Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year and Our Family Christmas

Happy New Year to my Blogger Friends! Many of you know that our first born daughter, Sherry, was murdered three days after Thanksgiving 2007. This year I told my husband, Johnny, that I just did not think that I could have our family at our home for Thanksgiving. Johnny asked me how many years have we had everyone at our house for Thanksgiving. I replied that it began right after Sherry was born. He told me that it was tradition and that we had to continue it for our family. Thanksgiving was difficult but we clung to each other and were closer than ever.
On December 14 Johnny passed away unexpectedly in his sleep beside me. Our family is devastated.....but I remembered what Johnny had told me about Family Tradition. Johnny was the heart of our family. Our entire family gathered at our home and celebrated Christ's birth. Yes - it was hard - but it was something that we had to do. And yes....we are closer than ever.
Grandson Michael

Kristen, Joe, Daughter Michele, & Joey
Grandson Seth
Grandson Tyler
Tyler, Daughter Stephanie, Darren, & Wade
Mallory, Daughter Sheila, Benton

The grandchildren put on their new pajamas & slippers & posed for a picture.

When Mom was alive, almost every picture of her shows her holding up her hands. My sister, Cissy, Daughter Sheila, and I were playing "Mom."
Son-in-law Joe with Joey
Great-Granddaughter Jocelyn
Grandson Dawson
Grand Daughter Brooke almost fell asleep.

Grandson Austin

Granddaughter Ashley with Great-Grandson Mason

Daughter Amber with Payton, Dawson, & Austin

When those we love go away,
they never really leave us;
they are with us now, wherever we are.
Those whom we have cherished, live on forever,
for love wraps itself around the heart.
Although it's difficult now,
someday beyond our tears and all the world's wrongs;
beyond the clouds and all that we can see and touch,
we shall all understand.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank You Friends

Dear Friends,

I am exhausted by the events of the last few days and thought that I would try to relax by checking out my blog. I am overwhelmed with all the well wishes of my friends. It truly is touching. You have become such an important part of my life. The visitation was yesterday and the funeral was today. The funeral was lovely. A priest, a friend of ours who is a minister, and our son-in-law who is a minister officiated. Our grandchildren took part part in the service. We were comforted by the many people that attended. I have so many things to take care of from now until Christmas. Tomorrow I have to start taking care of some business and then I need to finish Christmas shopping. We are having Christmas eve at our house with the entire family as we do each year. It will be so difficult as "Pap" was and will always be the "head" of our large family. I will be back in a week or two. Thank you so much, Dear Friends. Each of you is special.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Please pray for our family

My beloved husband passed away unexpectedly early this morning. Please keep our family in your prayers. Our daughters and their families are with me. I feel like I know you so well that I needed to share this with you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Grandchildren - Segment Nine - Package from Carolyn - Awards

Austin is the son of Amber and oldest brother of Dawson and Payton. He is a sixth grade honor student. Austin will be 12 in January.
Austin loves the outdoors - four-wheeling, hunting, and fishing. Austin enjoys History and enjoys telling me facts about historical events.
Austin excels in sports. He plays Little League baseball, football and wrestles. He has been on the baseball and football all star team and his wrestling team was in the regional tournament. This is the season for wrestling. He has a match today. I wish that I had some of his newest sports photos to share with you.

I spent most of the afternoon at some of my grand children's Christmas programs. I love the elementary programs. The girls and boys were giggling - wanting to perform - yet still a little shy. I was so glad that they still sing "Christmas" music.

When I got home from the programs, there was a package sitting next to my front door. Carolyn of Purple Diva's Diary sent me a beautiful Christmas ornament and a box of golden walnut cookies. I will warm a few cookies (as per the directions) and have them with my coffee tomorrow morning. My tree is not yet decorated so the lovely ornament that Carolyn sent me has the distinction of being the first decoration on the tree. The photo doesn't do her justice. She has a lovely delicate face and unique rose petal attire. Please stop over and visit Carolyn. Her blog has a wonderful design. She has a wonderful sense of humor. You'll enjoy her blog. Thank you Carolyn!


Kathy of Welcome to Mimi's Garden presented me with two awards. Mimi's Friendship Award and the Lemonade Award. Mimi's Friendship Award is Kathy's special award and I am happy to accept it
The Lemonade Award is described as an award received by someone who knows how to make lemonade out of lemons and who shows gratitude. Kathy, I am so very happy to accept this award. Please visit Kathy. She has some wonderful recipes, Christmas decorating ideas, and has a warm personality. I am presenting this award to Connie of Living Beautifully. Connie turns everything she touches into a thing of beauty and has exceptional personal values.
Thank you Kathy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Outside Christmas Decorations

I finished decorating the outside at the beginning of the week. Our daughters helped me as Hubby has been having some health problems. I buy a few new pieces each year and alternate some of the decorations. A few years ago I used all blue lights. The next year I switched back to white.
Please click on the pictures to enlarge.

The Nativity is my very favorite. It sits in front of the addition to our home. The wreaths on the windows have gold ribbons.
This is the Nativity close up.

I love this star. I put red lights on the shrubs that we planted on the side and front of our house, red candle lights in the windows, and white lights every other place.

I've had the hanging star for years. I leave it up until the end of January.

The wheels on the buggy and the legs on the horse look like they are moving.

This is my Nativity flag. I've had it for years also.
The younger grandchildren really like these reindeer.

I bought these Christmas carolers at a craft show years ago.

