Monday, December 24, 2007
First Christmas Eve alone....
All the kids, except Ashley, were here yesterday. Kirk & Deirdre & Deirdre's 2 yr old niece Joslynn, Heather & Allen, Tom & I were together yesterday to share our gifts and eat a simple dinner together.

Then today, Tom and I were alone all day. We didn't even get out of our night clothes. Our phone didn't even ring until about 7:00 pm. I can always count on Heather to call at least once a day. This is the first time since we have been married that we were alone on Christmas Eve. We also, for the first time, shared our gifts with each other on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day. It was nice just to spend some quiet time together. Normally, there is so much hustle and bustle going on with everyone here, we don't even get to see each other open our gifts.

We used to have everyone at our home for Christmas dinner. My two brothers, their wives and children, our three kids and their spouses or girlfriends....usually about 14 to 16 people. This year it was just 6 of us. Ashley couldn't be here this year and my brothers are staying home this year, and Mom and Dad are both gone. It was very different from the previous 17 years. It made me a little sad.

This year, we will be joining Heather's in-laws for Christmas dinner. I made a couple of things to bring, but again, for the first time in 18 years, we will be traveling to someone else's home for Christmas. Different. Just different.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Rain Rain Go Away!
Normally, I don't mind rain very much unless I have things to do outside my home, like purchase stocking stuffers for my sweet husband. It has been storming all day today and we have a tornado watch until 4:00 pm this afternoon.

Anyway, I have finished wrapping everything, and have stuffed all the stockings with stuff, so I am just sitting here watching Storm Stories on the Weather Channel.

I also need to go to the Women's Hope Center to bring some clothes out there that are too big for me now. Yay! Tom looked me up and down yesterday when he got home and said "You are getting skinnier every day!" Now THAT is a nice thing to hear!
Well, I think I will find something around here to do. I used to take a nap every day, but I rarely do that now, so maybe I will watch a movie or read my book.
Hope all of you are finished with all your shopping and wrapping.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Getting to Know you......

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Change all the answers so that they apply to you.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, I like a mixture under the tree, and the bags are getting prettier and prettier.
2. REAL OR FAKE TREE? I prefer a real fraser fir, but this year, I am using my ceramic tree my Mother and I made 12 years ago. It's in her honor, since this is my first Christmas without her. (the picture above is our tree last year)
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the 2nd week of December or just when I get around to it.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the week between Christmas and New Years.
5. Do you like eggnog? No way Jose'. It's yuck!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Judy Baby. It is a life size baby doll and when you turn her on her tummy she says "Ma Ma". I still have her and she is now 52 years old. I have actually received her 3 different Christmases. My mom & dad had her redone at the doll hospital and gave her to me again when I was 8 years old (the first time was at about 4 years old) and my husband brought her to the doll hospital again when I was about 45 years old and he gave her to me for Christmas again then. She has been around a long time! I still love that baby doll. She is my Judy Baby. That's what I named her when I was 4.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes! I have a couple of them. I usually put a tiny one in the bathroom and the bigger one in the den, but this year I am not putting out anything except the ceramic tree.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My oldest son. He will never say what he wants.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter. She starts telling me in January what she wants for her birthday in July and then for Christmas the next year.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I think the worst was a dirty looking fuzzy owl that someone picked up at a garage sale, but it's the thought that counts. Right?
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I like Snail Mail because I like getting the cards in the mail too. I hang them all around the door to my den.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I still love the movie "Christmas Carol".
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? In the summer usually. Sometimes in January.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? ...yes. But only a couple of times.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pecan pie and my sister-n-law's Forgotten Cookies.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I have used both, but I prefer the colored.
17. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose)
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home preferrably, but this year we will be traveling to my daughter's in-laws for dinner. That will be nice. I won't have to do a lot of cooking OR cleaning. Yahoo!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Ok, I cheated and looked them up on Google. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner/Donder, Blitzen, and Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? My beautiful Angel .
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Normally, on Christmas Morn! But this year, we will be doing our Christmas gifts on the Sunday before. Everyone is going in different directions for Christmas.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The traffic and the rude drivers. Why can't everyone just be nice?
23. What I love most about Christmas? Being with family & friends and everyone smiling and laughing and having a fun time.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Season!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
2 months post surgery....
Hi everyone! Tom took my 2 month post surgery pictures today. I am doing very well. I have lost 43 pounds! I am posting my Surgery day photo along with the one taken today.

The difference already is amazing. I am having less back pain and can walk for longer distances without getting so winded. There are somethings that I don't like about the way I have to eat now but I get full so fast I don't eat very much.

One of my favorite foods is icecream. YUM. Is icecream a food? Of course! It's dairy! I LOVE Blue Bell Homemade vanilla icecream, but since my surgery, I have had no desire for it. That was my downfall. I actually use to think about icecream all day until I got to have some after dinner. So the surgery fixed THAT craving for me! Thank goodness!

Just wanted to post my progress. More later.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Christmas this year....

Christmas is coming up fast and furious. It puts stress on everyone. We all look forward to it and some of us dread it at the same time we look forward. This will be my family's first Christmas without Mom. I put out my ceramic tree this year instead of a real tree. Mom and I made the ceramic tree together about 15 years ago. She added the snow to the ends of the branches and I did the rest, so I thought it only fitting to display it especially this year.

I only have two more gifts to purchase and I will be done. Tom and I will be going this coming weekend to get things finished. We still need stocking stuffers for the 'kids'. It's funny that we all love our stockings so much. All of our kids a grown and in their late 20s and early 30s and our stockings are still such a treat.

This is my Mom last year. She got this fuzzy hat in her stocking. She loved it and it was so cute on her!

That is something I really enjoyed when I was coming up. The stocking my Mom put out for us always had the best stuff in them. I remember having gold earrings in the toe of my stocking one year, and a birthstone ring another Christmas. This is a tradition I have tried to keep alive in our family.

Everyone rushes in and the first thing everyone goes to is their stocking. They are always overflowing with stuff. I put everything I can think of from deoderant to tools and toys in the stockings. They are fun to do and fun to open. I enjoy watching everyone dumping out their stockings and going through the contents.

In the last few years, it suddenly occurred to Heather that I was the one doing my own stocking. When it hit her, she talked to Tom about it and started doing my stocking herself. It's been fun to open my stocking on Christmas morning and not know what's in it already. Now I get surprises too.

Now I need to get busy around here, so I will post more later.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Craft Fair Flop!
I spent $75 for a booth at the Craft Fair this past weekend. I spent untold hours making fabric Christmas trees and egg basket lamps. It takes me almost 4 hours just to make one tree. The comments were great! "look how beautiful", "these are gorgeous", "how unusual", "it must take a long time to make these", "these are sooooo pretty". And then they kept walking.

I had CHRISTMAS trees! It's Christmas time people! Buy a dad-burned CHRISTMAS tree! Here are some pics of my merchandise.

Can I tell you, this is the first and LAST show I will do? I was exhausted. One the positive side, I made new friends, and I had lots of fun, but the work was "too much shit for a nickle."

Well, so much for that.