Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tis The Christmas Time...

 Thanksgiving is over. It was a wonderful holiday in our little Red House. We watched the parade, had family come in and out our door all morning and enjoyed the aroma of juicy turkey floating through each room.

Like any Thanksgiving, cheesy holiday movies played in the background and after we overdosed on turkey, we collapsed wherever we wanted and napped. My sweet baby and I crawled into our bed and took a nice nap before we started on desserts....

Once evening rolled around, we went down the road to my cousins house and met up with everyone for every single pie you could possibly imagine.

We parted ways and the girls met up a few hours later to indulge in some black friday shopping...

Cause thats what we do!! Gotta work off those calories. Its the 3rd year in a row and I claim it our new tradition!!!... one that our hubbies are not as excited about as we are. Ha!

Wing night happened a day early because the BIG GAMECOCKS VS CLEMSON game was this Saturday night.

Company came over and we had pizzas, chili and ice cream and screamed our AWESOME team to victory. We gave them a smackdown (again) that they will never forget.

It was a proud night for Gamecock fans everywhere... and we are getting used to it. Seems like every year we whip those kittens back in their cage. HA!

 But now that all the football/Thanksgiving hoopla is over, Christmas decorating is in FULL force. Boxes are down and our trees will be put up. I have 3 teeny trees I decorate and 2 big ones. Our main tree (which I still have to get out of our attic) and my
"gaudy" tree in my foyer...

 My gaudy tree consists of everything pink and green and sparkly... feathers and fluff and everything you wouldn't put on a tree. Im still working on the decor and it will take a while before I get it all done but when its done, I will be sure to show you every single angle. My beloved gaudy tree is in my foyer... right as you walk in. HA!!

Our main tree is a BEAUTY. Its artificial but its GRAND! We saved up for a while to buy it. Its very elegant. Lots of golds, greens and consists of a gazillion sparkly, glittery things. Bows, big bulbs and a beautiful Angel sits on top. The complete opposite of our gaudy tree.

I love our Elegant tree and Im very particular of the decor I buy to place on it...

Yea, Im a bit type A about my Christmas decorations. But thats ok...

Today we are relaxing. Hubby has to work and a stomach bug has systematically worked its way through our home. 

Turkey soup will soon be simmering on our stove top and perhaps another tree will be put up.

Until next time...



Monday, November 21, 2011

Gobble Gobble...

Can you feel it?? Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
In the south, the 80 degree weather might have thrown us off a bit, but the rains came thru and brought us back into November.
Our Little Red House has been filled with holiday distractions... for this week, traditional school is put on hold and F-U-N things are done. Pilgrim stories told 1000 different ways, crossword puzzles, coloring pages and games like...
"Pin the feather on the turkey" are played.

Pies are baked by my two oldest who willingly took over my kitchen and filled our extra freezer with yummy treats for thursday evening.

Todays craft was one of our traditions and something the kids look forward to every year...

Choosing WHO they would be. Pilgrims or indians... you know who won by the picture...

But like every year, tomorrow, they will decide to be pilgrims as well...
And that is fine by me, there is room at our table for all kinds of folks.

Another highly anticipated tradition is our annual Thanksgiving dessert grab bag pick.

Its been going on for as long as I can remember quite honestly. After we stuff our faces with all sorts of homemade puddings and pies, we each draw out a name from a Santa hat and thus begins our Christmas season. Our secret santa gift to each other.
Even my older kids love this. We spend weeks shopping,making and trying to guess who everyone has. as the weeks get closer, our tree begins to fill up as we shower the 1 person we picked with gifts from our hearts. On Christmas eve, we exchange and open our secret santa gifts and enjoy!
Just one of many traditions we do to make our family time special. I have always been big on traditions and sometimes I think I have overdone it... especially when I am exhausted and so much work is still needed to pull it off... but I do enjoy seeing their faces as we anticipate each year and the fun it brings.

