End of 2013 / Happy New Year!

party.hatsCan you believe that today is the last day of 2013?  Neither can I!

This year has flown by for us.  It has been a good one with many changes – both good and bad.  Now is the time to look back on the year that was and think ahead to the coming year.

For the first time in many years, my family didn’t have a vacation this year.  I hope that we can change that and enjoy the rest of our break for Ian from school.  Perhaps we can do a few things around town and have fun!

We lost a few people who are close to us this year and that has been really hard.  Several friends and family members are having health issues and I am praying for them to get better very soon.  I hope also that we will have a wonderful and healthy coming year!  Hope you will as well!

Also, this year I began working with the PTO at Ian’s school.  I am serving as the secretary.  It has been a great way to meet people and get involved.  I have made some new friends as well.  So this has been a fun use of my time.

This week, I read in a magazine some fun items for the end of 2013.  Here they are with my answers:

**Plans at Midnight:  I hope to be awake long enough to kiss my husband and say Happy New Year!  We usually watch the ball drop in Times Square with a sleeping boy in his room and us fighting to stay awake.  Nights out partying into the new year are a thing of the past.

**Celebratory Drink: White Zinfandel in a glass with ice.  This is my favorite way to give a toast!  To 2013, cheers.  To 2014, may it be a good one!

**Hangover Cure:  Don’t drink enough to need this.

**One Word To Describe 2013: Changes.  With Ian starting school and so much else going on, it truly has been a year of transition for us.  It was hard at first but knowing how much he loves school and learning has made it so much easier.

**Dream Travel for 2014: I hope my family can go to the beach for vacation and see my cousin in South Carolina (perhaps the same trip or two trips).  We’ll see what we can do.

Tonight our church has a service that we plan to attend.  We will celebrate communion, which is a cool way to usher out the old year, I think.  And, then we’ll eat with my parents and get home before it gets too late.

Then Wednesday late morning, I plan to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade in its entirety.  This, in my opinion, is by far the best parade of the year.  Ian is looking forward to it as well.  A lazy day will be wonderful!!!  Whatever you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, may you be safe and careful!

Here are the words of Auld Lang Syne, which I am sure we will hear at some point tonight.  What do you think of the words?  I think it’s important to remember old acquaintances and be thankful for them.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Here are a few quotes about New Year’s:

  • “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” — Oprah Winfrey
  • “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”– Brad Paisley
  • “We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” — Edith Lovejoy Pierce
  • “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.” — Joey Adams

Happy Birthday Dear Richmond!

SRP.33.Patti_Richmond.1990Today, December 28, is my brother’s Birthday! Happy Birthday to you dear Richmond. This picture was taken in 1990 at the beach and is one of my favorites.  It cracks me up how similar our hairdos are.

I am 5 years older than my bro and we are very close.  It wasn’t always that way – at least not when we were growing up.  But, we overcame that and put aside our sibling rivalry junk. Now we are adults who love to spend time together and have our families get together.

It is a blessing to have shared all that we did with our sister Cindy and be able to come out the other side as friends who enjoy being together.  The three of us are pictured below.  And, I must admit it is amazing that we are now in our 40s.  Where did the time go?  How did I fly by so quickly?

It did and we have made a point to keep in regular contact since we no longer live in the same towns.  We get together when we can and our kids enjoy being together too.

Richmond has a great job, a wonderful family, is a lot of fun, and makes me laugh.  He is a fan of U2, dress clothes, and loves to quote movies.  I just wish we could spend more time together.

Tonight is his birthday party and I unfortunately won’t be able to be there, but will be in spirit.  With my son having been sick this week, Kirk and I decided to rest and stay closer to home.  I am, however, looking forward to photos and hearing about the evening.

Richmond, I hope that you have a wonderful birthday and can have fun and do what you like!   May you have a blessed birthday and another amazing trip around the sun!  I love you bro!!!

3 kids

For To Us A Child Is Born!!!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Birthday Jesus!  Happy December 25th.

Today, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior which is Christ the Lord!  My prayer is that you have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas!!

Here is our manger given to us several years ago by some dear friends.  We set it up each Christmas and it’s Ian’s favorite part of the decorations — other than what he helps make.  A few of the pieces are broken now but it still is a vivid reminder of the true meaning of this amazing holiday.

May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas Day!  Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!!!!

A few verses of scripture announcing this amazing birth:

  • Luke 2:11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
  • Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 
  • Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
  • Matthew 2:10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”
  • Luke 2:12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
  • Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
  • Matthew 1:21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

I hope and pray that you have a glorious day!  Isn’t it great that we gifts on Jesus’ birthday?  I know that Ian and we sure think it is!!  Enjoy!!

