Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve

Happy New Years Eve
We have a tradition on New Years Eve that we have been doing for some time now. We get a bunch of family and or friends together and go glow bowling. The local alley has specials that come with lanes and new years decorations and food and drinks. Its a lot of fun for any age. This year we have as young as an 11 year old up to a 85 year old! We always go in the afternoon time slot that way we are still home to have snacks here and celebrate the New Year's here that is if I stay up that late. This year I know I will because we have lots of family in town to make a grand total of 17 people staying under our one roof! I'm trying not to be my "have to have everything perfect" OCD self and I think I am doing a fairly good job!

After bowling today we will come back here and pig out again on snacks and such and play lots of family games. We usually will have a serious ping pong tournament,  Our family is quite competitive so it will be a big crazy.

 Our house this weekend, if you can imagine, is literally like the Home Alone movie with LOTS of people scurrying around having their own agendas. To get 17 people out the door not to be late for a single event is NOT an easy task and usually doesn't happen without some type of argument or fight.

 home alone christmas s christmas movies home alone 2 christmasedit

Tomorrow we will i'm sure sleep in a little then we will have a New Years dinner with ham and the fixings. Its our Christmas so to speak with Jim's side of the family. We decided years ago not to exchange with everyone in the family it just gets to be way to much money with so many people. Its makes the time more focused on family and not the gifts which is nice for a change.

I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve, be safe!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Eve and Christmas Adventures

So it's three days past Christmas already, WOW! All the preparation, anticipation, and work put into it and just like that it's over! Usually I have the Post Christmas Blues, but for some reason this year I'm not feeling that way. It could be because this year has been unusually challenging for my family and I have learned to take things as they come and not expect too much and appreciate every day and every thing. I always heard that with age comes wisdom and it's true, you have to live life to appreciate life!

Our Christmas was a bit unusual for us this year but still wonderful! On the 22nd my oldest daughter Jessica had a very invasive ankle surgery. Unfortunately, the pain proved to be too much and she ended up in the hospital until Christmas Eve evening when she was sent home. So instead of everyone coming here, after church we went to her house and did our annual Christmas Eve thing opening Secret Santa gifts and ordering Chinese food!

Christmas Eve cheese tree snack
more snacks
Jessica and Brian's beautiful tree with Mitchell looking through the gifts!
Mitchell was very nervous that Santa might pass by our house if we weren't home by 9 so we made sure we were. He was in bed right away and by 12:30 Santa had come with presents and all!

Christmas morning was finally here and now to wait for the older kids to arrive to have breakfast and open gifts. Mitchell opened a couple before then as he had a hard time waiting so long, after all he was up most of the night! By 9 everyone was here and the opening of gifts began. It takes us a while because we open them one at a time so everyone can see what others got and it's a chance to savor things a bit!

 Savanna opening her stocking
 Jaxson getting ready to open gift although all he cares about is a box!
Mitchell happy with his Star Wars Lego set
 Happy Taylor
 Jim playing Santa
My big gift, A new Keurig 

After opening gifts it was time to prepare for dinner. Savanna made the cute name place holders and set the table. 

 Taylor and Connor
Savanna and Anthony

After dinner we played family games and had dessert. Every year we get at least one family game we play that evening. This year it was the Five Second Rule which was a great game for a large group and lots of fun! We also got The Awkward Family Photo game which was fun but more for a smaller group then we had.

Bright and early the day after Christmas Jim took Taylor and her boyfriend to New York City. Neither have ever been there and wanted to go at Christmastime. They have been enjoying sight seeing and just enjoying the feel of the big city! Jim is a good sport as he HATES crowds and it is super crazy there now!

They will be back from their trip tonight. I can't wait to hear about all the adventures they had! Believe me with Taylor there will be many stories! lol

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I would love to hear about it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve Eve

I can't believe there's only two days till Christmas! Its crazy how fast this month went! I love the weeks leading up to Christmas day. The decorations, warm glow of the tree and surrounding villages and the kids being so excited they could burst! I love the hustle and bustle of the malls and seeing Santa all set up. For me there is just a peace this time of year and I am lucky its that way as I realize its not for many others.


Today we are going to the mall to finish secret Santa shopping, grocery shopping later and stocking  shopping. I'm sure its going to be nuts out there but it needs to be done!

Tomorrow is a very busy day as well. I will be up early to make it to the local farmers market that has homemade pies,  breads, cakes etc. Then home to make some things for Christmas morning and  Christmas dinner. Also I will be preparing the hors d'oeuvres for tomorrow afternoon that we have while opening our Secret Santa gifts. After we are off to church then back to the house for Chinese food and relaxing while watching It's A Wonderful Life. All wrapping is pretty much done so now to put together the stockings and food for the big day! I can't wait!!!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!!!

jimmy stewart its a wonderful life bedford falls

Monday, December 21, 2015

Deck the Halls With Christmas Balls

How to Decorate with Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

This years theme for decorating seemed to be Christmas balls. From wreaths to garlands, it's just a great way to do some traditional decorating! I think I went a little crazy with them but it was fun and looks so pretty!

The family room is decorated with a large wreath over the fireplace. I got the wreath at a rummage sale for $3, bought the balls at Walmart, and made it all for under $35. I threw some extras on the mantle to make it come together a bit more and I made a smaller ball wreath for the middle window.

