He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 91:1

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tidings of Joy


    We woke up to surprise snow on Saturday!  I have no clue if it was predicted as we did not watch the Friday weather report.  It made it a special day.  I slipped outside-literally-and took a few pictures of the Christmas greens.

snow on a magnolia tree

   This is a busy week, with more shopping, cleaning, baking, and getting ready for family on Sunday.  Here's a few cozy corners from around the house to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

I made the girls'  stockings when they were young from antique quilts made by my grandmother.
The  lace and tatting are from my mother's clothes and even her cradle cap!
They are my most cherished Christmas decorations.

I love the way the morning sun lights up the needlework button tree.

    I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts, my precious blessings (grandchildren), and a few stories of life as Nonnie knows it over the past year. My blogging friends are super wonderful!  I wish I could meet all of you, and also meet the many bloggers I follow regularly.  Your inspiration spurs me on!

   Enjoy your season of celebrating, and don't forget why we have Christmas!  Remember those who have burdens this year, and those who have lost dear ones.  May God bless all these families and keep them close and wrapped in His arms.
  May God bless anyone who is reading this, may your Christmas season be full of love and fun and celebration of the birth of the King!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ornaments, the jolly old elf, and sweet sweet memories

Vintage Christmas Clipart - White Bell with a Bluebird and Holly                                                      

    Years ago when my little ones came along, I decided to buy or make an ornament for them every year to add to the collection of pretties to hang on the tree.  They varied from Disney ornaments, cross-stitched ones I made, wooden ones I painted, a reindeer out of old clothes pins, a tin soldier out of a clothespin, hand made Santas out of shells, and Margaret Furlong angel ornaments, etc.  Some of them sound rather tacky and crafty, but most of them were cute or pretty!

    The Christmas before Holly married, as I took down the tree, I put her ornaments in a box and lovingly wrapped the breakables in tissue, and tied a ribbon around the box.  Each one reminded me of her childhood, thus it was a bittersweet task.  That next Christmas, Holly and David were newlyweds with their own home and their own tree to decorate.  I gave Holly her set of ornaments to hang on their first Christmas tree.

    Then, years later when Robin was planning her wedding, the process was repeated.  I, once again,  after Christmas, took her ornaments off our tree, and put them in a special place to give to her for her first Christmas with Jason.  It was just as hard to do this for my second born as my first.  Sometimes it is  hard to let them grow up!

    When I visit their homes during the Christmas season, I look at their trees and see some of the memories from their childhood.  They have started collections for their own children.   I want them to always remember traditions and family times during holiday seasons.

    Time passes so quickly.  It seems like yesterday the girls were coming down the stairs excited to see what Santa had left for them. Only crumbs remained on the cookie plate and the milk mug was empty.  Their toys and gifts left from a jolly old elf scattered around the tree.  Their stockings were full of surprises.

   I have such sweet memories of those mornings.  Sleepy eyes, mussed hair, Robin's fuzz ball (her hair is curly and she would get up with a fuzzy head of hair) footed pajamas and sparkling eyes.  Holly was careful to help Robin when she was younger open her gifts.

Vintage Christmas Clipart - Two Little Children in Bed watching Santa Claus with his Bag of Gifts
   One Christmas Eve, we spent the night with Mr. G's parents.   Santa was bringing the girls a trampoline and it had to be assembled-in the middle of the night.  I can't figure out why we did this.  It seems like a really stupid thing to do.  Why not stay at home (like we did every other year) and let Santa come to our home with such a BIG present?  Anyway, Mr. G and his dad put this thing together, out in the falling snow with the temperature at about twenty degrees.  Then, they drug it to the front yard so the kids could see it out the front door.

    It WAS exciting, and the girls went crazy!  They couldn't get over how Santa's sleigh made marks in the snow all the way to the back yard!  Humm......

   Mr. G. came down with a serious cold after that.  Oh well, I guess it was worth it.

    The things we will do to surprise our children.  Those days were fun.  I miss them!  But now I get to hear about the surprises the kids have for their children.  And....I get to sleep all night long on Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

'Tis the Season

   Several years ago, when it was time to decorate for Christmas,  I was weary, tired, overworked, overcooked and down and out.  I was facing the towering task of decorating the tree, the house, the porch, designing a Christmas card, addressing it, figuring out the gift thing for all the family and friends, then searching and buying it, wrapping it and then on to the parties and food, and the family Christmas gathering...................

  Whew! I am tired thinking about it. But, that year I thought I would just like to SKIP it, fly over it, blink my eyes and it be January second or third or else bury my head in the leaf pile out back.  I sat, that cold December day, on my couch, surrounded by boxes filled with ornaments, Christmas pillows, Nativity scenes, lights, STUFF.  I wanted to cry.