A Crafty Christmas

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Christmas Eve Eve!  It is hard to believe we just have two days until Christmas!

The only thing we have left to do is finish wrapping some gifts and be ready to exchange them.  We had a family get together yesterday and that was fun. I like a few days of get togethers with both sides of the family.

This year I was very crafty and made items for the first time.  That was partly because of trying to spend less, but also because it was something that I wanted to try.  I had some quality time at home to work on a variety of items for family. It was fun to listen to music and work in our kitchen.  I enjoyed this much better than a lot of time at the stores.

The first picture is of the food that I made — cookies, fudge, and chocolate covered pretzels and white chocolate covered pretzels.  Some of these were challenging since I’d never made them before.  I am glad though that I did this since it was something new to learn and fun as well.

One evening we were watching Ree Drummond on “The Pioneer Woman.”  Ian and I both enjoy her show very much.  She made peppermint fudge.  Since chocolate mint is my favorite, my ears perked right up.  I wrote down the recipe and then looked it up online. Then time at the store.

I made two batches of that, one batch of chocolate fudge, and one batch of chocolate peanut butter fudge.  It was pretty easy and sure tastes good and is very rich.

My next venture was baking cookies — sugar, chocolate chip, and pumpkin spice chocolate chip.  These turned out well and people have liked them so far.  My son, husband, and dad are all self-described cookie monsters so they all have been happy with the results.  Of that I am very pleased.

The last item was the pretzels.  I really like white chocolate covered pretzels and thought it would be fun to make them and the regular chocolate covered as well.  These were the most tedious and I need more practice.  The time it took to cover was almost not enough since the chocolate started hardening so quickly.  Thankfully I made it in time but barely.

My other project was making bead ornaments in the shapes of wreaths and candy canes.  We have made these with my mother for several years now.  I decided it would be fun to make them this year to give away as gifts.

These are fun and very easy to do with pipe cleaners (or fuzzy sticks as the package said) and a variety of beads.  You can see a few of our ornaments in the picture at the bottom of the blog.  Ian helped me make these over two evenings while we were watching television.

I don’t mean to sound like I am talking myself up.  But, when you haven’t done certain things before as I hadn’t, it is fun to share that you had success.  At least it was for me.   This year I have felt like Crafty Patti and it’s been a rewarding experience.

We did buy gifts to go along with the homemade ones.  It is a nice pairing, I think.  May you have a wonderful and very blessed Christmas week!  Please let me know if you too have had a crafty Christmas!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh Christmas Tree

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.” Those are words to a song that came to mind when I decided to post a few photos of our Christmas tree.

We don’t have a live tree or a green one.  Ours is skinny and white and I love it.  The ornaments truly stand out and it makes me think of a snow-covered tree. I realize it’s not for everyone, but we like and have gotten used to it.

On our tree are a few ornaments that I made when I was a girl, gifts from when we got married and the year Ian was born and other gifts, and ones that we have made.

Last year and this year, Ian has helped me make beaded ornaments.  And, he drew a manger ornament for this year.  I have to say it is my favorite!

Our tree is in our dining room next to a window.  In the evenings, we enjoy having it and one other light shining.  As we watch Christmas movies, read or talk, we enjoy the light of the tree.

Now to get the presents underneath.  That is a goal by tomorrow night.  Much to still do.  I better get to it. Just 5 Days until Christmas!

What kind of Christmas tree do you have?  I’d love to hear about it. Take care and Happy Friday!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Throwback Thursday – Ian’s First Christmas

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday. Today I decided to share several photo for Throwback Thursday.  They are of Ian’s first Christmas.  He was nearly 3 months old when these were taken.

I love his smile and he seemed so happy in his Santa hat.  We were having fun looking at each other.  That is my face in the top right.  When he was born, he was just under 10 pounds so he had grown quite a bit already.

He was posed by the tree with a place mat on his tummy. He constantly had his hands in his mouth when he was this age or his pacifier, paci, as we called it.  Now he’s 6 years old, tall for his age, and full of fun and energy.  It is amazing to think this is the 6th Christmas we have celebrated with Ian.  Each one has been special in its own way.

Early on, he just enjoyed smiling at people and looking at all of the lights and ornaments.  Then, he was happy with the gifts that we picked for him and played with them.  In recent years, he has been asking for items that he wants to receive.  Isn’t it amazing how quickly that changes?

Now, this year he has been curious about Advent (the season preparing for Christ’s arrival), is enjoying his Advent calendar, and knows what the meaning of Christmas is and why we celebrate it.  He is also discovering what we celebrate. At school, he has been learning about different traditions around the world.  You can see in my blog from yesterday that he gets it.  I am so proud of him for that.

