Wednesday, December 31, 2008


While we went to get a look and some cuddle time with this sweet boy, little did we know that surprises were waiting for us!

This was the first surprise of the day.......Emily is engaged! Her boyfriend, now fiance, proposed on Christmas Eve. She came to town wearing this beauty. The setting is her mother's, which makes is all the more special.

Here's the bride to be! Looks like there will be a wedding in about a year. We all better start out diets now! Do you think she's patting my stomach as if to say........nah!

Then this crafty couple gave us the biggest surprise of all! You'll remember my look of absolute shock here .They had been keeping their secret for some time!!!

Their big news was this!!!!!

Katie and Beau are having a baby! She says I asked 3 times after she found out, if she were pregnant...I must have had a feeling as they say! Hear
her tell it in her own words.
Talk about a weekend of joy! Well, that's all the shockers I have for today. I hope you all came back to find out!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So while we're waiting.....

.......for the answers to the surprises posed in my last post, I humbly apologize for forgetting some other important events.

Like.........Happy Birthday to my nephew Joshua who turned 15 in December...

Joshua's daddy, my brother-in-law, Mike, who turned (drumroll please) 50.......

My niece, Joneida, who turned, oh, wait....I'll never tell!

And Russell's sister and her husband who had an anniversary!

All of these people are very special in our lives and we wish them many joyful years to come!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The first time ever I saw your face.....

I fell in love.....with Grady Michael! He's just the cutest, but also the sweetest. His mama just can't get enough of him!

Of course, I wasn't the only love struck person there......all his aunts and his uncle fell hard too!

along with...... Auntie Carol......

Auntie Cathy.....


Grady got lots of loving from Uncle Brian and Aunt Robin!

Uncle Beau and Aunt Katie look on............I mean, wait their turn to hold Grady.

Emily waiting her turn.........holding me instead....poor substitute!

Mama and Daddy are tired, but oh, so happy with their new little guy!

I had a sudden realization girls aren't girls anymore, they're growed up women! But they'll always be my girls!

Oh, and check back often for updates on why I look like this.....

And what in the world is this!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Christmas Day 2008 started off like every Christmas day since Russell and I have been married. We have a tradition.....Russell cooks a big breakfast of bacon, sausage, pancakes and anything else you request. Each year the number of breakfast eaters is different. This year, we lost Russell's daddy and his mother is spending the holidays in North Carolina with Russell's sister. Two of our boys and a daughter in law are in Minnesota having a snowy Christmas! One son is in California along with our grandchildren. This year it was mama, son David and the two of us; a small crowd. The breakfast was wonderful and we were wondering how we would ever eat a huge lunch! But, we do love to eat.

Mama rested while David opened his presents.

I cooked my casseroles while Russell sliced smoked turkey. Then later in the afternoon, it was off to my brother's home where we all gather for our annual Christmas day celebration.

Some can be found in a corner reading.......

or playing electronics.......

My brother, the host, with two of his many grandchildren........

A little piano playing to set the mood...........

The matriarch and two grandchildren.........

Another brother and his wife who are particularly happy this Christmas because they are getting a daughter in law!

Lots and lots of cousins the warm, humid Florida weather.......notice shorts and no shoes!

My sister in law, also the hostess, with two of her grandchildren and my sister.

ONE of the dessert tables.............did I mention our family can put down some chow!? .....

SOME of the food......I mentioned we love to eat didn't I??? .........

Brother in laws solving the problems of the world.......

Oh, it's gift time! Does the word chaos seem to fit here? ............................

My brother and sister in law's best Christmas present.....the fiance!..........she is such a great addition to our family!...............

I did say we like to eat didn't I???.........Cousins around the table.......


Mama with all her children.........The younger brothers on the left aren't unhappy, they just don't smile much! The start of this big family!.......

Grandson and Grandma........................ there are many, many more grandchildren, I just couldn't put all the pictures here!!!

The best gift of all.......from Grandma to all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Please click on the picture to enlarge and read. The rocking horse mama is sitting on now sits under the carport at my brother's. It was a gift that year to a grandchild who is now all grown up.
A gift of love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve...

