decided to make a special gift for my daughter to open from me Christmas morning!  (It was her first time to be away from the family on Christmas day, and after I got over myself, I realized it might be harder on her than me)  Tied it up with her favorite colors:  blue and green.  I hoped it would be something she would really love.

Here it is:  A hand-embroidered tea towel and her favorite candy!  She's been wanting one of my tea towels since I've started making these for brides.  I worked hard on it the past past few weeks every spare minute to get it finished.  AND she loves coffee!

As my Grandmommie used to say, "Every stitch a kiss!"

Monday, December 24, 2012


One I hadn't heard of...yes, because I'm so young - HA!  But we enjoyed meeting and hearing THIS AWESOME LADY sing at our family Christmas party.  She is an aunt by marriage to my aunt.  She was visiting from California, and her brother, my aunt's father-in-law is on piano.  We loved it!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Since my kids were small, I've been attempting to make Gingerbread Bowls each Christmas - learned it from Martha Stewart!   You did notice the word attempt?  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  But I've kept trying and eating the!  

Most of the time they turn out and we've given them filled with goodies to teachers and neighbors!  I actually took a few pics this time so I could give some step-by-step instructions for all you visual learners out there:
Cover a small oven proof bowl with foil and spray with non-stick coating.
Use any stiff gingerbread recipe, chilled.  
Roll out into a circle that will cover your bowl.
I skipped a few steps here, but essentially cover the bowl with the dough and smooth down gently.
Using a small cookie cutter, cut out holes near the rim. I press other small cookie cutter shapes into it just to give it a unique look.  Chill for an hour.
Bake approx. 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool for at least an hour and ease the cookie bowl off.
Thread ribbon through the holes and fill with goodies for your gift.  I usually wrap in the clear cellophane wrap and finish it off with curly ribbon.   Fun to make and eat!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


It's the "12 Days of Christmas" meets "O Christmas Tree"...

Aaaahhh...much better?  The green suit strikes again at 
Winter Formal Saturday night!

Love that boy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


and I'm sure if you're family is doing well, you aren't either.  I'm far removed from the violence right now, but who knows about tomorrow?  Friday night was a quiet one for me with all my family members out and about doing different things.  I sat in my comfortable living room, stitching away and did watch 90 minutes of news coverage of the tragedy.  I clicked it off, deciding to not to let bad news take over - thankful I can do that with the click of a switch.  The doorbell rang.  Thinking it was a late Fedex delivery, I went to the door and found 7 little elementary aged girls and 1 mom, singing Christmas carols.  Sweet sounds from little voices. Several were my neighbors.  Wow, did that stir my emotions!  Beautiful children protected from the tragedy - I had to hug them!

Here's my little neighbors at our "traditional" Christmas craft night.  Anything I do with them they call TRADITION, so I'm not getting out of it anytime soon!  I hope we get many more!
Burlap owl ornaments

Edible gingerbread cookie wreaths

Recycled ornaments using lids and old cards

Friday, December 14, 2012


Fun and festive...

LOL!  It's a red pom pom but you can't really tell here...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


When we moved in 12 years ago, we were in the midst of renovations for 6 months.  It was chaos, folks!  About half our stuff crammed into a few rooms,  refrigerator in the garage, microwave in the office, and the only big sink in the laundry room.  Lots of workers in and out of the house, and thank goodness it was summer and we had a pool to relax in...but it really did test my sanity!  There were a few things that I just didn't have time (or money) to mess with, and the entryway light was one of them.  I picked out one of the cheapest builder's grade chandeliers because there were more important things to work on.  It became less and less important to me so this is what we had the last 12 years:

You know, it was really fine.  My home's not a showhome, nor do I want it to be!  But since we've been updating and thinking "what if" for the future, I decided to get something a little nicer (that didn't look like a dining room fixture).  Here's the new one:

Pretty huh? Not too fancy and not too plain.   If you're like me and you start looking at light fixtures, it becomes a blur after looking at about 10 of them.  I actually picked this out online, then went to the store to get it.  They had to order it but that worked out okay and I'm really happy with it.  Merry Christmas to my house!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Our Bible class has a Christmas party every year, and we try to have variety in our activities.  I guess there's something to be said for traditions, but our leader likes variety and to keep people guessing.  Keeps it fresh!  Well anyway, the opportunity came up at Parent's Night at school, and I grabbed it.  I asked the music teacher if ACT II would come perform at our party.  (I've been involved as a volunteer for a number of years and all 3 of my kids have been her students, but I never wanted to ask for fear something might not work out, and well, you know....forever hate me and give my kid an "F" in music!)