 The kids have been busy finishing up co-op activities for the semester and drama performances. Last week they perfomed for their youth group and ROCKED IT OUT. They have an amazing group of kids on the drama team. GOOD kids. I always enjoy seeing them as they give their best.

Christmas plays are being practiced and memory verses are being memorized . My older girls will be cooking for shut ins and we will be attending our Thanksgiving service. I do love this time of year.

A bit of sadness fell on our Little Red House last week. I received news that one of my cousins had unexpectedly passed away. She was 29.

Almost all my family memories on my paternal side had her in them. I couldn't go home to be with my loved ones and pay my respects but I mourned at home. My other cousin Neal spent alot of time with us and we shared every story we could remember. We laughed and laughed at our memories. My aunt looked through her pictures and sent me some. At least we were together down here...

I hate crying. It sounds so silly, but I do. I didn't want to cry about her death but rejoice in her new life... but God had different plans. On Sunday morning, The Pastor asked us to raise our hands to God... Palms up, and offer up our praise. It was then that tears began to flow... no holding back. No trying to push it away. I felt them flow down my neck as I offered up my Thanksgivings to God and saw my cousins face in my mind. a sweet release. Knowing, I could have stood there all day and still not cover all I was thankful for... so instead I offered my flowing and vulnerable... to a God who knew my heart...

I am going out this week to buy beautiful sparkly birds to place on my tree this year. In honor of Melissa. Why birds you ask?? Because for many years when we all would gather in my nana's basement, we would play with little fake birds that my nana had on her tree.

And everytime I see them, I will remember her innocent giggles and the braided pig-tails she always wore in the summertime...

Right now more of my cousins are packing up their cars and starting the long drive from Alabama to my Aunts house right down the road. More memories will be shared. I will meet up with them for Thanksgiving dessert and be surrounded by the people I love so dear. 

My family.

We are not perfect but we are safe and we love each other...

and at the end of the day and our doors close, all that matters in this world is your family...



Monday, November 14, 2011

A Quick Recap, Update thing...

Hi Friends!!

I know I left you hanging from our big reunion this weekend, I promise I will write all about that when I have a bit of time on my hands. This weekend was extremely busy and between all of our plans and keeping up with the kids, Im quite exhausted.

I am also still fighting a head cold/allergies or something. Since it wasn't' going away and it wasn't getting worse, I assumed it was Link! Remember that when we first brought him home I had a reaction to him? Yeah, well our late night spooning and nuzzling must be getting the better of my sinuses because I am forever sneezing, blowing my nose and coughing. I have had to make some changes and since locking him out of his room is not one of them, I have to limit our snuggling to just scratching his head and petting him. I still wake up with him on my head and him licking my ear and I sadly have to push him away. He then sleeps on my rocking chair which is right next to my side of the bed anyway... close enough that I can still hear him purr...

I also finally had my appointment with a rheumotologist. I have been suffering with bad knee/joint pain as far back as I can remember but the last few years it has extended to every joint in my body. On cold days, or on days where the weather changes my body hurts something fierce. Flareups now last weeks instead of days and over the counter meds no longer work to alleviate pain. Stairs are avoided on those days and I retreat to bed early. Under my super soft and warm blankets where my body feels better. (don't I sound old??) So, I met her on thursday and she did a complete exam. Since I just have to be different from the norm, I have her puzzled. RA is a thought, along with other auto-immune disorders.

She kindly drained half my weight in blood for further testing and I go back in a few weeks to see what the results are.

I know something has to be done to stop the progression of whatever this is but chronic meds don't appeal to me. God has been so generous and has been surrounding me with people with similar problems who have made major health changes and have seen improvement and avoided meds...

SO research is being done and changes are underway.

I will keep you posted.

We are in FULL holiday swing. Thanksgiving stories and activities are being read every day in our Little Red House. Tonights dinner discussion involved who would be what for our big meal... Indians or Pilgrims. Costumes and hats will be designed and endless pies of many varieties will be baked. 