I need to say, here, that I love Christmas!  I love the music, the decorations, the festive feel in the air.  I am giddy as a child over beautiful lights on houses, store decorations, gushy Christmas movies.  How could I want to skip Christmas, my favorite time of year?  But all the work brought overwhelming sense of DREAD.

How could I, a- Christmas over-doer, a- Christmas carol junkie, a- fill every corner with Christmas kind of person, feel like I wanted to pretend it wasn't happening? After all, it's Christ's birthday!

I realize we don't know the exact date of Christ's birth, but it is the date we CHOOSE to celebrate since we don't have an exact date.

So, will  I CHOOSE to honor Him, the most important birthday celebration ever in the history of the WORLD, or feel like it's all just too much?

 At that point I had a serious sit down with my Savior.  I told Him I was burdened by all the hoop-la and the work.  I was weary that I was doing most of it all by myself.  I told Him I loved Him, but was all this overkill?  After all, haven't we commercialized Christmas?

I sat on my couch and remained silent.  I cried.  Then I wept.  I was sorry I felt that way.  No, it's not about the gifts, it's about the CELEBRATION.  I realized Christmas is giving,  doing,  and decorating as we celebrate a certain birthday....

The music celebrates the season.  The season is the celebration of the BIRTH.  The food represents the feast- a feast in honor of a babe born that would save our sorry souls.  The gifts are given out of love (or they are suppose to be!). Our love should represent our love gift from our Christ.  The tree-well, the tree in our house is just a tradition of Christmas.  It may come down from a long ago ritual of some pagan kind, but in my family, it just means we are in celebration of Christmas!  Period.

That day I made a promise.  I told my Jesus, whose birthday we would celebrate,  that every part of that decorating would be to glorify Him.  Every ornament would be for Him.  Each light would represent the Light of the World-Christ.  Every gift would be because His most precious gift was what He did on the cross for us.  I would not grumble or complain.  I would enjoy it to give Him the gift of my gratitude.  I would not feel pressured to decorate, but what decorating I did would be my gift to HIM.  Not for me, for my family, but for the One who saved me.

The world HAS commercialized our Savior's birthday.  We can look at that and think of it as all evil.  OR we can turn that around, and say, look, all this started because we are honoring the most important man, God's Son, who walked on earth. The whole world (well, nearly the whole world) has given gifts, thrown big parties and feasts and lights and music to recognize that Christmas Day is special.

 It certainly is!  A little baby was born in the most humble of dwellings, surrounded by animals, to a very young mother, who, no doubt, was scared to death.  The angels heralded His coming.  He was worshipped by shepherds (a prelude to what He would become) and visited by important men who left expensive and precious gifts~we call them WISE MEN.   He grew up and became a shepherd of people,  a teacher, a rabbi, a friend.  Then He was executed and became the Lamb that was slain.  Then, Glory to God, He rose again!

That, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.  I hope to always remember that when I am weary of the STUFF and business of Christmas.  I can choose to do a little or a lot, but whatever I do, I will do it to His glory!  I will honor His birthday and be humbly grateful to Him for what He did for me.

As I decorate for this Christmas season, I will praise Him,  honor Him, and wish Him a Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chestnuts aren't roasting over the fire...

        Jack Frost is nipping at our noses,

              But the chesnuts aren't roasting!

                     The mailbox is trimmed with holly and ivy,

                             magnolia and pine, laurel and cedar;

                                    the windows are dressed with bunches of the same.

The wrapping is bought

           the gifts are not!

                  The list is partially written

                         but a few gifts are hidden

                               and I probably won't be able to find them.

                                     Oh my  :O

 The tree is waiting along with all the other tinsel and garland...

          The nativity scene sleeps a bit longer

                 as the teddy bears eagerly wait for their places,

                         while twinkle lights glow in antique jars,

                               and the poinsettia sits rather lonely in the entry hall......

The grandkids are wondering 'Where is your tree?'

       And Nonnie is wondering if anyone will help me~

              Poppie is working hard and would rather not be bothered......

                     The little Cairns dream of sugarplums and milkbone treats.

It will happen soon........

     I'll let you know when it does.

          This blogger needs to get with it

                 and get her decorating done!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food, fun, and a few pounds fatter.....

Nonnie's blessings.......

      I usually have my Christmas decorations up by now (Friday after Thanksgiving), but since we had our Thanksgiving feast on Friday, and the kids were here, I am slow to get them out and up.  Here's a few pics of memories of the weekend. 

The big kids played, colored pictures, watched movies, ran, ran, and ran some more.  Paisley ate and slept, and played with Poppie.

