Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! We have had family over today with lots of fun and food. We have enjoyed every moment. We drew names for Christmas today and realized in the past year our family has really grown! Ive got lots to do now in preparation for Christmas.

My computer has a nasty virus and is in the shop. My daughter is allowing me to use hers for the day to catch up . So I do not have any wonderful pictures to post. I have some great vintage photos on mine and hope they will be recovered!
Have a wonderful week and be safe tomorrow if you shop those sales!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Peace and Harmony During the Holidays

The holiday seasons are upon us and with all the preparations being made, sometimes we overlook some very important details.
Newspapers and magazines will print articles on the rapid rise of depression and stress during the season, and in an attempt to elevate guilt many families go overboard trying to create the perfect celebration. When all of the presents are unwrapped and the turkey is gone, we look at the mountain of bills that start flowing in. And some will feel the great"letdown" of after the season blues!
In our world today many of us are trying to blend families and still maintain traditions of the old. I have learned some important lessons over the years and would like to share them with you.

1) Stop stressing over the gifts! They do not have to be wrapped in gorgeous paper tied with elegant bows and trimmed with personalized ornaments. Nor do they have to be expensive. I love the idea of making handmade gifts, but with my schedule of work and school it is simple impossible. So I gave up that idea a few years ago. Will your family suffer from permament damage if they do not recieve handmade gifts?No! My teenagers could care less! And the grown children would just as well have cash. My kids want to hit the holiday sales after Christmas and choose what they want. Nothing is more aggravating than standing in a long line to exchange sizes or gifts.

2) I was under the false impression for many years that I had to bake 12 pies, dozens of cookies and cakes. And put on a spread for the actual meal! Wrong! Get those kids involved! I now make a menu ahead of time and each child brings a dish. Of course, if your kids are small you might not want to do that! But really no one will notice if you only serve 4 veggies instead 8. Take a poll of your family's favorite holiday food and plan your menu from those requests. I can think of several salads that I used to make each year simply because MY mother made them. Those are usually the ones that get thrown out a few days later.

3)If you are trying to blend two families it can be very stressful,especially if you feel compelled to include all of the past traditions. I have 2 stepchildren and have been very fortunate that we get along so well. I asked them what they loved most about Christmas and made sure they felt welcome and included in the plans. One year I tried filling everyone a stocking and buying gifts. After it was all over,I decided that while we will hang the stockings each year, that the expense was not worth the reaction we got. All of the candy, fruit and small items were found lying around and no one actually took it home.

4)Make new traditions! I know we all want the ideal Norman Rockwell perfect Christmas. I would work for weeks trying to make that happen. Guess what? I was the one that felt it was not quite right! So the next year,I would try harder. I finally came to realize that I love some of the old,but it was also time to bring in the new . While we may not want to accept it, this is 2011, not 1951. Now, dont get me wrong. I LOVE the idea of it, but in reality we simply do not live that way. I would love to sit around the fire at night singing Christmas carols and drinking eggnog. My kids are sitting around trying to figure out the newest gadget they just got. Last year, we all gathered at the house for sandwiches,chips and dips on Christmas Eve. The older kids got a game of Monopoly going and we stayed up most of the night playing a tournament. Everyone spent the night and we opened gifts the next morning. My husband and I loved it, but the grown kids were on the sofa, the floor and sacked out in the chairs. They made the decision that they loved the activities,but they missed their beds and would not be spending the night again!

5) Scale down some of the decorations! I have the snow villages, the Bedford Falls village, the collection of nutcrackers, angels and vintage toys. I used to put up five trees , decorate the stair banisters, the porch, the yard and anything else that would stand still long enough. A few years ago I moved into a much smaller home and decided that I would alternate my themes. One year I will have the villages out, the next year it might be the vintage old fashioned toys and ornaments. But I do not bring it all out every year. I keep a holiday book and know each year which one I will do next.

Now, I am sure there will be many of you that do not agree with this. Maybe you are a stay at home mom and have the extra time and energy to accomplish all of the above without scaling back a bit. Or maybe you can afford an extra person to come in and trim your trees and deck the halls. There is nothing wrong with that. But for those that cant, make the traditions count. Make the most of the time you are spending with your family. Remember that those are the things that really count. Remember the real reason we celebrate the season is our Saviors birth. He came that we could be free from bondage and enjoy life everlasting! Memories are precious to all of us and if we can make them more memorable by simply having a less stressful holiday. We will all be happy and healthier!

Have a great week!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holidays Are Coming!

Im so excited about the holiday season this year! I have so many reasons to be thankful and try to remind myself each day of the goodness of the Lord! I kept thinking this week about the word "Grace". I read the definition in the dictionary and it stated that grace is the unmerited favor of God! Unmerited! Something that we do not earn, but He still pours out his favor and grace each and every day of our life.
Looking back over my life there have been many struggles, many hardships,but I have overcome them all with Gods favor. He has shown me that many things we do not understand have made me the person that I have become. He has also shown me that there is nothing impossible when we believe. Struggles that seem insurmountable are made bearable when God is on our side. There is nothing that we cannot overcome when we have faith in our Savior.
My prayer this week is that you will hide His word in your heart and dwell on the blessings he has given you!


Monday, November 8, 2010

2nd Anniversary!

Time has just flown by! We are already celebrating our 2nd anniversary. This year my husband surprised me with a trip to the mountains. We drove up into the Oklahoma mountains for the weekend. It was just heavenly, we had no TV, no Internet and no telephones. We spent the entire weekend talking and just relaxing , what a change from our hectic life.
The log cabin was nestled in an out of way location, beside a river. The cabin was beautiful and very tastefully furnished. All I had to pack was some snacks and wine.

This was the room as it looked when you walk in. The mountains were beautiful with leaves in every color!

Lots of good books, chocolates,candles and plush robes were provided. The weather was cooler than we had been used to and it was so nice to sit out on the balcony and watch the sunset over the mountains.

I spent lots of time relaxing in the tub.

It was a little too warm for a fire, but we enjoyed the view of the stone covered fireplace. It was so warm and inviting. We cant wait to come back here in the winter time.

The cabins are located in Watson Oklahoma. Here is the

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Books! Glorious Books!

I have found the most delightful books! I just couldnt wait to share them with you. As you know I love pie! I could eat pie every day and never get tired of it! So when I ran across this wonderful cookbook devoted to southern pies, well Im just in pie heaven! I cant wait to get in the kitchen and start baking up some of the great recipes I found in this book. My Granny used to bake a butterscotch pie that had coconut and pecans in it. It was creamy and so delicious, I am hoping to recreate her recipe with the help of this book.
Another wonderful find this week are a couple of Betty Crocker books on entertaining. My daughters and I are going to host a cocktail, tree trimming party with a 1960"s theme. This book has so many great ideas that I can use for our party. We have decided to have it the Saturday after Thanksgiving, everyone will help trim the tree, eat and be merry!

This little book is a re-print of a guide published in the 1950"s. It has fabulous ideas on food,tablescapes,invitations and so many other great tips. Im in book heaven today.
Have a fabulous week and enjoy!