I can't wait.

Im off, Im always so tired and NEED a good nights sleep, a busy day lies ahead and I want to go visit YOU and catch up with your dailys.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday Night

Last night, My family successfully was able to throw my sweet aunt Diana a surprise birthday party... it was a milestone year. One I will not mention right now.

Her actual birthday was Thursday and she was quite sad. I think she missed her other children and her grandbabies. Its been a while since she saw them and after many decades of sharing everything with them, the move away is still fresh for her.

To throw her off, we made her this cupcake and walked to her house thursday night to serenade her and spend a few moments with her.

You know, to make her think THAT WAS IT!!!

And it worked!

Last night, she and my uncle went our for dinner with their son. Their usual Friday night routine.

We high jacked his house and started the decorating.

Once we got the call that they were on their way, the squeals  and shrieks from the kids could be heard from down the block.

But the surprise was a success!! She was shocked!!
And the party began!

I bought her a boa and a princess tiara to wear for the evening.

If you knew my Aunt D.... you would understand.

Of course Michelle and her family were there to share in the fun.

and Neal and my hubby had to get all white and nerdy.


By late in the evening we were still going.

Neal has a whole music room upstairs and he always lets the kids partake in some noise.

He says it does his heart good to see his house full...

You know, it still amazes me to think how our 3 families got together. I mean, family is just that. But when your scattered around the US, you never think you would all be brought together to the same small southern town.

Same with friends.

But somehow we all came together. All living less than a mile apart and sharing in all the "small" things in life.

I never would have picked this arrangement myself if given the choice 5 years ago...

But thats why our Heavenly Father knows best.

He surely knows the desires of our hearts before we do.


We love you...



Friday, November 11, 2011

It Only Took 3 Years...

Im so excited...

It only took over TWO years to finally make a SECOND get together happen...

Even though, many different days were in the works, and things kept getting in between...

( like moves to a state NOT in the continental US)

But finally tomorrow, we will pack up our big black van with home made goodies and trek up to North Carolina to visit a family that is larger than ours.

If you need to get caught up then read

It will fill you in on everything you need to know.

Just when we realized our families were kindred spirits, we had to say goodbye...

But they are back!!

And we have so much to get caught up on after the hugs and squeals of glee.

but more on that later, right now I have to go.

We have another BIG surprise later

and I still have SOOO much to do to get ready.

But don't worry, I will be blogging all about it tomorrow!!!

In the meantime, follow me on twitter for up to the minute updates and follow THIS link to catch up!!




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Glimpse Of November

You know, they were right when they said...

  'The older you get, the faster time goes..."

Here we are... its almost Thanksgiving.
The days have gotten ahead of me. I was just telling a friend this morning that I am so thankful for today. A day I have nothing planned but to stay home and school my kids and tend to my Little Red House. I will happily catch up on my bible study when I can and browse thru recipe books.

Our Thanksgiving Menu is planned and already written out on our family board. It has been inspected and approved by all (who can read!) and some shopping has been done.

It will be a quite year. A first for us! And Im looking forward to it.

Im feeling the need to bring back yesteryear to our table...

Some research will be done and incorporated in our schooling.

Special recipes will be made and family favorites will be sure to find a spot as well.

We have been keeping busy with our studies and church activities. 

I still thank God every day for our co-op and the support of a Christian community that allows us to put our families first before anything else.

Next semester I will help teach a class to tween girls about creating, crocheting and knitting. I can't wait. Time for me to break out my needles and brush up on my skills.

I have my holiday read all picked out. I will reveal it to you later...

It fits right into my theme and I can't wait to curl up on the couch and lose myself in the pages.

But for now, Im going to carefully watch our schedule and make sure we don't overload ourselves this season.

I want to continue the tradition of family focused events.

Nights around the fireplace with good food and friends...

and remember, this is a season of Worship.




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