Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas has come and gone

What a wonderful Christmas!
We enjoyed our favorite holiday season so much...

with our annual Christmas trip to Atlanta to shop at
Phipp's, and enjoy the window display at Tiffany's. Since 5th Avenue
is hundreds of miles away, this is the Dixie equivalent!
We ate at our favorite... Houstons's... and snuck in a few girly faves like
the Lilly Pulitzer store while the guys checked out the sports cars on display...

Julia's recital and The Nutcracker Ballet made for great entertainment,
while KB and I enjoyed a date night watching...

... a film this Mary Poppins fan adored...

... had KB's family on December 21...
we FaceTimed MB who is currently in Afghansitan...

... watched the Christmas Eve 'must see'...

opened lots of gits from Santa...

(somehow I don't recall us being that good this year)

... and finished the celebrations with Christmas Dinner at Mama's

with Mama's annual talent show...

...we've had musical performances, (after all our cousins are Music City natives),
 poetic and Biblical recitations, the recitation of the Auburn Creed
and a memorable performance of John playing his teeth.
(Teeth playing was quickly stricken from the approved list
of talents...)

After all this, it's no wonder that we are dog tired...

... but we're fired up about a fantastic 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

"Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring... not even a mouse..."

But as per seasons long tradition, our family attended church
and then took part in the highlight of the season:
watching Home Alone 2, Lost in New York.
We know many of the lines by heart, laugh in all the
same places and reminisce about visiting NYC landmarks.
Mama is tired of Home Alone 2.  Secretly she hopes for a new movie,
to which we answer: "Nevah!"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Candy Canes and Nutcrackers

This is the most fun weekend ever... 
the one leading up to Christmas.

Saturday was Christmas with the Baileys.
I made the Mexican Christmas menu from the Christmas Issue
of Celebrate Magazine from a few years back.
(With all that work, there was no time for pictures.)

It is delish and my children love it.
Hint: not the time to run out of cumin.

Next, my family had The Gathering at church.  This was certainly a 
family affair as Mama and I baked, Kenneth cut, Julia helped
with baking and decorating and John with transporting.

We used a candy cane theme and had lots of 
Christmas goodies.

We packed it all up... KB washed dishes... thank you, thank you...
and rushed out to see Julia's all time fave, The Nutcracker at
the newly improved Classic Center.

Thanks for the tickets, Nanny!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Surprise!

Recently, some of our most thoughtful clients
surprised the entire staff of the business where I work with
a dozen roses for Christmas.
This random act of kindness took our breath away.

I used them to accent my table that was set with Christmas china...

... and of course, those Arby's glasses...

...all while Julia was tuned in to the 25 Days of Christmas...
where I heard...
"Maybe Christmas", he thought, 
"doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...
means a little bit more."
                                                               -Dr Seuss

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Advent Gifts

My church has compiled a wonderful advent booklet and
I was inspired by one entry that began, "I'm really more of an Easter person..."
The author went on to explain that the commercialism of Christmas has
masked so much of its meaning.  Living in a world
that has become more self centered,
I thought how this Christmas mask has effected my children.
I wanted to do something about that.
In a way, I'm adding to the "gimme" problem, but I hope the greater message is
the one remembered.
December 1 through 12, they got a small gift (usually $1 or less)
with a card.  The gift symbolizes a reason Jesus came and the card
carries a verse that I hope they will find in their Bibles.

December 1          Jesus came to... make us fishers of men: Swedish Fish  
Matthew 4:19
December 2          Jesus came to... give us Living Water:  bottled water 
John 4:13-14
December 3          Jesus came to... teach us about giving.   dollar bill
Mark 12:41-44
December 4          Jesus came to... be the balm in Gilead  chapstick
Jeremiah 8:22
December 5          Jesus came to... be the light of the world candles 
John 8:12
December 6          Jesus came to... teach us to love one another cards for sick friends
Matthew 25:35-40

December 7          Jesus came to... heal the sick small package of tissues 
Matthew 14:14
December 8          Jesus came to ... be the bread of life breakfast muffins
John 6:35

December 9          Jesus came to... be betrayed by a kiss Hershey's Kiss 
Luke 22:48
December 10        Jesus came to... wear a crown of thorns Double Bubble*
Matthew 27:27-29 
December 11        Jesus came to... bring peace. Piece(s) of pizza  
John 14:27
December 12        Jesus came to... die on the cross Cross Christmas ornament 
John 19:17-18

*Double Bubble has a crown on the package :-) John said, "that's really stretching it, Mom."

