Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Confessional

Hello my friends do I have a confession. Originally I planned to do a recap of the year but my year was not all that great.

Oh, I had some great moments like the Cubs going all the way and winning the World Series.  Also Christian  (aka Noah) not having any suicide attempts this year, first since 2014.

I guess the bad really made an impact and I fought depression big time this year. However, my marriage is stronger the trust is not entirely there yet but it is stronger.

I have to confess I am going to share something big in our lives.  If you are friends with me on Facebook please do not say anything because my step daughter needs to make the announcement there BUT I could not keep it in from my blogging world. I will share more later but here is what I can share for now.

A couple of days before Christmas my step daughter called to tell us she was expecting her doctor appointment was December 29th. A few of the kids know and she plans on telling everyone on Sunday at our dinner.  Today she found out her due date and...

We will be having two new grand babies this Summer.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Birthday Wishes

Do you see this person? She was my first birthday present my parents would tease me when she picked on me.  49 years ago on my birthday my sister was born. Not only was she my first present but she was also my first best friend. Happy Birthday Lisa. I love you.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Goodies

One year for Christmas I did very little baking, maybe just the cookies and pretzels and the children were not happy one bit.  It was 2014 and well it was an awful year and I was so sick during Christmas.   This was a lesson to me, there are certain things I have to make every year in order to make the children happy and well that is what I want to do.  This year I made just those bear necessities and less quantity as well.  I do not need all of the temptation around.

 I only left out one thing, and that is the Buck Eye Candy and that was just added maybe five years ago.  This year I filled their containers and there is very little left over for Christmas Eve and if any makes it Christmas.  To me this is the perfect amount.  I had not energy to bake this year.  My hours working makes it a tad harder to accomplish everything I want to do, so I just stuck to reality.

This year's goodies (all recipes can be found in my recipe tab) included:
  • Decorated Sugar Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Blossoms
  • Almond Bark  Pretzels
  • Holiday Hug Pretzels
  • Milk Chocolate Fudge
  • Peanut Butter Fudge

I know they all will be happy.  Tonight our family gathers at our house, Todd's side of the family will be here as well.  I hope you all have time to spend with family and/or friends.

Do you have specific things you make for Christmas every year as a tradition?

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Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 Christmas At Work Competition


I truly love where I work and every year there is a friendly competition between departments on decoration.  My team is the largest so far and we expand over three aisles of cubicles.  It is very difficult to decorate this large of an area.  This year I thought it would be great to do "Twas The Night Before Christmas" and section each area into parts of the book.

The first row we had stockings and fire places dangling from the ceiling tiles.
 
 
The second row we dangled peppermint candy, gingerbread men, and pink ballerinas for the vision of Sugar Plums Danced In Their Heads.
 The last row, I created roof tops (well the team executed my idea) above each cubicle
and hung Santa flying with his eight reindeer and
snow flakes dangling from the ceiling.
We also pulled up a table and placed Santa and a table top Christmas tree.  
We brought in Christmas cookies to share with those who came to visit.
My team, well nearly all of my team we had four out that day. 
We dressed in our pajamas as if we were little children Christmas morning.

We did not win but I had several people come to me and tell me how our picture did not do justice for our team and we should have won.  They were right again it is hard with an area as large as our to have a good team picture to submit for voting.  I did enjoy hearing the people talk about our area. 

Do you decorate at work?

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Our Christmas Tree ~ 2016


We typically have red and white lights on our tree both we had problems with our lights this year.  Half of the red lights and half of the white lights were not working, so Emily went to her place and brought over some old fashioned large bulbs Christmas lights.  We are a little concerned, even though they are both indoors and outdoors, the lights get very hot.  So hot we have a couple of spots where the carpet melted when we were swapping light bulbs for those that were not working.  We loved the look but will limit the time the lights are on and will not keep them on all week the week before Christmas and Christmas day.
 

I love our tree.  We have some old balls as well as new.   Here are a few close ups of some of our ornaments.

 Our tree has a lot of red and white decorations.
The top ornament is a new one we picked up during our trip to the North Pole Express.
Next to the new ornament you see a Dalmatian ornament peeking.
This was one of the children's ornaments years ago.  We also add candy canes that we pass out on Christmas Eve.  This is one of my boys favorite things about the tree.
 Of course we have an Iowa Hawkeye Christmas ornament.

 I love this little Santa Ornament.  His arms and legs dangle and move.
 The ornament on the left we have always had, the Cubs Ornament but we had
to pick up a new one to celebrate their World Series Championship.
I love how it is in the shape of a baseball as well.
I really love our tree this year.