On Christmas Eve Eve, Mary and Joseph were well on their way to the town of Bethlehem to take part in the be registered there because Joseph was of the house and lineage of David. In other words, every one went to their hometown to be registered. Read in Matthew chapter 1 the geneology of Christ and note the people in that line. They included every sort of person.....people just like us!

Joseph was betrothed to in that day, a betrothal was more binding than a modern day engagement. It was a form of marriage although the two didn't live together. It was such a binding agreement that a divorce was needed to break the relationship.

Mary was a virgin. Please read the story starting in Luke chapter 1 and forward. We come in John chapter 1 verse 14 to understand even more that the Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling place among us. He chose to live with and among us. He experienced the same joys, sorrows and temptations that we experience, so He understands us and yet He was without sin, thus becoming the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

I hope all will rejoice in this wonderful gift from God today and every day of the year.

Now I'll take you on a tour of the last of my Christmas decorations. I've posted them sporadically because, well, that's how I put them out!

One of my favorites, the manger scene. The stable where Jesus, the King of Glory was born and wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger of hay.
The manger scene represents the Inn where there was no room for Mary and Joseph; they ended up in the stable.
The angel who made the announcement to the shepherds watching their flocks by night;
The star (I don't have that, it must have fallen off one year) that guided the wise men from the East, who came to give gifts to the new baby King.
Most importantly, the baby Jesus, born to die to save us from our sin.

Remembering that it is His birthday!

This is a Nativity I made when I was in my ceramics phase. This one was made in 1995, the same year I married Russell. (Just a little FYI)

This is a scene I really love. One year I found these little "Christmas gift frames" and put pictures of childhood memories of Christmas. One is a picture of Russell as a child...another of me as a child.....then each of our children and daughters' in law as children. All Christmas memories.

Russell's mom gives us a santa every year. Now that we no longer have a piano to display them on :) I scatter them throughout the house.

This is our 2008 santa. Can you guess what team is supported around this house???

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas Eve Eve. And just so you don't forget, if you don't get it today or tomorrow, don't worry about getting it at all! Oh, until those great after Christmas sales!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The weekend

Two of our boys came home this hunt....fortunately for the deer someone tipped them off and they hid, thus saving their lives! But then, as the boys say, there will be no deer sausage in the freezer. Oh, that's too bad! I don't eat deer sausage.

They took the motor home up and stayed until Sunday morning. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was getting packages ready by gently placing the few gifts we were giving this year in those wonderful, colorful gift bags! I'm not a wrapper....I don't like wrapping, so the gift bags are the greatest thing for me.

I also cleaned house and made twice baked potatoes for Sunday lunch. Our nephew, Patrick and his wife Kristen are in town, so they came along with Russell's mama and Uncle Hugh. It is always an honor when Uncle Hugh comes because he doesn't eat just anybody's food! He's just a little eccentric but we love him!

Here are Patrick, Matt and Tommy waiting for lunch to be served. Those are some hungry boys!

Russell's mama, Mary Catherine along with Uncle Hugh and Jack, who loves for mema to come and hold him. That is a natural born lap dog!

Since Jack was getting all the attention, Mikey, the hyper dog, decided he would get a lot more attention if he tried being a lap dog, so he jumped up in Kristen's lap and went right to sleep. Well he went to sleep right after this picture was taken, but for him to be that still in someone's lap is not like him at all!

He may have had the mistaken idea that he was going to get a plate!

Jack sitting in Tommy's lap watching expectantly for someone to come to the door. Any excuse to bark.

Matt reluctantly letting me take his picture by the Christmas tree. I guess when you get to be 22, you aren't so eager to be under the tree.

Tommy and Matt. It is really hard to get a picture of the two of them with both sets of eyes open!

We sent Tommy and Claudia's presents home with Tommy and Matt will open his tonight or tomorrow before he drives down to Orlando where the 3 of them will fly to Minnesota to see their mother and their Minnesota family. They are going to freeze!!!

It was a good weekend and oh, yes, it's cold here! Well, I mean cold for us southerners!