The mantle is decorated with various textures and colors along with nutcrackers. I also have two nutcrackers standing on either side of the fireplace. I stood them on some decorative boxes to give them a little more height.

The Christmas ball theme continues with the garland going up the stairs. I made this two years ago and also incorporated some ribbon around it to give it more flare and visibility. It looks so pretty especially when lit up. I hate to take it down at the end of the season!

In the dining room I decorated the china closet with garland; this time it has pine cones, Christmas balls, and ribbon with lights.

The plates are Avon that my mom collected through the 70's and me in the 1990's  The middle one is from 1973! 

The porch is decorated with an old sleigh decorated with greens, pine cones, berries, balls, and a big bow, compliments of my teenage daughter who makes them for me.

Lastly, the front door has a huge wreath also decorated with Christmas balls and various other things. It matches the wreaths that are on the windows outside of the house.

So Christmas balls was my theme this year for decorating. Next is the rest of the house and the other decorations some new some old. 

What was your decorating theme this year?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Happy December 17th

A little more than one week left till the big day. I am a bit depressed as I look forward to the classic Pennsylvania Christmases with cold temperatures and sometimes even snow! I know Christmas is more than that, but when you grew up with cold temps on Christmas its just hard to get in the spirit when we have colder Easters than that!  This year, YUK, they are predicting temps in the 60's. This to me is a nightmare!!! 

animated christmas snow tree merry


Speaking of snow, one of my most memorable Christmas growing up was a cold and snowy one. It started on Christmas eve and by morning it had snowed over a foot! Our family had going caroling with the neighborhood in the blowing a drifting snow, literally!  I don't remember my exact age but i'm thinking I was around 7. I remember getting home and getting ready for bed and being scared that Santa wouldn't be able to make it through all the snow. My wonderful older brothers had put that in my head and boy did it stick! That night my parents went to the annual neighborhood Christmas shindig. I was awoken by a loud thump thump thump late late that night and just knew it was Santa. I found out years later that it was my dad carrying pressents down the steps and fell after having one to many drinks! LOL Nevertheless, the next morning Santa did come, he somehow had made it through the snow!

I don't know what it was about caroling but it seemed every time we did went it snowed! Another year when the kids were all young we decided to go with a couple of neighbors on Christmas Eve after dinner. It started snowing just as we began and by the time we were done it was really coming down and the kids were miserable and, well us too! My parents were suppose to come over the next morning but we decided to get them that night so Jim made the 15 min trip that took 2 hours!

There is just something about Christmas and snow that go together so well for me. Maybe its the great memories or me just being a hopeless romantic!

Despite the forecast, I will still be "Dreaming of the White Christmas!" 
maybe even some sugar plums

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The lost days of Christmas past

Getting ready for Christmas this year has been so crazy. So much to do and so little time to do it. Decorating for Christmas is taking forever this year for some reason. (Maybe i'm getting old)

My daughter Savanna just turned 22 on Dec. 13. At the time she was born, Jessica was 5, Cory 3, Kaylee 2. She was the best Christmas gift we ever received!

The house was super chaotic that Christmas but it was also  magical.

 I remember attending Cory's Christian preschool concert two days after Savanna was born where he sang so sweetly. I can still picture his little face while he did the hand motions of the song, wearing his adorable Christmas sweater and matching pants. He was very protective of his new baby sister telling people not to touch her and guarding her against his wild two year old sister.

Jessica, a kindergartner, make homemade cards and gifts for everyone she knew and could spell and write like a 5th grader! She was so thoughtful to everyone but was very serious about Santa Claus and following all the rules and early to bed on Christmas Eve or he would pass by your house. She would get frustrated with the siblings as they were a bit young to understand that concept!

Image result for kids homemade christmas cards and gifts

Kaylee, was a talking spitfire at Christmas. She was busy at work coloring Christmas pictures and helping me with ever aspect of caring for newborn Savanna. She could and would let it be known what she wanted for Christmas and her feelings about everything. She gave the new baby tons and tons of kisses and hugs! She also was Barney the dinosaur obsessed and got one that year for

Image result for barney's christmas

My mom and dad would always come over on Christmas morning and watch the kids open their gifts and have breakfast with us. They enjoyed seeing the kids faces as much as we did and now I realize just how much it meant to them to be there! What I wouldn't give to have them here again!

christmas christmas tree a christmas story film

As I look back on those Christmases I realize as hectic as they were they were some of the best Christmases. As all the kids knew the true meaning of Christmas and at the same time also believed without a doubt in Santa. There is just something magical about four little children believing in Santa under one roof. Its amazing what they hear and see through their imaginations! And their faces on Christmas morning when they see Santa has come and that he even ate the cookies they left. Seeing them run around the house searching for clues that the fat man in the red suit was really there!!!

As time passed and those four got older, Taylor and Mitchell came along. It has been fun watching them all play along with the Santa fun. Mitchell, who has just turned 12 still wants to believe but is on the fence. Its cute hearing his older sister or brother talking with him about it. I'm sure in the next year or two Mitchell will be the one playing along with Jaxson as he will be wide eyed on Christmas morning.

 I guess as time goes by I have learned that we need to appreciate everyday as we are making new memories and that someday they will become ours or someones good old days!

Christmas 2009