I hope you have had the opportunity to look at my post this week and tour my house during this Christmas Season.  I plan to have another post today of my department's decorations.  Please stop by later and enjoy it.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Tour ~ Our Large Living Room/Family Room

Our large living room is my favorite room of the house during this time of the year.  I am going to start with our entertainment center.  On top, center majority of the time is where I put up my Christmas Village.  I did not add everything this year but I like what has been added.  




The second level on the right I added the skating pond from the village as well as one of the poinsettia plants.


On the left I added my new Nativity Set.  I am so in love with this set!  We also have another poinsettia plant.



I also added my little angels on the entertainment center.  I purchased these in 1983.  They used to be in my room the first five holiday seasons.

 
 In the corner of the base of our fireplace is a Santa and Rudolph.  The reindeer is special, Jim (Todd's Mom's boyfriend) made it years ago for Todd.  His nose broke years ago and we found this glittered ball at Pier One and thought it would be a great nose for Rudolph.  Taj loves this decoration.  Last year he would go up to Santa and talk to him.  :)



This year's fire mantel's decoration.  
My Santa collection.  

This is also the second new painting we picked up last year. 

I add Christmas place mats to our end tables.

I used to have my snow globes on the coffee table but then Taj started to walk.
This year we added this little basket with lights, pine cones, and Christmas balls.
We also added our two North Pole Express Bells.  
You can click here and read about our North Pole Express Adventure.


On top of my piano is a small Nutcracker set.


In the corner we have our Christmas Tree.

Do you have a favorite room in your house during the holidays?  Come back tomorrow for a close up of our tree.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Tour ~ Our Tiny Foyer

Today's little tour will be my tiny foyer.  In our corner we have a corner shelf with three levels.  Todd began to decorate it with left overs a couple of years back.  I leave the shelf for him.  He just began to help me two years ago and I enjoy it.  This year, I took the Christmas train from him and added it to the fire mantel, so he chose to decorate with snowmen.


I added this little shelf and mirror in 2015.  I did not decorate it last year but had planned on it, so this year I did.  Kera purchased our boxes the past few years and gave them to us with gifts.  I have saved them to decorate with.  I purchased the little stand with the large box from Target this year.


Last year the day after Christmas we picked up two paintings.  This is one of the two and I love it.


I have to add the door bell. I have always had one since I was in college.  It is something I have to have now for some reason.  I guess it is just part of my tradition.


I also added my small Precious Moments Nativity to the shelf in my mudroom.



Our foyer is definitely small but I like the vibe we have.  Come back tomorrow and we will tour the large living room/family room.  It is my favorite room in the entire house.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Tour ~ Our Small Living Room


I live in a split ranch.  It looks like a two story house from the outside.  Basically, it is our first floor there is a very small foyer.  Once you walk inside in front of the front door are the stairs, next to the stairs is a hallway.  Immediately off the hallway is a small entry hall you could say that we created as a mudroom.  ( I just looked through my blog and found I never posted about our little mudroom we completed this past summer.  I will have to post about it later.)  This mudroom leads to a half bathroom and a small room where we currently are using as a storage and the cat litter boxes room.  We also have an additional refrigerator and small stand up freezer in this room.  At one time it was Matthew's bedroom and prior to us moving in, it was their computer room.  Down the hallway is our large living room or family room.  That is our first floor.

Going up stairs you will be in our small living room or sitting room.  All three of our bedrooms, kitchen and two more bathrooms and laundry room is also upstairs.  A couple of years I had an additional tree in our small living room.  Now, I have our plants where the tree used to go up so I have only a few decorations in our small living room but I love what we have. 


 On my plant stand I have a tiny stocking pot with our poinsettia.  
The plants are only indoors during the cold weather.  
The plants go out in our porch once the weather warms up.
 This floral container is the one I used to have on my counter in the kitchen.  
This year it is in our small living room, right outside my bedroom door.
On each side of the floral container are two of my three Candle Light votive music snow globes.  I wish I had one more, one for each of the boys to have in their house when the time comes.  My boys have always loved these at Christmas time, especially Ethan.
 I have the fourth one on one of the end tables.

 We have two book cases in our small living room primarily filled with old books Todd grew up with.  
On top of one I have a cinnamon stick gathered arrangement with a little cardinal.
 On top of the other book case I have one of my nativity sets.  
I purchased this little set back in 1983.
I used to keep it in my bedroom when I first purchased it.

We will also be adding two tables with chairs for family to sit around on Christmas Eve.  Todd's side of the family comes over on Christmas Eve.  For now, this is all we have in our small living room. 

Please come back tomorrow to see my small decorations in our foyer.

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