Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Celebrations!

My two brothers, Jon & Nathan and niece Savannah.

Dad and mom along with my brother Nathan looking at the book that I'd made for my parents at Christmas.

This is a mistletoe tree, the only way to get the mistletoe down is to shoot it down.

My brother Jonathan and his wife, Aytha.

Savannah is showing off her new princess dress, she absolutely loved it.

My brother Nathan is trying to open Spencer's gift (my nephew) while Telesa, Jon and Aytha all look on.

My brothers showing off their enthusiasm for guns.

Caleb and Spencer with dad looking on. This is a favorite picture of mine.

My brother, Jon and niece Savannah. Savannah had a great time playing with her uncle Jon on this visit.The princess is again twirling her septre.

The guys playing a game of pool on Christmas Day, I think they had a running game all day long.

Our niece, Marva and boyfriend Jonathan sharing a moment of laughter on Christmas Eve.

Niece Andrea and her husband David.

The tree was filled with presents, just waiting to be opened.

Sisters- Hannah and Keianna, they were anxiously awaiting the opening of presents.

We had played a game to see who could wrap their present the quickest. The game was judged according to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place but Jonathan was not be left out so he stuck his 4th place in the picture.

Dessert table on Christmas Eve.

This is a picture of Wayne's sisters, Tammara and Rosanna along with niece Marva.

Part of the spread on Christmas Eve.

Spencer decided he wanted to play with the septre.

Caleb was so excited to get his new gun for Christmas.

Caleb is looking on while Wayne is reading his homemade card. Caleb had cut out pictures from a calendar and asked to use my scrapbook things to put together this card, it turned out really nice.

Caleb and Spencer watching cartoons.

Spencer is trying out his sister's new cupcake boots. The boots are adorable.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish all my blogger friends a Blessed and Merry Christmas! Take the time to dwell on the birth of Jesus, God's only Son which is the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is upon us and my house will be bursting at the seams in a matter of hours. The excitement, laughter and joy that will be shared these next few days are priceless memories.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Tree

This post is done for my mother who was protesting because I'd not posted any pictures of my tree this year. The pictures don't do the tree justice in daylight. It is much prettier at night with the white lights blinking but oh well.

The yummiest truffles and they are so easy to make- please see previous post.

Caleb and I went to Kentucky Center for the Arts and saw the Brown-Forman production of Nutcracker. He wanted to take a picture during intermission, no photos are allowed during the performance.

Caleb during intermission at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Just patiently waiting for the doors to open.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Moments

It seems like the Christmas season comes so quickly even though we have 365 days to prepare. I typically will put up our Christmas decorations the week of Thanksgiving depending upon where we will spending the holiday. This is our first Christmas at this house so it was alot of fun preparing and decorating the house for family and friends. We will be celebrating Christmas Eve with my husband's family and then my family will be coming in for the weekend. I totally enjoy the Christmas season because of Jesus birth, family, friends and traditions that we make.

A tradition that I grew up with was going to my Grandma's and then onto my aunts as the family became larger on Christmas Eve. That tradition still holds and I miss it when I'm not there but we would gather for a time of eating and fellowship. After everyone would be stuffed my grandma would bring out our booklets that were full of Christmas carols and tunes, and my uncle would start strumming on the guitar and someone would break out into song. My grandparents are both gone now but the family tradition still stays.

This past weekend Caleb and I attended the Nutcracker production at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and we had a great time. He learned to love the Nutcracker several years ago when we had taken him to performance, since that first performance he gets a new Nutcracker every year to add to his collection.

Caleb and I made cookies and truffles this week. We had chocolate chip (all time favorite), sugar cookies decorated in snowman, trees, stars and covered with sprinkles. The truffles were a new experience but Caleb had a great time melting the chocolate and dipping my chocolate balls as well as dipping pretzels.

If you'd like a easy recipe to make truffles here it is:
20 Chocolate squares (Baker's semi-sweet)
1- 8oz. package cream cheese, softened

Melt 8 chocolate squares, beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy, still in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm. Shape into 36 balls. Place on wax paper. Melt remaining chocolate and dip chocolate balls and decorate with sprinkles, peanuts, powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Place in small foil cups.

This recipe came from Kraft foods but I only used the 8 squares of Baker's chocolate and dipped the balls in 1 package of chocolate bark. This is absolutely yummy!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Different Christmas

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
'What are you doing?' I asked without fear, 'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!' For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light Then he sighed and he said 'Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.' 'It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,' Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.' My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ', And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue... an American flag. I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.. Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.'
' So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.' 'But isn't there something I can do, at the least, 'Give you money,' I asked, 'or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son.'
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, 'Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'
This Christmas remember our soldiers as they are away from their families and the comforts of home. Our soldiers continue to protect the freedom that we enjoy daily. I personally want to
say thank you for all the sacrifices that each soldier has endured and Merry Christmas.
P.S. I'm not sure who wrote this poem.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving '08

A couple of my cousins, Kelli and Jeanette and Jeanette's husband.
Wayne, talking on the phone to his best friend.

My dad and his baby sister, Annette.

Caleb and a couple of his cousins love to drag out the lego's at Aunt Annette's. They typically come up with several creations.

My cousin Joni and her husband Dave as well as my aunt Annette.

My uncle Darryl and cousin Dave.

Uncle Dave was at the dessert table again.

Wayne was talking to uncle Bob, they were discussing boats and motorcycles.