   I did most of the cooking this year, which is a switch, but I managed to make some rather good dressing :o)  and the turkey was fabulous!  Holly and Robin helped get it all together and looking pretty for Robin's photo shoot.

  If you look closely, you'll see two little 'punkins' in the background of the picture below.

    I am hungry looking at this food.  I wish I had a plate right now.  

The kidos put on a show after we ate.  It is called interpretive dance.  Isn't it lovely?

After eating my way through the weekend, I am sure I am a few pounds heavier.  
Maybe all the Christmas decorating will keep me busy and out of the kitchen.  

Well, now is the time to move on to the Christmas season.... and let the decorating begin!

Friday, November 19, 2010


 I am thankful for.......

  the One true God

  Jesus, My Saviour

  the true and living WORD

  my family and friends

  my home

  my country

  countless blessings~

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Happenings!

                            White ceramic pumpkins decorate my dining table.

                        Maple sugar scented candles glow on the counter.

  I'll be getting out the recipes in a day or two to prepare for Thanksgiving!  I never appreciated how much work went into all these dishes when I was young and growing up.  The food just seemed to appear on the table when it was time to eat.  I was too busy playing Chinese checkers, hide and go seek and Mother-May-I with my sisters and uncles, and cousins to notice that Mama and Grandmama spent two days in the kitchen cooking!
                       Then, they had to clean it up........
  I am sure they felt it was worth it.  Tired feet and backs are a small price to pay for a gathering of families and friends in thankfulness for all we have.  Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you pour upon us.

Someone had a birthday last week!  

     Ansley is seven years old.  We partied a few days early with Hello Kitty!  I made her a strawberry cake, at her request.  It is turning into the family favorite.

                                                   Pink was the color of the day.
All the girls made Hello Kitty bags to take home.  Addison made a Superman LUNCH bag.

    I don't think Ansley looks TOO excited, does she?

Girls Weekend!

I got to spend some time with two of my sisters, and my cousin over the weekend.  Such fun!
We made the rounds to the Christmas Open House events in the local stores.  Lots of fun, shopping and great eating ;)  
I was able to get in a little Christmas shopping.  

The picture above of the three little ones, is my twin sisters and me!  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Girls in Grandmother Faces

                            My heart is overflowing.  My head is foggy. But, I am still smiling........

   This past weekend, seven high school friends (aka: bobkittens) congregated in one city, in one house, with one mind- to have a blast and to reconnect-for a few days of relaxing, sharing and laughing.
   We succeeded.  We have changed from young girls to mostly grandmothers and parents of children leaving the nest.  As you can imagine, girlie squeals assailed the foyer as each one arrived.  Yep.  We were seventeen again.  Our brains and voices were set at that sweet young age, but our bodies didn't hear the yell.  We were definitely grandmotherly, a few didn't fit the bill, but as for me, I most certainly looked the part as the grand Nonnie I am.  I don't mind.  My grand kids really don't care how many rolls or wrinkles I have!  And, neither did my friends.

Bobkittens,  Oct. 23, 2010

Meet and Greet with other high school friends, Oct. 21, 2010
    We started the long weekend with a meet and greet of several outside our group of seven, with others who we had been close to and wanted to include.  I wish I had a audio tape of the evening.  Chatter here and chatter there, and chatter everywhere.  At one point I slipped away and got out my camera.  As I walked around the house and caught tiny bits of conversation, I was just so moved at the tenderness of the words, the compassion of the listener and the soft laughs of memories gone by.  Oh, how sweet is the aroma of friendship.
Special cake made by our host's daughter
    We were able to visit several of our parents who are still in our home area.  They were thrilled to see the girls that grew up with their daughters!  It was hard to catch up with all of us in the short time we had.

    Never underestimate the power of our Heavenly Father to move mountains and oceans to gather together seven (yes, seven~that number of perfection) of the saints to strengthen, support and share their lives.  Thank you, Lord, for this time, and for setting our paths on this journey to gather together.  We had five states represented.  We birthed twenty-two babies in our younger days, and we are grandmothers to fifteen, SO FAR.  I am sure that number will rise considerably in the years to come.
Key chains, but more importantly loving arms 
and ministering hands.  (gift bracelets from one of the Bobkittens)

     Can you remember laughing so hard you can't breath?  Is there ever any moment sweeter than remembering and telling about precious moments about your children?   Do you know how strange it is to walk the places of your teenage years and the memories come flooding back?  And ride around the neighborhoods and call back the events of elementary and high school friends, dances, ball games, dates, parties, church functions, and Christian youth gatherings?   Have you ever sat with long ago friends and closed your eyes and listened to their voices and realize they sound the same as forty years ago?

              Take time to contact your long ago friends.  You won't be sorry.  You will be blessed.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 
Matthew 18:20