During the next twelve days of Christmas, the children will find cards that
have suggestions of things that they might do for someone else 
to sprinkle a little Christmas spirit on them.
The first card reads like this:
"Help Mom with laundry..."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Piano Recital 2013

December 14 was rainy and dreary outside,
but inside Mars Hill Baptist Church it was bright and
Christmasy with all "Miss" Rebekah's students playing
their favorite Christmas songs for the annual Christmas recital.
Julia played another selection from The Nutcracker Suite.
She really did a great job... her best performance ever, 
this proud Mama might say...

and didn't she look pretty, too?

To top off a great performance, Nanny is taking us to see the Nutcracker as
it is coming soon to The Classic Center in Athens.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Friend Gifts

After seeing this easy recipe on Pinterest,
I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Turns out that it is tasty, 
easy to package and an all around good "friend gift" for
neighbors or anyone else you might want to 
hand a little goody.

1 bag small pretzel twists
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 bag Kraft caramels, unwrapped
Sugar and Cinnamon mixed together

Using the microwave, melt caramels in glass bowl.
Dip one side of pretzel twists in melted caramel.
Place on parchment paper to harden.
Using microwave, melt white chocolate chips in glass bowl.
Dip the other side of the pretzel twist.
Place on parchment paper.
Sprinkle a sugar and cinnamon mixture over all.
Once cooled and hardened, store in air tight container.

I packaged them in flat glassine bags stamped with a pretty Santa
and added tags cut from Cricut Winter Frolic.
Very easy, very tasty.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Fall came and went in a blur...
Amongst lots of football, getting a driver's license (!),
piano, youth group and volleyball... Thanksgiving roared in...
and it was fabulous.
(Well - all except the driver's license part and that's just darn scary)

Here are some Thanksgiving highlights:

The food was great (of course), the company was better... though we missed
 my brother and his family... and a week later, 
we're back on Weight Watchers...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving tablescapes... we're talking turkey tables....

When my sweet friend, TT, gave me a gift card for my birthday, 
I had a plan... wait on those turkey (Myott) plates.
April to November is a very long time
for me to wait on something.
Patience is not my game.
They were  certainly worth the wait...
(Thanks, TT!)

I think that I've mentioned that we always eat at Mama's for
Thanksgiving.  That's the case this year....
then I will dash the five miles home and eat (again!)
with Kenneth's family.  
(Does Weight Watcher's have a Black Friday sale?)

Mama's dining room table (above) was really pretty set 
with Spode Woodland.  I covet that china. (Are you reading this, Mama?)

She and Aunt Mary arranged a very pretty, simple centerpiece.
(I have cropped it to pieces because little hands had rearranged
all the other table elements by the time this picture was taken!)

Happy Thanksgiving!
Remember God's bounty in the year.
String the pearls of his favor.
Hide the dark parts, except so far
as they are breaking out in light!
Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to
-Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Twenty Years Ago

KB and I married on October 16, 1993 at 2:00 PM.
Historically, October is the driest month of the year.
It rained a little.
Just a little.
"What a day to wear white silk", I told my Daddy.
He couldn't see the water spots in the skirt of my dress, he said.
Because of the rain.  Or maybe the tears.
(It was still a beautiful day.)

Happy Anniversary, KB!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Hope

If you have read my blog for very long, 
you know that I have a love for all things and people southern.
Especially Elvis.

And certainly Billy Graham.

The first week in November, Billy Graham begins
 what he is calling his final crusade.
It is simply termed, "My Hope".
"My Hope" is all about sharing Christ with people all across America and Canada.
Instead of Billy Graham doing all the work, regular church members will be involved!
My Hope gives average Christians a way to reach friends for Jesus.
Through inviting them into homes or meeting in places
where the My Hope video can be shown, Billy Graham's message can be
shared with people who need a little hope and a friend in Jesus.
(This message will also be broadcast on national television
during the first week in November.)

Billy Graham will be 95 years old that first week in November.
He has preached for nearly 70 of those 95 years and it is estimated
that his message has been heard by nearly 2.2 BILLION people.
It is my prayer that this message will be heard
 by the 316,000,000 living in the USA
during the first week of November.  With our help, 
Mr. Graham is obviously capable!
I hope that you will join me in supporting "My Hope" with
your enthusiasm, participation and prayers.
Our nation desperately needs hope and as Christians, we know the source.
Check out the website.
Pray for the initiative.
May God Bless America.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Boo! Mizzou!

Today was a UGA home game against Mizzou.
The weather was just right and for a change... nothing else was
on the calendar, so we rode over to Sanford Stadium.

Close to half time, we were feeling a little hungry, so we decided to climb 
two flights of stairs and walk against the foot traffic of 92,000 fans for some 
hot boiled peanuts.  And... lo and behold...

...two of the cutest peanut salesman I have every seen
gave us the best service ever.  

The game didn't go our way, but it was a beautiful day - 
and really great that John got to work, be with friends
 and see some of the game.
That's a win.