I just can’t believe all of the changes in the last 6 years.  Here are a few more photos from his 1st Christmas.  Mr. Smiley was actually cooperating. I am ready to take a lot of new photos this year of him and the wonder of Christmas morning.

I wonder what his favorite part will be this year?  I can’t wait to find out.  I wonder how many happy tears I will have.  I imagine quite a few.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Away In A Manger

Ian's_Manger.sceneHope you are having a great day!  Can you believe it’s just 7 days until Christmas?  If you are like me, there is still so much to be done.

On Sunday, Ian wrote a book about Christmas and drew several pictures.  Here is his drawing of the manger scene with the shepherds and wise men and angel and animals.  “The Book of Christmas” was written and illustrated by Ian.

The story as told by Ian,  “First you need to set up the manger.  Then you need to put up your Christmas tree. Then you go to bed and sleep.  You then wake up and go downstairs.  Then you see if you got coal or a gift in your stocking.  Then you see if you get presents or coal.  The End.”

This drawing was my favorite.  He made a very similar photo that we have as an ornament on our tree.

I am so thrilled this year he understands what Christmas is about — the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord. It is exciting to realize he really likes the story of the manger and all of the animals, the angel delivering the message and the shepherds and their sheep coming as well as the 3 Wise Men coming and bringing gifts.

And, I asked him one time, “Isn’t it cool that we get gifts on Jesus’ birthday?”  He said, “Yes it is Mommy.”  He also likes Santa and is still wondering what Santa will bring to him and what treats we should leave before he goes to bed.

One week from today is Christmas.  Between now and then we will be celebrating and exchanging gifts with each side of the family.  That will be fun and include great time together as well as terrific food.  Then Christmas morning, Ian will awaken from his bed and go down to see what gifts he has received from Santa and his Mommy and Daddy.  That afternoon will be more with other family and friends as well.

The week of Christmas is always full of magic and fun.  I so enjoy seeing it all through Ian’s eyes!  He knows that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

December 16 – Makes You Feel Merry

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!  Today’s photo challenge is Makes You Feel Merry.  I took some pictures yesterday at church.  These make me merry since they include items of both Advent and Christmas.

These and the scriptures below remind me of what Christmas is all about.  Ian commented about the photo with the baby in a manger picture in front of the tree, “Aw, how cute.  They have the Baby Jesus.”

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Luke 2:10-12  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

May you have a blessed day full of merry and fun!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Frosty and Foggy Part 2 / TGIF

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I am so very glad that it’s Friday today!

We have just this weekend and next before Christmas.  WOW!  How will it all get done?  If I do a little each day, I will be fine.  So this weekend will be all about preparing for Christmas and well as some time to have fun and relax. I sure don’t want to panic or get sick right before Christmas and all of the fun with family.

Today since I wasn’t feeling inspired by the photo of the day challenge (Composition) and there was no Five Minute Friday word given, I decided to post a few more frosty and foggy pictures.  I also wanted to write about a funny thought from this morning.

While making my oatmeal for breakfast, I started thinking about my husband’s Aunt May.  She is a character, often over the top, and lots of fun, and always has something to say – whether you want to hear it or not.  She lives in Scotland and has her own way of doing everything.

One time years ago when we were visiting her, I was making oatmeal or porridge as she calls it.  She said, “Oh Patti, how can you make porridge like that? I don’t mean to tell you what to do, but Oh God Patti, how can you eat that?” I told her, “I like it this way.”

I like my oatmeal or porridge made with milk and then I put on a pat of butter, salt, and fruit (usually blueberries).  It may be odd for some but this is how I like it.  That way I have sweet and salty together with a taste of fruit as well.  YUMMY!

This made me wonder, how do you like your oatmeal?  There is no correct way to eat it, contrary to what May thinks.  My hubby likes it with brown sugar and raisins and Ian likes it plain.

Today is another frosty day so the oatmeal hit the spot.  Here are a few more of those frosty and foggy pictures.  Enjoy and hope you stay warm and dry this weekend!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Frosty, Foggy, and Green

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGood morning and Happy Hump Day!  Happy 11th day of December.

This morning it was 25 degrees when we left for Ian to go to school.  It was very frosty and foggy.  I told Ian that it looked like a big cloud had fallen down or a snowball.  He smiled and said, “Yes Mommy.”

I was inspired to take some pictures since I see beauty in the bare trees dusted with white.  No filtering or altering was done.  I simply took photos with a flash.  Hope you enjoy my photos.

Today’s Photo-A-Day Challenge for today is Green.  I thought this first photo would also work for that.

As it happens, I have 11 photos to post in this blog. Isn’t that cool since it’s the 11th day of the month?  And, don’t forget, just two weeks from today until Christmas!  WOW!  Still so much to do.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA