Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fa la la la la ~ la la la la

I am busy, as many of you are, decking the halls.

I do decorate early, and use primarily fake greens, but it always makes me feel a teensy bit guilty.  So try as I might, I have tried to use real greens and real plants in my house just a little bit.

Well, I am discovering that there is a very good reason for the fake stuff.  It's just too hot in Texas for the real deal.

For the first time in this house, I {that term is used very loosely ~ I don't do nails in the brick so Bob actually put this up} used real garland around the door.  I bought 2, he put up one 2 days before Thanksgiving and the second one about 5 days later.  This is the north side of the house, in a sheltered entry and that first garland was already CRUNCHY!  Good grief, it's not even December yet.

So now I am hoping and praying that it will stay up till my book club comes next week.  No way will it make it to Christmas. 

But I do have, at the moment, a natural front entrance.  That's a real wreath with a bow tacked to it.

That's it, simple and done.

The driveway entrance also got the real deal.  Two rosemary trees and a real wreath.  Again, things are a little crunchy.  Perhaps it's a little bit weather and a little bit my not green thumb.  While the rosemary lives, I am loving the scent.

I love this pillow from PB.  The darn squirrels do too.  Last year they started to eat it a little.  So far so good this year.  

See the crunch starting on this wreath?  Crazy!  {I mist them too}

The only good thing about the greens drying so quickly is that I have definitely decided that I can't do real garland on the stairs in the house unless I don't care that it looks terrible and last for about a week.  
Now I can use the fake with a little more enthusiasm!

The best I could do for an outside shot.

Here you can see the lights on the outdoor kitchen.

Because our home sits on the pond, it is visible from the street, front view, and from the east, pond view.  We don't wrap the lights all the way round the east, but by adding the kitchen lights, and the playhouse it helps the night view.

Tomorrow is my first day home this week and I hope to knock off a few more rooms of decor.

Tonight was a visit from the grands, and we had a quick dinner and read a few books and played!  Fun times!

I am joining Richella for her Grace at Home Party.
And Debra for her Vintage Inspiration Party.
Alison for her Favorites on the First Party.
And Ann for Doors and Wreaths.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I don't know about you, but the last week has been chock full of activity. 
We celebrated our Thanksgiving as a family on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  This is a photo of the table in progress.  I just added some candles with acorns, very simple.
Of course, no photo of the completed table.  Elizabeth did our napkins and did a cute job with napkin rings and water glasses.

All the kids gathered together.  This may be the Christmas card.  I ordered them, but don't remember exactly what I picked.  I love that goofy smile on Jackson.  He is at the fake smile phase.

We kicked off the Christmas season with our gingerbread house decorating.  I sent the grands these little gingerbread houses in the mail.  They love getting mail.  I invited them to come and decorate between brunch and dinner on our "Thanksgiving".
These were cute little 3D cards with lots of glitter, jewels and buttons.

Elizabeth had a party in the middle of the afternoon so she got a head start on her side of the house.

I also had these cute houses from the dollar bin at Target.  I bought all they had so I am set for the next few years.

Notice the lack of shirts:-)

Here is where the evening ended.

The next day we all had lunch together, {well, missing the dads and grandpa} and then headed to the Gaylord for our annual perusal of the holiday decor.

The Gaylord always does a nice job.  And we make the kids pose for a million pictures.

We can. not. get. a picture of the 4 of them!

Our season is off to a great start.  The tubs have been opened and there is glitter and fake snow and pine needles everywhere.

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas !

Friday, November 9, 2012

We Are Thankful!

I know in my last post I said I was all ready to begin my Christmas preparations...and I am.
I use the month of November to ready my house and buy my gifts and hopefully reach the first Sunday in Advent ready to prepare my heart and spirit for the birth of our Saviour.
There is nothing more crushing to my spirit than crowds and traffic.

But, we are thankful for all that we have and just to show that I don't totally ignore the day of thanks I thought I would share my preparations:-)

From the blog Dear Lillie.

Stories to read to the grands.  I think I have given away all of my other Thanksgiving books.

And just a little fun at the back door.

I am borrowing my daughter's Cricut to do a few Christmas things and thought I'd do a little something for Thanksgiving too.

...and on the guest bath mirror

I am having way too much fun with the Cricut when I should be doing some work!

Happy Thanksgiving!
{less than 2 weeks away ~ yikes!}

Joining Richella for Grace at Home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

~ I've Begun ~

I confess, I am one of those people that begin the Christmas season on November 1.  I don't have my trees up or anything, but we have been known to eat our turkey dinner by the light of the Christmas tree:-)

This year Thanksgiving is so early that I will probably wait to put up the trees, but there will be signs of the season at my house pretty soon.

One of the traditions I look forward to is filling 2 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
This is an outreach program from Samaritan's Purse, and organization run by Billy Graham's son, Franklin.

My church participates every year and I pick up the shoeboxes at church.  This is the first year I've had this kind of box, usually our Sunday school classes wrap regular shoe boxes and we fill those.
You can certainly use a regular shoe box.

You can fill a box for a boy or a girl, and there are 3 age groups.  I think it's 2-4, 5-9, and 10-12 or maybe 14.  I have always filled the littlest ages as I have had young grandchildren.  It's easy at that age, lots of fun little things to include.

This year I picked the middle age group, 5 to 9.  I thought I would show what I used to fill the boxes, for my memory and for ideas for anyone that might like to participate in this Christian outreach.
The boxes are collected and sent overseas and have the gospel message in that country's language placed in the boxes.

This is the boy's box.
It contains:
Uno card game
table tennis game
paddle ball
spiral tablet 
2 mechanical pencils
red polo shirt size M 8/10
spiderman baseball cap
a ball that is a globe {World Market}
mini Christmas activity book
3 tubes of chap stick
mini slinky
soap and bandaids
pack of gum

See ~ it all fits.  I remove all the packing materials, that helps!

The girl's box contains:
Uno card game
Paddle ball
fabric journal
2 mechanical pencils
black leggings M 7/8
shirt M 7/8
3 lip gloss
globe ball
hairbrush and hair bands
3 head bands
Lala loopsy doll
mini Christmas activity book
mini slinky
soap and bandaids

That's it ~ so easy and such a wonderful way to bless a child.

As a final touch on top, I include a picture card of our family from last year and write a brief message.  

There are so many ways to share the blessings that we have been given.  This is one that is near and dear to my heart and I love that it happens first in the season, it helps to remind ME of the things that really matter.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Joining Richella for her Grace at Home Party.