My mom with my aunts Linda and Doris.

Caleb is riding quite the bicycle that he and his dad contrapted together. Wayne took the forks from the bike and stretched them and welded the bike back together. Caleb enjoys the challenge of riding the stretched out bike.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prayer Request

My husband has a co-worker that he has worked with for the past year who this past weekend had a terrible loss. He and his wife were expecting their first child, she was 7 months pregnant. She had been rushed to the hospital on Friday morning with complications but the baby was unable to be saved. Please keep this family in your prayers as they deal with the loss of their child, the funeral was today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fall Recipe

I have made this recipe several times recently and taken it to fall gatherings. It is well received and many ask for the recipe so I thought I'd share it with you. This recipe is not orignal with me but I have adapted as you see below. It will make your home smell so delicious as it is baking. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Crunch

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large can of pumpkin (29 oz.)
1 12oz. can of evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter (melted)
Cool whip

Grease 9x13 dish. Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and then mix together. Pour into dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Top with pecans and drizzle melted butter over pecans and dry cake mix. Bake for 55-60 minutes @350 degrees. Cool and top with cool whip.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some Thoughts!

We have a new President elect that is awaiting his swearing in ceremony. I watched and listened to Obama's acceptance speech and did not think that he was very excited about being elected President of the United States, he smiled in some appropriate places but there was a look on his face. The look seemed to say "What have I done?", Michelle Obama appeared to be happier about the election than her husband. I also found it strange that Vice-President Biden did not even join the stage until after the speech was completed- what happened to the team?

I'm reminded of this, "God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way".

The future is yet to be written and the days are yet to be lived but my future is secure with God. My life is in God's hands. I'm worried in the human sense of what our country will become and the future of my family and friends but secure with the promise that God has everything under control. I celebrated my American freedom by voting and letting my voice be heard.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Busy Week!

I was able to get rid of the rental car this week. YEAH!!!!!!! As you can see above the damage that was done to my car courtesy of a highway worker mowing along the highway. The brush hog that was being pulled by the tractor apparently had a little to much RPM for turning corners because the it picked up the interal workings of a car started and propelled it into my passenger door as I'm sitting at the stoplight. Talk about frightening, I ducked in my seat and covered my head. It sounded like a gun shot had gone off. This starter had skimmed across the top of a pickup truck, slammed into my door and bounced off and hit another car and then came to rest alongside the highway. The state and local cop that worked the scene were in total disbelief, they said that had never seen that happen before. My angel was working overtime. My car now looks brand new after getting it back from the body shop.

This is a picture of my hunter, his backdrop is his bathroom shower curtain. Caleb's bathroom and bedroom are done in camo.

On Wednesday night we went to the Sarah Palin rally in Jeffersonville, it took me 2 hours to go only a few miles to get into the warehouse where she was to speak. Definately worth it, it was incredible standing with an estimated 16,000 -20,000 people and watching the bus pull into the warehouse and see Sarah and her husband step off the bus. I have no pictures to post of this momentous occasion just yet.
This week has been busy with Caleb truck & treating, picking up the car, returning a rental, seeing Sarah Palin, visiting with LaDonna from TN, and fall festival at church. Lots of wonderful memories were made.

Sack Lunches

A friend of mine sent this e-mail to me so I thought I'd share it with you'll. Salute our soldiers because they help us enjoy our freedom that we take for granted daily.

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq'After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago. His friend agreed.I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?''Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.It seemed so little...A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check Made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in This country who no longer understand it.'

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vacation in October

Beautiful waterfall at Sea World!

The glorious morning sunrise that we looked out onto every morning from our deck at the condo.

Making their mark in the sand and trying to see if they could dam up the water.

Taking a vacation in October may seem strange to some, but Caleb is out for fall break for an entire two weeks. He attends school where they have a balanced school calendar, we start a little early but the breaks are nice.
On the beach!
Just a couple of seashells that Caleb liked, he and his papa went out every morning looking for shells. He came home with a huge bag of various seashells.

We rented a condo in Flagler Beach, Florida along with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law. My other brother had to be out of town so his schedule would not allow him and his wife to join us. We had alot of fun soaking up the sun, playing in the ocean, daily walks along the salty Atlantic, searching for seashells and just doing general sightseeing.

Mom and Dad and Rachel. This was my parents first time to see the ocean.

Enjoying the waves and trying jump them.

Some of the highlights of our trip was visiting Sea World where we got rained out about an hour before closing time, we all looked like drowned rats. There were a few of us that had a change of clothes and was actually able to enjoy the luxury of warm, dry clothes but no names will be mentioned to protect the parties involved (hah!). We visited St. Augustine which was simply beautiful and quaint. I could have spent the entire week there taking in the sights and soaking up the history of the town. We were able to ride the trolley around town and we learned something new each time we rode. The guys had to visit some Harley stores- of course- and get some souveneirs. While in St. Augustine, we visited the Old Jail, Fort, Old St. Augustine Village, and the Lighthouse just to name a few. There were a couple of moments that were filmed on video that should be placed on America's Funniest Home Videos, we've laughed so hard until tears were rolling. Memories of a family shared vacation will always be held dear.

Sea World sights.

This is Flagler College, one of the hotels Mr. Henry Flagler built for St. Augustine so his friends would have somewhere upscale to visit. Mr. Flagler built four hotels for his friends.