December 30, 2012

Christmas Time...

Good evening friends.  Where has the time gone?  I know I've been missing from blog land for a bit but I have been busy enjoying the Christmas season.
I have been checking in on your blogs but haven't been commenting much.  I promise to do better.
We had a good holiday season. Although it was a bit sad without hubby's dad, we made it and enjoyed it.
I was in charge of the party at Darbee's school.  It was a Polar Express party.  The children wore their PJ's to school and they watched the movie.  Her class went around the school to every classroom caroling.  I stayed all day with her as well as a few other parents.  It was so much fun.
I took in the snacks.  They had Christmas sugar cookies with sprinkles, "snowball" cheese balls, and reindeer donuts.  I also made homemade hot chocolate.  I used the polar express recipe and it was DELICIOUS!

Here is her class caroling in another pre-k room.
They were adorable!

Christmas Eve, we always meet and eat Christmas breakfast together.  We met Nana and Papa and enjoyed a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Afterward, we went shopping for stocking stuffers.  
We had a super busy day.  We had to go to three houses for get togethers.  Whew!  We ended up at Nana's that evening for our Christmas. Darbee was so excited and wanted to open gifts first thing.

Do you think she was a little excited when she discovered what was wrapped?
Oh yea...

It was her new baby doll, Charlotte.

We had such a good day and was so ready for Santa to come. We hurried home and got to bed.  I think I was just as excited as Darbee.  I was like a kid too!

Before we headed to bed though, Darbee had to tell Elmer bye as he would be going home with Santa until next year.  
Darbee was allowed to touch him since he would be leaving that night.
She gave him many hugs and kisses and sadly told him bye.  

She placed him right by the door so Santa wouldn't forget him. :)

Goodbye Elmer!  You have been a lot of fun!

We had to wake Darbee up on Christmas morning!  We have had to every year!
She was so excited to go see what Santa brought.

I love this one.  She didn't know what to say or think.

Santa wrapped some presents this year which was something he had never done.  She quickly tore into them.
She was thrilled when she unwrapped her pink bb gun.
She had to hold it up.

And even more excited when she opend a Wii.  
This was nothing she had asked for and a complete surprise. 
It was more of a gift for all of us. :)

I just loved her expressions.  She was so excited about her Stompeez!

An ipod was her most wanted thing.  Santa "hid" it behind another toy.  She got all of her presents unwrapped including an ipod case and didn't have an ipod.  She wanted to cry but still wanted to be happy over all of her toys.  Hubby asked her to bring him a toy to look at and it was behind that one.  She started screaming and jumping.  It was priceless.

Then she hugged it.
Yes...we were so blessed this holiday season.
As excited as I was on Christmas morning, there was a sad place in my heart.  One because I knew Bennie, hubby's dad wouldn't be coming to play and see what Santa brought.  Another because I knew how sad and heartbroken those parents who lost their children in the shooting must have been.  I just can't imagine how they must have felt.  

We had a good Christmas and for that I am thankful. We spent time with those we love.  We made memories. We carried on traditions.  We were blessed.

I hope all of you have had a good Christmas season.  

Until next time....

December 18, 2012

The magical moments....

Good morning everyone.  Are you ready?  Can you believe Christmas will be here in just a week?  Oh my.  I still have a few gifts to buy and lots to wrap but it will get done.  
Christmas has always been my most favorite time of the year.  This year, the time was made even more special.  On mistake, I stumbled upon a Facebook page of "Santa Victor."  I knew he looked familiar and read more on his page.  He was an old family friend!  The wheels started turning in my head right away.  I quickly wrote him and asked if he did "house calls."  I knew I had to get him.  He was so "authentic."  Real white hair, long white beard.  It was perfect.  He had even been to Santa school!  He wrote right back and said yes and a date was immediately set.  
I started planning right then for a small Christmas party for Darbee Rae and a few of her friends.  I was so excited!  I contacted the parents and told them the plan and that Santa was going to surprise the children.  We had to keep it a secret.  Darbee Rae was so excited about having her friends over to our house for a party.  
So, the night came.  I could hardly contain my excitement.
I will warn you this will be a VERY picture heavy post! The pictures tell the story and share the excitement in the kids much better than I could ever tell you.
Watching their faces was priceless.

The table was set with the snacks.  

There were Christmas tree cookies to decorate with icing and sprinkles.

There were "snowballs" complete with a shovel for serving.

There was popcorn.

And we even fancied up the juice boxes.

As the kids arrived, I had a small craft set up on the table.  They decorated foam stockings and trees with Christmas stickers.  This was to kill time until time for Santa's arrival.

Can you tell Darbee Rae was so excited?
Everyone was wearing their pajamas too!

They got busy on the crafts right away.
This is Katie.  She and Darbee were in dance class together.

Darbee and Cooper quickly began catching up! 

One friend was running late which worked out perfectly.  There was a noise outside which we "thought" was the friend.  I called Darbee to the door to look outside.  When she passed by the window, Santa was peeping in the window.  It was priceless! She quickly ran to the door and let him in. For once, she was struck speechless!
Cooper was right by Darbee's side the whole time.  
It was precious!

Although she was a little scared, a little surprised, and a little nervous, she quickly
gave Santa a big hug!
He was actually at our house!!!!

He was absolutely awesome!  He quickly gathered all of the kids around and let them
introduce themselves.
They were so quiet and listened to every word.

Then it was time for more hugs!

And even some secrets!  
I just adore this picture.  Don't you wonder what he is telling her?

Santa even shared a picture of a brand new baby reindeer.
He had pictures of it on his phone.

Who would have thought of that?  
Did I mention he was perfect?

Just look at the look on Diamond's face. 
It was priceless.
Pure excitement.

Every child had a turn to sit on Santa's knee and tell him what they wanted him to bring them.

All of the kids sat so nicely in the floor listening and waiting for their turn.

Santa even knew that Darbee Rae helped Nana and Papa at the craft fair this year and that she was selling marshmallow shooters!  Wow!  He really does keep up with them huh?

After that, he got in the floor with them.
He had them all put their hands together.

and then he had them all pull his beard!
He told them he wanted to prove it was real!

Look at the look on his face!  They didn't cut him any slack!
They pulled HARD!

Then that was followed by hugs!

and a group picture.

and final instructions from Santa.

Then it was time for him to go... 

But not before a few last pics.

And a little mischief from Nana...Ha!

The perfect evening?  Yes...

We finished it up with snacks, making ornaments and making reindeer food.

Are you still with me?  If so, you deserve an award. 
I know this was the longest post ever, but I had to share.
It will be in my blog book for me. :)

It was perfect. 
I couldn't have asked for anything more.
It was a magical night I will never forget.

Until next time....

December 10, 2012

A little Christmas tour....the kitchen

Good rainy afternoon friends! It is very dark and cloudy here today and just has started drizzling rain.  Would be so perfect if it wasn't 70 degrees outside and I wasn't listening close to the weather channel for storms!  Yuck.  Supposed to turn a bit cooler tomorrow.  Keeping my fingers crossed. 
It's a good sleepy day today but I have been busy around the house.  I thought I would invite all of you into my kitchen today and share a bit of my decor with you.  I can offer you a K-cup from hubby's stash or a glass of coke.  That's my "coffee."  Ha!  I don't have anything sweet cooked yet but will be cooking a yummy sausage casserole for supper.  Would love for you to hang around to enjoy it with us.
Anyway...grab your drink and come along.

If you walk in the back door and look straight ahead, you will see this.  I decided to hang small wreaths on the front of each cabinet door this year.  Something I've never done before but will definitely do again.  I love the way it looks!  I attached red plaid burlap ribbon to them and tacked them into the inside of the doors.  

Just under that set of cabinets is my stove.  It is an antique!  Ha! 
It is many many years old but has such character.  Still cooks fine, so guess I will keep it for a while longer.  My dad made my stove board for me.  I am so proud of it.  

On the counter as you come in the back door is a small collection of jars filled with candy.
I don't really collect anything but if I did, it would be old jars.  I just love them. 

Beside the jars is this little shelf I found at the Salvation Army.  I love it.
I can hide all of our chargers in the small drawer and keep them out of site.  The little mouse friend
was made by my mom as well as the stuffed peppermints. 

This old scale was a gift from my mom and dad.  I love it hanging in my kitchen.
It is filled with Christmas greenery and artificial fruit.

I have a small old enamel table in the middle of my floor.  My dad made the table riser for me.  
I love the table. 

This is a tall cabinet with lots of drawers I bought at a yard sale and painted.  
The clock hanging on the wall plays a different Christmas carol each hour.  Darbee loves that. 

I hope all of you have enjoyed your visit into our home.  I surely have enjoyed having you.  
I hope you will visit again soon!  Maybe we will tour the living room/dining room next.  

Until next time!