So YES, she said YES, and we had some awesome entertainment at our class party!  Five of the kids in the group are from our congregation.  Even got to see my kid in a couple of special numbers I hadn't seen before.  Pretty sweet when everything works out...

Partial group pic - so maybe we sat WAY too close to the front...

Here's our baby!  Aren't they the cutest?

He even does a song with the "Andrews" sisters!  

Enjoy your week and some Christmas tunes!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


for the college kids!  I decided to have a little Come & Go Christmas party for the college kids we know.  They've got finals next week.  The nice thing is you don't have to make any fancy invitations for college kids!  My objective was to have lots of goodies to munch on, no real sit-down dinner so that maybe we'd have a chance to chat with more of them one-on-one.  That part worked out pretty well, but MAN was the food a lot of work!  All the meaty appetizers were gone - I think there was a little spinach dip left, so I probably should remember for next time to make more things with meat! Or just have sandwiches on the side.   I started several days earlier, making as much as possible ahead of time.  Here's the menu, pretty much my favorite things:

Sausage Balls
Devil on Horseback
Spinach Dip
Hawaiian Hotdogs
Pizza Rolls
Cheese tray
Cake Balls
Christmas Trash
Puppy Chow
Banana Bread
Apple Cider Punch

Got to meet my nephew's future MIL!

And one of our "old" college kids stopped by with her husband!

My son (with his new SHORT hair) and some New Reign girls

and a roommate -  told me his Mother will probably hate the mustache!

It's always fun to discover your child has taken pictures with your camera!  This is another roommate.  The kids knew these would end up on the blog, obviously!

Ack!  Not me.
This one's cute even if it wasn't meant to be...

Something good for later...Party favors!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


One of my favorite things to display is my Dad and his sister's toy kitchen set from the 1940's.  But I never felt like I had a good place to put it that really does it justice.  They really need to be together so that takes up some space.  I think I finally found the perfect place - behind the eating booth in the kitchen (where the aquarium used to be)!  What do you think?

Take a look inside the fridge - it's loaded!

I love the little details on the kitchen sink too!

Here's the little mixer- just think if our mixers were half the size of the refrigerator!  

Anyway, just something fun to share with you this holiday season!  Are you getting out any family treasures to display?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


My college kid just finished editing a little video of our Thanksgiving.  It's funny to see his perspective...TAKE A LOOK!

Monday, December 3, 2012


Found this written on a box in the attic this weekend!  Such a sweet discovery.  Written by our college son, long,  long ago to our dear friends and neighbors!  Makes me think back to a simpler time.  These kids are 21 and 20 now, trying to juggle college classes, part-time jobs, and their personal lives.  Reminds me again to pray for them and the people they are becoming.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Well you couldn't tell it's December 1st with the temperatures around here, but the Christmas spirit was getting started at our 2nd "Sweets & Service" event at church!  Once again we bought goodies to fill gift bags for some local nursing home residents and then we also crafted some decorations for them.  Right before lunch we made the delivery and sang songs to them while they were eating lunch.  I think it was a success - lots of smiles and creativity going on this morning!  Here's what we made:

Burlap owls for door decorations

Ornaments made from old Christmas card pictures, plastic lids, and embellishments

I love it that so many Mom brought their daughters!  This little one was so proud of her work!

We had a greeting card message station...

and assembled the goody bags!  Lots of ways to help!

Every owl was unique!  Just the way I like it.  Great way to start off the holiday month!