Monday, December 31, 2007


After a week of family gatherings here at our house, I think the following poem has wonderful new meaning:

One of the greatest gifts
That life can give to anyone
Is the very special love that families share...
As years go by,
It's good to know that there will always be
Certain people in our lives who care.
For there are countless things
That only families have in common
And memories that no one else can make...
And these precious ties that bind a family together
Are bonds that time and distance cannot break.
How fortunate we are
When we have relatives to love us,
It makes the world a happy place to be...
Few gifts in life
Will last as long
Or touch the heart as deeply
As the very special gift
Of family.
~Craig S. Tunks

Sunday, December 30, 2007

All gone...

Our nest is empty once again, but we had fun with son #1 and his family until they had to leave this morning--sigh!

We had Christmas presents,
lots of good food, some shopping and visiting in the neighborhood.

Happy New Year from all of us!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cleaning, Cooking, Moving Fast...

We are getting ready for another family to visit today. More Christmas celebrating! Whee! Oldest son and family will be here mid-afternoon. I love having Christmas stretched out over time. It really makes the holiday last!

I was trying to figure out what to do with our ham bone left over from Christmas day. I did not want a pot of beans with ham this year, so I went on a search and found the following recipe which smells delicious as it cooks on this chilly and windy day.

1 baked ham bone with meat
3 quarts water
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. sliced celery
1/2 pound green beans
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 can (or frozen) whole kernel corn
1 can black-eyed peas, undrained
1 can tomatoes, undrained
2 c. cooked elbow macaroni
salt & pepper to taste

Place ham bone in large soup kettle. Add water to cover and simmer 30 minutes or until meat falls from bone. Add carrot, celery and onion and simmer 30 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and simmer on low 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add macaroni, season with salt & pepper.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Day for Visiting Relatives and Leaving...

Joe and Isabela met all of our gang for lunch. The girls are really growing up!

And another little one on the way--next August. Ella did not want to wear the "Big Sister" shirt!

Unfortunately, the gang left for home in the afternoon, but not before a few more pictures!

Ella was interested in the ornaments. Everytime I lifted one off the tree, she looked at it and then said, "Put back!" Wonder how many times she has heard that during the holidays?

Ross and his "baby," Nero. Gotta love that face!
And a final picture of three generations.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day

It has been a busy couple of days...

Ella and Grandmommy went shopping on Christmas Eve--wonder who the ball was for??

Lauren took Ella for her first haircut. Notice that they put her in the Fire Chief's chair for the haircut. Snip, snip, snip and the job was done!

Santa came on Christmas morning. Lauren and Ella explore a gift.

New toys for several of the "boys and girls" at our house.

Ella is helping Granddaddy unwrap a really BIG present.

And a novel way of viewing the deer out the kitchen window during mealtime

Lots of fun was had by all and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ponderings During the Christmas Holidays

I love this time of the year, but find that I also get caught up in the crazyness of the season. Once or twice during the past week I realized that I was grumpy, juggling lots of balls and trying to control everything that was happening around me--to make everything perfect. I had lost all sense of the real meaning of Christmas--that Jesus came to this Earth to bring his message of Love and I was not having much love--just rush, turmoil and frenzy. I certainly want to be in control, and I really have a hard time letting go, but the past two days I have tried to practice letting go and loving the season and the people around me. My life seems to be much more joyful this way. Company coming tomorrow and I am not ready, but that is okay, too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Christmas Crunch

Whew! I was hyperventilating this afternoon as I was trying to wade through all the things I had to do before our exercise class at 6:00 p.m. I needed to finish up the ornament booklet for the grandkids that I talked about last week, mail a package, get two presents ready to deliver tonight, and clean up a few messes that I had made in three different rooms--not to mention fixing a bite to eat this evening. I kept making mistakes on the ornament booklet and having to redo things, I could not find a couple of gifts in my wrapping paper mess in the bedroom, and I burned what I was cooking for supper! That was when the hyperventilating began and I remembered what our exercise coach says--to stop and listen to our breathing and our heart beating for just a few minutes. That way we calm down and focus on what is important. I went into the bedroom--the one that was not a mess--and relaxed on the bed. I focused on relaxing all parts of my body. I listened to my breathing and my heart beating. I fell asleep for about five minutes. Then I woke up, fixed all the things that needed fixing, found the items I was missing, and zoomed through the rest of the afternoon. Just those few minutes of relaxation saved the day!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Last night I heard the following song:

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy
You've kissed the face of God.

Mary, did you know?
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the Great I Am.

During the song I went back in time and remembered looking into the faces of each of my four baby boys. Like Mary, I could not tell how they would turn out when they were babies, boys with sniffles, dirty faces and skinned up knees, or even as teenagers.

Today, I realize that my sons will probably not rule nations or walk on water, but I know how they help the people around them, I suspect that they calm storms along the way, and I pray that they always walk with their Guardian Angels.

As I look at each of my adult sons, I see the good things that they do. Thank you, Lord, for the song which allowed me to appreciate how wonderful "my baby boys" are as adults today.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Is Coming!

Today is rainy and cool--a perfect day for Christmas decorating. I got out all the decorations and the tree now has lights and some of our decorations. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

In putting out my decorations I always revisit many memories. I found the corduroy Santa made over a quart-sized milk carton that I got when our first two boys were very young. And I have hung the beaded Christmas ball that I made the Christmas that I was expecting Son #2 who was due on Christmas day. Now I am putting many ornament memories on our tree!

Several years ago my oldest granddaughter helped me decorate for Christmas and I told her the stories behind many of our decorations. It occurred to me that no one would remember those stories unless I wrote them down. Last year I photographed our Christmas decorations and ornaments that have special meaning to make a booklet for my grandchildren so that they would know the stories behind the decorations. My larger ornaments have the story attached or written on the bottom. Hopefully, the booklet will pass on a bit of our Christmas history over the past 40 years--a history that would otherwise be lost when I am no longer around to tell the stories.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In the past month we have been able to see all of our grandchildren. My! How they have grown and matured! See pictures attached. The first picture on the left is eldest son's family. Second picture on the right is #2 son's three girls. Third picture on left is son #3 with his niece, Em. And the fourth picture on the right is son #4 with daughter.

Well, my first learning curve--how to add pictures. I had them bouncing all over the place, then disappearing--and that left me screaming! But at last I got all four to stay on the page--this time! They are not as well balanced as I wanted, but you get the picture(s) anyway!

A First-Timer

I have been thinking about beginning a blog for quite some time now. Last summer my daughter-in-law began a blog and I have enjoyed reading it so much that I decided it was time to begin my own blog. She convinced me that the process was easy! I considered several topics, but decided that I would create this blog mainly for our family. So here goes...