The angel is new this year.
I hope that you enjoyed our Christmas decorations. One of our Christmas traditions is driving around town and looking at the lovely decorations. Of course, I'll take my camera. Tomorrow five our our grandchildren are in their Christmas programs at the elementary school. I love attending the programs. This weekend is the Festival of Trees, a food and craft show, and our granddaughter's piano recital. I have a lot of my baking done and hope to finish up on Sunday. The grandchildren are so caught up in the Christmas spirit that it is contagious.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Deb's Giveaway and Awards

Today I received a package in the mail that was wrapped carefully so that the contents did not break. It was the lovely cottage package giveaway from Deb of Deb's Country Kisses .

Look at the lovely pieces. I love the colors and the style. I have the perfect place to display each piece after the holidays.

And to top it all off - two wonderful smelling sachets and lovely gold tissue paper.
Thank you Deb!

The Butterfly Award

Smiling Sallie presented the Butterfly Award to me. Sallie is responsible for Blue Monday which is a wonderful way to show your favorite blues and also to make new friends. Blue Monday is growing each week. Sallie also shares her love of reading with her blogger friends. Sallie, thank you for the award. I have already received it and am happy to receive it a second time.

I invite anyone that visits my blog to accept this award as a gift from me in the spirit of the season!

Marie Antoinette Award

Becky at Behind Blue Eyes presented me with the Marie Antoinette award.Real person, real award. Becky is very talented in many areas. I admire Becky for sharing her love of art and her own art as well as prose and poetry with her blogger friends.

I am happy to present this award to three blogger friends that I follow and consider Real.

Jeni of Down River Drive. I feel a kinship with Jeni because we are both from Pennsylvania and understand some things that only Pennsylvanians can understand.

Gloria at Happy to Be is just that - "Happy to Be." She has a real sense of what's important.

Nancy at Knitting Paths of Life and I share common bond. Nancy is a special, caring person.

Monday, December 8, 2008

And the Winner Is.............!

The Winner
The winner of my 100th post giveaway is Sandi McBride of Holding Patterns.

Congratulations Sandi! Please e-mail your address to me and I'll have the package in the mail.

I'm sorry that this post is so brief. I had back to back meetings this afternoon and evening. Now it's count down to my 200th post. Thanks all my blogger friends for posting comments.

Blue Monday

Happy Blue Monday!!
On one of our shopping excursions, Daughter Sheila and I stopped at a thrift shop. It was my first visit there and I really enjoyed looking at the lovely treasures. I looked at several things and decided upon two small vases. I saw a larger one that I really liked but decided to keep within my small budget (I'd already blown it) and purchase these two.
This is vase has a small fluted rim.

This vase is similar but the fluted rim is larger.

You can really see the difference when you look at the vases side by side. I love the blue glass which is just translucent to look like rays of sunlight are bouncing off of it.

Daughter Sheila told me that since I was done shopping I could take Granddaughter Mallory and Grandson Benton to the van. The children were really glad to retreat to the van and so was I. When Sheila returned from the shop, she handed me a bag and told me to look inside. I thought that she had bought something for herself that she wanted me to see. I peeled off the layers of newspapers until I got to this beautiful vase. It was the larger vase that I had really liked. Daughter Sheila had bought me the vase as a present. When I offered to pay her for it, Daughter Sheila said, "Mom, I just wanted you to have it. Please let me give you something." Needless to say we were both thrilled. I, because, I had received a present and she, because, she had given one. What a lovely day we had!

Sallie at hosts Blue Monday. Each week there are more participants. Get a good start to the week. Visit Sallie to see the wide array of shades of blue. Thanks Sallie!!!

This is my 100th post. I can't believe that I made it to 100 already. I have met the most awesome people in the world in Blogland. All of you are wonderful and talented. The winner's name will be drawn at 12:00 noon. I printed all the comments so that I don't miss a name.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Shopping Trip

Daughter Stephanie has probably been in every out of the way shop in Pennsylvania. We traveled to Amish country to visit some Amish shops and other shops along the way. The Amish frown upon photography so I didn't get any photos inside the three Amish shops that we visited. One of the shops sold hand made furniture. I have never seen such beautiful and well made desks, dining room furniture and bedroom furniture. The craftsmanship was remarkable.

This is the outside of a fabric shop. The Amish woman that waited on us was not at all friendly.

This is the lane that we were on to get to a small Amish shop that is almost like a thrift shop. I bought a beautiful cake plate from a very friendly Amish woman. We had been at this shop in the summer and the woman had three children with her. She explained then that they did not yet speak English as they were not in school. Notice the laundry hanging on the line.

There was a lot of buggy traffic. A clerk in a good will shop explained to us that the Amish had weddings on Tuesdays and Thursdays and there was probably a wedding.

Daughter Stephanie would not let me take a picture of her. This is the only shot that I could get. Doesn't she look like she's on a mission?

These photos were taken inside one of the little craft shops that we visited. I saw a small chest that I liked. We left the store and visited numerous other shops. Then we returned and I bought the chest. I'll show it to you on another post.

These are the wooden pieces that were outside. I really like the snowmen.

More snowmen.

Such a welcoming wreath.

I thought that the pineapple was unique.

This was in "The Olde Hatchery." The greenery is lovely.

Every nook and cranny spoke of Christmas

The aroma of Christmas was in the air. I bought a small center piece for my coffee table.
We stopped at a store that sold apples, jams, jellies, and honey; fabric shops; a book store; an Amish grocery store; several craft and thrift shops and...I'm probably missing something. I turned on the outside lights for the first time Saturday night. I brought boxes of decorations down from the attic and am working on decorating the inside of the house. For the first time in years I am not buying any new ornaments for the tree.

This is my 99th post. All my friends that submit comments between now and my 100th post are eligible for the drawing. The winner's name will be drawn on Monday, December 8. Each time you comment, an entry is made into the drawing. If you do not have a blog, please leave your e-mail address. I have the package wrapped and ready for an address label.